Customer Loyalty in Online Gaming: Reward Programs & Strategies
There’s one thing gaming brands are all striving for - customer retention.
Why? Because there’s so much value in keeping players engaged long-term. It’s easier to upsell and cross-sell to loyal users. Plus, the cost of acquiring new players is becoming more and more expensive.
But how do you keep gamers engaged?
You reward them.
Players want to be rewarded. Whether it’s for completing a time-bound challenge, or unlocking different levels in a game, rewards add to the feeling of competition and accomplishment.
Gaming companies that reward customers for their engagement can build long-lasting, emotional loyalty. Loyalty is crucial because loyal customers are more likely to refer your business to others, and they spend more on your products/services over time.
Gaming rewards program example: Playstation Stars
One popular gaming loyalty program is Playstation Stars - which aims to drive a player’s dedication by rewarding them for completing tasks.
As part of the gaming rewards program, Sony has announced that they are unveiling a new type of reward - digital collectibles: “they are digital representations of things that Playstation fans enjoy, including figurines of beloved and iconic characters from games”. The company has highlighted that there will be “ultra rare” collectibles for gamers to strive for - as well as other surprise-and-delight collectibles “just for fun”.
The video gaming industry has always been one of the first adopters of anything digital. The idea that players can collect digital assets as rewards is part of an upward trend of using NFTs to create an engaging experience. Digital collectibles make rewards much more exciting - and motivate players to get their hands on the rare ones.
- NFT rewards allow gamers to purchase and sell assets on NFT marketplaces. This means users could make serious profits - giving digital assets real monetary value. If you own a ‘super-rare’ NFT - you could sell it for twice (or three times as much) in the future.
- Gamers are driven by a sense of community. NFTs will create a new kind of community - one where people can trade, create and sell their own digital items.
What are NFT loyalty program rewards?
Playstation's free-to-join loyalty program rewards players for engaging with specific campaigns and activities. Campaigns range from simply playing a game, to earning specific trophies or getting first place in a league table in your local area.
Gamers redeem points in the Playstation Store. To make the user experience even more rewarding, any purchases a player makes in the Store will automatically be added to their points bank.
Whilst the Playstation Stars loyalty program might not be enough to switch die-hard Xbox loyalists, it does do something crucial: it gives Playstation gamers (and even those who have fallen out of love with gaming) a reason to start up their consoles and revisit their favourite games.
It’s not just about well-designed games (though that is obviously a critical part) - it’s about building relationships. The engage-reward business model may be simple, but it works.
What kind of rewards work best for a gaming loyalty program?
With the right software, you can reward any kind of activity. Think of all the possibilities.
- You could incentivize streamers to refer your game
- You could incentivize gamers who create communities and engagement around your brand
- You could use rewards and incentives to break the barrier for people who have not gamed in a long time - turning churned users into engaged gamers
- You could incentivize users to engage with your brand outside of a game - with items such as physical merchandise or event tickets
- And so much more. We can find a way to create the perfect gaming loyalty program for your brand and use case…
How else can loyalty software help gaming companies retain customers?
Another benefit of video game loyalty programs is the ability to create specific audiences. Loyalty software collects detailed, first-party data which offers insights about each gamer. This information can be used to create segments within your customer database. Then, you can tailor marketing, campaigns and messaging to each segment.
There are also many ways to create engagement with loyalty technology. One example is creating social media competitions that reward users for sharing your content.
And did you know that you can also build referrals into your game loyalty program? A fully-rounded loyalty program boosts your acquisition as well as retention. While your customers can do this on their own via social media or word of mouth, our loyalty technology makes it as easy as possible for them to refer you to more people.
Gaming companies are competing to keep customers. The industry is known for its high engagement rates, but it’s also known for low retention rates. To improve this, brands need to invest in loyalty programs that can reward any kind of activity. This is the first step to building strong relationships with customers.
At White Label Loyalty, we’re helping brands get closer to their customers using bespoke reward experiences. Rewards in the gaming industry have so much potential. If you’re in the video gaming industry, don’t get left behind. Create exciting perks to give something back to your dedicated customers so they will pick up their controllers again.
Get in touch with us today.
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Senior Content Marketing Executive
Helen is our Senior Content Marketing Executive. She shares valuable information about the Future of Loyalty and will keep you up to date on the latest industry insights...