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Comment: Delayed Gratification Within Gamification

Wed 8th Feb 2017 | Marketing & PR

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Walter Mischel led an experiment, which is now popularly known as The Stanford marshmallow Experiment.

Mischel and his colleagues wanted to see if preschool children (around four-years-old) had developed the mental capacity to resist the temptation of a small reward to earn a larger reward later. They presented each of the 653 subjects with a choice; ring a bell and get one marshmallow immediately or wait fifteen minutes and earn two.

While a minority of them instantly opted for a single marshmallow, most children attempted to hold on, for varying times, to get their reward. In the end, only about thirty percent were able to delay gratification for the full fifteen minute period earning their second marshmallow.

DIF_RvE (DIF_RvE.png)

Although customer satisfaction was not what Michel and his colleagues were looking to investigate, it can still be applied within the shopping context. Delayed gratification is making customers enjoy their purchase more; there is a build-up of anticipation which makes receiving the product even better. The important thing is to not make customers wait too long and find the optimal time for delaying the gratification, as can be seen in the below diagram; not everyone can wait 15 minutes for a second marshmallow!

Similarly, Christmas plays on the concept of delayed gratification. The presents are placed underneath the Christmas tree and are kept there until Christmas morning. Meaning that until the 25th of December everyone (with a Christmas tree) is just waiting eagerly to open their presents.

DiscountIF plays on the concept of delayed gratification; customers are not given their reward instantaneously as they are asked to predict the outcome of a sporting event and then rewarded based on their prediction. Besides the element of gamification which increases the level of customer engagement, the DiscountIF platform provides marketers and businesses the opportunity to implement delayed gratification.

With DiscountIF customers still carry out their purchase as normal; however they are then waiting for their product to be delivered and then inherently waiting for their prediction to be determined.

This feature within the platform raises the satisfaction level customers receive when businesses run this kind of sales promotion as it adds both delayed gratification and gamification to the shopping process. These are two important factors which raise customers’ satisfaction and positively affect customer behaviour.

References:

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/delayed-gratification/

Image - https://www.gamified.uk/2015/02/06/gamification-delayed-gratification-rewards/

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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