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IRX 2017 Fred Prego of Game on how retailers are using data

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Game’s Fred Prego told IRX 2017 that its data team is now self-sufficient – and explained how that came about.

Prego, director of loyalty and marketing at the gaming hardware and software retailer, a Top100 trader in IRUK Top500 research, told IRX that it makes enough money by sharing customer insights with game publishers to support a 10-strong team. Those insights come from its customers’ loyalty: the 20m who have bought from it over the last year and are members of its Rewards Account scheme give the retailer enough information to inform its strategy and help publishers to sell their games to Game customers. That information comes from sources including store transactions, web interactions, apps, CRM, in-store wi-fi and customer service. Prego says data gives the retailer insights into its customers and what they want in order to drive its strategy.

“Internally,” he said, “we use it in every single part of the business and we also sell it externally to publishers, developers and in a lot of third party matching. The revenue we’re deriving from selling insights to suppliers pays for our team – and there are 10 of us in the business.”

When one newly-released game wasn’t selling well, the retailer helped the publisher to target relevant customers: by sharing reviews with active game buyers, and offering a discount to more casual customers, it helped to lift sales of the game by more than £0.25m. “Data is the foundation of everything you are doing,” said Prego. He added: “Data is transforming Game the retailer.”

Prego said its journey to harness data started by taking its data team back in house and through its app, developed in order to change the customer experience – and the way they buy. App users get reward points when they register it and when they scan it in the store or use it in an online transaction. Using the app, said Prego, has encouraged more shoppers to come into the store and engage. In-store, app users can scan interactive signage that brings up augmented reality games. It also gives them a personalised experience: when they scan a game, whether in a Game store or at a competitor store, they see the price they would pay at Game that reflects the value of their points. “We’re trying to say, don’t buy it from our competitors, buy it from us,” said Prego. He added: “It’s amazing what you can do with technology and how you can adapt that technology to suit your objectives as a retailer and a business.” The retailer has gained insights into its shoppers through participation in the Insomnia gaming events, and now encourages more affluent shoppers into its stores through the launch of in-store gaming arenas: currently there are nine Belong by Game arenas, a figure set to rise as high as 30 by the end of the summer. Data from sources such as social media also helps to inform local activities that are organised by stores.

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