The battle for views – what happens when the World Cup takes place during the hottest e-commerce month of the year?


2022’s Fifa World Cup represents a lot of firsts. This year will be the first time the event is hosted by a Middle Eastern country and the first time the event has been delayed until fall/winter. The World Cup generally takes place in June – July, but the event has been delayed to November due to the extreme heat in Qatar.

As Qatar gears up to host this year’s World Cup, e-commerce businesses are gearing up for the expected industry boom that comes with it. The World Cup has traditionally had a strong economic impact around the world, particularly for host companies, but now that the event moved to the eventful month of November, e-commerce business owners are unsure what to expect. With the World Cup now scheduled for a major e-commerce month due to the holiday season, how can business owners prepare for the unique opportunities this year’s World Cup has to offer?

E-Commerce and Past World Cups

In the past, the World Cup has been a lucrative event for the industry, but tapping into this opportunity has required some extra spending. For example, in 2014, companies spent $1.5 billion on World-Cup-focused advertising and marketing. During the 2018 cup, a 14% increase compared to previous years was predicted for the global e-commerce market. The outcome exceeded this expectation with sales rising a dazzling 15%. The most growth was seen in the year’s first three quarters, the time period close to the World Cup.

Although the landscape has changed slightly due to the pandemic, online spending has been rising for years, and high-profile events like the World Cup provide an excellent opportunity for companies to expand their user acquisition and awareness activities. The previous World Cup had fans streaming over 15 million hours of digital content, tweeting 700 million times, and posting over three billion World Cup-themed Facebook posts – and this was before TikTok (currently the World Cup’s biggest sponsor) even existed. This means you have an easily accessible and already online audience you can capitalize on with your own user acquisition ventures.

But with World Cup-specific advertising requiring such large investments of time and funds, are the benefits worth the costs?

Consumer Spending During World Cups

The World Cup is more than just an opportunity to further your user acquisition goals with targeted advertising. Several studies have revealed that during previous World Cup events, e-commerce sales have spiked, and user spending has soared. During preparations for the 2014 World Cup, e-commerce purchases began rising in December 2013, seven months before the event was to take place. Studies before the world cup projected that the event would generate a 27% rise in e-commerce sales in the host country of Brazil alone. This increase translates into a monetary value of approximately $16.6 billion US dollars.

Citizens of other countries also increased spending, with UK consumers estimated to have spent approximately 174.71 million pounds. The study added that had their team advanced to the finals, this number may have grown to 367.49 million. These are significant numbers that have the potential to grow your business, and it’s all at your fingertips. So even though it may require more of your budget to be diverted to soccer-focused campaigns, the results prove that investing in World Cup mania is often worth the price.

The Risks

Unfortunately, investing in World Cup-related campaigns isn’t always smooth sailing. Data collected during the 2014 World Cup revealed that consumer spending is often closely tied to their team’s performance in the Cup. For example, Germany, the winner of the World Cup in 2014, showed an average of 75% increase in sales on the day after their victory. On the other hand, Brazil experienced a 17% drop in transactions after their loss to Germany, compared to the 9% increase they experienced after winning a match.

After its elimination from the World Cup, the USA experienced a 7% decrease in online spending, while Mexico had a 51% drop in spending after its loss. Finally, UK’s spending was reduced by 13% after losing to Uruguay. These statistics prove that investing in World Cup campaigns can be a gamble. Although it’s often successful, be prepared for a sudden decrease in user acquisition following a devastating match loss.

Manage Your World Cup Campaign with Skipper

After examining the potential benefits and risks, you’ll need to analyze whether allocating your budget towards World Cup advertising or channeling your budget into the e-commerce events that take place at this time of year will be more beneficial to your company. It’s important to consider your product niche, audience, and user acquisition goals before coming to a decision, and it’s important to remember that the decision doesn’t need to be a choice of “either-or”. With tools such as Skipper, you can manage multiple user acquisition campaigns across multiple platforms- at the same time.

Skipper allows you to create, maintain, and optimize your campaign across multiple platforms without breaking the bank. With real-time performance insights and actionable reports, you’ll be ready to adjust your campaign to accommodate any outcome and address consumers’ needs as they arise. In addition, Skipper supports all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads, TikTok, Apple Search, Twitter, Snapchat, and more.

Get in touch today to learn how we can help you kick off your campaign and meet all your user acquisition goals.

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