If you’re like most retail marketers, Q4 is a critical point for one thing, and one thing only: sales.
The problem? Customers are assaulted with holiday promotions starting earlier and earlier every year.
It’s difficult to stand out, or compete on anything other than price — unless you have the elusive brand loyalty of Apple. But if you’re like the majority of people, and tired of competing based on who can shave their margins the thinnest, don’t worry.
There’s a solution to your holiday marketing woes.
One that comes with competitive advantages, great customer experience, and a measurable tie to sales.
Game-Based Marketing. The Answer to the Age-Old Holiday Discount Dilemma
If you’re going “game-based marketing. What the heck is that?” here’s the quick answer: you build a fun game, and nest your marketing messaging into it. Consumers play the game because it’s fun and they might win a prize. Then you limit the plays, and encourage them to earn more by completing actions that drive business goals (like sales).
Here are some of the ways game-based marketing can increase basket size and make more sales this holiday season.
1) Create Gift Inspiration Lists
When most people start gift shopping they are unsure what they want to get (1).
Providing gift inspiration in game-based marketing is easy; you can showcase your products in a game, offer recommendation quizzes, or gamify your product exploration pages.
The trick is to then take that inspiration and convert it into bigger baskets. The easiest way to do that is to showcase your products in gift lists or sets within your game-based promotion.
And if you include some educational messaging about who the products might make a good gift for, you can make the customer’s shopping experience simpler — and increase the chance they buy more of the products in the set.
2) Educate about Products from Within the Game
Consumers tend to research products to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck. In fact, Google searches related to “best” products grew more than 50% last year (1).
The problem (as I'm sure you know) is there's a lot of content competing for your consumers’ attention -- especially over the holidays.
Your content has to be useful or entertaining (preferably both) to keep their eyes on the page.
That’s why game-based marketing works so well for educating consumers. By incorporating product information into your game, you make it fun to learn about your products.
The more consumers play the game, the more they’ll learn about your stuff — and the more likely they’ll be to buy it.
3) Reward for Purchases Over a Specific Amount
A great way to drive sales is rewarding consumers for purchases over a set amount. Customers could enter a PIN code they receive at checkout or take a photo of their receipt to earn in-game perks. This will help increase purchase frequency and drive additional product sales as people try to earn more chances to win.
You can also streamline the journey between research and purchase by making it simple to buy products within your promotion. This could be a ‘buy now’ button on showcased products that links to your ecommerce site. Or a ‘find in-store’ button that helps drive traffic to your stores.
4) Showcase Related Products with Product Recommendation Quizzes
Have you ever noticed your “personalized” marketing gets a little screwy around the holidays? You buy a new fishing pole for your dad and you get emails promoting new fishing gear for months to come.
It can be tricky to get personalization right around the holidays, because most people aren’t buying for themselves. And most aren’t looking for related products to what they just bought — the gift is already crossed off their list.
Product recommendation quizzes are a great solution because instead of relying on assumed behaviour, your customer tells you exactly what they’re looking for.
Make sure to provide relevant options that could all work together based on the customer’s inputs. Then offer coupons for related products as an extra incentive to increase basket size.
The Bottom Line
The holidays are busy. Busy for consumers, busy for marketers, and busy in the marketplace.
A game-based promotion helps you cut through the clutter and keeps your brand top of mind when consumers are looking for gift ideas. Combined with components that make it convenient and rewarding to shop, game-based marketing can help you increase basket size and sell more stuff this holiday season.
For More Holiday Promotion Advice Check Out These Posts:
This post was originally published on September 13, 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and clarity.