Gamification in retail, marketing and e-commerce

The e-commerce industry, just like every other industry, is facing great challenges when it comes to customer retention, conversion, and engagement. And Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) is costlier than ever. So how can you make your business stand out? Knowing your customers’ intrinsic motivation and meeting their need using external motivators to create urgency and relevance and to help them succeed in their ambition making good purchases using gamification.

What is gamification the field of e-commerce?

Today technologies for GEO-fencing, data-driven and algorithmically driven gamification, as well as emerging technologies as sensors, Augmented Reality (AR) and QR-codes are all getting industry standard. The key is that customers are really close to their mobile devices nowadays. So, the customer experience needs to be tailored to fit that perspective. The customers are digital beings and their behaviours can be tracked and monitored and services can adapt to those behaviours.

But the really powerful application is when you create loyalty programs interlaced with the actual core loop of the brand and service experience and have it resembling games, using game mechanisms to offer a more joyful experience, learning, development, and guidance in more economic behaviour, to customers who in exchange demonstrate customer loyalty and “pay” with their level of engagement with the brand.

Gamification vs Loyalty programs?

Gamification differs slightly from loyalty programs. Most loyalty programs aim to offer economic benefits from the continuous use of services. Game mechanisms in themselves, however, do not provide economic benefits for the users but are believed to add value to the service via transformation of the usage motivations and intentions. 

Gamification drives user loyalty by creating a gameful experience rather than just adding an economic benefit. The experience is designed to meet customers’ needs and to add value to their experience rather than rewarding them with points for their consumer behaviour.

Gamification and brand engagement

Researches has showed that “gamified” interactions, which are highly interactive and optimally challenging, are positively related to emotional and cognitive dimensions of brand engagement. The researches also suggests that there is reasons to believe that “gamification can positively affect brand engagement”.

When customers interact with immersion related features such as storytelling, narrative structures, role-play mechanics they can be predicted to be more likely to have positive feelings, passion and express more enthusiasm toward a specific brand.

Some Gamification examples from E-commerce

Loyalty Programs at Starbucks

Starbucks introduced gamification in Loyalty Programmes already in 2009 to improve customer retention. Every time a purchase is made the customer receives “loyalty stars” that can be redeemed for free coffee, birthday gifts and personalized offers. This led to a 26% increase in profits. This also increased the usage of mobile app purchases & payments. – “Deal of the Day” (a part of Amazon) creates an urgency for shopping by limit the timeframe, products offered and stock quantity. That brings a challenge for the customers to revisit the site not to miss an opportunity. This increased the engagement of visitors and retention.

GWEN in the e-commerce industry

GWEN as a solution can be
implemented in different contexts. Insert Coin has designed many concepts to
both retail, in a multi-channel perspective and in e-commerce, pure online
perspectives. Gamification concepts can be built in various customer journey
angles e.g. loyalty programs or campaigns depending on the overall goal to
achieve. The power of rewarding different events over all channels is a
powerful mechanism.

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