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4 Great Tips for Starting Gamification in Loyalty Programs

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

People love playing games. They love challenges. They love the "thrill of the chase." This is why when these elements are incorporated in any form – in the office, on the playing field, or as part of an app, they help in increasing customer retention.

A study by Snipp found that companies that plug-in gamification into their customer engagement strategies see a 47% jump in engagement and a 15% shoot in brand awareness. It's only befitting that 70% of the top 2,000 companies in the world have gamified loyalty programs in their customer engagement plans.

Importance of Gamification in SaaS/Fintech Companies

In the SaaS and FinTech sectors, customer loyalty is the engine of companies' growth marketing vehicles. So much so that it is worth ten times more than a one-time purchase!

Gamification provides that nitrous boost for that engine by acting as a customer retention platform, elevating user engagement through dynamic, interactive, and transactional experiences. When loyalty programs are infused with gamified elements, they offer customers a sense of achievement and enjoyment.

In both fields, gamified loyalty programs:

  • Gets user engagement to leapfrog with the right strategies in place.

  • Helps users understand complex financial and technical concepts in a fun and interactive way.

  • Enhances user experience by deploying competitiveness and simplifying certain aspects that could prove challenging to understand for users.

  • Employs rewards, leaderboards, and progress tracking for increasing customer retention & loyalty.

Tip #1: How to Understand Your Audience

New York Times bestselling author Lewis Howes once said, "The most important thing to remember is you must know your audience." Take the best loyalty programs in India: this attribute would be right in place. It is a make-or-break in developing a crafty and effective gamification strategy for loyalty programs.


Imagine using teen and tween elements in a gamified loyalty program for a Fintech app built for adults. Wouldn't that look silly? Always identify the target demographics through thorough market research to narrow down your audience's needs, preferences, and characteristics.

In parallel, it's also great to use customer engagement tools and surveys to draw out insights and feedback (especially about free trials). Tools such as SurveyMonkey and Qualaroo are convenient here.

Analysis of User Behaviour and Preferences

Think of platforms that can record user activity, group them into different behavioural segments, and analyze user metrics like conversion, engagement, retention, and lifetime value. That's gold for developing a gamification strategy!

These tools can also identify patterns and user preferences within a customer retention platform, offering companies a sneak peek into where they should focus more of their gamification artillery. Some of the best user analytics tools in the market include Userpilot, Heap, and Amplitude.

Strategy Formulation

With all the user behaviour and customer engagement data in hand, it's strategy time for your loyalty program! Align gamification features with the specific preferences of your audience, which will slot seamlessly into the user experience puzzle.

Oh! You also want to ensure that there is a clearly defined roadmap to incorporating rewards and challenges that resonate with your users.

Tip #2: Designing Engaging Game Mechanics

Trust us, "Mechanics" is just a fancy word for the various elements to be incorporated during the gamification of a platform or an app.

Game mechanics

When appropriately used, game mechanics can leverage the natural motivational driver in a user. Here's how to see it: a "collection" of items is a motivational driver, which can be addressed with badges. A leaderboard can tick the "achievement" motivation. Look at the classic example above: Fortune City, which builds a virtual world based on your financial data in play.

Here are a few game mechanics that you probably have come across in some SaaS/Fintech app or other:

  1. Points: The most granular units of measurement in gamification that hit the right dopamine levels in users. Example: FourSquare counts points through each check-in.

  2. Badges: Aka "virtual achievements" by users. Badges provide positive reinforcement for users who exhibit a certain desirable behaviour. eBay's top-seller virtual ribbon is a great example here.

  3. Relationships: Based on the oh-so-powerful motivational driver of "connection", relationships are really powerful gamified mechanics that connect a user group to a habit/cause. If you've ever seen celebrities urging you to save money through a Fintech app, endorsement would be a good use case.

  4. Leaderboards: UK-based Revolut organized a competition between universities that encourages students to sign up and boost their Unis to rise in rankings - classic leaderboard deployment!


5. Challenges: A mechanic to motivate people to act, especially if they're working towards achieving something big.

Tip #3: Leveraging Data for Personalization

So, we need data, and lots of it, to ensure proper gamification. But using that data correctly to tailor gamified experiences is the key here. Using visual quizzes or a reward-for-effort program in boring data-collection surveys, the depth and quality of data from users would naturally improve.

Simply put, more survey engagement -> increased customer retention -> more answers -> better opportunities to personalize your game mechanics.

Data Privacy and Security

Gamified Loyalty programs usually welcome user participation through opt-in and permission-based windows. If the SaaS or Fintech companies can make proper disclosures to the users as to what data is being collected and how it will be managed, this would put the digital anxiety of the users to rest.  

Here's a one-step-further pointer: when a loyalty initiative addresses privacy concerns and fixes data breaches, it helps build transparent customer relationships.

AI for Gamification in 2020's

This year and beyond, AI will join gamification at the hips to influence where, when, and how companies can use gamification.

Ai for gamification

Some companies worldwide are already leveraging AI in gamification. Kaizo, a SaaS-based customer support application, uses an AI-gamification combo to deliver a punchy interface to increase efficiency, productivity, and teamwork. 

Tip #4: Seamless Integration with SaaS (or Fintech Platforms)

Here are some considerations to keep in mind while gamifying loyalty programs in SaaS or Fintech, all of which can lead to a bulls-eye user experience:

  • Ensure that the integration of intuitive gamification elements aligns with the app's primary purpose. Example: a coin-shaped element for rewards in a money-saving-focused Fintech app.

  • Try to leverage progress tracking, meaningful rewards, and financial incentives to engage users in tasks or activities.

  • It always helps to keep the user's financial or technological literacy level in mind while personalizing challenges. This helps cater to a diverse set of skills.

  • Strike a balance between entertainment and functionality. This will boost user motivation and retention. eToro is a striking example here!

finanical markets

  • It's a given that gamification designs must be accessible and consistent across platforms and devices for a great user experience.

Case Studies and Success Stories

Through Trailhead, Salesforce structured the learning experience of its users using rewards and, thereby, increased customer retention. Users can get certified in a range of skills from various modules within Salesforce. 

At Flyy, we helped Stucred with gamifying its platform. Stucred is India’s No. 1 instant credit app for students. With a significant surge in user engagement, Stucred continues to charm students who need quick, interest-free credit.

Measuring and Iterating For Success

For gamified loyalty programs to hog the limelight, some KPIs need to be implemented to gauge user engagement metrics such as active users, conversion rates, repeat visits, and session duration.

User interaction can be assessed by tracking completion rates of gamified tasks. Customer satisfaction can be examined through surveys or Net Promoter Score (NPS) to zero in on the impact on overall user experience. User behaviour changes, such as increased usage of specific features or improved onboarding, can also reveal the influence of gamification.

It's also vital to constantly iterate based on user feedback and the analytics derived from the above performance metrics.

Bringing It Together

Gamification has already proven to be an uber-effective part of a company's growth strategy. The concept relies on psychological principles of rewards and appreciation to give that dopamine kick to users, thereby leading to reduced onboarding time, lower user drop-offs, and improved user retention.

Start gamifying your loyalty programs now with the think tanks at Flyy and watch your product sail northeast on the growth graph!



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