Direct-to Consumer Retail Insights: Which Mobile Gamer Demographic Is Your Target Customer?

Modern Mobile Gamer Post Image


In 2020, the modern consumer has gone direct. The same goes for the modern mobile gamer.

Our latest research examines data from over 11K consumers who play mobile games in the continental US. Beyond understanding the preferences of this audience, we sought to quantify the growing opportunity for direct-to-consumer marketers. Now that DTC retail has entered its golden age, some traditional advertising channels have become saturated or even cost-prohibitive. However, this new data suggests that mobile consumers across the Tapjoy network represent a high-return growth opportunity for DTC retail and subscription service marketers. 

The latest findings illustrate that in-app consumers show high intent purchasing power within the DTC space. So it comes at no surprise that these same customer cohorts are fueling success for the most innovative brands in the market. Our latest report uncovered that four distinct consumer personas overlap with mobile game demographics considerably. These findings compelled us to take a deep dive into the commercial activity, shopping behavior, and subscription behavior of:

  • Gen Z consumers
  • Millennial consumers
  • Parent consumers
  • High Income consumers

DTC brands like IPSY, Winc, and Dollar Shave Club have already tapped the power of in-app. Still not convinced? Be sure to download the full report!



What follows are some of the high-level insights we uncovered.

What most direct-to-consumer retail shoppers have in common

While mobile consumer demographics reflect a range of backgrounds, respondents showed a number of consistencies:

  • 70% of all consumers surveyed are interested in trying a new subscription product or service
  • More than half of all consumers prefer to shop directly from a brand than through a third-party retailer
  • Clothing is the most popular product category for online retail shopping among consumers
  • 64% of consumers surveyed said they are more likely to engage with a retail in-app rewarded ad than a social media sponsored post
  • All market segments identified convenience as the primary deciding factor in choosing products and services to purchase.

Insights For Marketers

Gen Z 

Because of their age, and their dependent status, some Gen Z consumers may have more disposable income than their Millennial counterparts — which may account for their frequent shopping habits. However, this group has less attachment to brand loyalty, favoring factors like conveniences and time-savings. Gen Z consumers will challenge brands to prove their value and address pain points on an ongoing basis. For marketers, that means committing to a reciprocal investment in the relationship.


Millennials value efficiency and time-savings very highly, so the convenience of DTC products becomes a major selling point. While this group is fairly price-conscious, they’re also primed for direct brand engagements, with the majority making regular purchases directly from the brands they trust. Subscription marketers ought to pay special attention to this segment since they show superior LTV compared to other groups.



Parents base purchasing decisions primarily on convenience and affordability. They love the ease of home delivery, with 80% preferring to shop from their smartphone vs. in-person. While this group is definitely price-conscious, they’re also open to trying new brands and subscription services. They’re eager to build lifestyles around a suite of trusted brands, reclaiming time that would otherwise be wasted at the checkout counter. Direct to consumer marketers should consider how to bundle cost-savings with convenience when targeting Parents. For instance, subscribe-and-save options could be very effective.

High Income

When targeting High Income consumers, note that most prefer quality products that reflect their personalities. Direct to consumer brands that succeed with this cohort will find ways to make the product discovery process more personalized and convenient. Marketers that leverage programmatic ads should strive to create individualized branded experiences. Digital accessibility and a strong mobile presence will also be crucial to building relationships with High Income consumers.

DTC Customers Are Active In-App

Across every demographic, it’s clear that mobile consumers are eager for more engagement from direct-to- cconsumer brands. They’ve learned that buying direct means buying from a brand you can trust — one that takes factors like quality, convenience, and affordability as seriously as they do. Gen Z, Millennials, Parents, and High Income consumers are all highly-receptive to branded messaging on mobile, and glad to engage with opt-in rewarded ad placements. By understanding the unique needs, preferences, and behaviors of each mobile consumer segment, DTC retailers can begin to tap the potential of the in-app opportunity.

For the full results of our study and further direct to consumer retail insights, download the full report today!


Team Tapjoy Time With Nick Reffitt

video game market research

Video Game Market Research: How to Get Insights for Console, PC, and Mobile

what is customer acquisition

What Is Customer Acquisition?