We are coming off a major console launch, and an event like that can significantly affect the business of selling games. And retailers that are prepared for it can take advantage of that to boost its web traffic and its sales, and that’s exactly what happened with the Nintendo Switch.
Every major retailer in the United States saw an increase in their web and mobile traffic from Nintendo’s site and from searches for the Switch, according to analytics firm SimilarWeb. GameStop and Toys ‘R’ Us traffic peaked over a 30-day period on the Nintendo Switch’s March 3 launch day. Nintendo.com also sent a surge of clicks to GameStop, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart — but Amazon and Toys ‘R’ Us saw the biggest increases compared to January 2017. Most of this data isn’t surprising, but it does highlight the importance of a console launch to both the online and brick-and-mortar retail space.
Over the month leading into the launch of the Switch, Nintendo’s website sent 1.4 million clicks through to Amazon. That outpaced every other retailer. Toys R Us received the lead amount of hits from Nintendo.com, but it also had the largest spike in traffic from the publisher’s website with an increase of 813 percent compared to January.
When it came to search, GameStop showed its market dominance. It owned more than 3 percent of the clicks for the term “Switch” in the month leading up to the launch of the system. But Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us, and Walmart also all saw an increase in traffic during that period after barely getting a quarter of the traffic from that term in January.
Finally, traffic patterns to Nintendo’s website reveal when gaming fans are more likely to take action.
March 3 was a big day for hits to Nintendo.com, but it was well behind the deluge of clicks that happened on January 13 when the company revealed the Switch during a live video presentation. And no day over the last year led to more traffic for Nintendo.com than the launch of the Miitomo smartphone app on March 31, 2016. That game debuted alongside the new My Nintendo account, which required fans to get on the company’s website to sign up. Miitomo and My Nintendo account signups led to 1.7 million visitors whereas the Switch launch day had just around 1 million.