Game On! 6 Gamification Examples in Diverse Industries

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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 these days doing something useful often involves gaming, or at the very least, gamification.

Various companies are taking advantage of gaming technologies by implementing them into new industries whose purposes span far wider than simply entertainment. At this point, the only limit to gamification is the human imagination.

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 led to gaming elements being widely incorporated into networking software. Since then, application variety has grown drastically.

Examples of gamification can be quite diverse. Some gamification examples include:

  1. Health & Wellness
  2. Education
  3. Food & Beverage
  4. Transportation
  5. Retail
  6. Banking

The global value of the gamification market was $6.8 billion back in 2018 and is predicted to grow to $40 billion by 2024. Now that you know that gamification is a booming market, how exactly can you use it for your business? You’ll find out here.

What Is Gamification?

Gamification is the process of implementing 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 boost engagement. The ten-game mechanics that are commonly used for these purposes are:

A textual graphic listing
  • Fast Feedback
  • Transparency
  • Goals
  • Badges
  • Leveling Up
  • Onboarding
  • Competition
  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Points

The mechanics themselves don’t seem to be anything 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% and conversion rates by 15% by introducing gamification to trial marketing.

What Are the Benefits of Gamification?

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

For Recruitment

Companies like Google have found that organizing coding competitions can help them get access to new talents while testing them in an actual work environment.

The competitive aspect makes it more appealing for the candidates, while the company can observe their performance before making an offer.

For Employees

Injecting a work routine with gamification can help companies significantly improve employee engagement while optimizing business processes. Cisco helped employees get their certification in the Social Media Training Program by using a leveling-up system with challenges.

With three levels of certifications and team challenges within the organization, more than 650 workers have already 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 Starbucks Rewards app. It 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.

6 Industry-Diverse Gamification Examples

A collection of pixelated icons including a heart, a book, a hamburger with a drink, a car, two bottles, and a piggy bank, suggestive of elements from a video game or app.

Gamification has been so firmly entrenched in the everyday lives of common people that you might not even notice you’re taking part. The following industries have greatly benefited from the incorporation of game elements into their applications via revenue growth and customer retention.

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 you to use them more.


Education is always a hot topic. Game mechanics like collaboration, goals, points, and badges are widely used in education to create a captivating environment that promotes deeper learning in the name of having fun.

Food & Beverage

Restaurants have a great understanding of what loyalty means to their business. Like Starbucks, restaurants use gamification to create attractive programs for customer retention as well as making dining experiences more intriguing.

Simple actions like making an order with your phone or using a tablet to play games while you wait for your food have dramatically changed the industry.


A popular component of many taxi and ride-share apps is a real-time tracker showing a virtual car where users can see exactly where their driver is and when they will arrive. Just like restaurants, transportation companies have also introduced various loyalty options encouraging customers to use them more often and 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 incentivized games, loyalty programs, and unforgettable digital experiences, the retail industry probably has the richest variety of successful cases demonstrating 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.

How To Apply Gamification to the Software Development Process

There’s a number of ways that you can apply gamification to your software development process. Using gaming features can motivate your development teams to work towards a common goal and keep them engaged while they’re doing it. 

For example, you can take a tip from Cisco and encourage your software developers to learn new skills by tracking their progression and challenging them at each level. This pushes developers towards a model of continuous learning.

Gamification may also mean fewer errors. You can set up a competition where developers are incentivized to catch as many errors as possible and ultimately improve the performance of the software as a result.

Creating a shared goal is something every business should implement, no matter the industry. In a software development team, other than completing the project itself, you and your team can discuss goals you might want to reach during the development process and set up metrics to measure them accordingly.

Collaboration is key to the software development process. While competition is great, having the same motivations likens software development to a team sport, where everyone must participate. 

Assigning badges or shouting out individuals on your team with gifts or rewards helps validate the efforts of those you work with. Even better, these types of incentives do not need to be limited.

For instance, there can be a reward for the fastest developer or for the developer who offers the best suggestions. It’s an excellent way to highlight that everyone on the team plays a part.


Gamification is more than just getting the latest PlayStation. Even if you’ve never played a video game in your life, if you’ve participated in this economy, you’re likely a gamer. But that isn’t a bad thing. In spite of what worried mothers say, using games in a practical manner, can lead to more interested and invested consumers.

You have the ability to use this to your advantage. Whether you have a restaurant, fitness app, retail business, or something else entirely, gamification is a viable solution to business growth.

Note that a good project applying gamification, starts with a team of qualified software developers. Want to know more about the process of hiring remote developers? You’ll find an in-depth resource right here.

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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