In the old days, video games and online shopping didn’t really have much in common. Gamers would order games or hardware off the web, sure, but these days, the similarities are becoming more pronounced. A lot of this is due to the growth of gaming economies or what are more popularly known as microtransactions.

Now, whether you like it, hate it, or just don’t care either way, microtransactions are here to stay. However, we’re not going to talk about that today. Instead, we’ll look at the similarities between online shopping and gaming economies. More specifically, we’ll take a look at the factors shared by these topics, which have allowed them to grow so quickly.


Probably the biggest contributing factor that allowed both today’s online retail industry and video game economies to grow so big is the matter of convenience. Whether you’re shopping for a new dress or buying the latest title, you only need to visit sites and pick out what you like to get them. The same goes for online services, where you just go to a site if you want to book a ticket or get that new feature in the game you are playing.

Before the internet, everything required customers to actually get out of the house, physically visit stores, and then speak to people. These days, this just isn’t necessary.


Then there are the deals, which are simply mindboggling if you visit the right sites. With shops like Lazada, for example, it’s not uncommon to see discounts of up to 90 percent off. You could even check out the top 10 voucher codes by Lazada immediately where before you would have to actually cut out coupons from magazines or the newspaper.

The same goes for platforms like Steam with its regular sales seasons. In fact, the digital distribution entity that’s owned by Valve has become synonymous with massive deals. With so many opportunities for instant gratification that promise to also be kinder on the customers’ wallets, it’s really no wonder that both online shopping and video game economies have grown so much in such a short span of time.


Finally, there’s the matter of the addictive qualities of the two aforementioned factors. Making something super convenient and then throwing in hugely attractive deals can activate the parts of the brain that leads to addiction. Seeing those huge discounts on the items or games you want releases happy hormones and knowing that you can get them right then and there by adding them to the cart releases even more of the hormones.

It’s the cycle of tapping into the most basic urges of humans to feel happy and content that makes both industries so successful. It’s also because of this success that both online shopping and video game economies are only going to get bigger.

Anurag Choudhari is the co-founder of Geekenized Technologies LLP, a web development & digital marketing agency that helps various SMBs & SMEs in developing & maintaining their online presence.

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