All posts by Jeff English

Retail + Boxing: When Worlds Collide (Part 1)

When Floyd Mayweather welcomes UFC Champion Conor McGregor inside the boxing ring, it is expected to be the biggest fighting spectacle of this generation, if not ever. On August 26, 2017 viewers will witness, for the first time, the sports version of when two worlds collide.

Boxing has long been the staple in the combat sports world, until Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) became the fastest growing sport in the world and captured newer audiences. Today many view it as the old vs. new age, one seems to be on a meteoric rise and the other struggling to stay relevant.

Brick and mortar retail stores are following the same traditional format that we all grew up with. Mayweather, while flashy and controversial, represents a sport that gets the same headlines as brick and mortar stores; “Boxing is dead” or “Boxing is a dying sport”. You can replace brick and mortar in any of those headlines and find thousands of results on Google. This superfight, not only brings both sports to a height neither has seen in some time, but will create a new blended party for audiences.

Lines continue to blur between traditional brick and mortar shopping and e-commerce. Shoppers care more about bottom lines price and will go wherever that leads them, online or in store. These two worlds collide and coexist to consumers everyday while brands continue to struggle.

The $1.9 trillion e-commerce world shows no signs of slowing down, companies are facing more challenges managing product content across channels, and are losing revenue as a result.

A New Hybrid  

Thanks to e-commerce, online sales have scaled new heights, winning a growing percentage of the market every year. The Irishman, McGregor has made his own emergence from obscurity, much like MMA and e-commerce. The UFC Champion was said to be living out of his car just a few years ago. Now he is on the verge of a multi-million dollar pay day, bringing MMA into its largest spotlight to date. Regardless of who wins, audiences will fill the arena and create a new hybrid of both sports, leaving room for only growth.

An estimated  8,640 brick-and-mortar stores will close their doors in 2017, more than 2008 in the great recession (Zero Hedge 2017). Each retailer must look to online sales to keep consumers and both sides must concentrate on what the consumer wants/needs more than thinking of winning them for their side. This will not be a Blockbuster vs Netflix, we all know how that turned out, this battle is all about placement and willingness to adapt.

We have seen past dual sport athletes, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders did it first by showing the cross over appeal. Now athletes like Tim Tebow and Brock Lesnar bring a different appeal to dual sports by sole mass appeal to the media. But this is not playing two sports separately, this is a head-to-head battle of two becoming one.

Weighing In

The weigh ins for a fighter are as mentally tough as they are physical. Today with regulations becoming stricter and heavier regulated in order to keep transparency and safety for fighters health, there is very little room for error.

Missing weight by 1 pound can result in losing millions of dollars from their fight purse, sponsors and overall brand loyalty. New industry regulations like UDI and SmartLabel have put pressure on companies to be more transparent in order to help consumers be more aware of the ingredients and processes used everyday. Bad data or ignoring consumer and federal guidelines can result in heavy profit loss, it would be as bad as not paying taxes ;)

Product information is becoming rich, robust, accurate and readily available to customers and consumers alike, and businesses are becoming more efficient, compliant, and transparent. Consumers want to know more about the products they buy and are basing purchasing decisions on the information available to them.

Companies that aren’t paying attention to larger trends will lose customers trust; the value of a cross channel approach is becoming a must in order to maintain trust loyalty and consistent experiences across every channel.

Follow us to know when part 2 drops next week…

References

“The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017 – ZeroHedge” 22 April, 2017.  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-22/retail-bubble-has-now-burst-record-8640-stores-are-closing-2017

“Worldwide Retail Ecommerce Sales Will Reach $1.915 Trillion This Year – E-Marketer” 22 August, 2016.  https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369

March Madness Hangover

So it’s April… but at 1WorldSync, we are experiencing nostalgia or better yet a March Madness Hangover!

March Madness is all about constantly checking your bracket, placing bets, arguing with friends, and of course now believing you can now play in the NBA. The American Gaming Association predicts that more than 40 million Americans wager $10.4 billion on March Madness, a 13 percent increase over 2016. They also predict the madness will cost employers $2.1 billion in lost productivity (American Gaming Association 2017).

Brands and retailers, while taking advantage of the consumer’s need for related product, battle the loss of productivity. In effect, they create their own strange connection to the tournament.  Many historic brands are not having their best year ( Macy’s, Sears, KMart, Sports Authority) and even simply the old mom and pop store) are falling off our bracket.

March Madness = Marketing Magic

March is a slow time in the sports advertising world with little competition, creating a retail season of its own. Tapping into the fans’ feelings and providing a personalized experience will help produce brand loyalty.

Not only are consumers socially active via mobile, they show high engagement with the companies that speak to them during the games. Food and beverage are obviously big buyers for advertising in the tournament. Yahoo Data showed that in 2016 ad purchases paid off heavily (Yahoo Data, 2017):

  • Wing orders were up 24%
  • Pizza orders were up 17%
  • Sponsored apparel site searches were up 33%

Generating this excitement can be easy for companies of all sizes. There is enough room for smaller players as well.  Thinking local, social and timely can help revolutionize your customer experience, turning fans, into customers.

Win Consumers on Their Path To Purchase With 1WorldSync

Clearly, today’s world of commerce is ever changing and there is no perfect bracket. Why else would Warren Buffet give up $1 million to anyone who had one?

Similarly, trying to match the convenience and needs of consumers with personalized and trusted product content is no easy feat.

Looking for a whitepaper to help equip your organization with strategies that set you apart? 

Download our latest whitepaper to learn more about connected commerce and see how your organization can develop an operational backbone to support your e-commerce investments.

March Madness has become an annual event all consumers and retailers get caught up in. Whether it is the gut wrenching emotional pull,  money on the line, the right for office bragging rights or the excitement of seeing a Cinderella story,  it has created a month of madness that cannot be missed!

 

References

March Madness Betting to Top $10 Billion. March 13, 2017. https://www.americangaming.org/newsroom/press-releasess/march-madness-betting-top-10-billion

How bracket time can be a slam dunk for marketers. Feb 17, 2017.
https://advertising.yahoo.com/insights/how-bracket-time-can-be-slam-dunk-marketers?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma