*This article was originally published on May 21, 2020.
The face of retail is changing.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that, for most industries, the status quo today may very well be the status quo for a while. And that inevitably means that your business hasn’t been able to market, retain, and “meet” customers in the same way as you always have. This is what makes recognizing where consumers are spending their time now so critical in directing your marketing and sales priorities for the future.
So what exactly is the average consumer’s new normal? And where are they spending their newfound time?
In addition to the maybe-more-obvious streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, there has been the largest increase in consumer engagement with online gaming. In the absence of more traditional forms of entertainment (like live sports, movie theaters, and just generally being able to hang out with friends and family), early studies are demonstrating that consumers are spending increasingly more time (and money) on video games, watching esports, and taking advantage of the online skill gaming and digital lottery industries.
Gaming has seen an 80% increase in overall spending, with Nintendo Switch sales up 24% year over year in 2020, Microsoft’s GamePass service passing 10 million subscribers, and the gaming-focused streaming platform Twitch seeing 1.5 billion gaming hours in April (an 80% increase from the previous month). Just the title from the May 8th Forbes article “People Are Spending Ridiculous Time and Money on Gaming During Coronavirus” really says it all.
In the realm of cable TV, Esports have become a popular substitute in the absence of major league sports, and in turn, the industry has seen both a jump in revenue and attentiveness overall. Even state governments are taking a piece of the gaming pie–in April, Rhode Island became the fifth state to digitize its lottery, offering twelve different online scratch off tickets and Keno games with prizes of up to $200,000.
And whether or not the boost to these industries is temporary (which, many experts are arguing is not the case), it’s important to recognize the untapped potential that these consumers represent beyond the “now”. In the McKinsey survey released on May 8th, US consumer sentiment during the coronavirus crisis, many of the polling results indicate that “the next normal has started to emerge, with consumers indicating they will adopt long-term behavioral changes that will last beyond COVID-19”. Reaching consumers where they are during quarantine is not only important for the survival of your business right now, but for the thriving of your business in the future.
So how can businesses change their approach to meet these consumers in a time where, economically, nearly none are in the position to be trying new strategies?
In addition to meeting consumers where they are, it’s also about approaching them in a context that is positive for them, so it feels less like you’re selling them, and more like you’re providing a service.The good news is that retail businesses already have a tool they can lean on to make meeting consumers in this hyper-digital environment much easier than they may anticipate: a digital gift card.
And really, this is where Prizeout can help. Prizeout is uniquely positioned to not only enhance sales of digital gift cards, but to innovate and expand the potential of your program during this time of immense change.
- We’ve fostered relationships with the very gaming and eLottery platforms that are seeing astronomical user engagement (and cashflow) month over month in quarantine
- We meet customers at an extremely positive touch point (after they’ve earned/won money and are looking to withdraw it)
- We operate solely with digital gift cards, which offer the unique opportunity to interact with both potential and loyal customers, while testing out marketing strategies in this new medium. You can even tie gift card artwork to specific messaging (think, “We Deliver!” or “Free Shipping”).
We offer unparalleled opportunity to adapt to these changing times, leveraging these new media trends as an opportunity for growth rather than stagnation. And we’d love for you to join us!