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Applying Gamification in Ecommerce

Gamification marketing is everywhere – from interactive doodles on the Google homepage to Buzzfeed trivia to various mini-games, spinning wheels, and digital slots on Amazon. Recent years of lockdown have increased our dependence on e-commerce sites, and with general customer interest waning every year, gamification and its added immersion and interaction have become the need of the hour for these business owners.

In e-commerce, gamification indicates assimilating and deploying strategies akin to gameplay methods in video games to boost sales in digital stores – either digital assets or physical items.

Ways to Gamify Your Ecommerce Business:

As a market leader, here are a couple of ways you can harness the power of gamification in your e-commerce business.

  • Use games like Scavenger Hunt to ensure that your customers – both existing and new – visit key pages on your e-commerce site. Gamification marketing strategies like these incentivize user interaction and create the initial hook.
  • Another good way is to use a Wheel of Fortune with different promo codes and discounts at stake. Not only does this game of chance introduce a sense of thrill among customers, but it also turns casual site-browsers into potential buyers.
  • Set up a rewards program. Loyalty points and incentives redeemable via spending those points boost your trustworthiness as a brand. They show users that you care about them – a factor that attracts new customers as well. Vary the rewards into tiers that work like levels of privilege to reap more benefits. Choose the customer behavior that you want to reward – ranging from signing up for your newsletter, sharing in social media, product reviews, etc.
  • Fun behavioral quizzes or trivia are another great way to direct your customers to the product that is best suited for them. You can analyze the vital data generated from these gamification marketing methods to further understand your user base and demographic as well as traction levels for products being sold via your e-commerce site.
  • Recently, some organizations have also benefited by launching dedicated mini-game apps that tie into their e-commerce sites. These game apps can help promote products available in your store as well as generate awareness about your brand and its message.
  • Lastly, make sure your gamified incentivization methods are meaningful. Quite often, users tend to be more loyal to a brand or a site where they can achieve or partake in something bigger than them. A good example of this is Nike’s successful Nike+ campaign – tailored towards covering every aspect of an athlete’s life – including social integration, training, competition, and sports style. 
Source: https://www.knowband.com/blog/ecommerce-blog/gamification-increases-customer-engagement-ecommerce-store/

Some recent examples:

  1. Global beauty brand Sephora has an extensive loyalty program that is the perfect example of a gamification technique applied in e-commerce. Users earn 1 loyalty point per $1 they spend in the store/site and these points can then be used to unlock more privileges (free shipping, deeper discounts, etc.). Moreover, long-time users are also promoted to the next privilege level (VIB, Rouge) with even more rewards.
  1. Karl Lagerfeld’s online store created a retro-inspired video game similar to the cult classic, Pacman, to promote their Spring 2020 pixel collection. The game featured Karl’s very own cat, Choupette. This online game had users catching as many special KARL bonus items as they could while defeating Choupette’s foes – dogs. Winners were rewarded with a shopping spree at Karl Lagerfeld’s store.
  1. Nike released an online game in 2011, dubbed ‘Winter’s Angry. Fight Back’ to promote its line of winter sportswear debuting at the end of that year. Players took control of a virtual avatar of one of three very popular athletes – NFL wideout Greg Jennings, USA Women’s soccer player Alex Morgan and Olympic gold medal sprinter Allyson Felix – to perform a series of training exercises to ‘beat the cold’. Players could win prizes for completing challenges, and ones with top scores were eligible for a trip to meet the athletes. Nike’s game website also doubled as a store to purchase apparel featured on these athletes.
  1. ‘14-Day Blast Off’ from the popular grocery chain Whole Foods encouraged participants to commence on a healthy diet journey at the onset of a new year. Whole Foods cleverly incorporated gamification marketing techniques in this campaign that rewarded users when they completed one or more milestones, in form of rebates on in-store purchases.
  1. Cityville, the now-defunct social city-building game from Zynga, was a mammoth hit back in the early 2010s when it launched. At its heyday, a staggering 71 million users were playing the game on Facebook. Best Buy took advantage of Cityville’s reach by opening the first branded retail store in-game. Players could place the store in their virtual city, gain game currency and points when they collected electronic items, and even roam the city in Best Buy’s widely popular Geek Squad vehicles. This gamification marketing was a clever way to advertise Best Buy’s store to a wide variety of customers beyond their usual demographic.
  1. ALDO’s Instagram Moodboard is also a good example of gamification being used in e-commerce. ALDO tied its release of the “A is for Aldo” fragrance collection with Facebook minigames that encouraged users to match their mood with Instagram images. The result was a shareable collage of images associated with any of the three colors and the perfume represented by that color.

The global gamification market is projected to reach $32 Billion by 2025. Organizations are being compelled to implement more visually immersive, engaging, interactive ways to attract new users and retain their existing customer base. In the world of e-commerce, the fight is even more fierce. Incorporating gamification techniques can not only make your e-commerce platform stand out from the competition but can also build value and awareness for your brand – assets that are defining factors of success in this fast-moving industry.

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Gamification in Banking

The global gamification market is valued at almost $12 billion in 2021. Much of it is fueled by advertising and marketing campaigns spread across major industries – and the world of banking/finance is not lagging. Financial organizations are increasingly moving their banking products online, and in the day and age of increased competition, and waning user interest, more companies are using gamification techniques to boost customer engagement levels. Introducing mini-games, trivia, wheel-of-fortune-style instant rewards, and above all, a tiered privilege program to enhance user loyalty – all hallmarks of gamification – are being leveraged to inject new life into this domain.

What is Banking Gamification?

Banking gamification, at its most basic, is the process of transforming day-to-day banking processes into milestone-based task and rewards type activities, often by incorporating gameplay mechanics from video games. By mimicking the interactivity and immersion of playing a video game, gamification in banking and finance increases customer engagement, boosts their interest in, and knowledge of, banking products and services, as well as makes the entire experience enjoyable. Rewards associated with these activities provide a sense of instant gratification. Some banks add social collaboration, integration with other apps, and more to further increase their brand value and awareness.

What are the Benefits of Gamification in Banking?

Here are some benefits that banking gamification can bring to the table:

  1. Increased customer engagement, awareness, and retention: Gamified finance and banking apps are more interactive, immersive, and customer-focused, designed to give the customer the feeling of playing a game. This unique combination is a powerful way to engage users and retain them. Gamification techniques can be used to increase product and service awareness among customers as well (tutorial videos that can be viewed to earn points, for example). A boost in user retention also increases brand loyalty.
  1. Lowered costs: Gamified apps represent banking on the internet. By moving away from physical institutions, they save banking companies a lot of money in both operating as well as capital expenditure.
  2. Invaluable customer data insights: Gamified apps can be used to gather a variety of data about banking customers which when analyzed, give banking orgs invaluable insights into their user demographic. Companies can pinpoint their areas of growth and address products that are more catered towards their user base.
  3. Differentiation from competitors: Incorporating game mechanics in a digital banking app can help it stand out from its competition. Banking gamification is still in its primary stages, so early adopters stand out and gather more traction from users via the enjoyable experience gamified apps provide.
  4. Potential to draw more customers: Better user retention in gamified banking apps brings in new customers as well. As existing customers are happier, they spread the word: and word-of-mouth advertising generates more buzz than traditional methods, roping in newer customers.

Examples of Gamification in Banking

Financial organizations have already started to introduce gameplay mechanics into their banking products, tapping into the high user interaction potential of gamification techniques. Recent examples include:

  1. PNC Bank, a US-based financial org, created a Virtual Wallet as a modern solution to incentivize their customers to set up and reach their savings goals. This Virtual Wallet was a hybrid between a checking and a savings account. A feature of this Virtual Wallet was an interactive widget, called Punch the Pig. This appeared as a piggy bank on the bank customer’s screen while using the wallet – nudging the user to transfer money via it to a high-yield savings account.
  2. In 2015, Emirates NBD, the largest government-owned bank in Dubai and one of the largest financial organizations in the Middle East, launched a fitness app to encourage its users towards a healthy lifestyle. Emirates NBD customers could open a ‘Fitness Account’ – a mobile-based savings account that incentivized customers with higher interest rates on their balances based on their level of physical activity. The fitness account synced up with the NBD fitness app – designed to work on Apple Watch and a list of other fitness trackers – and rewarded users of up to 2% p.a. on their savings based on their step count for the day or distance covered while running. The base interest rate of 0.25% shot up to 0.5% for 5,000 steps, 1% p.a. for 8,000 steps and 2% p.a. for 12,000 steps. This gamification strategy helped bring Emirates NBD $4.37 million in savings.
  3. CommBank of Australia in 2011 launched a property-simulator game. Dubbed ‘Investorville’, this game lets prospective home buyers go through the process of purchasing and owning a property – choosing from different mortgage products to renovations and experiencing paying property taxes. The game would also show the consequences and pitfalls of the users’ financial investments and decisions.
  4. Twist and Win from Standard Chartered Bank is another good example of gamification mechanics applied in banking to increase user engagement. Bank customers were eligible to win cashback on their credit card transactions by twisting the levers of a virtual gumball machine that appeared in-app. Standard Chartered saw a noticeable uptick in their customers’ credit card expenditure as a result of this campaign.
  5. BBVA, the leading Spanish digital bank, launched a game in 2013 to increase customer loyalty and retention. Called ‘BBVA Game’ – this web application encouraged customers to watch tutorial videos about banking, paying taxes, and other financial transactions that they could do via the BBVA banking app. Customers received points for watching videos that they could later spend on a variety of platforms. After 6 months, the game had over 100,000 users and increased BBVA’s user satisfaction rate by 18%.

Several aspects of the banking industry benefit from gamification since most of it is heavily user-centric. The traditional banking experience has many steps involved in them that can be easily translated into a gamified app – from learning about banking terminologies, banking services to account maintenance and knowledge about products and purchase decisions. As banks continue to go digital, added online perks like social media collaboration or brownie points redeemable in stores are becoming pivotal in a highly competitive market. Gamification allows seamless integration of milestones and rewards, either via a separate app in the ecosystem or in-app, offering a win-win scenario for both banks and their customers.

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