Remember that time when your mom told you to stop playing computer games and go do something useful? She would probably be surprised to see how various companies are taking advantage of gaming technologies by implementing them in many other industries than a computer and online gaming. 

The term “gamification” appeared back in 2002 thanks to Nick Pelling but didn’t get much recognition until 2010, when the rise of social networking helped game elements to be more widely incorporated into networking software. Since then the variety of applications has grown dramatically and, truth be told, the possibilities to implement gamification in business is only limited by human imagination. 

According to TechSci Research, the global value of the gamification market size was $6.8 billion back in 2018 and predicted to grow by another 32%, reaching $40 billion by 2024. The numbers are confirming that there are many businesses that benefit from using gamification and don’t plan to stop doing it. 

Games are fun. Gamification is innovative. 

Gamification is the process of implementation of game elements and mechanics into a digital environment with the purpose of improving engagement and experience. In simpler words, it’s the use of game elements in a non-gaming environment.  

It is often confused with creating games for business purposes, which it is not. Gamification is much more than just fun and engagement. It uses data-driven technologies to improve user experience, create loyalty and deeper involvement. The 10 game mechanics that are commonly used for these purposes are: 

  • Fast Feedback
  • Transparency
  • Goals
  • Badges
  • Leveling Up
  • Onboarding
  • Competition
  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Points

The mechanics themselves don’t seem to be something novel or extraordinary, but when used and combined correctly, they can contribute to business growth. For example, Autodesk, the software provider for designers and architects, increased its trial usage by 40 percent and conversion rates by 15 percent by introducing gamification to trial marketing. 

Benefits of gamification

Apart from fun? Gamification has greatly contributed to the growth of numerous companies that adopted it since 2010. Thanks to engaging practices they were able to better connect and retain their customers, involve employees in company activities, improve their own business practices and enjoy fruitful ROI. 

For recruitment

Companies like Google have found that organizing coding competitions can help them get access to new talents while testing them in the actual work environment. The competitive element and challenge make it more appealing for the candidates, while the company can observe their performance, way of thinking and the results before making an offer. 

For employees

Injecting a work routine with game elements can help companies to significantly improve employee engagement while optimizing business processes. Cisco helped its employees to get certification in Social Media Training Program by using leveling up and challenge elements. With 3 levels of certifications and team challenges within the organization, more than 650 workers have already successfully been certified. 

For customers

Gamification has proven to be an effective tool for growing and maintaining a loyal customer base. Starbucks showed great results with its Reward app, which is not a complicated loyalty program but has a very simple and appealing design, which makes it easy and fun to use. The idea is simple - for every purchase, the user is awarded stars that they can “stick” on a cup in the app, once a certain number is collected the user reaches the next level where they can get a free cup of coffee or a little present, simple, yet effective. 

New industries

Gamification has been firmly entrenched in the everyday lives that we often don’t even notice it. The following industries have greatly benefited from the incorporation of game elements into their applications with revenue growth and customer retention. 

The application of game mechanics is not limited to B2C companies only but is more popular than in the B2B sector. However, you can find successful cases such as IBM and it’s platform Innov8 that became a major supplier of business leads for the company. 

Health & Wellness

Do you get a nice little badge when you reach your fitness goal for the day? Or a star for staying on track with your habits? These are the simplest examples of gamification in action. To increase engagement and make routine tasks more fun, your applications reward you and encourage to use them more.  


While educational games are a hot topic; whether they represent gamification or stand on their own, the game mechanics like collaboration, goals, points, and badges are widely used in education to create a captivating environment that promotes deeper learning with elements of fun. 

Food & Beverage

Restaurants have a great understanding of what loyalty means to their business. They use gamification to introduce attractive programs to retain customers and technology to make dining experiences more intriguing. Simple actions like making an order with your phone have greatly changed the industry.  


A popular element of taxi apps is the real-time tracker of the car that allows users to see exactly where their driver is and when they will arrive. Just like restaurants, transport companies introduce various loyalty options encouraging customers to use them more often to get incentives. 


Retail uses all kinds of incentives and engagement tactics to connect with its users, raise brand awareness and drive sales. From interactive quizzes to incentified games, loyalty programs and unforgettable digital experiences they probably have the richest variety of successful cases that show how gamification can drive business success. 


While finances are a serious topic, gamification has been used by a number of banks to improve their customers’ experience. It’s been widely used to create personal finance managing apps that educate their clients about personal finance and help them understand and manage their cash flow better.