Gamification originated in the 80s. The "grandfather of gamification" actually wrote a book about it in the 1970s. But it became well-known in 2010 after several videos from the DICE conference on gamification went viral. Since then, companies like Google, Cisco, and Deloitte have used gamification to optimize business processes and boost results. See how you can use gamification to increase retail sales.
Gamification works because it turns retail sales training from something we have to do to something we want to do. Who doesn't like playing games? Building your training so that it's entertaining, interactive, rewarding, and a little bit competitive is guaranteed to boost results.
The obstacle most retailers face
There are a few main challenges when trying to implement gamification in training.
You need the right software solution to do it well. You can't possibly implement effective gamification without software that can manage the process. It has to be explicitly created for gamification in retail training too, or you'll find yourself solving edge-cases and adjust your business to the software, instead of it being the other way around.
Most gamification software isn't engaging enough to achieve long-term success. People may get excited for a while, but then they lose interest. This happens when a gaming process is too complicated, not rewarding enough, or not competitive enough.
How to make gamification work in retail training
In our experience the best practices for retail training solutions include:
Leaderboard where the competitors can track each other's progress.
Games that encourage frequent, as often as daily, interactions. It's easy to forget something you don't do every day.
An easy-to-implement incentive system that allows you to reward employees with a reasonable budget. The game rewards should have real value. Just badges won't do.
Keep in mind that the solution has to be fun, engaging, and have an obvious benefit for the retail reps. If it looks just like training in disguise it will be seen as a "corporate requirement" rather than an incentive and result in less engagement.