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Ravi Vaka January 28, 2021

What is Gamification in 2021?

When it comes to ensuring greater engagement and retention for your digital product, few strategies can be as effective as gamification. Leveraging various game elements that draw people in, make them come back, and instill a sense of competition and achievement, the right gamification strategies in 2021 can make all the difference in terms of how invested your target audience is in your offering.

Gamification in 2021 is emerging and evolving into a powerful tactic for all sorts of businesses, irrespective of the vertical. From the spin, the wheel email that caught your attention this morning to the crossword puzzle by a brand on Twitter you have attempted to solve, the world around you is getting gamified to get noticed, get consumers to spend time through activities they’d enjoy, and ultimately, work towards brand building and conversions.

Spin the wheel example of gamification strategies in 2021

How does it work?

Gamification in 2021 works on the principles of game mechanics. No matter which game we play, there is always a hidden motivation to give our best and the proud moment of achievement when we accomplish the targets. Similar psychology applies to the gamification of technology as well. It’s part of the user experience, yet it motivates the user to complete their task. Gamification strengthens the relationships between users and brands, thus increasing customer lifetime value, loyalty, and retention.

How can it help businesses?

Gamification is not separate from the product’s business goals. It’s a way of interaction planned within an application or branding activity. 

1. Here is how Nike is using gamification in 2021 for branding:

NikeFuel is the core of the Nike+ experience. It measures all users’ active moments throughout the day, from morning workouts to afternoon runs. Irrespective of age, gender, or weight, it measures a user’s active life. 

With more than 30 Million Nike+ members, Athletes of all levels are using different Nike suite products to measure their performance. NikeFuel continually provides feedback to the athletes on their activities and motivates them to do better.

NikeFuel app uses gamification in 2021
Image: Nike Running app

Thus, Nike is building a robust community on game mechanics and using the data to train their algorithms to make better-informed decisions.

2. Emirates Bank: Exchanging rewards for being fit via a fitness app

Emirates Bank owners found that more than 60% of their customers in the UAE are overweight or obese. When Emirates wanted to increase its deposits, it started the first-of-its-kind mobile banking platform to help users be financially fit by being physically fit.

Emirates asked its users to create a fitness account in their app and set daily steps as goals at the execution level. The achieved goals can earn some interest every day. For example, 0 steps/day will earn 0.2% interest. Thus the more they move, the more they earn. 

This campaign was famous across the UAE, and within 1 month, 53 million steps were taken and AED 16.07 million saved. 

Emirates rewards
Image : Emirates rewards

3. Luxury beauty products site boosts sales by a third with a “Lucky egg.”

To boost sales and branding, Latestinbeauty.com runs a seasonal easter campaign. One out of every 10 consumers gets purchases for free. As a result, order values increased by 21%, while conversion rates jumped by a third over a four-day holiday.

Below is how the campaigning looks on their website:

Luckyegg campaign
Image: Latestinbeauty

There are hundreds of similar case studies with innovative approaches to achieving their goals via gamification. But one thing in common is user experience is gamified.

What are different game mechanics?

Badges: Badges and stickers are visual representations of the user’s accomplishments that they can collect, share and add to their profiles.

LeaderBoards: These maintain a sense of competition by listing all the individuals’ progress and often allowing them to perform better.

Points: Point-based rewards are the results of the user’s progress in your app. Rewarding users generate more leads and boost your ROI.

Progress Bars: Bars tracks the individual’s progress toward a goal. Mapping progress motivates them to improve their score by completing more tasks.

Trivia: Trivia helps users engage in a fun and entertaining way. Interactive quizzes boost engagement and deliver personalized experiences in real time.

Opinion Polls: Polls allow you to find out what your users think and how they feel—asking your audience for their opinion signals that you care what they have to say.

Minigames: Leverage games to educate and know your user’s needs. These provide a fun experience and improve daily active users.

Custom Action: Configure any gamified elements in the upshot.ai dashboard to customize your gamification strategy to nudge users via an HTML link.

All mechanisms mentioned above are part of the Upshot.ai gamification suite, and one can leverage any of the above mechanisms to gamify their user experiences.

Is it all about adding points and badges to the user experience?

Many confuse gamification with adding points and rewarding badges. But what’s the point if the users don’t feel the motivation to continue or feel the instant gratification of achievement? As the points and badges cost nothing to the business other than a few development efforts, anyone can be rewarded with a few points and badges if asked. But gamification is a psychological implementation. It doesn’t matter what the user gets; it’s all about what users feel. 

On the occasion of Diwali, Google Pay came up with a gamification model according to which the users needed to collect stamps by scanning festive items or by, transferring money/making payments of more than Rs 33. Every payment a user made got them one stamp. The user might have gotten multiple stamps of the same type, but only when they have 5 different stamps they won Rs 251.

Since the time the game started, people began requesting stamps via WhatsApp and tweets. Google Pay memes were all over the internet, and a few experts had also made “How to” videos on YouTube to win the prize. The virality is attributed to the user experience and innovative offerings. Thus gamification has to be in line with the business goals and entertaining at the same time.

How leading brands capitalized on Upshot.ai’s gamification features to get ahead:

1. Amway

Amway, the world’s largest direct-selling company, approached Upshot.ai to increase the adoption of its digital learning platform, leading to course completion by the salesperson. To achieve this, Amway employed Upshot.ai to gamify the learning experience and achieved a massive increase of 112% in the number of users completing courses.

Know more details from our Amway case study!

2. Puma

Puma and Virat Kohli, the Indian cricket team captain, collaborated to launch Virat’s clothing line- One8. To boost brand app engagement, Puma leveraged the Upshot.ai toolkit to drive app usage across all its features and increase user engagement and retention. Puma was able to observe an instant growth of 28% in daily active users, and the app feature adoption rate steadily increased by 44%.

Know more details from our Puma case study!

About Upshot.ai:

Upshot.ai is an omnichannel, user engagement, and gamification platform that helps digital product owners and marketers improve their product adoption and conversions. Fortune 1000 companies such as GE, UHG, Puma, Sony, ITC, and Tenet Healthcare are using Upshot.ai and observed a massive increase in product adoption and YoY increment in revenues.

Book a demo of the most comprehensive user engagement and gamification platform to achieve your digital product goals. Join our communities for more insights, guides, and best practices that keep you updated with proven strategies and tips to supercharge your campaigns.

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