Gamification of your online store

October 28th, 2015 by Heather Maloney

All of you who attended the Melbourne Business Network event yesterday morning with me, and heard James Tuckerman speak about “5 disruptive trends and tactics that will reinvent how business is done in 2016”, will undoubtedly have been considering how you can implement gamification.

Gamification is “the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts” (source).

But first, if you are interested in some recent statistics on the impact of gamification, here’s an article I found which is a quick read: Gamification in 2015: Top Statistics and Facts. Here’s some more facts and figures.

Here’s a quick brainstorm on how to implement gamification into the online shopping experience (without culling the ridiculous … yes, aliens may get a mention).

Let’s get the obvious out the way first:

  • For first time customers (you can work that out based on their email address) after successful payment immediately reward them with a ‘first time customer’ badge, and give them something as a reward – that might be an additional extra product thrown into their first delivery, a discount off their next purchase, reward points …

By the way, before I go on … congratulations on choosing to read this blog, and getting past the first few paragraphs! Click here to get your reward. Seriously now, click!

Now where were we … okay, back to the perhaps less obvious ideas (and you wouldn’t necessarily do all of these things simultaneously):

  1. After the customer adds an item into their shopping cart, congratulate them with a badge and explain that they are x steps closer to owning their new item. Sounds, visuals and a feeling of game play are important aspects of gamification; so don’t make it too boring.
  2. As the customer works their way through the checkout, make it into a game … giving them fun visuals showing that they are progressing through the purchasing of their prize.
  3. For returning customers, give them a different reward compared to first timers … perhaps accrue points towards their free / goal purchase. To make this feel like a game, perhaps avoid a “frequent flier points” style point system, and lean more towards collecting cute ‘widgets’ to achieve a goal number of ‘widgets’.
  4. For customers who click through from your purchase confirmation email, to track the progress of their order or shipping, show them another badge – the excited shopper award perhaps! Make this sometimes anxious stage of the wait fun for your customer, and ease their mind that their parcel is on the way.
  5. For customers who click through to view your terms and conditions or payment security page, show them another badge – the careful shopper award perhaps. Again, this helps you to turn this more serious matter into something more light hearted and friendly.

Alright … there’s the brainstorm. You’ve probably thought of a few more, so please add to the above list via the comments!

Or tell us if you have noticed gamification popping up in business websites, like the DropBox example 1 and example 2?

NB: There is a real life prize for the first comment added to this blog post. You will receive your surprise gift in the mail.



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4 Responses to “Gamification of your online store”

  1. Steve Says:

    Nice article. It is interesting how the gaming idea is all around us. We are so used to it, that we don’t see it.
    Fantasy Teams for AFL and other games.
    Movember allows participants to set a target and they receive badges for past and current participation, as well as entry into the Award Party if they raise enough funds.
    The challenge, as always, is how to adapt that thinking to our own business, so that it fits, without it negatively affecting the brand.

  2. Heather Maloney Says:

    Thanks for your insights Steve, and you won the prize. 🙂
    So do you find that the gamification of Movember, which I know you participate in regularly, inspires your greater participation?

  3. Steve Says:

    Not greater. No.
    But ongoing, small touch points. Yes.

    I updated my info on Movember just now.
    The Badge System caused me to update the info so that I got a 5 year badge instead of the 3 year badge that was there. (Some years I am Steve Wood and some years I am Stephen Wood.

    It’s an interesting phenomenon – where small things online, cause a nudge in behaviour in the real world.

  4. Steve Says:

    A BIG BIG Thank You to Heather Maloney.
    I picked up my prize today. It was a $30 gift card for use at Thomas Dux.


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