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Best Gamification Lessons We Can Learn from China

[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 2, 2017 10:37:44 AM / by Terrence Ngu


Gamification is everywhere and it is the new secret weapon for every successful marketers.

More and more businesses are using gamification to create brand awareness and drive user engagement. The fusion of Gamification and Big data is driving digital transformation for thousands of businesses, from Retail to E-commerce.

What is Gamification?

By and large, gamification is a user experience tactic that uses online-based micro games to simplify complicated processes, attach positive emotion to the user experience to create stickiness as well as habit formation, and build brand differentiation. 
 
Social engagement such as likes, retweets, shares and comments is the holy grail that every brand seeks on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Twitter.  Brands know that incentivising consumers prompts engagement, excitement, a sense of belonging. Apart from a great a compelling content line up, the answer to high engagement or viral campaign lies in playing - Gamification.
 
Let’s take a peek into how Chinese brands use gamification online, so that you can be inspired to find more innovative ways to engage with your consumer base. The following article outline best practices and success stories of brands' digital transformation through gamification in China.
 

#1 Lucky Draw

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In China, email marketing is not very common, but almost everyone uses WeChat. As China's most popular mobile messaging app with 768 million active users, WeChat has quickly developed a host of technological capabilities that allow brands to create sophisticated "mini-games" for interactive marketing campaigns. 
 
Many brands have utilized WeChat’s technological features to incorporate gamification into their marketing campaigns. Branded mini games are not just for mass-market brands such as Pepsi or Nike. Ostensibly, many luxury, fashion, and beauty brands have embraced the trend as well.
 
The signature gamification mechanics on WeChat was the 2015 “Shake” Red envelope and 2016 “Grab” Red envelope campaigns.
 
WeChat partnered with the Spring Festival Gala and introduced the WeChat red envelope shake. During the gala, users were invited to shake their smartphones for a chance to win red envelopes. A total of 1.2 billion red envelopes, worth over half a billion RMB ($83 million USD), were sent out during the promotion. To win red envelopes, some people shook multiple smartphones to increase their chance of winning, and some people put their smartphones and tablets in a sieve to shake them simultaneously.
 
China has a long established tradition of giving away hongbao, a red envelope/packet filled with money, to celebrate the Lunar New Year. With increasing growth in the Internet industry, it has become a tradition for corporations to give online hongbao to users during the holidays. It is one must-have activity among China internet users during Chinese New Year festival. 
 

#2 Augmented Reality

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Alipay launched a special Hongbao campaign utilizing Augmented Reality to make it more interesting and engaging.
 
The concept of the campaign is simple. Users can “hide” a hongbao anywhere, like in the office or living room, and share the clue in images to their families and friends in social media such as Alipay friends circle, Weibo, WeChat and QQ. Other users can use the clue and get the hongbao by using Alipay to scan if they get it right.
 
Gamifying shopping, where customers have to make repeat visits to win rewards, helps to "lock" customers into particular retailers, says Andrew Milroy of Frost and Sullivan.
 
"Pokemon Go has done a lot to accelerate the acceptance of augmented reality and gamification. Both will do well and can be expected to be widely used by online retailers over the next few years.”
 

#3 Appointment

 
Alibaba Singles Day is actually an example of gamification. The game mechanic used is "appointment".
 
"Marketers make an appointment with consumers to celebrate and shop on November 11th, creating not only a great deal of delayed gratification as consumers wait until that day to shop at deep discounts but also overcompensation, as many also tend to over-buy in order to take advantage of the low prices."
 
And while Singles Day has been spectacularly successful – it is now the world's biggest online retail sales day and KPMG expects this year's event will break the $10bn barrier – the gamification has yet to take off in a major way.
 
In a nutshell, Consumers in China love the novelty of gaming and they would provide their personal contact information such as their mobile and email contact for a permission for remarketing, if asked. The ability to 'gamify' users' experience with a brand to get the best quality consumer feedback has proved to be one of the most powerful forms of information gathering.
What do you think? Have you tried any of these gamification techniques from China? What were the results of your efforts? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Topics: Gamification

Terrence Ngu

Written by Terrence Ngu

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