Tottenham Hotspur recently launched its AW17 marketing campaign, featuring the tagline #WeThe12th.

As part of the campaign, Spurs contacted fans via Instagram and recruited them to model the new season’s clothing. The aim is to celebrate the club's fans, who are the ‘all-important twelfth member of the team’.

Tottenham’s focus on deepening fan engagement is part of a broader strategy that also extends to the club’s ecommerce site.

In June the club belatedly added product reviews to the site, including the ability for customers to add photos of their purchases. The feature is enabled by Yotpo, an ecommerce tool that enables site owners to integrate user-generated content.

Though user reviews have only been live on the site for a few months, the early signs have been very encouraging. I spoke to Nick Connor, Tottenham’s ecommerce manager, to find out more.

Site redesign

Alongside many Premier League clubs, Tottenham is in the process of upgrading its digital platforms so that it can better engage with its international fan base.

We’ve covered this topic at length in other posts so I won’t go into too much detail here, suffice to say that there’s been a big push among Premier League clubs over the past few years to bring their websites and digital strategies up to scratch.

Tottenham’s digital presence is all handled in-house, including the ecommerce function. The addition of product reviews is the beginning of a long-term plan to bring more relevancy and personalisation to the site.

Tottenham's new product page design

Despite the review feature only being available for around four months, 10% of customers have reviewed their purchases and more than 250 people have submitted photos alongside their review. 

Nick admitted that this has surpassed his expectations and said it shows there is a big appetite among fans to engage with the club.

Example of a product review featuring a fan's image

“I think if you’re a fan and you’re getting exposure on your team’s site and you can show your friends that you’re on there wearing the kit, then that’s definitely a thrill for some people,” said Nick.

And it hasn’t just been the team’s kits that have attracted reviews. There’s been engagement across a range of products, including a book called The Lane that was published to commemorate Spurs leaving their old stadium. Nick said one man even submitted a picture of himself wearing the official Spurs boxer shorts, “but we haven’t published that one.”

The fan images were initially only visible within the reviews area of the site, but in the past week Spurs also used a Yotpo widget to embed user-generated content on the shop homepage.

These images also include links to the relevant products, which should help nudge customers towards a purchase. 

One of the most recent reviews features the world's cutest Spurs fan:

Nick explained that the aim is to create galleries of fan images that can also be embedded on the main Tottenham site.

“There’s so much potential there for us to engage with fans and feature them on the site, it’s the fans who make the club so we need to put as much focus on them as possible.”

Impact on conversions

While fan engagement is important for football clubs, the ecommerce site is obviously there to make money. The importance of reviews on ecommerce sites are well documented, with one study stating that 77% of shoppers consult reviews before buying online.

So how have Tottenham's new product reviews impacted user behaviour and conversion rates?

Nick said that 6.5% of traffic interacts with the reviews, which might seem low but actually equates to a large number of visits. Conversion rates among people who interact with reviews are three times higher than among those who don’t look at reviews.

Obviously you can’t necessarily say that viewing a review definitely spurred that person on to buying a Spurs shirt, but it does suggest that there is a correlation between the two.

Nick again: “To be certain of the link [between reviews and conversions] we’d have to do further analysis on the customer journey and look at what stage they interacted with reviews… but it shows that anything you can do to answer people’s questions and remove that element of doubt is definitely a positive thing.”

Plans to evolve the feature

Tottenham are already working on developing the reviews feature to pull in content from social media.

Currently reviews are solicited via email, however Spurs have also begun encouraging fans to use #SpursStyle when posting images on Instagram. Fans using the hashtag are then sent automated messages to ask if Spurs can use their photos next to the matching product on the club site.

Similarly, the images submitted via email can potentially be reused on social media to further engage with fans.

Nick said the club may also introduce incentives and competitions, rewarding those who submit the best images with “things that money can’t buy, like tours of the training ground."

“We’re always looking at ways that can help fans feel closer to the club and ensure they feel part of what we’re doing.”

For more on this topic, see:

David Moth

Published 25 October, 2017 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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