Robust ThemeDec 09, 2019 2020-04-08 7:40
What to Consider Before Adding a New Game to Your Inventory
It’s a big question. ‘Should I stock a new game?’ Scary stuff. Well, it doesn’t have to be. We put together four considerations you should make when you see a new game that your customers might like. Of course there is always an element of danger, but if you follow these guidelines it should help you make the most informed decision possible and mitigate any risk.
Your first consideration is not about the game itself or your customers, its about the people behind the game; the publisher. Being confident that you understand the publisher’s goals in the short and long term gives you the opportunity to measure your goals against theirs and decide if you’re compatible.
Consider what they plan for their game. Is it something they want to support long-term? Is it a single product or will there be more releases? If the publisher’s goals align with your goals and the future you plan for your store, then the game might be a good fit.
Let’s consider an example. MetaZoo is a new entry to the TCG market. Its creator, Michael Waddell, says he wants the game to be community-driven. Is that something you can support? Can you fit MetaZoo into your schedule for store events? Do you think your community will embrace the game and be part of the MetaZoo community? As a store owner, you need to be sure that your store can benefit from MetaZoo’s approach.
Another important consideration is how eye-catching the game is. You’re going to buy it and stack your shelves with it, so you need to decide if your customers are going to notice it. Did it grab your attention? Will it grab theirs? If you think it’s going to leap off the shelves to your customers then that’s a good start, but the quality needs to feel good too. The pieces, the cards, the minis, tokens and whatever else is included need to feel of good quality when you open them, because if they aren’t, your customers are going to tell each other to avoid the game.
Another aspect of this is clarity. Is the game easy to explain and understand? Can you tell a customer asking about it what it’s all about it a couple of sentences? If you open the box, can you start playing reasonably quickly? If not, is the level of depth and complexity going to shine? If your customers can’t figure out how to play a new game they won’t enjoy it, and certainly won’t love it enough to push you to stock future iterations.
You know how it can be with new games. Some fly low under the radar and vanish, never to be seen again, while others have an explosion of popularity and become the next big thing that everyone wants. Flesh and Blood is a good example. It already has plenty of buzz, a dedicated subreddit community, content creators making videos regularly and collectors are extremely invested in, well, investing in the game.
Not every new game will be so clearly popular, so you may need to do a bit of legwork here. Listen to your customers, see if they’re talking about any new games. Ask around if you’re considering a new game and see if people have opinions, good or bad, that can inform your decision. You can also research online. Reddit is a good place to search through threads about games before deciding to bring it to your shelves, and boardgamegeek might have some early reviews from players.
Your final consideration should be the support the publisher offers. This brings us back to their goals to some degree, but its about a little more than that. Do they, for example, offer organized play? We’ve already discussed Flesh and Blood’s hype, and part of that is down to the excellent support they offer to retailers. They have an event locator on their website that directs players to their nearest organized play locations and local game stores.
Flesh and Blood also provides downloadable posters and banners as well as assets for websites and social media via their website, so you can easily market the game without too much effort on your side. Larger retailers may even send physical assets, for example, Wizards of the Coast often send posters and even life-size cardboard cutouts of characters. It’s unlikely a newer publisher can offer that sort of thing, but looking at how they do support sales in stores will help you decide whether the game is worth bringing into your inventory.
There is a lot more store owners need to consider when deciding whether to stock a new game such as price, profit margin, etc. but, these four items are a good place to start. Book a demo to learn how you can further customize your website to better market new games and products you have available on the BinderPOS Premium theme.