How to gamify the customer shopping experience

/ 25 January 2022

The retail industry has suffered a retention crisis in recent years. Shopping habits have completely changed and only the most responsive brands have stayed ahead of their competition. The key to doing this is to invite memorable engagement that both encourages purchase motivation and empowers advocacy.

Gamification builds loyalty and enables brands to quickly turn the online experience into one that’s fun, interactive, and rewarding

Gamifying the retail experience is certainly not a new idea. For many years’ brands have been using gamification to encourage shopping and offer an alternative way of rewarding customers, all whilst providing an enjoyable experience. Additionally, gamified shopping experience retailers maintain and increase customer stickiness, reduce basket abandonment, increase spend, and ultimately drive that much sought-after customer engagement and loyalty. By implementing key gamification mechanics, brands can create interactive digital experiences that reward customers, keep them coming back, and lay the groundwork for future interactions. Here are 3 proven ways you can gamify the customer shopping experience:

Idea 1 – Encourage repeat visits with real time rewards

Using the psychology behind gamification, marketers can create a customer experience that is more engaging, enjoyable and interactive. When rewarded with a daily prize or overcoming a challenge through specific game mechanics, customers receive a dopamine hit, which then reinforces a desired behavior. By encouraging repeated action, gamification encourages the customer to return to a website for further challenges or rewards. This creates a deeper emotional connection with the brand, encourages customer loyalty, and increases dwell time.

Ultimately customers want to feel connected, and when applying gamification mechanics like point scoring and badge earning to the customer engagement process, customers are extrinsically motivated through rewards (including the experience itself) to engage, and intrinsically motivated through the satisfaction of taking part in the process.

Idea 2 – Learn more about your customers to personalize their shopping experience

Any company that is looking to improve personalization needs to start with improving its data position. Marketers can use gamification mechanics to create a value exchange that benefits both the brand and the consumer. The customer receives an beneficial experience in which they want to repeat, and the brand receives valuable customer data. This data is called Earned Data.

Earning customer data is important for personalization as no two customers are the same. Integrating a gamification solution that incorporates simple instant win games or even role-playing games, with market research, surveys, and data gathering will help brands understand and segment their customers. As Earned Data can only be collected directly from the consumer, the experience needs to be an engaging and two-way experience. Click here to learn how HH Global and a global pet care brand captured the attention of consumers, before providing them with a compelling reason to share key information about their pets using a pet-themed Advent calendar using 3radical’s audience engagement platform.

Idea 3 – Build a loyalty program with a twist

Loyalty programs are one of the most gratifying and enticing ways to reward engaged customers. When you gamify a loyalty program, it incentivizes repeat interactions by making earning points just as fun as spending them. Adding game elements to a loyalty program experience can help a company gain critical Earned Data which then opens up further opportunities to personalize, segment, and continue to garner additional consented data.

When a shopper is rewarded for their loyalty with personalized special offers and discounts, new products can be introduced with ease, basket size will likely increase whilst basket abandonment will reduce. 

The DBS Lifestyle App demonstrated just how powerful a gamification-driven loyalty program can be. The multinational banking and financial services corporation increased user interest and activity, improved mobile coupon retention rates, and boosted engagement across the board. A staggering 31% increase year-on-year in user base proves that this type of brand engagement strategy works. 

How 3radical can help

3radical provides adaptive and progressive consumer-led experiences that increase engagement, illicit repeat visits and site dwell time, while providing data explicitly aligned to the relationship between the consumer and the organization.

To learn more about how to implement gamification into your marketing get in touch.

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