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The evolution of gamification: Going beyond the standard for higher retention

| By Alice Soule | Reading Time: 5 minutes
For operators, the million-dollar question is always “how do we keep a player engaged over time?”. With a constant stream of new sign-up offers, there is little wonder why players are reluctant to remain loyal to a brand. For Tomer Baumel, chief executive officer and founder of solutions provider, Solitics, operators must add a personalised layer to their gamification features in order to meet ever-changing player needs and hit higher retention targets.

The global igaming market size was valued at $63.53bn in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7% from 2023 to 2030. With such growth comes the need to find new ways of both attracting and retaining players to drive retention and revenue targets. Player stagnation and fading player interests are two of the biggest sticking points for operator growth, especially in mature markets like Europe.

For Baumel, traditional methods of retaining player interest are proving less effective and operators need to boost engagement during this key part of a player journey.

“Operators have historically attempted to combat retention stagnation by varying bonus types, such as deposit matches, free spins, or cashback offers. In order to keep the players playing, brands often increase their bonus offers, affecting the profitability.

“Another way to keep the players engaged is the variety of games on the gaming platform – in house developed or third-party partnerships – operators are constantly adding new content. However, both these approaches lack personalisation and fail to address individual player preferences.”

Customising traditional bonus offers

While free spins, deposit matches and bonus offer mini games can still be a great attraction for new customers, they may be less impactful for retention. This is particularly apparent when bonuses are not personalised to a player’s personal preferences.

For Baumel, these bonus offers can still be powerful tools, but operators wanting to really boost player engagement at this pivotal part of a player’s journey must work with a professional solutions provider to ensure accurate customisation.

“Solitics enables operators to hyper personalise the bonus offerings based on player data like their game preference and time on the site.”

“Moreover, we empower operators to efficiently manage their bonus economy, while engaging players with gamification widgets (mini games) as an alternative to straightforward bonusing. Such bonus efficiency will directly affect and reflect on the net gaming (NGR) numbers.”

This empowerment through an easy to integrate widget allows Solitics’ customers to enhance player experience through unique mini games. Keeping an operator’s offerings ahead of the crowd and a unique attraction to new customers in an already saturated market. 

The inspiration behind the gamification widget

For Baumel, the creation of a gamification widget was born out of understanding and responding directly to customer demand. He recognises that while gamification is not a new concept, it is something operators can struggle to implement without the support of an expert.

“Over the past 5 years we have witnessed an increasing trend in market demand, from both existing customers and potential prospects, for gamification as part of the retention suite offering. Over 65% of customers and potential prospects looking for a CRM solution, stated that a gamification capability is important to them.”

“While gamification is not a new concept and has been firmly established and adopted by the social casino operators, brands need to go to considerable lengths in order to add proper gamification features to their gaming experience.”

At Solitics, this “considerable length” includes analysing live data feeds to ensure the dynamics of each player are fully understood and catered to, and a customised bonus can really stand out from the crowd.  

An important aspect of bonus provision that sometimes gets devalued is the style of play for each individual. But for Baumel, it is information like this that is key to offering a flexible provision that adds a higher value to a player’s experience.

“Solitics aspired to develop and create a variety of customisable widgets, with the underlying understanding that different player types will appreciate and respond to different kinds of games. For example, we have Spin the Wheel and scratch cards which are more casual and fun, we have gamified challenges for FOMO motivators, as well as gamification elements as part of the loyalty programs to enhance a player’s experience.

“Applying the personalisation and the use of prize levels per player – we strived for an optimal, customised and highly flexible gamification capability for the operator and its players.”

Creating strong brand awareness

What operators may miss out on with a blanket approach to bonus offers is the ability to determine the different requirements of a player.  As an example, operators providing a 50% matched deposit may resonate with the wants of a specific demographic, but may feel the impact of the remaining market percentage that is being missed out through the impersonal approach.

Recognising the gap in the market for a personalised bonus provision, Solitics works with operators to ensure their offerings stand out as unique and purpose driven.

Streamlining mini games and bonus offers to visually, and characteristically appeal to the right people. Enhancing player engagement through this personalised narrative will ensure a strong player experience, a visually appealing gaming catalogue and ultimately boost retention and revenue figures.

Through its gamification widget, operators can include everything from spin the wheel type games to customised challenges, all of which shows operators’ ambition to craft themes and games that perfectly align with player preference as well as a brand’s individual design and needs. 

“What stands out from the competition when using Solitics is the ability to customise every widget to the brands’ own colours and seasonal themes, as well as easily create their own widgets within the Solitics’ user interface with minimal effort. Full flexibility in a very friendly user interface.

“On top of that, generic gamification solutions are usually ‘fixed’ in their offering, allowing very little personalisation, so tailored experiences are limited to none. Using Solitics, operators will leverage gamification utilising the full power of live data, hyper personalisation, working in complete synergy with all the retention tools at their disposal.”

Considering some of the instantly recognisable brands in the industry, it is clear to see why consistent design and characteristics are important. Again, this is something that many operators struggle with when not working alongside an expert in data insights and customer retention, like Solitics. But it highlights the importance of design that can lead to an instant brand awareness.

Encouraging brand loyalty

Creating a brand identity that is instantly recognisable provides players with a familiarity that can encourage trust and ultimately brand loyalty. For Baumel, it is through customisation and this strong brand identity that operators can build up their reputation to that of an industry leader, rather than a trend follower. Gamification acts as a tool to consolidate this brand loyalty through engaging, personalised experiences.

“In the fiercely competitive landscape of the igaming industry, the brand’s identity is paramount. Gamification serves as a lighthouse, retaining players with a unique value proposition and experience.

“By integrating gamification widgets, the operator doesn’t just participate in the market; it leads with innovation, setting a new standard for engagement, loyalty, and distinction.”

Pushing boundaries of technology

“We’re not just a platform; we’re operators’ strategic partner in forging meaningful connections with their customers.”

Creating a personalised gaming experience is key to maximising player engagement and retaining a key audience. For Solitics, this personalisation needs to go as far as the promotional offers presented to existing customers with gamification acting as a vital tool for success.

Effectively segmenting an audience through key point data insights can allow operators to initiate personalised communications. But without the engagement of a leading solutions provider, operators may find themselves unable to achieve the exact customisation needed in order to create the ideal player experience and ultimately retain a customer base.

Operators looking to see results for their retention strategies should take note of Solitics’ 53% increase in customer engagement, 41% increase in conversions and 62% reduction in time spent on setting up tasks.

“At Solitics, we constantly push the boundaries of technology to lead innovation. We have a profound understanding of our customers’ needs and accommodate them seamlessly. Our customer engagement platform is designed for growth teams to harness all data easily, effectively, and live.”

Tomer Baumel, chief executive officer and founder of Solitics

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