Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fashion Marketers: Can Gamification Rescue your Retail Strategy?

Fashion marketers need to use more techniques to engage their consumers and increase shopping experience to compete with the rise of e-commerce.

As a graduate student in Integrated Marketing Communications at Medill, Northwestern University, I've found two articles about how gamification motivates sales that can help you win the battle.

In the article Retailers Must Reinvent Their Stores, reported by BOF team (The Business of Fashion) on January 27, 2015 points out the importance for retailers to reinvent their physical stores to better suit the behaviors and expectations of today's hyper-connected consumers. The article suggests physical stores to retain the advantage of personal interactions, further extend these interactions through new technology to offer deeper and tailored lifestyle suggestions and communal interaction. According to the BOF team, physical retail store has its nature to engage customers and can should learn from e-commerce to enhance services. 

The “mirror” lets the customer see how a current outfit looks in comparison to one she just tried on. 
source: http://bit.ly/1zmDuEd

In How To Solve YourBiggest Marketing Problems With Gamification by Steve Olenski (@steveolenski) and published in Forbes on March 5 2014, introduces how can gamification increase engagements. According to a survey conducted at the end of 2014 by Gartner,Inc, 70% of the Forbes Global 200 saying they are going to gamify. The influence is going to expand with the number of Millennials increase. Steve points out the reason why companies are adapting Gamification is because it can getting people engaged, coming back and feel involved, it can also turn average into the exciting.

Based on these 2 articles and my graduate learning at Medill IMC program, I have three actionable things I would recommend you as a fashion marketer to do:

1. Gamify to Increase Motivation - Use the Gamification techniques to leverage customers’ desire.

2. Start Personalize - Learn form e-commerce and provide each customer with personalized customer service.

3. Start Innovation - Physical retailers can implement interactive gamification devices, to make the static environment more dynamic and increase shopping experience.

Shopping in a physical retail store has its core advantage over e-commerce. It can provide authentic shopping experience and a real connection with the product and retailer. I believe, with the right gamification approach, retailers can successfully manage customers motivation and desire, and provide the experience and service that e-commerce cannot compete with.

Yanran Yan is an Integrated Marketing Communication graduate student at Medill, Northwestern University. She will be graduated in December 2015 and is particular interested in digital marketing for fashion industry. 

Contact her via LinkedIn, or Twitter @YanranY

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