Gamifying the customer experience

Retailers must innovate to survive

The customer experience is crucial to customer loyalty – so getting it right is paramount. But expectations have risen. It isn’t as simple as it once was.

Customers now want more than ever. They want value, fast but high-quality customer service, personalised offers and communications, and a meaningful experience. While this might seem like a lot, there’s a way to help you achieve all of this – and much more. Gamification, both online and offline, can lead you to the holy grail of customer experience.

What is gamification?

In simple terms, as Shopify explains, gamification applies typical game elements – such as points, rules and competitions – to non-game contexts. It draws on human desires for socialisation, learning, competition and achievement. For example, rewards can include points, discounts or promotions.

In retail, gamification helps brands to engage with customers, whether in-store or online. And technology is providing brands with new ways of adding gamification to the customer experience. From smartphones, virtual reality and augmented reality, to in-store displays, there’s a whole host of ways for retailers to implement gamification elements.

Simpler gamification examples include adding quizzes on your site to help visitors find the perfect product or introducing a points-based system to your app. Or you can think outside the box for more innovative methods, like Nike.

Nike recently used VR in a bid to get customers to try out their Epic React shoes on a treadmill. Taking place in key locations across China, customers could create an avatar and participate in a virtual game set in Reactland. Players had to jump and navigate through the world while running on the treadmill. They could then share clips of their experience on social media.

Get gamification right

There’s no denying that the stakes are high. Customer experience has never been so important – and gamification can provide brands with the answers.

If you don’t believe us, just look at the numbers. Gallup found that brands successfully engaging with customers through gamification see 63% lower customer attrition. Meanwhile, Giga Information claims that gamification boosts online customer activity by an average of 68% and social sharing by 22%. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the majority (87%) of retailers told PostFunnel that they plan to implement gamification in the next five years.

So, what can retailers do to boost the success of their gamification efforts?

Know your audience

Understanding what motivates your audience will not only help you determine where to add gamification, but it will also help you understand what game elements will most engage them. Are they more interested in collecting points? Do they want a way to engage with other players? Or do they want the option to win prizes?

Look at your competitors

As PostFunnel notes, conducting research can help you avoid any gamification mistakes. See how your competitors have leveraged gamification to improve the customer experience and learn from them. Have they boosted customer retention levels? Are more people talking about them on social media?

Keep it simple

The last thing you want to do is to make it complicated. Tasks should be easy to understand, with the rewards being tangible and personal. On the other hand, you also don’t want to make it too easy, as your customers will switch off.

Technology is providing brands with more innovative ways of engaging with customers across every step of their customer journey. At Linney, we’re experts in perfecting the customer experience and have delivered gamification solutions and in-store engagement for some of the high street’s leading brands. Take a look at the table-top gaming we delivered for McDonald’s.

If you’d like to discuss new methods for improving the customer experience, speak to Linney today.