The gaming industry is growing rapidly and has become a lucrative market. The consumers are predicted to spend $137.9 billion on games where online and mobile gaming eats up the larger chunk of it. This is good news for online gaming merchant except if the merchant has not capitalized on its business properly.
Surprisingly, women composed the biggest gaming demographics nowadays. They spend more time and money on mobile game play than men. Moreover, 59% of mobile gamers are employed individuals and are not just teenagers that are playing games. These are potential customers that an online gaming merchant business must focus on.
Gaming apps are pieces of software designed to be played on mobile devices, tablets or computers. Gaming apps cater to a wide range of ages from young children and teenagers to adults.
In-app purchases are items, additional content or servicesthat gamers purchase through an app, once the app is already installed in the gamers’ device.
There are basically 4 types of In-app purchases.
- Consumable – are items that are bought at any time the gamer wants to have these items and the said items cannot be downloaded for free. The consumable purchases might be loss once the app is removed or if the app is installed on a new device.
Examples of Consumable In-app purchases are:
- Virtual game currency
- Additional Hints of the game
- Extra Health or Extra Life
- Extra experience points for the game character
- Non-consumable – These are items that are bought one time and can be transferred to other devices associated with the Apple ID or Google Play account. It can be restored once lost during the transferring of device used.
Examples of Non-Consumable In-app purchases are:
- Upgrade to Premium or Pro edition
- Removing of ads shown in the game
- Unlocking of full game or all chapters
- Unlimited game hints
- Extra or additional game characters
- Additional accessories
- Bonus game levels
- Game guide maps
- Non-renewing subscriptions–These are game content that can be used for a fixed period of time and can be bought again after the subscription ends.
Examples of Non-Renewing Subscription In-app purchases are:
- Sports season pass
- Subscriptions for a set period of time which can be one, three, or six months.
- Auto-renewable subscriptions -Are services or contents that are bought for a specific subscription period and the subscription automatically renews at the end of the initial subscription period. The subscription period varies in length and can be weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly.
All online gamers have one thing in common and that is to be immersed in the game play and these gamers are willing to pay for the full experience. Mobile games have been able to up sell a lot and merchants must take full advantage of the gaming market bycreating lots of opportunities for gamers to pay extra for more in-game perks. All the transactions must be seamless, simple and secure for gamers and players to be able to complete their in-game purchases because premium mobile customers and online gamers who subscribe are both willing to pay to have the best gaming experience. If the transactions are hard to complete, high risk travel merchant account may lose customers. That is why streamlining the online gaming payments are of utmost importance because in-app purchases helps in growing the business. And there is where the right merchant account provider comes into the picture.
The right merchant account provider helps the online gaming merchant by providing the following.
- Variety of payment methods
Providing flexible payment methods can be of great help for a gaming business because although credit cards has been the most popular method for gamers to pay their purchase, 51% of the overall transactions for online gaming are carried through alternative payment methods such as e-wallet, additional billing through mobile carrier and direct debits. It is also important to be able to process international currency to cater the international markets.
If the gamers are not able to see their preferred option method, they are likely not to pay for in-game purchases. The gamers and customers must not also be restricted by the currency restrictions. These must be done to avoid losing a customer. Having the right payment processor helps optimize online gaming payments, thus helping in retaining customers and growing the business base.
- Check out process must be simple
Nobody wants to spend a lot of time when checking out especially gamers because tjey want to get back to the game they are playing. It turns them off to have a long transaction process because it keeps them from playing. The processor must be able to provide the merchant a payment solution that can be offered to gamers that is simple, secured and can give the option for flexible recurring bill. Quick and easy purchases help in giving the customers hassle-free check out customer experience and can make them.
- The payment gateway must be secured
All customers want to have their payment information safe and secured otherwise they will not purchase anything. The merchant must make sure that the payment processor is at least PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard) Level 1 compliant. The processor must allow credit card authorization directly from the online gaming merchant’s website. Also, the payment processor must have built-in fraud prevention tools.
All of these criteria must be kept in mind when searching for the right payment processing account.
To be able to have more revenue, another goal of the merchant is to build the app’s revenue stream by implementing the right monetization strategy such as.
- Choosing the right monetization model
The online gaming merchant mist learn all the monetization options available on Google Play and Apple’s App Store and to combine the said options into strategy to be able to maximize the game application’s revenue.
- Sell in-app digital goods
Selling other digital goods within the free-to-download or ad-funded apps provides additional revenue source.
- Sell subscriptions to customers
More regular revenue is generated by providing the option to paid subscription to be able to access game contents or features.
- Allow customers to pay via credit or debit cards
Gamers must be able to pay through credit or debit cards to simplify and streamline the payment for the customers.
- Allow customers to buy apps through direct carrier billing
Major mobile provider nowadays offer direct carrier billing which allows customers to charge their in-app purchases directly to their monthly phone bill or to deduct the cost from the prepaid balance.
- Show paid ads with Google AdMob
Get additional payment from over 1 million Google advertisers by showing these ads to the gamers.
Also, the merchant must pay attention to the paying users of the game app and to be able to entice them pay more and to increase the number of paying users by using Google Analytics for Firebase which is a free app measurement solution that can provide insight on app usage and user engagement. Insights into user behavior are very useful to optimize the conversion strategies of the business. Understanding how the players use the app can help the merchant grow the game revenue and also to set and manage the revenue targets.