Get in the Game gamer graphic

Read on for insights on how to take advantage of the emerging opportunities and innovation in gaming from Rich Marsden, Managing Director of VIP UK.

Get in the Game

As market analysts report a continued decline in overall PC sales, gaming continues to buck this trend and represents the biggest opportunity in store. The PC gaming market grew faster than expected in 2016, generating over $30 billion for the first time in history, according to the latest report by Jon Peddie Research (JPR). It is clear that the demand for gaming is set to continue, especially with the growth and money offered through eSports and streaming.

It is gaming that drives innovation within the PC market, from the world’s first biometric mouse, to GPU and CPU brands continuing to push the envelope. In 2017 we have already seen the introduction of AMD’s new Ryzen processor, whilst NVIDIA will be introducing the 1080 Ti graphics chipset imminently, which is being billed as the world’s most advanced GPU. Every time the hardware moves forward this represents a key opportunity for Indie Retailers, how do you take advantage? Read on.

A question I am asked a lot is “How do we get into gaming?”

My answer lies in 2 parts; the first concerns your environment. When I walk into your store, how much space, if any, are you dedicating to gaming? If it is just the odd space on a shelf then it is likely I will walk back out. Gamers want experience and content. Consider making a dedicated area for gamers to come in, touch, feel and try the technology. If you have the space, setup a couple of demo PC’s that people can play on. The aim here is simple, associate your store with gaming so when the gamer wants to buy the natural choice is you. As a final part of becoming a “gaming destination” consider running events, tournaments or gaming days to attract people to your store. This is a lot of hard work, but typically a gamer will spend significantly more than your average customer, they will also return more frequently, so it is worth the investment from yourself. If you want support with events, take advantage of our experience, we are happy to help.

The second part is to “sell up the stack’.

Gamers are serious about their kit and they want the latest equipment. You cannot be a destination for gaming sales if you then sell a £9.99 mouse. Of course there is a huge market for people who just want a cheap mouse, do not walk away from this, but this is not the gaming market and they should not be confused. Serious gamers will spend on their peripherals and components, so it is important that the choice you have reflects what sells in the market rather than what reflects your budget. This can be difficult as you have high value stock on the shelf, but stocking the products the market wants will cement your place as the local gaming destination. As an example, VIP UK sells 2-4,000 Razer Black Widow Chroma keyboards each month. This product retails at £169.99, yet every month the sales are very strong, why? Because when it is your hobby and you spend most of your free time playing games you need the best equipment. To help offset the cost of stocking gaming products, VIP UK will be running a Gaming Consignment Programme, details of which will be released soon. This should help free up your cash flow to invest in your business and make that dedicated gaming space a reality.

In summary, if you have a dedicated space that is well stocked with good content then you will attract and most importantly convert gamers to buy in your store.

Rich Marsden, Managing Director, VIP UK