Five ways gamification can ignite your retail sales

Five ways gamification can transform retail

I have no idea how fruit machines work. Sure, I get the 'line up three bunches of cherries to win' classic, but the all-singing-all-blinking monstrosity that mocked me in the pub yesterday? Absolutely clueless. And yet, somehow, its combination of twinkly lights, bashy buttons and blippy noises had me chucking coins into it like owning money was going out of fashion.

That's because, as a species, we're far more likely to engage with something if there's an element of gaming involved. I'm sure there's an evolutionary imperative behind all this: if you took a chance on the lady monkey with the weirdy, opposable thumbs, there was a better chance your offspring would survive the great banana famine of 7,000,000 years BC. That kind of thing. Don't ask me, ask Richard Dawkins.

Anyway, we love gaming (and its sidekick, competition), and the introduction of these elements - conceptually known as 'gamification' - into any environment works wonders. The LinkedIn profile completeness bar is a famous example, and rightly so: users fill in more and more info to achieve a 100% complete 'score' and, in so doing, provide mountains more data back to LI, its users and, of course, its

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Pepsi's crushing Coke in social

Pepsi's crushing Coca-Cola in social

The social media marketing world has been all in a tizz about Coca-Cola Senior Manager of Marketing Strategy and Insights, Eric Schmidt's, recent comments about their industry. Specifically, his revelation that all the positive buzz generated by his social team only bolsters Coke sales by a miniscule 0.01%.

Well, forgive us - this is going to sound a wee bit blunt. But what do Coke expect? No one buys a can of Coke online. Not unless they're seriously patient and a little bit strange. And, sure, there might be a little ambient goodwill that ferments in the soul of a Fan or Follower until they next pass a newsagent but a) you're going to really struggle to track this and b) you're ceding all control at that stage to the retailer. One big promotion for a rival and all your hard work will probably be undone.

But Coke's problem isn't that they're using social. It's that they're using social media marketing instead of social commerce. The moment you start selling in social, everything changes. Why? Because there's an immediate action. There's instant engagement. You create a desire and serve that desire right there in the social arena. And, if that sounds a little theoretical, it really isn't. In fact, we're already doing exactly that with Coke's biggest rival, PepsiCo - and it's working amazingly. Here's a lowdown...

Pepsi Max Social Commerce Case Study

So, here's the good news for Mr Schmidt and Coca-Cola - brands like his can sell via social. But you need to think about what you're selling and you need to sell it socially, where the audience is, not wait for them to purchase later or send them off to a faceless e-commerce store. Get that nailed and you'll see a massive upswing in engagement, sharing and sales. Carry on doing what you have been doing (and Coke have been quick to clarify that they have no plans to change their strategy) and the results will be disastrous.

Robin Bresnark

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