There is an entire business ecosystem of goods, services, and experiences sold or traded online. Digitization in all its forms is increasing and changing how people do everyday activities, such as buying groceries or paying fines.
Some companies offer products and services exclusively on the internet, while others combine ecommerce with brick-and-mortar stores to scale marketing.
Ecommerce websites or online stores have some key differences compared to other websites such as publications, social media, portfolio websites, and blogs.
An ecommerce site has a sales-oriented approach focused on product displays on an online shopfront, offering browsing tools and ways to pay for goods and services online.
The Components Of An Ecommerce Site Include:
- Shop information, such as contact details and address (if there is a brick-and-mortar store)
- Online shopfront with rich content and dynamic filters
- Product code system to keep track of online sales and physical stock
- Product detail pages with more information
- Calls to action (CTAs) to steer the customer journey
- Wishlist and shopping cart features to save product selections
- Secure payment gateway with multiple options to pay
- Customer billing section to enter and update credit card details and delivery address
- Delivery options to fulfill orders
- Personalized client-side order tracking and history
- Customer support throughout the customer journey
- Return policy and capabilities (an online form to file a product return)
Even with all the components listed above in place, ecommerce businesses continually look for ways to improve the customer experience, especially as online shopping is taking a mobile turn.
This means that one of the most critical considerations for ecommerce shops today is mobile optimization. Other tools can also significantly improve ease of use and the overall customer experience, such as adding gamification elements.
Gamification in marketing has been proven to be a highly effective way to boost sales and deliver on business goals across devices. Let us look into some of the top benefits of utilizing gamification in ecommerce.
The Benefits Of Gamification For Ecommerce
Shopping is a fun experience for some and a source of frustration for others. Gamified design can help both groups of customers enjoy more convenient and engaging shopping experiences when buying from an online business.
Ecommerce shops can, in turn, benefit from higher customer engagement rates that ultimately translate into more revenue.
The Benefits Of Ecommerce Gamification Include:
- Builds Product Awareness
- Encourages Longer Page Visits
- Increases Cart Size
- Grows Your Customer Base
- Increases Foot Traffic
- Improves Customer Retention
- Offers More Value To Customers
- Solicits Feedback From Customers
We break down each of these benefits below.
Builds Product Awareness
Employing gamification in an online shop provides more opportunities to pique customers’ interest in the offered products.
You can also use it to educate customers about the products and move them through the various stages of awareness, edging them ever closer to readiness to buy.
Encourages Longer Page Visits
The longer customers linger, the more likely they are to buy. With more interactions on an online shop or feature page comes an increased purchase probability.
This is because it keeps potential customers’ attention, buying more time to convince them that the product or service is precisely what they need.
Increases Cart Size
When gamification is used to educate customers about the offered products and services and to encourage longer page visits, it can also steer the customer toward making more relevant purchases.
This enhances the buying experience and increases their shopping cart size, leading to more revenue per purchase.
Grows Your Customer Base
Gamification is especially well-suited for non-intrusive customer data gathering. Providing gamified experiences on your e-commerce site can attract potential customers and improve existing customer engagement with a data-driven approach.
Potential customers are more willing to provide their personally identifiable information (PII) – such as first name, last name, email address, and contact number – for rewards. With this information, companies can grow a more extensive database of potential customers to nurture into marketing qualified leads (MQLs).
Using gamification on your site is an excellent way to garner zero-party data.
This means that businesses do not have to rely on third parties to gain access to and process data about customers’ preferences and buying behaviors on their sites. Customers willingly and intentionally share information about their shopping behaviors with brands to help improve their experience.
Increases Foot Traffic
We mentioned that some brick-and-mortar stores have ecommerce sites to expand their reach. Similarly, online stores can offer gamified experiences that drive customers to visit their physical locations by allowing them to redeem a voucher, for example, at a designated store.
Improves Customer Retention
If there is one thing that ensures customers keep returning to a store, it is exceptional customer service.
Gamification helps ecommerce sites provide personalized shopping experiences that customers will prefer above alternatives that offer lower prices.
Ecommerce gamification also strengthens customer loyalty because it creates a friendly space where customers can build an emotional connection with your brand.
Offers More Value To Customers
One of the most important marketing activities that gamification supports is adding more value to customers through tailored rewards, exclusive offers and content, loyalty-based prizes, and a sense of belonging.
Ecommerce companies have successfully used gamification to make a “personal connection” with their customers and give them more than they bargained for.
Rewarding customers for purchasing products or services creates a positive shopping experience that keeps them coming back.
Solicits Feedback From Customers
Using gamified elements on a website to solicit feedback on products and services makes it easier for customers to give critical information that will help to improve its ecommerce business processes.
This is part of the zero-party data that we mentioned earlier. It also includes other information, such as product or service reviews and comments on customer service.
There are more benefits to adding gamification to your ecommerce store, and we have looked at some of the top reasons why companies use gamified content. From educating customers and breaking down purchasing barriers to driving more traffic and getting customer feedback, these benefits show that gamification improves the customer journey and boosts sales.
Gamification for your online shop is more than a good idea. It is essential for keeping customers’ attention in the digital age. Let us look into a few specific examples of ecommerce gamification and how you can leverage these.
Ecommerce Gamification Examples
Many types of game-like elements can be incorporated into an ecommerce site to reap the benefits we discussed earlier.
Some Of The Best Examples Of Ecommerce Gamification Are:
- Custom Product Recommendations
- Product Quizzes
- Mobile Games
- Discount Codes
- Customer Loyalty Programs
- Social Media Promotions
- 5-Star Ratings
- Gift Cards
Online shops have used these gamification strategies to enhance customer experience and collect valuable data. Discover how and why they work below.
1. Custom Product Recommendations
Customers want to find the products they are looking for as quickly as possible. They also expect friendly and supportive assistance throughout their shopping experience.
Besides paying attention to the websites’ search and sorting functions, one of the basic ways to gamify an online shop is to add product recommendations based on the current selection.
Customized product recommendations give customers more choices (opportunities for autonomy) and fuel their motivation to achieve their goals.
For example, a customer’s goal may be to refurbish their bedroom. They use an online shop’s search and sorting functions to find the perfect new bed for their room. Once placed in their online shopping cart, the ecommerce store may recommend purchasing the matching bedside tables and lamps to complete the set.
Product recommendations make it more convenient for customers because they save time they would have spent looking for related products. It can also feel rewarding to the customer when they have found something that enhances their purchase.
2. Product Quizzes
One of the easiest ways to gamify an ecommerce site is to feature fun quizzes for customers to participate in. These quizzes can include various questions, from information about the company that educates the customer to the customers’ PII.
What makes quizzes so rewarding is that they provide an immediate response afterward to give the customer a score, assessment, or prize.
For example, you can create a customized Personality Test for customers and use the data to find out more about your ideal customer profile (ICP).
Providing an entertaining pop-up or iframe-embedded game increases visitors’ time on the page, enables them to interact with the brand, and creates an exciting, surprising, and memorable experience.
Mini-games, such as Droppers (coming soon) and Swipe, can be used to distribute spot prizes and exclusive discounts, encouraging visitors to start browsing for items in the online shop immediately.
Furniture retailer Conforama used a Swipe mini-game to educate customers in an engaging way about the unbeatable deals they had on offer. This significantly grew their audience, with 75% of players signing up for their newsletter.
A Few Benefits Of Mini-Games:
- Visitors spend more time on the website
- Easy to create, implement, and track with a no-code tool like Brame
- No extra developer time needed
- Low maintenance
4. Mobile Games
For more comprehensive, long-term gamification campaigns, many brands opt for a dedicated mobile app that users can download.
Mobile games differ from mini-games because they require that the customer downloads an Android or iOS app from their mobile app store. The major difference in usability and experience is that mini-games encourage online shop visitors to spend more time on the website, whereas a mobile app is not browser-based.
A Few Benefits Of Mobile Apps And Games:
- Customers have immediate and easy access
- You can send app notifications to the customer’s phone
- Can replace paper-based or plastic loyalty card systems
- They are unaffected by your ecommerce website’s uptime
5. Discount Codes
Providing customers with coupon codes and other discounts gamifies the buying experience by offering a reward for making a purchase or taking a valuable action.
For example, an online store can add a pop-up that only appears when a site visitor scrolls up (showing intent to leave the page). This pop-up may have an eye-catching CTA that prompts the visitor to sign up for an account before they leave the page to receive a 25% discount off their first purchase.
The visitor might weigh up the effort of setting up an account with the reward of a substantial discount, signing up immediately to receive the coupon code even if they did not intend on buying anything at that time.
Another way to distribute discount codes is to use a game mechanism such as Spin The Wheel. It entices site visitors to linger and interact with the brand for the chance to win a prize. It can also be used to collect valuable zero-party data.
Using either of these strategies, an ecommerce shop can gain MQLs and nurture them toward making their first purchase using a coupon code. Adding an expiry date to the coupon will further motivate customers to reach the milestone or risk losing their reward.
6. Customer Loyalty Programs
As observed in our SPAR Friends customer story, this major grocery retailer utilized a double layer of gamification to promote customer engagement and increase sales.
First, SPAR implemented a customer loyalty program that enabled customers to access discounts and promotions. Offering a rewarding membership program incentivizes existing customers to return to the store as they are part of an “insider group” that receives special discounts and features.
These discounts were served via the SPAR Friends app.
Second, the store used Brame’s Memory Game template to educate their customers on the benefits of signing up for the loyalty program. This way, SPAR’s customers became more open to joining the loyalty program and interacting with the app.
Similarly, adding a customer loyalty program can help ecommerce shops reach their bottom line by encouraging repeat purchases.
7. Social Media Promotions
Ecommerce stores often rely on other channels, such as social media, to promote goods and services and gain more customers. Social media can also be used as a tool to run gamified campaigns and drive traffic to your website or physical store.
For example, you can create interactive social posts to encourage your company’s social media followers to take valuable actions to win a prize. This is what McDonald’s did with a Scratch Card game promoted on its social media accounts. Each customer could win instant prizes if they uncovered three items in a row.
If the goal of the gamification campaign is to gain more followers, then the interactions would stay on the social media platform.
But if the campaign aims to gain more MQLs for the ecommerce store, then social media can be harnessed to drive traffic to the website. These visitors can be encouraged to sign up for an account, subscribe to a newsletter, or make a purchase to win the prize.
8. 5-Star Ratings
The best way to find out how customers experience your products and services is to simply ask them.
Customer feedback has been gamified to a one-click response: To give a rating between 1 and 5, the customer chooses a star icon that best represents their experience.
A 1–5 rating is a Likert-type scale that enables a quick response depending on how much the user agrees with a statement. This is visualized with eye-catching star icons, which remind us of achievement and reward.
9. Gift Cards
Most ecommerce businesses offer gift cards as a way for customers to purchase credit for a friend, colleague, or loved one.
A gift card gamification strategy works twofold: Loyal customers are given the opportunity to share their shopping experience with their friends, colleagues, and family, building a sense of belonging. The gift card receivers are incentivized to shop at that particular ecommerce store for the amount stipulated on the card.
The limitations of where to shop and what may be bought (price-dependent) present an exciting challenge to the gift card receiver, who may also be trying the product or service for the first time. As it costs them nothing but their time, gift card receivers are highly motivated to become new customers.
The nine examples of ecommerce gamification that have been considered above show how online stores can effectively encourage and reward customers’ valuable actions.
Choosing The Right Gamification Strategy For Your Online Store
The gamification space is slowly gaining prominence as more business leaders realize that these low-risk tactics can be implemented immediately with positive results.
Ecommerce gamification holds many benefits for consumers and sellers. The practical examples of how gamification is used in online stores provide a starting point for choosing an appropriate strategy for your business.
But deciding how to start the gamification process on an ecommerce site can be difficult, so we will share a few final tips on choosing the right strategy.
How To Plan And Implement An Ecommerce Gamification Strategy:
- List your campaign objectives and the key results (OKRs) you would like to measure.
- Find a gamification tool that offers all the customization features you need and is easy to use.
- Create a gamified element to add to your website or run on a separate page that you can point to.
- Test your gamified element and ensure it works on all devices.
- Implement your game with customers and monitor their responses closely. Connecting the game’s form to a CRM is recommended.
- Adjust your gamified elements based on customer feedback. Using A/B testing is recommended.
- Measure the success of your campaign – did it achieve what you set it out to do in the OKRs in Step 1? Use analytics, such as the number of clicks and conversions to find insights about your customers’ conversion paths.
- Plan your next campaign.
Brame’s no-code platform is perfect for creating customized games to create awareness, reward customers, and garner potential customer information. Take a look at the embeddable games we offer and our features.