Neste App – Engaging customers by the means of gamification

Neste App enables a mobile payment for refueling without cash or a card. The application makes refueling faster, safer, and easier for customers. The application was launched in April 2017 and it was extended for business users in the beginning of 2019. In addition, the app includes offers and a possibility to collect digital stamps for purchases.

Engaging customers


Prototyping and user experience research helped Neste to understand how to improve the customer experience in the application.

Activating customers

Right after the launch, the app was popular and actively downloaded. It is still downloaded at a steady rate, but Neste is hoping to keep more of the initial downloaders as active users. With just technical improvements, developing the app is possible only up to a certain level. To get beyond this level, and create a truly user-friendly and engaging experience, new ideas are needed. As a solution, Neste decided to try gamification.

Mimicking game mechanics to create a better user-experience

Gamifications means using various ways of engaging and committing users to continue using a service. Nowadays, mechanisms known from games are used in nearly all services, especially digital. The user can be rewarded for giving a recommendation, or the availability of a certain product can be seemingly restricted, to create a sense of urgency. The project with Neste begun by analyzing the current state: how well does the Neste App engage and motivate users at the moment?

New functonalities can be demonstated with the help of a prototype

Based on the analysis of the current state, we ideated new gamification mechanics and an ideal customer journey. New ideas were tested using real users, with the help of a prototype. The prototype demonstrates new attributes and functionalities in the app to both private and business customers. The prototype was tested on a few different gas stations and presumptions about what works and what does not work were affirmed by the carefully positive feedback. These presumptions were finally confirmed with a user survey, which will act as a guide for future application development at Neste.

What did we find?

The quantitative and qualitative data gathered during the project show the value that various gamification techniques brought to the Neste App. Engaging customers works best by offering benefits that are actually interesting to them. In addition, even small changes to customer journey, such as configuring the stage when logging in is suggested or when tutorials are showed can have a major impact on the user experience. More detailed results support the need for extended development of the application and their effects in the future can be estimated with the help of user data, when functionalities are launched for all users in the application.

One of the benefits of using a prototype is that the effects of gamification, such as changes in user volumes and activity rates can be seen already early on. This acts as a support for decision making in application development. Using a prototype for testing was liked by Neste, and they will certainly keep utilizing such ways of working. A positive surprise was also noticing that the customers were eager to help Neste to develop their Neste App service.

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