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Abdul Jabbar Shehnaz
Abdul Jabbar Shehnaz November 10, 2021

“Games are the only force in the known universe that can get people to take actions against their self-interest, predictably, without applying force.” ― Gabe Zichermann

Most people, regardless of their age, love games. Primarily, Millennials and Gen Z are hooked to gamified content that is easily consumable, visually appealing, and highly addictive. Gaming taps into our competitive human nature and winning something makes people feel good, increases their engagement, and makes any occasion more memorable. 

Gamification captures the essence of what makes games so alluring and integrates it into non-gaming contexts to stimulate positive customer behavior. 

Download for Free: A Comprehensive Guide to Gamification

Gamification in Ecommerce

Gamification in the context of eCommerce aims at making the shopping experience more entertaining by adding game-like features to your eCommerce app/website to bring about increased engagement from existing customers and attract new customers to your brand using different motivators, both hidden and visible.

For example; You can create competitions amongst customers, give them opportunities to earn badges and rewards every time they purchase to increase their purchase frequency, or simply introduce a bit of fun at different touchpoints. 

Also Read: How To Boost Your Ecommerce Sales Using Gamification

Though eCommerce gamification is not a new thing anymore, it is hard to find businesses that are using it successfully. In this article, we will cover a few ways to gamify your eCommerce store which will greatly enhance your customer experience and help you earn customers’ loyalty. 

 Components of Gamification :

  • Challenge. At this point, a user gets motivated and decides to take part in your game. In return, you can promise to reward them with coupon codes or prizes. When working on this part, try to step in your users’ shoes and answer the question: “Why would I want to participate in the game?”.
  • Mastery. Users should be given a set of rules and the knowledge needed to accomplish a specific task. This doesn’t mean you should write a 1000-word description of your game, make it as simple as possible. As humans, our brain wants to be challenged. With progress in users’ level, the difficulty of the game should increase too. Make them feel as though they are mastering a skill as they proceed through the game. 
  • Reward. This is the sweetest moment when a user earns a reward of some sort, coupons, or prizes for completing the desired activity.

Remember that your main goal here is not to create a super popular game like Candy Crush or Angry Birds but to increase engagement and build loyalty.

Gamification ideas for your eCommerce store : 

#1. Gamifying product recommendations 

In eCommerce, customers are often overwhelmed by the number of options available to them. You can make product searching fun and easy for your customers by introducing games to the process. 

Quizzes

For example, Sephora, World’s No.1 cosmetics retailer makes use of quizzes to guide shoppers to the products best suited to their needs.

Quizzes-Sephora
Quizzes on Sephora

By adding quizzes to your website, you can offer personalized product recommendations to customers. This can help you target your audience and narrow your focus for increased conversions.

Also Read: How Personalized product recommendations impact your eCommerce sales

You can also create quizzes to increase product awareness. Fun trivia quizzes based on the products and brands on your website can be further linked to product purchase pages or a rewards system. 

Surveys

You can also make use of surveys like ‘Find out your type’ surveys which can help with product selection and promotion, as well as gathering vital customer data. Not strictly a gamification technique but useful nonetheless. 

Using quizzes, fun trivia and surveys will help improve the overall shopping experience on your app/website, increase user engagement and make users associate your brand with fun and enjoyment thus helping you establish a stronger brand image. 

Treasure Hunt – Drive traffic and product discoverability

Your eCommerce website might have multiple pages that have either low or are devoid of any traffic. The reasons could be many. Maybe those pages are difficult to discover and may not be well linked with other pages. Whatever be the reason, you might end up losing out on revenues. If this is the case, you can use a treasure hunt game on your eCommerce website to direct customers to visit such pages.

The idea is to limit the users to a few sections of your site. You can even use it to deflect customers to the product pages of items that sell the least. In the intention to grab some cool prizes, these customers might end up purchasing a product on one of those pages. Not only that, but if they get impressed with the content in those pages, they might revisit the pages thus driving more traffic and engagement to your store.

#2. Increase Repeat Purchases by Gamifying your Loyalty program

Who doesn’t want repeat purchases on their eCommerce stores? But it can be tough to entice customers to keep coming back. 

Points System

This can be made easy by using a points system that rewards customers for every order placed. A higher build-up of points leads to better offers and discounts for the customer.

When your customers earn points for nothing other than spending money, It gives them an increased sense of value. This triggers repeat purchases. 

For example, Myntra, India’s leading destination for fashion and lifestyle offers a point-based reward system through its loyalty program, Myntra insider provides a comprehensive package of tiered benefits and privileges for its loyal customers. This has led to an increase in the traffic and engagement on its website and mobile app.

Myntra Insider- Loyalty program
Myntra Insider – Loyalty program

#3. Attract New Customers – Make referral programs fun

Referral programs are a fantastic way to make sure that your customers are also your passionate brand advocates. If done right, these programs create an urge in your users to spread the word to get some rewards. 

By offering a referral program that feels like a game, customers are more likely to stay interested in promoting your product and earning rewards. The more fun a customer is having with your program, the more the customer will share it with others. This means you will also benefit from increased word of mouth.

Spin the Wheel 

Spin the wheel games
Spin the wheel

Spin-the-wheel games are one of the most popular gaming elements and many online businesses are jumping on this bandwagon of setting up spinning games and rewarding discounts, free shipping, prizes, and more. 

It is an effective way to attract new customers and lure them with freebies in exchange for their email addresses. This is one of the easiest ways to trigger the first purchase and a fine example of gamification in eCommerce that is very engaging and rewarding. 

You can further customize your spinning wheel gamification by picking seasonal themes like Diwali, Christmas, and Halloween or by introducing a once-in-a-month spin (with greater rewards).

Customers can brag to their friends on social media about the rewards they got and entice their friends to join the fun by trying out the game on your platform. 

Tip: Have the wheel of fortune game either on the home page or on any other most frequented landing page which will increase the likelihood of engagement. 

Spin the wheel is relatively easy to implement and takes the least effort and time from a consumer’s perspective. All they have to do is spin the wheel and get assured benefits.

Progress Bars – Milestone rewards

These days many eCommerce stores apply progress bars as a game element on their platforms. Although it may be a minor form of gamification, it still has the potential to increase conversions.

Visuals are a critical part of what makes games fun and engaging. You can turn your referrals into achievable goals by adding a progress bar that will motivate and drive users to achieve the predefined goals. Here, the key component of any milestone rewards is the visual indicator (i.e the progress bars) that helps to engage your loyal customers to repeat a specific behavior (ex. make 5 referrals). 

You can club progress bars with tiered referral programs, where you can award customers with new “sharing ranks” or “sharing levels” each time they make a certain amount of referrals.

Customers are more likely to repeat actions or behavior when they know they are close to achieving a reward goal – especially when it means becoming part of an elite group of customers.

This is what Morning Brew did to motivate their users and drum up more referrals. 

Referral progress bars - Morning Brew
Referral progress bars – Morning Brew

“I never ask them, “Do you have badges?” I ask, “Do you make your users feel accomplished?” ― Yu-kai Chou

Badges and Achievements

Remember how in some of our favorite digital games, upon completing a quest we earn an interesting badge along with a creative name? 

Why not take a cue from the world of digital games to spice up your referral program?

You can use badges in a variety of ways within your referral program. For example, you could reward tiered badges to encourage customers to reach the next referral milestone or combine it with other elements of gamification, such as progress bars or points to keep customers engaged as they work towards completing a larger goal.

Badges are visually appealing and motivating. By separating your best customers from your average ones, you can allow users to reach an exclusive status with your brand and instill a sense of accomplishment in anyone who achieves it.

Leaderboards

If you take any video game, you will see that leaderboards are an important part of all games. Leaderboards in your referral program are an effective way to encourage friendly competition to increase referrals over time. 

To your customers, the visual aspect of where they stand on a referral leaderboard can motivate them to send more referrals to win first place.

This plays to a customer’s desire for achieving a high social status amongst both friends and fellow customers. And since the high performers won’t want to lose their positions, this triggers a continuous engagement. 

Tesla Motors is one such company that uses leaderboards to showcase its top referring customers. 

Tesla Motors referral program
Tesla Referral program

Even though they recently ended the referral program for vehicles, at the peak of the program, Tesla gave away free new Roadsters to owners who accumulated enough referrals.

Also Read: How Loyalty program can improve CLTV in eCommerce

So what are you waiting for?

Adding gamification elements to your eCommerce strategy can be a unique way to boost engagement and increase your customer’s lifetime value.

So take a step ahead, power your eCommerce store with gamification and deliver the kind of shopping experience that exceeds your customer’s expectations. 

Not only will it help you to stand out from competitors, but will also allow you to stay ahead in the competitive eCommerce landscape.

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