When you are in the business of selling your products and services, it’s very important along with offering a high-quality standard, find an emotional connection and create mutually beneficial relationships with your customers. It’s one thing to raise awareness about your brand and find customers, but what comes next is a challenge to retain them, make them loyal to you. And that’s where gamification techniques come in handy.

According to calculations, gamification market is expected to grow from $4.91 billion in 2016 to $12 billion by 2021. And it can help you engage with your users. And engaged customers buy more, promote more, and are more loyal. In this article, we will show you how to use gamification in business to entertain, educate and retain your customers and employees, as well as show you some of the most interesting gamification examples across various industries.

Gamification Techniques and How to Use Them

It should be pointed out that gamification is, in fact, not gaming. It doesn’t involve playing games or creating ones for business applications at all. It’s about borrowing game features that make them so engaging and entertaining for users and amplifying the experience of your existing apps.

what is gamification in business

Gamification in business takes what you already have, be it a website or an application and integrates game mechanics into it. So instead of building something new from scratch, you make use of what already exists by adding some gaming techniques with a goal to attract, entertain and retain your users as well as motivate the desired action from them. How do you achieve it? Simple. Gaming techniques take advantage of what a human brain desires — winning, rewards, and making progress.

mechanics of gamification in business

Gamification incorporates gaming mechanics into business applications thus making user experience more fun and also encouraging positive feedback from customers. One of the most popular gaming mechanics that are used to achieve the desired action are goals, transparency, badges, leveling up, fast feedback, onboarding, competition, collaboration, points, and community.

Now the important question is — how your business can benefit from it? Engaging new customers is as valuable as entertaining the existing ones. Gamification can help your business with both, as well as educate your users or help you with marketing your product.

how to use gamification in business

Let’s take a closer look at one of the most interesting areas of game techniques applications:

Engagement and Customer Retainment

Today customers have more than an ample selection of brands to choose from. And it is your duty not only to get them hooked on your product and also engage them with it and thus make them loyal customers.

The way to do it — by making their experience with your product unique. Leverage some of the much hype tech trends, like augmented reality to entice them and achieve your marketing objectives. You can introduce gaming techniques to your loyalty programs, create rewards-based promotions that your customers can benefit from.

One of the biggest ice cream brands, Magnum created AR Magnum Pleasure Hunt to gamify their interaction with customers. As a result, a game where users can complete puzzles and collect Magnum ice cream bars has gathered more than 20 million plays, created a significant marketing buzz and have their ice cream on everyone’s lips, quite literally at times.

Gamification of Learning

There’s no reason to believe that learning can’t be fun. It doesn’t have to be just monotonous lectures, boring PowerPoint presentations and large quantities of information you have no idea how to process. Make it enjoyable with gamification of learning.

Game-based learning creates more fun experience for learners. A good gaming strategy leads to higher levels of engagement and retention rates. Not to mention it’s effective.

The structure is pretty simple, grab your user’s attention, challenge them in an entertaining way and help them learn something useful in the process. This technique comes in handy when you need to train your employees or to enhance professional skills.

One of the most successful learning gamification apps, Duolingo, has roughly 60 million users. The product is pretty simple — they help people learn new languages. What makes them a success, however, is their approach. Inside of the product that looks more like a game than a learning experience, they have their own currency, badges, challenges, and achievements. And at the end of all of it, you get to practice your rusty language skills or complete your New Year’s resolution and learn a new language.

Employee Gamification

Bringing the element of fun is a useful technique to engage both your clients and employees. According to Gartner, 70% of business transformation efforts fail because employees don’t feel engaged. So naturally, when employees feel engaged and involved in their work, their performance boosts as well as company loyalty and feel valued.

Assign points and rewards to make menial or tedious tasks more interesting. By using game mechanics, you can encourage your employees to take desired actions.

A couple of years ago Deloitte had a challenge. They’ve designed a leadership training curriculum for their senior executives but had a hard time motivating their employees to enter it. So they’ve decided to add a series of gamified elements, like badges, leaderboards, status symbols to measure how many were participating and completing courses. By implementing this simple technique, they were able, on average, reduce the time to complete the certification by 50%! Similarly, Google was able to achieve an astonishing result – 100% of their employees submit travel expenses. How? By letting them decide what happened to the allowances they didn’t spend during their work trip – adding to their next paycheck, saving for the next trip or donating to charity.

Overall, employee gamification can help you increase morale within your team, onboard and recruit top talents, create better employee training programs, promote and influence desired behaviors.

Success Stories across Industries: Gamification Examples

The key takeaway here, gamification techniques have an actual power to transform your business. By pressing on humans’ weak points and giving what they ultimately desire – a sense of achievement, you can benefit from it in the process.

We’ve gathered a couple of gamification examples and apps from across various industries to get you an idea how you can leverage gamification in business.

How Starbucks Enhances Customer Loyalty

The Seattle-based coffee giant was able to boost retail experience and increase customer loyalty based on a simple idea – if you don’t give your users a reason to use your app, they won’t. And coffee lovers sure use their gamification app! It has amassed 120 million users and about 6 millions weekly transactions.

By introducing fun features like sending a Valentine card or using augmented reality to play with your cup and combining them with tangible rewards, free downloads, product giveaways they have their customers come back.

An Italian Treasure Hunt by Seat PG

Seat PG, a telephone directories company, and street maps publisher used gamification to promote their new mobile app that was aimed to help users find best places to eat or scout new job opportunities.

As a promotion campaign, the brand developed a treasure hunt game with the prize of 1,000 Euros. They encouraged people to form teams and solve brand-based puzzles and quizzes together. Shortly after the launch, Seat PG website received 15,000 visits, and the game itself had more than 400 teams.

How eBay Made Bidding Fun

eBay, an early pioneer of gamification in retail has created one of its most eponymous examples by introducing bidding system to the process of purchasing. According to Yu-Kai Chou, gamification, and behavioral design expert, if you were to create an e-commerce website, adding bidding system, real-time feedback, and stars for leveling up is not the necessary set of features you would think of. But that’s what made eBay a success.

They’ve realized that those are the features can drive customers. After all, it’s much more enjoyable to not just purchase something but know that you outbid all the others (and it doesn’t matter if you paid a little more than you should have), or to get a kick out of realizing that you found something unique first. Thanks to their successful gamification techniques, eBay increases time spent on their site and gives their customers an exciting interaction.

how to apply gamification in business techniques

Using gaming in business can be a powerful tool. You encourage your users, customers, employees to take the desired action willingly, by giving them something in return, be it entertainment, adrenaline rush, some rewards or a status. And if we have learned anything from the gaming examples above that as a bonus they help you raise brand awareness, be on top of the competitive market and make your customer’s user experience with your brand unique.