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  • Writer's pictureJHON REYMOND camba

Fast Gamification For Businesses: Three Mine Games For Loyalty Program Development

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Many of those who have never tried integrating gamification into their business assume that it is a complicated, costly and drawn-out process. In reality, developing and launching a mini game—like spin-to-win, scratcher or roulette—can often be rolled out in about four months, with a month to analyze their effectiveness. This time frame allows you to understand the benefits of the approach and decide how to further develop your gamification strategy for product development.


My company has worked with many companies on gamification, including collaborating with retail companies to amplify average basket values and user engagement, and enhance the volume of feedback. Here is my guide to three common games.


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1. Spin-To-Win

In spin-to-win games, customers can spin a wheel once a day for various discounts and prizes. In my experience, this mechanic improves customer loyalty and their app returnability. It can also increase the number of active users.


I've found that the most important element in this mechanic is the wheel design. For example, for the Simply Carbon Fiber promo campaign, the wheel was designed in the shape of the product. This promo resulted in an 18% conversion coefficient.

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2. Scratcher

The scratcher game requires the customer to "scratch off" visual elements on your site or in a mobile app. Under each element, you include an image. If all images are the same, the user receives a prize. The number of games and the campaign time frame is typically limited.


I've found this option also works well with a loyalty program and increases the number of users that open the app on a daily basis. The scratcher mechanic engages the user's curiosity and desire to own a limited-edition item.




3. Roulette

The roulette gamification mechanic is based on the gambling game of the same name. The user needs to select a number and a color to bet on. At the end of the draw, the one with the winning combination gets a prize. People like to win and own something meaningful that shows off their success.

A great example of the roulette approach is a campaign organized by Volkswagen in Norway. The marketing team needed to transform the abstract benefits of fuel economy into easy-to-understand and memorable data. The company selected a 2,000 km-long highway and divided it into 80,000 car-length sections. Campaign participants were asked to make bets on where they thought the car would run out of fuel. The prize was the car itself. More than 50,000 people participated in this campaign.




How To Implement Game Mechanics

To successfully incorporate gamification into your loyalty program, you need to clearly specify the desired KPIs. The three most prevalent KPIs are enhancing the engagement rate, elevating the average transaction amount, and boosting the quantity of prospective customers.

The goals established at the beginning of the process will dictate the choice of the mechanic used. This will be very helpful at the end of the campaign when comparing the expected effectiveness with the actual outcome, as well as help clarify what results can be achieved through gamification and how best to implement it.

When considering the use of independent solutions, it's crucial to align with your KPIs. Here are some considerations for ready-made and custom solutions.









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Ready-Made Solutions

Ready-made solutions contain a fully developed mechanic with an interface and an integrated promotional system. This is a good option for those who want to give gamification a try, however, be mindful that the out-of-the-box results don't always yield the expected benefits.

Ready-made solutions exist on a separate third-party platform, which can lead to a loss of potentially loyal users for the business site and app. All user data for game participants will remain in the "box" and won't be available to the company for subsequent personalized promotional use.

Make sure to look for a solution that is able to effectively boost your platform's customer base. And consider the expenses of their integration into your existing infrastructure well ahead of time.


Customized Development

A second option is to order an individual, custom project. (Disclosure: My company helps with this, as do others in the industry.) Customized development comes at a higher cost than ready-made solutions, however this cost can be considered an investment into a product that can be updated and reused down the road.

Gamification is incorporated into the loyalty program infrastructure and integrated with the CRM system. Subsequently, this will allow the company to just update the game mechanics rather than having to develop the entire interface and app from scratch.

Since the gamification here is directly tied to the brand without third-party sites or applications, the company receives more of the real data on the results of the test promo. My expertise has shown that in testing of these types of mini games, 9 out of 10 clients developed a long-term strategy based on the demo version results.

Upon successful trialing of these mini games, you can progress toward the deployment of enduring gamification strategies, even taking a six-step process for integrating gamification into your business operations as I've written about previously.

When it comes to creating custom solutions, I would say it is most important to be KPI-based. No matter the budget, any solution should be analyzed how efficiently it solves the business goal. Examine your needs, i.e., if you want a one-time promo with the only goal to distribute your special offer, you could use a ready-made stand-alone product. But if the goal is to increase your mobile app downloads, it may be a better choice to implement everything inside that app in a custom way.



Conclusion

Don't be intimidated by gamification. It doesn't have to be big and complicated. You can always start with simple mechanics and subsequently develop a more comprehensive strategy. As the Chinese proverb reminds us, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This applies to developing gamification strategies as well—you need to start with a few small steps in order to grow and continue with confidence.



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