Introducing Stash, your direct-to-player web shop

Dan Borstelmann
Jan 18, 2024

After working in stealth mode for the last several months, we’re super excited to introduce Stash to the world! Time to meet your anti-platform - the direct-to-consumer web shop solution that puts you and your players back in power. 

Why we’re weirdly excited about direct-to-consumer

Between the massive anti-competitive regulations that are coming for Apple and Google, and the worsening user acquisition environment, there’s huge momentum for D2C today. In fact, many of the game developers we talked to confessed they feel too reliant on the major platforms’ unilateral decisions - a snowball effect that started with IDFA deprecation in 2021. Since then, there have been calls to reduce or nix the 30% platform fees and allow alternative payments and billing solutions.  

To empower you to take back control from the platforms, we built Stash to be your anti-platform. Once and for all, we want you to completely own your player relationships and connect with them wherever they are - without any intermediary platforms getting in the way (including us). The benefits of D2C are big: 

  • 30% higher margins: Take back the 30% store tax (actually, if you want to get technical, it’s closer to 43% since the fee is on gross not net revenue … we can explain on a call). 
  • Better UA and retargeting: Get direct contact info and player data (ahem, emails) so you can market and retarget like the good old days. 
  • Stronger LTV and retention: Identify top spenders and reward their loyalty with points programs and content they love. 
  • More IAP management control: There are just some things you can’t do in-app, like dynamic pricing and advanced personalization. 

So, what the hell is Stash?

Stash is a new kind of direct-to-consumer web shop, which drives traffic, boosts spend, and builds loyalty by encouraging players to spend time as well as money. To enable that, we built Stash in 4 layers: 

  1. Payments rails that handle all the complicated compliance, tax, and merchant of record processes, so you don’t have to 
  2. Web-native ecommerce UX that goes beyond in-game store design principles, making for a high-converting, sophisticated ecommerce strategy  
  3. Ecommerce mechanics that drive more spend to your web shop, like loyalty and rewards programs borrowed from successful D2C industries 
  4. Player experiences tailored to your gameplay and designed to retain, like matchmaking, UGC forums, and tournaments, for example

See it for yourself and play with our demo web shop here

How Stash is different than the rest

The game developers we talked to brought up tough challenges. Here’s how we’re solving your web shop pain points: 

1. Shift more spend to your web shop

The number one challenge for web shops is getting players to use them - so, when it comes to choosing a provider, its ability to drive more traffic and spend to your web shop is a huge factor. Unlike traditional web shops, Stash has a winning formula to do just that: 

  • First, Stash makes sure your web shop gives players the best-possible ecommerce experience, maximizing reasons to visit the shop - from one-click account linking (bye copy/paste), to dynamic bundling, offers and pricing, and more. 
  • Second, Stash’s advanced offers and discounts strategy helps you calculate the exact value you’re sharing with players, so you know just what’s going to incentivize them to visit. 
  • Third, Stash helps you create a customized and compelling loyalty program that rewards your most engaged and highest spending players - without breaking your game economy. 
  • Finally, Stash offers engagement experiences that have nothing to do with purchasing - like tournaments, fan art contests, matchmaking, forums, and any other activities players can’t get enough of. 

2. Maximize your conversion rate with seriously smooth UX

The second biggest challenge in web shops is maximizing conversions. To tackle that, we hyper-focused on creating an excellent store browsing experience that gets users to click. Rather than only leveraging game store design principles, we built Stash bottom-up for a web-native environment - borrowing ideas and features from industries that already cracked ecommerce. For example, we included volume-based discounts (spend $100, get 20% off), two for one sales, recommendations UX, personalized bundles, and more. 

To maximize conversion rate even more, we also made account linking way less confusing - using deep links to shorten the steps. Now, all users have to do is tap Accept and they’re done. That’s unlike other web shop solutions which force players to open the game, dig through their settings to find their player ID, copy it, open the web shop again, and paste it in - giving players more reasons to rage quit. 

3. Integrate Stash quickly and easily (for real) 

Finally, we made it super easy to integrate Stash. Everyone says that, but we really mean it. 

Since you’re already working with Google and Apple IAP, your third-party payments solution shouldn’t be any different. We made sure you can integrate Stash into your existing infrastructure and enjoy a familiar integration experience - just use the Stash wizard and Stash prefabs from our SDK to set up your project and link your preferred authentication method. 

To make life even easier, you can even test your Stash web shop and payments flow directly in your engine editor, without needing to build the binaries and deploy it on a real device. Then, when you’re ready to go live, deploy the same code base across desktop, mobile, and web. 

For custom integrations, we have a best-in-class engineering team on standby that would love to work closely with you. 

Like what you see? Let’s talk

Thinking about going direct-to-consumer? We’d love to meet you and chat more in-depth about all our unique features. Shoot us a message here and we’ll be in touch. 

Or, if you need more convincing and want to witness our excellent user experience for yourself, play around with our demo web shop.

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