You have a steady traffic of online shoppers. You also got an entire world wide web of competitors. So, how do you get to edge out your competitors to maintain a good consumer crowd?
Gamification has been part and parcel of the day-in-day-out shopping experience. Leading brands such as Coca-Cola and Nike embrace the effect of entertaining shopping experiences on consumers, as do the e-commerce brands such as Amazon and Alibaba.
A vast majority of companies adopt game experiences in an attempt to capitalize on the six basic human nature elements; incentive, desire, reward (achievement), challenge, mastery, and feedback. Alibaba integrates mechanics and gaming thinking to attract and retain customers, build on their team spirit, as well as to engage the users and employees.
Use Gamification in the Call-to-Action
Understand – most people wish to become the best at a specific activity and be rewarded for their expertise. Most marketers comprehend the motivating effects of coming up with a time frame to get the shoppers to make their purchases, or offer a couple of products at a discounted price to get the buyers to make the purchases before the time frame expires.
Alibaba is among the first online auction marketplaces to incorporate gamification and timing elements in most of its business processes. The bidding systems are quite reliant on time-sensitive gaming mechanisms – they all take the customers’ competitive nature to trigger impulse purchases.
Alibaba’s Annual Singles’ Day Sale is a perfect example. The program rolled out a couple of years ago in an attempt to boost the sales by over twice the pace they did a couple of years back. Meantime, the company tries to ward off competitors, such as JD.com, which in turn attracts the urban big-spenders.
Boost Revenues by Growing your Company
For the companies that effectively leverage these e-commerce techniques, often realize a significant increase in revenues.
According to Gartner, “Most of the enterprises that constitute the top twenty listing realize a 250% higher revenue growth as compared to their peers.”
Jack Ma, a flamboyant entrepreneur, founded Alibaba in 1999 from meager beginnings (a one-bedroom apartment) to be China’s biggest and first ever B2B e-commerce company with over 20,000 employees.
The best part of it – Porter Erisman, a former Alibaba vice-president, believes that you need not implement complex game mechanisms to witness your company’s revenue transformation firsthand.
For example, Alibaba offers its loyal customers an elevated status – not to mention communal recognition – for availing content to its community. The company constantly schemes out ways to motivate their customers to earn better titles as well as secure higher positions on the leader boards through their performance in tasks such as:
- Provision of helpful responses to queries by other customers
- Posting of related content on social media sites
- Sending feedback
- Writing customer reviews | comments
Whoever is first to answer a query in the Q&A section / review a product, earns bonus points – which encourages the users to actively browse through the site while providing insightful answers to the users in need.
Even though some websites fail to realize tangible benefits from the virtual rewards programs, Alibaba’s strategy pays off. Overtime, the company put a greater emphasis on more effective incentive alignments by offering the users more bonus points for the Facebook shares. They also major on a more social atmosphere by allowing the users to customize their profiles on the site.
Customer Engagement Boosts Customer Loyalty
Merely sending a ‘thank you’ email to your customers for the purchase of a product/service, does little to boost brand loyalty. Customers will only swap their continued engagement with a particular brand for something more tangible.
Company loyalty programs are unarguably the most prevalent ways to reward your most dedicated customers. Your brand stewards should not only express their gratitude to the core devotees, but also to the established customers – which will spark a desire in them to be part of the club and earn rewards for their purchases.