How e-com apps engage users through gamification

How e-com apps engage users through gamification

App users love games: this mobile vertical broke the record for the most downloads in 2021. Apps across all categories have taken note and successfully implemented gaming methods to increase user engagement, from Duolingo in education to MyFitnessPal in sports. How gamification is becoming an essential technique for promoting e-commerce applications?
What is gamification, and how can it be useful for e-commerce
Gamification uses game mechanics in solving non-game-related tasks to engage users more effectively. A famous example — rewards that encourage users to take specific actions and achieve some goals, such as earning points, achievement badges, and completing levels. Popular gamification methods for e-commerce applications include:

  • points systems and bonus programs
  • daily bonuses
  • achievement badges
  • roulette and lottery games
  • fun facts or product quizzes
  • contests such as social media sweepstakes
  • countdown to some event
  • hunting for items
  • progress bar during checkout

When properly designed and applied, these methods increase the interest of users. When combined with real bonuses such as discounts, they become a powerful tool for increasing satisfaction and engagement. Online commerce can use these opportunities to incentivize and reward specific user behaviors that help achieve business goals.
Loyalty points and rewards effectively increase the retention rate by regularly encouraging users to return to your app/website. Product questions and quizzes are a great way to familiarize users with a company’s product range, make recommendations, and collect customer data to personalize their experience.
The gamification of browsing and checkout with rewards and offers, progress bars and/or time limits, and countdown games adds an element of urgency and reduces backlogs. After all, this is one of the main problems in e-commerce applications, where the average level of incomplete purchases is more than 85%.
E-com in mobile is constantly growing, evolving and adapting to the needs and expectations of users. Here are three examples of gamification in e-commerce apps that have proven successful.


In recent years, Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein has experienced meteoric success, surpassing brands like H&M to become the world’s largest online retailer, accounting for 28% of the fast fashion market in the US alone. Shein has become extremely popular, especially among Generation Z, thanks mainly to influencer promotion, low prices, and gamification.
To attract users and encourage them to perform specific actions in the application, Shein uses a points system. Points can be exchanged for a discount of up to 70% of the order amount. Points can be earned by verifying your email address, logging into the app every day for seven consecutive days, or posting a product review. Shein also combines gamification with a social component, rewarding users for participating in photo contests where users submit photos of themselves wearing outfits they have purchased from the app.


To grow their mailing list subscriber base, French cosmetics brand Clarins decided to use gamification and created a roulette-style game called Beauty Wheel. Users spun the wheel and received discounts on their favorite products.
Clarins identified users who could play the game and directed traffic to the game’s website. This contributed to tremendous growth in LTV, retention, and ROAS for new users and Clarins achieved an impression-to-lead ratio of 45%, well above the industry average.


Gamification has propelled Alibaba-Group’s AliExpress to become one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world. In the AliExpress app, users can earn and compete for digital coins that can be redeemed for coupons. Users receive one coins when they launch the app per day. You can also earn coins by completing daily tasks, such as leaving a comment or clicking the “Like” button in the store. Tasks change every day.
And in the application, there is a game section. Lucky Forest allows users to win coins by regularly completing activities such as watering a virtual tree, while Coins Park can win extra coins or gambling coupons.