Given the choice between answering a survey and playing a game, most people would choose the latter. What about shopping, providing personal information, or entering a contest? Again, playing a game wins nearly every time. That’s the idea behind gamification, a growing trend in the marketing world that has the potential to lead to great success, especially for small businesses as they engage customers and create new sales.
What is gamification?
The basic idea behind gamification is turning a simple or mundane task into something enjoyable that awards points, moves players to different levels, and basically turns the experience into playing a game. In today’s tech world, anything can be turned into a video game. Gamification is a powerful way to engage customers and create a fun experience with a brand; companies that engage customers have 63% less customer attrition and a 55% higher wallet share. Part of the beauty of gamification is that it is relatively inexpensive to develop and can be used in a number of ways to reach nearly any business’s customers.
How can small business use it?
Attract new customers
One of the most powerful ways to use gamification is to use it to attract new customers through contests, rewards, and giveaways. A fun web or mobile game that enters users in a contest or has them provide their personal information is much more likely to be talked about that a typical sweepstakes entry, and current customers are likely to tell a friend about it. Plus, companies can then enter customer information into their all flash storage components. New customers can also be drawn in with a first-time buyer reward like free shipping or 10% off their first order. Other companies get new customers by rewarding current customers for referring friends and family by providing discounts or rewards points after they make their first purchase.
When it comes to education, interaction is always better than simply telling customers what you want them to know. If you want to tell people about the products and services available through your company, consider making it part of a game that tests their knowledge or has them use it to advance to different levels. An engaging game will help solidify the message in peoples’ minds and is much more effective than simply using a print or web ad. The best education games incorporate a way for players to provide their personal information or reach out to the company with questions, which can turn into powerful referrals.
Most customers aren’t anxious to take a company survey, but adding elements of gamification can turn that around. Studies have shown that making questions more game-like can lead to two to three times more feedback. Questions can be worded in unique ways, such as asking customers to describe their experience in the store in exactly 10 words instead of broadly asking about what they enjoyed in the store. The small challenge can be enough to encourage people to put more thought and effort into their responses, which can provide the company with better results. Incentive customers to take the survey by providing prizes or entering them into a contest. Feedback can also come as part of a mobile game if customers have to answer a few survey questions every time they move up a level or get a new badge.
Reward frequent shoppers
Everyone loves to feel appreciated, especially customers who are loyal to a particular brand. Gamification can be used to reward customers, which can help keep those customers around and increase the likelihood that they will refer your company to a friend. Many companies use reward points for frequent customers, but adding elements of gamification can take the program to the next level to make to make it more enjoyable and interactive. Adding mobile offers or games that reward customers with exclusive offers, providing more points for more frequent purchases, or allowing customers to cash their rewards points in for prizes can all be incentives for customers to stick with your brand.
Gamification is a powerful tool for small businesses that can turn into a key ingredient for customer engagement and overall business success when done strategically.