There’s no question that the iGaming industry – which today includes online gaming, casinos and sports betting – is booming. In fact, it’s growing at such an exponential rate that 11% of total internet traffic now comes from online casino players. With such opportunity ahead, brands are realising the need to deliver outstanding experiences if they want to acquire their share of new players.
In 2018, the total value of the global online games market reached $134.9 billion, a 10.9% increase on 2017. Not only that, but iGaming is starting to impede on the ever-popular offline gambling format, with the Gambling Commission reporting that the number of people in the UK gambling zone who play online has reached 35%, and is still growing.
Regardless of the popularity of online gambling, there’s no time to be complacent. iGaming must continue to evolve and embrace the latest trends if it is to continue its growth trajectory. A focus on personalisation and the online experience is just one way in which brands are optimising their offering to attract and retain more players.
In what ways can iGaming brands introduce and embrace personalisation as part of their online experience?
1. Bet encouragement
One way of encouraging users to place bets is through the use of predictive analytics, which uses current and historical facts to make predictions about future events. In the context of iGaming this concept can help predict when a customer is most likely to make a bet. By understanding past betting behaviour – for example when someone had a successful bet and what it was – you can then deliver relevant recommendations on the assumption that they will be more likely to engage with these based on their past experience.
2. Real-time campaigns
Simply put, brands need to be sure they are delivering the right promotions at the right time. This starts by understanding the behaviour of your customers and using this to deliver each visitor with campaigns, promotions and messages they will be likely to engage with. For example, if you recognise that a user is displaying behaviours that are usually associated with a high intent to convert and purchase, promote in-play options such as live odds, flexible cash out and new bets. Real-time personalisation will allow you to take advantage of such consumer intent at the most opportune moment, leading to greater conversion rates and returns.
3. Mobile experience
Personalisation should be all-encompassing, spanning the entire journey, every channel and all devices. However, it’s especially important to ensure your on-the-go mobile experience is up to scratch. Mobile gaming represented 47% of the total games market value in 2018, leading the way ahead of desktop and tablet. Unsurprising given the ever-growing demand for mobile experiences, which is why brands must place a heavy focus on mobile in 2019. Brands can create personalised mobile experiences that not only improve the customer journey, but also influence play. Web push notifications and SMS alerts can be delivered directly to mobile devices to highlight live odd, play and offers. When connected with intelligent onsite personalisation, brands can create seamless mobile journeys that allow customers to engage and convert in a few simple steps, wherever they are.
4. New customer retention
Many brands in the online betting industry face the same challenge; how to convert customers from simply becoming a new registered client to making their first deposit. One way of achieving greater success in this area is by delivering personalised retargeting messages, via digital advertising (programmatic display and programmatic video campaigns), to bring registered clients back to site and encourage them to continue their online journey through to making a deposit. We also see opportunities to improve the overall customer experience – and inspire repeat deposits and retention – through the unification of onsite experiences with offsite retargeting messages. Connecting offsite and onsite channels allows brands to deliver sequential, relevant campaigns for every customer based on their unique online journey and route to purchase.
Content is king, whether that be the content of games themselves or informative content about registration, betting and playing. iGaming customers are receptive to good content – and the more personal the better. Stimulate play by producing and sharing content that responds to customer intent. An easy place to start is by segmenting your audience, for example; new clients vs. registered clients, by gaming or betting preferences, by their average deposit or by their past browsing behaviour, allowing you to deliver more relevant content for every visitor. Brands are already experiencing success as a result of delivering more relevant content and information onsite. Thrills, an online casino, was able to achieve a 3x uplift in visitor time on site and 116% uplift in new player deposits by delivering optimised onsite campaigns.
As we progress through 2019, we’ll start to see more and more brands within the iGaming industry exploring new ways in which they can personalise online journeys for their customers. However, with the increasing popularity of the online gaming format, we’ll also start to see more competition online from new players hoping to take their share of the prize. By placing a heavy focus on their online experience now, and the ways in which they can target, engage and convert customers, brands will ensure they are well prepared to achieve online success, both today and in the future.