When you are in the business of selling your products and/or services, it’s very important along with offering a high-quality standard. Find an emotional connection and create mutually beneficial relationships with your customers. It’s one thing to raise awareness about your brand and find customers. But what comes next is a challenge to retain them, make them loyal to you. And that’s where gamification techniques come in handy.
According to calculations, the gamification market was valued at USD 7.17 billion in 2019 and is expected to witness 30.31% of annual growth over the next five years (2020-2025). And it can help you engage with your users. And engaged customers buy more, promote more, and are more loyal. In this article, we will show you how to use gamification in business to entertain, educate and retain your customers and employees. As well as show you some of the most interesting gamification examples across various industries
It should be pointed out that gamification is, in fact, not gaming. Gamification definition is that it’s the process of applying game elements, game mechanics, and game thinking to non game situation. It doesn’t involve playing games or creating ones for business applications at all. It’s about borrowing game features that make them so engaging and entertaining for users and amplifying the experience of your existing apps.
Gamification in business takes what you already have, be it a website or an application and integrates game mechanics into it. So instead of building something new from scratch, you make use of what already exists by adding some gaming techniques. Of course, with a goal, to attract, entertain and retain your users as well as motivate the desired action from them. How do you achieve it? Simple. Gaming techniques take advantage of what a human brain desires — winning, rewards, and making progress.
Gamification incorporates gaming mechanics into business applications. Thus making user experience more fun and also encouraging positive feedback from customers. Some of the most popular gaming mechanics that are used to achieve the desired action are goals, transparency, badges, leveling up, fast feedback, onboarding, competition, collaboration, points, and community.
Now the important question is — how your business can benefit from it? Engaging new customers is as valuable as entertaining the existing ones. Gamification can help your business with both, as well as educate your users or help you with marketing your product.
Let’s take a closer look at one of the most interesting areas of game techniques applications:
Today customers have more than an ample selection of brands to choose from. And it is your duty not only to get them hooked on your product and also to engage them with it and thus make them loyal customers.
The way to do it — by making their experience with your product unique. Leverage some of the much hype tech trends, like augmented reality to entice them and achieve your marketing objectives. You can introduce gaming techniques to your loyalty programs, create rewards-based promotions that your customers can benefit from.
A great example of creating a gamification environment for marketing purposes is the campaign Nike launched in Shanghai that used a Mario-like game to attract more clients. The brand introduced the virtual environment called React Land. Where customers could put to the test the innovative new sole cushioning technology by wearing Nike’s shoes and running on a treadmill that was connected to a digital version of themselves on a screen.
By running and climbing the virtual simulation of the city’s streets, customers could see how durable the new product was. Which resulted in a considerable sales increase. Plus, Nike made this experience sharable. Which helped to spread the word about their new offer and create even more customer engagement.
There’s no reason to believe that learning can’t be fun. It doesn’t have to be just monotonous lectures, boring PowerPoint presentations, and large quantities of information you have no idea how to process. Make it enjoyable with the gamification of learning.
Game-based learning creates a more fun experience for learners. A good gaming strategy leads to higher levels of engagement and retention rates. Not to mention it’s effective.
The structure is pretty simple, grab your user’s attention, challenge them in an entertaining way, and help them learn something useful in the process. This technique comes in handy when you need to train your employees or to enhance professional skills.
One of the most successful learning gamification apps, Duolingo, has around 300 million users. The concept is pretty simple —learning new languages in an extremely entertaining and surprisingly addictive way. Duolingo’s approach is what makes it a success. Inside, the app looks more like a game than a learning experience. It has its own currency, badges, challenges, and achievements. Also, users can compare their progress with their friend’s accomplishments which makes the whole process competitive.
Bringing the element of fun is a useful technique to engage both your clients and employees. According to Gartner, 70% of business transformation efforts fail because employees don’t feel engaged. So naturally, when employees feel engaged and involved in their work, their performance boosts as well as company loyalty and feel valued.
Assign points and rewards to make menial or tedious tasks more interesting. By using game mechanics, you can encourage your employees to take desired actions.
70% of business transformation efforts fail because employees don’t feel engaged – Gartner
Deloitte understood that introducing employee gamification can dramatically increase the intrinsic motivation of the employees. So, they decided to add a series of gamified elements, like badges, leaderboards, status symbols to reduce the leadership gap within the company.
Also, the company decided to make the onboarding process for new employees more engaging by making it digitized with gamification elements. This way, the freshly recruited employees could learn the essentials about the company. Even have a virtual tour around the office. This approach helped them to feel like part of the team from the very first day.
Overall, employee gamification can help you increase morale within your team, onboard and recruit top talents, create better employee training programs, promote and influence desired behaviors.
The key takeaway here, gamification techniques have the actual power to transform your business. By pressing on humans’ weak points and giving what they ultimately desire – a sense of achievement, you can benefit from it in the process.
We’ve gathered a couple of gamification examples and apps from across various industries to get you an idea of how you can leverage gamification in business.
The Seattle-based coffee giant was able to boost retail experience and increase customer loyalty by giving clients a tangible reason to use their app: an entertaining game. They turned their loyalty program into a quest of collecting so-called stars. Which later could be redeemed for coffee drinks, snacks, or even merchandise. The more customers spent, the more stars they got.
And coffee lovers sure loved the idea! In 2019, Starbucks mobile app rewards membership achieved up to 16.8 million users in total and their active member base expanded by half-million customers just in the second quarter.
Gamification is a great way to make your loyalty program engaging. Also, get the customers to spend more to increase their rewards.
By introducing fun features like sending a Valentine card or using augmented reality to play with your cup and combining them with tangible rewards, free downloads, product giveaways Starbucks can increase their base of loyal customers considerably.
Addressing the users’ competitive spirit is a great way to make them more interested in your product. Nike is actively using this gamification technique in their marketing campaign.
Nike Run Club, combined with GPS tracking, challenges and rewards, guided running workouts, and an option to track friends’ progress. Is a great example of how you can turn a boring process into a fun one. Moreover, if a user exercises with a friend, they can take a selfie and share their experience on social media. Which can attract more users to Nike’s products.
Another well-known Nike app is Nike Training Club. Which uses the same gamification principle by encouraging people – with challenges and rewards— to work out more.
To build a successful social media platform, you need to create an environment where users are willing to share information about themselves and actively communicate with other users. Intending to create a database of job-related information, LinkedIn introduced gamification elements into the processes of filling out a profile and content sharing.
To make its platform more reliable and to encourage members to remain loyal, LinkedIn turned the profile completion process into a challenge. LinkedIn guides users through the whole process and praises them for every successfully completed step. In the end, after submitting all required career-related data, the user can receive the status of a “superstar”. This classroom-like system of praise and rewards proved to be effective and almost doubled the profile fulfillment rate.
eBay, an early pioneer of gamification in retail has created one of its most eponymous examples. They have introduced a bidding system to the process of purchasing. According to Yu-Kai Chou, gamification, and behavioral design expert, if you were to create an e-commerce website, adding a bidding system, real-time feedback, and stars for leveling up is not the necessary set of features you would think of. But that’s what made eBay a success.
They’ve realized that those are the features that can drive customers. After all, it’s much more enjoyable to not just purchase something but know that you outbid all the others. And it doesn’t matter if you paid a little more than you should have. Or to get a kick out of realizing that you found something unique first. Thanks to their successful gamification techniques, eBay increases the time spent on their site and gives their customers an exciting interaction.
Using gaming in business can be a powerful tool. You encourage your users, customers, employees to take the desired action willingly, by giving them something in return. Be it entertainment, adrenaline rush, some rewards, or status. And if we have learned anything from the gaming examples above that as a bonus they help you raise brand awareness. Be on top of the competitive market and make your customer’s user experience with your brand unique.
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