The best way to boost app engagement like Waze 🚙
With over 4.5 billion smartphone and tablet users across the globe, the mobile app industry is thriving like never before. And according to Deloitte’s 2019 mobile consumer survey, it won’t be slowing down anytime soon:
“In most developed markets, about 90% of adults own a smartphone, with around 95% of those smartphones used daily.”
This is definitely great news for the app industry. However, more competitors make app engagement and retention tougher! It’s hardly surprising considering there are up to 9 million apps competing for the attention of their target audiences.
It’s no secret that apps spend huge amounts of money to gain users. Nevertheless, the inability to retain users can throw their investment down the drain. With the right tools, however, you can easily turn this situation around!
So let’s take a look at how one of the most popular apps in the world does it! Here’s what you’ll learn:
App engagement: the number one metric for success
What is Waze doing differently to supercharge app engagement?
A closer look at Waze’s gamification features
Differentiate your app in no time – StriveCloud’s plug-in gamification platform
🤩 App engagement: the number one metric for success
Having trouble believing this? Think of the number of times you’ve downloaded an app only to hardly use it before abandoning it forever. Or worse, never to use it again.
Unfortunately, low app engagement is highly prevalent in the industry. As a result, an enormous number of apps struggle to keep their users engaged and eventually fail. However, every now and then some apps manage to systematically grab the attention and participation of their users. One of those examples is the popular navigation app Waze.
Waze emerged in 2008 as “LinQmap.” Surprisingly, the company raised $25 million in financing within just two years and an additional $30 million one year later! In 2013, Google finally bought Waze for $1.1 billion.
The big question here may be summarized in just one word: How? And the answer is no more complicated than the question itself. Waze implemented the power of gamification for apps to drive user engagement with simple features like the badge reward system and user leaderboard.
Let’s see how Waze grew from startup to an app with 130 million active monthly users across the globe.
⚡️ What is Waze doing differently to supercharge app engagement?
Waze relies on its users aka drivers to share real-time traffic information with one another. They’re able to share updates about accidents, speed traps, and construction. They can even share gas prices to help others find the cheapest gas station. With such interactive features, you could say that having active and engaged users is detrimental to its success.
Let’s be real for a minute though. In 2019 over 204 billion apps were downloaded. This means the average person has around 40 apps on their phone. However, 89% of a user’s time is spent on only 18 of those apps. Which means more than half of those apps remain unused.
Fun fact: Waze actually started off as a game!
Back in 2009, it was very similar to playing Pac-Man. There used to be a map of the routes, but with a trail of pallets on the way. In order to win the pallets, you had to be the first Waze driver to go down a certain road. Believe it or not, people actually did go through the trouble of changing routes just for the sake of extra pallets!
Framing it as a game helped Waze gather data about real-time driving information. It also introduced the idea of gamification for apps and became one of the reasons why product teams started incorporating different gamification tools to supercharge app engagement.
So what do games have to do with improving my app engagement? See in our What is Gamification guide how game elements keep your users hooked! 🤫
👀 A closer look at Waze’s gamification strategy
Building onto their legacy as a fun game, and experience, Waze created a full-fledged strategy that helps them stay on top till today. Here’s how Waze uses gamification to its advantage today:
Waze relies on its users to report real-time driving information, such as any incidents on the road, that may be a hurdle for drivers. These participants receive likes and comments based on what they report. This feedback is then translated into points, which help users reach higher levels.
Badge reward system
Once users reach the last level of the game, they are able to obtain status symbols and unique virtual goods. Needless to say, the users who reach this phase of the game have put in a considerable amount of hard work and effort. Therefore they gain a sense of accomplishment through the badge reward system.
Waze also gives its users the option to share how they’re feeling while driving. In an attempt to reward its most loyal app users, Waze even opens access to special avatars for them! These “moods” or avatars may be customized accordingly. They trigger a sense of ownership while also helping users feel more connected to the Waze community.
Participants are also able to see where they stand in comparison to others. The more they participate, the more points they earn, and the higher they climb on the leaderboard. This social comparison fuels the human desire to compete and thus motivates users to be more active on the app.
🎮 Differentiate your app in no time – StriveCloud’s plug-in gamification platform
If you want to reach a level of app engagement similar to that of Waze, StriveCloud can help you get there! StriveCloud’s plug-in gamification platform is built for customer retention. Gamifying the user experience turns your app into a product users love, and actively engage with.
Gamified apps do not only improve the user experience. They also lead to a significant increase in app engagement. By cleverly reinventing the user experience, StriveCloud’s gamification tool has helped companies increase daily active usage by 58% and reduced the churn rate by 23%.
Here’s how StriveCloud can supercharge your app engagement:
Plug-in your data to create an experience that flows
StriveCloud plugs into your app and uses the data you track to set up personalized milestones for each user. As users achieve milestones, they get rewards. The reward system helps to reinforce the desired behavior from your audience. Next, delivering the right message, at the right time is critical to re-engage users. For that, StriveCloud uses behavior triggered notifications or messages that don’t push unwanted actions on users but move the journey forward in a natural way.
Trigger active participation through smart rewards
StriveCloud uses a range of game elements to reward users for their app engagement. Not only can users collect actual rewards like points, or badges. They can also follow their progress through progress bars, or compare their status to those of other users with features such as a leaderboard or leveling system.
Build personalized quests to drive app engagement
Keep the user experience moving forward by using in-app messages, notifications, and emails based on previous user interactions. You can target users according to their level of engagement, or anything else you feel is important. This way you get to trigger and reward your users for behaviors that support your business goals.
All coming together
👉 With the right kind of marketing strategy, it is relatively easier to achieve a substantial number of app downloads. However, app engagement and churn remain a big-time struggle for most of them.
👉 Waze serves as a remarkable example of an app that knows how to hook its audience with gamification. Not only does it still remains relevant to its users today, users actively drive participation on the app! Further increasing its adoption to 130 million monthly active users worldwide!
👉 A large chunk of its success and its record user engagement came through the gamification features on Waze. It was among the first apps to use game elements to improve the user experience and create highly engaging interactions.
👉 StriveCloud is a smart gamification tool to double down on user retention. With the right gamification strategy, you can easily plug-in and set up the platform across your website, web, or mobile app in just a few steps.
👉 Don’t be just another app. Gamify your user experience and drop your churn rates by 23%, and significantly boost daily active usage by 58%! 🚀