Top 9 gamification examples that show user engagement is the solution to app growth

Top 9 gamification examples that show user engagement is the solution to app growth

App gamification is no longer a secret hack – and for good reason! Case studies show that a gamified app sees increased user engagement and decreased user churn. All the while remaining flexible and cost-effective! Is it any wonder, then, that a recent Gartner report found that a whopping 70% of the world’s top 2000 businesses now use gamification? So what are some examples of gamification? And how much does it cost to gamify an app?

In this article, let’s review why gamification is so important for mobile apps, how you too can develop a gamified app, and see 9 gamification examples that boosted engagement and led to healthier businesses!

Why app gamification is the next big thing

Today, mobile app growth teams are finding a valuable strategy in-app gamification. In 2019, the global gamification market hit above $10 billion in revenues for the first time. Incredibly, this is forecasted to skyrocket to an impressive $30 billion by 2025!

mobile apps trends growth gamification

But why is everyone adopting gamification with such enthusiasm? The answer lies in how app gamification can align with your goals and make your business more resilient:

App gamification slashes user churn

Without a doubt, the most important part of the customer journey for activation is onboarding. Industry wisdom states that each onboarding step results in a 20% increase in user churn – preventing acquisitions from being activated. To combat this, you can use a progress tracker.

Take LinkedIn, whose progress bar built to encourage profile set-ups led to an amazing 55% boost in conversions.

what are some examples of gamification?

App gamification drives user engagement

The average person spends 1/3 of their time on mobile! This gives you plenty of room to maximize app engagement, which is hugely beneficial. In short, engaged users create more data you can leverage, which you can use to better sell to them.

Gamification can give you that uplift – case studies show that a clever implementation of gamification examples can increase mobile user engagement by 47%.

How to build a gamified app? 4 tips to get started

Gamification is both a science and an art. On one hand, it’s about clearly understanding what motivates and triggers your users. On the other hand, it’s about making things like progress and achievement tangible through rewards. It is precisely because you can tailor app gamification to your situation it’s so powerful. However, it’s also what makes building a gamified app so intimidating.

To make your gamification journey easier, here’s how to get started:

  1. Make it competitive and social.
    Science shows that people are highly motivated by social influences. Given this, an in-app community with gamification examples like challenges, points, and leaderboards goes a long way to creating an active userbase that engages with each other!
  2. Make progress visible.
    Leverage achievements, progress bars, and leveling systems to keep users engaged. As well, streaks are a super simple way to illustrate a user’s growth.
  3. Reward participation.
    Reduce user churn by giving users points, badges, and redeemable prizes! Research finds that badge rewards result in a ‘significant positive effect’ on the user, leading to higher app engagement!
  4. Make winning easy to understand.
    A simple digital confetti graphic goes a long way to visualize a user’s win. Indeed, timely positive reinforcement enhances the effects of a reward.

9 gamification examples that boosted user engagement

#1 The HumanForest leaderboard incentivizes green mobility

More than a generic leaderboard, the shared mobility app HumanForest ranks users based on how many trees worth of CO2 their e-bike riding has saved! Research already shows that leaderboards motivate users, but combining them with the brand identity of sustainable travel makes the customer experience more authentic, enhancing brand affinity and engagement. It clearly works – since their recent city-wide launch in September 2021, an amazing 35,000 Londoners have become loyal users!

gamification examples user engagement

#2 Emirates NBD gets users moving with financial incentives

A unique mix of finance and fitness, the Dubai-based Emirates NBD app challenges users to walk 12,000 steps a day. Every day that users hit that target, they receive 2% interest on their bank account! How’s that for a reward!

This one gamification feature gave the bank €208,000 in earned media, drove up app engagement, and saved users a cool €4 million.

gamifed app fintech user engagement

#3 How Nike Run Club drives app engagement & retention with rewards

Nike’s fitness app recently introduced partnerships with other mHealth apps such as Headspace and ClassPass, and even Apple Music. But not every user gets the benefit. Instead, only users that meet their running goals are rewarded with perks such as free music from Apple or free gym sessions on ClassPass.

Behavioral science justifies this strategy – research shows that missing out is just as motivating as winning. Indeed, the added incentive to hit user targets drove user engagement, increased user retention by 21%, and made Nike Run Club the #1 running app worldwide!

fitness app user churn partnerships

#4 BBVA engagement shot up by 50% with their gamified app

BBVA is one of Spain’s oldest banks, which makes it all the more impressive that they’ve earned the right to be called “the digital bank of the 21st century”. In part, they built that reputation with a clever strategy of app gamification.

Seeing that those younger users were not engaging with more complex financial products such as insurance, mortgages, and slow money investments, BBVA developed a gamified app. By rewarding users with know gamification examples such as points and discounts for watching videos on financial literacy, they drove both user engagement and sales. After only 6 months, the game had over 100,000 active users!

#5 Tiered rewards helped Changers transform a city

Mobility app Changers raised the bar for what app engagement can achieve. The app rewards users to cycle to work with cafeteria perks, fitness vouchers, and bike accessory discounts that can be unlocked by riding. In response to this incentive, users in the German city of Münster saved 80,000 kg of CO2 in just 3 months. That’s the equivalent of planting nearly 2000 trees!

user engagement gamified app

#6 The Headspace reward system is built on behavioral science

Streaks and badges are great rewards, and Headspace knows just when to use them. Leveraging the motivational benefits of the ‘endowed progress effect’, Headspace drives user engagement. This powerful effect is unlocked when you celebrate a user’s early achievements, which makes them more motivated to hit their target!

To create this effect, Headspace users earn badges early on, and the app notches up the days on a user’s streak. A streak of just 15 sessions earns a month’s subscription for a friend! Certainly, Headspace is proof that well-placed rewards drive user engagement. The app doubled both individual and business customers between 2018 and 2020!

wellness app gamification examples

#7 Fintech app Navexa rewards engaged free trial users

How do you create an active user base? Fintech app Navexa figured this out with one clever gamification feature. To reward free trial users with the highest engagement, every step of onboarding that is completed earns users an extra free trial day! In essence, Navexa is picking out its most engaged users early and getting them to stick around.

onboarding gamified app

#8 Peleton’s social features are a marvel of user engagement

Fully paid-up subscribers can sync up their Peloton bike with live lessons, and this is a huge incentive to subscribe. Indeed, the app has 2.33 million paying users, up 12% from the previous year. Why did this happen? Customers love Peloton’s social integration, where they can attend exercise sessions with friends, and even challenge them to hit the top of the class leaderboard! Gamification examples like these show just how powerful adding a social aspect to your app can be!

gamification examples leaderboard fitness

#9 The city of Portland spent $50 million on gamified app Biketown

It’s not just private companies getting in on app gamification, but city governments too! The US city of Portland developed Biketown, an e-bike rental scheme intended to get citizens out on their bikes. It’s working – Biketown created 144,000 loyal users with a clever system of gamification. Users earn discounts when they end their trips at key locations, such as the top of hills, or city centers at busy times.

The app even has some gamified routes, where users must find flyers with keywords on them. These games encouraged riders to explore new cycling routes in the city, showing how easy cycling can be and encouraging the habit-formation of users! That ultimately leads to increased user engagement, which resulted in Biketown’s fast expansion.

shared mobility app gamification

How much does it cost to gamify an app?

With all this in mind, how much does it cost to gamify an app? Well, it depends on the solution you pick. If you’re going to build in all gamification features yourself, it will take up a lot of time and resources. However, app gamification software like StriveCloud can save you a ton of time and money!

Most gamification software is priced per (active) user. Prices may vary according to what software you’re using and the different capabilities it has. Some apps are stand-alone features like leaderboards or in-app notifications, while others offer a full range of reward systems like badges, achievements, and more. Additionally, creating a gamified app is more than just adding some features. It’s about truly understanding user motivation, and building an experience around it.

FAQ

Gamification means using game-like elements in a non-game context. In doing so, research shows that you fulfill the psychological needs to spark and maintain intrinsic motivation which ultimately leads to more user engagement. Intrinsic motivators are complex goals like growth, purpose, and fun. To foster app engagement, it is essential!

Gamification boosts user engagement by making the customer experience fun and satisfying, which in turn leads to more data for your marketing efforts and creates more engaged, loyal users. Indeed, case studies show that a gamified app has more conversions – growing your business!

App gamification helps apps drive user engagement and increase retention- which for many apps represents an untapped potential for growth! Indeed, people spend 1/3 of their time on mobile, and that’s something app growth teams can take advantage of.

To create a gamified app you must make the customer experience competitive, social, and above all make winning easy to understand! In addition, user progress should be visible so customers can visualize their growth, and their participation rewarded with things like badges.

Behavioral science shows that the ‘endowed progress effect’ is an effective way to motivate users. The effect is unlocked when you celebrate early achievements, which makes users more motivated to hit their target! Timely gamification examples like badges and perks can create this effect.

With all this in mind, how much does it cost to gamify an app? Well, it depends on the solution you pick. If you’re going to build in all gamification features yourself, it will take up a lot of time and resources. However, app gamification software like StriveCloud can save you a ton of time and money!

Most gamification software is priced per (active) user. Prices may vary according to what software you’re using and the different capabilities it has. However, creating a gamified app is more than just adding some features. It’s about truly understanding user motivation, and building an experience around it.

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