Gamification in Marketing

Gamification is a powerful tool used by many businesses nowadays.  In fact, 50% of organizations who are looking for innovative way of doing their routine process look to gamify certain processes in their business. For the past decade, gamification has influenced several user behaviors, as through gamified experiences, it has been known to have glimpses of benefits for training, innovation, healthcare, logistics, human resources, mobile marketing and retailing (Leclercq, Poncin & Hammedi, 2020)

Gamification marketing activity (GMA) is the process and ideation to implement a mix of game elements to non-game context in the real world context to improve user experience and user engagement (Korn & Schmidt, 2015). It is believed that GMA will give benefits such as improved performance that comes from desired consumer behavior such as greater user satisfaction and loyalty.

According to Statista (2016), Asia has the largest amount of gamers as compared to other continents in the world amounting to 912 million gamers in Asia Pacific in 2016. This means that there is an evident number of people who are exposed to gaming culture and mechanism. Millennials are considered as a huge target group and prospect for e-commerce players. Businesses have yet to understand on how they could engage with Millennials effectively. To add the urgency of this, research found 52% of people are less likely to re-engage with a brand after a mobile experience; which shows that the need to innovate and to create positive customer experience is important Wilson (2018).

Customer experience in an online platform remains a huge challenge for businesses especially in an online platform where customers are more focused on the utilitarian and functional benefits of the platform. To take it beyond functional and utilitarian attributes, online e-commerce need to find ways to overcome this. Gamification marketing activities can be considered as one of the way to increase hedonic attributes in e-commerce shopping. Vohra and Bhardwaj (2019) further emphasizes that an active participation is an obligatory antecedent to a customer engagement and therefore, e-commerce sites are encouraged to manifest tactics that will induce more active participation amongst members of the brand communities to create engagement.

Gamification can be incorporated to various areas such as consumer products, education, training, health and marketing. In marketing, gamification has high potential as they are associated with high extent of persuasion, motivation and manipulation. Gamification does not entirely mean about video games and although they contain elements such as competitiveness or designs that are found in games which are incorporated in the real world, these elements and designs addresses and exploits intrinsic human behaviors such as competitiveness, rewards or achievements, status, socializing, learning, challenge and expertise (Korn & Schmidt, 2015).

In Indonesia, gamification may also be observed in many e-commerce platforms such as Go-Jek, Shopee and Tokopedia. GO-JEK offers a loyalty program to its consumers known as the Go-Points. Go-Points allows its users to collect points which is retrieved after completing a transaction through Go-Pay. Go-Jek implements gamification in their Go-Point system where token or points could be retrieved by swiping a virtual coin.

Tokopedia is an online market place which allows business owners and individuals to open and maintain stores for free. Tokopedia implements a loyalty program which is integrated with gamification. The loyalty program is known as “TokoPoints” which is similar to Go-Points. They provide Tokopoints and loyalty points upon transaction made through the website or mobile application and provide points for users to collect. The collected points would then in turn, be used to redeem discounts, vouchers and cashbacks. Before acquiring the points, users will have to engage with an interactive game known as the “Lucky egg”. To play the game, users need  to break the egg which has hidden points on it.

Shopee is one of the e-commerce that implements extensive gamification marketing activities such as “Shake-shake” game utilizing weekly leaderboards, “Spin the wheel” game, “Shopee Tanam Pohon”, knife throwing games, and egg cracking games with the reward of virtual vouchers, and “Shopee Tangkap”, an augmented reality games.

It is also important to note that gamification is similar – but somewhat different – to the traditional loyalty programs that is solely focused on giving consumers an economical benefit such as redeemable points and therefore, invoke extrinsic motivations. Gamification provides both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. This is an opportunity for e-commerce players to further engage their customers, and as a result, will increase customer satisfaction and therefore loyalty.

Dr. Evi Rinawati Simanjuntak is currently a Subject Content Coordinator and Faculty Member in Business Management and Marketing Program at Binus Business School International Undergraduate Program. Further about her profile can be found here.

(Students in Business Management and Marketing – International Undergraduate Program will learn relevant topics on Alternative Media  under the course: Digital Campaign and Promotion. Visit our Business Management and Marketing curriculum to know more.)



Korn, O., & Schmidt, A. (2015). Gamification of Business Processes: Re-designing Work in Production and Service Industry. Procedia Manufacturing, 3, 3424- 3431.

Leclercq, T., Hammedi, W., & Poncin, I. (2018). The Boundaries of Gamification for Engaging Customers: Effects of Losing a Contest in Online Co-creation Communities. Journal Of Interactive Marketing, 44, 82-101.

Statista (2016). Number of video gamers worldwide 2016, by region. Retrieved from

Vohra, A., & Bhardwaj, N. (2019). Customer engagement in an e-commerce brand community. Journal Of Research In Interactive Marketing, 13(1), 2-25.

Wilson, C. (2018). 40 eCommerce Statistics That Will Shape Your Strategy. Retrieved from


Dr. Evi Rinawati Simanjuntak