With over a million apps available on Android and iOS, it is difficult to make your mobile app stand out unless your business already has an established user base. But even if your consumers install your business’ app on their devices, there is no telling if they are even going to use it for a long time. A recent study done by Flurry shows that only 25% of downloaded apps survive after three months of being downloaded. Hence, it is imperative for both small business owners and app developers to invest in various resources when it comes to user engagement.

One of the ways that you can increase the participation of your users is through gamification. This means integrating game dynamics into your mobile app and incentivizing users with collectibles or points to increase engagement. Gamification easily appeals to human desires of reward, status, achievement, self-expression, and competition, which in turn drive engagement. It can also serve as a powerful driver in terms of retention and promotion of your brand or small business, as the more frequent someone uses your mobile app, the more likely they are publicize it to their peers.

Some of the common elements used in gamified mobile apps include the accumulation of points and increasing the earning levels to display proficiency. These achievements are best combined with leaderboards and virtual goods. The app can also give penalties, like when the user does not use thhe app at a predefined time. To encourage interaction with other app users, your mobile app may have the option of sending digital gifts.

Before you start implementing the aforementioned gamification techniques, you need to set an objective first and see if it suits your business plan. For instance, is your goal engagement retention or building viral loops? It is also important to make your users feel like they deserve the incentives that they received because they accomplished something difficult or special. Simply rewarding small things might make them feel that the app is not helping them push their limits. On the other hand, small rewards can also give your users a sense of achievement. Balancing them out is the key to successfully gamifying your mobile app.

Remember that you need to keep your gamification techniques simple rather than complicated, as the latter can become too overwhelming for the user. Building sharing loops is also important so that your users can flaunt their achievements on social media and in turn, freely publicize your business and drive traffic to your site.