Online Retail and Football: what can we learn? | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


Online Retail and Football: what can we learn?


Football clubs’ financial activity is increasingly coming under scrutiny. New regulations are forcing clubs to get creative off the field.

A recent report from MICROS eCommerce, highlights how twenty premier league clubs are taking advantage of the huge growth in online shopping to stimulate their income. We ask, what can online retailers learn from football’s example?

Online retailing presents the perfect opportunity for Clubs. It gives them the opportunity to develop a trading arm without the overheads of developing a high street presence. This will allow large premier league clubs to operate under new regulations, and allow smaller clubs to generate extra income that they can invest on the field.

Customer Experience

Customer experience is vital when it comes to online retailing. eCommerce naturally presents a challenge as you have to recreate an immersive and stimulating retail experience in a virtual environment, and ensure that it still all leads to customer conversion.

To help eCommerce customer experience can be sorted into to two key areas of operation, online and offline. Splitting the customer experience in this way allows online retailers to measure and change any obstacles on the customer’s path to purchase -- as a great website that converts highly would be ruined by a bad delivery service.


In the report a lot of clubs failed to meet the standards that are present in most eCommerce stores. Encouragingly, 65% of Clubs’ websites were optimised for mobiles, and 90% offer online order tracking.

However other elements that would encourage visitor conversion were lacking. 85% of clubs did not have customer reviews, and 45% did not show recommendations for other products – both vital elements that would help upsell or cross-sell products.

Club’s that have developed sophisticated online stores (like Norwich City FC & Liverpool FC), feature: saved baskets, wish lists, reviews, and order tracking; all to increase online conversion.


While web conversions are vital, the online shopping experience does not stop at checkout. Delivery is an essential part of online retail that many retailers get wrong. But do it correctly and it will make sure those customers keep coming back.

The report shows that clubs are extremely good at attracting customers to their websites, but are often unable to convert shoppers because of a bad delivery service.

Only 50% of clubs offered next-day delivery in the report, and only 15% offered Saturday delivery.

Furthermore, delivery charges tended to be higher than industry standards. As the majority of clubs charged £4.99 for standard delivery, whereas shoppers are used to paying an average of £3.99 – but today, are more likely to be charged £1.99 or get the service for free!

Using Football's example, the MICROS eCommerce report highlights some vital elements of the customer journey that could be optimised to improve conversion.

The challenge that online retailers face is juggling the needs of their cusomters without putting themselves out of business.

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.