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Online Shopping for England Fans

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Excerpt from Information Age magazine e-commerce case study - Sportsetail and The Football Association

With the approach of the World Cup 2002 Sportsetail decided it had to turn the UK Football Association's official web site into a dynamic, easy-to-use shopping experience for England football fans.


England-direct.com, the official web site for the English Football Association (FA), may not be able to console distressed fans if England's side does not get through to the World Cup final in July 2002, but it will at least be able to cope with an increase in traffic levels.


In early 2001, specialist sports web design company Sportsetail embarked on a full-scale upgrade to england-direct.com in the run-up to the World Cup. When the revamped site was launched in October 2001, the FA's site was handling an average of 1,000 transactions a day. Once the tournament commences, as fans clamour to view match statistics and purchase England merchandise, the site will deal with as many as 30,000 transactions a day.


Originally the FA's site was a static, text-based site that captured orders online but processed them manually offline. To overcome the additional workload and costs this incurred, Sportsetail decided to integrate front-end, customer-facing applications with back-end processing systems, as well as its call centres. To carry out the work the company turned to UK-based systems integrator Snow Valley, which developed and ran the original england-direct.com site. Snow Valley's remit was to develop a new site that would reduce Sportsetail's operational costs and increase revenue through online sales...

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