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Best Buy tries mobile gaming to drive loyalty engagement

Best Buy is linking together email and mobile with an interactive Web-based game as the next big marketing push for its recently revamped loyalty program.

The big box retailer recently sent out an email message thanking its loyalty members for shopping this holiday season. The email also included a link to a mobile and desktop game that encourages consumers to stay plugged into the My Best Buy loyalty program year-round.

“When Best Buy launched My Best Buy last year, we promised our members richer experiences and more mobile,” said Jeremy Baier, spokesman at Best Buy, Richfield, MN.

“We continue to look for ways to reinvigorate the customer experience, and one way we do this is by giving our members new and fun ways to engage with Best Buy through their mobile devices,” he said. “This is another example in our journey to make shopping with Best Buy as rewarding as possible.”

Post-holiday engagement
The copy for the Best Buy email includes a big call-to-action promoting a winter-themed game that challenges consumers to navigate their way down a virtual mountain on a sled.

Additionally, the email shows consumers how many My Best Buy points they have accumulated. The email also reminded consumers about the loyalty program’s free shipping offer.

When consumers click on the link in the email they are directed to the microsite.

The site plugs two calls-to-action: Play the game or learn more about the My Best Buy program.

Players can pick from six different pairs of shoes and three different slopes to slide down a virtual mountain.

To navigate the trail, consumers swipe their fingers across their mobile device or click and hold down on a desktop mouse.

The game is an obstacle course and along the way, consumers can earn points by collecting electronics gadgets and Best Buy logos.

After finishing a race, the game can be shared Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

A smaller call-to-action below prompts consumers to either learn more about the My Best Buy program or download the big box retailer’s app. Best Buy’s app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone devices.

Another screenshot from the Best Buy game

Revamping loyalty through mobile?
Best Buy’s mobile app plays a central role in the retailer’s loyalty program that was completely revamped in 2013.

Consumers can unlock exclusive, in-store points by checking-in to locations from the app. Additionally, Best Buy’s app unlocks exclusive deals (see story).

Additionally, Best Buy ran a time-sensitive SMS program to alert consumers about daily deals through the holidays (see story).

Once the holidays were over, consumers were opted-in to Best Buy’s bigger SMS program.

It is no surprise that showrooming has hit Best Buy particularly hard over the past few years as shoppers increasingly turn to their mobile device in-store for price comparisons and shopping.

To make up for slumping sales, Best Buy is honing in on mobile to incentivize users through its loyalty program.

This campaign in particular is interesting since it ultimately drives consumers to opt-in to the retailer’s loyalty program and ultimately shop via a mobile game.

“The timing is curious given the gift-giving season has passed, but building and monetizing loyalty clubs is a year-long process,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Mobivity, Phoenix.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Best Buy. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“Successful retailers often opt-in mobile users long before a holiday period when consumer attention is scattered and time is short for sign-ups or anything else,” he said. “The gamification element of [this] campaign is smart — it gives those participating an interesting experience and exposed them to a different, more fun side of Best Buy.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York