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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Having Your Cake and Eating it Too: Investigating the Effects of Cross-selling in the Freemium Game Context through a Field Experiment

Published: May 25, 2021


Yashar Bashirzadeh, Rennes School of Business; Stacey Malek, Erasmus School of Economics; J. Andrew Petersen, Pennsylvania State University; Amanda Pruski Yamim, Grenoble Ecole de Management; Ali Nadalizadeh, Turned On Digital


In this research, we examine the effectiveness of a cross-selling campaign on heterogeneous customers with varying levels of situational and dispositional engagement in a lower-risk purchase context. We empirically test our hypotheses through a randomized field experiment with a freemium mobile game app developer with two games: Game A is the current game, and Game B is a newly developed game. Our findings suggest that situational engagement with existing customers (enacted by a cross-selling campaign) has a positive impact on user engagement regardless of dispositional engagement (i.e., prior brand engagement). Importantly, we also find that the cross-selling campaign has a positive impact on current game (Game A) usage because customers not only try the new game (Game B) being cross-sold by cross-moving but also return to the current game (Game A), increasing their total engagement or time spent playing and in-app purchasing in both games by the freemium mobile game app developer.