Numbers and Humanities series: how to subtly inspire visitors?
[Editor's Note] Human society has gone through manual age, industrial age, and current digital age. At first glance, more technology advances, weaker humanities become. However, humanity is not lost. On contrary, value of humanities is more valued. Otherwise, we will not be able to explain why “cultural creativity” has emerged in digital age. Based on this, we contrast "Digital and Humanities" and launch a special theme "Digital and Humanities Series".
The drive-action model, a fundamental tenet of behavioral economics, is that people respond to incentives.
Chinese Internet companies have applied this principle to perfection. From accumulating points to collecting wool, from giving gifts to giving away money, there are endless reward methods. In particular, whether it's a website or a live broadcast, developing a small program or running a mall, incentives are also needed.
We want to ask: is it possible to encourage visitors more gently?
Common promotions on digital platforms
Accumulate points. This is most common promotion method under membership selling model. In terms of offers, more users buy, use, and click, more points they get. Points can be redeemed for goods, services, discounts, etc.
Money rewards. Monetary rewards are given directly to users for certain behavior. For example, behaviors such as sharing, repurchasing, etc. However, this kind of incentive will create some barriers, and only when enough cash has been accumulated can it be removed.
Coupon rewards. Include discounts, coupons, and more to motivate users to take next step.
Prize rewards. Visitor behavior is rewarded with prizes, including physical prizes and virtual prizes.
Characteristics and disadvantages of conventional rewards
Summarizing methods of encouraging domestic digital platforms, we found commonality and shortcomings of these methods.
One, mostly based on financial incentives. Whether it is points or money, they can be exchanged for real objects at an equivalent value, which is essentially a financial incentive.
Secondly, focus is on direct rewards. Incentives are highly targeted, pointing to targets such as "consumption", "cash", and "orders".
Third, rewards are mostly two-way. Incentives are mainly between merchants and visitors, and there is no mechanism for spontaneous rewards.
We believe that current common methods and reward mechanisms are relatively rude, utilitarian and even somewhat offensive.
Therefore, it is very necessary for us to try this possibility - how tomake incentives of digital platforms softer.
How to gently motivate visitors?
We believe that in planning phase of websites or small programs, incentives and mechanisms can be developed along lines of following ideas.
First, appreciate tools of spiritual motivation. The advantage of financial incentives is quick results, while disadvantage is that investment is large and constant investment is required. However, disadvantage of spiritual motivation is that effect is slow, and advantage is that cost is low, investment is small, and effect is long-lasting. Spiritual motivation tools include user honor, professional recognition, praise, etc. Simply put, it allows visitors to “generate electricity with love.” For example, some crowdfunding platforms directly display amount of donations from users, which is a kind of spiritual incentive.
Second, try multidimensional rewards. The current direction of promotion is mainly merchants and visitors, so is it possible to form a promotion mechanism between visitors? Wikipedia, for example, is pure interaction with visitors, shaping production of content. Another example is "customer question and answer" of some e-commerce platforms, where users form mutual help, which can help latecomers better understand features, advantages, and disadvantages of products.
Third, increase duration of rewards. Incentives for users, don't demand too immediate results and properly "play long game and catch big fish". For example, some of UP's current million owners asked for nothing but likes in early days, and only after accumulating fans did they start live streaming to sell merchandise and post ads.
As above, we have provided several guidelines for creating incentive mechanisms for digital platforms.