How to Use Gamification & Loyalty Programs to Boost Your Shopify Sales

  • Technology
  • December 16, 2021
  • by Nichole Apostolopoulos

As shoppers increasingly spend more time on mobile devices and have more options available to divert their attention, e-commerce stores are confronted with the challenge of getting their customers to return. Enter gamification.

Haven’t we all been addicted to a video game or two in our lifetime? Be it Candy Crush or Pokemon Go, games keep us hooked on our devices. Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game situations to create more engaging experiences. In e-commerce, when incorporated into loyalty programs, customers are more likely to sign up, purchase and engage with your store. 

 E-commerce stores like SHEIN have incorporated gamification into their platforms by rewarding customers with points for frequent logins, playing in-app minigames and writing reviews. Even the review-writing process itself has various ‘levels’, awarding additional points for photo uploads or longer descriptions. Customers feel motivated to ‘level up’ while they shop, which boosts engagement.

Loyalty programs work because they make customers feel valued, resulting in increased retention rates and more referrals from existing to new customers. By combining an engaging gamification setup that will make customers feel as though they’re progressing through game levels, with a loyalty program that will keep customers feeling seen and appreciated, stores can expect to increase profits and customer retention.

Loyalty programs that offer gamification for Shopify stores

Yotpo

First up, Yotpo - an all-encompassing e-commerce marketing platform, incorporating data-driven solutions for reviews, loyalty, SMS marketing, and more. If you’re only familiar with one review platform, it’s probably them.

How it works… 

Yotpo offers many ways to boost loyalty via gamification, including smart prompts for reviews, customer sign-up incentives and rewards for referrals. Yotpo also provides great flexibility when it comes to campaign personalization, adapting the branding of their games to that of their client.

What it costs… 

Yotpo charges are based on order volume. Learn more here.

Integrates well with… 

Gorgias (customer service), dotdigital (ESP), Klaviyo (ESP + SMS), and many more.

We teamed up with Yotpo to offer our client Emma Bridgewater an enhanced shopping experience, utilizing Yotpo’s reviews and UGC features to set up their own “Collectors Club” loyalty program.

Emma Bridgewater 'Lifetime Collectors Club'

What Yotpo has to say...

Ellys Childs, Partner Manager at Yotpo, gave her take on the importance of loyalty programs in e-commerce:

Consumers are more emotionally invested in their favourite brands now than they have been in the past, viewing the shopper-brand relationship as more than just a transactional exchange. Not only are they willing to spend more with a brand they are loyal to but they are also willing to do more for that brand too.

And discussed how gamification plays its own role in loyalty initiatives.

E-commerce brands will be most familiar with the use of gamification for customer acquisition, but in fact, it's the perfect tool for engaging existing customers through loyalty. Shoppers who read reviews or browse customer photos with Yotpo are 98% more likely to convert than those who don’t, and so what better way to generate more conversion-boosting content, than asking your most loyal customers for it. Not only can you get more reviews, but you can also use this strategy to increase retention. Coupons/points do the double duty of getting more reviews while also encouraging customers to return to your store to use their discount/points, and return customers will spend 3x more than one-time shoppers! Its a win-win!

LoyaltyLion

As you might guess from their name, LoyaltyLion’s expertise lies in loyalty and rewarding customers for their purchasing behavior.

The platform offers a robust A/B testing engine with analytics, so that insights can be used to create successful campaigns for clients. A/B testing enables merchants to try out different scenarios and determine what kind of campaigns have the greatest impact on customer spend. For example, bonus points can be offered when customers spend above the AOV (average order value) and, using A/B testing, merchants can tweak the AOV to optimize these campaigns over time.

How it works… 

LoyaltyLion’s user dashboards mean that customers are able to see the points they’ve accumulated and the rank they’ve achieved, and they can also redeem rewards straight from these pages. Using the multi-site setup, merchants can sync this data throughout multiple sites and are able to display user leaderboards, which inspire competition and therefore more purchasing.

What it costs… 

Costs depend on monthly order numbers. Learn more here.

Integrates well with… 

Yotpo (reviews), Klaviyo (ESP + SMS) and Recharge (subscriptions).

Skinnydip London has molded LoyaltyLion’s loyalty program to fit their brand and make it their own - Skinnydip Airlines. Here, tiers are communicated as steps you’d take while traveling by air, making the loyalty process fun, engaging and memorable. 

Take a look at how we joined forces with Shopify Plus to take Skinnydip’s e-commerce to new heights.

Skinnydip's loyalty program "Skinnydip airlines"

What LoyaltyLion has to say...

Fiona Stevens, Head of Marketing at LoyaltyLion had this to say when it comes to gamification:

Loyalty program gamification is a trend we’ve seen increasing in recent years, with brands such as Nike and Dominos leading the charge. The addition of a competitive element works not just to differentiate your program from others, but to encourage customers to engage more with your brand in between purchases.

And discussed how making it a part of your loyalty program can benefit conversion and return customers. 

This can prompt valuable community actions such as reviews, social media likes and shares and referrals but also help shoppers to build up their points balance faster, meaning that they return to shop again sooner. Gamification is a surefire way to motivate greater loyalty program participation.

Read about LoyaltyLion’s gamification work with theCHIVE: https://loyaltylion.com/uk/customers/thechive

Smile.io

Smile is one of the most flexible loyalty and rewards platforms. They’re known for their customizable rewards programs and user-friendly nature for both customers and merchants.

How it works… 

Smile.io offers a VIP status which customers need to work at to retain once reached. Prompts such as rewards widgets and custom call-out sections can be set up on product pages, informing customers of the progress they’ll make if they follow through with the purchase they’re considering, providing extra incentive to buy.

What it costs… 

Plans are laid out on Smile’s pricing page.

Integrates well with… 

Klaviyo (ESP + SMS), Recharge (subscriptions) and Gorgias (customer support).

Our team has integrated Smile.io on Goose and Gander’s website, offering a series of ways to earn points for redemption.

Goose & Gander 'Earn while you shop'

Conclusion

The future of customer engagement is here. Whether motivating customers to ‘level-up’ their loyalty through the use of prompts, progress bars or leaderboards, gamification is a fun and creative way to keep your customers shopping

Customer loyalty may be no game, but there are certainly big wins to come from it. If you’re looking to launch on Shopify Plus and want help figuring out which loyalty program is the one for you, reach out to our team.


Authors

Nichole Apostolopoulos

Nichole joined We Make Websites in 2021. She has a Bachelor's in Computer Science and ten years of experience in the digital field including web development, design, project and product management and e-commerce.


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