Gamification is a strategic element business’ use to enhance their systems, services, organizations, and activities. They want their customers to feel as though they are playing a game as a way to motivate and encourage participation. Gamifying a loyalty program will automatically make it stand out among its competitors. In return it will end up driving your user engagement and enticing customers to make purchases more frequently, at a larger scale, or to utilize their points for rewards. Gamification will play off of many aspects of human psychology including reward seeking behavior, natural competitiveness, and the classic fear of missing out (FOMO). Gamifying your customers' experience will increase their engagement, make them truly feel like they are a part of something exclusive, improve brand loyalty and increase customer lifetime value (CLV).
It is important to keep your customers engaged and invested in your loyalty program, and gamification is just the way to do that. It allows you to turn typical events such as reading emails, submitting receipts, or finishing tasks into something fun and entertaining for the person completing them. And by making gamification as customizable and simple as possible will create a fun user experience, giving you a perfect way to grab the attention of current customers and new ones.
How to Integrate Gamification into your Loyalty Program
Determine what behavior you are trying to encourage
It is important to know what your goals are from the start. If you want to kill two birds with one stone then you could use your current customers to attract new ones. By having a clear understanding of your intention then you can easily set out a plan for different games or activities for your members to complete to achieve your end goals.
Put together a "game plan" for your customers
Gamifications are supposed to be fun for the customers, and the only way a game is fun is if they know how to play! Customers want a clear understanding of what they are signing up for, how to earn as many points as possible, and how to track their progress. Make sure there is a section that reminds them what they can do to continue to earn points and move towards their goals.
Keep your customers aware of their (and other users) progress
If it is difficult for your customer to know where they are in their journey with your program then they are likely to lose interest. When you are playing games, you always know where you are when it comes to your progress and rank. Showing members how close they are to certain rewards is a motivating feature that will make them want to make more purchases.
Take advantage of social media
Allowing members to share their progress and rewards is an amazing way to get your brand out there without having to do any of the advertisement yourself! You could also allow for this to be a way to earn extra rewards. If a member posts their progress or rewards on social media and either tag or use an assigned hashtag then they would be awarded extra points.
Optimize your loyalty program for mobile
Making your program as accessible as possible for your customers should be a priority. Having options for them to earn points while on their phone allows for them to earn points no matter where they are. This could allow for you to send updates and notifications through text. Your program could also implement geo location, that alerts a customer if they are in a certain mile radius to an area that has opportunities for them to earn points.
Different types of games
Game Boards (Bingo)
A fun way to get your members excited about earning points is through digital game boards like scratch-off boards or bingo. These are customizable and configurable boards catered to your brand's offers and rewards, and also your brand’s personality. Members can earn opportunities to play or points to redeem for play opportunities by completing the specific behaviors, accomplishments, or tasks.
Scavenger Hunts are a unique way to engage your customers. You could strategically place QR codes around a certain area and when members find them they can scan them and earn points. This could also be a great way to team up with local businesses and get them involved.
Missions and challenges are an extra opportunity for customers to earn more points. They can be as simple as users creating social media posts and using specific hashtags on their posts. In can include different tasks like purchasing specific products, reading different blog posts or watching videos. These are games that don't seem like a big undertaking to the users and they will be more likely to participate in these games and engage more frequently with the program.
Instant wins are a good gamification technique for businesses because they act as a full contest or its own stand alone promotion. Instant wins are also a good option for push offers and coupons for different local retailers, stores, or restaurants.
A contest is a promotion in which winners are determined on the basis of skill by a panel of judges and based on criteria as set forth in the Official Rules. Different types of contests include:
- Photo Contests
- Essay Contests
- Video Contests
Contests can produce high-quality user-generated content from engaged participants that companies can use to further promote brand awareness.
Real World Example of Gamification
Many companies have implemented gamification into their own businesses and have seen growing sales numbers and customer engagement. One example that stands out is Chipotle, who utilized gamification to relaunch their Chipotle Rewards program and were able to promote their program significantly.
Chipotle revamped their rewards program and launched it back in 2021 with faster ways for members to earn rewards and new reward options offered to members, such as the ability to exchange Reward points for free guac, drinks, or Chipotle Goods. To celebrate the new launch, Chipotle created a limited-time video contest experience called Chipotle Race to Rewards Exchange. Players with a registered Rewards account could pick their mode of transportation and race virtually for a chance to win prizes. Chipotle also connected the video game experience to their real-world Rewards program by giving the first 500,000 players to race pass two Chipotle restaurants in the game each day 250 points in their Rewards account. This is a great example of of how virtual gamification can be used to give members reward points and drive up program engagement.
Want to learn how you can implement gamification into your program? Get in touch today and we will help you make sure next step!