When you buy clothes online, your online wallet is credited with points. As you struggle to choose a piece of furniture that matches your room, the app shows you how each piece would look in your house with Augmented Reality. On a boring, monotonous workday, you’re one tool away from turning your job into a fun game. In a competitive market where entrepreneurs are constantly looking for ways to bring an innovative edge to their product, gamification has yet to disappoint.
Gamification has evolved over the years to adapt to the changing needs of online interactions. Starting from a user’s first impression of a product, there is no part of the online experience that is left untouched by game mechanics. It is what users have come to expect when they come online, whether they realise it or not. To meet these expectations, more companies are adopting gamification, going above and beyond to create unique solutions to keep users on their toes. In fact, as more businesses are gamifying their services, you can even jump into the field as a provider.
So, in case you haven’t already, it’s time you took a dive into the gamification industry.
The Starting Line
As the world goes digital, physical interactions become fewer. Businesses run online, employees connect around the globe, and the internet is a common space to communicate, work, connect, or even to just shop.
In the industry, everything from grabbing your buyer’s attention to retaining them as a loyal customer requires planning. Every seemingly trivial detail needs a strategy. What gamification essentially does is lift the seemingly mundane up a notch to enhance user experience. Right from guiding customer’s user experience to creating collaborative workspaces, gamification can create a connection on digital worlds that is otherwise difficult to find.
It ensures that the customer is not a passive participant but is actively engaging with your product, your brand, and your services. As your customers feel more involved, they will enjoy the benefits of using your product, while also helping you grow your business.
Gamification is not new to SaaS. Businesses have already adopted game mechanics to differentiate themselves and compete in the market to build their brand image.
Freshdesk: Freshdesk built a gamification layer in their customer support product to instill a sense of competition among the agents using the platform. . The agents are awarded points for a job well done and progresses from the level of a ‘beginner’ to ‘guru’, enabling businesses to benefit from the improved productivity.
Salesforce: Understanding how to use a new software can be tedious and boring. Salesforce found a solution by developing a programme called Trailhead designed specifically to make the onboarding process more fun. With a structured path through the learning journey with an end goal, users can learn while also winning badges on the way. This not only helps users develop a better understanding of the product feature-set but also drives product adoption and improves stickiness.
Asana: Celebrating milestones at work is a foolproof way to keep you motivated to go forward. Asana used this motivation streak by rewarding users with magical creatures leaping across the screen with each target they met. With bright colours and a little humour, it successfully kept users motivated and excited to look forward to meeting their next milestone.
SAP: To motivate sales representatives to stay on top of the latest products and services offered, SAP created a game called “Roadwarrior” where they could be trained through simulated customer meetings and win awards and badges. It also allows them to compete with other employees to reach the top of the leaderboard. This does not just ensure effective learning, but also gives a sense of accomplishment that keeps them more engaged.
You could also use similar game mechanics in your own product to get excellent results.
Why Build When You Can Plug And Play?
Once you have identified how and where gamification can fit within your product and services, it’s time to design some gamified components and layers! Since gamification has been around for a while, the ecosystem is evolving in a manner where there are many options you can pick up right off the shelf.
Based on your vision for your product, you can choose from many alternatives and plug in a game layer wherever you want. And the options are endless! From customer engagement to client retention to even gamifying your sales funnel, you can choose whichever you think would be most helpful. And with that, you yourself can focus on your product’s core functionality.
For SaaS entrepreneurs considering building products for the market, this is the best time to start your own venture in gamification!
But of course, if you think you have a unique idea for gamifying your product, go for it! The ecosystem is continuously evolving and offers significant opportunities to be a part of that change.
“We implemented a gamification layer called Tripcue in our platform. It takes the form of a scorecard and leaderboard for the users of our system within the same company. A pilot study with proper statistical analysis found that ‘missed savings’ – the amount overspent by corporates on their travel due to user behaviour – came down by 75%. Since corporate travel is the second largest controllable expense for a company, this is a significant saving for the corporates”, shares Sajit Chako, co-founder at Tripeur, a corporate travel management platform.
Entering the Arena
The gamification market is rapidly growing and innovating. In fact, by 2025, the gamification market size is estimated to grow to USD 30.7 billion by 2025. Currently, the retail e-commerce market holds the highest market share at 28.6%. The education and tele-communication sector are also making headway in the industry.
There are endless opportunities in this sector and the space never falls short on creativity and imagination. With the widening use-cases across the sector, it is important to get gamification right on your journey of building or plugging in a game layer. Since you’re putting game-mechanics into non-game contexts, there are certain questions you should ask yourself before going ahead – “Would this help us tap into consumers’ behaviours and encourage them?” or “Can these mechanisms drive our employees’ engagement and productivity?” and then tie them to the right product KPIs.
So, when you take your step towards the gamification journey, always remember – “Gamification is not just a transactional strategy but also an engagement as well as emotional one”