Sneakpeeq aims to replicate online the experience of shopping for items in a retail store by using gamification, which the US social shopping start-up has brought to its online stores through a partnership with Badgeville.

Social Shopping: Gamification Adding Appeal

Combining social networking with gamification can enhance the online shopping experience. Sneakpeeq, a San Francisco-based start-up company specialising in social shopping, offers online visitors action-based purchasing advantages plus daily deals on clothing, accessories, gourmet food and other items. It has just published the results of its new partnership with Badgeville, which kicked off in November 2011. Sneakpeeq reports that its visit-to-sales conversion rate has increased by 18% month-on-month and there has been a 3,000% surge in ‘Buy’ clicks. How it works is that each item has a fixed price, but the visitor who actively engages on sneakpeeq can obtain a discount and also earn badges which can lead to more special offers and rewards.

Earning rewards

To become an active site-user, there are three things you can do. First, you can share a product on your Facebook wall or on Twitter. Each ‘Share’ is worth 10 points. Secondly, you can ‘peeq’ at a product, running the cursor to see a special discounted price, just as a shopper would turn over the price label on clothing in a bricks-and-mortar store before buying the item. This engagement with products also unlocks badges, which in turn may offer more peeqs, or lead to price discounts. Every peeq is worth 5 points. Each consumer is allotted a maximum number of peeqs per day, but every 24 hours the account is refilled with peeqs. Thirdly, each ‘Buy’ click is worth 100 points.

Getting to know consumer tastes

Apart from ‘sharing’ and ‘peeqing’, you can also click on ‘Love’ to flag up your favourite products. This doesn’t earn any points, but sneakpeeq reckons it helps to offer each active shopper a personalised experience with products that suit his/her taste. Integrating Badgeville’s gamification technology into Sneakpeeq has increased user engagement from 5 to 45 users per minute and hundreds of users have been rewarded with badges. To encourage people to return frequently to the site, Sneakpeeq has decided to place a time limit on the use of the badges. Meanwhile, faced with the online shopping surge, some retailers have been coming up with new ideas to brighten the shopping experience at their bricks-and-mortar outlets. For example, Scanbucks is trying to turn shopping into a game by setting up a treasure hunt and Clean Currents rewards customers who ‘check in’ via online geolocation when they shop in local stores.