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Orchard Turn Developments Chief Executive Officer Yeo Mui Hong

ION Orchard dives into gamification amidst experiential retail demand

The mall’s in-app augmented reality game offers more than 30 rewards.

With consumers increasingly seeking experiential retail, ION Orchard has expanded its customer loyalty strategy to include gamification.

The mall recently introduced its in-app augmented reality game World of Rewards alongside its renewed mobile app, where customers have the chance to win over 30 rewards when roaming the mall and stopping by participating retailers, including Marimekko Cafe, Nespresso, Jo Malone London, TWG Tea.

“The gameplay experience was designed to be simple and easy for shoppers to earn rewards, which encourages recurring behaviour and long-term engagement,” Orchard Turn Developments Chief Executive Officer Yeo Mui Hong told Singapore Business Review.

Yeo noted that the game gives customers more avenues to get rewards apart from just shopping.

In addition to World of Rewards, ION Orchard has introduced in-app game boards, allowing shoppers to earn rewards by completing actions and missions within the ION Orchard mobile app.

“Shopping is a multi-sensory experience, and it is important for ION Orchard to seek new ways to maintain shoppers’ interest at all touch points from offline to online. One such way is gamification,” Yeo said.

“Gamification increases the enjoyment of shopping due to the entertainment that it provides, all from the convenience of one’s fingertips. The future of retail is consistently being redefined and we are seeing more brands move towards gamification to increase engagement and create a seamless experience for customers with the aim of boosting retention,” she added.

Yeo believes that embracing gamification as a strategy ultimately builds brand loyalty.

“Customer loyalty and brand engagement are intricately linked, forming a symbiotic relationship that is fundamental for business success,” she said. “We are consistently looking at our engagement strategy to retain top-of-mind recall amongst our shoppers so that we continue to attract them back to our mall.”

Yeo emphasised that for brands looking to integrate gamification into their strategies, it is crucial to keep the games fresh and updated. She added that the game mechanics should also align with the interests of the audience.

Gamification, however, is only one facet of ION Orchard’s loyalty ecosystem. Within its app, the mall also integrated digital payments, rewards, and deals.

“For example, our Easy Earn programme eliminated the hassle of scanning receipts, enabling shoppers to instantly earn and redeem points with every purchase. With the rollout of the new app, we were able to streamline our ION+ Rewards implementation on both the earning and redemption front,” Yeo explained.

Interactive offerings

To help achieve its goal of redefining the future of loyalty and engagement in the current digital age, ION Orchard will also introduce more interactive offerings, revealed Yeo.

One of the interactive offerings which the mall introduced is a new Instagram filter on ION Orchard’s Instagram channel, @ion_orchard, celebrating the mall’s 15th anniversary.

Recently, the mall also housed Australian artist Amanda Parer’s “Lost in Enchantment” installation as part of its Spring-Summer campaign.

“The immersive experience is an interplay of garden and inflatable elements that create an enchanting mix of light and colour, conveying themes stemming from the interconnectedness of human relationships and the natural world into larger-than-life art pieces,” Yeo mused.

She said ION Orchard will continue to roll out a series of hyperreality and augmented reality video experiences “that blurs the line between the real and virtual worlds.”

Another approach ION Orchard is using to attract consumers is creating experiential spaces that foster community building and deepen connections with shoppers.

“We have achieved considerable success in enhancing the shopping experience at ION Orchard by hosting art events and exhibitions at ION Art gallery. The ION Sky on level 56 also offers visitors panoramic views of Singapore’s skyline as this observation deck is the tallest point at Orchard Road,” Yeo said.

ION Orchard has also introduced interactive displays and pop-ups that engage shoppers beyond traditional retail such as Jentle Garden in 2022 and Air Dior Capsule Collection in 2020.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for experiences rather than just purchasing products,” Yeo said.

“We are casting our gaze ahead to ensure that we continue to create memorable experiences for our shoppers,” she added.

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