We all know the value of promotions and how they can help drive sales. Vouchers, instant prize draws, competitions and incentivised surveys have been around for years. However, most of the top retailers aren’t innovating in the space, sticking to the standard approaches of a discount voucher here, a prize draw there.
Gamification — or in other words “smart promotions” — is a new approach altogether to the standard promotion. A recent RapidCampaign report called ‘Promotion to Purchase’ found that only one of the UK’s top 20 online retailers uses gamification in its promotion strategy.
That retailer is Currys, and the company incidentally came out on top of the report’s promotions league table, beating off competition from other big-name brands like Argos, Asda, John Lewis and Tesco.
Gamification: simple, smart and effective
Gamification is the term used for making an experience ‘game-like’, and in the case of promotions this can have huge benefits. When talking about gamification in a promotions context I mean something very simple with an interactive element that ends with the player winning something, for example, an interactive scratch card or spin-the-wheel game that gives the respective scratcher or spinner a prize like a voucher code. These types of games take seconds and little brainpower to play, and are cost effective and simple to implement as part of your existing promotions strategy.
While few top online retailers use smart promotions, website traffic from online retailers actually shows that 30–50% of site visitors interact with a smart promotion, consequently driving 10–15% more sales. Based on these statistics and the research from RapidCampaign’s report, the opportunity is huge for online retailers to take advantage of an “easy win” that their competition hasn’t cottoned onto yet.
Now’s the time
The opportunity may be rife but that doesn’t mean retailers should simply place a gamified promotion on their website and expect results. As with any promotion type, a smart approach to placement or way of encouraging interaction will be how results are really driven.
For example, if a casual shopper drops an item of a certain value into their basket and then continues to shop, that can trigger an interactive scratch card that reveals a voucher code for the very same product they were looking at earlier. And of course, the voucher has an expiry date on it, compelling the shopper to use it for fear of missing out on a good deal.
Though smart promotions are relatively new in comparison to the established promotion types, consumers won’t have to wait too long for their favourite brands to offer gamification. Once companies try it and see the benefits, others will follow suit. Those retailers yet to come on board will be left behind at a competitive disadvantage.
Let the race begin.
By Marco Luhtala, CEO, RapidCampaign