June 19, 2012

India's largest online food guide - Gamified!

If you haven't heard of Zomato.com, you need to check it out! As the title says, it is the largest food portal (see numbers below) in the country and soon expanding to Singapore in September 2012.

So, why are we talking about it? The special news is that, as of this week, they have gamified themselves!! Haven't we been telling you gamification is the emerging technology to watch out for?

To know more about this, here's a short interview I managed to conduct with the the co-founder of Zomato, Pankaj Chaddah (yes I have fancy connections :P)

Q1. What motivated Zomato.com to come up with the review leaderboards and badges? 
PC: "We introduced these social features on Zomato to increase user engagement and build a platform which would be more than just information about restaurants. We want to push users to contribute more in terms of actions performed on Zomato (reviews, ratings) than use Zomato as just a website to check out details on restaurants. The perfect way to push more user activity is gratification and there is no greater gratification than featuring on the home page of the website as a leader and having a lot of followers reading and valuing your reviews."

Q2. Are there other game mechanics you have used in your website (apart from reviews) or that you intend to? 
PC: "Right now we are using ratings, reviews and follows are the key user actions. We will create engaging features around sharing pictures, QnA for food experts and check-ins very soon."

Q3. What are your views on gamification in the online business industry? Does it have a real future or is it just fad? Why? 
PC: "Gamification works if it is based on a useful platform as you are leveraging the content of the platform. Gamification is highly replicable and you will never be able to sustain the thrill of the platform for users unless there is useful content (content is king!). We hope to have the right mix of content and gamification."

Zomato.com has seized the opportunity that gamification and social networking provide. Not only will this help expand their user base (network effects) but also keep these users hooked! Despite the replicability of gamification that Pankaj mentions, I think by being one of the firsts and the largest to incorporate it, they are creating high switching costs, which is something anybody would want in this business.

So here's wishing them the best, all the way from Madrid.

PS. Guess who made it to their leaderboard.


  1. Good stuff Prachi !!! Really liked the post... I think you have highlighted the facts of gamification really well ! Well written.

  2. Well written, big foodie.

  3. Hello there! I was surprised in a good way when I loaded this page of your blog. What was the biggest reason at that moment when you decided to organize your first blog?