Why gaming could be key to increasing your customer loyalty beyond the point of purchase

Paolo Rizzardini
Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)

The pandemic has brought with it many challenges for business, including shifts in business models to adapt and adjust to new ways of working. This has also had a direct impact on the relationships with customers, with businesses having to find new and innovative ways to retain and attract customers.

Retaining existing customers is ultimately far cheaper and more effective than attracting new customers and reducing customer churn has huge benefits for turnover and profit.  A study in the Harvard Business Review [1] noted that increasing customer retention by 5% can generate a 25%–95% increase in profit.

Loyalty programmes, which offer incentives such as discounts and rewards as a way to attract and retain customers, are a great way to build connections with your customers, attract customers that suit your brand objectives, increase your understanding of your customers and their behaviour, and retain them over the long term.

But loyalty programmes are increasingly common and need to stand out to be effective. Enhancing loyalty ecosystems in innovative ways that set you apart is a competitive necessity and an opportunity to make easy gains in customer loyalty and stickiness while boosting your brand profile. Keeping existing customers happy and surprising them with additional value allows you to efficiently drive future revenue.  

As digitalization is becoming more and more commonplace in the way businesses engage their customers, one such innovative solution involves adapting a white-label gaming portal that can be used on mobile, desktop and tablets as a platform for loyalty rewards. Offering a curated platform of premium games allows you to retain customers beyond the point of purchase, differentiate your value offering, establish your brand as relevant and drive engagement.

Games are uniquely engaging and interactive. Amongst self-described gamers, games provide points of emotional resonance, and gamers are both exceptionally loyal to brands they adopt, and quick to communicate rewards and value offerings amongst their networks. Attracting gamers through loyalty networks can also lead to new customers signing up.

While a range of industries can benefit from the confluence of gaming and loyalty programs, it holds particular value for fashion, food and beverage brands, whose markets coincide with the growing demand for gaming. Brands such as Red Bull, Nike, Gucci and DHL are some of the many companies that are leveraging the $200 billion gaming industry by introducing gaming solutions into their rewards.

Games are increasingly becoming channels for branded content, and many have evolved into social media platforms in and of themselves. Gaming companies such as Epic Games, the developers of Fortnite, have seen wild, almost overnight success through their in-game partnerships with brands. In 2019, snack brand Doritos partnered with Marvel Studios to mark the release of Spiderman: Far from Home. They created a promotional programme that collected user data, showcased both brands, and boosted customer loyalty. The collaboration between Hot Wheels and Rocket League is a match made in heaven and points the way for innovative partnerships that support brand objectives.

Gaming is not a niche activity. It is universal, increasingly inclusive, and growing rapidly:

– More than 2.1 billion people worldwide play video games, and this figure is increasing by more than 14% year on year.

– Almost 9 in 10 young American men are gamers, along with over half of young American women. [2]

– The market potential in Europe, the Middle East and Africa alone is approximately EUR35 billion in turnover.

– This market is shifting irreversibly from physical to digital. The cloud gaming market is expected to reach $3 billion in the next two years and exceed $8 billion by 2025.

– This explosion in gaming is driven primarily by casual gamers and families, who represent 60% of the gaming market. Games are for everyone.

Adding a gaming solution to loyalty rewards is a fantastic way to acquire new customers and increase customer loyalty and retention after the point of purchase. And they have additional benefits. Gaming portals allow businesses to glean valuable insights into consumer behaviour. The data generated through gaming is invaluable when correlated with customer databases, purchasing, and other behaviour.  

Mondia’s white-labelled gaming portals feature bespoke branding and can be easily added to existing loyalty programmes. Customers simply log in to the branded portal and redeem a voucher received at checkout to enjoy top games from leading developers including Gameloft, Disney and Cartoon Network.

For gamers, this addition to rewards is a reason to adhere to the loyalty programme, to make repeat purchases, and to communicate the value to their networks. For businesses, it’s a way to engage with customers on a deeper level, to differentiate themselves, to increase the value of data collection, and to support brand-building objectives. Gaming is here to stay and is getting bigger every day – companies that realise this will have the advantage and the ability to strengthen relationships with new and existing customers.

[1] https://hbr.org/2000/07/e-loyalty-your-secret-weapon-on-the-web

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2018/03/09/teenagers-are-fueling-an-e-gaming-tidal-wave/?noredirect=on

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