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The fundamental goal of every loyalty program is to engage the customer. How do you do that? The equation seems ridiculously simple — excitement equals engagement. However, a recent study by eMarketer would seem to indicate things just aren’t adding up for many program members; while average consumers belong to slightly more than 13 loyalty programs (an increase since 2013), they actively participate in only about six (a decrease since 2013).
Not an impressive stat if you are in the loyalty space. The goal of the program is to drive engagement and over half of them are failing for consumers. If excitement equals engagement there must be a lot of consumers bored by their brands’ loyalty program. The solution for many of these failing might just be building more gamification into the platform.
In the eMarketer report, Ankit Shah, managing director and partner of gamification company Dopamine, explains the appeal of gamification: “Loyalty hinges on this one caveat: Nothing is fun forever. The loyalty process must be constantly refreshed to make experiences fun and interesting regardless of what they look like today or how ‘sexy’ they are today.”
Gamification works to build engagement for a number of reasons:
Despite its broad appeal for consumers, few loyalty program marketers are using gamification to its full potential — yet. Only a third of retailers are using gamification in their loyalty programs, according to a study by Boston Retail Partners. Within the next five years, that number is projected to rise to 87%, representing an increase of 181% overall, the survey says. Gamification applies game-design thinking to loyalty programs to make them more fun and engaging for participants, BRP explains in its “CRM/Unified Commerce Survey.”
If your program is struggling to live up to its billing or you think you could still do better, it might be wise to look at adding gamification into the mix.
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