There are 1.7 billion websites on the internet with around 4.5 billion people interacting with them. The average website visit is a mere 45 seconds, as users know that if they don’t find what they are looking for in one place, they can access it elsewhere. Therefore, business owners need to employ various tactics to boost engagement and maintain users’ attention.
One way to do this that has been gaining traction in recent times is through gamification. This can turn any website into an enjoyable experience and can give consumers a strong reason to keep coming back.
What is Gamification and Why Does it Work?
Gamification describes when elements that would normally be associated with gaming are introduced to something outside of the world of gaming. It can be used in numerous fields including education and business and is designed to capture people’s attention.
You may have encountered aspects of gamification before without even realising it. Sometimes, it can be subtle. For example, collecting points on a loyalty card are inspired by the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog gathering gold rings. On other occasions, gamification may be obvious, and it could come in the form of controlling a character on screen to navigate facets of a site.
Psychological studies have proven that gamification is a powerful tool because it triggers positive emotions and these lead to greater engagement. It also taps into a variety of submodalities including visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic feelings. Thanks to this tool, a site can appeal to a greater number of people than if it only has visual elements.
What Are Some Modern Ideas for Gamification?
Gamification has been creeping into website building and marketing since 2000, and now it’s estimated that more than 50 per cent of companies use it. This means that in the modern age, businesses that want to stand out need to go a few steps further and advance the ideas that have already been introduced. For instance, reward schemes that once seemed so novel are ubiquitous, and their power has been diluted. Business owners should examine the current trends in gaming and ponder how these can be incorporated.
One of the most popular crazes in gaming over the last decade has been the MMO genre, in which players from all over the world collaborate on quests and in virtual wars. Clash of Clans is a prime example of this type of game, and it lures in more than 100 million people every day. Could there be a way to recreate this sort of offering on a business website? Perhaps you could arrange for customers to log on at the same time and team up to complete tasks in exchange for rewards.
Another prevalent offering is the online slot game, which is by far the most played game in the booming online casino sector. The appeal of slots is in their simplicity and the fun animations that occur when winning spin into view. The beauty of these is that players enjoy playing them for free as well as for cash.
On some sites, there can be almost 8000 free online casino games for players to choose from, with slot machines from major developers. These include titles like Cleopatra and Golden Goddess. Players can spin for free first, and then choose to play for cash if they like the game. Reel spinners like these could easily be embedded into a business site, and customers could play them in the hope of receiving random rewards.
Does Gamification Prepare for the Future?
There is a strong argument to suggest that getting into gamification now will prepare businesses for the future of the internet. In another ten years’ time, users could be walking around virtual websites rather than scrolling through them on a desktop or a mobile. This will change the way people interact with products and services, and finding ways to keep them engaged will be paramount.
The next few years could act as a trial-and-error period, where you can test out the best options for gamification and then expand upon these ideas when your website moves to a virtual reality setting.
If you haven’t started using gamification elements on your website, you may already be losing out to the competition. By coming up with some fun and exciting ways to boost user involvement now, you could be setting yourself up well for the future.