What’s Trending: Mobile Shopping and Gaming

Mobile gaming isn’t all fun and games anymore. Okay, well it still may be fun, but the versatility of mobile gaming has played a role in it becoming the $34 billion industry it is. Companies of all types are using mobile gaming as a way to acquire new users, entertain them and eventually convert them, whether that’s through a subscription, a sale, or a different action.

We recently highlighted how the mobile gaming, e-commerce and augmented reality sectors are experiencing rapid growth. Since our last post we’ve continued reading headlines that convince us that the upcoming launch of our game-commerce platform, Stocket, is at the perfect time. Here’s some of the most interesting new headlines we’ve spotted:

Alibaba has begun focusing on mobile games as a way to boost revenue, win over consumers, and keep smartphone users engaged even when they aren’t shopping on its e-commerce sites. The growing popularity of mobile games makes the market too attractive to ignore, and in recent months the company has bought a stake in a U.S. mobile-game publisher, teamed up with game developers and aggressively hired staff.

One challenge that Alibaba is currently figuring out is how to appeal to its app users, who wish to shop, not necessarily play games. One attempt to bridge the shopping-gaming divide is “Nikki UP2U: World Traveller,” a game on Mobile Taobao that allows players to dress up characters in various costumes. For this game, Alibaba teamed up with clothing brands that run stores on its Tmall online-shopping site and made it possible for players to buy the same clothes as the ones they pick for the game’s characters.

A screen shot from "Nikki UP2U: World Traveller" game, where the clothing seen in the game can be purchased.

A screen shot from “Nikki UP2U: World Traveller” game, where the clothing seen in the game can be purchased.

Another interesting use for mobile gaming is what Unilever has been up to. The company has begun using mobile gaming as a way to recruit new employees, with the aim of speeding up recruitment, lowering costs and promoting diversity. The process will mix gaming with video interviews and is designed to limit any unconscious bias in the selection process. After filling in an online application form, successful candidates are invited to play a series of games for up to 20 minutes. The best will then be selected for a video interview. In the final stage, they will attend Unilever offices and collaborate virtually.

While Alibaba and Unilever jump into the mobile gaming world, Facebook is diving into the shopping world with its launch of Marketplace, a new way to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community through the social network’s mobile app. Using the power of peer-to-peer selling, Facebook’s new Marketplace will directly compete with Ebay and Craigslist. Facebook revealed that more than 450 million people already visit buy and sell groups on the platform each month, and it hopes that Marketplace will move the company even further ahead of competitors in the e-commerce race.

Our game-commerce app, Stocket, will be launching to an exclusive group of early adopters soon. If you want to be one of the first to play Stocket, click here to sign up.

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