E-commerce Gamification – How To Benefit From It?

E-commerce Gamification – How To Benefit From It?

Nowadays, the popularity of the video game market and board games is growing at an alarmingly fast rate. How can your business benefit from that? E-commerce gamification is an answer to this question! How does it work and how to do it properly? Keep reading!

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You’re probably reading this entry because you want to improve your e-commerce sales and the engagement level of the buyers. Wondering how to do it? Read a few words about gamification in e-commerce!

What is this phenomenon all about and what profits can it bring to your business?

Gamification – what is it?

Gamification is about using video and board game mechanisms for non-game purposes such as sales, marketing or motivation. However, it’s not a game in itself, it’s a kind of a tool that improves engagement with the help of new, attractive activities.

It’s not about taking a random game element and turning it into a thing that fits your marketing strategy. That’s not the goal.

Every game comes with separate dynamics and characteristic mechanisms. The same applies to each business. Proper planning and combining strategic goals and determination will result in future success, whereas ill-considered actions will lead to a total disaster.
You want to improve engagement, not discourage people, it’s obvious. Appropriately selected mechanisms can bring you positive effects in the long term. What game mechanisms are there and how to implement them to your company operation? Think about:

  • points,
  • rankings,
  • levels,
  • challenges,
  • gifts.

You’re probably familiar with all of them and their characteristic features. Therefore, the implementation of gamification should be a piece of cake. Remember that it’s only a small percentage because there are many more mechanisms. It’s crucial to choose them individually for each business – everyone is different and not all the mechanisms bring positive results.

It’s worth taking into account the so-called types of players, which is a set of human characteristics that define what a person likes to play and what brings him/her fun. For example, we have a person who is very social and plays games to get to know others and create a community with them. If there is an element of competition such as points or rankings or comparing oneself to others, that person may not feel motivated, and the effect of our actions may be completely opposite to the intended one.

Gamification can take different forms, including internal and external one.

Internal is the one that takes place within the organization, and gamification elements are introduced into the daily activities of employees. These may be challenges during training sessions or rankings of projects. In simplest words, everyday work activities become more attractive, which boosts motivation.

However, today we’re about to focus on the other type of gamification and tell you how your e-commerce can benefit from it.

Remember that an inappropriate approach to gamification can have a very negative impact on the business as it may discourage users and build a negative brand image. The same rule applies to the internal operation of your enterprise and employee experience – people don’t like the rat race, who does? Watch out because the ill-suited rankings or points can give such an impression.

Advantages of e-commerce gamification

E-commerce gamification can help you:

  • attract more customers,
  • inspire trust,
  • show that your company has an unusual approach,
  • improve sales,
  • learn about customer behavior, expectations, and desires.

How to benefit from gamification in e-commerce?

Getting to know customers and their preferences is a very important step of e-commerce gamification implementation. Keep in mind purchasing decisions made by people to create an appealing and engaging strategy.

Below you can see a few examples showing how to benefit from gamification in your online store.

1. Loyalty Programs – keep customers for longer

Yes, loyalty programs are also part of gamification. Customers can collect points, stamps, or other rewards to receive a prize (it’s also a game-based mechanism). It’s important to engage customers so that they want to come back and exchange the earned points for a reward. Let’s do it in an interesting and non-linear way to achieve lots of benefits.

Bonito, one of the greatest bookstores in Poland, advocates such a system. The more you buy, the more points you get. Each subsequent purchase results in a bigger discount on books.

increase your visibility

2. Rewards and Badges – make customers feel appreciated

Many websites offer things like customer profiles or accounts. You can reward customers with online badges displayed to anyone who checks the profile. Users will feel appreciated and respected which is crucial to every person.

REBEL.PL, a store with board games, benefits from levels and points in its gamification strategy. For every purchase, review, link or reward, the buyer receives so-called customer experience points. Apart from inspiring trust, it also builds engagement and encourages people to create a base of links, add reviews and shop more.

3. Challenges – discounts for active ones

Introduce challenges, meaning extra tasks or puzzles that will allow customers to earn a discount. If they do this, they’ll feel stronger and empowered, plus they’ll already feel like they’ve devoted their time to the organization, so they’re more likely to stay with you for longer.

gamification - world of tanks example
WorldofTanks may not be a direct example of e-commerce, but it’s an ideal example of this mechanism. Users and players achieve additional discounts for completing special game challenges. It’s also a time-limited challenge which makes it more prestigious as people realize it won’t be available in the future.

4. Prestige – make it more valuable

As mentioned above, you can introduce the so-called mechanism of prestige, for example, products people get for purchasing a special set. It resembles a gift – buys something to receive something extra. Customers are motivated for two reasons. First of all, they get an item from you. Second of all, this item isn’t accessible otherwise.

gamification in e-commerce examples kickstarter
Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform where you can observe this mechanism. When choosing a campaign or a product, customers receive bonuses in the form of upgrades or additional items that will no longer be available after the campaign.

5. Ranking – an element of competition

Your e-commerce can also benefit from rankings to encourage customers to compete with each other for additional discounts or special products. This way, you can create an engaged community that will actively improve your traffic and generate extra sales of your e-commerce.

Obviously, there are lots of e-commerce gamification strategies you can adopt. Keep in mind that an appropriate approach is a key to success. You can’t just randomly use game mechanics in your purchasing process – get to know customers, understand their needs, and then think about appealing activities. It’s also a good idea to spend a few minutes learning about the game industry as this is where inspiration and ideas come from.

The curious case of gamification

Before taking any steps, devise an appropriate strategy. Gamification won’t do its job in every aspect of an e-commerce operation. It’s supposed to be an interesting, engaging break from everyday tasks and monotonous reality. Using it, you can stand out from the crowd, which can have both positive and negative sides. Don’t act quickly and impulsively, get to know your recipients, and prepare a plan. You won’t regret acting wisely and responsibly – it will pay off.

Your task for today is to get to know customers and employees in order to come up with a strategy that may appeal to them. Think about the game you played recently. Combine its elements with daily activities.

FAQ

It works really similar to gamification in classic marketing or motivational activities performed within a company. Benefit from game-based mechanisms in a way that inspires users’ trust and engagement. It’s about tweaking already existing activities to make them more interesting. To do it, you can take advantage of the abovementioned:

  • loyalty programs
  • points
  • rankings
  • gifts
  • challenges

Although the task is a piece of cake, it requires an appropriate strategy and preparation. Get to know your customers, their behaviors, and opportunities. Only with this knowledge, you can start developing marketing or sales plans that involve gamification.

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Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

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