How online marketplace Fruugo helped UK retailer Sellatronic tap into international demand for retro video games

Over the last four years, the gaming industry has seen huge growth. Data from Statista estimates that there are now more than 3.2 billion gamers worldwide in 2023, up from 2.6 billion in 2019. The global lockdowns played a significant role in this, as people searched for ways to keep entertained around the home. However, the rising popularity of streaming platforms such as Twitch and YouTube has also led to a surge in demand for more innovative gaming experiences.

For retailers within the gaming industry, this provides a huge opportunity to expand their business and reach new audiences on a global scale. However, with big demand, comes big competition. Leading retailers are increasing their product investment to ensure they have the newest consoles, games and accessories on hand to meet customer demand, and putting their brand front and centre for any highly anticipated launches through advertorial placement.

As a result, it can be hard for independent retailers to make an impression on both a local and international scale. Sellatronic, a Cumbria-based independent retailer specialising in video games and software, found this to be one of its biggest challenges since being founded in 2018.

“The popularity of the industry means there is strong competition from other online retailers offering similar products,” says Christopher Ferguson, owner of Sellatronic. “We regularly need to update and adapt our offerings to cater to evolving customer preferences, all whilst managing shipping costs, customs, and delivery times.”

Sellatronic has a unique selling point: sourcing and selling hard-to-find items such as retro games. Whilst the majority of retailers prioritise newness, Sellatronic also offers its customers a wide selection of ‘old school’ video games, DVDs, CDs and more, many of which are now seen as collectible items.

With its distinctive offering, Sellatronic had an opportunity to become a leading brand within a select demographic. However, as this demographic was so niche, the company needed to expand its audience outside of the UK and enter the international market.

For many retailers, selling across borders can be an uphill battle as it requires resources and tools that many do not have in order to cope with the various complexities involved. However, cross-border marketplaces provide a solution to these challenges. They offer a global platform to help reach new audiences and grow sales whilst reducing the headaches involved in traditional cross-border trading.

When Sellatronic joined online marketplace, Fruugo, the retailer was granted access to more than 40 markets and a plethora of new customers within their target demographic, and has since enjoyed a fast rate of incremental sales from around the world. “By leveraging the global reach of Fruugo, our sales have rapidly grown, translating to an approximate 400% increase in daily order volume since we started.”

Despite Sellatronic being a UK seller and the most popular gaming communities being in China, Japan and the United States, most of these sales have come from markets that Sellatronic did not anticipate to perform strongly.

“Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway have all shown a strong interest in our unique offering of video games, which has been a pleasant surprise for us as we didn’t initially anticipate such significant demand from these markets. Our retro selection has resonated especially well with our Swiss customers. This unexpected success has made a really positive contribution to our overall sales and growth.”

The unexpected demand in these markets further emphasises the importance of cross-border selling, since independent retailers can’t always predict where there will be greater demand for their products, but can capitalise on this with the help of marketplaces.

By selling on Fruugo and having access to a global audience, Sellatronic has also been able to research and analyse different market trends and adapt their selling strategy to cater to various audiences, with the support of its dedicated account manager.

“In the past year, a noticeable trend in the industry has been consumers seeking to rediscover and preserve their favourite movies, music, and video games as they find comfort in reliving enjoyable moments from their past. By showcasing our product range on a global stage, Fruugo has helped us jump on this trend and reach our target demographic across multiple markets.”

An additional benefit to selling on Fruugo has been the access to the rich ecosystem of technology solutions on the marketplace.

“Digital transformation is extremely important to us and Fruugo has played a significant role in helping us to digitally transform and streamline our business operations. By providing a global marketplace and allowing us to integrate seamlessly with its API, we can efficiently manage sales, inventory, and customer interactions on a centralised platform, reaching a broader audience. This has been crucial in enhancing our online presence and has meant we can allocate more resources towards growing and expanding our business.”

Overall, Fruugo has removed the operational headaches of cross-border selling, allowing Sellatronic to cost-effectively grow their sales. Fruugo translates seller product details, converts currency and provides localised international customer service, helping retailers provide product transactions swiftly and smoothly.

Since joining Fruugo, Sellatronic has gone from strength to strength, and the company has no plans of slowing down.

“We want to continue developing our business and build on the strong performance seen since 2018. This includes expanding our product selection, sourcing more collectibles and retro items to further enhance our position as a leading provider of hard-to-find media, and increasing the number of countries we sell to. Fruugo will continue to play a pivotal role in improving our cross-border selling efforts and connecting us with new customers within our target audience.”