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How gamification is changing the way consumers interact with brands

How gamification is changing the way consumers interact with brands

With more apps competing for users’ attention and time, app developers and service providers need to find better, more creative ways to keep their users engaged.

The market itself is also becoming more saturated; users have more apps to choose from, and only the special ones get to retain users’ attention.

There are a lot of things that can be done to deliver unique ways for customers to interact with your brand, but gamification remains one of the most effective strategies to incorporate. After all, we all love playing games and interacting with apps in a playful way, which is why gamification works so well. In fact, gamification is changing the way consumers interact with brands in different ways.

A rewarding experience

One of the ways gamification is improving the way consumers interact with brands is the way gamification provides more value to the users. There are incentives that users can get when they interact with the app or service more. The rewards don’t always have to be monetary too. Simple appreciation is known to be more effective in building that relationship with users.

Gamification adds more value to the whole experience offered by the app, and that’s a huge competitive advantage in a competitive market. When users close your app feeling completely happy and pleased with their experience, they are significantly more likely to return to the app and access more features.

That leads to key metrics to monitor: active users and user engagement. Gamification has been tried and tested as the right strategy to use when you are trying to boost the number of active users you receive each month, as well as the level of engagement they have while using the app. With careful gamification design, these positive effects can be amplified further.

Better brand engagement

There is also the fact that gamification allows users to interact with your brand in a more positive way. Instead of being constantly exposed to promotional offers, brand elements, and marketing materials, users now have fun things to do in how they interact with the brand. You still use gamification as a marketing instrument, but the experience is so much better.

Multiple studies have shown how gamification increases brand engagement. In a study published on Science Direct, independent variables such as tasks, rewards, a leaderboard, and badges are known to be very effective in building brand loyalty and improving brand engagement. The interactions that users enjoy in the virtual gamified space are also apparent in how they interact with the brand.

Other studies conclude that gamification’s link to boost brand engagement is not strong enough to make it conclusive, but signs of willingness to interact outside of the app or the gamified space are still clearly observed. Simply adding gamification to your brand’s app or website is enough to alter the way users perceive the brand as relatable.

Doing it right

The shift towards mobile marketing is the next reason why gamification is more powerful than ever. Users are already glued to their smartphones, and they constantly look for things to do. Adding gamification to the app – or using games as a mobile marketing tool – is an easy decision to make when you consider the user attention you can seize this way.

That said, it is still necessary to do gamification correctly. It is not enough to simply add rewards and contests – tasks and challenges – to get users engaged. The entire experience needs to be positive. Otherwise, gamification will only be counterproductive since the challenges are either ignored by users or seen as annoyances.

This is where extensively testing the gamification features you add to your app becomes very important. Manual testing to see if users can access the gamified sections of the app without feeling disruptions in the primary user journey is needed, and Global App Testing is the leading name in this department. The company has been providing reliable testing services in this specific area.

Better understanding of the users

It is not uncommon for gamification to be used as a way to understand users better. There are parts of the gamified app that asks users for details or simply get users to show patterns and preferences. Paired with a Consumer Data Platform (CDP), there is a lot to learn about your users. Insights such as tendencies, biases, and preferences are invaluable in today’s market.

The data gathered through gamification can be processed to generate usable insights. When users have tendencies to prefer certain options than others, for example, you can serve better UI and personalized user experience in a targeted way. You can also improve things such as time spent on the app using the same insights.

The rewards portion of the gamification can also be used to enhance user experience. Information about preferred products and promotional offers, for example, can be used to give users a more personalized birthday greeting, complete with a special offer tailored to their specific preference. You even have the option to use gamification data to enrich in-app analytics.

Beyond the app

Lastly, there is the option to take gamification to the next level with new technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and location-based notifications. These will also take the app as a whole to the next level, delivering positive user experience in more ways while keeping them engaged and the user journey optimized.

AR in particular is very popular for gamification. Brands can use AR to encourage offline interactions in retail stores and outlets by making certain parts of the retail space scannable. You can have users experiment with AR products by scanning tags or picking up the products to virtually try from the in-app catalog.

The possibilities are endless here. There is no doubt that gamification helps boost user engagement in so many ways. The introduction of game-like features and experience is a great trigger for the majority of the market. Challenges, rewards, and other elements of the experience will not only increase user retention and loyalty but also boost their brand engagement level inside and outside your app.

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