Kirkland’s Spreads Christmas Cheer With Gamification Campaign

Retailers are leveraging mobile marketing and social media to capture shopper attention and dollars this holiday season. Because today’s shoppers are more hyper-connected than ever before, online holiday programs that contain social media components generate approximately 30% more campaign visits than those that don’t, according to research from ePrize, a multichannel promotion and loyalty company.

Home décor retailer Kirkland’s has developed a new campaign and contest called “Home For The Holidays,” which incorporates social and mobile elements, as well as gamification tactics, to pique engagement during the holiday season.  Consumers can visit a microsite, mobile site or company Facebook page to access the sweepstakes, and enter to win a $10,000 Kirkland’s shopping spree.

The holiday-themed initiative — which began on November 17 — takes a tiered approach to games, challenges and rewards, according to Jessica Charlton, Marketing Communications Manager for Kirkland’s. For example, if players answer a Kirkland’s weekly poll question, they receive two sweepstakes submissions. As “challenges” become more extensive and time consuming, players receive more submissions, increasing their chances to win prizes.


The tiered strategy provides an extra incentive “to keep our consumers coming back and playing more games,” Charlton said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. Consumers also receive coupons and discounts for every task they complete, such as $10 off purchases of $50 or more. As of November 27, the retailer has generated more than 1.7 million sweepstake entries.

Kirkland’s has experimented with gamification in the past, but this is the brand’s most focused campaign to date, according to Charlton. By strategizing with ePrize, Kirkland’s was able to develop optimal rewards and challenges, and “receive industry best practices based on other campaigns and industry research,” she said. “Due to the success of this campaign so far, we’ll be exploring how we can leverage gamification even more in 2013.”

Games and challenges featured in the campaign include decorating a Christmas tree using Kirkland’s products, and taking a personality test that provides gift recommendations in the results. With these interactive components, the retailer has created a more compelling path to purchase, and is encouraging players to browse new products available online and in Kirkland’s stores.

“This campaign has been an excellent way for us to allow our customers to become familiar with our new, seasonal products,” Charlton said. “Our focus around every holiday is to engage our customers, provide them with the information they’re looking for and just have fun. We want customers to enjoy interacting with our products and the brand, and this campaign has certainly allowed us to do that.”

The Kirkland’s marketing department will be analyzing a variety of metrics through the campaign conclusion on December 25, according to Charlton. To determine the effectiveness and overall success of the program, team members will track the total number of sweepstakes entrants, as well as email submissions, coupons downloaded and overall coupon-generated revenue.

Connecting The Dots Between Social Media, Mobile And Email

Although Kirkland’s is making leaps and bounds in the social and mobile worlds, the brand is still connected to its digital marketing roots: email.

Before visitors can access the “Home For The Holidays” contest, they first must enter their email addresses. Using this acquisition strategy, the retailer has improved email subscription rates substantially, according to Charlton.

“Our primary goal for this entire campaign was to drive email membership so that we can engage with shoppers after the holiday season,” Charlton said. Once players submit their email addresses, they’re encouraged to provide additional data, including full name, birthday, address and mobile phone number. With this information readily available, Kirkland’s can alert sweepstakes winners, as well as generate dialogue with entrants more frequently across communication channels.

“We wanted to develop a campaign across multiple channels because that’s largely how our customers are interacting with us today,” Charlton explained. “We wanted to make sure the campaign was easy to access across the web, social media and through mobile devices, and provide customers about our seasonal products using those compelling digital interactions.”

To further drive submissions and game participation, Kirkland’s also is promoting “Home For The Holidays” in stores. Each brick-and-mortar location is using marketing collateral such as bag stuffers and in-store signage that tout QR codes and the sweepstakes URL. Consumers can scan the codes in-store then visit the page at another time, or play the game immediately on their mobile devices.

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