We're entering the final throes of the World Cup and competition between the remaining teams has reached boiling point. At the same time, fans visiting Brazil are increasingly eager to support their nations as the stakes get higher with each game.

What this also means is that half the teams that started the competition are heading home, and that businesses on the ground are stocking up and adapting their sales strategies for closing phase of the tournament.

Well-prepared companies will adapt to the new conditions easily, having equipped themselves to keep up with consumer demand no matter what teams are playing or what cities matches will be hosted in.

The value of intelligent supply chain planning in achieving this cannot be overstated, and organizations operating during the World Cup will be able to make judicious projections based on a wider breadth and larger volume of relevant data than ever before.

Big data tools now essential

This will be the first World Cup for which the ability to manage big data is truly a pre-requisite for businesses, and will be a major differentiator for those that can convert the information they collect into relevant insights to boost sales.

Companies can of course draw on intelligence gathered at previous events of similar magnitude, which can then be used to predict patterns of consumer behaviour.

Businesses can also tie together information on the levels of demand for particular products or services at early matches with relevant causal factors – environmental conditions, promotion tactics, signage, and other things that might cause spikes or dips in sales – in order to develop successful supply chain strategies for the remaining matches over the course of the tournament.

It is here that businesses can benefit from effective consumption-driven planning throughout the World Cup. With the huge volume of data available to them and the ability to accommodate a very short planning cycle, they will be well-equipped to accurately monitor and react to shifting consumption and demand patterns on a game-by-game, hour-by-hour and venue-by-venue basis.

Preparation paying off

To achieve this, they will have to capture data directly from ePoS (electronic point of sale) resources on the ground and from social media chatter and feed this into their analysis models so they can react with targeted responses in near real-time.

Netshoes, Latin America's largest sporting goods and leisure e-commerce site, recently equipped itself to do just that. The company upgraded its e-commerce environment to support growing demand for sporting gear ahead of this year's World Cup – and in preparation for the Summer Olympics due to take place in Brazil in 2016.

In addition, Netshoes positioned itself to respond quickly to changes in demand over the course of the next few weeks, and ensured that its website can stand up to the enormous levels of consumer traffic it is currently experiencing.