Most people in the game industry are always looking at the next great technology that will drive a new wave of demand for social (and core) games but we are missing the biggest opportunity. At every tradeshow, there is debate and predictions about the next seismic shift in gaming. Some people argue it is VR (virtual reality), others feel it is phablets, some think it is 3D casino, while others are already in line for the iPhone 7+. While these platforms all could potentially drive sales, the least sexy opportunity is probably the best.
Don’t forget the bottom of the market
Inexpensive smartphones sales are growing incredibly fast, even in tier 1 markets such as the United States. According to a Bloomberg Business article, “The Cheap Phones Quietly Winning the U.S.,” ZTE has increased its market share in the US to 8 percent from 4.2 percent just a year ago. That makes ZTE the fourth biggest smartphone seller in the US, behind only Apple, Samsung and LG. Continue reading “The casual gaming opportunity nobody is talking about”
An incident over the holidays highlighted the downside when traditional retailers pursue a “clicks-and-mortar” strategy. Rather than being a box every retailer should check, traditional retailers, particularly successful ones, need to look at the risks as well as the opportunities and build a strategy that takes these into account.
About two weeks before Christmas, my wife ordered a video game online from Walmart.com (the world’s largest retailer) for pick up at the store. She received no indication the order was in but assumed it was on the way. Three days before Christmas, after still not receiving confirmation that the product arrived at the retail location, she called Walmart customer service. At this point, she learned the order was cancelled because “the product was damaged.” As this was the gift our son wanted most and was tough to find, she scrambled and eventually got it from Amazon using next-day delivery. After this incident, she vowed not only to stop shopping at Walmart.com, but also to stop going to the retail location (and convincing our son not to shop there).
To me, the key takeaway is that Walmart, incredibly successful with physical retail, is actually losing customers due to its online integration (which is actually better than many other traditional retailers). Thus, rather than increase the lifetime value of a customer (my wife) by adding an online component, they have significantly reduced her lifetime value. Continue reading “The risk of Clicks-and-Mortar”