Up to 75% of total gaming revenue comes from in-game purchases, according to ARK Invest. In contrast, only 20% of gaming revenue originated from in-game purchases in 2010. And looking ahead, a staggering 95% of all global gaming revenue could come from in-game purchases by the year 2025.
With so much revenue at stake, every free-to-play (F2P) game company is striving to increase conversion rates. Even an increase of a single percentage point can translate to big profits. But how exactly can publishers encourage more free players to invest in digital consumables? The answer lies in the use of player analytics and insights.
Related Article: F2P to Paying - Boosting Conversions with Player Support
Capitalizing on the lucrative F2P to paying customer cycle requires a multifaceted approach. Companies must simultaneously focus on improving conversion rates while also increasing the average lifetime value of each player. A strategic way to achieve both is through data-driven decision making. By leveraging player data and advanced analytics, game companies will be able to:
Many publishers lack a comprehensive player engagement strategy. This factor plays a considerable role in typically low conversion rates common in the F2P space. By implementing data-driven engagement strategies in both marketing and player support efforts, you can recognize player spend habits and personalize in-game behaviors. Marketing then can reach out with proactive “thank you” messaging and targeted upsell offers, and can include discount codes to reward the most loyal players. Player support can customize ticket handling to ensure positive experiences encourage longevity and spending.
By assessing trends in support tickets, player support staff can proactively expose underlying issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. For instance, publishers could be made aware if a large number of players are experiencing a specific issue each time they perform the same action. Taking a proactive approach to solving player problems improves confidence in your brand. And with more F2P users playing your game, you'll have more opportunities to turn them into paying community members.
While the F2P gaming industry leverages a unique business model, conversions still represent a sales process. With that in mind, companies should leverage player support in efforts to increase conversions. Many player support models limit themselves by only answering complaint tickets or remedying the problem at hand. In contrast, the most successful F2P games have a robust player support process that involves 'voice of the player' feedback analysis and root cause identification. Armed with these insights, companies gain a window into the end-to-end player experience that provides a clearer understanding of factors that negatively impact gaming experiences. When F2P players realize that the publishers care about providing a quality gaming experience, they're more likely to become paying participants.
Data analysis also enables gaming companies to optimize compensation levels for any type of disruption. While the idea of compensating players isn't new, many improperly utilize this practice because they lack insight into how much compensation to provide. An effective tactic is to offer compensation levels that match the severity of the disruption. For instance, if a game is hosting a 24-hour event that offers “double XP” for a 48-hour window when a server outage occurs, player support will receive a flood of tickets filled with customer complaints. Simply getting the server back online isn't enough. And offering too little compensation, like a 5% discount for a days-long issue, only compounds player dissatisfaction. On the flip side, offering too much might encourage some users to submit false support tickets. Analytics will help pinpoint the perfect balance in compensating for real disruptions that weed out dishonest activities and also encourage F2P players – and even fringe users – to invest in your offers.
Analytics strategies are grossly underutilized by most F2P game publishers. Yet these tactics hold the key to improving conversion rates, generating greater profits and enhancing player engagement.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of player analytics in the realm of F2P gaming, contact Goodbay Technologies today.