The study, from mobile data and analytics company, App Annie found that gamers downloaded around a billion titles every week in Q1 2021, while total consumer spend on gaming hit $22 billion in the quarter.
Brands are looking to attract millennials and Gen Z with a mobile-first mentality by making shopping a more enjoyable, interactive experience.
For example, Louis Vuitton announced in-game skins for League of Legends in 2019, which proved to be a popular cosmetic item for gamers — elevating brand visibility in the online games.
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• Louis Vuitton’s efforts to reach a younger mobile-engaged demographic appear to be working. Among a selected group of luxury fashion retailers, Louis Vuitton’s app saw the most downloads worldwide during the pandemic (Jan 2020 – Mar 2021), with a spike in August 2020 of more than 120,000 downloads.
• Burberry is another brand that recently developed in-game character skin-designs. The brand developed unique outfit designs for Honour of Kings — the #1 game by global consumer spend in 2021 — through a partnership with Tencent-owned developer TiMi Studios.
• Another way brands are embracing gaming is through their own in-app gamified experiences. For example, Gucci, which has an arcade element included in its app, ranked #2 for worldwide downloads among a selection of luxury retail apps during the pandemic (Jan 2020 – Mar 2021). Based on cross-app usage, this gamification strategy likely helped support growth.
• Other brands, such as PUMA, are partnering in the gaming arena through sponsorships of e-sports. As of July 2020, PUMA struck a multi-year contract with Gen.G. Similar to traditional sports, PUMA is positioning itself as a major global sponsor spanning North America, Europe and Asia with 5 teams under its sponsorship. According to Forbes, the aggregate value of the top 10 esports teams surpassed $2.4 billion in Dec 2020, which is particularly impressive given headwinds from limitations for live events during COVID-19.
“Gamification within shopping apps will continue to rise as the industry continues to get back to normal and mobile gaming grows in popularity. Gamers downloaded around a billion titles every week in Q1, while total consumer spend on gaming hit $22 billion. With more games being released and brands constantly pivoting to stay relevant, incorporating gaming into their mobile experiences or partnering with popular gaming developers is one way to stand out.” – Lexi Sydow, Head of Marketing Insights, App Annie