Sokos added gamification to their strategy and their results went through the roof

Listen to article

Results

Results

  • Higher conversion rate*: 135%
  • Higher average order value*: 9.7%
  • Lower bounce rate*: 9%

*compared to site average

“The average order value, we are talking about real money that our marketing team has made with Playable is nearly 10% higher than the site average. And when it comes to the hard conversion that every e-complayer wants to have, the Playable conversion rate is over 135% higher than the site average. So it’s wauw! Significantly wauw!”

– Veera Korvenkari, digital strategist at Sokos

Sokos

Sokos is a chain of department stores in Finland, owned by S-Group, the country’s largest retailer with a 45% share of the total grocery market.

In 2020, Sokos formed a new digital team and gave it the task of exploring more customer-centric ways of reaching out to its market. The challenge was to achieve better results and make it easier for customers to interact with Sokos online – without tinkering with the existing digital ‘machine’.

The team set to work and began searching for digital marketing tools that could create value for Sokos and its customers. They quickly discovered that gamification could be the tool they needed, as it was both easy to work with for the digital team and would add a more playful dimension to the brand.

“Our hope was that gamification would make the online encounter lighter and more enjoyable for the customer, making them stay longer and buy more,” says Veera Korvenkari, digital strategist at Sokos.

The objectives

The digital team decided to give gamification a try and partnered up with Playable to get the expertise and technical platform they needed. They quickly learned that the first step towards success is knowing what you want to achieve.

The general objective was to increase ecom sales on sokos.fi, and this was split into sub-goals:

  • Higher customer engagement (increased session time and lower bounce rate)
  • Help customers find the right product (higher basket size and AOV)
  • Lead customer through shopping funnel (higher conversion rate)
  • Increase the number of newsletter subscribers
  • And ... become more fun and memorable for the customers

Services used

  • Bulk prize
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Different game types - Drop game, Personality test, Scratchcard, pop-up, Wheel of fortune, Memory game

In close collaboration with Playable, Sokos picked a number of games that could add the right touch of playfulness to the online purchasing experience.

From pilot campaigns to full launch

Sokos had already tested the Playable platform in the Helsinki area, and although these test games were limited in scope, they kept delivering impressive results for more than two years. So, getting an internal green light for this larger roll-out was not a problem.

Sokos completed six pilot projects in 2020 and found them to be so successful that it was decided to make gamification an integral part of the company’s digital marketing strategy from the year after. Thus, in 2021 Sokos launched twelve extensive campaigns which all posted impressive results.

An example: 51% increase in newsletter subscribers

In order to strengthen the connection to its customers, Sokos wanted to increase its newsletter subscriber base. A Wheel of fortune game was designed and the goal was set at an ambitious level: 20% more subscribers after two rounds of the campaign.

The campaign was launched at Christmas 2020 and repeated in the spring 2021. In the first round, more than 23,000 new subscribers signed up – which amounted to no less than 74% of those who played the game. The number was slightly lower in the second round, due to the fact that many existing subscribers played again. But still, more than 22,000 signed up the second time.

In total, Sokos saw an impressive 51% rise in the subscriber base with 45,889 new signups. The media spending was just under 10,000 EUR, so the cost per new subscriber was a modest 0.22 EUR and the value a magnificent 15.40 EUR/month/ per subscriber.

“We saw the challenge Sokos was facing and we wanted to try gamification as a solution – and I am glad we did. The shopping funnel was not working as we wanted it to do, so for us the choice of using Playable gamification was quite clear. And the result from testing gamification showed us that this was ‘the medicine for our disease’.”

– Veera Korvenkari, digital strategist at Sokos.

Why it worked so well

Implementing gamification is not a miracle drug that works no matter what. Sokos’ success was built on these important pillars:

  • Specific goals and tools to track results
  • Being “always on” with game campaigns
  • A dedicated team to plan, operate and analyse the Playable campaigns
  • Systematic data analysis for continuous learning and improvement

Especially the digital team at Sokos made a huge difference. Although gamification was an almost uncharted area for the company, the team members saw the promising possibilities and had the nerve to venture into the field in an extremely structured manner that yielded impressive results. Now other departments of Sokos are lining up to reap even more benefits from the Playable platform.

When Sokos added Playable to the toolbox, it was not to set an entirely new direction for their marketing. Instead, the idea was to add value to the existing campaigns and the brand’s e-commerce and thereby improve business results.

Today, gamification and the Playable platform are one of the central elements of Sokos’ marketing strategy, and gamification plays a part in all campaigns in some form or another.

“We have a strong brand, long history and good products but our e-com didn’t serve our customers as it should in 2021. Playable and gamification changed that for us.”

– Veera Korvenkari, digital strategist at Sokos.