The article was originally published in AMgrade's Knowledgebase
Gamification. This term is on everyone’s lips these days. But it’s not just another annoying buzzword, it’s a trend that simply blew up the business community a few years ago and is only going to grow in its importance any time soon.
Literally, gamification is a milestone to building a mobile app which your users will enjoy.
Let’s try to point out how gamification adds value to mobile apps and what the developers should do in this respect.
What’s the profit?
Why is gamification so popular? Essentially, because gaming has been the hottest trend in mobile for the past few years, hence it affects non-gaming apps, too. For both adults and kids, gaming is what they are mostly using their mobile devices for, and this means that introducing gamification elements can make your mobile app more user-friendly and increase its competitive advantage considerably.
Gamification benefits and best practices:
1. Make users act like you want them to.
What’s the best about gamification, is that it motivates app users to take certain actions in an unobtrusive manner. Engagement and pleasure are the most powerful drivers of desired behavior. By encouraging the necessary actions with quick rewards, you may achieve both commercial and non-commercial goals.
Take “Recycle bank” as an example: this app keeps users motivated in taking “green actions” (using less water, reducing carbon dioxide emissions, buying eco-friendly goods etc) awarding points that can be cashed later.
2. Increasing popularity.
When a user is engaged enough he/she is more likely to spread a rumor about your app, recommend it to friends. Competing against someone you know is a lot of fun. That is how gamification can put a word of mouth in the service of your business and even create a viral loop for you.
#Nwplying app, for instance, stimulates the users sharing the information about the music they’ve listened to via Facebook. Consequently everyone gets what was looking for: users are rewarded with badges and app’s owners spread a word about their brainchild, increase visibility.
3. Grow the number of “brand advocates”.
Engagement increases brand loyalty. When you provide people with the feeling they are art and part in something important they become your “brand advocates”. And this means not only the rise of popularity for the mobile app itself, but also for the parent company.
A case in point — Nike+ Fuel app. Inspiring and motivating users during the workouts, letting them compete with each other strengthens the brand’s presence on the market.
Starbucks loyalty program is also a strong argument proving this: a mobile app, provided with a thought-out reward system, keeps the users motivated in buying products and remain faithful to the brand.
4. Boost conversion rate & increase ROI.
Accurate gamification is the way to strengthen your mobile app’s monetization. If the product is both practical and fun, more users will pay money to unlock its extra features. And due to sensible modifying of customer’s behavior the conversion rate can also be boosted.
Dropbox is one of the best examples.
Gamification DOs and DON’Ts.
So, you’re convinced that using gamification is a winning strategy for your mobile app and want to get into an action ASAP. Don’t rush. By the end of 2015, more than 50% of mobile and web apps are expected to use gamification, but it doesn’t mean that all of them will succeed.
How to find your app among the winners? Here are some specific steps, which are going to help you: