What is necessary for a football club to bear in mind while developing an online store

Merchandising sales is one of main sources of football club income. The assortment of leading football clubs counts in couple of thousands names, there you can find the most variable goods including football kits, clothes, accessories, toys, souvenirs, goods for fans and for home, stationery, polygraphs, computer accessories, goods for kids and so on. 

A football club merchandises its production via official fan-shops, fan-shop sectors in malls, directly at the stadium in the day of the football match and via its own online store. Currently e-commerce is growing up rapidly and namely online store begin to take center stage in merchandising by football clubs. 

The specialists of WBE IT-company have analyzed successful cases and have defined 5 key tendencies and factors that are necessary to count during developing the effective online store of the football club. 

1. Online store integration with other platforms of the club 

Users generally go firstly to the football club site and then switch to the online store. Apart from, football clubs often have a special platform for tickets sales and also other specialized web-resources (for example, a separate site for football school or a thematic landing page for a specific event). That is why developing of the online store of the football club must foresee its integration with all other internet-resources of the club, including the football club pages in social networks. 

Actually, this integration foresees such aspects as:
-    One user account on all platforms with the purpose of usability and also global gathering of analytics about the user;
-    Developing of functional for creating advertising proposals, banners and products widgets of the online store for placing on all club platforms; 
-    Automatic gathering of users’ feedbacks about bought products on the site, in social networks and their integration into the online store. Apparently, the users often post the photos with purchased production in social networks that can be used by the online store as social proof (upon user consent). 

2. Personalization 

A T-shirt or a kit are the most popular goods in the online store of the football club. But a fan wants to receive this type of production, personalized by his taste. 

Therefore, the widget of product personalization is an important element on the product details page. For instance, when buying the T-shirt the user personalizes it, choosing desired number on the T-shirt, a player’s surname (or his own name and surname), a logo featured on the product etc. It’s important that this widget must be visceral and user-friendly, as well on mobile devices, because it provides high conversion of orders, an increase in average check and the online store sales in general. 

3. Mobile-first

The part of users who connect to the Internet with mobile devices has exceeded 50% that is why mobile-first approach is a leading tendency in e-commercial during projecting the online store. 

Its main idea is that mobile design as the most difficult must be done in the first place. Because solving the most difficult issues related to mobile design, a designer solves at the same time the problem of design for other devices, so the further development will be easier. Everything comes down to whether that key features remain in the smallest design thus “the core of UX” develops. 

Nowadays many football clubs adopt the approach mobile-first, improving the UX of its online store. They make pages clearer and more intuitively understandable, increasing the effectiveness of CTA-elements. This approach leads to decreasing of pages loading, the growth of sales from mobile gadgets and also the increase of online store sales overall. 

4. Active engagement of users 

These days the trend is clearly evident that fans want more and more integration with their football club as they want to feel themselves the part of it. 

The online stores of football clubs have to use this trend that is why the shops must offer tools for constant feedback with the store for users: 
-    Users’ feedbacks about purchased production and also photo feedbacks
(The opportunity to add the photo with production to the feedback).
-    Automatic gathering of users’ feedbacks in social networks and the widget creation based on this content 
-    The tool for quick launch of viral advertising campaigns 
-    The functionality for organizing different competitions between users (for example, the competition on the best photo with bought production of the club) etc. 

Professionally structured analytical system allows quickly and qualitively analyze the effectiveness of tools of users’ engagement and to estimate their impact on income gain of the online store. 

5. Orientation on global market 

The football club, especially if it participates in international competitions, has fans all over the world. Another factor of club popularity abroad is foreign players as team members. 

Counting it into consideration, the online store does not have to restrict oneself territorially but to strive to engage more club fans from other countries. With this purpose, the online store should have such functions: 
-    Multi-language is the opportunity for the user to select the language of the online store that is the most native for the user; 
-    Multi-currency is the opportunity to pay in the currency of the user’s country