Gamification Strategy In Loyalty Programs – Are We There Yet in India?

Moving over earn and burn, personalization has now become hygiene. In a world where dynamic consumer behavior has become the game changer for brands to set their marketing strategy, gamification might just be the secret ingredient that Indian brands should watch out for next.


Aditi Jindal

4 Min Read

August 05, 2021

Moving over earn and burn, personalization has now become hygiene. In a world where dynamic consumer behavior has become the game changer for brands to set their marketing strategy, gamification might just be the secret ingredient that Indian brands should watch out for next.


Coined in 2003, gamification is in its full form these days. While in some countries, the concept of gamification is as amateur as it can be, in the last few years, gamification has moved beyond badges, challenges and leaderboards. Innovation has been done in this space by some of the leading brands like Nike’s running appStarbucksDuolingo to name a few. Most brands, however, are still oblivious of its engagement power. This scenario is more evident in the Indian subcontinent. Is it because of the lack of interest or are marketers unable to foresee the true potential of a gamification strategy in loyalty program? Or was it Google Play Store’s restricted guidelines on gamified loyalty programs in India last year that refrained brands from indulging in gamification? To some extent, yes.


If we go back to basics, winning and losing are part of a game. Could that be the reason why brands withdraw from the gamification strategy? As only a handful of members would win. Would this lead to a disappointing factor among their existing loyal members? The answer is ‘No’. In fact, lack of engagement might lead otherwise. Indeed, all games come to an end but one cannot debate the irresistible engagement and excitement that a game can build in a loyalty program. A loyalty program needs to execute the gamification strategy to keep their existing loyalty program engaging with customers in a fun and interactive way.



3 ways gamification strategy in loyalty programs is sure to hit the jackpot


It is disheartening to learn that 54% loyalty memberships are inactive. Knowing what a customer really wants from a brand is an ever evolving thesis in itself. A gamification strategy would make a difference when the games integrated with a loyalty program can engage their customers like no one’s looking. It is thus vital for brands to segment their customer groups, analyze their shopping behavior and draw clear insights on how gamification loyalty will hit the bull’s eye for their loyal consumers in the longer run. Gamification in loyalty programs however, instantly meets two of the most crucial and primary objectives of any brand. These are stated below:


1. Turning on active mode for inactive customers: Of all the customer segments, managing the inactive group is the most challenging one. While it also depends on what product or service a brand is selling but having no customer interaction for a long period might result in a dropout soon, if not addressed timely. Given that 65% of a company’s revenue comes from its existing customer groups, it’s hard to let go off customers based on inactivity. At a time like this, gamification in loyalty programs disables inactivity and brings customers a step closer to interact with the brands through introducing gamification features like Spin the wheel, Prize machines, Quizzes, etc. Designing an exclusive gamified loyalty program would largely depend on what your customer aspirations and motivations are. At Capillary, we dive into data-driven insights to create the right gamification strategy for your loyalty programs. Learn all about gamification in loyalty programs here.


2. Building customer engagement: All said and done, games are an excellent mode of customer engagement. In fact, NY best-selling author Charles Duhigg aptly shares how everyday small wins lead to a contended life. In his blog on the Economics of Small Wins, he shares, Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.” When you consistently build a relationship with your customer, you would notice the spike in the brand ROI as part of the repeat purchase pattern indicated by your customers result in increased website traffic, frequent revisits and higher customer engagement. And consistent and successful customer engagement can drive 55% higher share of wallet.


3. Swinging up ROI: With a surge in customer engagement and the right gamification strategy in place, a business’ ROI is bound to be positively impacted from a well-laid out gamified loyalty program. Clothing brand Moosejaw noticed a whopping 560% ROI after incorporating gamification strategy.


3 super brands leading the race with gamified loyalty programs in India


After having relaxed its Play Store policies early this year, Google too aligned with Indian conglomerates and startups for the need to build customer engagement through gamification more than ever before. In India, brands are still opening up to the notion of gamification but following are some of the players who have brilliantly executed this strategy in their loyalty programs.


Amazon Prime




A subscription-based model with an upfront one-time annual fee offers countless benefits (at preferential pricing) to its members. This loyalty program need no introduction. But if you think that offering rewards is the only pull for its loyal customer base. Think again. Login to your Amazon Pay App and unveil some of the most exciting games that members can play, earn, redeem and play gain. They also tie up with new product launches and build exclusive games around such events. If you are someone who has already played some of these games, you would agree that gamification puts you in a recurring loop for at least 15-30 days taking customer engagement to an altogether new level.





It comes as no surprise when cricket and India are teamed together for any marketing campaign. Swiggy’s Match Day Mania in 2020 was one such loyalty program with gamification strategy that was centered around nation’s most loved game and received highest traction during the time it was run. Swiggy ran a Cricket Quiz Flow option that let users guess the correct answer and win perks simultaneously. This was followed by #InItToWinIt – a raffle campaign aimed towards ordering from Swiggy and moving closer to win exciting gifts. Valid on weekends, this was an interesting way to engage the audience given the pandemic had already created a lull and reluctance to step outside to dine.


Besides seasonal games, currently, Swiggy has a roulette-based game for its subscribed members that allows them to pull the lever and things roll up as rewards after availing a certain number of food deliveries the subscription.





Ecommerce player Flipkart too introduced SuperCoins zone that allows its members to play different games and earn rewards simultaneously. A user earn coins on every purchase they make and earn rewards simultaneously. The brand also has an exclusive Gamezone that enlists some of the most engaging games keeping in sync the Indian consumer behavior and motivations. Recently, Flipkart introduced a daily trivia Bollywood quiz under its games section in the App comprising five questions to be answered before midnight. Many prizes and SuperCoins are up for grabs thereby increasing the probability of winning for its subscribed members.


A gamified future… 


An industry that is valued at $12 billion and is touted to grow enormously, gamification market is expected to hit $31 billion by 2025. These tap and play games in loyalty programs have enabled consumers to feel positive given the current unstableness hovering around the world. Consumers feel involved with a brand, motivated and look towards a sense of achievement when they win badges or are recognized on social media platforms. Given the motivational level it creates, consumers are drawn to visit the App, store, website or any other platform again thereby creating higher level of gratification which in turn works favorably towards the brand.


Indian brands like Swiggy, Zomato, Amazon have leapfrogged and are reaping its benefits. It’s about time that gamification strategy in loyalty programs takes the lead in India and brands incorporate this strategy for achieving a higher engagement.

Aauthor Name

Aditi Jindal

Writer, traveler, and a cold coffee addict, precisely in that order, Aditi Jindal is a storyteller. Whether it is slicing brands and their content marketing strategies or dabbling different genres of book writing; her keen interest in finding the unique idea for brands to deliver compelling stories keeps her on her toes.

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