Over 40 percent of US consumers play video games at least once in a month. That statistic is likely to increase with the increase in use of smartphones and tablets. This presents new opportunities for businesses not usually associated with gaming to find unique ways to interest their customers.
“Gamification” is a term used to describe the use of game techniques such as creating challenges and providing rewards in industries not typically associated with gaming.
Why Use Gaming?
Companies that have decided to use this approach are hoping to attract new customers and keep current customers by engaging them more actively with their company. They also anticipate increased spending and hope to differentiate themselves from their competition.
Gaming not only interests the single customer but it can intrigue a whole community when combined with social networks. It can dramatically increase the buzz around a company and draw in new audiences.
Retail has been one of the leaders of this concept and it is now making its way into other industries. One of the most popular apps to utilize this idea is Foursquare. Retailers can give rewards to customers who come into their physical location.
Not all programs are considered gamification. For instance, many loyalty programs do not meet the criteria. There are no levels or competitions to qualify it as gaming.
The energy industry is one that is utilizing gamification to differentiate companies. Since the industry has been deregulated, companies must now compete for their customers in an industry that is not the most exciting or different. Price is often the only difference between companies so they must look for a new way to capture their customer base.
Energy companies can offer competitions for using energy management devices and the use of remote management where they can turn on and off appliances from another location.
Companies can also use gamification to enhance customers’ viewing of television commercials by adding rewards to participants who use an app during the viewing.
Gamification can be used in many outlets besides just increasing sales. Take education, for instance. Teachers have offered rewards in the past for achieving certain objectives. With gamification, it can create a competitive atmosphere to make learning more fun and effective.
It can also be utilized in health care to help people stop bad habits and start good ones.
Gamification can revolutionize the way organizations and companies do business and influence their success rate while enhancing the consumer experience.