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Mar 27, 2024

We studied over 50 webshops, here are 6 best practices that every mobile game company should know.

Stephen Levy

BEST PRACTICES

We love webshops and what they do - increase revenue & LTV, while giving game developers a direct relationship with their players. We’ve been studying any webshop we can get our hands on. We don’t believe in gatekeeping, so here are 6 key best practices for every mobile game company to consider.

1. Make the signup / log in process easy & crystal clear

Webshops are new and many players have never used one. So, be sure to make it very clear how to login to the game and the webshop so the player’s purchased items/subscriptions will be reflected in the game.

Lean on existing accounts that players may already have like Facebook Connect, Apple ID, or Google accounts to reduce friction. If you want users to create a new account for your game/platform specifically, then make it as easy as possible by giving clear instructions and skipping unnecessary steps.

In the example below, Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes does a great job of walking players through the process of creating an EA Connect login in the game and using it to login to their webshop to link the experiences. They also skip the step of creating a password by using activation codes sent via email.

2. Create a seamless look & feel between your game and webshop

Leaving a game to go to a website can be a surprising moment for players. Make sure your webshop has the same look and feel of your game to help ensure gamers know that they are still in the game experience. Ensure you work with a webshop platform that can build a fully customizable store so you can match your game’s UX. If the webshop looks off, players will get confused or concerned.

It’s also important to use an official domain for your webshop as it’s a subtle yet impactful indicator of the store’s legitimacy. A random or strange URL can sound alarms in the player’s mind, which will cause them to abandon the webshop from the start.

In the below examples we see Clash Royal and Kingdoms of Heckfire both showing consistency between the game shop and the webshop. Although, they aren’t quite identical, it’s clear they are legitimate with the same design elements and artwork. Plus, further legitimacy is displayed by the use of official URLs: https://store.supercell.com/game/clashroyale & https://shop.kingdomsofheckfire.com.

3. Use strong incentives & merchandising to drive player traffic and conversion

Webshops introduce a new behavior with a touch more friction compared to IAPs via the App Store & Google Play. So, you need to give players a strong incentive to buy via the webshop. Luckily, webshops allow game developers to avoid the large commission fees that Apple & Google charge, so some of those savings can be passed onto players to give them a strong nudge to the webshop.

Discounts are a must - Discounts are the main draw for players to buy through a webshop. So make those discounts sing with big badges and messages about the savings they can get there, but not in game. Crossing out the in-game price is also a nice way to visually represent discounts.

Web-exclusive badges - give players exclusive bundles or items that aren’t available anywhere else. This can include free web gifts or items that are only for sale on the webshop.

Limited time offers - Nothing like a good sale to create a sense of urgency and drive a jolt in sales. Use time-based offers for killer deals to get those payers that are on the fence to take the leap.

4. Capture player emails to develop a direct line of communication with your customers.

Capturing consumer email addresses is a big deal. That’s why practically every eCommerce store on earth will give you a discount to join their email list. The modern game developer will need to take the same approach, developing a direct line of communication with all of their users.

There’re several ways to get this done in a way thats valuable to everyone, like:

  • Game Account - A publisher/developer/game-level login usually attached to email or phone number. Some webshops will exclusively use this type of direct login opposed to Facebook / Google / Apple logins.

  • Free gift - Trade a free in-game item for the user’s email address and opt-in. This can be combined with the above tactic where you give a free gift if someone creates an account direct with your game/company.

  • Loyalty programs - Ask for an email address while signing players up for your loyalty program, where they receive points for every purchase that can be redeemed for discounts of free items. Check out the example below of Rovio’s Red Club.

It’s a topic for another blog post, but a direct connection with your players can give you a major boost in your UA, retention, and conversion.

5. Start simple with a focus on conversion, then ramp to more advanced monetization

Get up and running with a webshop that caters to whales, which is basically heavily discounted bundles of your core game currency. Take the savings you get from avoiding fees from Apple and Google, and pass a portion to your players. That by itself is a powerful toolkit to get immediate value and ROI. There’s plenty of upside from the start.

Make sure to include inexpensive items at $0.99 or $1.99 as many players want to test things out with something cheap to make sure it’s legit. Check out the examples below from PUBG Mobile, Brawl Stars, and Adventure Communist.

Get that basic going and then branch out to where your webshop is as advanced as your in-game store, and ideally even more sophisticated.

6. Use daily or weekly free gifts, only available on your Webshop, to create consistent engagement

Driving player and payer traffic to your webshop is a big deal, and we’ve already broken down some ways to promote your Webshop to players without incurring any commission fees from Apple or Google. But, let’s highlight one traffic-driving best practice: your webshop should be THE hub for free gifts.

There’s a big opportunity when you use that free gift as a forcing function to create the new webshop habit for your players. Kick things off with a positive experience, while making them aware that the webshop exists. Check out the examples below from Marvel Strike Force, Tripeaks Solitaire, and Shop Titans.

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For game developers, by game developers.
Questions? Drop us a line👇
Copyright © 2024 Sanlo
Made with ❤️ across the globe
For game developers, by game developers.
Questions? Drop us a line👇
Copyright © 2024 Sanlo
Made with ❤️ across the globe
For game developers, by game developers.
Questions? Drop us a line👇
Copyright © 2024 Sanlo
Made with ❤️ across the globe