Laying the Digital Smackdown: the WWE & its new eCommerce Platform
eCommerce is a battle being fought by heavyweight brands and novice optimists.
One of the faces of the digital arena is the World Wrestling Entertainment company, the WWE. Despite being renowned for its rumble in the ring, the WWE are also big hitters in the digital square with its ecommerce functionalities.
Recently, the WWE added to its commerce roster by partnering with the digital sports platform Fanatics. The deal includes cooperation in ecommerce, trading cards, and the raging trend of NFTs.
Within the next couple of weeks or months, Fanatics will launch the WWE Shop ecommerce platform where wrestling fans can buy merchandise, accessories, and apparel from the brand.
In the deal, Fanatics are set to become the exclusive provider of NFTs and trading cards. In the background to this deal, Fanatics recently bought the trading card company Topps in a deal worth $500 million.
“We believe this multi-platform partnership will set a new standard for WWE ecommerce, apparel, and merchandise while providing our fans globally with more ways than ever to engage with WWE and our superstars,” said chairman and CEO of the WWE, Vince McMahon.
On the other end of the deal, the owner of Fanatics, Michael Rubin, added that: “WWE is one of the most widely-admired sports and entertainment properties worldwide, and it made perfect sense to activate many parts of our Fanatics global platform to create a first-of-its-kind, all-in fan experience.”
Michael added that: “From ecommerce and licensed merchandise to trading cards and more, we’re going to offer up an incredible set of capabilities to help WWE’s passionate fans worldwide celebrate their favorite Superstars, marquee events, and the WWE brand overall.”
Included in the long-term deal, Fanatics will be able to immediately commercialize big moments that bang within the wresting universe.
Online retail purchases are forecasted to rise from 14.1% to 22% by 2023. That’s plenty of dollars. This year, ecommerce is expected to hit $5.5 trillion.
What does this mean for Fanatics? “The ecommerce space is fascinating as well as complex – it’s ripe with opportunity and a blue ocean that anyone can take part in, given they partner with the right consultant partner,” said Taylor Andrews, chief of the automation company Activ8 Automation.
“Our goal is to make it widely known that we are the right partner to help make others’ ecommerce journey a very prosperous one. Fanatics can certainly do that for WWE. They have a strong history and foundation, and even better they’re building bespoke platforms to enhance the viability of the partnership and its subsequent success.”
Of course, almost all big partnerships have growing pains in the initial stages and the same went for Activ8. “Now that we’re a larger operation we can pinpoint learning early on from our mistakes and that we needed to focus on building our internal teams and processes to create best-in-class client service and support,” said Taylor.
Working with the WWE, it has been important for Fanatics to keep track of the top talent, events, and moments to keep in line with the present.
“We didn’t always start with a data-centric approach to building and maintaining our business, but that has changed over time,” said Taylor. “At first, we weren’t capturing and leveraging data to our advantage, which affected our overall business strategy or lack thereof.
“Once we realized that data is power, we began to shift our focus, incorporating it into our ways of working and developing our core value proposition. Since that shift happened, we’ve been able to offer our clients an even higher level of premium service in this industry – with more accurate projections, better metrics and analytics, as well as increased client retention.”
Adaptability is crucial for ecommerce success, with the best organizations capable of pivoting at a moment’s notice to maintain maximum reach.
“The reason why we were able to overcome all these challenges is that we are nimble and adaptable with whatever comes our way,” said Taylor. “It’s important that in this opening relationship element Fanatics stays the same with its new partner to generate the strongest results.”
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