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Have you considered social gaming tricks in your service?

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Social Commerce Today brings up an interesting theory on promoting the use of gaming, and specifically gaming on social network sites like Facebook. These games have huge adoption rates and can gather sign-up (and retain them) at a phenomenal rate.

And the lessons from the games could easily be applied to mobile money systems looking to gain new users and prevent churn. It boils down to four areas; status, access, power and stuff.

The overall ethos is to reward participation in a variety of exciting ways using “SAPS” rewards:

Status: Look at any internet forum and you can see the ranks . Be it Newbie, general member, super poster or more, as people use forums they get better status on their profile, visible to every member.

Access: Wonga is a UK start-up that provides short term loans to users, up to £1000. But on the first time, you have a limit of £400. Once you’ve successfully completed the first loan you can borrow more, and iterate up to the £1000 limit.

Power: Look at Foursquare, when you check-in to a location enough times (and more than any other) you become the mayor. What that means is determined by the location, but the mayorship can carry benefits – my local pizza restaurant offers a free personal pizza every Wednesday to the current mayor for example.

Stuff: Supermarket loyalty cards are experts at this, with targeted promotions and cash-back on offer, making people keep using the cards to keep getting the extras.

Think about these in relation not just to acquisition, but also the retention of your customers. Yes games are much more sexy than paying bills, spending cash or saving money, but if it has more people using your service, then surely it’s worth it?

Bottom line, how do you get social commerce to work? Start with the smile. Make it fun by turning it into a game. Game-based commerce + social commerce – that’s the path to fortune.

More at Social Commerce Today.