Some time ago, at the beginning of my e-commerce journey I wrote an article about gamification. At that time I associated it only with game-like mechanism added to the promotion or purchasing process. It was suppose to engage and increase the revenue at the same time. Well, now I think I was a bit too general in my statement. Because after working in e-commerce for 2 years now, I have finally reached the obvious!
Shopping IS a Game
The way we browse through the offer and hunt down all the promotions and deals is nothing but a true game. We chaise our dreams by following new styles and trends. Just as in a game we collect new items and reach new higher levels by going from one season's collection to another. The only thing left for shop owners is to actually create good conditions for their customers to play.
I was recently recommended an infographic by onlinebusinessdegree.org on companies that actually profited well on gamification mechanisms added to their marketing strategy.
Just a quick look at the examples and you can see how various institutions dealt with engaging people. And the last one clearly states that gamification may help to show a human face of a rather unpopular institution as well.
Show that you care
The problem in the past was that companies didn't use to participate in the game. The customer was left to herself and engaged with various brands and shops on the way to the perfect looks, great experience or lowest price.
Currently the situation has changed, which is also encouraged by the growing power of social media. You can share your prize but you can also share the obstacles to get it and ask for help. Wow, sounds like an RPG :)
To illustrate the process, lets take a look at the real-life case.
The eco-social beauty store
I've decided to analyze a new comer this time. The shop freshindulgence.com that was recently launched offers its shoppers the possibility to interact with each other by comparing products and solving beauty problems. And we know that there's nothing like good advice from a fellow shopper rather than from the shop itself!
What's more the shop is prepared in a way of an adventure game, where you discover other clients recommendations and gain higher level in the eyes of co-participants by buying new products and writing reviews.
There are a few points I especially enjoyed about the idea of this social eshop:
- Beauty cabinets - I myself like going through my friends' cosmetics, so sounds great from the start.
- Beauty karma - some charitable work for socially-oriented, shows truly that beauty lays skin deep.
- My own beauty profile - where I can brag a bit and also seek others help.
- Expanded product management for the user - I may not own the item yet but I can certainly show my interest in it.
I think www.freshindulgence.com represents extremely well the idea of gamification in e-commerce. There are of course plenty of services that maybe don't call it gamification, but have their customer engagement tricks up the sleeve and mastered them to proficiency.
Share some other examples with me and feel free to leave a comment!