loyalty program

Gamify the Shopping Experience Using Loyalty Programs

As marketers we’re focused on the importance of segmentation and how to get the right messages to the right customers. That’s the foundation of any successful marketing campaign, including those focused on customer retention and loyalty.

However, let’s take a moment to think creatively. By definition, gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. Specifically paired with a loyalty program, gamified programs can be much more effective than traditional loyalty programs.

When you gamify a loyalty program it provides consumers with an incentive to purchase more frequently, to buy more, or to use loyalty points for rewards. It plays off many aspects of human psychology including reward-seeking behavior, natural competitiveness, and the classic fear of missing out (FOMO). Gamifying the shopping experience can increase engagement, create a sense of community, increase brand loyalty and grow customer lifetime value (CLV).

In this post, we’ll show you how to incorporate a gamified loyalty program to help to drive revenue.


Where do I start?

If you have a loyalty program or are thinking of creating a loyalty program there’s great news. With ReSci’s current integrations or with the use of custom attributes we can combine loyalty messaging with our marketing messages. This allows for a gamification of the online shopping experience that is supported by email. 

With a loyalty program, you’ll have more flexibility and options with your marketing messages. Let’s use a Cart Abandon email as our example to implement a loyalty program. Generally speaking, when a user adds something to their cart and does not purchase, they receive a more generic Cart Abandon message like the one below. 

Note: You can start sending royalty program-based emails from any marketing stage. We use Cart Abandon here as the most frequently used template.

The user is being offered a coupon code and recommending the item that was left in their cart. In this specific example, they also added a payment plan option to help convert the user. This is a great example of a high-performing Cart Abandon email, but it still comes with limitations. 


Let the games begin

Building off our Cart Abandon example, for non-purchasers or non-loyalty members you can send a Cart Abandon message that suggests signing up for the loyalty (rewards) program. This starts the gamification of the shopping experience.

Cart Abandon email  with product recommendations (1/2)


With a suggestion to join the loyalty program (2/2)


Customers are introduced to the loyalty program and start learning about the benefits of joining. In this example, rather than just making a purchase, the user begins feeling like they could be a part of an exclusive program or community called “The Love Circle,” playing into the psychological need for a sense of belonging.

Linking your loyalty program in ReSci

By leveraging ReSci’s integrations or custom attribute tool, we can segment and target loyalty members based on a variety of attributes like tier name, points, and referral URLs.  


Below is a great example of a Cart Abandon email that is leveraging a loyalty program within a marketing email, while also utilizing personalization and AI-driven product recommendations.

AI powered product recommendations (1/2)


With a loyalty program balance (2/2)


Here you can see that we are addressing the user by their name, identifying the user’s current tier, their current point balance and the number of points they are away from the next tier. This is an example of a great way to start gamifying the shopping experience. A customer will often feel like they are leaving something on the table if they don’t use their points or advance to the next tier, essentially creating more FOMO.

In combination with adding loyalty attributes to email messages, integrating your loyalty program with your overall email marketing strategy allows you to send emails to create additional touchpoints and engagement. See the “The Love Circle” launch email below:

Loyalty program introduction


This allows all your users to become aware of the new program and sets you up to send additional emails defining tiers and explaining ways to gain points. The information should also be available on-site like shown below:


Check the scoreboard

Not only is gamification fun for both users and marketers, it can be very effective. Here are some metrics we pulled, and you can see that, on average, there is significant increase in engagement across the board when you compare Loyalty vs Non-Loyalty emails. Each metric is high for a loyalty email.


Everyone wins

Incorporating a gamified loyalty program into your marketing emails not only makes sense, it’s very effective for growing your brand and email channel further. It helps users take action quicker and more often, creates a sense of community, and increases customer engagement. It adds some fun to the shopping experience and might even help you edge out your competitors.


Brought to you by Andrew Pohlen, Senior Client Solutions Manager at ReSci

Andrew works with some of the best commerce brands at ReSci. He helps brands become more successful by providing effective marketing strategies for both SMB and enterprise clients. Andrew formerly provided sales and marketing to brands like Ring, Shift, and Ralph Lauren.


Feel confused or lost? Want more strategies? Contact the helpdesk, or reach out to your Client Success Manager and they’ll be happy to help!

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