IT Entrepreneurs explain Gamification at “Buy With Thrills”
Based in Bournemouth, United Kingdom, a dedicated small team is eagerly transforming how online shoppers purchase products in a simple approach that’s entertaining, affordable, and quick with “Buy With Thrills“; currently seen in Beta-form and known as BWT, this growing E-commerce website offers free membership and discounts toward video games and technologies like Apple’s iPhone 6, Easy ACC 1000, and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (XBO), while members play games or participate in both online or off-line events to win these massive discounts and Thrill Points! This BWT digital currency that’s given and distributed among members can be a.) accumulated by participating in events, b.) bought as a virtual exchange through an electronic transaction, or c.) spent as payments. Here’s how it works:
Interested in the creative minds behind this clever marketing concept, Gamer Headlines jumped on the opportunity to ask some inquiries to Valdmar Waligorski “Val Gorsky” (Founder and IT Entrepreneur) and Martin Spooner (IT Entrepreneur) in an exclusive interview.
First, please introduce yourself (like explaining your background history with video games, naming some past-time favorites, and stating your position).
BWT or ‘Buy With Thrills’ is an intrepid team of two, eager to enhance the gaming industry by combining the skills of the gamers with those of the e-commerce brigade. The founder of BWT is Valdemar Waligorski, an IT entrepreneur affectionately known as Val Gorsky.
Val says: ” I have been an avid player since programming my own games on a Texas Instrument TI-99/4A and later games such as Asteroid and Defender that gave me problems with my college studies. I wrote an essay at college about gaming in the future, where games were so realistic that people preferred them before reality. I was awarded an A+! As a teacher myself, I later programmed e-learning material and quickly realised the power of including short games in the learning process. That is what we now call ‘gamification’. Edutainment is another field that I am interested in and think will have a great influence on future learning. Today, I restrict my gaming and play strategy games such as COH – Company of Heroes 1&2 mostly with my son.”
The second member of the team is Martin Spooner an entrepreneur from the hospitality and film industry, and he was invited by Val to join the team from the business angle with his known ability to raise finance for similar projects. Gaming, sadly is not Martin’s forte but as a team, BWT is strong and determined knowing that it has a powerful concept to bring to the marketplace.
What sparked the original concept for “Buy With Thrills” and ignited ambitions to see this creation in reality?
With my experience from within the PC industry, a very competitive market, we had to come up with some exceptional marketing and one very successful method was the “split sale” where a customer signed for a product, received one part (the display unit) and the balance some time later. It was a great success because at the time hardware was expensive but getting cheaper all the time……until laptops started to become cheap. BWT now use another version of the split-sale concept together with group buying, all tied together by social media marketing, big data and potentially Bitcoin use. It is the inclusion of exciting games and /or events that allows each sale to be split, so BWT acknowledge how important rapid, short length and exciting games are to our success.
Because it’s in early development, what are the first initiative (initial) goals?
At this stage of development, BWT seek more members and wish to develop the games, so our users/members can use the site’s full functionality. BWT need a critical mass of members to make it a success, so merchants understand the benefits that BWT can bring to their clients and ours.
Our goals are simple – to bring excitement to online shopping and to embrace the power of cross marketing between offline and online merchants.
What do first-time visitors gain when they first join? (Specific Game Deals? Coupons? Additional shipping discounts for international audiences?)
First-time visitors will receive a free membership along with 10 ‘Thrills’ and a bonus chance to ‘win’ massive discounts on popular products. Thrills are the BWT loyalty points that members receive when participating in BWT’s different marketing events. These points can also be purchased.
What should long-term members expect?
The greatest benefit of being a BWT member is that loyalty will be rewarded. BWT allows members to ‘win’ massive discounts on a whole and growing range of popular products. While it’s still in Beta mode and in development, BWT is actively marketing the benefits to gamers, consumers and merchants, so some elements of the site are not currently available. The concept however remains strong – excite the gaming instincts in everyone to ensure their chosen product is ‘won’ at a very low price and to spread the word about the excitement of shopping online with BWT.
What careers or job opportunities will the company offer for prospective employees in the coming years?
In the first two years, it is anticipated that BWT will employ up to ten game programmers. For a global reach in the following years, we expect a significant number of programmers, marketing and sales professionals.
Besides contributing at KickStarter, what are some other payment options or ways to support?
Spreading the word. Direct investment into the Buy With Thrills company for a share of the company; contributions from gamers to enhance the gaming element of the BWT site – with appropriate rewards! BWT is also assured by the HMRC for SEIS investment.
For how long has the team sacrificed and managed personal expense, time, and motivation? How did this massive project continued throughout the years?
BWT was formed in 2013 after a gestation period of 10 years as Val devised and molded the concept. Like all exciting start up businesses, many hours and private funds have been consumed but all for a worthy cause – thrills, excitement and the knowledge that we have introduced a truly disruptive element to the world of e-commerce but for the benefit of the gaming industry too. BWT really believes that the timing now is absolutely right to launch this concept. Brilliant smartphones, faster internet, new programming languages, insatiable demand for online shopping, and the reality of crypto currencies are all pointing to launch NOW.
After coming so far, what would you have done differently? (Did you make any past mistakes, learn new techniques, etc.)
Mistakes have to be made and have been made. The reviews we make of our business are constant, and the learning curve remains steep because we may well be regarded as ‘old’ in such a young and vibrant industry. Our business skills, determination and communication skills are well known, but as a team, we lack the necessary programming skills to move ahead as fast as we desire. Would we do anything different? Yes, we would have spent more money but not necessarily be any further forward. Also, we started believing that we needed to explain the whole complex concept at once. This proved to be wrong, hence the slower development of the current beta site.
Finally, what should fans expect from the company or “Buy With Thrills” in the near future?
Expect great things. If we can secure some fantastic short, high calibre games for inclusion in the site then the true thrills for the consumer will become evident. Merchants in turn will then understand the huge attraction of splitting the sales process, not only for data capture but for ultimate cross-communication between markets and consumers.
Again, thank you for spending some time with us and sharing your thoughts! As a quick reminder for readers, the creators are running an on-going KickStarter campaign for £3,000 that ends on January 25, 2015. They will appreciate any donation or support! For more information, please visit the official website or Facebook.
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