With a PlayerLands store up and running, you’ll find players buying stuff from your inventory completely organically without you having to do anything at all, just by stumbling across the shop and choosing to pick up something they fancy.
It’s a hugely satisfying process, and there are a few things you can do to help drive more sales, by both selling a little more to existing shoppers, and encouraging more of your players to give it a go.
Creating demand for the items in your store is a long term process, and these tips will help get you started.
The simplest and cheapest way to get players shopping is to remind them about what’s in your store by sending them an email. The database of email addresses you collected when people signed up for your server is the most valuable marketing tool you’ve got.
Or at least it is provided players are properly opted-in, that is to say they’ve said it’s okay to send them email messages. Getting your sign-up terms and conditions in shape for compliance with the EU’s GDPR regulations [ https://gdpr.eu ] is the first step. It looks a bit daunting, but there are plenty of places to pick up free template privacy policies you can use during sign-up.
You can then message all players who’ve opted-in to receive emails from you. The next step is choosing what to say. If you think about the email marketing you’ve received from companies, you’ll already know what irritates you and what piques your interest.
At its most basic:
Upsell and cross-promote
You’ve seen this on Amazon in the “Customers who bought this also bought…” section. While theirs is driven by complex algorithms and years of data, you can create your own version much more simply just by knowing what players like, and as you sell more, looking at your own store data.
If players are buying a mid-priced skin or cosmetic upgrade, is there a small item that might go with it? Or if there’s a popular item in your store, is there a less popular one you can pair with it for a joint discount?
This helps in three ways:
Expand your inventory
Adding digital items to your stock is a low risk venture. Unlike conventional shops that need to manufacture, warehouse and distribute new products, you can drop stuff into your store any time you like, and it’s a good idea to do that.
New product lines help keep the store feeling busy and fresh for repeat shoppers. They also allow you to experiment and see what else your players might like to buy. Best case scenario you might chance on a trend that players decide they all want - and worst case, you’ve kept your store looking interesting with new content.
You can also look at other servers and games for a bit of inspiration. If there’s something everyone’s talking about on another server, it might be worth having a go at reinterpreting it for yours. Don’t think of it as stealing so much as healthy inspiration.
Get your players involved
User generated content or UGC, is the slightly bureaucratic sounding name for stuff your players make themselves. It might be just for fun, or in response to a competition you run to design new cosmetics, but however you encourage it, UGC is a great way of adding new items that players are going to want.
It also helps people feel a sense of belonging and fosters community spirit - seeing your hat or skin in the official store is a real accolade that will feel good to any gamer, let alone seeing it being worn by other players on the server.
UGC is another useful way of generating well-targeted content to keep your inventory fresh so that frequent visitors to your store will always have something new to look at.
Rearrange your stock
If there are super-popular items in your inventory, move them to the top. That will help you sell even more of them, and make sure they’re clearly visible to fist time visitors. You can also use them to draw attention to other things you’d like to sell more of by placing them next to those big sellers.
Supermarkets do this with ‘anchor products’ like washing detergent or breakfast cereal which everybody needs. They place those products at the back of stores so shoppers have to walk past less popular items on their way there, in the hope they will decide to buy extra products as they walk.
There’s no back of the store in eCommerce, but by putting less popular items near high traffic ones, you can help your players discover things they may not otherwise have had a chance to see.