The Indian Premier League is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India that has become more than just a sports event. What it is in its true sense, is a religion with a following across the world. But other than a period where we all get glued to our television screens, cheering for our favourite teams, it is a proven opportunity for businesses to thrive - especially eCommerce. Yes, we’re talking about your Shopify store - the one that you’re probably already running or the one that you’ve been thinking about.
You’re wondering how you could use a cricket event and its fan following to grow or start an online store on Shopify.
Well, we have some ideas!
If you’re starting an online store on Shopify
If you’re new to the online business world and are looking for ideas on what to sell on your Shopify store, this is a great opportunity for you.
During IPL, the one thing that works best for Shopify stores is the print on demand model. With 8 teams in the Indian Premier League and 10 in the Indian Super League, there are a lot of custom made products that you can sell on your store.
From what we’ve seen the Indian fan following indulge in and what actually sells globally, here are a few products you can include in your catalog on a print-on-demand model:
Disclaimer: Most of the franchises, their names, imagery and other brand assets have a copyright. If you’re planning to do something with their design assets, you need to get in touch with them or partner with them. Or you can use generic cricket merchandise, because that sells as well during IPL.
1. Printed mugs
Printed mugs have been trending for years now. But even today, each one of us owns at least one personalized mug. Of our favourite cricket team, favourite player or even a quote that we truly believe in. During IPL, printed mugs are again among the top-selling products. You can simply let the shoppers choose the team logo, player name or the team slogan they want on the mug for the ultimate IPL goodie to own!
Even generic cricket quotes or themed mugs work well, if you don’t want to partner with IPL officially to sell their merchandise.
The number one selling item during IPL and ISL are team t-shirts. Everyone wants to be donning their favourite team to show their support or their favourite player’s jersey to reflect the enthusiasm of an upcoming match. Let shoppers who visit your store pick the team, player, slogans and even colors in which they want their t-shirts. Believe us, you’re going to see so many of them posting Instagram pictures in them!
For this, you can either officially partner with IPL to sell their merchandise. Alternatively, you can work with freelance designers who can help you create a few custom print options for some teams.
3. Team flags
We’ve all done this at one point in time. Team flags used to be a big thing and they still are, if you audience includes a segment of young shoppers. Let these shoppers choose the team logo, add or remove the team slogan from the flag they order from you. You’ll see them donning the flag during the matches or even turning them into home decor.
Again, you have the option of either officially partnering with IPL or aligning with a few cricket-crazy designers and illustrators who could come up with unique design prints for the flags!
4. Canvas prints and posters
Similar to flags, canvas prints and posters too are hot sellers since a considerable period of time and have been proven to sell easily. Shoppers look for prints of their favourite teams to hang on their walls for the upscale look of sportiness in the form of art, at a budget price. From young IPL followers to those living alone and wanting to give their homes a personal touch, this one’s a commonly sought after product.
Remember, if you want to sell the official team brand assets as prints, you will need to partner with IPL. But you do have the option of working with independent designers and illustrators who can help you with custom designs/ prints for each team.
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Based on who your target audience is and where they’re located, you can also sell printed hoodies. Again, let them choose the team they follow, the logo variation they’d like to add, the slogan they could have printed on the hoodie and the color of it.
We think it’s a really good idea to customize your hoodie prints by working with freelance designers and illustrators. It gives you a chance to make them cooler, irrespective of the team the shopper wants to buy a hoodie on.
6. Phone covers
Take a look around and tell us what you see on most smartphones in India. A customized phone cover. With an almost maniacal following of the IPL, you’ll find a lot of us donning phone covers of our favourite teams or favourite players, slogans or quotes. That’s why this is another print-on-demand product that you can consider selling during the season.
Do not forget to either partner with IPL officially to use their brand assets. Or look for a designer who can help you give a twist to the phone cover prints you sell!
There could be a thousand productivity tools out there. But most of us have a thing for stationery and that’s why notebooks and personalized diaries are still a popular selling item online. Just like the mugs and apparel, you can let your Shopify store visitors choose the print they’d want on the cover of the notebook, its size and more.
Again, either partner with IPL officially or work with designers to sell custom prints. You can also have simple cricket-related notebook prints as well if you don’t want to add an entire range of IPL-related products.
8. Cushion covers
Another item that often makes it to Indian homes, are cushion covers. Everyone likes to change them during different seasons and IPL is a season in itself. The avid followers are sure to have at least a few cushions of their favourite teams or players in their rooms. Apart from choosing the team or the player they want on the cushion, remember to give them the option to also choose the size of the product.
If you think a lot of your customers would be interested in the official merchandise, partner with IPL to sell those on your store. Otherwise, you can work with designers to come up with something exclusive to cricket and your brand.
9. Baseball caps
Considering the weather in India during this time, most of us keep a cap handy to stay safe from the scorching heat. That’s why baseball caps are another popular print on demand item that sells. During the IPL season, you could let the followers print don their favourite teams. You could also let them add custom text they’d want to get printed to further customize the product.
To increase the longevity of this product range on your store, you can also consider generic cricket related prints for the baseball caps.
10. Stickers/ Wall decals
Similar to those who love to give their home a little sprucing up during the season to show their support for the team, stickers and wall decals are also top-selling products. From team names, slogans or popular players, you can sell stickers and wall decals as well during this time. Since these are pocket-friendly purchases and can be changed frequently, you’ll see a lot of takers.
Remember to either officially partner with IPL or work with designers who can help you create something exclusive for your cricket-enthusiastic shoppers!
11. Face masks
Need another idea for a product to sell in the new normal? Sell face masks on your Shopify store!
While you obviously have the option of customizing masks as per the IPL teams, you can also have generic cricket-related designs.
If you want to take customization of the products you’re selling to another level, you can also allow visitors to upload the design they want printed on any of the items above.
Want to learn more about print-on-demand? Read our guide here.
Take your business online during IPL. Start your online store on Shopify!
If you already have an online store on Shopify
Now if you already have an online store on Shopify and would want to leverage the crazy following of IPL to make more sales during the season, we have some ideas for you too.
1. Add print-on-demand range of products
If you sell products that are nowhere close to adapting to the IPL madness, this one is for you. Add a temporary range of products on your store to cater to the IPL followers, using the print-on-demand model we were talking about before. This way, you wouldn’t have to add to your existing inventory and will still be able to cash in on the IPL trends!
2. Run a IPL-season sale
Whether you’re into fashion and apparel, sportswear or home decor, join in the madness of IPL by simply running a limited time period discount or sale on your store. Since most of your target customers are in their happy and enthusiastic zone, they’re more likely to act on an IPL sale right now, making way more purchases than they otherwise would.
Remember to promote these offers and discounts on social media and search, targeting those who are following the IPL teams or have shown an interest in cricket. It’s the smartest way to get noticed!
And here’s another example of a store selling tea, tapping into the IPL madness:
Pro tip: Have a retargeting and remarketing campaign in place as well so that you don’t lose out on high purchase intent buyers.
3. Give your store a cricket-y look and feel
One thing you can do to quickly change the look and feel of your store to match your shopper’s excitement about IPL, is change up your banner images. Include a few that promote your ongoing sales and discounts. You can even set up a separate page on your store simply to display your IPL-specific deals or how you’re joining in, leading more people to that page, capturing their purchase intent.
Alternatively, you could also simply add a few product labels and badges on some items, highlighting the IPL-exclusive discounts.
Here’s how Souled Store has done. Seeing the number of customers who come to the store during the IPL season, they’ve also signed up as partners!
The Souled Store is an official partner of the IPL
4. Create IPL product bundles
Have you noticed some of your products sell more and sell less during the IPL season? Use product analytics to identify your hot and cold product segments and get ready to sell more. Create product bundles wherein you combine your top-selling and trending items with products that aren’t getting much attention. Now this strategy may vary from what your Shopify store is all about.
Swiggy has a campaign called the ‘match day mania’. Even though they aren’t exactly sponsors, they’re doing their bit in joining their audience in all the excitement around it! So based on what your store sells, you can always find ways to create offers around IPL.
Here's another example of tapping into the IPL madness, by a Shopify store that sells tea.
5. Re-engage your existing customers
If you’ve previously run an IPL sale or offers, remember to re-engage those customers again. Send them an email, web push notification, an SMS or a notification on Messenger to recommend products based on what they’ve interacted with before along with the new deals.
But remember to tap into the right messaging and context while reaching out to them. After all, a repeat customer has a 60-70% higher chance of re-converting than new visitors.
6. Engage influencers to increase your reach
Identify micro influencers who are actively engaging with IPL and have a following that fits your ideal customer persona. Reach out to them to promote your IPL deals and discounts to their followers. Nudge them to create authentic content that showcases their purchases from your store and explains why their following should buy too!
7. Invest in traditional marketing (TV, radio and newspapers)
If you have some budget to promote your store deals and discounts more aggressively, consider traditional marketing channels. This is one time when most of your target audience remains tuned into radio, are glued to their television screens and are scanning the newspapers closely to monitor their favorite teams.
You could run short campaigns on each of these channels to promote your deals and discounts, highlighting how they’re going to end after IPL! Remember to sound exciting and create a sense of urgency as well to make shoppers act right away.
Get ready to make the most of the IPL season!
IPL isn’t just a trend or a season in India. It’s an emotion. So remember to tap into the feelings of the followers.
The more excited they feel about you joining in the IPL madness, the more likely they are to buy from you!
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