From Tech Jargon to Retail Success: Gamification
I was assaulted the other day. In a meeting with two principals of a Silicon Valley startup, I was slammed in the face with a barrage of buzzwords.
Marketing jargon is pervasive. Indeed, I have been asked more than once about the ETA of my PPT. (And yes, I’ve uttered the word “synergy;” I feel terrible for it.) And tech marketing jargon can be particularly off-putting. In some cases, however, the ideas behind the words are powerful. Retail marketers, seeking omnichannel success, would do well to adopt some of the aggressive and agile practices these buzzwords represent.
In the next few posts, we’ll look at some of the buzziest tech terms and explore how their core meanings can translate into smart in-store retail marketing. Or in Silicon Valley-speak, we’re going to retail-ify them.
First up – gamification.
To a tech startup, this is the process of turning something, anything, into a game. Gamification taps into a very human need to become the best at an activity, and more importantly, to be rewarded for expertise and dedication.
Applying game-design thinking to a non-game application (like banking) makes the activity more entertaining and engaging. Retail marketers can (jargon alert) leverage the mechanics and strategy behind gaming to create emotionally satisfying experiences for the shopper.
Many retailers are already using games – in the form of specially created apps – to enhance shopper engagement and build loyalty. But the best retail gamification connects virtual and real world activity, driving traffic into physical locations.
Consider setting aside space purely for brand and product “play,” rather than just creating areas for merchandise and transactions. Tightly integrate digital game elements into the in-store shopping experience. Add layers of engagement and value through
- Interactive screens
- Coded signage
- Public leaderboards
- Real-time awards and benefits
- Social selling opportunities
- Check-in rewards
- Selfie sharing stations
- “Scavenger hunt” activities
Retail gamification builds shopper loyalty and satisfaction, which in turn, keeps them coming back to play – and buy.