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How to use the Olympic Games to boost your e-commerce sales

Business · 5 min read

How to use the Olympic Games to boost your e-commerce sales

The Olympic Games are in full swing, creating plenty of opportunities for e-commerce businesses to cash in with customers across the world. Read on to discover how you can leverage the buzz of the event to boost your sales and win big.  

"The global market for sporting goods is projected to reach US$72.1 billion by 2027." 1

All e-commerce companies know the value of selling goods at the right time – and for sporting goods, there is no better time than the Olympics. Whether you sell fitness watches, tennis rackets or gym clothes, right now is the ideal period to attract new (and existing) customers to your website and drive sales. So, where to begin?

 

 

 

Welcome the newbies

Admit it, we’ve all, at some point, tuned into the Olympics coverage and thought “I fancy trying that”. It’s time to embrace and welcome these armchair amateurs to your business. As with all major sporting events (such as the World Cup), expect an upsurge of web traffic as people browse classes and equipment to help them explore their newfound passions. And that’s where you need to invest to be at the top of their search results, which brings us to our next point…

Product listings

Having the best product on the market doesn’t always equate to it being the most popular. Why? Because in the online world, product listings and rankings are what count.

If you’re selling via an online marketplace, you’ll be in competition with countless other merchants selling very similar products. This is where understanding Product Listing SEO, and especially seller SEO for those selling on Amazon, will be beneficial. Though each marketplace will have its own algorithms (such as Amazon A9) that determine the order it lists search results to customers, there are several things you can do to boost your ranking and improve your chances of reaching one of the coveted top spots. Optimizing your product descriptions with keywords and using high-quality images are just two pointers; for more, check out our dedicated Product Listings SEO guide.  

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Spot the trends

What makes the Olympics so watchable is its unpredictability. You never know what might catch the viewers’ imagination. And with such a wide audience, it’s not surprising that the games can have an impact on societal behaviors. In 2016, Feng Shanshan, a 27-year-old Chinese woman, became an idol after winning China's first-ever Olympic medal for golf. She shifted attitudes towards the game back in her home country, inspiring many there to take up the hobby. Sales of golf equipment in Asia Pacific is anticipated to register a CAGR of more than 2.5% from 2019-20252, thanks, in part to Feng’s remarkable achievement.

Keep a close eye on the Olympics trending sports – those picking up lots of chatter on Twitter, in the media, and across your social channels – and leverage the opportunity to push relevant stock. Let’s say the basketball is gaining attention – it’s the perfect time for your e-commerce website to run a flash sale across hoops and basketball vests. Even if you don’t sell sporting goods, you can be creative and take the initiative to run your own sales and deals – perhaps France has just had a record day of gold-medal wins, that’s the time to send your French customers an email with a special celebratory discount code. Be aware of what’s going on and you’ll find plenty of ways to boost sales or shift excess inventory.

KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET

Did you know that China is the American NBA’s largest international market?3 An example of why you should do your research to find unlikely overseas sales opportunities.

Embrace the smart tech

From sports bras that measure heart rate, to golf clubs that use biometric data to help players improve their swings, the worlds of sport and technology are combining to create exciting new products.

Research the most in-demand innovations to add to your inventory, and you can cash in big. Remember, too, that these will change per market, so alter the prominence of different products on your website and within your marketing communications depending on the region you’re targeting.

Up your international game

The great thing about the Olympics is that it has a remarkable global reach, broadcast in most countries across the world. So, now is the time to ensure your website is optimized to make the most of international customers who may come across your website in their search for sports goods.   

Does your website allow visitors to browse in their native language? Do you offer localized payment options and fast international shipping – and state that clearly on your website’s homepage? These are features that will help you win sales from cross-border customers. For more tips – including how to navigate customs regulations so your shipments don’t get held up – check out The DHL Express International Shipping Toolkit.

Keep your new customers interested

If you’ve attracted new customers to your business amidst the Olympics buzz, your focus should then move on to retaining them. A key aim is to convince new customers to join your mailing list, so that you can target them with deals in the future. Offering an incentive, such as a discount code for new signees, is an investment worth making, forming a vital part of the post-purchase email flow.

And, it’s not over once they click “purchase”. The after-sales service you give customers is the key to ensure they return to your business in future. A follow-up email thanking the customer for their purchase and confirming their order details should be the bare minimum. Giving them full tracking and notifications of their delivery will win you brownie points, too. After all, 79% of online consumers consider it important to receive information regarding the progress of their deliveries4.

Don’t forget about m-commerce

It’s almost a certainty that a majority of your customers will be browsing on their phones at the same time as watching the Olympics. That’s why you need to ensure your website is optimized for mobile, with clear navigation, a guest checkout option, and auto-fill so customers don’t have to manually enter lots of information. Learn all the tips to help you be a big hit on the small screen with our free mobile commerce guide.

And finally…

Ultimately, remember to have fun! The Olympics is a time of inspiration, exhilaration, emotion and ground-breaking displays of human endurance. People tune in for escapism and entertainment – arguably now more than ever following the pandemic. Ensure the language you use across your comms and social media reflects the spirit of the event. Engage with customers and have fun with your marketing to stand out – customers will remember you.

1 - Research and Markets, 2021

2 - Grand View Research, July 2019

3 - Forbes, August 2017

4 - Consignor, November 2020

Anna Thompson
Anna Thompson Discover content team

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