Image from: Shopping Craze / Shutterstock
“I love your shirt! Where did you get it?” Sounds familiar, right? It’s a natural tendency to associate style with a place of purchase, and slowly online retailers are learning that perhaps their best advertisers are the very same people they sell to. Shopcade.com knows this, and it’s about to make a killing by gamifying this trend, all based on the online phenomenon of people obsessively making sure the whole of the internet knows exactly what they’re doing at all times, including where they’re shopping.
Shopcade has been picking up near exponential speed in the past season, both with visitors and interaction. Above we can see that their UVs are climbing, but so are their pages per visit; more people are visiting the site, and once there they are spending more time clicking around to see what Shopcade has to offer. This is a great trend for a retail site, but we’re interested in how they’re pulling it off.
If you head to Shopcade.com, you’ll notice that the first thing you’re brought to is a ‘follow’ stream reminiscent of Pinterest, where different users post and promote assorted items and deals. Recently Shopcade has added a more social element to the site, where users can earn ‘perks’ based on how influential they are on the site. Points are redeemable for offers, and influence is calculated based on how other shoppers behave in relations to what you post. This essentially means you, as a consumer, are rewarded for how much exposure you give to an item. It’s gamification 101 with an added twist of free promotion, but is gamification the right tactic for Shopcade’s average shopper?
Looking at our data we can see that in July about 34% of Shopcade’s traffic originated from people between the ages of 45-54, with the vast majority being female. This is an odd demographic to target for gamification, which is a paradigm more familiar to younger audiences.
Interestingly enough, the income levels most represented are under 30k and between 60-100k. To me, this shows that Shopcade’s average consumer is looking to save money, whether out of need or preference, and this is further confirmed in their incoming traffic. Several of the top sites are coupon or savings sites. However, it’s my theory that Shopcade’s gamification has less to do with saving a consumer money and more to do with their number one contributor of traffic: Facebook.com
With nearly 50% of its total traffic coming from and leaving towards the social networking site, Shopcade is a destination nicely situated between the blue and white parentheses of Facebook.com. This, to me, is where the retail marketing crux presides. With curation becoming a theme in web retail, the act of purchasing an item online has conjoined to the notion that this purchase must then be publicized on multiple platforms. For the consumer, this act gives them an online identity full of colors and textures and personality, and for the retailer this self-promoting consumer tendency results in a bevy of mico-publicity campaigns that pay for themselves. In short, it synchronizes a retailer’s marketing with a shopper’s need to see their symbols of themselves in the items they buy. Now, by cultivating an online arena where promotion is promoted—even rewarded if you’re really good at it—Shopcade has created its own militia of tech-savvy, self-selecting, and fashionably-dressed consumers, ready to tell you not just what they bought, but how you can buy it yourself.
Do you think it’ll work? Let us know in the comments section!
Ryan La Sala joins Compete as the Digital Marketing Co-op for Compete.com, sovereign of all things social media. Ryan is a current attendant of Northeastern University, dual-majoring in Cultural Anthropology and International Affairs (with minors in Biology and Psychology), with career interests in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Consumer Anthropology. Aside from acquiring aspirations with big words, Ryan’s other interests include reading cheesy fiction, writing in any capacity, singing and cooking. Find Ryan on twitter @Ryality or connect with him on LinkedIn.