Exploring the World of Gamified Promotions in Southeast Asia

Sep 23, 2020
Henry Bewicke
Promotions Specialist
Min to read

Brands in many industries use gamification to increase customer interaction and boost sales. But unfortunately it’s still seen as a bit of a gimmick by some.

If you want to see just how effective gamification can be, look no further than Southeast Asia.

Brands across the region have turned gamified promotions into a fine art. They’re put to particularly good use on the wildly popular shopping days that have become a phenomenon in most Southeast Asian countries.

Gamification marketing uses various gaming mechanisms to increase customer interaction

Arcade-style games

While most examples of gamified promotions exist online, there are quite a few non-digital examples too.

In many cases they’re just as popular. For example, many brands have used claw machines and other modified arcade games to great effect in the Chinese market.

Chanel toured it’s ‘Coco Game Center’ across Asia in 2018. It offered shoppers the change to play a variety of arcade-style games, including a lipstick claw machine and racing games.

Then there are ecommerce giant Lazada’s mystery boxes. Eager customers queue in huge lines for the chance to buy boxes from a variety of well known brands. The excitement of not knowing what they’ll get, plus a steep discount on the items inside the box is a massive draw for shoppers.

Virtual experiences

One disadvantage ecommerce brands have to deal with is a lack of physical store space. While they’re not as important as they used to be, stores can really strengthen brand-customer interactions.

Many brands in Asia now use virtual gamified experiences to add some excitement to online shopping.

Again, Lazada is one of the brands that has gone all out with gamifying its online shopping experience.

Gamification example

Customers can play all sorts of mini games while shopping. There’s an even wider selection available on Singles Day, with other seasonal games available throughout the year.

Gamified features offered by Lazada include:

This variety of options gives customers the chance to interact with the brand in fun new ways when shopping online. Some consumers may not be interested in gamified features, but they have the option to shop as normal too.

One of the most important gamification features Lazada uses is wallets. They allow shoppers to save points between visits. Without this capability, most of the more interesting gamified features wouldn’t work.

Mobile gamification

Mobile use for online shopping is prevalent in Southeast Asia. According to data from Globalwebindex 2019, the percentage of individuals who regularly buy online using a mobile device is 69% in Southeast Asia.

This is significantly higher than the global average of 52%.

As a result, many brands have created their own mini mobile games. Most incorporate gamification into the shopping process. But sometimes they’re outright games with no purchase or prize mechanisms.

For example, luxury brand Hermès launched its own mobile game called ‘H-pitchhh’ back in 2018. Players could use mobile gesture controls to throw virtual horseshoes onto a stake (the Hermès logo features a horse and carriage).

While not monetized or aimed at increasing sales, H-pitchhh is a good example of how gamification can aid brand awareness.

Gamification doesn’t require a big investment

The gamification examples mentioned above are all big projects that will have required significant investment to get up and running.

But gamification can still be used to great effect with very minimal investment. Our Promotion Engine supports many different gamified promotions thanks to its wallet and geofencing features. If you’d like to find out more, take a look at some of the materials in our Content Library.

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