As companies revamp their loyalty programs, many are employing gamification, which can reward customers for actions beyond making purchases.
Retail and CX leaders discussed their use of gamification to create new options for their customers to earn and redeem points at the National Retail Federation’s Big Show conference in New York City last week.
Digital badges are one way retail leaders can employ gamification, said Lin Dai, CEO and co-founder of Superlogic, a loyalty software vendor.
The badges exist within a company’s app and can be earned through specific actions, like sharing a social media post or participating in an in-store event, with an equally broad number of redemption options.
“A digital badge can literally represent any type of redeemable physical product or benefit you have within your ecosystem or even outside,” Dai said during a panel.
Badges can help gamified loyalty programs tie customer experiences and post-purchase journeys together. Dai provided the example of a customer earning a badge for a transaction, then upgrading the badge and the corresponding reward after they share their thoughts on social media.
This approach enables loyalty programs to enhance the shopping experience while also keeping customers engaged between purchases, according to Dawn Fichot, head of marketing for North America at Brompton Bicycle.
Brompton’s foldable bikes are designed to last for decades, so few customers will make purchases often, according to Fichot. Its loyalty program rewards actions like referrals to help keep these shoppers within the Brompton ecosystem and draws attention to cycling events.
“Loyalty isn't, ‘Are you buying the newest color and the newest model every year?’” she said during the session. “It's, ‘How are you engaging in these other activities?’”
Gamification will feel natural for consumers who grew up interacting on social media and playing interactive games, according to Dai. Embracing this new approach to loyalty will be particularly important as Generation Z’s purchasing power grows and Generation Alpha enters the workforce.