Gamification, the application and design of video game mechanisms to achieve key business objectives, has created quite the buzz in a somewhat sluggish retail economy. With digital transformation occupying the table seat in every boardroom, success factors have rapidly evolved for ambitious startups and legacy companies alike. No longer content with conservatively skirting the edges of innovation, businesses are forging ahead with change that is at once meaningful and purposeful, and gamification on the blockchain has emerged as a prime contender.
Indeed, companies who thrive under the relentless pace of disruption are able to regard emerging technologies insofar as their ability to build inherently new models rather than appending another function to their legacy system as a be-all end-all solution. With gamification enabling a richer consumer experience and illuminating the new rules of the customer-brand relationship, blockchain comes into play by creating an engagement economy that empowers even traditional retailers to participate in a largely digital future. As businesses realize its tremendous potential to shape a new, definitive retail experience, gamification on the blockchain is set to be a game changer for retailers both big and small, and new and traditional.
Playing for success
Businesses that are mindful of the complexities of navigating the 21st-century landscape are conscious of the need to deliver value that resonates with the modern consumer. In their efforts to meet these evolving demands, industry giants such as Nike have employed gamification to great success, rolling out an in-store virtual reality treadmill game for players to try out their Epic React footwear range and star in their own Super Mario-inspired video game. While gamification has its roots in psychology - these mechanisms work based on the convergence of motivation, engagement, and trigger - much of its value lies in refreshing outdated models and reinventing existing ones. For instance, e-commerce giants such as Southeast Asia-based Lazada have jumped on the gamification bandwagon as they look to shake up the retail experience for tech-savvy consumers. With gamification marking a departure from price wars that are an inevitable race to the bottom, businesses––whether offline or online––are beginning to understand its influence in incentivising the shopper’s experience for a greater payoff.
Despite the rise of a new generation of tech-savvy consumers that have made the seamless transition from bricks to clicks, businesses continue to see the value of orienting the retail experience towards the human psychological need to explore, progress and compete. Target, for instance, has orchestrated the use of gamification to reinvent its registry building list, resulting in 75,000 downloads and recording a sales potential of more than $92 million. In turn, other retailers have responded in kind, with 9 out of 10 including gamification as part of their strategy in the next five years. As businesses both online and offline compete in the highly cut-throat retail space, the emphasis on gamification will allow them to boost engagement, drive traffic, and ultimately build a participatory culture for success in the long term.
Bigger, better, brighter
While gamification has been recognized as an industry driver, businesses that look to surpass worn out models of retail have continued their work to arrive at more impactful solutions. A thoughtful consideration of blockchain and its merits opens the door to a new understanding of gamification, one that is anchored by principles of trust, fairness and transparency. At the same time, the benefits of tokenization across industries lends itself in more ways than one, with blockchain finding its way into the mainstream narrative as it forms the technological backbone of everyday consumer applications.
The exploration of fresh possibilities within a laggard retail ecosystem no longer reflects only the bright-eyed optimism of pioneering companies flirting with the idea of blockchain implementation, but more significantly captures the seismic shift as brick and mortar retailers adapt to the changing times. Welcoming the arrival of the digital native generation, retail demands a more intuitive, personalized and connected experience that is no longer compatible with the transactional model of commerce. By challenging the status quo, there is an urgency for businesses to enforce these changes both from a top-down and outside-in perspectives. While decision makers and leaders have to make sense of technologies as they develop, at the same time, it remains imperative that the voice of the consumer on the ground is listened to and echoed in their executive decisions.
Disruption by any other name
Whether it be gamification or blockchain (or both!), the introduction of fresh energies is an encouraging sign in an industry that has long been associated with stagnancy. Modern retail will no longer differentiate itself between brick and mortar or e-commerce, and its legacy will instead be championed by companies who are able to envision the future and leverage technologies, both existing and new, to ultimately succeed. No longer driven by external forces, disruption will start from within––and it will be an innovation-first approach that makes a truly compelling force for change, heralding the beginning of a golden age for the industry.