• Play Retail Ltd.

What is 'Gamification'​?

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

We sat down with our Head of Design, Merlyn Gray to discuss the use of gamification within retail environments. Check out his insight below:

How would you describe gamification in retail?

M: Gamification in retail is a great opportunity for brands to shape consumer behaviour by delivering content in an engaging way. Consumers are now more aware of when they are being advertised to. Gamification breaks down these barriers and delivers specific content whilst boosting brand awareness. 

As a designer, what is the best way of approaching gamification?

M: For a successful gamification experience there are multiple factors at play. Firstly, you have to be mindful of the location and how much time people have to participate. Secondly, it’s important to remove as many barriers as possible in order for people to stop losing interest before the game has begun. Entering social media logins, phone numbers and email addresses at the start tends to put people off. On top of this, the UI needs to be simple and considered to help consumers navigate the journey as simply as possible.

Gamification is a rising trend that brands are utilising to direct consumer traffic towards their activation pop-ups. Through gamification, retailers can increase customer engagement, boost brand awareness and even shape customer behaviour. 

Tell us how you included gamification into your recent Mondelez activation.

M: For Mondelez we incorporated gamification to help boost awareness of a new category, at the same time as driving product trial and sales. We are aware that in travel retail people have time to spare before their flights. This creates a perfect opportunity for passengers to go shopping or participate in new brand experiences. We wanted to create an experience that was intuitive and focused on the gentle rivalry of the two power brands Cadbury an Oreo.

Through a biscuit themed air hockey game we leveraged the nostalgic theme set by Mondelez. Players could pick a side and battle it out against each other to find the ultimate winner. They were then encouraged to take a winner’s selfie to share the memorable experience.

Looking back on this project would you do anything differently?

M: I would have loved to see some of the initial ideas filter through if time and budget was not an issue. We wanted to see the brand ambassadors be part of the rivalry, each trying to offer their brands samples to consumers before the other.

It would have also been great to include a central leaderboard system where different regional locations with the same activation could battle it out to be the highest scorer.

How do you see gamification being utilised in the future?

M: I think technological innovation will ultimately drive the future of gamification. As long as technology companies keep innovating, we as designers can keep providing practical applications for it within the retail industry.

Merlyn Gray

Head of Design