What is Gamification?

Gamification is an increasingly used term in marketing to describe the use of gaming elements in a typical process to make it more engaging. According to the Gamification Market – Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 – 2026) report the global gamification market was valued at USD 10.19 million in 2020 and expected to reach USD 38.42 million by 2026 Gamification is implemented as an online marketing strategy to increase both brand retention and engagement. But why does it work and why should you use it?  

Why is Gamification important?

According to Forbes, acquiring a new customer can cost 5 times more than maintaining an existing one  This highlights the importance of customer loyalty. But how can Gamification increase Customer Loyalty? 

Gamification creates a sense of excitement and joy! It ties into the idea of Experiential Marketing which describes that a positively charged emotional experience with the brand fosters an emotional connection with the brand, leading to 306% higher lifetime value. There is also further evidence that Gamification leads to 47% in engagement, 22% in brand loyalty, 15% in brand awareness, 55% higher share of wallet and 63% lower customer attrition.

With all this piling evidence, the importance of implementing Gamification as a loyalty strategy becomes a no-brainer!

How to implement Gamification

Unsure where to start? We’ve put together an easy step-by-step guide to help.

Step 1: What customer behaviours are you trying to achieve?

Start by making a list of all your objectives. Are you looking to increase the amount customers spend with you each time they buy? Perhaps increase the number of shopping trips within a certain period? Or increase customer referrals? Maybe you are looking to promote a specific product or service or ensure that the customers don’t churn.

Use these objectives to form quantifiable actions that will trigger a reward. 

For example, triggers could be 5 completed shopping trips in 5 weeks, 3 referrals completed, or a total of £300 spent.

Step 2: What does the game look like?

You have decided on what actions will trigger a reward. Now, it’s time to decide on the mechanism. The possibilities are endless. For example, you can award points when a customer completes a shopping trip or a referral. These points might be used as a cashback or accumulate and be redeemed against a larger prize. 

Another way to go is to create milestones which, when achieved, the next level of the game unlocks and with it a higher tier of your loyalty programme. This could include exclusive rewards, rewards of higher monetary value or a more personalised suite of perks.

A key aspect of Gamification is for players to be able to see each other’s progress. A little healthy competition leads to higher motivation to participate, which will ultimately benefit your business. Don’t forget to also give some form of acknowledgement beyond rewards for customers climbing through the ranks. You want your most loyal client to feel special! You could express this with a badge next to their name as a token of appreciation. 

Finally, to ensure that you keep your customers at the edge of their seats, don’t forget to incorporate surprise and delight elements. Simply give a freebie to your customer unexpectedly and watch them stick around for more.

Step 3: What rewards work?

As a business, it is always the wisest approach to follow a customer-centric strategy. What do your customers want? Undoubtedly, the product or service you provide covers some of their needs. Still, there are so many more, personal or business-related needs waiting to be satisfied. As a successful business, you wish to create as many touchpoints with your customers as possible. You want them to think of you and associate you with their experiences as much as possible. And while your core offering might not be built for that, your rewards programme can be.

Understanding the customer is crucial to create a suite of rewards specifically for them. For example, if you are a Gym, you can use rewards related to health & fitness. If your focus is B2B, you can incorporate a suite of business rewards.

But it doesn’t stop here. You can genuinely have a place in every single purchase your customer makes. How? Just offer categories of rewards everyone buys from, such as grocery shopping, utilities and holidays. 

That way, you strengthen your customer’s emotional bond and encourage them to engage with you and remain loyal. 

Step 4: Your rewards programme is ready!

You have examined your objectives to create meaningful triggers, then decided how these triggers are activated and finally choose the types of rewards. You now have a complete gamified loyalty programme guaranteed to help you achieve your objectives while maintaining your customer-centric focus throughout.

Last piece of advice…

We’ve left the best part for last. If you follow these steps, your revenue is very likely to offset a loyalty programme’s costs! Meaning it will basically pay for itself!

Interested to see how we can help you with this? 

Contact us to find out more!