Indian e-commerce platforms pivot to games for survival

(Image credit: Bethesda)

When the going gets tough, the tough offer games. Well, this may be the new mantra for a handful of e-commerce platforms in India. 

Faced as they are with the difficult task of retaining their user-base in these Covid-19 times, they have started to offer video and games content in the hope their loyal customers remain loyal. 

Apps, marketplaces and mobility companies have all taken to this rather 'pivoting' strategy to stay in the hunt. Among others, Snapdeal, Shop101, Meesho, Shuttl, Newspoint, Xender, UCbrowser, Grofers, Sharechat are offering video content and games as a value-addition for users.

At the other end of the spectrum, because of this new strategy of online platforms, the Gurugram-based gaming platform Gamezop has had a 30% growth in its app and website partners. The company's games have seen over 27 million MAUs in April from nearly 1100 partners.

Not diluting the core business

Gamezop, specialising in HTML-based games, has emerged as the top favourite among online platforms, as it  offers an SDK (Software Development Kit) to partners who can add games to their platforms and engage with users. Its games are on offer on platforms like Meesho, Bounce, Snapdeal, Sharechat, Shop101, Grofers, Newspoint, Xender and more on a revenue-sharing model.

In many cases it is just offering its games on other platforms. But with some others like Snapdeal, Gamezop has entered into a formal tie up. Its gaming titles like Savage Revenge, Tower Twist, Battle Fish, Rafting Adventure and Sticky Goo are available for users on Snapdeal. They will be able to play these games instantly on Snapdeal’s website and app without the need to install them as standalone apps

Online platforms offer games as a value-addition that does not in any way dilute their core business. These platforms manage to link the games with their core business. For instance, on Snapdeal, each game will have a predefined target for users. Upon achieving these targets, discount codes will be unlocked that can be redeemed against purchases on Snapdeal.

Gaming is the way to retain users

Snapdeal has also launched games like Stack up, Jackpot Machine, Find The Queen, Guess The Price, Spin the Wheel, and Shuffle and Win on the platform. Some of these games unlock coupon codes for discounts on the app.

Online platforms feel that games are the best way to retain users as they account for the greatest share of mobile app downloads – more than 1 in 5 of the total – and drive 70% of worldwide consumer spend on mobile apps. 

Another data source has it that 47% of total internet users spend time using gaming apps, which means there’s a good chance of garnering engagement through games. 

Gaming apps have enjoyed an increase in revenue in recent weeks, particularly among casual games whose revenue climbed 18% this week and 39% since the week before, as per an industry report.

Balakumar K
Senior Editor

Over three decades as a journalist covering current affairs, politics, sports and now technology. Former Editor of News Today, writer of humour columns across publications and a hardcore cricket and cinema enthusiast. He writes about technology trends and suggest movies and shows to watch on OTT platforms.