Stuck on Football: U.K. Shoppers’ Sticker Album Obsession & World Cup Favourites

Pattern Data Science

October 14, 2022

Stuck on Football- U.K. Shoppers’ Sticker Album Obsession & World Cup Favourites

Analysing U.K. Consumer Demand for World Cup Memorabilia & More

Ecommerce football retailers seeking to score with U.K. shoppers need to first understand their consumers’ preferences. In this analysis, we uncover surprising facts about U.K. shoppers’ favourite football-related items, along with when demand is highest. We’ll discuss:

  • U.K. shoppers’ not-so-secret obsession with stickers
    • When are sticker albums in highest demand for U.K. shoppers?
  • Favourite team and player shirts for U.K. fans
    • When are football shirts in highest demand?
  • What this means for ecommerce football retailers

Football fans throughout the U.K. and beyond are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup set to kick off on November 20, 2022. To help ecommerce retailers better prepare their online shops for the global event, we analysed which products U.K. shoppers prefer and when demand is highest. From sticker album obsessions to traitorous team preferences, our data tells a surprising story about the demands of U.K. football fans.

U.K. Shoppers’ Not-So-Secret Obsession with Stickers

While it might sound strange to “soccer” fans overseas, sticker collecting has been a pastime in the World Cup community since 1970. For over 50 years, the Panini-FIFA partnership has created a World Cup sticker collection for every tournament. Most people thought this craze would die out with the introduction of new technologies. However, despite the digital age, this football tradition has kept its stronghold over U.K. shoppers. In fact, our data reveals U.K. consumers prefer sticker albums to any other type of World Cup memorabilia:

While the albums themselves have the highest popularity, the stickers to fill each book aren’t very popular at all. This is probably because half the fun of sticker collection (as any true World Cup devotee would tell you) is trading with fellow fans. Those who can display a full sticker album aren’t demonstrating their purchasing power, but rather their bargaining prowess.

When are Sticker Albums in Highest Demand for U.K. Shoppers?

To illustrate when Panini World Cup sticker albums are in highest demand, we evaluated the seasonality of consumer demand throughout 2021. While there was no FIFA World Cup tournament in 2021, many other football-related events appeared to have an influence on when consumer demand peaked for specific products. Namely, demand for sticker albums surged both during the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament and the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup tournament:

In addition to sticker albums, we also observed a relationship between the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and demand for World Cup trading cards. As the 2022 FIFA World Cup approaches, now may be a good time for ecommerce retailers to stock up on trading cards for their customers.

Favourite Team & Player Shirts for U.K. Buyers

Part of any proper football preparation is going above and beyond to support one’s team. Before retailers start stocking up on England team shirts, they may want to look at what their customers are searching for. As it turns out England team shirts are the fifth-most popular among U.K. shoppers (right behind the USA team). Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil are the top three team shirts U.K. shoppers search for on Amazon:

Having won 6 out of 11 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, it’s no wonder why Mexico team shirts are so popular among U.K. football enthusiasts. And, with Argentina’s even more impressive winning streak (8 out of 11 qualifiers), it’s easy to see why Argentina team shirts are second in popularity. This is also likely a reason why U.K. shoppers have an obvious preference for Lionel Andrés Messi shirts. The Argentine professional footballer captains the Argentina national team and most recently led the team to victory in the 2021 Copa América tournament.

When are Football Shirts in Highest Demand?

Demand for team-specific football shirts is typically highest when the most important games for that region occur. We broke it down by North American, South American, and European teams to illustrate how demand fluctuated throughout the 2021 season. Across the board, demand for European team shirts was the highest during the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament from June 11 – July 11, 2021. While it’s unclear why Switzerland shirts saw such a spike in demand during this time, it’s a little more obvious why team England and the Netherlands saw increased demand. The Netherlands took third in the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship leading up to the event while England took second place at the UEFA Euro 2020.

For South American team shirts, demand was the highest during the 2021 Copa América and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup events, which occurred from July – August 2021.

In North America, demand for Caribbean team shirts was at its height during the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament as well. However, demand for USA team and Mexico team shirts remained steady throughout the year, despite major wins for both teams across several tournaments.

One thing is for certain: The FIFA Club World Cup did not have an influence on consumer demand for team shirts in any category. For this reason, ecommerce retailers can infer that the upcoming World Cup tournament likely will not cause a spike in demand for team shirts.

What This Means for Ecommerce Football Retailers

As our data reveals, U.K. shoppers are much more interested in celebrating their football fandom with sticker books and collections than with apparel. Ecommerce retailers should take heed by stocking up on Panini World Cup sticker albums ahead of the upcoming tournament in November. When the World Cup season is not in action, retailers can prepare by keeping their shops well-stocked with the most in-demand team and player shirts. Specifically, retailers should plan on restocking their shirt inventories during the summer when various football leagues are preparing for their year-end tournaments. If you’re interested in powering your ecommerce strategy with granular insights like these, Pattern can help. Request a demo to learn more today.

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