Games mean fun, and who doesn’t like having fun? The allure of rewards, the urge to compete, and the fear of missing out are factors that make gamification a popular choice for loyalty programs. According to the 2021 Gartner Consumer Values and Lifestyle Survey, almost 60% of Generation Z and Millennials participate in video and other electronic games on a weekly basis. This creates a great opportunity for marketers to utilize game-like mechanics in order to create stronger connections with their customers. Progress bars and dashboards are among the most effective. See how you can apply gamification strategy to improve your loyalty program.
What is gamification?
Gamification is an integration of elements from video games into non-gaming digital processes. It involves the use of game mechanics and elements to make users more motivated and invested in completing their goals. This method can be applied to make tedious tasks more enjoyable and engaging, which is why we see more and more gamification in loyalty programs.
Loyalty programs that incorporate gamification strategy can hold the attention of customers who prioritize experiences, encouraging them to remain involved for extended periods of time and foster relationships and groups among participants. Gamification spurs customers to engage with your brand more often and make more purchases, and provides you with essential data for your business.
However, to be successful, the gamification you incorporate into your program should:
- Have a set goal (for example, expanding members’ knowledge about a given product or service)
- Arouse emotions (emotional involvement of the group of its recipients)
- Follow the game mechanics (introduction of themes characteristic for the game world)
- Be motivating (ensuring that the group of recipients is subjected to the motivation system by, for example, receiving badges for performing tasks)
Interested how it works? Let’s take a closer look at the logic of loyalty program gamification.
Why gamification in loyalty programs works
First, the numbers speak for themselves. It is predicted that the global gamification market will reach $40 billion by 2024, largely due to the increasing need for improved customer experiences. Gaining a competitive edge can be achieved by incorporating elements of fun into loyalty programs, which can dramatically boost customer engagement, loyalty to the brand, and brand awareness. Other studies show that, when brands employ gamification strategies, their metrics show an average 47% increase in engagement, 22% increase in brand loyalty, and 15% rise in brand awareness.
The principles of gamification incorporated into loyalty programs can make them more interesting and add a more personal flavor. This could be especially effective for targeting younger customers such as Millennials and Gen Z, who are accustomed to using modern technology. These age groups are also known for having a very limited attention span, so traditional loyalty program features might not be enough for them. Additionally, gamification principles can provide a way to gain insight into customers’ product preferences, way of life, and favorite brands. It can also help encourage frequent behavior, reward particular actions, and encourage engagement beyond simply buying items.
Gamification mechanics in loyalty works because it is based on these natural human desires:
- Meaning – the drive to feel that our actions have purpose
- Accomplishment – the drive to achieve and overcome challenges
- Empowerment – the drive to choose one’s own direction and try a variety of solutions to a problem
- Ownership – the drive to own things and have possession
- Social influence – the drive to interact with, help, learn from, and compete with others
- Scarcity – the drive of wanting things that are not easily accessible
- Unpredictability – the drive of needing to know what will happen next
- Avoidance – the drive to avoid pain or negative consequences
Why gamification dashboards and progress bars are effective
Let’s start with the basics – what is a progress bar? Gamification progress bars provide a visual indication of how much progress has been made towards completing a task. For instance, a bar can be used to show loyalty program members how far along they are on their way towards receiving a gift. Why are progress bars effective? The main reason is that they help customers understand how close they are to achieving their desired goal. Progress bars can be paired with another gamification element, such as badges. They can be used to recognize and celebrate important accomplishments at each stage of the member’s progress.
An alternative approach to loyalty is the gamification dashboard display, which shows customers their achievement badges, rewards points, and progress bar in one spot in the app or customer portal. Why are dashboards important? If they are the first thing your customers see when they log in, it reminds them of their current progress and how much further they can go. Speaking about progress, let’s jump into the details of using progress bars.
How can you use progress bars to drive customer engagement?
Here are some suggestions on using gamification for customer engagement to help you streamline the customer experience by utilizing progress bars:
- Keep the balance
If progress appears to be happening too quickly, it may cause alarm, but if the pace of progress is too slow, customers may become discouraged. If the bar is representing something that builds up gradually, such as loyalty points, it might be a good idea to include smaller markers of progress along the way. Breaking down a big goal into smaller parts makes it seem more attainable.
- Analyze data and draw conclusions
It's essential to employ analytics to detect where customers tend to drop off, the peak of their activity, and when they might need assistance or a trigger in the form of a progress bar. This information is crucial, as it enables you to find places where gamification mechanics such as progress bars can be applied.
- Give your customers missions that have meaning
Even though the progress bar is a powerful and rewarding tool, you need to set interesting targets for your customers. They will know when you ask them for unnecessary things.
- Use different progress bars for different actions
You not only can but should interact with your customers in a variety of ways. Depending on the task, it can influence which type of progress bar you choose to use. Options could include a bar that displays the number of steps left, a checklist that records tasks, or a percentage bar that indicates how much progress has been made in a particular action.
- Follow best technical and behavioral practices in progress bar design
Position your progress bar at the top of the page or app layout. Make each step of the way a clickable element once it’s completed. Make sure the design of your progress bar changes to show progress. For checkout, match the titles in the progress bar to the titles on the page. Last but not least, once a step has been finished, provide visual cues to the customer to show them that the system has obtained all the necessary information and that it has been inputted correctly.
The only question that remains is how to apply these strategies to your business. You can try to do it with your own resources, but it gets much easier when you have a loyalty gamification platform which incorporates the latest game mechanics to drive customer engagement. Comarch Loyalty Marketing Platform allows you to add progress bars and many more gamification elements to create a fun and exciting environment where your loyalty program members compete for attractive prizes and extra points.
Your customers are looking for a progress bar, and your brand can gain from incorporating it into your loyalty engagement strategy. If you are seeking a tool that will help you spice things up with this and many more gamified elements, you can give it a try thanks to our Loyalty Marketing Platform Demo. Among the 10 real-life marketing cases, you will find one dedicated to the use of progress bars. Find out how easy it is!