Gamification uses game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users and solve problems. It’s been an idea for thousands of years, but it made a real splash in 2010 when it was named the most important user-experience trend by Nielsen Norman Group. In today’s business world, you’ll see gamification used all over the place – from websites to mobile apps to sales and marketing materials. But what are some of the best use cases?
Let’s take a closer look at four benefits businesses can get out of this approach:
1) Increase User Engagement
Gamification works because humans have an innate need to play games. We’re hardwired for competition, exploration, and collaboration. Combining that need with an activity people are already engaged in makes them more likely to spend time with what you’re offering. Cisions new casino guide is a great example of this.
Also, look no further than fitness trackers like Fitbit and Shine to give you one great example of gamification in action. Whether they realize it or not, people using these wearable devices are constantly competing against themselves to try to meet their own goals. And according to The New York Times, this leads many users to do “a kind of virtuous circle dance… seeing the device as a coach.”
2) Encourage Personal Development
Gamification isn’t just about increasing engagement; it’s also about encouraging personal development by allowing your users to set specific goals. This involves creating compelling challenges based on user interests and motivations, rewarding action without interference or intrusion, and creating a “safe learning environment that allows them to try new things,” according to author Liz Ryan.
Lululemon understands this concept well. The company has been using an in-store yoga program called Digital Detox since 2013. It’s based on a philosophy of staying connected with your body, taking time away from screens every once in a while so you can visit and associate with yourself. That way, Lululemon argues, “you’ll leave with the right energy to go back out into the world.”
3) Create More Meaningful Customer Experiences
In business terms, customer experience is everything when getting repeat customers or attracting new ones. But what if you can’t afford to hire a dedicated content designer for your website? Here’s where gamification comes in. This approach doesn’t just get more people through the door or on your site; it creates meaningful connections that encourage customers to engage with each other and feel more connected to your business model as well.
One of the most compelling examples of this is at HGTV. Using user-generated contests offered up on its Facebook fan page, the company has managed to create thousands of “micro-fans” who are willing to design new rooms based on their favourite shows for a chance to win $500.
4) Build Customer Loyalty
Let’s be honest: every business wants loyal customers, but only some have cultivated them effectively. So what’s the secret? According to the author and futurist Amy Jo Kim, it all comes down to creating a “fun work environment that employees want to come back to.”
Of course, there are many ways you can accomplish this goal, but one of the easiest is by using gamification techniques in your business processes. This includes giving employees fun incentives like employee of the month awards or asking them to set specific goals and track their progress (for example, email response times).
By infusing play into everyday business processes,” writes Kim, “you create happier work environments and strengthen bonds between people in your company… making your culture more attractive and resilient.”
And that’s not even the best part about gamification. The real benefit is that it makes users more engaged with what you’re offering, which leads to better results overall. That’s good for everyone involved.