Faaez Samadi
Jul 26, 2016

Why Reebonz is going big on gamification

Having recently completed the online retailer's sixth gamification campaign, Reebonz global CMO Jan-Paul Jeffrey explains why the tactic is a key part of his marketing mix.

Jan-Paul Jeffrey
Jan-Paul Jeffrey

ASIA-PACIFIC - As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. For online luxury marketplace Reebonz, that has held particularly true for the brand’s foray into gamification, which has become a core tenet of its current marketing strategy.

“It’s a strategy that we’ve continued to refine based on consumer behaviours and feedback that we’ve received,” Jan-Paul Jeffrey, Reebonz’s global CMO, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

As a brand, Reebonz spends around 5 percent of its revenue on marketing initiatives, and unsurprisingly it is always looking for the best returns. Jeffrey said that being data-driven and consumer-led in its marketing approach meant gamification was a natural step forward in providing the right message to its 4 million-plus members, spread across eight APAC countries.

The interactive element of gamification and the option to test it for a short amount of time drew us to it, and we’ve seen great results so far. —Jan-Paul Jeffrey

“With the amount of content that a user is exposed to on the internet, we wanted to find a way to cut through the noise and create actual engagement with our customers—particularly with the millennial market, who make up the bulk of our customers,” Jeffrey said.  

“The interactive element of gamification and the option to test it for a short amount of time drew us to it, and we’ve seen great results so far.”

Reebonz launched its first gamification campaign in 2014 and recently concluded its sixth effort in June. Reebonz Memory Game ran in tandem with the brand’s larger mid-year sale, which included a partnership with Citibank offering exclusive rebates to cardholders. 

The retailer's most recent game

Jeffrey said the campaign resulted in a significant hike in traffic and a twofold increase in sales. “We’ve always pegged our gamification strategy to a larger campaign or an occasion to synergise our efforts across the business," he said. "This is what works best for our brand.”

As with the very first gamification campaign in 2014, this latest iteration only ran for a week, a potentially bold decision given how effective the strategy has been for Reebonz. But Jeffrey said the short timeline is a crucial part of the success.

“The time-sensitive element gave a sense of urgency to encourage customers to participate,” he explained. “Also, a week also provided a wide enough window for us to adequately measure conversions and participation rates—both of which increased with this strategy.”

It all comes back to the data, Jeffrey said, in terms of understanding how people consume media, where product discovery happens, and how they want to engage with brands. From its research, Reebonz discovered that the millennial market, which is it actively focused on, “are looking for more engaging experiences even as they shop”, hence adding gamification to its marketing arsenal.

Of course gamification is not the sum total of Reebonz’ marketing strategy. Like all sophisticated online brands, it has a multi-channel approach that is mostly digital, though at Reebonz the work is done entirely in-house.

Just this month the company relaunched Reebonz Closets, its pre-owned luxury goods marketplace, as a standalone app. Jeffrey said plans are in place to market Closets to a wider audience and attract more users to the platform.  

A Valentine's 2016 game

“I leverage big data, growth hacking, personalisation, customer relationship management, and marketing automation in order to optimise marketing spend and accelerated growth for Reebonz,” he said.

Gamification is currently a big part of that overall strategy and Reebonz is reaping the rewards. But Jeffrey is fully aware that the best companies pay attention and adjust their tactics accordingly, which is how he is approaching the brand’s marketing mix.

“For now, gamification will remain a part of our marketing strategy, but as the way users receive and relate to marketing messages evolves, we’ll evolve together with them,” he said.

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