How to Successfully Transition from a Crowdfunding Platform to Your Own Xsolla Store
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February 6, 2019

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSITION FROM A CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM TO YOUR OWN XSOLLA STORE

Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Fig are great platforms for turning game ideas into living, funded projects. What happens after a crowdfunding campaign ends, though? How does a successful Kickstarter project grow into a thriving long-term business?

A shift towards monetization, community, and marketing is a promising first step, and Xsolla offers a suite of turnkey tools to make that a reality for game developers.

Transitioning projects from a crowdfunding platform to an Xsolla store opens up a wealth of new features, everything from online payment solutions to marketing services, powerful game site builder tools, and an easy to use the pre-order widget.

By having an Xsolla store and landing page ready the moment the funding is complete, game developers can avoid the awkward post-Kickstarter gap and keep their project’s momentum going strong.

DRAWBACKS OF FUNDING & E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS

After a funding campaign ends, game developers can shift their attention to acquiring players, building a community, and managing the storefront. Crowdfunding platforms are great for early-stage funding and discovery, but when it comes to post-campaign tasks, they leave a lot to be desired.

Take for example Indiegogo’s InDemand. This program provides a space for projects to continue raising money through pre-orders and mailing lists. Beyond this, there isn’t much more to the service, however. No site builder, no community building, no monetization tools, no founder keys, no Steam API integration. Indiegogo also charges 8-11% in platform and processing fees.

Some teams opt for a do-it-yourself e-commerce solution with self-hosted landing pages, shopping plugins, mailing list managers, etc. A DIY approach can save in fees over crowdfunding platforms, but there’s little in the way of support, and it’s time-consuming to complete even the most basic landing page and pre-order storefront tasks.

Transitioning to Xsolla is fast, straightforward, and it grants access to a wealth of turnkey solutions for user acquisition, monetization, marketing, and more. It was built specifically for game developers to promote and sell their game with a minimum amount of effort and overhead.

A few of the features Xsolla stores offer:

  • Sell and manage all type of goods – game keys, subscriptions,  virtual currency, and items.
  • Easily create founder or pre-order packs
  • Use the Xsolla Launcher to provide early access and test builds.
  • Set up low-fee pre-order widgets for fast worldwide purchases.
  • Analytics and the ability to run/track marketing campaigns.

Xsolla simplifies pricing with a single fee set at 5% of gross revenue, that’s it. Developers can use Xsolla’s marketing and monetization tools at no out-of-pocket expense, enjoying the full support of a dedicated platform without the expensive drawbacks.

START PLANNING EARLY

It’s difficult enough to execute a successful crowdfunding campaign. Is it really worth it to add storefront creation and website building to the task list?

Yes, it is! Getting started with these solutions as early as possible can save a lot of effort in the long run. Even a simple landing page can boost conversion rates and kick off audience building from the very beginning.

Running a custom Xsolla store captures visitors from search engines and crowdfunding sites alike. When the campaign comes to a close, the game will already have a community hub in place, complete with mailing list sign-ups, pre-order options, and other exclusives.

Having this infrastructure in place as soon as possible provides a launchpad for turning a funded game into a living product. This eases the transition once the campaign ends and allows the team to focus on interacting with fans and actually making the game.

STEPS TO TAKE AFTER A SUCCESSFUL KICKSTARTER

Got the Kickstarter funds in hand? Ready to make this game a reality? Xsolla is ready to go. We’ll focus on two of the most important early stage tools for monetizing and growing a game’s community: pre-order widgets and the site builder.

STEP 1 – XSOLLA PRE-ORDER WIDGET

To begin, create an account with Xsolla. You’ll immediately see an abundance of tools on your dashboard, so feel free to click around and explore. When you’re ready to proceed, create a new project and name it after the game you want to sell.

While on the dashboard, click the Store tab, then choose the Game Keys box. This section allows you to create packages to sell game keys and is the first step in setting up a pre-order widget. Click Connect to start things off.

Create a new package and fill out the game’s details. More information is better, but remember to keep text simple and to the point. Toggle the pre-orders option below the summary so it turns green. This allows you to set up a release date and optionally distribute keys automatically once the game launches.

That’s it for the pre-order widget right now. You can configure webhooks and use this widget on any website, including your crowdfunding page. You can also directly add the widget to your Xsolla landing page, which we’ll cover below.

STEP 2 – XSOLLA SITE BUILDER

The Site Builder has everything you need to create an attractive, functional, and high-converting landing page for your game. It features an intuitive editor with click-to-enable modules and integrated access to marketplace buttons for Steam, Google Play, and other storefronts.

The tabs on the far left offer layout options, SEO tools, and asset upload forms. You’ll spend most of your time in the point-and-click design section at the top, since this is where you will sculpt the face of your game’s landing page.

A basic structure is provided in the editor, but you can rearrange or add content as you see fit. What you include here is ultimately up to you, though there are landing page best practices you can follow to boost conversions. At a minimum, pay close attention to the following must-have items:

  1. Recognition value – A logo and the game’s title should sit at the very top of the page.
  2. Game trailer and/or screenshots – Entice visitors with a few high-quality visuals. Show off something about your game that makes them want more.
  3. Call to action – Add a CTA button (Buy Now, Pre-Order, etc.) above the fold.
  4. Strong headline – Spell out what makes your game unique. Sell the concept in a single line if you can. Keep it short, descriptive, and memorable.
  5. Game features – A bullet point list of your game’s main features, including genre standards along with unique concepts.
  6. Social media buttons – Links to the game’s social media sites. Include team member’s social media whenever applicable.
  7. Press kit – Create a press kit download that contains screenshots and a fact sheet for journalists to reference.
  8. Contact info – Direct contact information for your team.
  9. Reviews or testimonials – If people have written about your game, share a few quotes.

Source: Indie Game Marketing Guide

STEP 3 – DEPLOYING THE WIDGET

Now let’s put the landing page and the pre-order widget together. Open the site builder and pick a section near the top of the page. You want the button to be immediately visible to new visitors, so we recommend placing it just below the game’s logo and description.

Click the Hero icon on the left and look for Button Settings below. Click the dropdown menu and select the pre-order widget you created. The Site Builder will automatically slide it into place. And just like that, you have a landing page with a pre-order button, ready to go.

If you’ve got any questions or want some one-on-one assistance getting everything set up, the Xsolla team is happy to help. Drop us a line at integration@xsolla.com

BEYOND CROWDFUNDING

Transitioning from a Kickstarter project to a dedicated Xsolla store is a crucial step in making a project come to life. It provides access to plenty of game monetization tools, online payment solutions, and game site builder tools. It’s also easier to use than most solutions, and it’s far less expensive to operate.

These tools can be deployed at any point before, during, or after the crowdfunding campaign. The sooner the better, of course, as it’s never too early to start building an audience of fans for your brand new game.

Ready to transition your Kickstarter project to Xsolla? You can get started right away.

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