Every year the gambling industry develops. Just a few years ago, an unsophisticated player could be enticed by the availability of top providers and slots — but now everyone has them.
So, new users engage with well-known brands. They also go from one casino to another, trying to snatch the biggest possible welcome bonus the fattest. The question is: how do you not give up your players to a competitor?
Some experts believe gamification plays a crucial role in retention. Is this true? The Alpha Affiliates team has 10+ years of experience developing iGaming brands, and in this article, we’ll share our opinion on the subject.
Fundamentals of gamification: definition and types in online casinos
Gamification is the process of introducing gaming elements into non-gaming areas. These include education, health care, and various commercial activities. An online casino is a perfect example of a non-gaming business that uses gamification to improve the user experience and increase engagement.
The most common types of gamification are as follows:
Bonuses and rewards. Bonuses and prizes are given to players for completing specific tasks. For example, registering on the site, replenishing the balance, and participating in certain games. They can be presented as free spins, extra credits, prize chips, or cashback.
Players get up to 20% cashback in Neospin, one of Alpha’s hot offers
Tournaments and contests. Casinos may organize tournaments and contests for users, where participants compete with each other for prizes and awards. This can be a one-time event or a regular event.
Daily $5,000 tournament on the new Alpha Affiliates product — OnLuck
Levels and achievements. Users earn points for their activity on the site – for example, for participating in mini-games and depositing funds. With each new level, the user gets access to new games and bonuses along with increasing the amount of the cashback.
The loyalty program on the Bets.io crypto offer provides loyalty points (LP) for each deposit. The amount of bonuses increases with each new level along with other prizes.
Ladder of levels and the number of loyalty points (LP) needed to achieve them on the Bets.io crypto offer
Games with real dealers (live games). Users play together with live dealers who are in the studio. This creates an authentic casino atmosphere and encourages players to place more bets.
On the Neospin offer, there are lots of live dealer games
Less common are the following gamification methods:
Interaction with other players. Social features can be implemented as a chat room, forum, or a feature to add friends. This type of gamification helps players feel part of the community and can encourage them to play more.
On the Bets.io crypto offer, we are actively developing a community of players. As of March 2023, we launched chats and channels in Telegram, Discord, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit for communication and updates.
Personalization. Casinos can use data about players’ behavior on the site to offer personalized bonuses and recommendations. For example, if a player often spends time playing high-stakes games, the casino may offer special bonuses for that type.
Virtual Reality. Online casinos are adopting VR technology, allowing players to feel inside a real casino and gamble in a more realistic environment.
As you can see, many ways exist to add gaming elements to online casinos. All that remains is to determine whether they are crucial to the user or are all ancillary.
Is gamification overrated?
It seems like every owner wants to implement gamification into a product, and there is only one reason for this — everyone in the media literally screams about it. Although, in our experience, the introduction of game mechanics only works effectively in small groups and, in general, only brings a little impact. In a sample of 10 people, only 2 will want to participate in a quest/get a new status or bonus. The rest will just pass by.
The exception to this would be event activities. For example, quests for global holidays or major championships.
A $10,000 internal Halloween-themed tournament on the Neospin offer.
A $10,000 internal Halloween-themed tournament on the Golden Crown offer.
Christmas gifts calendar on our Nordic-themed Loki Casino offer
What do players need in 2023?
As we’ve written, 99% of adequate advertisers today have the hottest games, nameable providers, and minimal gamification. The composition of bonuses and the stylistics of the platform are insignificantly different. Here is where you can see the difference between the offers: the speed of deposit and withdrawal, the competence of support specialists, and the policy for resolving controversial issues.
A positive user experience for the player means there are no problems with the product. Ideally, the number of contacts with support should be zero. The solution to all problems should be immediate and in favor of the client. Of course, it doesn’t apply to scam cases or outright inadequate players.
If the player has no problems with the offerer, he will not have a real reason to switch to another advertiser. At least because he’s used to it. Creating loyalty by making the players as comfortable as possible is the best way to retain them.
What’s the bottom line?
Today, imagining an average gambling offer without gamification elements is impossible. However, its importance may be overestimated if gameplay mechanics are seen as the only way to retain and attract players. Always check the offer before launching traffic, primarily if you work on RevShare. Remember, your earnings depend on the quality of the product.