The name of the game: The  beginner's guide to Gamification

The name of the game: The beginner's guide to Gamification


Even if you haven’t heard about Gamification so far, I’am sure you have done at least one of the following: collected miles with a particular airline, invited friends to Dropbox for more cloud storage or got a badge for checking-in with ForSquare.

Believe it or not, these are three of the finest examples of game mechanics implemented into business. The technique is called Gamification and it is being used by company giants like Nike, Microsoft, Virgin and Volkswagen to deliver many benefits such as improved customer experience and sales growth, increased customer loyalty and better brand recognition. The term first appears in 1972 in Charles Coonradt’s book “The Grandfather of
Gamification” and by the upcoming 2016 it is expected to be a massive industry worth of $2.8 billion, replacing many other long-standing marketing and educational techniques.

 

So what is Gamification all about?


Gamification is about creating encouragement and engagement through game thinking, game mechanics and game elements like points, levels, challenges, leader boards and virtual trophies. It may sound easy, but creating an intelligent and interactive Gamification system may be challenging.

Take a look at some of the finest Gamification examples we have prepared for you and learn how to implement them in your own Shopify store!

 

1. The Frequent Flyer Miles

I’m sure you all know what the frequent-flyer programs are.
When you fly with a particular airline you collect miles that can be later used for discounts or even free flights. From the Gamification point of view this is a great example of a virtual currency. To make things simpler, think of the miles as game points, where all points have the same fixed value.
The client is performing an action (using the airline’s services) for which he is rewarded with points (miles). The more the user plays, the more points he wins.


What is important in this particular gamification approach is that the company is actually giving the customer a reward that has no value outside the company’s context and can not be used in any other way. But most customers do not see it this way. They rather think of it as a bonus they have earned. So it is a win-win situation.


Now you may say “This sounds awesome, but how to implement this strategy in my own Shopify store?”
To answer this question, you have to use game-design thinking. First you need to choose what kind of behavior you want to encourage. If you want your customers to buy more products, reward them with a point for every product they have bought or dollar they have spent.
Want to grow your customer list with detailed customer information? Give them extra points for adding their personal information and creating an account at the checkout instead of paying as a guest. There are many possibilities and it is up to you to choose and improvise.


These of course are just simple examples to make things visual. You will have to carefully customize your point system according to your goals, sales dynamics and business strategy. To make things easier see what Captain Up has to say.

2. The LinkedIn’s progress bar

There are more than 100 questions to answer when you fill your LinkedIn profile. You might agree that this can be quite boring and time consuming. That is why LinkedIn came out with a simple solution. They have added a progress bar, on the top-right corner of your profile. The bar does nothing more than showing you how much of your profile you have filled out.

When LinkedIn launched it the result was a 20% increase in profile completeness for the first month.

You may ask “What kind of a game is that?” And you will be right. It’s a subtle one. A single game element that is just enough to motivate people to perform a few more tasks than they would normally do.
This is why adding a progress bar to the checkout page of your Shopify store might be a great idea! It will not only improve the checkout experience of your store but will also decrease the number of abandoned shopping carts. You can easily make your own progress bar by following these instructions. Be sure to share the results with us!

Want to know a secret?
The LinkedIn progress bar can never be completely full in order to create an infinite engagement loop.

3. Foursquare’s badges

For those who don’t know, Foursquare is a “search and discovery” mobile app that encourages people to check-in at various places around the world by rewarding them with badges. The app is used by over 55 million people and over 7 million businesses and is recognized as one of the best city-guide apps. Except the badges, you can also get a discount from the place where you’ve just checked in, making the usage of Foursquare even sweeter.


The best thing about badges, as a representation of achievement is that they are very flexible and can be used as awards as well for distinguishing people. That works great, because all people subconsciously enjoy getting positive evaluation for their deeds.

But be careful! Badges can be a double-edged sword!

It’s a common mistake to give people badges for simple tasks, like making a registration or coming to your site 10 days in a roll. This devalues your rewards and disrupts the engagement you are aiming for. To avoid such problems try using a Gamification app like FidUp. The app is clean and easy to use. The appearance and conditions of the badges are up to your imagination.

4. Amazon’s leader boards


Even the king of the e-commerce jungle uses the power of Gamification to improve its business.
Amazon knows that one of the main motivators for purchasing an online product is the feedback from other customers. This is why they have developed the “ Amazon’s Top Reviewers” program, which rewards customers for giving good quality reviews to products they have bought. By clicking “yes” or “no” next to a review, customers tell Amazon if the review has been helpful to them. The number of reviews a customer has written and the perceived quality translates into points, which are shown on the reviewers profile page. To increase the competitive element, there’s a leader board which publicly ranks the reviewers.

The Drawback:
Leader boards are about ranking and feedback on competition. So in order to function you will need a larger audience, which makes this element not the best choice for small or just starting online stores. Unfortunately, even if you have a good number of visitors to form a competitive environment, studies have shown that leader boards actually demotivate people and make them less willing to engage.


This game-design element works well in the context of HR, but it’s not recommended when talking about e-Commerce. So, if you still want to try using a leader board on your store, you can try with a “personalized” or a “friend relative” leader board that compares your rank with people from your social graphs instead of complete strangers. That is the moment to call Captain Up! The “hero app” will help you to install awesome-looking leader boards anywhere you want and raise the engagement to the roof!


If you liked those examples and want to try them on your own store, please remember to always combine and use in moderation. Don’t go with all of them, just pick two and experiment. Feel free to try the Gamification apps in Shopify’s App Store. Most of them provide a free trail period, so do not hesitate to spice up you store with some fresh Gamification techniques.

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line in the comment section below or via our social channels in Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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