We’ve said it many times before and we’ll say it again here; ecommerce is competitive. If you want to succeed you need to be able to offer you customers something more than just product.
In a previous post we discussed how great customer can help set your online store apart and today we’re going to share another tool you can use to improve your customers’ shopping experience. Gamification refers to the use of ‘game thinking’ and ‘game mechanics’ within non-game contexts to engage users and increase customer loyalty.
On an ecommerce site, gamification is a great tool for making the shopping process more entertaining. Incorporating a range of motivators, some hidden and some visible, can completely change how your customers interact with the site.
The Psychology of Gamification
Gamification takes advantage of a common human trait; the love of finishing tasks. Whether it’s getting points, beating other customers, or collecting coupons, people love to complete a challenge and by incorporating this thinking into your ecommerce store you’ll increase loyalty and consumer engagement.
The Three Core Elements of Gamification
To help you get started we’ve broken down the 3 main components of any good gamification strategy:
Clearly Defined Challenge – This is the critical, you want to keep your challenge straight forward and easy to understand without being boring. Remember users need to get motivated and excited before they’ll take part in your game so try to think like your audience and understand what they are willing to work towards.
Instruction – Like any game, if the instructions aren’t clear it’s not going to be very enjoyable. Be sure to provide detailed instructions that explain how to participate and what the results can be. At the same time avoid writing a 1000-word description; keep it as simple as possible while still be informative.
Reward – This is where it all pays off and a user gets what they’ve been working towards. Try to understand you audience and entice them with something that’s appealing to them. When possible allow them to share their accomplishments on social media; this is great for you brand and allows you to congratulate them in a public space.
Each time a user completes the process above, encourage them to repeat the challenge again. Good gamification constantly reminds users that there is an opportunity to be faster or better and receive even more. Remember your main goal is not to create a popular game in the traditional sense, but rather to build trust and loyalty that can be leveraged to improve sales.
Finally be sure design your gamification around what’s relevant for your store and don’t be afraid of testing new ideas. It will take a lot of time and effort but when you see the enjoyment customers get from engaging with your brand it will all be worth it.
Have you used gamification to improve you user‘s experience? Let us know in the comments below and if you’re not already be sure to follow us on Twitter.