Ecommerce: The Nexus of Delight & Retail Optimisation Mechanics

Nexus of delight 3 Ecommerce The Nexus of Delight amp Retail Optimisation Mechanics

Gamification has been a huge focus of my life, but the last few years have seen me change my career quite dramatically. I find myself in a role that no longer revolves around using game mechanics and the like.  Instead, I am focused on improving online retail experiences through testing, optimisation, personalisation, merchandising and so on.

Whilst gamification may seem a million miles away from this, there is actually very little difference. They are both focused on behavioural change – they just use different mechanics. Read More ...

Where Does Your Loyalty Lie?

Turner loyalty Where Does Your Loyalty Lie

I recently wrote a blog for the poor people who employ me, all about the future of loyalty. It got me thinking about the nature of loyalty, something I have not really thought about since my 2015 talk at GWC.

Rather than looking into the future though, my thoughts turned to where do people’s loyalties lie. More specifically, are they loyal to your company or to your loyalty card?

If I look at two loyalty programs, you may see what I am getting at. The two are Nectar and Tesco.

Tesco Loyalty Card

The Tesco loyalty card awards you points with each purchase at Tesco. Those points are converted into various rewards, such as money off vouchers, special offers and the like. I could reel off a dozen other loyalty schemes that work the same, from Debenhams to Shell.  Spend money, earn points, get discounts, spend points, repeat.


Nectar is similar but has a core difference. You still use the card with purchases to collect points. You still then get to spend the points on discounts and other rewards. However, the key difference is that Nectar is not tied to any one retailer or company. Instead, companies can join the Nectar group and instantly get a loyalty scheme. Another example of a scheme like this can be seen in “Cashback” programmes like Quidco. In their case, you shop online via their website to get a percentage of your money back. Again, this is not fixed to any one retailer.

Loyal to the Store or the Card?

This is where the discussion of where your loyalties lie starts to surface. If you use Tesco on a regular basis because you like to collect the points, then are you loyal to Tesco or the Loyalty card?

Ask yourself, why do you go to Tesco? Is it because you find them better value, or because the reward card is great? If another retailer offered a better value card, would you jump to them?

Many will say no to this question, but multi store schemes like Nectar or Quidco would tend to show that is not quite true.

Watching my wife make purchasing decisions based on how much cashback she can get through Quidco is fascinating. Once she finds what she wants, she will go to the Quidco site and see who else sells it and which of them offers the best Cashback offer. She is no longer loyal to the store, but to Quidco!

This is where I see a specific danger with these multi store schemes, one that I think many people realised with Nectar. The choicer people have, the less “loyal” they will be.

As a retailer, you must ask yourself this…

Are they loyal to you or to your loyalty card?

If people can get the same thing elsewhere cheaper or at a better reward redemption rate, what else do you have that will keep them with you? What differentiates you from the crowd, beyond your loyalty card?

My Talk on Loyalty from GWC15

A Story of Loyalty: Gamification World Congress 2015 Talk

True loyalty meme A Story of Loyalty Gamification World Congress 2015 Talk

Just thought I would share the video of my talk on loyalty and Christmas turkey from Gamification World Congress 2015


To give some context for the start – Bart Briers had just described me as The King of Gamification! At the end, I also caught him out as the talk was only 12 minutes long 😉

If you are interested in Gamification World Congress 2016, head over to their new website – you won’t be sorry and there are loads of videos from the last one to watch.

If you want to learn more about loyalty, you could always grab my book from Amazon 🙂

Oh and here are the slides – enjoy!!

Value to the User vs Value to You

Value to the system Value to the User vs Value to You

Here is a little excerpt for the book for you, you know that book that I am still editing but hope to have published in the next 2 weeks…!

Whist basing the value of the reward on a user’s personal investment is important, it is also important not to lose sight of why you were gamifying the system in the first place.

Normally it is because there are certain actions or activities that you want to encourage the user to perform and complete. That being the case, you have to sometimes consider how valuable the action is to you, not just how much effort it is for the user.

If an action is simple for the user and valuable to you – then reward them. If it is harder for them and valuable to you – reward them more. If it is easy and of low value to you – don’t reward them much. So far, so obvious. Read More ...

Amazon: Getting customer care wrong

Customer centric header Amazon Getting customer care wrong

Recently my wife pre-ordered a book from Amazon. She put her order in the day after pre-orders opened and chose super-saver delivery. Her understandable assumption was that if she pre-ordered, then the book would at least be dispatched on the day of release. She knew she would have to wait a few days for delivery, but that was fine.

The truth was a little different. The book was due for release on the 18th of June. Looking at her delivery estimates in Amazon, it stated the book was due for dispatch on the 22nd of June with a delivery estimate of 27th of June. She was a little confused by this.

So, she opened a dialog with customer support. Here is that conversation.

You’re now connected to Bob (name changed for privacy) from

Me:Hi there,

I pre-ordered a book on 2nd June. I’ve just checked my order and it says that the item won’t be despatched until 22nd June which is 4 days after release day. I thought the point of pre-order was so that you had it either with you on the release date, or it was at least despatched on the release date? Can you please explain this to me.


Bob:Hello, my name is Bob.

Thank you for contacting May I know your name please?

Me:Yes, it’s Laura

Bob:Hi Laura.

Me:Hi there. Read More ...