The difference between Game Payment and E-commerce

I had an interview with a recruiter a few days ago. During our conversation, they have asked me a question:

Is Game Payment similar to E-commerce?

The question is fascinating so that we will discuss it in this article. Please note that the topic only covered the behaviors of users in Vietnam.

First, let’s define the Gamer and E-commerce User (or Shopper)


Yes, as named, they are gamers. Their age ranges mostly from 16 to 34 years old, and they can live anywhere in Vietnam. At VNG, we have created several personas, but all still share some characteristics:

Share of online game users among respondents in Vietnam in 2020, by age.

(Online) Shopper

According to reports from Streambit and Delloite, the percentages of consumer age groups from 18 to 39 years old are relatively comparable to each other. They also:

Are they different?

According to my experience as a UI/UX Designer at one of the biggest Game distributors in Vietnam — VNG, online purchasing behavior between Online shoppers and gamers is very different.

By only looking at the mutual characteristic of users on those platforms, we will be able to recognize the differences in terms of personal interests, motivation, budgets, so on and so forth. Those aspects greatly affect the behavior and expectations of users when purchasing an item.

1. Browsing behavior vs. picking behavior

While E-commerce users consider online shopping as a way of entertainment, they tend to browse more than one product before adding them to a cart and far away before making a purchase. The browsing behavior also results in items in the same category fighting against each other for the users’ attention.

On the other hand, gamers buy items to strengthen their game account. Therefore, a gamer knows which item will help them at a specific stage of the game, so they already have the option in mind before going to the webshop.

This means that, although the package has a discounted price, if they are not best to support the role, gamers will not buy it. In fact, according to one of my surveys, 30% of users said that they want to purchase as quickly as possible.

The difference between motivation and behaviors of those groups also leads to differences in UX expectation.

The online shopper expects to buy items at good prices, good quality, and fast delivery. Sometimes, they buy it for fun.

The gamers expect to buy items quickly with no failure, no mistake, no misunderstanding. They buy items to support their game roles.

2. Fixed budget vs. flexible budget

According to my user research at VNG, each gamer maintaining paying a fixed amount each month/game. This means that they set themself a budget for this type of entertainment. Yes, they will pay a little bit extra on Holidays, but compared to the average number per month, the amount of money will not exceed much. (I can’t quote the exact number since it belongs to the company).

On the other hand, online shoppers buy a lot at specific times, such as Tet Holiday, Christmas, or Pandemic.

The diverse types of budgets of users also result in monetization on each platform.

If we want the gamers to buy more, we need to get them to feel that the benefit they received outtakes the amount they need to spend

If we want the shopper to buy more, we need to boost their motivation at a specific time (11/11, Tet, Christmas) and give them the right reasons.

3. Decision making

E-commerce users have more sources of information to references before they make decisions, while compared to the gamers, their consultation sources are very limited.

The difference in the ability to access information of those groups affects how we communicate about the product benefits, also in helping users to make decisions easier.

For the gamers, it’s essential to have all of the information about the game, the role, the package, and other rules that applied. The website needs to provide transparent information and instruction that assist the gamers in buying with no fear.

For E-commerce users, it’s more about seeding, provide information about the aspects that they care about (price, shipping, delivery, payment method..) Then, provide enough information so that they, and their family, their friends, and maybe the universal, can use to compare.


Although both Game and E-commerce are all selling items, there are differences in user characteristics, behaviors, and motivation.

Do you want to know which patterns that those platforms share when selling items? Please give me a like and let me know in the comment box. See you in the next articles!


A low-key designer who has a special interest in gaming, sociology, and psychology. This blog will cover all of my exploration of gaming, design and Finland.