Mobile commerce and eCommerce have changed the way we shop, as numbers from the 2013 holiday season showed us. Even the most established and successful brick-and-mortar stores are shifting attention to mcommerce, developing apps that share the same addictive qualities that hooked you on Candy Crush.
In 2014, mobile orders are expected to make up nearly 14% of eCommerce purchases. By 2017, mo-commerce sales in the United States will hit an estimated $108 billion. With one in four dollars ecommerce dollars spent on mobile devices, companies now must develop new, fresh ways to entice buyers. What’s more exciting and engrossing than games?
Gamification is nothing new, and that’s why companies have to really think outside the box to gain attention. Some simply offer incentives for referrals; others might allow you to keep track of your purchases in an effort to gain points. The ones that really do it right—the game apps that keep users engrossed to the point of addiction—these are the games that will truly change the face of mo-commerce. Three have recently shown up on our radar, and we’re already showing signs of unhealthy attachment.
This app makes a game of just about any business nearby. To play, users sign up and call up the list of participating locations. Different challenges await at these locations, and each completed challenge wins points. What happens when you build up lots of points for the participating companies? Free stuff!
What really makes SCVNGR different is the inclusion of various companies. Instead of one brick-and-mortar store developing yet another boring app, they can join the fun with SCVNGR and reap the benefits.
What makes the app so successful is, of course, the free stuff. But anyone can give away rewards, right? Free stuff and discounts aren’t what will keep people glued to the app. The competition with friends, however, is all it takes to drive consumers back to the app over and over in an effort to gain more points, check into more places, and discover new businesses.
Perhaps the most impressive example of using gamification for m0-commerce is the Covet Fashion app. Essentially, this game is competitive paper dolls on crack. New users are plied with virtual cash and diamonds they can use to buy the latest fashions. Once they have a wardrobe built up, gamers can enter challenges to create new looks. On occasion, those challenges come with a very real prize. The rest of the time, virtual prizes are given.
Even if the game stopped there, the app would be crazy clever. Designers could pay to have their latest fashions featured simply for the exposure. But the game doesn’t stop there. In a stroke of pure genius, the app creators included a “shop online” link within the app, so players can buy real versions of the virtual fashions they love.
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