7 Easy Tips to Make Your Football Club's Website An Attractive Online Merchandise Store

More than not, 90% of visitors to your club's website are your fans. So it's not fair to let them visit and go empty hand.

 Research reveals that many of these fans visit their favorite club's website seeking more than just news, fixtures, results, match analysis and video highlights...they also hope to find the club's original merchandise they can buy for a good bargain. So it's really a wasted opportunity if your club's website doesn't feature an online merchandise store, with special offers.

I know some Nigerian clubs' websites already has something along this line. Take example of Kano Pillars website, which prominently feature an online merchandise store, but doesn't attract that much sales ...like Everton website that delivers  66% of the club's over all merchandise sales.

I studied and curated 7 tips some of these Premier League clubs adopt on their websites that attract sales like wild fire...and I present them to you here.

To show case these tips we’ve included examples from some of the best online football stores in the UK. Enjoy!

1. Good share of visibility on your club website
As your club’s website gets most of your online traffic, we think it’s extremely important to get as much visibility as possible for your commercial channels, namely your merchandise store.

Everton’s club website is VERY different. The layout is composed of ‘widget’ columns each with their own theme, with the ability to scroll left<> right, and up <> down. We really like that one of the widgets is displaying merchandise from their store. This is permanently there, and gives the ability to the commercial team to have better cross sell from their clubs website to their store. Nice!
Note: The visibility of the merchandise widget does vary significantly based on screen size

2. Clearly marked SHOP button on your club website
This tip sounds obvious, but when you look at a lot of club websites the SHOP button is quite a task to spot. Reminds me of the Where’s Wally game!

Southampton have invested a lot in their digital assets, and have in turn been rewarded with a few awards this season. Their shiny new website has got much less clutter than the industry average. This really gives the club the ability to focus it’s message.
The STORE button is clear, and they are also utilising the main banner to direct traffic to their merchandise store.

The club website speaks for itself, very clear & clean!

3. Constant Communication with your fans
Nearly all clubs have heavily invested in communicating with their fans on social media. We recommend that this ‘investment in digital’ should be extended to their merchandise store with a proper CRM strategy, online chat and more.

If you remain idle for a minute or so on the Leeds merchandise store, you are prompted by a side pop-up offering help and some suggested merchandise. We like this as it’s just the right balance between being informative and also delivering a sales message. Communication as it should be!

4. Selection of Fashion clothing
It seems like most clubs are adding a fashion range to their collection of merchandise being sold. It helps decrease the challenge of constantly selling the ‘Home Kit’, as well as giving more options on the table for the marketing team to reduce seasonality in sales.

West Ham
West Ham seem to do this the best, with a wider range than the industry average. We really think they are pushing the boundaries, and this looks more like a ‘genuine’ retail selection. I’m not a West Ham fan, but I have to admit I’m tempted to buy a few of those tops!

5. Integrated User Journey
When fans head to a football club website, they find that for nearly every tab they click on the website, they are in turn directed to a new website. This is a somewhat ‘unique’ digital experience, found only on football club websites.

When fans clicks across the different tabs on the Leeds United (Club) website, they remain on the same ‘site’. The URL links for Leeds United (Club) and their merchandise store are different. However to the user when clicking on the different tabs the experience would look seamless. Awesome! We like this as it could help deliver better conversion between reading content on Home/News & shopping for merchandise.

6. Banners that grab your attention NOW!
As a marketeer when a customer lands on your merchandise store there are many messages you’d like to deliver.
BUY THIS because…
(I’ve got a new range of awesome fashion clothing)
(I’ve made the price cheaper)
(I get a better margin)
(because I’ve got a lot of stock)
Therefore, having a banner that POPS is important.

Manchester City
Manchester City have a smart way of grabbing your attention to their current deals. Their ‘sticky’ banner at the footer of the page follows you wherever you click on the merchandise store.
Note: This is something utilised by all KitBag stores

7. Mini Landing Page
A ‘mini landing page’ as I’ve called it, is a page some clubs are using as an ‘interim’ page when loading the club website. Most of the industry seem to be using it as a ‘shortcut’ page to select language and/or the ‘real’ page they want to get to (Store, Tickets etc…). I can see this as a tricky one internally whether to implement or not. I can see this being used well in ‘bursts’ when you want to direct traffic to something special. It could also be used as a very high traffic ad page for your merchandise store (or sponsors etc…

 Tottenham &Everton
These two clubs have been slightly more creative than the industry average in terms of how they use the mini landing page. They are looking at using it as a ‘BILLBOARD’ page that all users who want to go to the club website will see. Smart!

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