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Using gamification to delight and excite customers

22nd Oct 2021
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On the heels of record-breaking numbers last year, as referenced by the IPC, the 2021 peak holiday season promises an equally impressive show. Most brands and retailers are focused on CX strategies that help them to stand out, drive engagement and excitement, and boost customer lifetime value.

Gamification offers one of the best ways to inject excitement into the customer experience. The term “gamification” was first used in 2008 in a blog post by Brett Terrill, here he describes the term as “taking game mechanics and applying them to other web properties to increase engagement.” Gamification takes the essence of games – fun, play, competition, and design elements – to encourage engagement a-d action. Despite the 13-year lapse from 2008 to now, most retailers are still not leveraging gamification to its full potential in their CX, for reasons such as lack of development resource, platform support queries and where it best fits to help brands achieve their growth goals. How high up the priority list is gamification in your team?

Gamification creates excitement, urgency, and delight, which all motivate a customer to spend more time on a website or app, browse products, and ultimately order. From scratching a digital scratch card to ‘spin the wheel’ offer activation, gamification delights and excites customers at every stage of their journey – especially during the hectic peak season.

Why it’s important to fix your CX shortcomings

As hectic as holiday shopping may be, it should also be fun. The reality is somewhat different. Which? recently reported that more than half of UK consumers believe online retailers used COVID-19 as an excuse for delivering a poor customer experience, highlighting frustration and a lack of enthusiasm by the customer experiences offered by most retailers and brands.

And as more and more high street stores close, consumers will be looking to online retail for faultless shopping experiences which satisfy and delight. This, however, is no mean feat for marketers in an age of shortening attention spans and “choice overload”.  In many sectors, retailers can no longer rely on an excellent UX and great product to capture and convert customers - they now need to go one step further and delight them.

People love ingenuity, creativity, and fun, and that’s where gamification can give retailers an advantage over their competitors and help marketers cut through the noise.

The 6 key benefits of using gamification throughout your CX

  1. It gives users control: With gamification, shoppers can enter their email addresses and get 10% discount or view a gamified purchase bar to see how close they are to a complimentary gift or free shipping. Giving shoppers complete control over theyr shopping experience.
  2. It creates FOMO:  In comparison to a traditional promotion with a stated end date, gamified promotions feel more transient and spontaneous. Visitors are compelled to jump on the opportunity before it's too late and they miss out. Hunkemöller found that by displaying the popularity of products (social proof messaging) as shoppers browse their site, drives urgency for the shopper to buy that product, before missing out.
  3. It motivates customers to keep shopping: In games, when you complete a level, you get a reward — that motivates you to continue to play and master the next level to get more. Gamified websites and apps apply the same logic. For example, when you sign up for a newsletter, you instantly get a discount, so you are motivated to stay longer on the website, browse products, and order.
  4. It creates a sense of achievement: Accomplishment is a strong driving factor for most of us and if you can make your user feel like they have achieved something, there is a strong chance they will come back again. Helping to create milestones or offering rewards supports this.
  5. It creates exclusivity: exclusivity creates intrigue, and curiosity. And many people are willing to pay a premium price for that exclusivity.
  6. It encourages teamwork and collaboration: multiplayer games are enjoyable because they bring like-minded people together and create a sense of community. This translates well to gamification. If you can make users feel like a part of a community on their journey, you bring them a positive user experience.

The case for gamification to boost loyalty, engage users and fix CX shortcomings is clear.  As customer expectations continue to rise and traditional growth hacking tactics become less effective, gamification will play an integral role in revitalising the customer experience and tapping into customer psychology. According to Mordor Intelligence, the global gamification market was valued at $10.19 million in 2020 and is expected to reach $38.42 million by 2026. The peak shopping season offers the perfect time to bring the elements of gaming into your CX to increase engagement and action when competition is fierce, attention is low and frustration is high.


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