Online store owners twist and turn, continuously coming up with new ways to attract customers and engage their audience.
They update the design of the site, speed up its performance, build progressive web applications to satisfy mobile users, and come up with new fun and interactive “hooks”. Whichever way you slice it, the element of entertainment is a good “move” towards growing the interest of your users, acquiring new buyers, and keeping them on the site for a longer time.
That said, making a game out of shopping is a strong “move” for eCommerce. And on this page, we’ll introduce you to gamification in online retail, explain why this is a beneficial tactic, and even show you a couple of enjoyable examples of how it’s done by renowned brands.
Gamification in eCommerce: What’s the Catch?
What you should understand is that your buyers go through hundreds of sites and stores, especially before the holidays. Therefore, as an online retail owner, you must do your best to come up with new ways to grasp the attention of users than just pitching a good-old coupon. You need to aim at standing out, and the “route” with games is one of such paths you can opt for.
For this specific article, we’ll be treating the term “gamification” as the experience of playing an actual game or participating in some similar to it entertaining activity on an online retail site (or its related platforms or social accounts) in return for some beneficial perk.
Activities can add a spark to the shopping experience of your buyers. There are so many mini-game types and things you may offer to play, tap, untangle, bid, spin, or complete tasks in exchange for something rewarding that the user will enjoy.
These can be:
- addictive petite games that you place on your homepage or official social media accounts,
- scavenger hunts for finding items across your site,
- challenging quizzes and humorous questionnaires,
- or, for instance, a wheel element for winning a discount as part of your loyalty program.
In any case, your shoppers will be thrilled to get ahold of discounts, promo codes, special sales, limited products, free shipping coupons, and other sweeteners, and have fun in the process!
But what’s your interest in eCommerce gamification as an online business owner?
Enough about clients, over to what’s in it for you. Let’s face it, developing a game element for your store does require a bunch of time, money, and creativity. Proper timing counts here too as the game doesn’t necessarily have to be up on your site forever (which can also raise the question of whether it’s even worth all the trouble).
Return on investment is what you’re craving. And the thing here is that you can grow your conversions and sales if you add a little game to the site for some time. You can double your digits, actually, if the game is implemented successfully.
After all, the aim of the game is to give a client a discount or some other reason to come back to you and make a purchase. You boost user experience by making clients ultimately happier (they’re entertained) and, at the same time, you raise your own chances of these people using their “won” promos and buying something from your store.
And if the codes that were given away in the game are time-limited, your buyers are very likely to be motivated to use them soon since everyone wants to grab a good deal.
Study your audience, find out what they like, only then make the choice of which game to add. The good thing is that you don’t have to discover the continents again when you think through what your game will be like. And it shouldn’t be large either.
Remember, this is just bait. Thus, you’re more than free to use the best practices and borrow ideas from other well-known games.
Besides, this playful strategy can give your brand some additional online presence and site traffic as well since many users happily share their game scores across their own personal socials.
Others (your customers’ followers, for example) will become curious about the game, and “voila” more users land on your site.
Furthermore, it’s not just about discounts. These games can have an educational angle as well, so you can help your audience to find out more about your products.
Now that you know more about why you shouldn’t overlook gamification, let’s take a look at a couple of awesome examples!
Ray-Ban’s Pinball Game
For a limited time in autumn 2020, the official Ray-Ban website offered an entertaining pinball game. Placed right within the main top banner of the homepage, the game offered users to give a spin at pinball.
The major aim was to score 800 points to achieve the jackpot. The award was a promo code for custom styles that allow users to design their own glasses, changing frame colors, lenses, and other details of the product.
Is online pinball a new game? Nope. Is the one by Ray-Ban stylish? Yes. And perhaps the coolest thing about it is that the brand had a same-style photoshoot with a pinball machine that was promoted across all their social channels. Well done!
Yves Saint Lauren’s Cyber Monday Games
As shortly mentioned earlier, gamification is a strong move in terms of sales and marketing. As such, another example we’d like to share is the game that Yves Saint Lauren ran on their site.
Devoted to Cyber Monday 2020, this game was hyped across all their channels, including the official YSL Beauty Instagram account.
Users were urged to play games featuring various YSL products, like the Black Opium Eau de Parfum, and to score special Cyber Monday deals and bonus points.
One of the activities that were on offer was a tic-tac-toe game. But instead of the standard “X’s” and “O’s”, users played with YSL products like nail polish.
Mentioning the neat ideas, again, is tic-tac-toe something out of the ordinary? No. Did Yves Saint Lauren put a neat twist to it? Yep.
Wrapping up, a dash of fun via gamification is an effective strategy for increasing the revenues of online stores. You can use your clients’ curiosity and desire to have fun to benefit your business.
After all, it can be a win-win for everyone: users will be satisfied with their experience and “won” perks while your online retail site will bring you back more orders and conversions. Thus, don’t hold back your creativity and gamify your store!
About the Author
Alex Husar, Chief Technology Officer at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in progressive web application development, Magento migration, and Salesforce development. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to the whole team.