E-commerce is advancing in leaps and bounds and brands need to ensure that they offer consumers a unique and entertaining shopping experience. The goal: customer loyalty. The good news is that gamification has become the ideal tool to achieve this.
With the boom in online shopping caused by the coronavirus crisis, many businesses have found it necessary to reinvent themselves in order to meet the new needs of consumers .
Now that more and more companies are betting on the online channel , each of them must work to stand out from the competition.
One of the tools that will help you achieve this is gamification , which allows you to retain your customers so that they return to your store again and again.
Read on to discover all the benefits of this powerful marketing tool and learn how to integrate it into your ecommerce.
We have divided the article into several sections so that you can jump to the section that interests you the most.
Gamification is a digital marketing technique that aims to turn the consumer purchase journey into a game and, in turn, help businesses capture the attention of potential customers and build loyalty.
This technique consists of motivating users to perform a certain action (for example, subscribe to the newsletter) and achieve specific goals (for example, receive a 30% discount on the next purchase).
In the same way that gamification applies to potential customers, it is also very advisable to apply it among your employees . Because who doesn't want to retain workers in order to avoid staff turnover ? We'll talk about this later.
In gamification, users not only participate in a certain activity individually , but also have the possibility of “playing as a team” and involving the community . In the last section I will mention the platform that is sweeping China, Pinduoduo, and its keys to success.
Through gamification, online stores offer users a fun shopping experience, awakening in them the desire to participate and constantly interact with the brand.
In short, this powerful marketing tool has become an opportunity for all kinds of businesses to increase the rate of sales and conversions.
Turning your online store into a game will allow the user to have fun while shopping. This, in turn, brings with it a series of benefits for businesses apart from increasing the volume of sales and conversions.
A study conducted by Techvalidate found that…
30% of companies that implemented gamification in their strategy improved conversion rates by more than 50%.
Here are the reasons why you should implement an effective gamification strategy on your site:
Generate leads: If you implement a well-thought-out gamification strategy in your e-commerce, you will reach the number of leads that you set for yourself, which, in the best of cases, will become recurring customers of your store.
Build customer loyalty: Gamification allows you to create pleasant and unique shopping experiences that are associated with the values of your ecommerce. This will allow you to attract the attention of buyers and generate emotional bonds with them until they become loyal.
Increase engagement: The participation of users with your brand through games will awaken in them a feeling of commitment and constant participation with your store.
Turn customers into promoters of your brand: By offering a unique shopping experience to users, your customers will become promoters of your brand and will not hesitate to recommend your products and services to other consumers . This will help you increase traffic to your site.
Stand out from the competition: In an increasingly competitive market in which many brands offer similar products, gamification will serve as a tool to stand out from your competitors.
Strengthen your brand image: If you implement gamification techniques in your strategy, your brand will be more attractive in the eyes of users and will therefore gain more value.
Increase virality: Through the appropriate gamification techniques, you will be able to boost the virality of your content or products. This is due to the fact that games awaken competition in users, provoking in them the need to share their achievements with others and challenge other users.
Improve SEO: The integration of gamification in your ecommerce is equivalent to fresh and attractive content , an aspect that Google takes into account. This new content increases the user's commitment to your brand and the time they spend on the site, something that positively influences your positioning.
Now that you know all the benefits of gamification, it's time to implement it in your online store. But before, it is essential that you have some aspects in mind.
If you want to successfully implement gamification techniques that become an incentive for your customers to come back to your store , you should pay attention to the following points.
Identify your target audience
First of all, it is vitally important to find out who your target audience is in order to know their motivations and be able to adapt your gamification strategy to each type of client.
Depending on the groups of customers you want to target and motivate, completely different mechanics and game designs can be used. Not all games are interesting for all generations.
Once you have identified your target audience, you must establish what the short, medium and long term objectives will be.
Do you want to increase the visibility of your brand on social networks? Or maybe you prefer to increase your number of subscribers?
There are many game mechanics that pursue different objectives, from the simple entertainment of users to the acquisition of new customers and their loyalty.
This is perhaps one of the most important points. If you look at what the competition is doing , the gamification techniques they implement and their achievements, this will serve as a source of inspiration .
From the information you collect, you can develop a series of good practices to design your own gamification strategy.
Now that you are clear about who your audience is and what goals you want to pursue, it's time to set up the game mechanics that best suit your business. Loyalty programs, sweepstakes and contests are particularly popular among users.
When determining the mechanics of the game, it is of vital importance to specify the legal bases and conditions to participate , such as:
- who is the organizer,
- selection of the winner/s,
- the start and end date of the game,
- How many times can you participate?
- the way in which you participate (with previous registration, sharing a publication, mentioning friends, etc.),
- the details of the prize to be awarded to the winner,
as well as everything related to the collection and processing of personal data .
Be clear when you communicate the benefit of the user to motivate them to actively participate.
If you plan to launch, for example, a contest on social networks, you must inform yourself beforehand about the policy of each social network (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and make sure that you comply with the regulations .
In case of doubt, I recommend that you seek legal advice from a specialist to be sure that you are on the right track.
You can launch the gamification campaign on your own, which will require a lot of effort on your part (coding, marketing, analysis, selecting a winner, etc.), or you can make use of some platforms that will help you speed up the work already. save time. Some are, for example: ViralSweep , Gleam and Woobox .
Gamification elements can be integrated at different phases and at different touchpoints throughout the customer journey. It is very important to be clear about the objectives of your business to use the elements of the game in the right place.
In social networks , for example, gamification content can increase the rate of interaction and reach new potential customers by spreading the content by other users.
If the games are integrated into the online store 's own website , a well thought out placement of the games could greatly improve the user experience and reduce the rate of abandoned carts and bounces.
Other places where you could promote your gamification campaign is through the blog , newsletter, pop-ups or external platforms.
Another essential factor of gamification is simplicity and intuitiveness . To ensure that users do not lose motivation, it is essential that the game is intuitive and the rules of the game are clear.
Excessive efforts and requirements during the game, for example, filling in a form that is too long, hinder successful gamification, rob users of their time, patience and nerves, and also increase the bounce rate .
Always keep your goal in mind and ask users only for the information that is truly necessary.
Some users will be looking forward to participating in your next game, however, others will surely prefer to make a purchase directly without having to play.
That said, the implementation of gamification in your online store should not become an obstacle for those who want to make a purchase in a traditional way. Your customers' buying journey needs to be as pleasant as possible, otherwise they won't hesitate to leave your site in three.
And now we come to the last aspect. Analysis and results cannot be missing in any marketing strategy .
To check if your gamification strategy has borne fruit, it is essential to measure the performance of those techniques that you implemented after a certain time.
Has traffic to your site increased? Has the number of abandoned carts decreased? How about your click through rate? Has your number of followers increased? And your number of subscribers?
Many times, game experiences include internal analytics that allow statistics on user participation, such as the number of visits, to be obtained.
Only if you keep track of the performance of your gamification strategy, will you be able to find out if you have achieved your proposed objectives, learn from mistakes and improve aspects so that your next gamification strategies are a complete success.
And to end this section, I want to make one thing clear:
If gamification isn't fun, it won't be effective.
Once you are clear about the points mentioned above, it is time to establish the perfect gamification strategy for your online store.
Any new gamification strategy can be key for your business to grow, you just need to know how to implement it at the right time and in the best way.
Here are some gamification ideas that you could start putting into practice in your online store.
One of the best known gamification techniques are loyalty programs . Among them, one of the most popular is the points program .
Companies implement this type of program to encourage their customers to make new purchases of their products or services in exchange for an incentive, thus increasing their brand loyalty.
Starbucks Rewards is a clear example of a points program. Through this program, the Starbucks company rewards and thanks its customers for choosing products and services from the store.
There are two levels in Starbucks Rewards:
Green Level: the user acquires it when registering and can obtain benefits such as exclusive offers or a free glass of coffee on his birthday.
Gold level: the user acquires it after accumulating 200 stars . One of the benefits that the user obtains, among others, is a product from the bakery as a welcome to the Gold Level.
Every time the customer spends $10 for a product in the store, he accumulates 1 star . The stars are collected through the App .
By rewarding your customers with points (in this case stars) that they can exchange for rewards, you'll not only increase your average order value, but you'll also strengthen your relationship with them and reduce the likelihood that they'll go to your competition.
You could also go one step further and reflect your business values in your loyalty program to create an emotional bond with your customers.
That is precisely what The Body Shop is doing. In its points program, it takes the opportunity to communicate to users that they have the possibility of donating their points to one of the organizations with which they collaborate.
Through this type of action, the company appeals to collective responsibility . Not all your digital presence should be focused on your services and products. Your customers will also value altruistic gestures which will strengthen your relationship with them.
Another gamification strategy that is gaining more and more popularity among users is sweepstakes on social networks.
But, what are the giveaways?
Sweepstakes are a type of gamification action in which the winner is chosen at random .
When you communicate to your community the mechanics of participation in a giveaway and as we have already mentioned above, you must be clear and explain each of the steps to follow in detail . Otherwise, you may have to cancel the giveaway due to user confusion.
Some of the guidelines that you can include in the game mechanics of your giveaway are:
- follow your account
- Tag yourself in a photo in which the user shows one of your products
- Give a "like" in the giveaway publication
- Share the giveaway post
- Mention three friends in the post
When creating giveaways, we recommend collaborating with influencers whose values and philosophy are aligned with your brand.
In the following Instagram post, influencer Dulceida announces a giveaway where entrants have a chance to win Ghd products.
Influencers will help you promote your business by reaching new audiences and, once again, increasing the reach of your services and products.
Just like sweepstakes, social media contests are also popular with users.
But how are contests different from sweepstakes?
Unlike raffles, in contests chance does not come into play when choosing the winner. They are the popular jury or the jury of experts who assess the skills of each participant.
Both concepts are very similar but each of them requires different legal implications.
There are several types of contests, among them are:
Photo contest: In this type of contest, users usually upload a photo with the product from the online store, tag it and use the campaign hashtag . Later, the jury selects the winning photo.
Video contest: Users create a video in which they perform the action determined by the online store and upload it to one of the social media platforms. YouTube is characterized as the ideal platform to carry out this type of contest. The jury will decide who is the winner among the first 5 participants with, for example, more likes.
Question contest: Another game mechanic widely used in contests is to create questionnaires that include questions related to the values or products of the store. The user who guesses, for example, more correct answers in a certain time, will be the winner.
In the following publication, Nikon launches a contest for its anniversary in which the participants must take a photo with the Nikon camera. Whoever takes the best photo will receive a 500.00 yen cash prize.
At the end of the day, this is user-generated content that helps businesses increase brand engagement and strengthen Google rankings.
“The raffles and contests not only help to better understand the target of our brand, but also improve its image by approaching the consumer in a different way. In addition, they help generate new leads and increase the number of online visits. Through the information that the user provides when participating in a contest or raffle, the company achieves the aforementioned objectives and the user has the opportunity to learn more about the company's philosophy and the product catalog”, says Eduardo Esparza, Country Manager of Webloyalty .
Designing your own online game requires more complex development and technological tools, but the fun and consumer participation is greater.
One example is Wanawine (now called Bodegas Familiares Matarromera), the online wine store that developed its own online game called: Trivialwine, how much do you know about wine?
The game consisted of answering questions about wine in the shortest time possible. Every month they chose 3 winners according to the score obtained and the time invested in answering the questions. The prize in this case was bottles of wine.
This company not only improved the user experience on the website, but also gained valuable information about potential customers.
Have you thought about implementing augmented reality and virtual reality in your gamification strategy?
According to pwc Spain , augmented and virtual reality will have an impact of up to 1.5 trillion dollars in the world economy in 2030.
These new technologies have come to help us. They give us a whole range of options to create interactive experiences and keep your audience hooked.
In 2018, candy brand Cadbury launched a virtual reality Facebook game in which participants had to scour a 360-degree virtual landscape to find hidden Easter eggs. Every time they found an egg they had to be the first to comment to have access to the prize (chocolate).
During the hour-long game, Cadbury attracted 220,000 watchers from across Australia who between them posted 70,000 comments.
Another option that is perhaps easier and cheaper is to hide Easter eggs around your site, and encourage users to find them in exchange for a reward.
This is something that many companies are already putting into practice during the Easter season, in order to increase the time users spend on the website and improve positioning.
And with these ideas, you are ready to succeed in the next Easter!
One of the gamification strategies that has also become very fashionable is the prize roulette. It is a very effective technique to attract attention and hook the audience.
The user participates in the game individually, and best of all, he does not have to wait until the end of the campaign (such as in contests) to discover the final result. As soon as the roulette finishes spinning, the participant will know if he has won something or not.
The fact of participating in the game and knowing instantly if you have been a winner or not, increases the user's interest in your game.
In addition, prize wheels give the user the feeling that the odds of winning are quite high .
When designing your roulette, some of the prizes that you could include are, for example: discounts on your products, completely free products and codes to obtain free shipping, gift samples, etc.
With tools like Easypromos . You have the possibility to customize your prize roulette so that it is 100% corporate. In addition, the distribution of the prizes is totally automated and random.
You can promote the wheel on social networks to increase the reach and interaction with your brand, but also on your e-commerce site to encourage your store visitors to make the purchase immediately after spinning the wheel.
In the prize wheel that appears in the image above, Krashkosmetics informs the participants that they have 15 minutes to spend their prize on any order without a minimum purchase on the web, creating a sense of urgency among users. They also create a sense of urgency when they indicate that they have already awarded 78% of today's prizes.
In the same way that gamification techniques are applied among your potential clients, it is also highly recommended to apply them among your employees to increase their satisfaction with your company and avoid staff turnover.
A study carried out by Talentlms indicates that 89% of workers think that they would be more productive and would present better results if games were integrated into the company.
In addition, the same study indicates that 78% of job applicants take into account whether the company makes use of gamification among workers.
The introduction of games in your business allows you to:
- Fight against the lack of motivation and competitiveness of your employees.
- Improve communication and teamwork.
- Develop the skills of your employees.
- Enhance your brand image.
- Increase the worker's commitment to your company, by feeling recognized and rewarded.
- Collect relevant data on employee improvement areas.
- Collect relevant data on those workers who have the most talent.
During the gamification process, it is important to offer your workers the option of being able to see the positions of other colleagues and the results, so that the gamification does not lose its competitive character .
There are thousands of options to integrate an effective and fun gamification strategy among your employees. Here are some cases to inspire you:
NextJump: To motivate workers to play sports and promote a healthy life, NextJump, a company specializing in creating workspaces, installed gyms in their offices and created an app through which employees received prizes every time they checked in . -in at sports facilities. Result: The company managed to get 70% of the workers to regularly practice some type of sport.
Correos: The messaging company launched a game in which employees had to identify typographical errors in more than 160,000 web pages in exchange for various prizes . Depending on the error they found on each of the pages, they earned more or less points, so that a kind of competition took place in which the employees were ahead of each other.
Marriott Hotel: This hotel chain implemented its own gamification strategy to recruit staff for its hotels. The gamification process consisted of a video game called "My Marriott Hotel". The objective: to attract young people interested in the hospitality industry. The dynamics of the game was similar to that of the Sims. The applicants had to show their skills in a virtual space that simulated the day-to-day life in a hotel. The game was a complete success and also caused an increase in followers of Marriott on Facebook.
Pinduoduo success story
China is ranked No. 1 in the ranking of countries with the most income from electronic commerce, reaching 21 billion euros in 2019 (Source: elpais ).
One in three sales is made through the online channel in this country.
Alibaba and JD.com are the pioneers covering 80% of the industry. But between the two a third has made its way...
Huang Zheng has become the second richest businessman in China thanks to the success of his Pinduoduo platform .
Huang Zheng comes from a small town in rural China. Huang was convinced of the great positive impact that electronic commerce could have on the lower-level people with whom he had grown up, and who did not yet have access to online shopping services.
For this reason, in 2015 it decided to launch the Pinduoduo e-commerce application that was aimed at fourth or fifth level populations, to whom it began offering products at very affordable prices.
By the time Alibaba and JD.com caught on to this quick move, it was already too late: Pinduoduo had already made its way between the two ecommerce giants.
Today, Pinduoduo aspires to conquer the big cities after being aware of the success of its business strategy among citizens.
But why has this platform become so popular and what is its success?
Sun Baohong, associate dean of the Cheung Kong business school, defines Pinduoduo as a "social commerce" or social commerce . And this is where the unique gamification strategy of this very popular platform comes into play.
Users who go to Pinduoduo to buy a certain product have two options:
Option nº1: Pay the regular price of the product.
Option #2: Pay a lower price if the user manages to gather a certain number of people who are willing to buy the same product.
If the user decides to pay a lower price for the product, they will have to share the product link with friends or family through the WeChat social network and invite them to participate in a group purchase.
As soon as the user finds more people interested in making that purchase, the transaction will be carried out and everyone will be able to benefit from the group discount that can be up to 90%.
The more participants the user finds, the more attractive the discount applied to the product will be.
“This turns each consumer into a sales agent working for Pinduoduo , and it has been very useful during the pandemic, as people from the same neighborhood coordinated their orders.” says Sun Baohong.
During the coronavirus crisis, the app saw growth from 585 million active users in the last quarter of 2019 to 628 in the first quarter of 2020 , trailing only the 726 of leader Taobao, the Alibaba-owned platform.
Apart from the main gamification strategy that we have just mentioned, there are also others that the platform has been implementing during the course of its activity, such as: If a user accessed the app for several days and watered a virtual mango plant, would end up receiving a box of this fruit at home.
Investors saw such potential in this business model, that in its IPO in June 2018 it already raised 1,360 million euros .
"Pinduoduo is just the beginning of this new trend in electronic commerce" adds the dean.
As you may have seen, gamification gives you a wide range of opportunities to take your business to the next level.
By making good use of this powerful marketing tool, you will be able to persuade users and therefore increase your sales and conversion rate.
Throughout this article we have been giving you a couple of ideas to gamify the shopping experience on your site , can you think of another way? Tell us about it in the comments section!