From the pitch to the screen, how is the sports industry taking on digital?

    By Amy Montague, Thursday 25 July 2019

    This year women’s football entertained the masses and more athletes had a global platform to stand on. From betting shops to athletic wear and sponsorships, sport has never been so integrated into every part of our lives before. But no one fights harder to get your attention and money than sports ecommerce. With NIKE selling championship football shirts which can be personalised online and Adidas bringing out a new shoe designed for Taekwondo which can be ordered online and collected from a nearby post office, the sports industry is continually finding new ways of combining physical and digital.

    All these flashy functionalities look good on paper or screen in this case, but no matter how good a product is if the buying process is hard then the sale is lost. So what are these companies doing to maintain conversion rates, even with all these new functionalities being added which could break their website?

    Digital roadrunners

    ASICS – Online sales have shot through the roof at sports brand Asics with an increase of 130% in the first quarter of 2019, compared to last year. After unifying nearly a dozen platforms across a range of different regions, Asics was able to gain a better understanding of the customer’s view and then update the website to increase overall UX. In other words, a large scale UX test, across a huge range of different platforms. In this case, running the extra mile digitally and becoming more transparent for the customer's benefit directly upped the brand's overall stats. Customers felt more well-informed and trusted the online brand more when the relationship between company and customer is maintained.

    “It’s all about making the experience better for the inside customer and the outside customer” – Rick Hoving, Ecommerce manager EMEA

    Bridging together that gap between instore experience and online experience, through sought out and tested personalisation has greatly benefited the brand and will continue to in the future.

    Top view photo of coffee table. There are day planner, laptop, mobile phone and cup of coffee

    Adidas – By 2020 Adidas should have quadrupled their online sales to just under £4 billion through aggressive digital investment. Much like Asics, Adidas focuses much of their efforts on building direct, personalised and informative relationships with online users. What does this actually mean? This means creating intuitive, clear and seamless customer experiences. In a nutshell, no digital defects which could put doubt in the mind of the user, and clear optimisation across all browsers and devices.

    “Our single most important store in the world is our dot-com store, there is no comparison,” - Kasper Rorsted, chief executive officer of Adidas AG

    How do you achieve stats like this? Test your website.

    Test its functionalities, security, usability, device coverage. Test everything because if the big dogs are doing it and it’s clearly working then you will be left behind if you don’t test as well. Users expect a certain type of online experience and even a small delay of a few seconds can lose you thousands of potential customers.

    Amy Montague

    Amy Montague

    As one of the Marketing Executives for Digivante, Amy provides and reviews most of the copy and visual content for Digivante. Amy has a natural flair for the creative and introduces aspect into her marketing role.

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