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Why Google Pay scratch cards worked while others failed? 😩 😩
90% of gamified experiments fail, but GPAY's didn't. Instead, it had the internet begging for stickers. Here's how.
November 2019, Diwali 🔆
GooglePay showed the carrot of ₹251 to its users 💰💰
All users had to do was to do specific tasks.
This is where it gets interesting.
The task was to collect a currency, stamps.
Each stamp required the user to scan a physical item or transfer money to other users.
Simple, isn't it? NOPE.
GooglePay created a demand <> supply mismatch.
To get the ₹251 reward, you needed a specific stamp.
Obviously, that stamp was scarce. 😟 😟
What happened next?
A series of users asking their friends, families, and colleagues across WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter & whatnot.
Few even called up their friends to check if someone else had the particular stamp. And the rest is history.
So, the million $ question is - How did they do it?
Step 1 : Set perceived value.
All viral games have one thing in common - excessive dopamine release, and as users, we always want more of it.
Users were promised that stamp collection came with rewards - anything between INR 250 to 1 Lakh, but the virality was built in multi folds
In app priming
Progress bar & push after every stamp collection
Easy take off options by suggestions over past behaviour
Step 2: Help users discover it.
GPay allowed users to ask their friends for stamps through a link. They even launched a leaderboard that showed users their friends who needed stamps. Users could see the stamps their friends had and request them.
Roped in new users
Encouraged existing users to compete
Urged users to ask or give stamps
Instant social proof
Step 3: Get the AHA moment.
Google pay mastered the small wins as much as the big ones. The content loop was such that it rewarded users even for collecting even 1 or 2 stamps, to keep them hooked.
In fact, one of the stamps, the flower was touted to be acquired easily through friends rather than at your own expense, thus, making the social hook even stronger.
Step 4: Show them the moon $$$
This was one of the core drivers. GPAY rewards ranged from INR 250 to 1 lakh, yet everyone involved went bonkers about it, how?
Well, they used the Octalysis framework - a structure for gamification devised by Yu-kai Chou. The framework talks about 8 broad drivers that run any gamification campaign, and in this case, Gpay borrowed unpredictability, social influence, scarcity, ownership, and accomplishment.
Do you now find yourself smitten by these biases, aka, the errors in your brain?
Step 5: FOMO for the world.
To keep users from dropping out of the funnel, GPAY also added a leaderboard of sorts - a view that allowed people to see what stamps their friends had, how many of them were in the camp, what they could borrow, and what their friends needed.
This triggered the need to ‘show off’ or ‘compete’ - it’s human nature and none of us could fight it.
Result? An endless loop of peer pressure to go on and on in the game.
Step 6: Hit the nail.
The game was built on pure unpredictability. Everything was done at random, from reward allotment to collection, keeping users curious and on the edge.
These intermittent and random rewards were effective in inducing desired behaviour. GPAY also had something for everyone, ensuring every micro-market (city/economic status) got its share of winners so users believed the game and had a genuine penetration.
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