Gaming to Drive eCommerce Sales

It’s true – The future of eCommerce is play.


If your eCommerce marketing team is ready to begin enhancing brand engagement, creating lasting memories for digital audiences, and stand out from competitors, follow our gaming strategy.


Strategy: Gaming to Drive eCommerce


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Brainstorming for gaming ideas can lead to endless loops of discussions, meetings, and ultimately, indecision.


There’s no reason to delay your brand’s gaming strategy; many success stories have gone ahead of you.


Choose from one success story or a blend a variety of gaming strategies to get started on your brand’s gaming adventure.


Games for WINNERS


The concept of winning may seem obvious when it comes to gaming, but putting extra time into the concept of winning to drive eCommerce sales will deliver incredible results. Hint: “Instant Win” games keep players coming back for more.


[bctt tweet=”The future of eCommerce is play” username=”fifthtribe”]


Regency Furniture created a Spin to Win game to coincide with President’s Day furniture sales. President’s Day sales are a popular time for furniture sales, and Regency Furniture made sure they stood out among the competition.


Spin to Win created by Regency Furniture


The best part of Regency’s Spin to Win game? It was designed to attract attention from new customers as well as their regular customer base, giving them coupons to use on accessories and additions to previous furniture orders.


Games with a Sense of Urgency


Creating a game takes time, and it’s tempting to create a game that players can come back and play anytime. While a larger gaming strategy can incorporate ongoing play, a brand new gaming strategy to drive eCommerce should include a sense of urgency.


Using the Regency Furniture example again, they tied the spin game to a holiday sale with a deadline.


Tied the spin to win game with a holiday sale with deadline.

Members Only Games


Collecting email addresses is a critical part of the gaming to drive eCommerce sales process. The easiest way to collect emails: Members Only games with usernames and passwords for players.


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Don’t get caught up in elaborate call-to-action discussions with this strategy. Capturing email addresses doesn’t have to be difficult. Regency Furniture capitalized on Women’s History Month to drive players to their trivia game. The only thing required to begin? An email address.


Womens history month game

Branded Gaming Apps


In a presentation from Gian Fulgoni, CEO of ComScore, and Louis Dejianne, Marketing Director, Retail Strategy at UPS, at IRCE 2017, they announced a key takeaway concerning mobile apps.


“Mobile apps are a critical touch point for driving shopping and buying…,” – A copy of the study used in the presentation is available at www.ups.com/insideretail.


Nike+ is a brand leader in the evolution of retail app innovation. A 2015 Forbes article outlines the success of Nike’s mobile app success and their focus on social interaction and community building. Their focus on building engagement first, sales second, is a key factor finding success with every generation, especially in a mobile-first world.


Build in Loyalty Rewards


If you’re considering a long-term gaming strategy or a branded app, build in gaming loyalty rewards.

Customer loyalty programs pre-date the digital age, so standing out among your competition requires creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Several brands are seeing success with the gamification of their loyalty programs:


  • Starbucks Rewards
  • Trailhead by Northface keeps tracks of users’ favorite hikes, hiking history, and more.
  • The restaurant industry is full of custom apps that turn loyalty into a game. Chipotle has been leading the way for years, and even McDonalds is creating a new generation of loyal customers with the McPlay app.


Prepare for Virtual Reality


The key to digital marketing success revolves around timing. Brands who adopt new concepts and strategies early on see the most ROI and success from their investment.


Virtual reality takes gaming experiences to the next level, but it’s not mainstream yet. Brands can start small to gain recognition, and branch out as markets expand. Get started with a 360-degree video on YouTube to gain brand recognition with virtual reality devices, and move forward with a virtual reality strategy after you’ve collected data from your gaming initiatives.


eCommerce Gaming – Success Guide


When it comes to eCommerce gaming, there are five pillars of success:

  • Timing
  • Partners
  • Data Analysis
  • Personalization
  • Returning Customers




It’s easy to use timing to attract new and existing customers to an online game. Use holidays, social media calendar days, and industry-related events to drive engagement and participation. Brands have had success hosting online Easter Egg hunts, online scavenger hunts, and more.




Best Buy partnered with City Ville. Clarks and Disney. The big players have entered the partnership space; it’s time for your brand to identify an app that aligns with your target market and secure a partnership. Don’t hesitate to partner with an app that doesn’t have a large following yet; as long as the target market lines up, you will gain valuable information and data to help with the next step in the gaming strategy process.


Data Analysis



As digital marketing embraces the buyer journey and customer discovery phases, brands have access to valuable data that can guide a gaming eCommerce strategy. Start small and follow the data before you embark on a launch or a large gaming project.


[bctt tweet=”Gaming in eCommerce leads to higher engagement, and higher sales” username=”fifthtribe”]




Personalization drives results; and with concepts like remarketing, it’s easy to implement. Work with an app developer or someone who is experienced with interactive experiences to determine a personalization strategy.


Returning Customers


A returning shopper is easier to convert than a new shopper. Keep these shoppers in mind when branding your online game; you want existing customers to recognize your brand, interact, and share your game with other raving fans.


Social Media


It’s easy to gloss over social media as a means to spread the word about your game, but social media deserves an in-depth strategy to help you capture as many players as possible. Start with your own team; they can serve as a social media army to ensure news of the game is spread far and wide.


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Social media offers hundreds of ways for your team to devise a creative plan to boost participation and engagement. If social media is your weak link, look to blogs like CoSchedule and EveryoneSocial for ideas.


Regardless of your industry –  an eCommerce gaming strategy will put your brand ahead of the competition. Using events and holidays can give you an opportunity for a “soft launch” into the space if key decision makers aren’t sold on it.


The value between eCommerce and gaming is real; now it’s up to brands to pick up the gaming ball and run with it. With retail eCommerce sales expected to top $1.13 TRILLION dollars in 2017, brands need a strategy to capture buyer attention, and the right gaming strategy can put your brand on the path to eCommerce success.

Khuram Zaman

Khuram Zaman is the CEO of Fifth Tribe, a leading digital agency serving the Washington DC Metropolitan Area based out of the 1776 Startup Co-working Space. In his professional capacity, he has provided digital marketing services to clients as diverse as the Department of Defense, Kaiser Permanente, Oxfam America, Ernst and Young, and The Hult Prize. His writing has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, and Business2Community. Khuram is the host of the Campfire: Impact and Innovation live podcast on Youtube. In his free-time, Khuram serves as a mentor to startups through the Peace Tech Accelerator, the Halycon Incubator, and is also a Entrepreneur in Residence at Georgetown University