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How to Use Gamification in Ecommerce

By Reading Time: 5 minutes

There are few feelings more satisfying than leveling up in a video game. So why not bring that same feeling of reward and satisfaction to your online store visitors?

According to a survey from Ask Your Target Market, 38% of people said they like it when companies include games or interactive features along with the shopping experience and 30% said they’re more likely to purchase from sites that have interactive features.

So let’s explore what gamification can do for your online store!

I’ll cover everything from what gamification is, how you can use gamification in ecommerce, examples of ecommerce gamification, and easy-to-use gamification apps you can download and use in your store today.

What is gamification?

Gamification is the process of adding game-like elements and theories to a non-game context. These game-like elements can be anything from point-scoring to leveling up.

Gamification exists across all industries with the ultimate goal of entertaining, engaging, and educating an audience. In the process, gamification can improve customer engagement, increase loyalty, and boost sales. 

How you can use gamification in ecommerce

There is a variety of different gamification techniques you can use to spruce up your store and increase customer engagement.

Here are some ecommerce gamification ideas:

  • Spin-to-wins
  • Scratch-offs
  • Loyalty points
  • Countdown
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Trivia
  • Product quiz

With these ideas in mind, let’s take a look at how major ecommerce companies use gamification to their advantage.

Examples of ecommerce gamification

From simple pop-ups to massive scavenger hunts, gamification has been successfully used in ecommerce dating back to the early 2000’s. Since then, major ecommerce companies have used the above techniques to create urgency, increase retention, boost loyalty, generate referrals, and grow engagement.

These are some of the campaigns that stand out the most:

1. Care/of quiz

Care/of uses quiz as a gamification element to help them get potential customer emails and information on their preferences. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete and as a reward, customers get a more personalized and simplified product selection.

As a bonus, this element allows the potential customers to connect to the brand and promotes brand loyalty through a sense of mutual familiarity.

2. Karl Lagerfeld Pac Man-inspired game

Karl Lagerfeld online store once displayed a retro-inspired nostalgia game featuring his very own cat Choupette. Store visitors had to catch as many special KARL bonus items as possible and defeat Choupette’s enemies—dogs. The game ends when all the bonus items are caught or when the neighborhood dogs catch the cat. 

The game was created to promote Lagerfeld’s Spring 2020 Pixel collection and was linked with real-life incentives. The top scoring players could win a shopping spree at the designer’s store.

3. Dropbox

Dropbox uses gamification so their customers will refer friends and family to the platform. The incentive? More storage space. It’s a win-win for everyone involved: Dropbox gains leads and the customer gets more space for their files.

Dropbox's referral program
Dropbox’s referral program

4. Teleflora

Florist Teleflora gamified their store using a loyalty program that offers points for comments, user reviews, posting on social media, and answering questions from other customers.

When customers gain more points, they’re awarded coveted badges that label them as an influencer. To increase engagement, they include a leaderboard as an element of competition.

As a result of their loyalty program, Teleflora’s referral traffic increased by 105% and their conversion rate improved by 92%.

A snapshot of the top leaders on Teleflora's leadership board
A snapshot of the top leaders on Teleflora’s leadership board

Now that you have an idea of what ecommerce gamification looks like in action, let’s take a look at some add-ons you can use for your store.

Gamification apps for ecommerce

If you’re looking to gamify your website, here are some apps you can try out:

  1. OptinSpin for Woocommerce

One of the simplest gamification techniques is to add a spin-to-win pop-up on your website. It works like this: when visitors come to your store, they’re met with a spinning wheel of various prizes. They spin the wheel to win a discount, bonus gift, or any prize of your choosing. While your customers get access to sweet bonus prizes (20% off anyone?), you’re able to collect email addresses from those who play.

You can then use these email addresses for all of your email marketing needs. OptinSpin even connects with email marketing services like MailChimp and Remarkety so your email marketing campaign process is easier and faster.

In terms of the prizes themselves, WooCommerce uses default coupons so you can link your coupons in the wheel; this way customers can use them instantly or later. All they need to do is check their email address for the discount!

The app is fully customizable. Change the wheel style, background, font colors, and font sizes so they match your branding. To go the extra mile, you can add your brand logo.

Price: $99 
If you’re not a WooCommerce user, no worries! Use other spin-to-win apps such as Spin To Win for Shopify or Spin to Win for Magento.

2. Smile.io for Shopify

Used in over 40,000 stores, Smile.io’s loyalty program gives your customers discounts and rewards.

With their loyalty points program, your customers earn points for tasks and events like creating an account, celebrating a birthday, placing an order, referring friends and family, leaving a review, or joining your VIP program.

To reward your customers for referring their friends and family to your brand, with Smile.io, choose between offering a percentage discount, dollar discount, free product, or free shipping. The more people your customers refer to your brand, the more perks they get!

The Smile.io VIP program rewards customers for joining, and for the length of time they’ve been shopping with your brand. For entry rewards, choose between offering a dollar discount, percentage discount, free product, or accelerated points earning. As for loyalty perks, select between giving your customers gifts, contest entries, invites to special events and sales, or create your own reward.

You can even avoid cart abandonment by using Smile.io’s add-on to invite customers back to the site.

Smile.io also integrates with apps like Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Omnisend, and more.

Price: $0–$599, depending on the package you choose

3. Sales Countdown Timer for Woocommerce

Maximize your sales campaigns by using Woocommerce’s Sales Countdown Timer, which displays sales timers as banners.

The clock can display when sales end and also tell customers how much stock is left. Before your sales, you can also announce an upcoming sale in the banner.

Within the add-on, choose which type of sale you want to run by selecting from before product price, after product price, before sale flash badges, and more. Customize your banner to match your brand fonts and colors.

Price: $0 for their free program, $19 flat fee for their premium plan

This Countdown Sales Timer is available to Shopify users.

4. Gamify for Shopify

Customizing games made simple with Gamify
Customizing games made simple with Gamify

Ever wanted to make your own video game? With Gamify’s Shopify add-on you can! Using the Gamify add-on, you can keep customers engaged by selecting from Gamify’s library of games, customize the games, add them to your site, and watch your store flourish. The add-on is responsive on both desktop and mobile.

The add-on features mini-games that capture user data to be featured on leaderboards. From there, you can use this data to reward your engaged customers with incentives, promotions, and rewards.

Price: Free for up to 50 plays, and unlimited plays for $7.99/month

If you’re a Magento user looking to add a game to your site, try out their eCommerce Gamification Suite for Magento 1.

6. Scratch and Win Promotions for Ecwid

Scratch and Win Promotions for Ecwid offers fun and seasonal scratch and win templates.
Scratch and Win Promotions for Ecwid offers fun and seasonal scratch and win templates.

Spruce up your site with a virtual scratch card from Scratch and Win Promotions. When customers visit your site, they’ll be prompted to fill in a form in exchange for their chance to win a prize with your scratch-off. In order to play again, visitors have to refer a friend, which can expand your reach even more.

Customize your scratch-and-win by switching up the design and layout of your card from a wide variety of templates from their library. From there, display your scratch cards on your website, Facebook page, and Tumblr, and start generating leads!

Price: Free up to 50 leads, paid packages start at $15/month

Scratch and Win by Apps Mav is available for Shopify. BigCommerce users can use the BigCommerce add-on of the same name.

Gamify your store

Gamification is increasingly becoming the new normal for the online shopping experience—and it’s effective. Gamification keeps customers engaged, loyal, and can bring you new leads.

It doesn’t take being a coder to gamify your ecommerce store. All you need is a little creativity and knowing the right apps to use in order to make a more fun, interactive experience for your customers.

So level up and start gamifying your website today! 

Noni loves to learn about digital marketing and stay on top of cultural trends. You can often find her watching movies, creating video content or lost in online click holes.

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