Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mash Up Store & Online for Gamification

A brand-e posting by an online gaming company executive advises retailers to incorporate casual games into their product lines. Casual games are distinguished by the shallow learning curve—you can start playing at a primer level right away—and by how players commonly intersperse brief play sessions into other activities.
     The argument for you selling casual games is the popularity. Last October, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants estimated that 25% of the world’s population and 50% of Americans were casual gamers. The distribution is skewed toward women and teens, both of whom are the kinds of people who buy all sorts of items.
     A prime argument against you including casual games in your product line is that about 90% of people will download a game without paying for it or expecting to pay. If you’re charging for Angry Birds, which has been downloaded more than one billion times, a 10% conversion rate does fine in paying the bills. But most games are not that popular on their own.
     In addition, store-based retailers wouldn’t want to depend on an online sales channel.
     Still, you can combine the store-based with the online. For instance, how about sending your target audience members out on a scavenger hunt? That’s the game where you give participants a list of items to find and maybe clues to finding the items. The first player or team to fulfill the list wins.
     It’s said that renowned party hostess Elsa Maxwell coined the name in the 1930s. Since then, store/online scavenger hunt blends have been used by retailers to build excitement and knowledge about offerings. Here are two examples:
  • A promotion for Dodge dealers attracted more than one million YouTube hits. The viewers were watching people finding one of the three Dodge Journey cars hidden in a scenic U.S. location. Each clue included information about the Journey’s features. 
  • Cathay Pacific introduced its non-stop Chicago-Hong Kong route with a challenge to collect experiences. Post a photo of yourself at the entrance to Chicago’s Chinatown and then a photo of yourself reclining in the Cathay Pacific business class “Comfy Seat” sample at O’Hare Airport. 
     Shoppers have always loved playing games. Scratch-off discounts. Sweepstakes. “Design our new logo” or “Name our new service” or, decades ago, “Tell us in 25 words or less why you shop at our store.” Tap into that spirit, with a blend of the virtual and real worlds.

Click below for more: 
Party Hearty with Scavenger Hunt Promotions 
Look to Toys & Games for Retailing Trends 
Game On with Consumer Competition 
Bid for Higher Margins Using Competition

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