Below is a guest blog post provided by Devansh Trivedi, Content Writer at orderhive.com
Today’s Internet is full of eCommerce websites and apps locked in a tight race to add newer, exciting products on their platforms. Their sales and hence, their relevance depend on just how quickly they’re able to do that. However, only a handful of them today occupy a substantial market share. The question is- How do they consistently outperform the rest?
There is more than one answer to it, to name a few-, rich and varied inventory management, effective marketing, efficient shipping management, eCommerce automation, etc. However, if you closely observe all these companies, you’ll notice the lowest common denominator- Gamification. All of them try to gamify the user journey through their website and application constantly.
What is Gamification
Gamification is the process of using a sense of reward and achievement to encourage someone to take the desired action.
Gamification is a tool that, when used to perfection, inspires or encourages people to take the desired action by rewarding them every time they accomplish a task. Gamification is used in all walks of life and is one of the most effective tools of marketing. Over the last few decades, some of the biggest brands have tried their hand at gamifying their user experience and to significant effect.
In 1987, McDonald’s rolled out its Monopoly campaign, which is easily one of the greatest examples of Gamification.
With the rise in its popularity, Gamification became the standard go-to tool for brands to drive customer retention and boost their sales. It was only a matter of time before eCommerce websites started looking into how they could gamify different aspects of their branding. As the brands started unlocking its true potential and applying gamification to their websites and apps, emails, social media, etc., they saw a massive increase in sales and customer retention.
Gamification helps the brands provide a sense of accomplishment to their customers. Through gamification, visitors are nudged to act in a way that eventually leads to a purchase, a newsletter sign up, or a social media follow. This makes the visitor easily accessible to the brand when they need to pitch them a product in the future.
How to Gamify
Login and Shopping Rewards
One of the best ways to ensure that your customers visit and shop from your website regularly is by rewarding them each time they do.
Example: All the leading credit card companies provide points on every purchase that the users can then redeem for actual products. Airlines offer ‘frequent flyer miles’ to their customers, who can use these to either upgrade their bookings, buy in-flight refreshments, or book tickets at discounted rates.
One of the most effective ways of upselling is by providing your customers with accurate product recommendations. All the leading eCommerce websites offer product recommendations based on the user’s search history and the items they purchase. You may compare it with smart shelf placement strategies in traditional retail stores.
Example: eCommerce giants like Amazon use their analytical capabilities and find out what products are bought together by their customers and create sets. Using this information, they recommend all the products of the set when a user puts one of them in their shopping cart.
Product quizzes are the ultimate method of generating a buzz around your products. They provide a sense of reward to the competitive players and are willing to invest their time to win prizes. Such users will diligently try to acquire all the information about your product that they need to win the competition and are indirectly marketed to.
Example: A leading architecture company introduced a quiz on its website as a part of their thanksgiving giveaway. The winner would get their house redone at discounted rates. By doing this, they increased their traffic by as much as 400%, something that would have cost them much more money than the discount they gave to the winner.
Referrals are a great way of ensuring that your customers become your brand ambassador and introduce your business to their friends and family. Referrals are an example of a perfect win-win-win situation where everyone involved benefits from it. The person who refers the brand gets a discount, the person who does business with the brand based on the reference also receives a discount, and the brand gets a healthy dose of word of mouth marketing with each referral.
Example: Tesla’s referral program is one of the best examples of a successful referral campaign. The company gave its top referrers a brand new Tesla P90D Model S and sent them on an all-expense-paid trip to attend the Model 3 unveiling event. Naturally, this created a lot of buzz around the brand
Advantages of Gamification
Increase Customer Retention
With the help of shopping points, an eCommerce website can retain its customers for a longer period of time and can get continued sales from them.
Referrals and coupons for regular customers inspire them to shop from an eCommerce business consistently. Providing customized services through gamification techniques like personality quizzes humanizes a brand. Customers tend to gravitate much more towards such brands that they feel care about their choices.
Create a Buzz around your Products:
With online competitions, brands can create euphoria in the market and increase the curiosity among the target audience about the products. Many eCommerce companies use competitions as a part of their product launch campaigns. It’s easily one of the best ways to ensure enough eyeballs when they finally launch the product.
Increase time spent on Website/App
When you game your eCommerce site, you’re appealing to the part of your target audience’s brain, which is responsible for getting them hooked onto something. People spend more time on interactive websites, where they can be a part of what’s happening and have active control. As customers spend more time on your website, they’re likely to come across multiple touchpoints from where they can be roped into purchasing items.
The Road Ahead
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are going to be the biggest weapons that companies will use to gamify their websites. In fact, we’re seeing some of it already. Luxury car manufacturers are serving a 360-degree immersive experience of their latest automobiles to audiences on their websites. Fashion and accessories brands are able to create digital trial rooms where people can click their photos and the software will show them how they would look wearing the clothes they want to shop.
As newer technologies come into the fray, eCommerce Gamification will only get more immersive and realistic. The possibilities are endless and the future looks exciting.