Online Opportunity Waiting for Video Game Market

As many as 65 percent of consumers with Web access may purchase an electronic gaming product online during the next six months, according to an e-Visory Report by The NPD Group, Inc. and Media Metrix.

Thirty percent of online consumers surveyed said they are likely to purchase, while 35 percent of online consumers said they might purchase an electronic gaming product in the next six months, the report found. Another 35 percent do not plan to purchase at all.

While the future-purchasing intent is respectable, consumer awareness of electronic gaming Web sites is significantly higher. The study found that 92 percent of all online users are aware of at least one electronic gaming Web site. Almost half (48 percent) shopped online for the gaming products. Of the consumers who actually shopped for an electronic gaming product online, 15 percent made a purchase, according to NPD.

Satisfying/Unsatisfying Features of Electronic Gaming Sites
Most Satisfying Features Most Unsatisfying Features
Feature % of Purchasers
Feature % of Purchasers
Site Security 88% Availability of Free Shipping 29%
Availability of Product
(in stock)
76% Downloadable Demos/Trailers 16%
Delivery Time 75% Product Reviews 11%
Product Description
and Picture
70% Top 10 Items on Site 11%
Site Navigation 69% Special Online Offers/
Source: NPD Online Research

In addition to high awareness levels, electronic gaming sites are also garnering high levels of customer satisfaction. NPD Online Research confirmed that two-thirds of shoppers were satisfied with 9 out of the top 10 features on electronic gaming sites. The survey found 88 percent of the purchasers were satisfied with “site security.” Other Web site features that were rated high among purchasers were “in stock” items (76 percent), timely delivery (75 percent), and good product descriptions (70 percent). Respondents to the survey also expressed strong satisfaction for savings in cost and time.

Nevertheless, the report also pinpointed some areas that require improvement if e-tailers are to maximize sales for the category. Consumers were least satisfied with lack of free shipping; 29 percent said they were dissatisfied with this feature on electronic gaming Web sites. Consumers also expressed dissatisfaction with downloadable demos/trailers (16 percent), product reviews (11 percent), and top 10 items on the Web site (11 percent).

“With hot products and innovative marketing strategies, Sony, Sega, and Nintendo are positioning their systems for a big fourth quarter,” said NPD Interactive Entertainment Account Manager Richard Ow. “The online channel has a great opportunity to increase their share of the market exponentially. However, consumer insight will be key to e-tailers’ success. They’ll need to hit the online shopper’s ‘sweet spot’ with the right site features and selling strategies in order to have the happiest holiday season.”

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