Emphasize The Product, Not the Process
Zynga recently added a new feature to their popular Words With Friends game: the “Words With Friends Store”. It is not a store for buying Zynga merchandise or Words With Friends apparel; rather, it is somewhere to make in-app purchases of additional content for the game. The content currently consists of a couple features to help people improve their gameplay: a Word-o-meter that tells you how strong your words are, and something they call “Tile Pile” that tells players how many of each letter is remaining.
I applaud Zynga for making a great business move. Based on the number of “cheats” apps out there, we might assume there is some demand for help winning the game. They are opening a new source of revenue among their huge existing user base.
One suggestion I would like to offer is to rename the “Store” so that it aligns more closely with the users’ goals, and less with the company’s. While Zynga is clearly selling something, users are not thinking to themselves “Wow, I’d like to buy something today”. What they are thinking is “I wish I could keep track of how many tiles are left” or “I wish there was a way I could win more games”. They may even be thinking “I wish this game had more features”. Based on that, I would suggest calling it “Words with Friends Add-ons” or something similar. People will still be spending money, but then they will be thinking about what they are getting, rather than what they are spending.