It was tinkered and designed - now, on March 13th, a new online portal, Meeplebox.de, goes online with an ambitious idea: ringing in the future of game shopping. First of all, everything is as you know it. You rummage through the offers, filter here and there for board games of various genres, order - and at the end even pay with PayPal or Apple Pay. The actual innovation should lie elsewhere, in personal contact with players. Moment. Personal contact and online shop? Isn't that mutually exclusive? Something has to be different about Meeplebox somewhere.
Behind Meeplebox is the team from Spielkonzept4u, which has been designing and implementing game events in the entire German-speaking area for ten years. The experience from “thousands of consultations
Parlor games ”take the makers of the shop, Franka Meusel and Willy Willner, as a model. You want to be close to the player and his questions. Newcomers in particular should benefit from this when it comes to starting a “board game career”.
Corona as a catalyst for online shopping
Opening an online shop, of all things, in times of coronavirus is a hot topic: stationary retailers are fighting for survival everywhere, fans warn that you should only shop in local shops - and then a new internet shop comes along with the small-scale opening wave hence. The development towards web shopping began long before Corona and would probably have continued even without a global virus pandemic, perhaps more slowly, but noticeably. Brick-and-mortar retailers have also recognized this and taken countermeasures: with “click and collect” offers, a comprehensive web shop or at least delivery services. A new online shop is therefore not a suddenly appearing competition, but the consequence of a market development.
Nevertheless, the question arises as to whether stationary retail has long since become obsolete. Erik Wöller, responsible for social media and marketing at Meeplebox.de, has an answer: “I think the times for local trade without a community are getting harder and harder. There are, however, great examples where retailers become the center of a gaming community because they simply offer expert advice on the games and at the same time bring people together with events. This concept definitely has a future. "
In other words: Anyone who does it properly as a brick-and-mortar retailer gets the chance to keep themselves for on-site customers despite the desire to shop online.
Direct contact with players should also become important at Meeplebox: "Our webshop was created because we wanted to offer people who we had introduced modern games to at events, such as trade fairs, family days or company celebrations, a point of contact for their purchase wishes", says Erik Wöller on the idea behind the platform. They want to make it easier for newcomers to participate. "Online trading offers a lot of possibilities and also reaches potential players who don't have a well-stocked specialist dealer around the corner," said Wöller.
Corona acts like a catalyst for developments "that are already taking place", according to the marketing manager. He means the increasing willingness of customers to buy in online shops. “That may be surprising for those who spend a good part of their day digitally, but many people in Germany bought online for the first time in the past year,” says Wöller, summing up a perhaps surprising trend. "This development can no longer be reversed and will pick up even more speed in the next few years."
Nevertheless, as an online shop operator, you are also aware of the many stationary retailers. You don't want to suppress, but add: "I personally hope, however, that many committed specialist retailers survive the crisis, because even after Corona they will be the point of contact for many people who are dealing with modern games for the first time," says social media -Man Erik Wöller.
Curated selection of board and card games
Even adding is not possible without a concept and this is exactly where Meeplebox wants to score. What does the new shop do differently from other existing portals? “It starts with the selection of the title,” says Wöller. “We try very hard to only select titles that we are convinced of. Either we have already played the games ourselves or we have heard and read a lot of good things about them. " Everyone from the team can bring their own taste and “with some titles you know that they are of high quality in terms of play, even if they may not suit your own taste,” explains Wöller.
This curated selection sets Meeplebox apart from other webshops. “In addition, we attach great importance to being close to the player,” said Wöller about an essential core idea. “Because of the countless game events that we have held in recent years, we know how important it is to have well-run advice when choosing a game. The number of new titles that appear every year is enormous. " Targeted questions are used to filter out the right game for the right occasion and to enable the (future) player to find the right game. “Since we will continue to be represented at events in the future, at least if they take place again, we can also sharpen our view here and adequately assess new products”.
No interview without a trick question. So what would be game titles that should not be missing on any shelf? Erik Wöller recommends Dominion - naturally with reference to the always existing personal needs of every player - because it has simple rules, is versatile and thoroughly profound; Machi Koro as the perfect mix between tactics, luck and town planning as well as Chili Dice, a trick for advanced learners. According to Wöller recommendations, into the blue haze.
How can you shop at Meeplebox if you are completely ignorant of games? “The easiest way is that you just give us a call and we will talk about what you intend to do with the game,” Erik Wöller invites you to take the first step in contacting us. Then there are questions: is it for yourself or do you want to give it away? What is your experience with board games? Who do you want to play with? It makes a big difference whether you play with your teenage children, your friends in the shared apartment or your parents. Do you approach decisions strategically? Do you love the quick distraction for in between?
"Bit by bit, we get closer to your matching game until we can put together a small selection for you," said Wöller about the idea. And technology should also be used: "We are currently also working on an automated system that will ask you exactly these questions in order to guide you." In the medium term, it could be used to hold countless game consultations at the same time. “For you, that's just a few clicks,” said the social media officer. “Of course you can also browse through the categories in our shop. We have taken great pains to classify all games in such a way that you will find exactly the right article after just a short search. "
The starting gun will be fired on March 13th at 15 p.m. on the Twitch channel from Meeplebox. In any case, it should become another point of contact in the long term. In addition to exciting guests, background information and competitions
the team also chats from the sewing box and presents its vision of Meeplebox on the opening day.
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Last updated on 4.08.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API