Playing games is a good way to relax and have fun. Origin and etymology of the word “game” goes back to the meaning “amusement”. People play games to entertain themselves or for educational purposes as games cause positive emotions and keep you highly involved in a certain activity.
Nevertheless, the use of game principles and elements is not limited to video games or activities at the local playground. It is possible to use game mechanics in non-game contexts to motivate participation, engagement and loyalty. Doing so you practise gamification. No doubt e-commerce is a perfect context for this process.
Let’s review basic principles of gamification mechanics in e-commerce.
At the core of gamification there are three main components: challenge, guide and reward. Going through all these stages and reaching certain goals the user participates in the process. As a result, successful gamification means building trust and loyalty among customers, motivating them to visit your store again.
So what are the best gamification techniques to use?
Provide rewards for users who complete certain tasks. Customers may earn points, discounts, gift cards, levels, etc.
It is right to thank your customers with bright and shiny “thank you” letters. However, in some cases it may not be enough to encourage them to make more purchases on your website. Certain amount of motivation is required. Use prizes, gifts, bonuses, special offers that can be obtained through earned points. The prize should not be a big deal: even smaller gifts will do as the aim is to motivate customers, to start a competition.
How can customers earn points? There are plenty of ways:
– to be a top reviewer
– to have a complete profile
– to answer questions of other people on social media
– to complete special actions on the websites, etc.
Social media and gamification. Fans and likes
This approach is similar to reward programs. The main idea is in spreading information about your store in social networks (retweeting, sharing items, pages) to earn points or reputation. Another approach is to introduce small games on your website and let players share their high score to their friends and followers.
Encourage customers to complete tasks and make required steps on the website. In return, give them badges, cards or magnets. People do like to get souvenirs, even small ones.
Gamification is a great approach to increase sales and keep you customers motivated. Make use of it change your current business process in a way customers like.