eCommerce in the mind of a football manager...

Simon

Simon
Writes on 20th February 2014

Hannah Lugsden compares the process of buying from an ecommerce website with the purchase of a football player by a manager.

It’s a Monday afternoon, you’ve finished work for the day. You’re surfing the net, tempted to buy yourself an early birthday present. You come across a website, it catches your eye. Ideas oscillate, you want to delve into the world of IT with a new computer monitor.

Not only do you have a choice to make about where to buy your computer screen, but also which one? Do you want to read through baffling jargon or suffer the inevitable salesman waffle? No.

Have no fear, for I can break this dilemma down whilst ensuring that you are not alone in your quest for the perfect transaction and end product. 

Bear with me if you sense Leftfield City approaching...

Over the years, Sir Alex Ferguson has been offered many deals for footballers, much like any other manager in the sport. His decision making has made him one of the greatest. Break down the process he made famous and you will find some basic direction. The parallels with choosing a computer monitor I will endeavour to juxtapose below. 

Choosing the seller

How long has the company been in business?
Make sure they are reputable, successful and check out the "About Us" section. If you’re spending hundreds/thousands of pounds on something, you need to be sure it’s coming from a company who prides themselves on quality and efficiency.

Who are these people, are they contactable?
If something goes wrong with this state of the art screen have you got someone you can talk to about it? Sure the likes of the big names like Amazon are quick and easy, but where do you go if there’s a fault? Know your seller, familiarise yourself with where they are based, email addresses and phone numbers. Take Continental and their iiyama Monitors website for example, they have a workforce with specialist knowledge who are contactable and able to advise or assure. They don’t sell, They help you buy. 

Choosing the seller, Fergie style

When Sir Alex bought Wayne Rooney from Everton, I’m sure one of his first questions was; how will Everton handle this? Loosely translated, Sir Alex wouldn’t deal with a club who handled transfers badly or have a reputation for digging their heels in. Do former players speak highly of the club, are their representative’s dignified people? You want a help, not a hindrance. A club like Crewe Alexandra have a fantastic reputation of bringing through class young players, nurture them and then making sure they get sold to a big club who will look after them. This is what a customer should look for in a business when choosing where to buy. You see where I’m going with this...

Specification and skill set

Whether you’re reading a monitor spec online or talking to one of Continentals advisors, establishing ones plus points is crucial. If i were a gamer, i need to know response times. If i were a photographer, i must have the best panel. As a buyer, you have prerequisites, necessities, expectations; the seller must adhere to those requirements whether it be via comparing and contrasting or specific recommendation.   The football manager chooses his player based on skill set, impact, his or her strengths and will predominantly have a budget. Is it worth doubling the bid for double the player? Do you go 50% up in price for a site or system for its technical benefits to your usage plan? In most walks of life, the better the quality – the more expensive the bill. And unfortunately for you; the customer, (Chairmen, Chief Execs and owners of football clubs); computer monitors, websites and footballers fall into that simplification. 

Time consumption

The order process needs to be straight forward, just as a contract must be thorough and fair. People of today are busier than ever before and many don’t have the time to wade through page after page. We have made the effort of making our ecommerce process as simple and quick as possible, something critical to customers returning. Buyers want speed, excellence and simplicity, which is what every manager is looking for in a player. No need to draw things out, don’t test your customer’s patience. Take the time to set out an order process which makes it easier for the user. Likewise, if you want to buy, check Testimonials from previous customers, they will give you an idea of how orders have been handled. Managers will often consult those who have been around their target, it’s important to build a picture of what you are getting before it arrives. 


The Fit

How does the product fit in with today’s market? Will the monitor comply with your existing hardware? Does your website design shout out to internet surfers? A dab of compatibility with a dash of style goes a long way in this field. Design must be eye catching but not overpowering, over complicating information is a turn off. Do the homework so your I-mac does work with the monitor, do compare other ecommerce site traits so you have the upper hand. Fergie could never be accused of not doing his homework, he knew what fitted, he knew which players would complement the squad he already had. If the fit wasn’t right, the player wouldn’t be bought.


Economy

Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Manchester United for 12.24 million, and was then sold to Real Madrid for 80 million several years later. A fantastic piece of business where both clubs would feel they got value for money. If you are spending a fair sized chunk of money, you want an all rounder. It’s not always possible to have the very best, but the size of your input will reflect what output you receive. There will always be new products coming on the scene, but if you have bought wisely – your monitor or website will always be in fashion. Back up plans cost, but so does losing orders. Warranty or insurance is worth having, so if it means paying that bit extra for peace of mind – do it. Continental offer a three year warranty on monitors, other retailers don’t offer this. And I’m sure Ronaldo’s right foot is insured for a sickening amount. And I’ll bet his left isn’t far off the right.


The Look

Any product needs a unique selling point. It has to be attractive, have style, swag (if you will), and appeal to all demographics. Is the website smooth, is the monitor sexy, has the footballer got the image? For Fergie to part with millions, the image of a player and how he would reflect the image of the club would have to be exemplary. A buyer is no different, what will this monitor say about me? How will this website represent our company? If an ecommerce website is set out in a simple fashion with no hidden costs or awkward information requests, a customer will see the company as a well oiled machine. Monitors are made to look smart, but something has to draw the browser in, initial attraction. One pass, one interception, one goal can sum up a footballer – it can be a solitary moment which pulls managers into a bidding war. Find a way to make one look of a product hook a potential consumer. Or know when you’ve experienced that moment and go for the purchase. 


Extra, Extra

What else can be on offer to the customer, what temptations can you tease the user with? Continental host a range of monitor accessories, so more often than not; people buy a HDMI cable or a monitor mounting bracket alongside their original purchase. A Webnetism customer may want a simple CMS but get drawn into Ad Banners or see the idea of search engine optimisation and be sold on both. The full package is important to fulfil the potential of a growing service.

Managers are interested in the extras of a footballer, has he/she looked after themselves nutrition-wise, do they use a personal trainer? Footballers’ extra lifestyle choices outside his/her hours of work are as important as the minor details on a website or the correct cable being available. 


Genre/Mould

You’ve decided what you want, but there are several versions. What tips the scales? Well, Continental only sell iiyama monitors, because we believe they provide the best value for money, they have a diverse range and are superb quality. Webnetism provide varying website design and website hosting ranging from Mira Showers to G4S Technology, we listen, we advise and we deliver.

Selling a club to a player is a job every manager in football adopts a different approach for. But the pulling points are essentially the same; ambition, loyalty and reward. 

The sub-plots can be the mould inside the genre, is Sir Alex chasing a holding or an attacking midfielder? Are you using the monitor for CCTV purposes or gaming? Are you desperate to link your website to social media?

So picking the right option can be simple, just remember the golden rule, longevity equals success. Sir Alex Ferguson has decades of it. 

Hannah Lugsden 

 

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