If you’re not already playing games with your customers, it’s time to press start. Millions of brands are increasing their customer engagement and optimizing their customer experience with gamification. This strategy encourages brands to add some layers of game mechanics to their customer experience that will help to repeatedly create excitement.

“[Gamification is] the process of taking something that already exists - a website, an enterprise application, an online community - and integrating game mechanics into it to motivate participation, engagement, and loyalty.”
Rajat Paharia, author of Loyalty 3.0

Gamification can be an extremely powerful loyalty strategy by creating an experience that gets customers hooked and keeps them coming back. There are several different types of gamification strategies that you can use for your ecommerce store, but no matter what you go with, for maximum impact it is essential to design these with a mobile-first mindset.

More than half of online purchases are made on mobile devices.

With more than 50% of online purchases happening on a mobile device you need to make sure your user interface is compatible with your consumers’ behaviors. Mobile-first design is the process of starting the product design from the more restricted mobile end and then expanding its features to create tablet and desktop versions. This allows you to deliver an experience that is just as enjoyable to your customer’s phone as you do to their computer.

This is critical when designing your mobile site, but it also matters just as much for your loyalty program. Customers will only want to earn and redeem points on their phones if it’s made easy for them. Luckily, we happen to know of a pretty cool company that allows you to optimize everything from your on-site messages to your rewards launcher and panel for your mobile experience.

With the rise of consumer behavior happening on mobile, it’s important to make sure you’re optimizing everything, including your gamification tactics! Take a look at four of the best gamification marketing strategies you can implement in your mobile experience today,

Rewards progress bars

While every game has its own set of unique rules and characteristics, the ultimate goal remains the same: to win. This simple philosophy can also be applied to motivating your customers with your rewards program. Except, in this case, the game involves making purchases to earn points and winning is the prize of a reward.

The most important part of any points program is customer motivation. If your customers don’t see value in your rewards or feel that they’re attainable, they won’t be motivated to make repeat purchases. This boils down to something called Expectancy Theory, which leads customers to believe that the benefits they can earn from any action will equal the effort they put in.

When customers are able to visualize their effort, it gamifies their shopping experience. Reward progress bars are a great feature to increase the value of your mobile experience.

mobile gamification - evys tree reward progress bars

Evy’s Tree offers the perfect example of a brand that’s killing the game with visual rewards progress bars. When customers log in to their account, they are able to see how close they are to reaching every available reward. This keeps customers coming back and spending more on every purchase to fill that progress bar up and secure their next reward.

mobile gamification - moroccan oil rewards icons

Humans are visual creatures: the average person is able to remember more than 2000 pictures with 90% accuracy over the course of several days, so displaying the rewards available to your customers is another motivating technique. Take Moroccan Oil’s rewards panel for example. With image icons of their product rewards, customers can see exactly what they are working towards.

Showing your customers how close they are to each reward will make checking their progress and motivation to earn a fun challenge that will keep them engaged with your brand.

People depend on their phones for everything from messaging and calling to having their own digital personal assistant with reminders, digital wallets, and health tracking. However, even with the wide variety of apps and capabilities, people are still spending as much as 80% of their time on their mobile devices on social media.

This social media buzz coupled with the earlier fact we learned that more than 50% of online purchases are made on mobile devices leads to the need for a seamless mobile user experience. Giving your customers the chance to earn reward points for engaging with you online is a great way to leverage your social media. If you want to make this as smooth as possible for your customers, you need to ensure that you’ve built a mobile experience optimized for this behavior.

mobile gamification - ivory ella social media points

Take Ivory Ella’s social media points earning opportunities for example. They’ve created a mobile site that is just as beautiful and user-friendly as their desktop version. By scaling down the size of their loyalty program launcher, they’ve saved valuable real estate on their users’ screens. When user’s click on the launcher, it leads them to Ivory Ella’s fully functional rewards panel allowing them to sign in and view their rewards progress, ways to earn, and ways to spend their points.

When customers go mobile, they expect an efficient, smooth experience. Ivory Ella delivers just that by taking customers directly from their panel to the social media app related to the points-earning action they’ve clicked. When customers return to the site, they can see the action being checked off and their points balance increase in real-time. This type of instant gratification gamifies the mobile experience with an increasing points balance acting as an increasing score.

Customers are going to continue “playing the game” by interacting more on social to earn more points and increase their “score”.

Interactive promotions and missions

If you can make earning points fun, then you can create a loyalty program that wins every time. This is one of the biggest advantages of gamification because your customers will want to continue engaging with your brand. There are several different forms of interactive promotions that you can incorporate into your mobile customer experience to keep the excitement high at all times.

mobile gamification - ivory ella spin to win

Spin to win campaigns are an exciting way to offer your customers additional value in an engaging way. When I received an email with the subject line “Spin to Win” in my inbox, I was immediately intrigued. After all, who doesn’t like to win? From there, I was able to open my email, see the wheel spinning, click on the “Spin Now” button, and was brought to Ivory Ella’s website all within a matter of seconds. In exchange for my email, I was able to spin the wheel, copy and save the discount to my clipboard, and continue shopping online.

Rather than just giving me a discount code, this promotion treated it as a game and my prize was the discount. This is further exemplified through the language used in their results page copy. Telling me that I won 20% off further emphasized that I felt like I was playing - and winning - a game.

Not only was this experience extremely exciting and fun, but it was optimized for my mobile experience. As someone, like many others, who only check their emails on their phone, it was imperative to me that this campaign worked as well on my phone as it would on my laptop.

mobile gamification - Shoppers scratch email

Shoppers Drug Mart offers another prime example of an interactive, mobile-first loyalty campaign. This fun email delivers an even more fun reward to its customers. Customers get the opportunity to scratch their screen to reveal this message rewarding them the chance to earn 20,000 points.

Shoppers clearly thought about their customer’s experience by designing this campaign with a mobile-first mindset. Customers who are not viewing it on a smartphone have the chance to click a link at the bottom of the screen to engage with the promotion on a desktop. This type of mobile optimization is key to helping you win your customers over every time.

Creating interactive promotions and missions puts your customers’ enjoyment above everything else.

VIP tier progress and achievements

Just like in any game, the chance to “level up” is what drives players to continue playing to achieve the highest possible status. If you’ve read some of our other posts, this might sound an awful lot like a tiered VIP loyalty program. That’s because they’re both driven by Social Comparison Theory, which states that people determine their own worth based on how they compare to others. With the similarities, it’s no secret that gamification works extremely well in VIP loyalty programs.

As a more advanced form of gamification, VIP tiers give customers something to work towards. With each level becoming harder and harder to reach, customers become more motivated to be recognized as the best of the best. By adding visual cues such as tier progress bars and milestones, gamification makes earning points fun.

mobile gamification - 310 nutrition VIP progress bars

310 Nutrition has taken up this strategy by incorporating VIP tier progress bars and points balances in their panel. This lets customers know exactly how close they are to unlocking that next level of exclusive rewards.

Telling your customers they’re close to the next tier is one thing, but actually showing them is a whole other level.

How to start winning every time with mobile gamification strategies

Gamification might have been the missing piece of your loyalty strategy that will take your mobile experience to the next level. The “right loyalty solution” will allow you to design a mobile-first rewards program that is valuable to your shoppers wherever they are shopping.

Using strategies like rewards progress bars, social media points, interactive promotional campaigns, and VIP tier progress bars are a great way to keep customers engaged and always excited to shop with you.

Add these strategies to your loyalty program to see how gamification can be a game changer for your brand. If you don’t have a loyalty program yet you can get started for free in just a couple clicks