To talk about gamification we have to keep in mind the original concept from which this word derives. When we talk about this term, we are referring to games, and specifically to those that make use of techniques that generate hooking in their use. You may be familiar with games like Candy Crash or Animal Crossing, which are famous not only for the mechanics themselves, but also for their ability to retain users.
This type of game is based on apply incentives such as leveling up, upgrading skills, unlocking utilities or game zones, new skins for appearances, etc. These components keep users hours and hours in front of their favorite games and this is where marketing has learned to acquire and apply some of its techniques to encourage participation and in engagement.
The psychological aspect is important, because not all game strategies are valid for marketing applicationsThe company does not have the same consistency of use when it comes to implementing certain aspects of the system.
A simple definition for this term can be given as follows:
"Gamification is the application of game theory concepts and techniques in non-game environments, with the goal of engaging the participant in an activity that they find fun, in order to influence their behavior."
What it boils down to applying gaming techniques to commerce: linking users interacting with companies as players in the commercial system.
There are several factors involved in the acceptance of this technique by users. Among them we can say a very important one: human beings are inclined to competitiveness and challenges as a natural basis for their behavior..
It is clear that not everyone sees life as a competition where having to come first is a matter of life or death, but it is commonplace that we do not want to be last in any positive aspect of our environment.
The establishment of challenges makes people reactivate themselves in a positive way over other more daily activities. The problem comes when what was once a challenge becomes a routine. That is when we are programmed to follow other currents and forms that give us an outlet for that natural ambition and competitiveness. In other words: we get bored easily. And of course, this has a direct impact on those who pose the challenge: the faithful who loved us so much, are now forgetting us.
That is why application systems do not have to be unique. We can come up with an excellent system, but it needs to be optimized and adapted to new trends within that system. What do most people do?
- Modify designs to allow users to adapt their experience to the new formats.
- Offer new challenges and competitions so that those who are now loyal remain loyal and do not leave for the competition.
Do you think this strategy is only used in the gaming world? Actually, you can see it in many areas. For example: summer hit songs that start out being an absolute joy to listen to even underwater and you end up wanting to kill the artist when September arrives.
In the world of games, it can happen that an infinite number of titles are released of the same thing, which turns genius into maximum boredom. Making all games with the same gameplay mechanics by changing only graphical or environmental aspects makes the player run away.
The moral is clear: renew or die.
How was gamification born?
As we have mentioned, gamification consists of taking the game to areas where it is not common, such as human resources, training or purchasing habits.
It is difficult to determine the exact date of the beginning of this trend.However, it is known that, although the term "gamification" did not exist, it was linked to the world of war, with possible war strategies to see how to use the troops and attack the enemy.
It is considered that the beginning of gamification as we know it today was carried out by the company S&H Green Stampswhich sold its products to retailers and gave away stamps. Thus, the more money they spent, the more stamps they would get for future purchases.
In 2007, Bunchball was the first company to start offering gamification for companies as a service, but it was not until Nick Peeling that the term was formalized. Around 2010/2011, gamification spread worldwide.
Gamification is currently used in many fields such as education to improve performance, cooperation and self-improvement.
What gamification formats can be adapted to a business?
We can divide it into different points with which we can learn a little more about how to apply gamification to our company:
It is a great motivator for users. It represents one of the main ways to encourage recurrence and the loyalty. It is simple to apply and very effective in generating participation, in addition to being one of the long-term gamification strategies par excellence.
Hooking occurs because of two important aspects:
- Not only do you have to earn points, but you also have to keep them, which often means logging in to the same page or app several times.
- Gives a status within a community of like-minded users, which then gives you advantages over them (and fosters our natural competitiveness).
What can you do with these points? Get commercial advantages with them: discounts, rebates, promotions, acquisition of free complementary products, etc.
Leveling up gives us that feeling of strength, of being more and better. We can conquer new areas and in particular, in commerce, we can apply our level in consumption advantages. An example can be SheinAs you level up, you can acquire discount coupons or more exclusive advantages than other users.
Contests or sweepstakes for prizes
It is a mechanic associated with obtaining tangible prizes, defined in the form of trophies, medals or achievements that are usually visible to other users in order to obtain recognition and feed the motivation of the rest of the players. Of course, the frustration of those who fall short of the prize must also be accepted.
Closely linked to this is another option: GIFT ROULETTE. They are eye-catching, easy and intuitive. A roulette wheel appears on the screen and when you spin it by clicking on it, you can get an automatic reward such as a 2×1, a discount, etc.
For those who want to go to the next level in gamification, there are those who have directly created a specific game. It is the most complex option not only to create, but also to maintain over time, so they are usually only in place for a short period of time and the benefits must compensate the investment.
This strategy is associated with the tiered system, but it is without the need to be included in a specific group. They arouse desire for aspiration, fame and status, where the user feels pride in appearing among the first, or at least above the rest.
And not only does it have an impact on the user who has made it to the top 10, but also on the user who has made it to the top 10. those closest to it are driven by the desire to achieve better positionsand in turn these in turn to the closest ones by the tail and so on, generating a certain reciprocity.
In case you're familiar with it, Fit Boxing gyms often use this type of strategy to "sting" you and keep you coming back to do sports with them.
Here we move on to a different mechanic. It consists of challenge users to carry out specific events with which to acquire advantages or prizes. This achieves high levels of involvement and reaches nearby users to participate in the challenge.
It consists of rewarding the user for inviting other shoppers to the store. Thus, the user will receive a discount or advantage for each friend he/she brings to the online store through an invitation with a tracked link.
Similarly, such benefits could also be obtained in exchange for leaving a review.
What are the benefits of gamification for companies?
We already know what gamification means and how to apply it in commercial contexts. Added to this, an important aspect is to know how it benefits the companies that apply it.
Gamification systems are able to generate implications on user behavior.. They are adjusted to the emotional connections with which to leverage the user's actions towards a behavior. Therefore, the most important section along with the ability to increase sales is the power of loyalty. The user's attachment to the company is generated, which is rewarded with an increase in the recurrence of consumers to the brand.
Another benefit is the data acquisition and insights of registered users to the gamification system. Being able to use the data of these users and adapt the communication and the business model according to the type of customer is something that we can take advantage of.
In addition, having a good number of company affiliates gives the company the ability to acknowledgment brand and be able to enjoy a differentiating positioning with respect to the competition. Despite how useful it can be to apply gamification to commerce, very few companies propose strategies based on it.
As you can see, with all the above ingredients we get generate involvement The company can count on the loyalty of its users to evolve and improve aspects of the business towards new methods and models.
What adverse effects can gamification have on consumption?
It is well known that gambling can lead to pathologies such as the following compulsive gambling. Excessive consumption can generate addictions and disorders that disable the player to a normal behavior in their daily life and within the gambling activity itself.
There are no studies reflecting bad user behaviors towards gambling applied in commerce. We can speak of impulsivity in consumption, as those users who alleviate their anxiety by buying items without having previously considered whether they need or want the purchased product. By making such a purchase they alleviate the negative stimuli produced by their pathology, but fall into guilt and rejection once the action has been undertaken.
Can gamification generate greater compulsive consumption behaviors?
It may be reasonable to think that those who have impulsivity problems should stay away from the use of any type of engagement, such as games. This would imply that when making use of gamification, this type of user would find one more tool to add problems to their consumption behavior.
Therefore, marketing must be ethical in the application of certain techniques. and make responsible uses of gamification, as well as any method that generates the ability to interfere with consumer behaviors.
What did you think of this information on the uses of gamification in commerce? At Geotelecom, we are aware of the importance of using ethics when it comes to to propose business strategies to boost your project. For this reason, we not only propose this type of mechanics, but we also rely on tools and studies that help us to understand your potential customers.
All you have to do is contact us at and we'll explain everything about how we work to give your business the leap forward it needs. Call us!