Shopping Centre Congress takes retail to the next level with gamification

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It’s game on as this year’s Shopping Centre Congress pushes play to reveal the latest tactics to gear up malls, retailers, and just about any business, to reach goals, engage customers and have fun while doing it, using gamification.

Gamification is the focus of one of this year’s not-to-be-missed congress sessions, featuring CEO of Gamification Corp from New York, Gabe Zichermann, in conversation with Doug Mayne, Managing Director of Primedia Lifestyle Group. Gabe is also Chair of GSummit, a TEDx speaker and author of The Gamification Revolution, which has, with his previous books, helped define the industry’s standards and frameworks.

“Gamification uses the best ideas from games in a non-gaming context,” explains Gabe. “It takes the power of apps like Candy Crush and makes it useful for marketing, employee management and more. At a deeper level, ideas like challenge, mastery and progression are elemental to its efficacy.”

When Gabe’s team ‘gamifies’ a challenge, it starts by taking it apart and looking for a system that enables the individual to achieve their internal goals, then it aligns the company’s goal to that desire. “After that, we look for different ways to make the experience fun, and build a long-term achievement system. Once you put it together, users have something they really want to do, enjoy doing, and that delivers benefit for the organisation.”

In short, gamification makes it fun to achieve serious goals.

The connection between retail and gamification may be closer than ever imagined, says Doug. “It has the ability to level the playing field between increasingly knowledgeable shoppers and in-store staff. It can be applied to a wide range of business challenges and opportunities.”

Gabe believes the physical space of a mall provides a tremendous canvas to create a number of new and innovative shopper experiences. “Customers themselves are looking for a sense of progress and completion and it really is a great environment to deliver meaningful, fun experiences that drive incremental revenue,” he says.

Aside from providing a richer shopping experience, gamification has the ability to positively influence results and deliver in many areas.

In South Africa, gamification is such a new opportunity and there are few instances of its application locally. “There are many opportunities for gamification here, but perhaps its single biggest opportunity is to up-skill staff within organisations,” says Doug. “It can be used to reward or recognise contribution to a company, educate about the products on offer and the organisation in general and other key areas within the business.”

Giving voice to its theme ‘inspire’, Gabe will share his leading insight on gamification in conversation with Doug at the 18th SACSC Annual Congress at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 20 to 22 August 2014.

He joins a not-to-be-missed line-up of local and international speakers, covering a variety of topics pertinent to today’s retail landscape at the sector’s annual flagship event. Nedbank Corporate Property Finance is the sponsor of this high-profile congress which attracts a wide range of industry professionals.

The congress is designed to inspire on all levels, shining lights on subjects from the economy, international retail and future trends, to architecture, retailer case studies and consumer behaviour. It is also jam packed with inspiration and motivation for delegates.