With people looking at their smartphones on such a regular basis, businesses are seeing more and more opportunities to capture their attention. It seems that they have found a powerful way to motivate mobile app users to use an app again.
Why do Companies add Gamification to their Mobile Applications?
The key, however, is to create a mobile app that is compelling and convenient enough to turn unique users into repeat users, and this is where gamification comes in.
This trending marketing tactic will be explained in more detail throughout this article. We’ll start by looking at the key principles for gamification, the most common mistakes to avoid, and a perfect example of a mobile app where gamification was successfully implemented.
How to Build an App Gamification Strategy
Creating an effective gamification strategy is something you should invest time and effort into. In addition to reviewing existing apps for inspiration, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the key elements of gamification in mobile apps.
The first thing to think about is why you want to add gamification to your mobile app. For example, if you have an e-commerce type app, do you want to attract new customers, retain existing customers or boost your brand image? Whatever your goal is, use it as the basis for your gamification strategy.
What is the reason why people are going to “become addicted” to your app? Here the balance between complexity and motivation is crucial. When the challenge is too easy, people will get bored. If the challenge is too difficult, they will get frustrated. Both cases can discourage the user from continuing to use your app.
Push notifications, reminders, or even alerts are great ways to keep users coming back to your app. Be it to complete a challenge or to earn extra points to get a free product. With the right encouragement, you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to put in a little extra effort if they’re rewarded for it.
So what does the user gain? The options here are basically endless. From discounts or free products to being included in an honorable rank. The important thing here is to find out what your target really wants and offer the corresponding rewards. Remember: people like to compete against others and have a thirst to stand out from the rest.
Some users simply need guidance to prevent them from leaving the app the moment they feel confused. For new users, it can be helpful to include small hints so they understand what to do next.
In the end, these gamification elements can be implemented in almost any type of app. However, it is better to decide from the beginning whether you want to add gamification elements to your mobile app or not. This is because the cost of creating an application depends largely on its functionalities.
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Mistakes to Avoid in App Gamification
Top Mistakes to Avoid in App Gamification when you develop your app gamification strategy, Now that we’ve covered the key do’s for gamification, it’s time to talk about the don’ts. After analyzing several applications, I have found a red thread among the reasons that have caused the gamification to fail.
Confusing scoring system
Users have to fully understand how the scoring system works. Always explain how the goals or points are achieved and what they will get when they level up. Start by asking yourself this question: Why would users want to earn more points? and design the solution based on the answer.
Keep in mind that gamification is a tool, not a solution. In other words, the design itself must be attractive and convenient for the user. Adding gamification to your mobile app does not mean that it compensates for the quality of the design. On the contrary, the app interface should complement the gamification elements.
too many prizes
Don’t give prizes for anything. Users need to put in at least a little bit of effort before they receive anything. If it gets too easy, no one appreciates it. Also try to choose the right type of reward depending on the amount of effort required. And remember: rewards should always go in the direction you want the user to go.
Over-focus on competing with others
It’s not to say that you shouldn’t include a leaderboard in your app, just make sure it’s not too focused on competing against others. There is some rivalry that a user can endure before being discouraged from continuing the challenge. Therefore, ask yourself beforehand if results-oriented elements would encourage users to come back to your app or not.
Lack of creativity
Another common mistake is not being innovative. Gamification is much more than earning points, medals or being included in a ranking. These elements are definitely important, but you also have to think of other ways to stimulate users. Give them something to remember, feel connected to, or brag about. Think of gamification as a way to amplify existing signals.
Real time examples of Gamification in Apps
Now that the do’s and don’ts have been discussed, it’s time to better understand how implementing gamification has benefited other apps. After reviewing multiple mobile apps, I have found a winner that took gamification to the next level.
Starbucks: Gamification for customer loyalty
Starbucks Rewards is often regarded as one of the best loyalty programs out there. Your secret? A combination of customer experience and a revolutionary rewards system. Let’s summarize the most important features:
Reward purchases in stores
Customers can earn points, alias stars, for each coffee or other product they buy from the chain of stores. These points can then be redeemed for prizes and free items.
Reward the purchase of grocery products
The app also introduced points for purchases made outside of its outlets, including coffee beans, teas, K Cups and ready-to-drink beverages.
Exceptional mobile experience
It’s easy to check the number of stars earned, as well as place orders and payments from your smartphone. Also, every time a user opens the app, they receive a new temporary bonus offer.
Gold Member Card
When a member of the Starbucks program earns 30 stars in a 12-month period, they will receive a gold membership card. In my opinion, a great way to make your clients feel exclusive and important.
Many of our favorite mobile applications have been evaluated, developed and designed based on gamification elements. Almost all of them with the main objective of reaching the highest level of commitment.
The method gives you the freedom to choose the strategies and methods that work best for your target audience. Also, it is possible to decide if you want the whole application to be in the form of a game or just a few elements.
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