Gamification with physical rewards

Anyone here ever built a gamification system with physical rewards? I’m interested in feedback from members who have gone beyond just presenting badges and status levels and started providing actual gifts in exchange for their site actions.

Also, for those with any kind of community gamification, what types of actions are you rewarding? Any experience with fraud?

Looking forward to hearing from the community!

Also interested in this - and how you would scale the shipping/transmission of product

I don’t have a direct response, but I have several indirect responses instead :smiley:.

  1. Instead of asking what you want to reward, you should answer that for yourself. Every community is different, and what you’re trying to reward is going to be very different than what I’m trying to reward. To help you out, here are some ideas: are you trying to reward … participation? Quality of responses? Going above and beyond? A sense of community? Onboarding new users? Answering technical questions? Receiving best answer? Participating in a special event?

  2. I know you asked about physical rewards, but I’d like to emphasize that physical rewards should carry an emotional message. This doesn’t need to be expensive. It could be as simple as writing, memorializing, or capturing highlights of the users participation and including that as a card with the physical gift.

  3. You can also play off of the human need to “collect” or “gather.” For example, you can start a program where you define a dozen goals for the year, and users earn a token or badge to complete their 2020 ribbon.

If you’re with the Mayo Clinic, you can offer a Mayo Clinic Care Bear for every year that users participate in the superuser program. This allows users to “collect” Care Bears for 2019, 2020, 2021, etc. And one of the “requirements” of being a recipient of the annual Care Bear is to take a photo with all of the collected Care Bears.

  1. Dropshipping - to actually implement the delivery of the rewards, search for dropshipping companies which take care of the shipping, delivery, and customization of the item. You pay, they do everything else.
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Joel, excellent ideas, and definitely some items that apply to a different audience than mine. For me, my audience is technicians, and many of them are not as easy to convince to get online and participate, so a little prodding was needed…

My setup will of course not apply to everyone, but here it is:

My forum runs on Wordspress on top of Amazon AWS. On that we have BuddyBoss, a hybrid of buddypress (for social networking) and bbpress (the forum). Linked into that is Gamipress to create the gamification hooks.

Then, on the other side of the site is a Woocommerce store that showcases all the physical items. Members turn their points into real orders using a gateway between Gamipress and Woocommerce, which turns points into currency.

Once placed, the orders are forwarded to our fulfillment team (our promotional items company). Select orders are printed here for me when they include gift cards so I can purchase those digitally and emailed to keep them secure.

The process has so far, knock on wood, been rock solid. Customers love it, and appreciate getting something in return for their helpful posts.

Gamipress hooks are enabled for posting replies, new thread topics, blog post comments, social shares, member referrals. I keep adding new hooks as we move along, and have bonus points I hand out manually for the site superstars.

Items in the store were selected based off member input, and I regularly survey to make sure the store has the best possible items. And finally, I use sales to determine re-ordering (or not!).

The development of this has been fun and challenging at the same time, but the final result has been well worth it.

I was worried about fraud, but thanks to the relatively low volume, I can still manually release orders for fulfillment and the hooks all have limits on how many times they can be earned (ie. 5 points per post, maximum of 5 times/day).

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Thanks for sharing your build, @itsmescotty!

What sort of items have you found most impactful, out of curiosity?

This is great! Thanks so much!

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