Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current post from the Hanifin Loyalty blog.
How to extend the impact of gamification beyond engagement to create longer term loyalty is the subject of debate in marketing circles. Strong voices are challenging the ability of game mechanics to create tangible behavior shifts (Will earning a badge or status in a community make me buy more from that brand?) while the forces driving the game companies are gathering case study data to prove their point.
BigDoor co-founder and CEO Keith Smith stated recently that results from a test of the company's new platform among 25 clients returned an average increase of 153 percent in user loyalty and 672 percent in engagement. "We measure all steps of the user lifecycle," Mr. Smith told Information Week. "We track it back to the user's performance."
In this new world of social loyalty, Mr. Smith chooses to track metrics that are more familiar as web and e-commerce statistics than traditional loyalty measures:
The results of a study just published by Sociable Labs found 62 percent of online shoppers are active in "social sharing," i.e. they have read product-related comments posted by their friends on Facebook. About 75 percent of these shoppers have clicked on the product link in their friend's Facebook post, taking them to the product page on the retailer's website. Best of all, 53 percent of those who clicked the link made a purchase. Using a derivative calculation, this means about 24.6 percent of all online shoppers are making a purchase based on what they read about their friend's shopping activity on Facebook.
Suddenly the reason for all the excitement about game theory is coming into focus. Many believe loyalty programs are well suited to "connect the dots" between interactions and transactions in the loyalty cycle. Considering interactions such as product reviews, price comparison, and tweet mentions as data points equal in value to a transaction is a stirring thought.
Embracing game theory to drive results from a loyalty program might draw skepticism, but if there was ever a time to observe the behaviors and preferences of our customer base to break new ground, it is today.
How are retailers most likely to use "gamified" schemes in their customer loyalty efforts?