Gamification is the New Buzzword in Customer Experience

A majority of 90 per cent of retailers plan to use gamification to increase customer engagement, new study finds.

After big data, personalisation and omni-channel, there is a new kid in town that customer experience leaders are talking about: gamification.

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According to Boston Retail Parners' 2015 CRM/Unified Commerce Survey of top North American retailers, unified commerce and customer experiences that transcend channels are the new model, and retailers understand that customer relationship management (CRM) is an essential enabler and key to influencing customer behaviour.

In fact, a majority of 90 per cent of the retailers surveyed are planning to use gamification to increase customer engagement.

Brian Brunk, principal, Boston Retail Partners, said that it is "interesting" to see the "explosive" growth in the use of gamification as part of a CRM programme to engage and motivate customers.

He also added that customer experience and engagement continue to be the top priority for retailers in their quest to gain and retain customers.

A successful CRM programme is built on a closed-loop system that follow 4 key steps:

  • identifying customers to establish new relationships
  • engaging with customers in compelling ways, such as gamification, that enhance the customer experience
  • analysing customer behaviours in real-time
  • retaining customers with superior service and loyalty programmes

The findings of BRP's survey recognize the key CRM aspects of customer engagement across these channels:

  • Identifying customers - 883 per cent more retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store within five years
  • engaging with customers - 87 per cent of retailers plan to use gamification to engage the customer within five years
  • analysing customer behaviours - 100 per cent of the retailers plan to utilise analytics/dashboard to understand shopping behaviours within two years
  • retaining customers - 46 per cent of retailers indicate that a structured loyalty programme is a top CRM priority

Ken Morris, principal, Boston Retail Partners, explained: "The key to influencing a customer's purchase and offering a personalised experience is to identify the customer early, as soon as they enter the store.

"However, in many cases, customer identification is happening at the point of checkout, which is too late to influence a current purchase decision. Fortunately, our survey indicates that within five years, more than 50 per cent of retailers plan to identify customers when they walk in the store."