5 Strategies to Increase In-Store Sales of Pre-Release Video Games
Wondering how to sell more pre-release games? The days of limited availability are over, and the incentive to pre-order has diminished for all but the biggest releases and rare, niche games. With these incentives removed, retailers have found themselves in a challenging position. What can they rely on to drive critical pre-release sales?
We all know the benefits of pre-release orders. Not only do they help inventory management but they are also closely tied to customer retention.
Plus, by locking in high numbers of pre-release sales, retailers avoid the potential threat of negative reviews that can declare a new game D.O.A. (Dead on Arrival) before retailers can make a dent in the initial inventory. The gaming community is smart, communicative and online. The reputation of a new game can be destroyed or exalted within days, if not hours of release.
Initially retailers offered enticing freebies in the form of downloadable content, also referred to in the industry as “DLC”. And it worked, for about a decade. But recently, we’ve seen significant push back from the gaming media and users, who proclaim they’ve become immune to the thrill of a bonus storyline or “free” avatar outfit.
In this hyper-competitive market, retailers can no longer rely on the incentive of free “DLC” and availability to drive pre-release sales.
With this in mind, what can retailers offer to entice pre-release sales? Let’s take a look.
5 Strategies to Increase Sales of Pre-Release Video Games
1. Partner with Publishers
The closer you can work with gaming publishers, the better. After all, knowledge is power. This alone provides an boost to sales. Here’s how.
Source Reliable Data
Want to sell more video games? You’ve got to have the right data. This happens by working as closely as possible with the game publisher.
Can you find the information online? Yes, but it’s not necessarily updated or reliable. A better alternative is a retail content network. Content providers receive data directly from the game & toy publishers. These platforms, RCN’s (Retail Content Networks), automatically publish the data in real-time, including updates and new features, directly to your stores and website, which providing a seamless, hands-free solution.
You know what really upsets people? When they buy a game that doesn’t live up to expectations. Particularly, when the retailer didn’t have the right answers or provided misinformation. In fact, 53% of respondents claim they would be unlikely to buy from your store again if you were to sell them a product with inaccurate product information. The best customers is the one that comes back, so one solid way to increase additional pre-release sales is to avoid mistakenly selling games you don’t understand.
What does this all lead to? Your target customers are informed buyers and value market intelligence. Partnering with a reliable vendor increases your ability to provide the best data to your customers, which will lead to return sales and more pre-release sales.
2. Better Forecasting & Planning
In the gaming industry, fast time to market is a valuable strength. Customers are already searching for their next new thrill. Present it first, and your store will reap the benefits. Retailers can increase pre-release orders in one simple way: Offer it before anyone else.
Achieve this by accessing game information as soon as it is available, then research and recognize new opportunities. This requires legwork and time, unless you have a content delivery platform which minimizes content lead time dramatically. This allows your organization to offer new games faster than your competition.
3. Draw Them In
You’ve got the right offering, with the right data, at the right time, direct from the game publisher. Now you need to get noticed.
Here’s how to make that happen.
Streamline content management. A state of the art content management system (CMS) and Content Delivery Network (CDN) is just one solution for streamlined in-store and online content. Sure, you can do it yourself, but creating and pushing content live for pre-release is challenging.
New games are released too frequently to keep up with that workload, which means your website, and your orders, can take a hit. Moving to a real-time feed will save countless hours of legwork, research and content creation. But there’s an even more valuable benefit.
A Merchandising Content Delivery Platform will automatically push cutting edge content live. Not only is the content itself, interesting, click-worthy and entertaining; it’s timely and it’s aligned with your inventory and merchandising. Which means more sales, faster, with less work.
4. Digital Signage Solutions
Video marketing is the next big thing. It great online but where it really moves the dial is when it is deployed in-store. Digital Signage solutions such as UltraD (3D glasses free), video and audio spotlight and sound showers make your store a destination for gamers.
Combining these cutting edge digital signage solutions with a reliable content network platform is a key component to boosting in-store sales.
First, it offers branding.
Consistently offering new game information in your store brands reinforces and cements your brand as an expert. Plus your store simply has the coolest stuff worth checking out.
Odds are, customers will make the purchase from you if they see it in your store or on your website first. Align your in-store video marketing and digital signage with your web content, so customers get a taste online and are drawn into your store.
5. Events & Customer Retention Programs
You’ve got to live up to the hype. Organizations that rely on old school methods of event marketing and customer retention have a hard time achieving the wow factor. By choosing a content delivery platform that is streamlined and includes an in-store video component, your store has the ability to design and promote pre-release events and sampling promotions that create excitement and generate buzz.
What comes next? Putting these strategies to work.
At Cedemo, we partner with gaming store and toy stores to provide content delivery and in-store digital signage solutions that increase sales. Our data is derived directly from the publisher, which means our video game data sheets are reliable and contain all the latest information you need.
And that’s just the beginning. If you’re in the gaming or toy industry and are looking for innovative solutions to increase sales and streamline hands-on work, Cedemo can help. Read more about our Retail Content & Data Solutions or try it for yourself. Sign up for a free trial of our Retail Content Platform.