SMEs can use technology to capitalise on sports fever

Summer 2016 is sports season. Whomever you support, major sporting events also represent a financial opportunity for the countries participating. Overall analysts predict that this sporting summer could add £3bn to the UK economy with a combination of football, the Olympics, the Golf Ryder cup and Wimbledon. Pubs and bars showing the events will see a boost to business, as well as increased supermarket sales as people stock up on snacks and people buy sporting accessories.

So with this feel-good factor and everyone going out and spending money to enjoy the sports this summer, how can small businesses take advantage of it? For those businesses who are directly involved with sports, the advantages of these kinds of events are clear. For others, some more creativity is required.

Keep the supply chain flexible and varied

For those businesses whose stock is automatically attractive to sporting fans, the most important thing is to be able to keep up with demand. Much as with normal seasonal fluctuations, you may see sudden peaks in demand. These are critical to plan for and react to. If you can analyse past supply chain movements and changes in demand, you can make sure you’re ready for the next peak – both in terms of having the staff to service customers and the products available. Then, when the next event comes around, you can react accordingly.

Use social media chatter

Nowadays people don’t just watch a game they also tweet about it, comment on it on Facebook and Instagram photos of themselves at matches. Although businesses should have a holistic social media strategy, it is also possible to use individual events to capitalise on the existing enthusiasm. Monitoring what is trending in your area and using the relevant hashtags and conversations to offer something timely and relevant – such as a discount on cold drinks for hot sports fans in the park around the corner – can pay dividends.

Make marketing reactive

Being responsive and useful can do wonders for your brand. However, to do this you need to be able to create and update marketing campaigns at short notice. If there is a sporting event coming up, and you want to host viewings, or offer a discount on related goods, sending out an e-newsletter the day or week before will put your company front of mind for those sports fans.

Critically, make sure that this marketing is mobile-friendly. According to the IMRG Capgemini E-Retail Sales Index, 27% of all UK sales last year took place online and half of those were via mobile. It is an increasingly important platform and making sure that your marketing can be easily accessed on mobile is crucial.

Whether you enjoy the particular sport or not, big sporting events are a time for people to come together and small businesses can help them enjoy that time even more. It therefore pays to get the right technology in place in advance to be able to measure and plan. All-in-one solutions like SAP Anywhere can help ensure that you won’t miss an opportunity for a sale.