Online Contest For eCommerce: From Strategy To Implementation
How do you organize an Online Contest for your eCommerce?
Giveaways, freebies, and contests are handy tools you’ve probably already considered using if you have e-commerce.
But how are they managed? What’s the best strategy? And what aspects must be kept in mind to transform the idea into a concrete and successful reality? And above all, how to organize giveaway and contest, ensuring it complies with the law?
Table of Contents
Why should an e-commerce organize a prize competition?
The benefits deriving from the organization of a prize competition are many and do not apply exclusively to the digital world.
Among these, the main ones are:
- Increase brand awareness
- Increase the number of followers
- Count on the power of gamification and increase user engagement
- Generate new profiled leads
- Planning a new product launch
- Increase brand loyalty
The different types of prize competitions: the online contest for e-commerce
The online contest for eCommerce has Lead Generation and User Generation Content as its main objectives, i.e., content production by users.
The online contest is a prize competition in which the participants’ skill is a yardstick for deciding the winner. Posting themed photos, quick survey responses, or similar interactions are often incentivized.
From the very beginning of the contest, it must be clear how the winner(s) will be declared and what the prize consists of. In most cases, this is information already specified in the contest rules, which varies depending on the circumstances.
The methods used to identify the winner are two:
- Random draw by lottery
- Selection based on criteria or specific and previously declared skills
The online contests for eCommerce that are created on the basis of content created by users can be of different categories:
- Hashtag contests
- Photo contest
- Video contests
- Instant win with the final draw
Online contest for eCommerce: the giveaway
The giveaway has as its main objective the increase in engagement and followers.
It is an online contest for e-commerce that is often organized on social media.
With this format, users are asked to perform small actions that do not require a particular effort, such as placing a like, commenting with a word, a sentence, or an emoji, tagging other people, or sharing content.
The incentive that should increase this kind of interaction is represented by products or gadgets offered by the organizer. Prizes can be given to all participants or drawn randomly among those who have performed the required action.
One feature that allows you to distinguish a giveaway performed according to the law from one that is not is precisely the presence of a regulation to refer to.
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Lead magnet for eCommerce: the freebie
The freebie has Lead Generation and increased engagement as its main objectives.
This is not a real prize competition. In fact, the freebie is more like a gift or a gift offered to users in exchange for a specific action such as, for example, filling out a form or a survey, starting to follow a specific page or profile, and interacting with content.
The freebie corresponds to the Lead Magnet used in Lead Generation. It is in fact, a free resource that has no economic value, and a PDF, a video or a wallpaper can easily represent that.
The regulations for sweepstakes, contests, giveaways, or freebies for your e-commerce
A first fundamental piece of information is that a promotional initiative on social media that aims to identify winners among those who perform a specific action is, to all intents and purposes, a contest that falls under the legislation on prize events.
This implies that calling a contest with the term Giveaway does not exclude it from the abovementioned legislation. In fact, terms such as Giveaway, Online Contest, or Instant Win are terminologies not provided for by Italian law.
When the nature of the winnings is uncertain because it is linked to the draw or the participants’ skill, we speak of a prize competition, regardless of the terminology used.
The bureaucratic process includes the following:
- An official regulation
- A guarantee able to guarantee the prizes
- A certified system for acquiring equity investments
- Data mirroring _
- Sending the file to the Ministry
- The extraction of the winners in the presence of an official
- The management of the delivery of prizes and related collection of justifications
- Closing of the competition, including taxes on the prizes
Furthermore, all the procedures related to the GDPR essential for acquiring the individual participants’ data must not be forgotten.
Freebies are not considered sweepstakes because there is no selection of a few winners.
What are rewards operations for e-commerce instead?
Sweepstakes differ from sweepstakes like the winnings.
In fact, even in prize operations, all the participating users win, but unlike freebies, the prize in question has an economic value.
Examples of prize operations are the recognition of winnings only following a purchase, loyalty points, or cash-back operations (which are, however, very borderline).
The sectors and targets of the online contests
The Online Contests apply to many product sectors, including:
- Food & Drinks
- Fashion and accessories
- Personal care
- User services
- Home and furniture
As for the average target, however, you should know that it is made up of the following:
- +54% women
- Age between 22 and 44 years
- Inhabitant of Northern/Central Italy
These data emerge from more than 200 campaigns carried out in 2 years.
It seems obvious, but it’s good to remember that the target of the competition should coincide with that of the Brand’s normal marketing activities!
The strategies of an online contest for eCommerce: brand awareness
To define the perfect strategy for an online contest for e-commerce, it is necessary to start from the objectives.
Regarding brand awareness, photo contests are one of the best options.
In fact, thanks to this type of competition, even on Instagram, it is possible to transform users and customers into real Ambassadors. It will be sufficient to ask them to take a photo of the latest product purchased from your e-commerce to obtain greater visibility even among their circle of digital contacts.
Online contest for e-commerce: lead generation strategy
Lead Generation allows you to acquire new profiled contacts thanks to the Giveaway.
It will be sufficient to personalize the registration form by asking for the information that is considered most beneficial for the business. In fact, faced with the possibility of winning, the user will be more willing to leave personal information such as geolocation, gender, age, etc.
Online contest for eCommerce: your customer Loyalty
When the goal of the online contest for eCommerce is that of loyalty, Instant Win is one of the most promising mechanics.
Loyalty is a tool capable of prolonging the shopping experience.
Adding Instant Win in the checkout phase of your e-commerce allows you to connect the shopping experience to gamification.
Quizzes and surveys: tools for market research
They are simple tools that allow you to conduct actual market research, find out what users like, and obtain much more information.
In addition to the individual preferences, you will also get the possibility of collecting the participants’ data and profiling them!
The Elements of a Successful Online Contest
A successful Online Contest for e-commerce must have the following:
- Creativity consistent with the Brand
- Rewards deemed desired by users and in line with their interests, also to avoid intercepting targets not interested in staying in touch with the Brand
- Promotion across multiple channels such as email, social media, or influencers
What does the law provide for online contests?
In short, the legislation provides:
- A regulation drafted
- The sending of communications to the MiSE before and after the closing of the competition
- The presence of a notary and/or an official of the MiSE during the extraction of the winners
- The possibility of relying on a delegated subject to take care of these activities
The Role of Influencers in Contests and Giveaways
In most cases, an influencer cannot create their own online contest or sweepstakes but can advertise ones made by other companies!
This situation changes when the influencer is already structured as a company.
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