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By4 Min Read
February 18, 2021
The human mind loves games.
Around us, from millennials playing CandyCrush for hours on social media to gamblers losing all their money in casinos, there are plenty of examples of how games can be addicting. In fact, gaming is the most popular habit of the digital age. A report by Statista that there are over 1,651.66 million active mobile gamers worldwide as of 2020, and this number is expected to rise to 2,220.8 million by 2025. Even while looking at apps on the Apple App Store categories in 2020, 21.86% of apps belong to the gaming category, followed by business, which is only 10.11%.
So it does not come as a surprise that businesses across industries have been borrowing game strategies for marketing and motivating customer behavior with game elements like badges, scoreboards, points, levels, and more. Gamification can be used to cultivate high engagement with existing customers, and even attract potential customers. Take the example of Autodesk, a leader in 3D design and engineering software, that tested gamification concepts in their software. Using an intriguing storyline and a variable reward system, they incentivized users to finish the trial and learn how to use the software. They found that using gamification in customer engagement strategies resulted in a 54% increase in trial usage, and a 15% increase in buy clicks.
Before using gamification to enhance engagement, brands must understand the two types of motivation that make people take action: extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivators are tangible, like offering monetary credits, discounts, or freebies. Intrinsic motivation relies more on emotions and desires. Extrinsic motivators are more commonly found in marketing strategies, partly because they are extremely effective in attracting new customers and triggering initial adoption. However, they can lose effectiveness over time.
Extrinsic motivations like points and discounts are easily replicated or out-done by competition, but to create sustainable engagement, intrinsic motivation is essential.
One way to better understand Intrinsic motivators is by using the Self Determination Theory, a universal concept that claims three factors create emotional motivation: autonomy, competence and relatedness.
With this knowledge, let’s dive into some game mechanics to implement in your mobile app:
Brands can learn more about what incentivizes consumers by understanding their behavior to extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Understanding customers’ behavior and inclination to specific game mechanics can be better understood using A/B tests; for example, understanding a customer’s motivation by offering the choice between a Discount versus a Spin-The-Wheel chance to win event tickets.
The fascinating study of games on our psychology shows that there are multiple reasons why people are addicted to games.
In this article, we will explore how brands can deepen customer loyalty by enhancing gamification on their mobile apps. Our focus on mobile apps stems from the fact that more than 50% of online purchases today are happening on a mobile device.
An increasing number of brands are rightly taking a mobile-first approach to loyalty programs— that is, starting product design from the real-estate restricted mobile interface, before expanding features to tablet and desktop versions. Growing engagement on mobile apps is often a direct indicator of revenue, and the time users spend on the app has a direct correlation to the bottom line.
Zamzee Kids uses an activity tracker to track kid’s steps and health, with a fun website to get people motivated to move more. Zamzee’s ingenious solution – a portable accelerometer and matching gamified social online system – is getting otherwise sedentary kids to exercise the equivalent of an incremental marathon per month. Zamzee does this by offering patently extrinsic rewards (points, badges, leaderboards, free stuff) that feed a core intrinsic desire: every kid’s craving for agency and self-determination – not necessarily the drive to be fit.
Goibibo has gamified their app with India’s evergreen love: Cricket. The app introduced goCashFest, where users can earn GoCash by keeping their Goibibo app open during all Mumbai Indians matches. By using the app while the team plays, users win GoCash for each 4s, 6s, 50, 100, wickets, and wins during the match. This goCash is valid until the next Mumbai Indians match and can be used to make bookings on Goibibo.
Bakmi GM* is a marquee fast food chain that serves over 30,000 customers per day in Indonesia. Bakmi GM built a microsite and a mobile app that uses gamification to obtain enriched customer data. In return for completing their profile information, customers/users receive a chance to #SpinTheWheel and win gifts, cashbacks, or offers in exchange from the brand. Strategies like this allow brands to drive greater personalization and create more meaningful micro-segments of customers based on product affinity, billing history, profile information, etc. In addition, Bakmi also has a rich rewards catalog available on the mobile app, allowing customers to easily select their rewards.
*Capillary is proud to partner with Bakmi GM for this initiative.
The coffee chain has done an excellent job of keeping customers engaged with challenges and achievements. They use challenges like getting customers to check-in at different retail stores in order to unlock an achievement. The loyalty app sends customers push notifications when they’re close to reaching the next tier of the program. By using reminders like “you’re only two coffees away from a free muffin this week”, Starbucks encourages customer engagement with a subtle sense of urgency.
Candy Crush offers customers the capability to share their loyalty status and “achievement badges” on social media, which led to heightened awareness about the game and leading to its massive popularity. One of the key contributors to the success of Candy Crush was the free social media promotion the game experienced through existing players posting their scores. Retail brands can use similar strategies like photo competitions, offering rewards, or unlocking discounts when customers share their love on social media.
Mobile gamification can efficiently improve stickiness, and repeated engagement by creating different challenges to encourage different consumer behaviors. Trends in brand loyalty and customer retention are constantly evolving and advancing — yet the history of games and its close ties with human psychology makes it clear that ‘gamification’ is more than a buzzword. It is here to stay.
February 18, 2021 | 4 Min Read
Around us, from millennials playing CandyCrush for hours on