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Gamifying Your App Can Improve Downloads and User Engagement

An app that doesn’t garner downloads or retain users over time can be a wasted of resources.

Gamification, the practice of integrating game-like features and activities in a non-traditional game setting, is one method your businesses can use to improve the long-term viability of your app.

Consider the following reasons why introducing a gamification concept is beneficial for your mobile app:

  • It motivates people to engage with your app
  • It provides an interactive user experience
  • It creates marketing value for your app and company

Gamification Channels People’s Motivational Drive

People love to play games. App gamification provides motivation and reward for your app users, gaming elements that incentivize people to download your app and consistently use it.

People also enjoy being challenged, and find it particularly satisfying when they are recognized for meeting that challenge.

Engaging people’s motivational drive through gamification releases dopamine the same way physical exercise does. So, the same reason we agree to make ourselves workout again can also serve as the incentive for people to open up your app.

Consider which challenges users associate with your product and think about ways that you can create a game out of addressing that challenge.

If you can successfully do so, you are able to both smooth a point of user friction and earn more engagement.

Rewards-Based Gamification Schemes Provide Tangible Benefits to Users

Rewards-based gamification creates tiers of user engagement that establish consistent incentive for people to use your app.

Specifically, through integrating gamification with your company rewards program on your app, you can provide:

  • Recognition: An intangible benefit that establishes a deeper level of connection your with users. They feel appreciated for using your app.
  • Cost savings: The most tangible benefit of all – though most programs require users to spend or complete a transaction to realize benefits.

For example, OpenTable, the popular restaurant reservation app, allows you to collect points every time you book a reservation using the app.

At certain levels of point accrual, you are eligible to earn prizes such as an Amazon gift card or credits toward a meal at partnering restaurants.

Gamification can also add elements of interest to apps designed for basic tasks.

Epic Win, a project management app, integrates adventure narratives to its core product: to-do lists.

The app features different characters and new tasks you can earn by completing your to-do lists on the app.

Sometimes, virtual rewards that are only redeemable within the app itself have more value to users than monetary or other tangible prizes.

Virtual rewards strengthen user engagement, especially as users progress through multiple levels or tiers.

Gamification doesn’t need to be “over the top” or strictly rewards-oriented to provide users with a great experience, nor does it have to provide monetary value.

These creative gamification schemes, though, allow your mobile app to create an interactive user experience that provide users with real benefits and incentive to use your app for both its intended purpose and engage with your product to a substantial degree.

Gamification Creates Marketing Value

A well-designed gamification concept can also create marketing value for your company.

First, satisfied users may share their experiences with social networks. Make sure your app includes social sharing functions to facilitate this possibility,

In some circumstances, you can create a network effect through the success of your app’s gamification.

Starbucks app is the gold standard of reward programs in part because of its gamified design. People can earn “stars” from their orders, menu challenges, or regular patronage.

Starbucks app become such a hit from people sharing their experiences that they experienced legitimate problems with overcrowding and long lines.

While the long-lines were a problem (though better than no lines at all), the earned media and discussion surrounding the success of the app’s setup created enormous marketing value.

Consider Gamification to Boost App Success

App gamification can increase your app’s popularity with users, entice them to spend more time on your app, and share their positive experiences.

Creating an effective gamified concept establishes a deeper connection with your users that can improve your download rate, customer retention, and brand image.

Think creatively about your app’s current user experience: your strengths and opportunities. Developing an app with an effective gamification scheme that addresses user challenges provides a better user experience and engages people’s motivation drive.

Report

Written by Emily Clark

Emily is a writer for The Manifest, designing surveys and reporting about mobile app development companies, trends, and news.

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