The Power of Checkout Campaign Management

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When it comes to checkout pages, the most frequently cited word is conversion. After all, the main criteria for a successful checkout is its efficiency in terms of successful payments. Conversion can be viewed from many angles, including technical performance and client experience. Still, there are other less obvious components that can also impact business metrics. At times, you have to dig deep to find a gold mine.

I’d like to explore the influence of campaign management on checkout processes, considering both client experience and in-product marketing aspects, with a specific focus on promotional mechanics. I want to share how adept campaign management within the checkout process can contribute to several business objectives, namely:

  • Expanding the base of paying users
  • Scaling the coverage of specific payment methods
  • Driving overall sales and revenue

Aligning business objectives across different groups in the gaming Industry

Let’s think global and consider a broad perspective of the checkout process. We are dealing with three key groups involved:

  • Partners
  • Users
  • Payment Methods and Payment Providers

Since Xsolla is focused on the video game market, this story will be built around game developers and players.

  • Game developers are focused on conversion rates to maximize the monetization of their user base. Managing the average check size also has value for partners, particularly when entering new markets involving significant user acquisition costs. Game publishers often seek help to expand into new local markets.
  • Payment providers are interested in increasing the base of paying users through their payment methods and the volume of transactions, specifically in relation to local markets.
  • From a user experience perspective, utilizing the payment window as close as possible to the point of purchase decision-making enhances user engagement.

At its core, the interests of partners — such as game developers and publishers — and payment systems intersect, though they are not usually formally coordinated at the checkout stage. At Xsolla, we saw the potential benefits of bringing on board the interests of our partners and payment systems. A bigger ship sails an extra distance. To take advantage of the opportunity, we created a system that makes it easy to run specific promotional campaigns during the checkout process.

Diving deep in business cases

We have structured our strategies around several significant business cases:

  1. Enabling new payment methods in a region

In various markets, the dominance of alternative payment methods can range from 50% to 90%. For example, Alipay and WeChat Pay account for about 90% of payment transactions in China, while in Brazil, local cards, installments, and payment solutions like Boleto Bancario and PIX are used in approximately 50% of transactions. Introducing and actively promoting a new payment method in local markets can significantly boost awareness, leading to increased conversion rates and the attraction of new paying customers.

  1. Traffic management across payment channels

Promoting specific payment methods for game partners is an effective strategy to manage the distribution of traffic across different payment channels. By highlighting a particular payment option, we can direct players towards more cost-effective methods, which helps to reduce the average commission per transaction. Conversely, we can also guide users towards payment methods that have higher conversion rates, enhancing overall profitability. This tactical approach not only optimizes transaction costs but also streamlines the payment process for users.

  1. A game publisher’s scale to a new market

As mentioned before, integrating a range of local payment methods is crucial for improving conversion rates. A game publisher might consider running a promotion that features a specific local payment method to attract more paying users in a particular region. Announcements, special discounts and bonuses are effective tools in this case. They serve as potential motivational incentives, encouraging users to be more engaged, thus enhancing the likelihood of a successful transaction and boosting overall user satisfaction.

  1. Expanding the user base of a payment system in local markets

Payment systems aim to expand their coverage in various markets across different segments, including the gaming industry. Xsolla contributes to this expansion by offering access to an extensive catalog of games through its checkout platform. This setup allows for direct interactions with players at the moment of purchase, potentially increasing the adoption of specific payment methods that resonate with various player demographics.

Maximizing engagement through user communication

What product marketing calls a campaign or a partnership is called communication when it comes to user experience.

Communication with users can hardly be overrated in today’s world, where a myriad of products compete for one single thing which is the user’s attention. Communication is becoming a strategic activity that helps in both engaging people in using the product and building audience loyalty. Onboarding, microsurveys, triggered messages, and mailings,these are all effective communication channels that can be used to connect to users.

The interface is one of those channels, with maximum effectiveness at the point of purchase due to an increased motivation and shorter user journey. In Xsolla’s checkout user experience strategy, communication with users has become one of the priority areas. With promotions, we have proven the effectiveness and relevance of this approach.

Design principles for optimized user interaction

When Implementing communications within the payment experience, we adhere to design principles tailored to optimize user interaction despite limited space and available tools:

  • Sequential communication
  • Use of context
  • Minimalistic approach and accuracy

In the design approach, we emphasized the use of small interactive formats that maintain user focus on the purchase process without causing distraction. These formats are strategically placed in contextual locations to attract the user’s attention effectively. We’ve minimized the set of tools used to implement these principles, relying on small messages, icons, logos, and interactive mechanics.

  • First Screen Banner captures attention when the payment window opens and communicates the value proposition.
  • Top Payment Method Tag highlights special opportunities, like discounts or new payment methods, right in the list of available payment options.
  • Payment Form Promotion — The top banner transforms into a notification when a specific payment method is selected or when scrolling on a mobile device.

Flexible promotion options for enhanced user incentives

We offered a variety of flexible promotion options and incentives, including:

  • Bonuses. Users receive free in-game items when they make purchases using specific payment options.
  • Exclusive items. Users can access special in-game items exclusively when they make purchases using specific payment options.
  • Cashback. Users receive cashback rewards for topping up their accounts using selected payment methods.
  • Custom mechanics. Users have the option to create or integrate their own bonus mechanics for further customization.

User segmentation for targeted communications

ur communication tools offer broad flexibility to meet the specific needs of our partners. We can customize communications for specific payment methods, countries, or unique combinations of these parameters using partners’ project IDs. Furthermore, we provide user segmentation based on gamers’ purchase history, enabling partners to target different user groups, such as:

  • Beginners. New users who are making purchases for the first time.
  • Successfully Paying Users. Users with a track record of successful transactions.
  • Explorers. Users who have attempted to make payments but have not yet succeeded.

Leveraging strategic insights to success cases

Announcing new payment methods

Xsolla consistently adds new ways of payments through partnerships with various payment providers in the market.

On average, announcements of new payment methods and payment method types, including buy now, pay later (BNPL) options and e-wallets, resulted in a remarkable 26%+ growth.

To inform users about these new integrations, we deployed notifications in the interface, highlighting the availability of the new payment options. This increased user awareness and led to a significant uplift in users selecting these methods for their transactions. Consequently, we observed a substantial 26%+ increase in conversion rates following the introduction of the first communication banner announcing the newly launched payment method at Xsolla checkout.

Partnership With Mir4 and Alipay+

Xsolla facilitated a partnership between Wemade and Alipay+, a digital wallet network that includes DANA, AlipayHK, GCash, and other wallets, all owned by Alipay. Alipay partnered with Wemade’s Mir4 to explore strategies for increasing player engagement and game revenue. Through this partnership, discounts were offered and communicated during checkout. The results were impressive with a notable 53% increase in overall game sales. What is specifically important, this promotion attracted 17% of new paying users serving as a low-cost user acquisition tool.

Final thoughts

Aligning the goals of multiple stakeholders and leveraging strategic insights from user experience has brought greater dividends. The success cases above showcase our ability to leverage product marketing and communication expertise within the checkout interface to generate additional revenue in various markets. We see this mechanic as a valuable differentiator for our partners compared to existing checkouts in the market.

The Power of Checkout Campaign Management was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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