The E-Commerce Column

6 Ways Football Can Help Your E-Commerce Site

American Football

Yes, for our European customers, we understand that football in America primarily consists of contact of a ball with a player’s hands, but that’s our national past time. To be fair, American football did begin with foot contact. We can blame Harvard for today’s hand-based (or Rugby) set of rules. We love futbolas well, but it’s still not quite as popular yet.

Know the Playbook

Football is a team sport. Like your website, there’s likely a team effort that makes or breaks your success. No online store will scale without a good playbook – a way to keep everyone on your on the same page during all times of the year. A good playbook will define your processes from support, to order processing, to fulfillment and more – without question. You should have plays to call for on and off season. A well-prepared team is a winning team!

Protect the Quarterback

A quarterback is responsible for getting the ball to the end zone – essentially to ensure your team scores when it has the ball. On your team, your quarterback is responsible for getting dollars into your store. You need to make sure your quarterback can sit in the pocket (office) and have the time to make your plays happen. They cannot be bombarded by defensive lineman, sacking them with tasks that don’t have anything to do with your bottom line. Make sure your quarterback has one job – a focus – putting points on the board!

Recognize When to Audible

Despite your best intentions, sometimes a play won’t workout. You can plan all year long, but you need to be able to see the signs of when a play won’t work out. They last thing you want to do is lose yards(money) when a play doesn’t work out as you expected. Keep an eye on your analytics and other reports. Know when promotions are not working out. Keep an eye out for product bundles that should or should not be sold. More importantly, identify products that are NOT selling. Once you see this defensive line-up, you’ll be able to react accordingly.

Run the Ball Consistently

I’m from San Diego so I am not only a Chargers fan, but also a fan of a concept known as Marty Ball. Basically, you need to focus on your running game, reduce risks, and get points on the board. Everything else should be done to help run the ball, because it’s the best way to control the game. This concept is no different when applied to your customers. Your customers are your runners. Constantly evaluate the path your customers take to the checkout and remove every obstacle that can prevent them from putting points on the board. Also, single page checkout is key!

Watch the Game Clock

When it comes to the game clock on your e-commerce site, there are two key things to keep your eye on – the 2-minute offense and the end of the half/game. In either case, you must ensure that you don’t miss timelines. The first timeline is all too easy to miss… Don’t miss a chance to promote your latest offers and sales. Automate your communications whenever possible.

The most critical moments of a game though are the final two minutes of a half. When your customers are seeking support about one of your products or services, every single second counts. The faster you respond, the more you ensure that you’re going to get more points on the board. Don’t let your competitors beat you to providing and outstanding customer service experience.

Train Your Special Teams

Ask any head coach and they’ll tell you – games are won and lost by their special teams. A football team is much more than just the players and coaches on the field. There’s all kinds of support staff, back office personnel, trainers, management, and more. Each of these areas need to be running well, because if they don’t, it will eventually reflect upon the team in any number of ways.

Your store’s special teams need to be well-trained and executing plays fluidly. These teams include your content strategists, marketing department, and even community management if you need it. Content, marketing, SEO, and your community all work together to attract customers, get them into your pipeline, and eventually to purchase your products and services. If you don’t draft and train good players on your special teams, your store will struggle to see success.

"Patriots-Steelers 2005" by Bernard Gagnon - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

About the Author

Will StrohlWill Strohl

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