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Gamification of Apps – Is it really worth?

Everyday, number of apps get launched on play store and on iOS app store. And this number is rising exponentially. But what more important here is how many of them make their way to target user’s phone? Not many. Infact mobile applications developed by established online and offline businesses find it hard, sometimes. E.g. An online ticketing website struggles a lot to get their app downloaded on its users’ phone… which otherwise is a successful online business. Let’s take example of an e-store. We can find many e-stores on the web. From very giant ones to startups. Here competition is very stiff. User need a very strong reason to chose one among so many. Like, I would need a strong reason to install amazon app, when I can find really good deals on Alibaba as well. Why would I prefer snapchat over whatsapp?

Well, in above examples, we can easily choose the ones which are loaded with more features.In India, we have two very strong contenders for cab services, Ola and Uber. Both took their good time to establish and make a strong customer base. Both are operated by mobile apps. They both compete neck to neck. In such a scenario, it becomes very important to entice a customer in such a way that keep the customer in the loop for future cab booking. Of course, slashing fares would be a great idea… but to what extent? And this question arises in every niche.

Gamification is one great idea which is being adopting by many businesses nowadays. However, I have been seeing this trend since more than a year, especially on the apps. However, on web it was started long back. Offering loyalty points for next purchase, freebies, vouchers and coupons etc. have made their way into the app business as well.

But is it really worth in investing in the feature of app gamification?

Well-designed gamification features  contribute to increased revenue for app owners. There are two types of gamification which you can introduce into development schedule, 1. Empty points; 2. Monetary points.

Empty points and badges are like fictitious rewards, that can make user feel good for some time. Such strategy can be implemented where profile upgradation, avatar upgradation etc. is required. But later this becomes mundane and hard to sustain.

On the other hand, monetary points system is like real reward. You can encash them, buy vouchers etc, in-app purchases, unlock stickers, download limited edition files for free etc. This system keeps your user hooked for long time and makes him your loyal customer.

To make gamification work, you need to make it very very interesting. It should not look like user is picking thrown away products, rather, make them feel they’ve earned it. Incorporating interesting designs and functionality would add tinge to the whole strategy. And interesting gamification feature will make user crave to spend their money using their app. Make sure, it looks like a win-win situation to both parties.

Gamifying your app will not make it a game but definitely make it interesting for the user to use it. The basic point of introducing this into app development schedule is to enhance the user engagement and spreading word of mouth. This would work like a silent marketer for you app.

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