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Gamification in Ecommerce


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This presentation was delivered on Mar 17, 2015 at the IRCE Design Focus Conference in Los Angeles, CA. The annual conference is sponsored by Internet Retailer Magazine

Published in: Marketing
  • The e-commerce industry has grown leaps and bounds over the past couple of years. It is truly one of the most competitive industries in the world with its sophisticated technology and customer base.
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Gamification in Ecommerce

  1. 1. Gamification in Ecommerce Digital Sales Alchemy
  2. 2. Alchemy: The transformation of something common 
 into something special.
  3. 3. Gamification: Integrating elements of games, 
 concepts and motivators in games
 or game design mechanics 
 into non-game environments to drive behavior.
  4. 4. Points, Badges and Leaderboards aka “PBL” can lead to “pointsification”
  5. 5. Points, Badges and Leaderboards • not synonymous with gamification • when done badly hurt revenues and brand • can be appallingly overused • try to apply cookie cutter solutions to
 complex problems • can be implemented through a variety of services • many times are synonymous in users 
 heads with loyalty programs • can be made interesting and effective and useful
 if applied sparingly and creatively
  6. 6. STEP2 BUZZBOARD Reviewers level from New Bee to Honey Bee to Super Bee to 
 Queen Bee as they review, post videos and photographs, 
 share to Facebook, and earn positive ratings from other BuzzBoard -ers. 
 Points earn $5 to $20 credits toward future purchases.
  7. 7. BEYOND PBL Appointments Avatars Behavioral Momentum Blissful Productivity Bonuses Duels Cascading Information Theory Challenges Combos Community Collaboration Context menus Countdown Creating Discovery Easter Eggs Epic Meaning Free Lunch ! Infinite Gameplay Loader images Levels Loss Aversion Lottery Narratives Ownership Priming Progression Puzzles Quests Reward Schedules Scarcity Status Urgent Optimism Virality
  8. 8. Involvement creates impact. based on Dale's Cone of Experience (Dale, 1969, p. 107)
  9. 9. Persuasion heart/desires Usability body/actions Engagement mind/attitudes interaction acts as a Catalyst users join your brands “team”
  10. 10. In Ecommerce, many of these things happen via your website AND in social media ! First person to answer gets a +20 bonus to Salesmanship. What are the Four Stages of the sales cycle? ? $
  11. 11. 4 stages in game adoption cycle ! Discovery, Onboarding, Scaffolding and Endgame ? $ !
  12. 12. 4 stages in Gamification cycle! (the alchemy bit) ! Initiation, Realization, Transformation, Integration ! ! ? ! $
  13. 13. ARCANum ! Gamification and gaming are not the same thing. Great gamification fuses the normal sales cycle 
 with appropriate game mechanics, tools or concepts 
 to achieve measurable goals. ! Sometimes those methods are subtle. !
  14. 14. Great. So I need to hire a game designer? (No. You just need someone who can think diagonally.)
  15. 15. You don’t have to use badges, points and leaderboards. Any designer or creative content provider can implement these gamification ideas in different aspects of the sales cycle. Congratulations, Your Initiation as a Digital Sales Alchemist has begun. You may leave the Noob Cave.
  16. 16. How do we do this? Let’s look at a few examples of gamification without overt PBL apps.* ! ! ! ! *These are relatively low complexity/tech
  17. 17. Persuasion Prospects / Hey Look at This!
  18. 18. ! Discovery / Lead Generation / Initiation Appeals to: Explorers, Achievers SkilledUp Quizzes Growth from 20 new email subscribers each 
 month to over 500 each month - a 2400% increase
  19. 19. Persuasion Prospects / Hey, I might like this!
  20. 20. ! Quest / Prospecting / Initiation Appeals to: Achievers, Explorers, Killers Autodesk Free Trial Increased trial usage by 54%, buy clicks by 15% and channel revenue by 29% Before After
  21. 21. Persuasion Customers / Hey I want to buy this!
  22. 22. ! Priming / Sales / Transformation Appeals to: Explorers Hubspot Loader Messages Practiced by one of the most successful 
 internet marketing companies in the world, often seen in web apps
  23. 23. Persuasion Evangelists / Hey I want to share this!
  24. 24. Discovery / Evangelization / Integration Appeals to: Achievers, Explorers, Socializers M&Ms Find the Pretzel 25.000 likes on their Facebook page, 6.000 shares and 10.000 comments.
  25. 25. Virality, Bonuses, Status / Evangelization / Integration Appeals to: Socializers, Achievers, Killers ! Rewarding Shares! In January 2014, Dropbox raised $250 million at a $10 billion valuation. 1 billion files are saved to Dropbox every 24 hours Over 200 million users, over 500 employees Installed on 250 million devices
  26. 26. Usability Leads / Hey Look at This!
  27. 27. ! Priming, Discovery / Lead Generation / Initiation Appeals to: Socializers, Killers, Achievers, Explorers Heinz Table Games QR Code, prompt to enter email address, gain coupon.
  28. 28. Usability Prospecting / Hey I Might Like This!
  29. 29. ! Cascading Information Theory / Prospecting / Realization Appeals to: Achievers, Explorers, Killers, Socializers JNM Menu Tunnels 250% increase in web site conversions (phone calls/initial meetings) within 2 weeks
  30. 30. Usability Sales / Hey I Want to Buy This!
  31. 31. ! Epic Meaning and Calling, Free Lunch / Sales / Transformation Appeals to: Socializers, Killers, Achievers, Explorers Amazon Smile Incentivizes users to buy from Amazon 
 rather than another online retailer 
 by shopping from
  32. 32. Usability Evangelists / Hey I Want to Share This!
  33. 33. ! Levels, Status / Sales / Integration Appeals to: Socializers, Killers, Achievers, Explorers Ebay Seller Reviews Encourages sellers to stay ethical and 
 buyers to give feedback and recommendations (crowdsourcing content creation)
  34. 34. ARCANUM ! Using combinations of game concepts or mechanics at different targeted points of the sales cycle can generate huge returns for you. These tools may or may not be recognizable as “games.”
  35. 35. Congratulations You are now an Apprentice in Digital Sales Alchemy tweet something you have learned to me @redtoadmedia First three to tweet get my gamification planning template.
  36. 36. The Next Level Thoughtful tools to help you NOT unlock the Mayor Badge of Meaninglessness ! ! It’s a Journey, Man.
  37. 37. HOW TO avoid pointsification by Steve Bocska Source:
  38. 38. “People don't contribute because 
 they’re given stars by a teacher or bribed” - can lead to gaming the system
 - results in low long term retention
 - achieves low quality user-generated content ! EFFECTS OF pointsification
  39. 39. 1. Know your objectives 2. Know your audience 3. Tap into intrinsic motivators for 
 SHARED GOALS 4. Be willing to listen and improve how to avoid pointsification
  40. 40. it must be fun. Sensation / Sense-pleasure Fantasy/ Make-believe Narrative / Unfolding story Challenge / Obstacle course Fellowship / Social framework Discovery / Uncharted territory Expression / Soap box Submission / Mindless pastime
  41. 41. CATALYSTS (Intrinsic Motivators) Autonomy / Give creative choices and freedom power words: “I choose” ! Mastery / Allow for learning and overcoming adversity power words: “I grow” ! Purpose / connect people to causes power words: “I matter” ! ! !
  42. 42. autonomy combined with discovery Covet Fashion App: Paper dolls
  43. 43. mastery combined with fellowship Drop ’Til You Shop: Freeze the price and win!
  44. 44. purpose combined with fantasy America’s Army
  45. 45. arcanum The secret to lasting bonds
 and deep impact on a person’s relationship with your brand is the combination of 
 shared goals, catalysts in the form of 
 intrinsic motivators and old-fashioned fun.
  46. 46. ConGratulations You now have the tools to be a Journeyman Digital Alchemist For a mixie game that helps you, generate game ideas, subscribe to my newsletter at
  47. 47. A GAME CAN BE YOUR VEHICLE: HSN Home Shopping 
 Network Arcade ! Over the first year, 650,000 users logged 116 million gameplays. Arcade users spent twice as long on the HSN website, returned twice as often, and purchased more units of merchandise and in more categories than their non-arcade customers. #epicwin #wordofmouthrocks
  48. 48. A GAME CAN BE YOUR VEHICLE: INGRESS INGRESS Mobile Augmented Reality Gaming brings customers to you. Around 10 million downloads on Android and iOS ! ! Partnerships with ZipCar, Hint Water, Anker, AXA and more
  49. 49. ARCANUM Whether you integrate your brand into a game 
 or use games to enhance your web presence, you can 
 build community, garner name recognition and 
 win significant market share by using a vehicle 
 that fits your audience.
  50. 50. Who Is Anne Miles? - Designed a cutting edge interface for the financial services sector
 - Branded, designed and developed multimillion dollar retail ecommerce presence for brick and mortar wholesaler,
 - Art Director, UX team, Stonestreet One Software ! - Currently working with Indiana University Health on a gamified admin system for updating and managing employee training materials. ! - Contributor for Smashing Magazine’s 
 Navigation and Interaction design book - Toad-in-Chief, Red Toad Media, 2001 to present ! - Global Unight16 Coordinator, Ingress Resistance 
 ! ! ! ! ! @redtoadmedia
  51. 51. 
 Thank you. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! @redtoadmedia