Intuitively, we all know that games are fun, but what if you could use that insight to your advantage in retail? Well, you can! An increasing number of businesses have discovered plenty of value in blending gaming mechanics with marketing strategies. In turn, gamification in retail can help increase brand awareness, grow your customer base, and boost sales.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of retail gamification so you can implement it in your business. But first, let’s see what gamification is and why it is an important element in retail marketing strategies.
Simply put, gamification is applying game-like elements to non-game contexts to make them more fun and engaging. At its core, it involves creating games or challenges for customers to interact with, such as playing a simple game in the store for a prize. The prizes can be anything from free items to discounts. These types of game-like elements can encourage customers to make a purchase.
Many retailers offer loyalty programs to rev up sales and customer loyalty. For example, customers can collect tokens after each purchase and exchange them for discounts, free items, or samples.
There are many reasons why you should invest in gamification, including:
A recent report shows the immense effect of retail gamification on performance. Here are some highlights from it:
There are many different types of games that you can use as part of your gamification strategy, each with its unique benefits. Here are four strategies that can boost your customer acquisition and retention, as well as sales:
Knowledge games reward customers for what they know about your brand or products. For example, you may have an article about pet safety that you turn into a knowledge game by asking readers a series of questions about the topic. You can also use knowledge-based games as part of an event. For instance, you can host a quiz or trivia contest where users can win prizes for correct answers.
These types of games are a fantastic way to get people engaged with your content, as they don’t take much effort to play. They also encourage brand engagement, as you can ask users questions about your brand. Social media is a powerful tool you can use to bring the spotlight to your brand. You can host knowledge games on your Instagram and Facebook pages and encourage people to comment, share, or like to boost engagement online.
A mattress company called Casper applied one of the most creative knowledge games to attract customers. They placed ads all over the New York subway that contained riddles with no other context except for their logo. The answers to these riddles were all connected to the brand’s topic of a good night’s sleep. As a result, Casper’s brand awareness increased, which spiked its revenue by 40% and helped the company reach a $1.1 billion valuation just five years after its launch.
Collaboration games are built on user groups or teams and encourage people to work together toward a shared goal or challenge. You can also use collaboration games to spark creativity and incentivize people to get together and share ideas. They are also an excellent way to build a sense of community, as when people work together on a common goal or challenge, they begin to feel like a team.
One way of implementing collaboration games is by encouraging people to complete specific tasks or goals. When people collaborate and achieve something together, they will remember their accomplishments associated with your business. This automatically drives brand recognition and awareness.
Taobao, a Chinese online shopping platform, took advantage of the biggest shopping day in China, Single’s Day, to offer discounts through a collaborative online game. They developed a game where players built skyscrapers by inviting as many members to their teams as possible. In turn, more than 300 million people participated and won cash prizes and vouchers. As a result, Taobao’s engagement grew massively, leading to more sales.
Competition games pit your customers against each other. They are a perfect way to get users to share your game with their friends, as they will want to show off their wins.
You can use competition games both inside and outside of your store. Inside the store, you could use them to encourage more engagement around an existing feature or event. For example, you can create a competition around finding items on point-of-purchase displays in the store. Coca-Cola created a game in supermarkets in Beijing and Singapore where customers had to throw virtual ice cubes into a glass of Coke to receive Coca-Cola discounts and loyalty points.
You can also use competition games outside the store to drive user behavior. For instance, online competition games encourage users to complete specific tasks or goals on your website or app. For instance, the men’s apparel retail store Bonobos launched a digital scavenger hunt on its website. Customers were given clues to find specific images by browsing their site. The first 50 buyers to find the correct images received a $25 Bonobos credit and free shipping on their next purchase.
Reward games let users earn points or discounts for completing certain actions. These games are great for encouraging specific user behaviors, such as purchasing extra items.
A variety of companies integrate loyalty programs as reward games. For one, Starbucks Rewards allows customers to collect points from purchases they make at Starbucks, which they can later redeem for discounts or free menu items.
Lazada is another retailer that incorporates reward games into the shopping experience. One of these features is called “Slash It!” where customers are rewarded for getting as many of their friends to click their personalized promo link as possible. The company rewards shoppers in the form of discounts on particular items.
Gamification does help you attract new customers and increase your company’s conversion rate. However, some retailers may push it too far, leading to negative results. When it comes to implementing gamification in your business, these are a few tips that can help you craft the right campaign:
Retail gamification is a powerful way to engage customers, increase sales, and boost customer loyalty. It’s also a great way to engage your employees and increase productivity. However, it doesn’t always mean creating a new game or app from scratch. Different gamification examples in retail showed that even a simple loyalty program could be a powerful tool for catching your customers’ attention.