The Name of the Game in E-Commerce

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 04 Jun 2019

How can a company make a customer feel as though they’re part of an elite club, or that they’re getting the best deal available? Gamification of e-commerce platforms are now changing the way retailers attract customers.

As mobile shopping develops and morphs, as does its possibilities. Retailers are always looking for new ways to attract consumers, whether it be with one-time-only sales or personalisation. But now, turning online shopping into a game is the new trend that’s making the wave.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the application of typical game elements used in a non-game format. This can be in the forms of ‘winning’ a prize, creating a score and, ultimately, making the shopping experience ‘fun’.

Effective Examples of Gamification in E-Commerce

There are many ways that e-commerce platforms have utilised gamification to capture further attention from consumers, but not all have to be a core marketing strategy. A classic example of this would be in the form of a competition.

Online scavenger hunts are a great way to get a customer to view various webpages, products and categories on an e-commerce platform to find the ultimate prize. Cross-promoting platforms such as Instagram Pinterest, brick-and-mortar and online stores can help increase followers, engagement and conversions.

Loyalty points are one of the most popular forms of e-commerce gamification. Acting as coins, points are credit, this form of gamification is an easy way to keep consumers purchasing with a company. As an example, if a customer purchases a $50 item, they receive 50 points, which can be converted into a discount for a later purchase.

The ‘Win Big’ strategy is similar to a mystery wheel or slot machine tactic. Users can go in the running to win something of value, whether it be a discount, free shipping, free item or simply earn more points. An extra step for this strategy includes the customer returning daily to gain further points or go in the running to win a larger prize. This is an easy and fun way to capture the attention of customers with gamification.

‘Win Big’ strategies are a great way to attract customer attention and retail loyalty.

eBay transformed the world of e-commerce gamification with its bidding system. Although auctions are not by means a new thing, incorporating the gamified system of bidding into an online marketplace changed the way consumers purchase goods. When a customer ‘wins’ something, they feel as if they’ve earned it, even if the asking price has been raised.

How Does Gamification Increase Engagement?

Aside from creating a sense of fun, gamifying your e-commerce platform can help increase traffic to your social media, improve engagement and ultimately, creating better conversions. An idea as simple as a Facebook or Instagram competition can not only increase traffic to social media platforms, but it can also raise the number of emails in a database. This may seem small, but it’s hardly insignificant. Increasing the number of email addresses in a database will then improve the chances of purchases through EDMs and targeted marketing strategies.

Tiered loyalty programs are a step-up from the traditional gamified platform. An example of tiered loyalty programs includes MECCA, who have perfected the system. Based on the amount spent annually, customers are placed into three levels of the reward program. Every quarter, based on the level the customer is in, will receive a box filled with sample-sized cosmetics and skincare goods, as well as complimentary makeup lessons, applications and VIP access to events. The science behind this strategy is separating certain types of buying habits, and making customers want to spend more so they can ‘unlock’ the next tier of the loyalty program.

Gamification is a great way to increase engagement, earn more followers online and attract more revenue for a company. Leaving a customer feeling as if they have made a fantastic deal, won something huge or that they’re part of an elite club is a great way to build loyalty and keeping them coming back for more.

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