OMG: Online Coupons Hookup with Gamification?!

Coupon Biz Levelled Up

Groupon and MyCoupons have recently been trying out gamification to help increase customer loyalty and engagement with their brands. Given the amount of competition in the online coupon space, it’s not surprising that companies are looking for ways to differentiate through better customer experiences. However, what’s interesting is the very different approaches these companies have taken.

Groupon Gamified

Groupon was the pioneer of online daily deals on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in your city. The site itself is very engaging: new deals are offered everyday, users feel compelled to buy because of time limits placed on deals (and the fear that one day they might really need to paint their entire house – twice),  and users want to buy in to help a deal go through for others. Users can buy deals for their friends and the amazing return policy eliminates any barriers to the risk of buying online.

Here’s how Groupon gamified to attract new users and reward current ones:

Clicky the Clickable

By clicking on the ad (the weird face-looking thing), users get the chance to win up to $100 dollars off their next deal. Here are the Pros and Cons of Groupon’s gamified ad:


  • Everyone Can Win, Even You!

    • Easy and Simple, all you need to do is click on it, and win.
    • Even if users don’t win the $100, they are rewarded with another deal.
    • Users can come back in 12 hours to play again for another chance to win!
  • Enhanced Engagement 
    • By spinning the wheel, there’s now a dialogue between user and brand, which is deeper than a contest being “pushed” one-way onto a person. The user opted in, and that’s the best kind of brand engagement.
    • Users gets their awards immediately!
    • The randomness and surprise elements makes it fun and additive.
  • Meaningful Value
    • $100 dollars off + Low cost (user’s sign-up time and spinning of the wheel) = High value


  • Stop Starring at Me!

    • There is a mouth in the middle of nowhere!?
    • The creepy eyes just won’t stop taunting you.
    • Is this a human or a frog?
    • God its ugly.

MyCoupons Gamified All The Way!

MyCoupons was formed in 1995, and is the Internet’s oldest coupon, coupon code, and shopping forum related web site. Users can sign in and get discounts on cool stuff from clothing and grocery stores. Here’s how this old company stayed current and gamified:

Points: Users get awarded with everything they do. When a user first signs up he/she gets points right away!  The more points the user achieves, the more badges and levels there are to unlock and share with friends!

Badges: Users who engage with MyCoupons can earn a wealth of badges related to Social Ranking, Commenting on Coupons, Coupons Flagged as Worked, Profile Completion, Purchasing a Double Deal, Sharing a Coupon, Submitting a Coupon, Using a Coupon, and Participating in Special Challenges. Here’s a sample below:

Leaderboards: MyCoupons provides a visual representation of the top engagers with MyCoupons. This motivates people to compete with their friends or strangers for the top score!

Levels: When users have earned a certain amount of points, they progress to the next level of the Social Ranking.

Challenges: Limited-time challenges are awaiting badge-hungry, value-driven users. For example, MyCoupons St.Patrick’s Day challenge:

MyCoupons has made very visual badges that achieve business goals by encouraging the type of user behaviour they’re looking for: coupon submissions, commenting, and sharing. The value for the customer is not as strong. Sure, we like to get noticed for our participation, but I personally  find an “Enthusiast” badge with MyCoupons about as brag-worthy as admitting you loved the movie Gigli.

There you have it! Two online coupon companies, two very different goals, and two different, yet effective, gamification strategies!

Which Gamification strategy do you prefer? Subtle or in-yo-face?

We want to hear your insight!


  1. Gamification is the Rage of the Nation | communicationchaos - June 18, 2014

    […] doing… Attempt the challenge,  make the win and  receive the reward.  Anyone a coupon addict?  DING!  You’ve been […]

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