Just when retailers thought they had their hands full with the abundance of social media tools already on the market, along comes gamification.
No longer just the realm of 20-something males, gaming has increased in both retail and female audiences. According to a recent Mashable article, “66% of tablet owners play social games daily, and 46% of tablet gamers are women,” and “the largest group of social gamers is women between the ages of 35 and 44.”
While traditional business logic suggests focusing on obtaining direct revenue, rewarding a consumer with points or rewards is a way of establishing an emotional connection with the consumer, as well as increasing loyalty and brand advocacy, which can result in increased profits.
“What’s more valuable? Someone who buys a lot, or someone who buys less but recommends the brand to all of their friends?,” asked Matthew Brand, senior sales executive for Badgeville.
By engaging with consumers through contests, games and rewards, the consumer is gaining status within that online community and thereby incentivized to participate more, he explained.
Traditional loyalty rewards buying a product, but Badgeville rewards engagement, such as reviewing a product on a brand’s website, posting or answering a question, or liking the product on the brand’s Facebook page.
A customer can receive 500 points to register a product, 300 points to answer a question in a Q&A and 200 points to like an item through Facebook. With enough points, they could become the leading fashionista of a particular site, Brand explained.
“People are motivated by status and reputation,” he said. “It’s like a certificate saying you’re employee of the month.”
From a retailer’s standpoint, having a consumer advocate for a brand on its own site is more valuable than the customer advocating for it on their personal Facebook page or through their own social media, Brand explained.
“People’s affinity will only resonate with a small group of people on Facebook – but if you share within that [brand’s] community there’s more success because it will resonate with that community.”