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Game Retail Ltd has continued its shift towards a digital-focused business model with the launch of a new mobile loyalty app.
The Game Rewards app, available on iPhone and Android, replaces the retailer’s existing loyalty scheme and allows customers to collect reward points using QR codes on their smartphone.
Game went into administration in March after seeing its sales plummet due to competition from online-only retailers, and has since been bought out by Game Retail Ltd.
The announcement came just days after Game signalled that it would be moving to focus on digital revenues by allowing customers to begin streaming demos online.
This new Reward app, which works in a similar way to Starbucks’ mobile payment app, appears to be a step towards integrating digital into Game stores.
Our new report 'How The Internet Can Save The High Street' includes data to show how mobile apps can help drive in-store sales. For example, almost half (46%) of UK smartphone owners have used their device to research product information before or during a shopping trip.
So, is Game's app any good?
Signing up is a quick process as it only requires your name, address and email, although it also gives you the option of adding in your phone number, DOB, Xbox Live Tag, Nintendo ID and a number of other gaming IDs.
It’s also easy to opt out of receiving any marketing materials from Game as it uses large tick boxes that obviously aren’t designed to try and trick you into signing up by accident.
The navigation is extremely simply as there are only four main screens that display your account balance, a QR code, account details and store locator.
To claim their loyalty points, users have to get the sales assistant to scan one of the QR codes stored on the app when they make a purchase. The same codes are then used when the customer wants to redeem their points.
The app can store up to five codes so customers can collect and redeem points even if they don’t have 3G access in-store.
Game also incentives users through ‘Accolades’, which are rewards for doing certain things such as trading-in a game within 14 days of buying it or buying a pre-owned game.
The app also offers links to Game’s Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as its website. However Game doesn’t have a mobile optimised site which means customers are unlikely to use that feature very often.
Game Rewards is an extremely simple app and shows the company is thinking seriously about its mobile strategy, but it could be easily improved by offering users some additional functionality.
For example, it could give users access to a product catalogue or launch dates for new games.
As our High Street report shows, consumers frequently use smartphones to research products in-store so Game should really be taking advantage of this by either including a catalogue in the app or building a mobile optimised site.
Furthermore, Game points out that the app means it has customers’ “purchase history in one place so we can improve our customer service” and deliver relevant deals and offers.
The app will therefore be a great way of collecting customer data in-store, but at the moment there doesn’t appear to be any way of collecting loyalty points for online purchases.
If Game allowed customers to create a single account that collected data from both online and offline purchases it would be an invaluable tool for tracking consumer behaviour and delivering a single customer view.