How to build the best gamification system? Use a gamification platform software.

Gamification is the use of game-like elements to make your app more engaging. And it works – studies show gamified apps can boost engagement by as much as 47%! To make the most of the benefits of gamification, you need your very own gamification strategy. And that’s easier and faster to implement with a gamification platform software! That’s because you’ll be able to build a gamification system much easier using a modular builder. More than that, you’ll also have a team of gamification experts to back you up! So how do you go about selecting the right gamification platform for you?

How to build the best gamification system? Use a gamification platform software.

Let’s find out!

Understanding what gamification is

Gamification is…

Gamification is the strategic use of game elements and psychology in a non-game context. This means implementing gamification features like progress bars, prizes, and reward systems into your app to drive the user behaviors that help you grow.

However, a gamification system doesn’t mean that you are making everything a game. Rather, you borrow the psychological elements that make a game fun, and introduce those into your customer experience! And the benefits of gamification are huge – not only will customers be more engaged and loyal, but they will also spend more and more often!

user engagement apps statistics

To turn your app into a gamified experience, you have a few options. For one, you can develop the features yourself. That gives you control of the project, though it will also be costly and time-consuming. Not to mention, you have to know exactly what you’re doing – and that means hiring an in-house team of gamification experts! Instead, for a faster, more flexible solution that requires less expertise and a lower investment, use a gamification platform software.

If you’re selecting the right gamification platform, you can get more than just a handful of features ready to customize. You’ll also gain the help of gamification experts to guide you on how to build the best gamification strategy for your unique needs. Gradually, you’ll begin to learn yourself the secrets of how to gamify!

Let’s start you off right away. One of the most important keys to your success is understanding gamification psychology.

The psychology behind gamification

Gamification is more than just points, levels, and badges. On a deeper level, a gamification system offers much more to drive customers forward in their journey. Essentially, game mechanics and features tap into shared human behaviors to motivate.

Gabe Zichermann, gamification expert –Gamification is 75% psychology and 25% technology.”

Put simply, gamification psychology relies on satisfying three motivational drivers:

  1. Autonomy. People like being empowered with a choice – and this motivates them to stick to their goals. Personalization and custom rewards achieve this.
  2. Value. Show the user your value to them and their value to you! Reward them with badges and points, and let them socialize to buff up their social status.
  3. Competence. The need for personal growth is a powerful motivator. Gamified elements such as challenges and levels can test and track user competence.

These three drivers are linked to what we call “intrinsic motivators”. In other words, factors that appeal to our emotions, innate desires, and fears. Once you inspire this, you unlock a long-lasting and self-sustaining motivation!

At the same time, your gamification system should also motivate people extrinsically, with achievements and results-based drivers. Utilizing both forms of motivation is crucial for your success. While extrinsic motivation pushes users through the discovery phase, long-term retention needs intrinsic motivation!

What really is gamification? Discover the mechanics and basics of gamification psychology on our ‘What is Gamification’ page.

Benefits of gamification in different industries

Travel & hospitality

One bad experience is enough to lose a customer forever. To avoid this, hospitality & travel companies can gamify. For instance, implementing gamification features in a loyalty program, like rewards or unpredictable lottery programs, can create the positive experience that customers demand!

In fact, this satisfies the “Lucky Loyalty” effect, another element of gamification psychology. Essentially, the more loyal that a customer is, the better treatment they expect to get! In other words, your benefits should scale with loyalty and gamification is a great way to provide this value without just doling out unaffordable discounts. Over time, this gamification strategy will reduce churn and boost customer lifetime value.

Sports & fitness

Did you know that over half of all sports & fitness apps contain a gamification system? That’s because fitness apps are super social and generate lots of great, gamifiable data such as daily steps or exercise length. For a great example, the workout app SWEAT encourages users to share a side-by-side photo of themselves before and after exercise to show off their progress and increase their social status. CEO Kayla Itsines credits this as the biggest reason her app became the most profitable fitness app in the world!

gamification strategy sports fitness apps

Financial services

Banking and fintech apps are well suited to take advantage of the benefits of gamification. That’s because gamification psychology is suited to financial services, where customers often come in with a clear goal, such as to save money. Features like points and badges can give users a feeling of progress towards these goals. In turn, this motivates them and they stick around for longer!

Mobile apps & technology

Gamification is one of the most powerful tools that mobile apps and tech companies can use to supercharge user engagement and retention. Today, a third of all our time is spent on mobile. That means the opportunities for engagement are endless! To capitalize on this, a gamification system engages users by increasing your product’s usefulness, social influence, and enjoyment – making it more likely that they engage for longer.


Education is the second most gamified segment, behind only retail. Why? Because implementing gamification in education can improve how feedback is given – and that’s important as students need plenty of motivation! Research shows that students are motivated by the positive reinforcement provided by a gamification system, as well as by negative reinforcement. With that in mind, selecting the right gamification platform means finding a flexible solution with a varied selection of features to choose from.

gamification is growth market share

Implementing gamification for success

Getting your gamification system right is important. But it doesn’t come straight away. Over time, you’ll optimize and improve your gamification strategy to maximize your success. To get started on your gamified app, here are four things you should consider:

  1. What does your app do? Analyze your app’s key features and user actions.
  2. Who are your users? Learn more about your users and what motivates them.
  3. Identify the touchpoints. These interactions are what you can leverage. Imagine the ideal user behavior at each point in the customer journey.
  4. Learn from the best! They say that no ideas are original, just their executions. To be sure, it is smart to learn from other gamified apps, especially if they have the same goals as you.

Bjorn Cumps, Professor @Vlerick Business School – “Have a very clear goal, incentivize ideal user behavior, and make the process fun and engaging. Gamification should be used to take away the barriers that limit a user from fully engaging.”

Ultimately, you need what makes your customers tick! The best way to do this is by implementing gamification gradually. For one, you don’t want to overwhelm your user. More importantly, though, gamification is all about data. And if you rush your implementation, you risk your gamification strategy backfiring. Only by analyzing and optimizing after each iteration, can you achieve success!

However, some things simply don’t need thorough testing because the evidence is already out there. For instance, badge rewards are more effective when given right after the relevant task. So while testing can tell you what and when is optimal, the faster and better way to find out the answers you want is to consult an expert! There are many insights that an experienced team at a gamification platform software can give you.

Want to reap the benefits of gamification? Chat with our experts & discover your next steps!

Key components of a gamification system

10 essential elements of a gamification system

Gamification is built on several behavioral dynamics that will lift user motivation:

  • Accomplishment. Give customers goals to strive for!
  • Constraint. Lock off certain features to incentivize usage.
  • Empowerment. Customers need autonomy and personalization.
  • Relationships. People are naturally social and enjoy friendly competition.
  • Unpredictability. Delight your customers with a fun, surprising experience.

When implemented together, these are the mechanics that make a gamification system so engaging. And because the motivations are shared by all humans, gamification targets more than just ‘gamers’, but rather a wide range of audiences. By the way, given that close to 3 billion people play games in 2023, gamers are no longer a niche! Not to mention, that number is only rising.

gamification platform software growth

In short, gamification psychology runs deep. By learning about and then leveraging the behavioral science that powers gamification, you can make the most out of the benefits of gamification! Aside from the main mechanics mentioned above, there are other principles that you can exploit.

These are a few supporting behavioral principles that fit well into a gamification system, and can be used to provide an extra shot of motivation:

  • Liking. We’re far more likely to engage with things that we like. Simple, right?
  • Loss framing. To maximize motivation, present benefits as an avoided loss!
  • Narrative bias. Relatable stories create context and bring your app to life.
  • Relativity. Comparisons, like loyalty tiers, enhance perceived value.
  • Scarcity. Trigger users into action with limited rewards & challenges.
gamification psychology examples

How data can help you implement gamification

Ask yourself, what data are you gathering from your users? This changes what you can leverage. Without data, you have nothing to gamify! That’s because gamification is a data-driven tool, and it uses data to drive users to achieve your goals.

However, not all data is actionable. Indeed, you’ll need to sift through and figure out what relates to what. In short, that means being able to answer these questions:

  • What data is available and is it useful? The more, the merrier. Better data powers your analytics, which can form the basis of a more effective gamification strategy. More data allows you to narrow your scope and develop more reliable insights, for instance with cohort analysis.
  • Are they meaningful performance indicators? In other words, make sure that what you plan to track and measure actually affects the change you want.
  • Do they relate to your business targets? Don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal!

Following this process, A/B testing can tell you if your strategy actually works in practice. Then, powered by the data, you can change and optimize your tactics to reach success! To take full advantage of this process, you need a flexible gamification system that not only allows you to test features but to adjust them quickly and easily when you need to. That’s why selecting the right gamification platform software is so important!

Customizing your gamification system

Just like you wouldn’t expect to fit a square peg in a round hole, a gamification system is not one-size-fits-all. In fact, customization is part of why gamification is so powerful! And there’s plenty of scope for customization.

Firstly, before implementing gamification, you have to know your customers. That way, you can adjust your product to bring it closer to their preferences and motivations. To gather the user data necessary to power your gamification strategy, you can use surveys, feedback, and user personas to segment your customers.

Following that, you can customize your desired features and game mechanics! For one, they should align with your goals. For instance, if you want to boost engagement, you can implement milestones that push users to engage to hit a certain threshold. As well, you can personalize your milestones, badges, and achievements with fun names and visuals that tell a compelling story. This gives your product character, in turn making it more memorable, enjoyable, and ultimately more motivating to engage with!

For example, when e-bike operator HumanForest came to StriveCloud to gamify their sustainable shared mobility app, we gave each level a fun plant name and called their in-app currency TreeCoins. As a bonus, these were more than just virtual points. In fact, the coins actually represent how much trees worth of CO2 you save by riding an e-bike!

customization gamification platform software

How to implement a gamification system

Implementing gamification takes money, time, and expertise. In particular, it can be hard to develop on your own the know-how needed to succeed. But, given the fierce competition in the app market, growing apps have little time or space to develop the necessary expertise.

Instead, apps with ambitions to grow can learn from a team of gamification experts! In other words, by using a gamification platform software you can profit from the knowledge of a team of gamification experts. Their consulting can help you put into action a gamification system fit for your app’s unique needs. What’s more, when you use a software, it is faster to implement new game elements. Indeed, there’s no need to code and spend time and money on development.

Having said that, you still need to know what to use and when! While a gamification platform software is not a simple DIY solution, it’s not a “do it for me” service either. Rather, the best gamification platform builders are a “do it together” kind of tool. With a collaborative process, a software team can combine your knowledge of your own product with the experience of gamification experts. Given this, selecting the right gamification platform to work with is a huge decision.

StriveCloud: Selecting the right gamification platform software

Why use StriveCloud’s gamification platform software

When you pick a gamification platform software, it’s not just the tool itself that needs to be up to scratch. Alongside that, you need a team of experts that you like and understand to support you through each step of your journey. And that’s what we at StriveCloud offer!

For one, we have modular software you can use to implement over 25 interactive gamification and loyalty features like rewards and challenges. In addition, our expert team is at your disposal to provide advice and consult on your gamification strategy. That’s what makes us trusted by clients across industries: fintech, shared mobility, edtech, health, and enterprise.

Ultimately, the goal is your growth! And when you go with a software like StriveCloud for your gamification system, you’re choosing a scalable solution that can grow with you.

Discover the benefits of implementing gamification with StriveCloud. Learn more about our software!

gamification platform software examples

Designing and implementing gamification with StriveCloud

To form your gamification strategy and fuel your app’s growth, we start with a workshop. Together with our team of gamification experts, we will focus on crafting a gamification system fit for your target audience and maximizing the benefits of gamification. It’s all a part of our 3-step plan for success:

  1. Gamification workshop. Bring your team, and we’ll bring ours! Our gamification experts will explore your app, its functionality and audience, your growth goals, and the obstacles currently blocking your path.
  2. Gamification design plan. What features will make your goals a reality and what data will it leverage? Here, we’ll show you the exact tactics we’ve used to increase clients’ daily active users by 58% and increase user retention by 23%.
  3. Set up! We’ll set up our software to integrate the new features into your app. Then, from our control panel, you can customize/add/remove additional gamification features yourself. We’ll train you on how to use our gamification platform software, so you can manage the gamified experience yourself!

Let our experts guide you towards actionable strategies to achieve your goals. Find out more!

gamified features examples

How to optimize your gamification system

Building a gamification system doesn’t have to be hell. By using StriveCloud’s gamification platform software, you can introduce, tweak, and experiment with various gamified elements to see what works best for you.

Michael Stewart @HumanForest -“I really like how easy to use StriveCloud is. I don’t need to interrupt any developers or use any code, there’s no lengthy deployment process & changes are updated instantly.”

With StriveCloud, you can optimize your product with an iterative approach. After all, nobody gets things right the first time! In short, this entails plenty of A/B testing and data analysis to make your gamification strategy more effective and flexible. And flexibility is crucial, given that your user base is changing all the time. For instance, the industry benchmark for 90-day app retention is just 20%. Assuming you keep acquiring users, that means most of your users are completely new!

In turn, increased flexibility leads to growth. Indeed, if you can keep up with the day’s challenges, you will develop a competitive edge. Without a doubt, the best way to grow is by implementing gamification using a gamification platform software like StriveCloud.


Gamification is the strategic use of game elements and psychology in a non-game context. This means implementing gamification features like progress bars, prizes, and reward systems into your app to drive the user behaviors that help you grow.

gamification system taps into shared human behaviors to motivate. In fact, experts say that gamification is more psychology than technology! That’s because gamification relies on leveraging intrinsic motivation, using drivers like autonomy and competence. Satisfying these motivations leads to long-term success!

Spending time and money to develop your own untested gamification system is risky. But when you use a gamification platform software like StriveCloud, you can implement features without any lines of code — all under the guidance of gamification experts!

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