Ipswich Town FC

A BOLD AND DISTINCTIVE CLUB OFFERING

Ipswich Town FC is a Championship Club steeped in history.

The club has won the FA Cup and UEFA Cup, amongst other victories, and has competed in the top two tiers of English football since the 1950s. As part of the English Championship, the third most-watched league in European football, Ipswich FC boasts an average attendance of 18,000 fans per game.

To secure a digital offering as impressive as its history, Ipswich Town FC entrusted Reading Room with the redesign and development of its ecommerce offering.

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Challenge

The existing ecommerce site was functional but outdated.

Our challenge was to create a bespoke ecommerce platform, with a fully integrated ePOS/stock management system that would increase retail growth in both online and ‘bricks and mortar’ stores.

The Club needed easier navigation and better analytics tracking on the site, more up-selling opportunities, and enhanced promotions that could be run both online and in-store. At the same time, Ipswich FC was overhauling its stock and till system in store, which required a great deal of coordination. The Ipswich team therefore needed something well-planned and efficient, that enabled fans from across the whole of the UK to purchase merchandise.

All within a tight timeline, the Club also wanted to facilitate integration with their email system, to power marketing tools such as abandoned basket saving.

"We basically had a legacy system throughout retail. Everything from our tills and ecommerce software, to logistics and warehousing - it was all powered by a system that was 15 years old. The modern expectation of a customer is to provide that immediate functionality, access to promotions and sufficient payment and delivery options which we were struggling to do with our legacy system."
Lee Hyde Director of Retail Operations, Ipswich Town FC
"Lee and the team brought a clear and well-thought vision of what they wanted to achieve in terms of customer experience, and this made collaboration and communication effortless from start to finish."
Hayden Evans Creative Director at Reading Room

Solution

Using a mobile-first approach, we built a fully-responsive leading ecommerce platform on Magento.

The site offers a highly customisable and personalised experience for fans across the UK.

Its core module, the bespoke ‘kit builder’ feature, provides advanced functionality that allows customers to purchase full kit online, with the option to personalise items with name, number and patches. The kit builder is fully integrated with an ePOS/stock system to decrement the correct letters and numbers.

We teamed up with the Club’s new ePOS partner, Touchretail to leverage its extensive knowledge of stadium retailing, and deliver a cutting-edge shopping experience across digital and in store.

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Our core kit builder module is one that Reading Room has now used many times, for other major football clubs such as Stoke FC. A continuously expanding platform, Ipswich’s offering represents our most intelligent version of the core module yet.

The new Magento ecommerce platform means that fans can easily browse and purchase products across any device. There is even a direct link from the website homepage leading users to purchase a customised shirt. We have facilitated integration with Ipswich’s loyalty team card, providing an effective and joined-up means for customers to spend points both online and in-store.

Fans now have the ability to create product wish-lists, store multiple delivery addresses and leave product reviews for purchased items, all through their registered account. Improved product imagery, clearer product pages and simplified navigation all help to increase the fan experience.

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The end result is an impressive MVP.

Taking a creative yet pragmatic approach with the timeline available, we relied on our understanding of user experience and the efficiency of Magento modules to create a website that is both ambitious and future-proven.

There is scope for further iterations and expansion on the new ecommerce platform in the future, and the site sets a standard for the design and user experience of Ipswich’s other sites, should they choose to enhance these in the future. 

"With previous experience developing ecommerce offerings for football clubs, we know that shopping habits are changing with more people willing to make purchases on mobile devices. We carefully balanced our creative approach – making sure we delivered a bold, distinctive Club brand that worked in tandem with a clean and sophisticated ecommerce user interface. We hope fans will love it and can’t wait to work with the Club further so their retail offering continues to evolve."
Hayden Evans Creative Director at Reading Room

Outcome

Despite an incredibly tight timeline of five months, the Reading Room team worked closely with Ipswich FC to successfully deliver the website both on-time and in-budget.

This timeline included Discovery, Design, Build and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phases. The site launch was also in time for Ipswich FC’s new kit launch, and other key deliverables such as its end of season sale.

"We chose Reading Room because of their extensive Magento development knowledge, complex integration experience and track record of working with other professional football clubs, producing exceptional results of revenue growth and driving engagement. The team has ensured the site offers a balance of the latest e-commerce functionality, accessibility and simplicity to maximise the end user experience. We can’t wait to see the reaction of Ipswich Town FC fans, and look forward to working on future enhancements with Reading Room to ensure we remain at the top of our game!"
Lee Hyde Director of Retail Operations, Ipswich FC
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