Every app has gamification now. Flipkart. Paytm. Swiggy. Zomato.

You can find it in the header of the Cred app. Cred has a LOT of gamification.

A good gamification feature serves the needs of both the user as well as the business.

Take Cred’s hidden cashback as example. It benefits the user by helping them unlock a hidden coupon. It gives them a variable reward, the sweet dopamine high. But it also gives Cred the ability to gain access to the camera. So in the future, when users want to use UPI, Cred will have already removed one friction point (getting camera permission), thereby increasing the success of the first UPI transaction.

If you’re building gamification for the Uber app, let’s say a spin the wheel, you would look at engagement with the gamification feature as the primary metric. Why ship a feature if it doesn’t get engagement.

But what business goals would gamification be serving?

  • For a first-time user, there is a strong incentive to take a second ride if they spin the wheel and unlock a voucher. The more rides they take, the more likely they become to stick with the platform.
  • Cross-sell between car services in the same price range: Someone is only using Uber’s base car service. To get the user used to a service with a slightly higher price point, Uber can unlock a voucher for their first semi premium car service.
  • Up-sell: Once someone is comfortable with car services and is price insensitive (let’s say they are on the high end of the price spectrum, they have paid 2X fare several times), then Uber can give them a voucher for their premium service, that is priced far higher than the base car service.
  • Cross-sell between the different business units of Uber: Uber can give them a voucher for Uber package. Get them to place their first order for their logistics service.

Automatic application of coupon with price cut does not feel earned. You go to Myntra and see price cuts on their products. The user automatically assume that Myntra must have jacked up the price and shown some discounted price that is not real. For the user, there is no satisfaction. Compare that with the manual application of a Rs 500 coupon at the checkout. The user feel rewarded. There will be a shower of confetti. They see the new price. Automatic application has 100% usage. Higher spend for the business. Less sense of satisfaction for the user. Manual voucher application is better than auto apply this way. You don’t have 100% usage of the vouchers distributed like with auto apply. The user also feels that they have earned it. But the voucher is still only relevant for that transaction. While spinning a wheel / playing a raffle / any other gamification tool and unlocking a voucher for the future ensures a higher probability of the next transaction with user better satisfaction.