An in-app store is a big part of monetizing your video game. It’s the way that you get paid for all the hard work you did to create, develop, market, and sell your game. Although you may decide to start small with the store, you may be tempted to want to expand it as soon as money starts rolling in. When you’re ready to expand your in-game
shop, follow these steps for success.
Expanding your in-game store is probably the right choice no matter how small it is right now. However, you need to strategically move forward with nurturing and expanding your store. Build on the success you’re already having.
Make a list of the best-selling items in your store. The list should be in descending order. Start with the best-selling item and end with the worst-selling item. That should give you an idea of the kind of products that your customers want to buy. For example, if your best-selling items are in-app purchases that make gameplay more fun for players, you may decide to develop more of those.
If you have a lot of devoted players who frequently play your game, recognize how valuable their time, care, and attention is. Let the players know how appreciated they are and announce your plans for an expansion of the in-game store. Along with the announcement, send them a survey to gain insights about what they want to experience next within the game.
Help your players feel like a part of the game’s future and send out the survey. Let them know that you will carefully weigh all the feedback that is provided within the survey. Explain how it will be used to determine which merchandise and in-game experiences that players want. Also, offer them a reward for doing the survey, like a code to redeem for an in-app purchase.
Before making any final decisions on how to start expanding your in-app shop, look at other factors that had an impact on which products and in-app items sold. Did you have a pop-up within the game that let players know they could add things for a small cost to enhance their gameplay? Did you pay to promote a social media post that resulted in a lot of new downloads?
If you put a lot of advertising efforts into the physical merchandise which then sold well, you may realize that your advertising efforts are effective. On the other hand, if you notice no correlation between your advertisements and which items most interested your game’s players, reassess your advertising strategy.
Revise the marketing plan to reflect the areas of the in-app store you most want to expand right now. You may decide to do a few monthly experiments. For example, you may
decide to focus all advertising efforts on physical merchandise for one month, then switch to advertising your in-game add-ons. Then compare to see how well the advertisements helped you increase your bottom line.
After you see what your players really want and have a good idea about what truly sells, work to develop new items that fulfill the wants and needs of your players. Try to think outside the box when developing the products. Also, be realistic about the budget you have. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest right away, it’s probably best to
focus on in-game purchases.
Once you have developed the items that you want to introduce to your in-app shop, look at the best ways to showcase them within your app. If you have long-time players, you want to make sure they will see the new products when they’re ready to shop for merchandise or add-ons for gameplay.
The best way to do this is to send a direct email to all the gamers who are on your mailing list. Start the email with an expression of your gratitude for helping make the game such a success. Then explain why you chose to expand and be specific about the value you hope the expansion will offer players.
In addition to traditional marketing plans, keep in mind that the magazines and websites that are devoted to apps and websites can directly reach your ideal target audience. Getting coverage from these publications can spark the interest of potential players who are just looking for the next game to try and enjoy, and providing a good experience can then inspire their loyalty and business.
When you feel confident about your new merchandise and in-app offerings, reach out directly to the publications that you’d like to cover your expansion. Offer free samples and downloads to experienced video game reporters. The payoff may end up being exposed to thousands of readers who are devoted gamers.
Finally, reach out to Xsolla today to discuss how we can help with all aspects of growing and expanding your in-game store. From helping your game get played to supporting you as a creator, we help you fulfill your goals for the game you created and expand at a pace that’s comfortable for you and appropriate for your company’s capabilities and resources.