Gamification: How to take your customer experience from easy to epic

by Matt Rooke-Content Marketing Manager|Mon Jan 23 2023

Laptop and gamification technology symbols

We all know why customer experience is so important. But when it comes to digital products, much of the conversation around building a great customer experience starts and ends with making the journey as easy as possible. 

Of course, this makes a big difference – but why should we stop there? Why focus on removing friction when you can make the customer experience actively enjoyable? That’s where gamification comes in. 

Why is gamification so effective?

So why should you gamify your app or digital product? The logic is simple: to get your app noticed, attract new customers and keep them coming back for more. 

At Apadmi, we always find that getting users to take that first step with your app or digital product can be the hardest part. Once they’ve done that, they’re overwhelmingly more likely to follow through to purchase, even if there’s friction later on in the process. 

But why are digital games so uniquely effective at achieving this? When you win a game, your brain releases dopamine and activates your reward system. When your brain gets a reward, you feel like you’ve invested, achieved and want to go again. 

If you’re trying to convince users to download and stay on your app - this psychological response is like gold dust. Effectively, the chemicals in your users’ brains are doing your marketing for you. This has a profound impact on your ability to engage customers, improve brand awareness and nudge the audience towards conversion. And ultimately, if you’re doing that while offering an enjoyable experience, it’s absolutely a win for everybody involved. 

How to gamify your digital journey

Here are a few examples of simple but effective games you can offer that’ll get users through the door and towards the checkout:

    Memory games

    Match to win

    Slot machines

    Spin to win

    Scratch and win

Of course, it doesn’t matter too much what the game is, as long as it’s fun. But ultimately, the real goal here is to get customers to go on to purchase. Here are a few ideas for how to do that: 

1. Offer discounts as prizes

If a potential customer has just won a game, it’s the perfect moment to entice them with a handy discount or digital coupon. After all, why wouldn’t they use something they’ve just won? If you want your users to sign up for your app, this is also a great time to encourage them. 

2. Remove all up-front friction

If a user sees a game that looks fun, they want to play instantly. If you ask them to sign up, create an account or jump through any number of hoops before they do that - there’s a good chance they won’t bother. So, let your customers play the game and ask them to sign up to either continue playing or access promotions later on - they’ll be much more likely to do so after they’ve already bought in. 

3. Make the games quick and easy

Let’s be honest, this isn’t dungeons and dragons. The goal here is to attract users with short attention spans, get them engaged and move them quickly on to purchase. And ultimately, they'll be much more engaged in a game they’ll win than something that’s impossible. So keep it quick, simple and fairly easy to win, so you can get your customers to the deals before they give up. 

4. Try incorporating your products into the game

Why not try incorporating your products into the game as well, so customers are learning while playing? A good idea can be a tap-to-match memory game with cards revealing different products to match. Then, why not give winners get a 10% discount on a product of their choice from the selection?

5. Take charge of the odds

So, it’s all well and good offering deals for customers that win. But what if everybody wins? If you’re not in charge of the odds, you could end up paying out more in discounts than you intended. It’s important, therefore, to build probability calculations into the design of your digital games so you know exactly how often a certain prize will be won. That way, your campaign can be planned with a clear budget that you can stick to. 

It’s easier than you think

If you’ve made it this far, you probably don’t need any more convincing of how effective gamification can be. But where do you start? 

It can be easy to think that creating digital games can only be done with a significant up-front investment to plan, design and build the product. But the truth is, it can be much easier to get started than you think. If you have an existing mobile app or other digital product, gamification can be incorporated without a root and branch rebuild of the whole product. And if you don’t, it’s possible to target customers through email, SMS, social media or other channels. 

So, where are you going to start with gamification?

If you want to find out more about gamification at Apadmi, get in touch today to see how we can help.

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