Gamification in E-Commerce: Trends, Ideas, Examples
Gamification in e-commerce has become a game changer (pun intended) in the relationship between the brand and the target audience. A study among online customers revealed the following algorithm: gamification affects customer satisfaction, satisfaction generates brand love, and brand love evokes the desired customer behaviors. This article will help you start this chain for your business. We will tell you about the benefits of gamification, provide you with a to-do list for using it, and show inspiring examples of gamification for websites.
What is Gamification in E-commerce
E-commerce gamification is the introduction of gaming concepts and elements into the strategy for interacting with customers and prospects. Its goal is to turn an ordinary and repetitive activity (online shopping in this context) into a journey with challenges, interactives, and rewards. A simply good customer experience has long become a must-have in all online stores, and gamification in e-commerce is designed to make it exciting and memorable, distinguishing the brand from similar ones and evoking love for it, as proven in the abovementioned study.
Benefits of E-commerce Gamification
Interactivity, excitement, and pleasant rewards are just a short list of what makes gamification attractive to shoppers. However, the desire to entertain the audience is far from the primary motive for online retailers to use gamification in their digital strategies.
The study showed that properly implemented gamification on websites and other digital platforms increases customer interest in products and services and draws them closer to your brand. The main reason is that customers subconsciously associate the enjoyment of a gamified experience with your company. And if you are related to their positive emotions, this creates excellent ground for long-term relationships.
An extensive analysis of empirical literature has shown that gamification in e-commerce increases consumer engagement through the reward mechanism. If a customer has a choice of simply buying in an online store or buying and receiving a specific incentive for this (gift, points, etc.), they are more likely to choose the second option. Thus, gamifying their experience can motivate them to choose your brand over competitors.
According to a ReflectDigital survey, 84% of respondents are interested in buying from a brand that offers them a gamified experience, and 61% are willing to become regular customers of such brands. Thus, gamification allows you not just to hit a one-time jackpot but to stimulate repeat sales.
Given all the above points, we can say that gamification e-commerce contributes to customer retention. In particular, gamified elements have been proven to motivate customers to return to a website and use the brand more often than usual. Meanwhile, retaining a client will cost you 5 times less than attracting a new one, and the chances of selling something to existing customers are several times higher than to prospects.
How To Use Gamification in E-commerce
The introduction of gamification is a strategy that requires careful preparation, consistency, and a comprehensive approach. Otherwise, all the declared benefits of gamification may pass you by. Our short to-do list will show you where to start.
Explore Your Audience
Gamification in e-commerce works great only if it resonates with the target audience. The leading proponents of gamification are representatives of Gen Z and late Millennials (born in the 1990s). They grew up with high-speed technology and are more digitally savvy than anyone else. According to some studies, games are essential to Gen Z's identity. Therefore, if the age of your target audience falls between 18 and 34 years old, your gamification has every chance of success.
It is also essential to consider that the ease of use of games decreases with age—accordingly, the older your audience, the more straightforward the gamification format and detailed explanations you should provide.
Determine the Type of Gamification
In fact, this point follows from the previous one. Different types of games attract different players. Therefore, your target audience's interests, values, and motivations matter. According to research and Bartle's taxonomy, players are divided into four types:
- Achievers. The primary motivator of achievers is recognition. About 40% consider themselves to be this type. If your customers are also among them, gamification should include loyalty programs with different levels, virtual prizes, premium packages, or exclusive status-oriented features.
- Explorers. As the name suggests, these guys love to explore the unknown and discover something new. 50% of players are considered explorers. Gamification in e-commerce can attract them through unlocking new product features, searching for tips, or trying out products in action.
- Killers. It is vital for killers not just to win but to see others lose. Their primary motivator is competition. They only make up 20% of the audience, but if your gamification is aimed at them, use leaderboards, progress tracking, or contests.
- Socializers. It is the most popular type, which includes 80% of people. They also love recognition, but when it comes from other players. To engage them, gamification in e-commerce must offer social interaction. For example, you can develop a community within your loyalty program, suggest sharing content or achievements, promote hashtags on social networks, etc.
These types can coincide or overlap; therefore, your game can satisfy different motives. For example, your audience can explore your brand and receive rewards or points for using new products or services.
Set Clear Goals
You don't need to add gamification to your website just to be trendy and follow in the footsteps of other online retailers. Instead, analyze why your business really needs it: what problems it solves, what opportunities it provides, and so on.
Besides, clearly defining the goal allows you to understand which gamification will work best. For example, the point system works great to stimulate repeat purchases, quizzes enable you to get to know customers better and develop personalized offers, and hashtags and contests help increase brand awareness.
Finally, only with a goal can you determine key success indicators and understand whether gamification delivers the desired results.
Outline Your Game
Gamification in e-commerce should include four key aspects:
- Trigger. It is what essentially motivates your target audience to play your game. Therefore, you can focus on the main motives of the players described above.
- Investment. Any engaging game requires players to invest time and effort. Your task is to maintain the optimal level of difficulty. If it requires almost no investment, your customers will quickly lose interest. If, on the contrary, it includes too many challenges, they may doubt their abilities and give up.
- Actions. Think through the customer's journey in your game and decide what steps they should take to succeed. Recent statistics show that 50% of customers abandon brand loyalty programs because earning rewards takes too long, and 27% complain that it is too challenging. Therefore, make sure that customers understand the rules of your game and can follow them seamlessly.
- Reward. Contrary to the popular stereotype, rewards are not limited to points, discounts, etc. This is what a customer gets in return for playing your game, for example, a customized product in exchange for completing a detailed questionnaire about their preferences. The main rule is that this reward must be consistent with your brand's values and the audience's interests and justify the time and effort customers put into the game.
Promote Your Game
It is an essential step for two reasons. First, if you just add gamification to your website and no one knows about it, all your efforts may be in vain. Second, the audience will not rush to play overnight - you need to talk about the benefits, explain the game's rules, and instill the habit of interacting with your brand.
You can promote your innovation through available communication channels. For example, you can tell your existing customers about it through an email campaign or stir up prospects' interest through social networks. The optimal solution is to lure people into the game directly on your website. It is possible with Claspo's catchy pop-ups. You can place them on your homepage and show them to all visitors. These pop-ups can redirect the audience to the desired pages or invite them to sign up (if your gamification is a multi-level loyalty program or real-time competitions, for example).
8 Best E-commerce Gamification Examples
The benefits of gamification have long been known, and therefore, this technique is widely used by both market leaders and small businesses. The gamification e-commerce examples below differ in concept, goals, and cost, but they all make the customer’s experience memorable.
When you enter the Lego website, you are greeted with a content-blocking pop-up that prompts you to either proceed to regular shopping or play around a bit. If you choose the latter, you find yourself in a universe that is not inferior to Marvel in terms of excitement and diversity of characters. All visitors can find free games with different themes, storylines, and characters. All game characters are presented as Lego minifigures, allowing prospects to see and try them before purchasing.
Such gamification requires a lot of effort, and therefore, Lego diligently promotes its playground on different pages using built-in widgets. And not in vain. 36% of customers prefer gamification, which allows them to try products or see them in action. So, after another exciting online game with Lego minifigures, purchase intentions may skyrocket.
The Woot online store offers shoppers a new product daily at a good discount. The quantity of goods is always limited, and the discount is valid only until midnight (or while supplies last). What's the game here?
- Site visitors never know what product will be presented at a discount next time;
- They have limited time to make a purchase;
- They understand that other shoppers can get ahead of them, and the product will sell out.
This game appeals to the fear of missing out (FOMO), which is proven to be the driver of impulse buying. Customers understand that with every minute of reflection, their chances of purchasing a product at a favorable price decrease; therefore, they must either act now or regret the missed opportunity later. When a customer misses several such opportunities, their excitement and interest grow. As a result, they regularly come to the Woot website at the start of the next sale with the clear intention of getting a good deal this time.
Similar gamification for websites can be easily implemented with Claspo. You can create a pop-up with your limited-time offer and post it on your homepage. To boost customers' FOMO, choose one of our ready-made templates with a countdown timer or easily drag and drop the timer into your pop-up layout in our editor.
eBay auctions are among the successful gamification e-commerce examples with competitive and social aspects. Each auction lasts from 1 to 10 days, and during this time, shoppers place bids on the desired product, trying to outbid each other.
Each customer places a bid, that is, indicates the maximum amount they are willing to pay for this product. When someone else bids more, eBay notifies them via email and offers to raise the bid. For convenience and time-saving for gambling shoppers, eBay offers automatic bidding, which increases the bid instead of the customer until the amount reaches the specified limit. However, many avid shoppers still want to manage the process themselves.
What's the result? Constantly checking inbox for emails from eBay, the desire to beat other buyers, and tracking auction results - maximum engagement!
Earning points is one of the most effective gamification e-commerce examples. First, it is the preferred way to "play" with the company for 48% of shoppers. Second, rewards are the best incentive for 37.5% of customers to use a loyalty program.
Starbucks uses points to attract customers to its loyalty program and promote its branded app. Every time customers pay with a digital card in the mobile app, they get stars (i.e., points) that they can redeem for a free drink or meal on their next visit. The more stars, the more attractive goodies they can get. Needless to say, such a reward system motivates customers to choose Starbucks repeatedly and brings the company about half of its total revenue.
If you decide to repeat the success of Starbucks, you need to promote your loyalty program among your audience. The easiest way is to add a catchy Claspo pop-up to your website. This pop-up could invite them to sign up for your loyalty program, redirect them to a details page, or encourage them to download your app (similar to Starbucks). Claspo already has a successful case of increasing product downloads by 48% and will do the same for you.
Temu marketplace offers a unique loyalty program called TEMU Allowance, which rewards customers not only for purchases but for other actions on the platform. For each action, they receive an allowance which they can use to reduce prices on future purchases.
TEMU Allowance belongs to those gamification e-commerce examples that reward even for trifles, but this simple path to rewards involves even more. For example, the initial registration or download of the application is valued at a $3 allowance, daily login to your account brings a $0.3 allowance (or $10 per month), filling out an account is $1, the first purchase allows you to earn $5, and each subsequent purchase earns 1% of the total amount.
Thus, Temu provides a gamified experience, encourages interaction with the platform daily, and, of course, does a great job of retaining customers.
Online sleep products store Casper gamifies the customer experience with the help of a quiz. It contains six simple questions, the purpose of which is to identify shoppers' preferences and choose the mattresses that suit them best.
It is one of the gamification e-commerce examples aimed at increasing brand awareness because customers learn more about the company’s products at the end of the quiz. Given that the displayed options correspond to their needs, the likelihood of a purchase increases significantly. Besides, according to the survey, quizzes and questionnaires are the favorite way of gamification for a quarter of shoppers - minimal effort and maximum benefit. A good solution by Casper is to add a progress bar to their quiz. It keeps customers motivated and clearly shows how many steps are left until the reward (the list of the best products in this case).
With Claspo, you can place your short quiz directly on the pop-up or use the pop-up to promote your quiz and redirect site visitors to the appropriate page. You can also collect email addresses to send quiz results to users' inboxes. This way, you will expand your mailing list and be able to send personalized offers to customers. Meanwhile, 83% are willing to share their data for a personalized experience.
HSN is a large shop-at-home television network and a pioneer in e-commerce. They directly broadcast a YouTube live stream on their website to bring interactive broadcast shopping to life. During this stream, they review products, discuss exclusive offers, etc. HSN gamifies the shopper experience by allowing them to check a program guide, pause and play videos, see recently streamed products, and quickly purchase them.
Yes, this format may seem outdated to some but do not underestimate the power of video in general. A recent survey of marketers found that video increases time on site, traffic, sales, and return on their investment. So, you can focus on HSN as one of the gamification e-commerce examples and modernize their idea on your website.
Claspo allows you to add a YouTube video to your pop-up and redirect customers to the product pages or categories described in this video. These could be your bestsellers or items on sale.
M&M's invites those with a sweet tooth to completely customize their products. The shopper can choose color, font, clipart, and even upload images for the candy design and complete the customization process by selecting thematic packaging. With the help of a progress bar, customers can track what level of the game (that is, customization) they are at right now, but the process is so exciting that no one strives to complete it as quickly as possible.
Yes, this kind of gamification for websites is expensive, but your expenses can pay off in full in the future. 36% of customers want customized products. At the same time, they are willing to wait longer for them and pay, on average, 20% more. As a bonus, 35% of shoppers consider product customization the best type of gamification. Thus, increased sales, unprecedented customer engagement, and a jump in the average session duration on your website are guaranteed.
Future of Gamification Trend for E-commerce
The gamification market is predicted to grow to $96.3 billion in the forecast period from 2023 to 2030. Meanwhile, the highest CAGR of gamification is expected in retail and e-commerce due to its effectiveness in increasing sales, engagement, and brand loyalty.
One of the leading market trends will be the adoption of AR and VR for gamification on websites and creating immersive shopping experiences. And this is not surprising. The use of these technologies has already made a difference in e-commerce:
- Shopify reports that online stores using 3D content see an average 94% increase in conversions
- 7 out of 10 main drivers of purchasing intent are AR features such as visualization and try-on.
- 61% of customers prefer to buy from retailers that provide AR experiences.
Gamification for Websites with Claspo
Claspo aims to shorten and simplify your path to conversions and sales. With this in mind, we are actively working on a gamified "Win Your Gift" pop-up.
Its operating principle is based on a shell game. Site visitors are offered three virtual identical gift boxes. Their task is to spin and select the one that, in their opinion, hides their gift. The lucky ones receive a prize you "put" in the box in advance, and those less fortunate can try next time.
We are confident that such a pop-up will be a real boon for your business. It relates to interactive content. According to marketers, such content shows 2 times the best level of engagement, and 73% associate it with repeated visits to the site and multiple impressions. Besides, Gamified pop-ups can convert 4 times better than static ones. Finally, embedding this pop-up also comes down to a simple copy-paste of the script. It means that soon, you will be able to add gamification to your website in just a few minutes!
Sounds great, doesn't it? Be among the first to try this conversion-boosting solution from Claspo. Share your details and receive notification of the "Win Your Gift" pop-up release directly to your inbox.