New E-Commerce and a Video Game Steal

Social media increases our desire for connection. Make your online store more game-like to increase customer engagement and loyalty. “Steal” a growing video game development trend – build on the video game trend for modifiable or “open source” games.

Video game developers create frameworks. Players modify change and help evolve their game using the initial framework. Initially, video game developers act as content creators. They set the stage, share content and encourage customers to edit, create and collaborate, however, once a community takes shape the role of a video game developer changes.

Once thriving community forms, video game developers are content curators. Content curators observe, listen, and learn. Online merchants need to create a community to win customer’s hearts, minds and loyalty. Digital marketing’s future is more listening and less selling.

Video Games and Community

Video game developers focus much of their work on developing a community of “prosumer” players. Prosumers, a combination of professional and consumer, spend hours modifying a game to share with friends, create a new take and join the community so games become movements players want to join.

“Why would someone write the 251st review,” I asked Bazaar Voice’s founder years ago. After 250 reviews every product feature is well known. “The 251st reviewer signals a desire to join the club,” Bazaar Voice’s founder explained. His statement echoes marketing guru Faith Popcorn’s famous, “People don’t BUY brands they JOIN them” quote.

Ways your e-commerce website can steal “open source” ideas from video game developers:

  • Profiles – do your customers have easy to share profiles on your site
  • UGC – will customers contribute user-generated content (UGC)
  • Conversations – will customers talk amongst themselves?
  • Modify – can customers customize their experience on your website

Find ways to make your environment and products malleable. Steal the customization, collaboration and community ideas from video game developers.