Gamification has become a buzzword in recent years. Simply put, gamification is the use of game elements in a non-game context, offering a great way to retain customers.
It’s a growth strategy straight out of China, which has seen many major e-commerce companies, including Alipay, Alibaba’s Taobao, and Pinduoduo, incorporate gamified elements into their apps to increase user engagement and draw in repeat customers.
Learning from the Chinese experience with gamification, many Vietnamese companies have started to leverage the strategy of incorporating gamification in business as a solution to target customers in a more engaging and effective manner.
Growing gamification adoption in Vietnam:
The value of the gamification market worldwide has skyrocketed from $4.91 billion in 2016 to $11.94 billion in 2021, according to Statista. In the Asia Pacific, the gamification market is projected to grow exponentially at a rate of 27%. China and India will help drive the gamification market in the region as they focus more on enhancing user experience.
Vietnam-based one-hour-delivery startup Loship is upping its engagement tactics by launching two new gamified features called Daily check-in and Quest hunt. The strategy was suggested by BAce Capital, whose partners are directors at Ant Group.
Loship is taking a page from the Pinduoduo playbook by introducing these features. Users visit Pinduoduo without any specific intent, much like visiting a real-world shopping mall. Likewise, Loship users may pull up the app for the purpose of gaming, not shopping, but wind up making purchases. Loship claims it has over 2 million active users on its platform and its interactive features have been welcomed by its users since launch. Within the first week of launching, Loship recorded an average of 50,000 daily participation in gamified features, and the number keeps growing month on month.
Prior to gamification, Loship developed another entertainment feature called Loship Radio – a feature that allows users to listen to multiple podcasts while waiting for food delivery. Loship aims to make ordering online a lot like entertainment, and collectively, these entertainment elements produce a compelling customer experience.“We believe creating a great customer experience requires more than just good customer service. That means finding creative ways to engage with customers, thinking deeply about what they need, and providing seamless experiences across the customer journey — from beginning to end,” said Loship CEO Trung Hoang Nguyen.
Gamification done right is key:
Gamification is supposed to be a product longevity booster, not a replacement for the app’s inherent utility. Gamification plays a pivotal role in improving the user experience, engagement, and appeal of the app. Let’s walk through some of the benefits that gamification brings to the table:
Gamification is a retention machine when done well. All gamification types have the same common hook, where you can log in daily, perform a certain action to get rewards. Psychologically, these rewards motivate users to keep going on with the game and achieve more rewards. The principle here is that high-frequency usage would cultivate a user habit, which then leads to user stickiness. This user stickiness is tied to actually purchasing products.
Games that require users to invite or introduce their friends are the perfect vehicle to acquire new users. Once the user is hooked, they’ll happily do the acquisition on behalf of the company. As such, the company can reach out to more potential customers without any advertising dollars invested. Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing as people are more influenced by the opinion of their peers than faces from ads when it comes to choosing products or making a purchase.
Gamification can help companies understand their customers on a deeper level. When playing games, users reveal their preferences in terms of time, capacity, attitudes, and willingness to pay, etc., allowing for more precise targeting. This insight becomes the foundation of better customer experience and engagement, leading to loyalty and trust. Historical data can also be used to make better predictions and build more effective marketing campaigns.
What lies ahead:
Gamification is young and the future possibilities in Vietnam are limitless. With the impact of Covid-19 leading people to search for online entertainment, more and more applications coming to market, and the concept of gamification gaining more and more credibility, it is only a matter of time before gamification takes off in a nation that loves gaming like Vietnam. At the end of the day, it is the app that utilizes proven methods of engaging users, like gamification, that will unlevel the playing field and outperform the competition.
By My Duyen