Social gaming is becoming a new customer engagement tool for businesses looking to differentiate their products and services, in order to enhance their customer's experience. A growing segment of businesses are introducing arcade-style games for mobile devices to better engage customers and educate them about their products and services.
“Gamification in retail is turning typical retail customer behavior, purchasing, visiting a web site or store, or signing up for a newsletter, into elements of a game where customers receive tangible or symbolic rewards for their participation in this game,” said Scott Silverman, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing for Ifeelgoods, a virtual goods solution provider. “I would expect that at least half of all national retailers will consciously employ gamification strategies in the next two to three years", writes RetailTouchPoints.com.
According to Pete Sena, the co-founder of Digital Surgeons, a digital-first creative agency, "Gamers are increasingly drawn by convenience and community, preferring social games on mobile devices." He goes on to offer the following statistics from Adotas.com and Businesswire.com:
- More than half of social network users play social games.
- Online gamers range in age from 10 to 65 years old.
- 32% of social gamers say shopping made them happy.
- 24% of those surveyed said they clicked on an ad while playing a game and made a purchase.
- 25% of those who buy virtual currency say that they do so at least once a week.
Here are three tips from Digital Surgeons, on how to utilize social gaming in your marketing efforts:
- Connect with these spenders-Target your digital games to online communities who have shown love for similar products.
- Make them play games-Tie discounts to actual game play. Gamers will play digital games just for the fun of it. They will also play a game when there is an economic incentive tied to it.
- Create brand ambassadors-Online gamers will view an endorsement of your game by a blogging gamer with much more weight than your direct marketing.
The upside to this customer engagement trend is that evidence is developing, showing that businesses can achieve performance expectations and outcomes by incorporating social gaming practices into some business channels. The end result of applying social gaming technologies should be visual benchmarks of achievement of business goals. Businesses that incorporate capable user experience design, psychology, social dynamics, and enterprise architecture will capture the biggest premiums with customer loyalty.