The satisfaction of accomplishment or achievement. The pride of overcoming an obstacle or challenge. The excitement of winning or receiving a prize. Or just the euphoria of scoring big with dumb luck. One thing that ties all these together? Gamification. And it can be the best thing that ever happened to your marketing.

Why gamification of marketing?

Gamification in marketing is not created for fun, even though it does seem entertaining. The gamified concept triggers the emotional spirit of winning something, which stimulates a creative and competitive feeling in pretty much all of us. In the case of eCommerce, gamification not only helps a business boost their online sales but also improve much the site engagement.

For example, eBay’s bidding system is the pioneer in retail gamification. Instead of buying some products normally, they put a bid to acquire the items. The bid only lasts for a limited time. When the time expires, only the highest bidder gets the products and complete the purchase. This tactic creates a sense of competition and encourages the prospects to join and win the game.

eBay gamification strategy with bidding system
This system creates a culture of outbidding other customers and snatching elusive, rare goodies. It also increases the average time on site as well as the number of email signups. The best thing is the competitive nature of bidding gives shoppers more satisfying experiences that keep them coming back for more.

Easy ways to apply gamification marketing in eCommerce

The biggest challenge is creating them. The bidding system is not easy for less tech-savvy online merchants.You need a designer, a programmer, and a whole lot of money to get things working. Until now, only the big brands were able to afford them.
But not anymore. Here are 3 simple but effective gamification tactics for you to try:

Hold contests on Social Media

Contest on social media is a fun way to connect with your customers without spending too much time on upgrading your website technically. You can invite them to join a small game with little budget but still gain better engagement.
For example, M&M ran a small campaign to promote the new pretzel-flavored candies. They applied gamification on the Facebook page with a fun eye-spy game, which challenged the followers to spot out a tiny pretzel guy in the multi-colored M&M candies.

The campaign was a huge success for M&M. It resulted in about 25,500 likes, 10,000 comments, and 5,600 shares. The game also provided a fun way for fans to engage with the brand and spread the words on social media.

You can run similar campaigns to engage your followers. It could be a giveaway for those submitting visual feedbacks or extra discounts for ones who like and share your posts. You can increase the effectiveness of your campaign by partnering with influencers in your niche and running an ad also. What you gain is better social interaction and larger audience outreach with less expense than other traditional marketing tactics.

However, please take note if you decide to give out some prizes, make sure that your rewards should not be too “small”. It depends on your products and marketing goals. If you are selling a $1000 item and give away $5 voucher, it is not that tempting to the targeted customers.

Use a scratch game

Games are the next level of your giveaway contest. You invite your users to play a game which was sent to them on social media, your website or even through an email. The incentive for playing the scratch game could by anything, from a coupon, discount, or promotional message. With the scratch game, you are encouraging your prospects to take action by triggering their fear of missing out. If they don’t play, they lose on the prize.

Moreover, the scratch game does give your marketing a boost. Your customers could come across various marketing messages in a day, and the sad thing is most of them are pretty much identical. Most people would just scroll through without a second thought on the offer. A game can make you stand out and catch the customers’ attention with ease.

However, the scratch game should be used with caution.

  • The offer should be inviting. Choose your words wisely so that customers are motivated to play
  • Use multiple channels to communicate your game to your target audience.
  • Have a clear Call to Action.

It may seem complicated to create the scratch game and connect it to your store or CRM. Luckily, you can start with having your own customized scratch game here

Run loyalty programs

The loyalty program with gamification mechanics like points, badges, rewards, and challenges is another good way to boost your marketing effort. It encourages customers to take action to win points. These points can be redeemed for rewards like discounts, free gifts, and more.

You can take a look at Sephora’s Beauty Insider and VIB Rouge reward programs. The programs are free to join with 3 tiers: Beauty Insider, VIB, and VIB Rouge. Each tier has a selection of rewards available to suit the customers. As customers reach a higher level of the programs, they can unlock more exclusive benefits such as free shipping or makeovers.

Sephora loyalty program
Sephora’s loyalty program is a huge success. They were able to raise the customers’ retention rates by 5% and increase their profits by up to 95%. These numbers suggest that if you can keep loyal customers, your profits are going to boost.

Ready to up the game?

Introducing some fun games to your customers, whether it is just a small giveaway contest, an actual game or a whole loyalty reward program, could help you communicate with them better. Of course, there are various other ways to gamify your store. But in terms of effectiveness and simplicity (without any coder needed), you could try out above tactics to boost up your revenue.

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