Why it’s time to gamify to retain your customers in 2023 and beyond
By April Cox, Retail Solutions Director UK at Catalina UK
Catalina is a leading global customer activation business working with some of the UK’s largest retailers to drive genuine long-term shopper loyalty, delivering personalised offers that engage shoppers and increase sales.
Gamification is an e-commerce trend that has taken the retail sector by storm. Its popularity only continues to soar and is now an essential marketing tool for retailers determined to drive loyalty and sales.
We all have a natural instinct for competition and reward, which is why gamification experiences spur shoppers to play, win, and stay engaged throughout the all-important customer journey. The global gamification market is estimated to grow up to 25% by 2025 worth a whopping $38.32 million by 2026. Retail holds the largest share of this market, yet 80% of companies underutilised gamification techniques  – despite its success in driving acquisition, engagement, and loyalty.
In a 2022 survey, 68.8% of customers shopping online reported using a mobile device vs 42.9% on a desktop. With this dramatic growth in the number of smartphones being used for shopping, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a multitude of brands leveraging the growth of mobile gaming and e-commerce apps in their own way. Examples of this include Marks and Spencer’s ‘Sparks scheme’ where customers have the chance to win the entire contents of their shopping basket, and Asda’s rewards programme offering shopping missions.
27.3% of respondents to a 2022 survey also reported finding offline grocery experiences were much better than online. Fortunately for brands and retailers, gamification techniques don’t need to be complicated to tackle this; they just need to be fun and relevant. That’s why we developed our ‘Shop & Play’ solution – an e-commerce offering where brands can engage with consumers, immerse them in an exciting and personal experience, and create memorable moments. As well as adding entertainment and drama to the retailers’ marketing and engagement strategy. it also creates a rich brand experience that can add upwards of 20% sales uplift.
In a nutshell – to engage audiences and drive further sales – we believe that it’s fundamental that brands offer an enjoyable, uplifting and rewarding experience for its shoppers. When deployed well, we know that gamification can incentivise customers, and keep them coming for more. With 50% of consumers stating they were buying more ‘own brand’ or value products due to inflation in a 2022 survey, it’s clear that shoppers are feeling the pinch more than ever right now with soaring costs. But with inflation and rising prices here to stay, it’s important for brands to think about investing in gamification, and in turn, drive incremental sales and profitability.
Our engaging and thoughtful platforms can be seamlessly connected with any shopping channel and enhance multiple key areas, such as loyalty, profitability, differentiation, recruitment, and average basket scores. From improving repeat purchases to recruiting new products, gamification undoubtedly helps retain and connect with customers. And I strongly believe that it should be on every retailer’s shopping list this year.
April Cox, Retail Solutions Director at Catalina UK – the leading global customer activation business working with some of the UK’s most prominent retailers and brands –
April will be moderating an interactive workshop, tackling the biggest eCommerce challenges retailers face today at The Big Handshake in London on 16 May – the in-person networking event brought to you by The Gift Club. Come and meet her there.