Mobile gaming—a pioneering space for marketers in terms of personalization, user segmentation, innovative communications, and more—is a global phenomenon that has only begun its meteoric ascent. One country stands out for its limitless potential in this space: India. A report from the gaming-focused venture capital fund Lumikai projects that India’s gaming market will grow from its current value of $2.6 billion to $8.6 billion by 2027. With 15 billion downloads in 2022, India became the world’s largest consumer of mobile games; its gaming user base is expected to surpass 700 million by 2025.
At the forefront of India’s mobile gaming revolution is WinZO, a CleverTap customer since its founding in 2018. The New Delhi-based company has over 100 million users, making it India’s largest mobile social gaming platform. It hosts 100-plus games across multiple formats in more than a dozen regional languages. WinZO has achieved strong monetization through 4 billion in-app micro-transactions per month, the result of its ability to deliver highly personalized experiences to gamers.
We spoke with Angad Sehdev, the company’s Head of Product, about how WinZO collaborates with CleverTap to ensure that its products are delivering massive value and driving user retention. “Today’s users have a hundred apps on their phone; there are a thousand-plus brands trying to catch their attention,” he told us. From push notifications, to retargeting, to A/B testing, CleverTap provides the agility that startups like WinZO need to excel in this environment without creating their own infrastructure. “We want to create experiences which are very responsive and real-time based. Throughout the customer life cycle, we get data constantly in CleverTap from different sources in near real time.”
“Within the first day of the user installing the app, you will have a very good idea whether this user is going to churn out, or will be a potential long-term loyal user generating a lot of revenue and referrals,” Sehdev said. “It’s a critical time period. You have to act right there. Once somebody has decided to give you a chance, you need to listen to what they’re doing on the app, and help guide their journey.”
The product team’s agenda, therefore, is “to be able to capture data very quickly, get insights on it very quickly, and be able to drive experiences using those insights and journeys on the app, with the minimum possible turnaround time.”
Several metrics are used to optimize WinZO’s product-related KPIs, which include:
“Fine-tuning how we deliver customized, personalized experiences is particularly relevant for us,” Sehdev explained. “What exact offering is relevant for the user? How do we keep engaging with the user? All of this is based on the kind of data the users are generating for us.” Depending on the use case, WinZO offers gameplay incentives such as personalized coupons. This represents “an additional cost, but it has a very high ROI. We keep doing these analyses and optimizations over time [about] whether we are giving the right amount of incentives, and giving it to the right audience.”
Seamlessly integrating into the WinZO tech stack, CleverTap has helped the company build better customer relationships, increase user engagement and retention, and ultimately grow its business. CleverTap serves WinZO in three main areas:
CleverTap helps WinZO segment its users based on behavior, demographics, and other attributes, which sets the table for providing custom-tailored recommendations. “CleverTap helps us in driving that,” Sehdev said. “It also gives us insights into how we create those cohorts. This is the intelligence built into the platform.”
CleverTap enables WinZO to share highly personalized communications in channels such as push notifications, in-app messages, and emails. “For example,” said Sehdev, “if we know that at 9 p.m. IST there is a huge amount of activity being seen on the app, suddenly there’s a buzz. Maybe we have created that buzz by hosting an event on our app, and a lot of people are starting to play Fruit Samurai on the app at 9 p.m. In that case, we will leverage a push notification to inform, based on data, that this game is trending: ‘Why don’t you join so many players there?’ We can create hype or augment the hype already on the app. We get this real-time data and create interventions on the app at the moment. That’s what CleverTap is helping us achieve.”
CleverTap provides detailed tracking and analytics to help WinZO understand how customers are interacting with its products. WinZO gains real-time feedback on new app updates, which serves to optimize rollout plans. “At a direct level, CleverTap is measuring how the user is navigating the app, what sections of the app the user is spending more time on, whether they are coming back to a particular page or a game multiple times, and so forth,” Sehdev explained. “Once we ingest the raw data, we can drive a more holistic personalization experience.” CleverTap, he continued, “helps us create a 360-degree view of the customer base from step one of the life cycle. That’s very important, from acquisition to activation to an advocate to a lifetime user.”
According to Sehdev, “the North Star metric for measuring the success of our CleverTap partnership is retention. Since I joined WinZO two-and-a-half years ago, the retention rate has grown roughly 40%.”
This impressive result has come about not just because of the right data. “Data alone will not solve the problem,” Sehdev noted. “In this kind of an ecosystem, if you’re not acting on the data in real time, you lose your user base. You need to understand what the user wants before the user has even expressed the need.” CleverTap brings not only data, but “the insights, the segmentation, the campaign creation, the testing” that enable WinZO to execute with speed. “That is a game changer. CleverTap is helping us create an amazing and rewarding gaming experience on our app,” which drives loyalty and retention.
WinZO has bold plans for the future, including expansion of its user base to 700 million, launching new formats, onboarding more games on the platform, and fine-tuning its targeting to further reduce churn and improve retargeting campaigns. In terms of the in-app experience, said Sehdev, “we are always looking to get more intelligent, build better personalization, and be more responsive to our user base.”
On a broader scale, the company seeks to capitalize on its wide-ranging expertise within India’s mobile gaming sector. “Everything to do with mobile gaming, we want to explore from a business strategy point of view.”
As it seeks to further build a revolutionary tech-driven gaming ecosystem in India, WinZO is relying on CleverTap as a trusted strategic and executional partner, just as it has since Day 1.