June 11, 2014, 4:43 PM

E-retailers are set to score with World Cup web sales

As the world looks to Brazil for soccer, e-retailers brace for an increase in web sales during the month-long tournament. Mobile commerce could also enjoy benefits from excited fans. 

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Brazil’s soccer team is the favorite in the 2014 Federation International de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup, but the country’s market is also the leader of the pack in Latin American e-commerce. Brazilian companies comprise 62% of e-retailers in the Internet Retailer 2013 Latin American 400.

And that market is expected to swell as fans flock to the country—and their TV screens—to watch soccer teams from around the world compete in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which starts Thursday.

Much of the research citing specific sales figures is from countries with a bigger appetite for soccer—or football—than exists in the United States. In the United Kingdom, for example, consumers will spend an estimated 174.71 million pounds ($293.15 million) over the duration of the tournament, according to a report from the Centre for Retail Research sponsored by VoucherCodes.co.uk. If England’s team make it to the finals, that estimate increases to 367.49 million pounds ($616.62 million).

Consumers will also spend an estimated 38 million pounds ($63.8 million) on mobile devices and 79 million pounds ($132.6 million) if England’s team makes it to the finals.

“As excitement for the 2014 FIFA World Cup reaches fever pitch, UK retailers can expect to see a huge boost to sales,” says Claire Davenport, managing director of VoucherCodes.co.uk . “More than 23 million fans will celebrate England’s successes by heading to the pub, upgrading to the latest TV, or buying England memorabilia.”

Two organizations in Brazil are estimating a sales boost of 20%-27% for the full calendar year, most of that attributed to the World Cup. Research firm e-bit estimates a 20% increase in sales for 2014. Brazilian association of e-commerce ABComm estimates a sales expansion of 27% this year, for 39.5 billion Brazilian reais ($17.69 million) in total revenue.

In preparation for the World Cup in 2010, FIFA launched a new e-commerce site.

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