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In-App Engagement

5 Stats That Prove Gamification Boosts Retention

Cansu Benli
September 20, 2022

People enjoy playing games in just about every aspect of their lives. Even apps that aren’t remotely in the mobile gaming industry can benefit by incorporating gamification into the app experience. By turning your app into a kind of game, you’ll be able to harness the power of competitiveness and inspire people to “beat” that game.

If you’re not sure how to increase retention with gamification or what the specific benefits are, this post will review some of the many ways it has benefited not just apps, but many others looking to boost retention.

What Is Gamification?

Gamification entails adding certain game elements to non-game apps and other products or experiences. It has a long history, with games and game-like experiences playing into all kinds of aspects for millennia. Oftentimes, it helps people engage with experiences that they might otherwise find unpleasant, such as education and work.

There are many potential features of gamification that can convert an otherwise ordinary experience into a game. These elements include points, badges, leaderboards, and timers, among others. By adding these components into an app experience, you’ll be able to engage users in a more exciting way. People enjoy attempting to achieve certain goals, which gamification can naturally help set.

You might be wondering, “Is gamification effective for all apps?” The answer is that just about any type of app can and should use it to some extent. The following stats help prove this.

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1. The Global Gamification Market Is Valued at Around $11.94 Billion

Gamification is far from a trend—it’s an entire industry. In 2021, the global market accounted for around $11.94 billion, which is a $7.03 billion increase from 2016. To give you a better idea of what this means, exactly, in 2019, the market in North America and led by the U.S. was worth $2.72 billion.

In the coming years, that value is expected to grow exponentially. In fact, experts anticipate the market getting up to as much as $20 billion in the near future.

With the market at the value that it is, it’s no surprise that 70% of the world’s largest 2000 companies have introduced gamification to their business to some degree. Businesses are finding that it largely helps boost employee productivity and engagement, leading them to increase profitability. Companies that use it in the workplace have specifically seen a 22% increase in employee profitability, a 21% increase in productivity, and a 10% increase in customer satisfaction rates.

As the market continues to grow and more companies implement gamification, you’ll benefit from using it in your app to appeal to users.

2. Gamification Dramatically Increases Engagement by 48%

Studies have also found that it has an overwhelmingly positive effect on engagement. Specifically, one study found that employees see a 48% increase in engagement with the help of gamification. Another survey found that 30% of 500 surveyed business workers inspired them to be more engaged in the workplace.

Gamification in retail and other industries also offers the benefit of improved information retention. This is achieved by making more monotonous and basic processes like training more enjoyable, which makes them more memorable. Additionally, many business owners and others like gamification because it allows for more practical problem-solving, enables more efficient feedback, and gives people the chance to refine their skills with minimal risk involved.

When it comes to apps, this means that you’ll encourage users to be more engaged by turning even the most mundane in-app tasks into a type of game. People will also recall more information presented to them within the app, which can further improve the user experience and encourage more long-term engagement.

3. Gamification in Retail Has Fueled a 700% Boost in Customer Acquisitions

In the retail world, gamification has significantly helped companies acquire and retain customers. One recent report found that retail holds the largest share of the global gamification market, which is expected to grow by up to 25% by 2025. It has also been shown to boost customer acquisitions by a whopping 700%, and gamification tactics have also increased both engagement and loyalty by up to 30% for eBay, Walgreens, and many other brands.

Despite the proven benefits of gamification in retail, the majority of companies aren’t using it to its full potential. The reason for this is that it can be challenging to effectively implement. Many retailers mistakenly believe that they need to create a mobile app geared specifically toward gaming, which is a potentially costly and time-consuming process. However, this doesn’t need to be the case.

Another report from McKinsey found that 75% of consumers have given different products a try throughout the course of the pandemic. 60% of these consumers also plan to introduce new brands into their lives in a post-pandemic world. The fact is that consumer behavior is changing, making it important for retailers and app owners alike to drive loyalty to their brands.


4. Gamification Increases Student Productivity by up to 50%

Gamification in education has also seen great results when implemented for students. With 80% of workers in the U.S. finding it to be more effective than traditional training methods, students have also found it to be an integral element. In fact, it has the ability to improve student productivity by as much as 50%.

According to Zippia, one math teacher at an elementary school discovered that gamification had a huge effect on his students’ performance. The case study revealed that average test scores saw a 34% increase from 49% to 83% after four months of using math games. Because of these results, it’s no wonder that around 75% of all elementary school teachers in the U.S. alone use gamification in their curricula.

Students also prefer gamification in their learning experiences, with about 67% of students turning to gamification over other more conventional teaching methods. They specifically find engagement and motivation to be the factors that make them interested in it.

These stats show how students engage with gamification, which can also apply to everything from educational apps to apps that involve a general learning experience. For example, you might have an app that helps with time management and other aspects of productivity. When onboarding new users, you can use it to lead people through tutorials and show their progress, potentially rewarding them in the process. This will help people learn about the different features you offer and how to use the app in general.

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5. Brands See Tremendous Growth With Gamification

Gamification in marketing and brand experiences has led many companies to incredible growth in their industries. A wide range of industries has benefited from introducing gamification, including both B2C and B2B verticals. Many of those brands experienced success with it through a uniquely engaging app experience.

Some B2C and B2B gamification examples include:

  • Duolingo — This app used gamification in language learning efforts to help grow its user base to more than 300 million.
  • Foursquare — After introducing gamification to its mobile app, Foursquare expanded by 10 times within a five-year period.
  • Microsoft — The software giant has seen employees becoming 3.5 times more engaged through gamified operations.
  • Roblox — In 2018, Roblox launched its Roblox Education program, which helped increase the number of active Roblox users to over 90 million in a year.
  • Autodesk — This software developer used gamification to increase its trail usage rate by 40%, with conversion rates increasing by 15%.
  • Kenco — The logistics company Kenco saw a 45% increase in sales after using a sales gamification tool.
  • KFC Japan — This branch of KFC developed gaming content with the help of Gamify, which helped increase in-store sales by an impressive 106%.
  • Moosejaw — This clothing company introduced a gamified system that helped the brand progress in a few ways. It saw a 76% increase in sales, along with an increased ROI of 560% and 240,000 social media impressions.
  • Kahoot! — This Norwegian learning supplier surpassed 90 million users with the help of gamification, and it saw a growth rate of 75% to make it one of the fastest-growing global learning companies.

These are simply some of the many brands out there that have experienced short- and long-term success with gamification. These success stories alone show the value of using it, regardless of your app category and the in-app experience.

What the Future of Gamification Holds for App Owners and Others

Over the years, as the growth of the market shows, gamification has become increasingly popular among everyone from employees and students to the average consumer. This kind of growth indicates that the market isn’t slowing down any time soon, which means you must incorporate gamification if you want your brand to succeed.

With the presence of so many apps today, many of which offer a similar experience, you need to find ways to stand apart. By offering users the chance to turn every task into a fun and fresh game, you’ll be able to offer an experience that differentiates you from the competitors neglecting gamification. With today’s personalization capabilities, you can offer a completely original experience for every user through the use of gamification and other elements.

One of the best ways to introduce gamification to your app users is through in-app stories. Interactive and personalized in-app stories can present users with personalized text and visuals. For instance, you could onboard new users with a gamified tutorial that shows users’ progress as they go through the tutorial process. You can also show people’s progress and compare it to other users, showing people where they stand.

Ultimately, to thrive in your industry, you’ll need to create an experience that people won’t forget and which keeps them coming back. Otherwise, you could wind up attracting many new users with effective marketing, only to see engagement and retention drop due to a bland and unoriginal experience. You’ll be able to spice things up with gamification engrained in your app, encouraging people to stay on and become loyal users.

As the years progress, it will continue to be necessary to appeal to all audiences. So, if you’re not already using it to your advantage, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. You’ll benefit in many ways from taking the time to develop and embed a gamification system for your app.

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Implement an App Gamification Strategy to Get the Best Results from Your App

Gamification is one of the most effective tools for any app owner or developer to use, as these and other stats show. The key is knowing how to successfully incorporate it into your app experience, especially when it involves tasks that aren’t normally associated with games of any kind.

The following are some key ways you can introduce it in your app:

  • Badges and designations — You can allow app users to achieve a certain status within your app or earn points through a loyalty program. This will significantly boost loyalty, particularly if the statuses and programs offer true value to users.
  • Progress updates — You can use stats or charts to show how far customers have progressed in your app. You can also measure a wide range of things, including personal achievements and the rewards that users have earned through referrals.
  • Challenges — Certain types of challenges within your app or even in the physical world can keep users engaged and loyal to your app and brand.

The important thing to remember is that personalization is crucial. While gamification itself can be simple, with basic badges and other elements taking a perceivably ordinary experience and making it fun, you should ensure that users’ experiences are catered to them. In your app, you should show the kind of progress that people make and how they compare to others, imbuing a sense of both achievement and competitiveness.

When properly implemented, you can dramatically increase retention with gamification. Using the right solutions and best practices, you’ll be able to integrate a seamless experience into your app that keeps users consistently engaged and satisfied. In turn, you’ll have the chance to maximize your app’s ROI with a solid app gamification strategy in place.

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