Navigating new markets without a clear localisation strategy can prove costly. From struggling with player retention due to language barriers, to not offering local payment methods, there are many aspects of a launch that require a strong understanding of the market. Taking time for trial and error is detrimental to the initial impact a brand is going to have on potential new players and one that operators are always looking to avoid.
Localisation of iGaming content, and user experience, has shown to improve retention rates and help to drive down acquisition costs for attracting new players. So how does an operator successfully implement a localisation plan?
While localisation covers the issue of language barriers, for Uplatform it goes much further than this.
Bashkevich explains, “We don’t just stop at offering localised texts and providing support in the native language of our players; we go deeper. We tailor our betting markets and promotions to resonate with local preferences and cultural nuances, ensuring that they are relevant and appealing to the players in each specific region.”
The pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all approach
“At Uplatform, we perceive localisation as a multi-dimensional process that touches every facet of our platform.”
The key for operators looking to localise their strategy is to stray away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. This blanket approach tends to overlook a region’s legal, cultural, and gaming needs. Operators that fail to localise based on these aspects find themselves either battling compliance challenges, or out of touch with their players’ interests.
“We ensure that each player feels valued and understood, enhancing their overall experience and, in turn, fostering greater loyalty to our clients’ brands.”
Strategising for successful sportsbook localisation
The Uplatform team believes there are five key areas that a sportsbook should focus on when it comes to successful localisation.
A personalised approach
Number one on the list is personalised and regionalised content which means that players will only see sports and events that are relevant to their region.
“I think everyone will agree with me that people are more likely to engage with a sportsbook that aligns with their interests, whether it’s their local football league or a sport that enjoys immense popularity in their region. They will choose the sportsbook that is personalized and tailored to their interests.
“The sportsbook that has their local payment method as they don’t have access to any other. The sportsbook that can download fast even on their slow internet connection. The sportsbook that knows their everyday life and offers promos that align with it. This personalized approach can significantly enhance user retention rates and margins.”
It’s human nature to gravitate towards the familiar, so ensuring characteristics such as a recognisable odds format can make a difference to achieving a high-quality user experience. Similarly, betting markets can differ from country-to- country so it’s vital to offer players the correct ones for each specific location. For Uplatform, this ensures all bases are covered with more than 5,000 betting markets available for operators to choose from.
Providing for a diverse linguistic spectrum
To fully engage and retain players, it’s important to showcase sportsbook offerings in local languages. This doesn’t simply stop at just translation however, dialogue must include regional nuances and familiar terms to be fully recognisable and trustworthy for the target market.
“Managing support and translations across such a diverse linguistic spectrum is indeed a complex endeavour, but by understanding the importance of this matter, we’ve put all our efforts into building a multifaceted strategy”, Bashkevich explains.
Modern language is constantly evolving, and no two regions interpret terms and phrases the same way. Therefore, using native speakers to advise and guide on language is a must for operators hoping to engage openly with their new client base.
“Our professional translators are not just linguistically adept; they are also deeply rooted in the cultures and nuances of the regions they represent.”
The easiest way to ensure accuracy, even in the most marginally used languages, is to retain a connection to those who speak it as their mother tongue. This way an operator caters to even the most unique linguistic requirements and can successfully reach all desired markets. Providing services in over 68 languages, Uplatform believes that this level of personalisation is key to a successful sportsbook.
Collaboration and consultation
“We get it – different markets have different needs. For example, in places like Africa, there’s a need for a strong omnichannel solution with a single wallet, single account, and a top-notch agent program. We provide operators with all the needed tools to succeed in the region.”
When creating a localisation strategy, it’s vital to retain ties with clients and gain feedback from regional partners. This is a useful way of determining information on what are the right sports to target in a specific geolocation.
For example, Latin America (LatAm) is a region well known for its passionate football fan base. Specifically, La Liga holds significant appeal there so it’s vital this league is on offer at sportsbooks targeting this market.
Ensuring regular consultation can be a great method of continually checking on and improving the support and services offered. “Collaboration and feedback play a crucial role. We actively seek feedback from our partners in various regions to continuously improve our support and services. This feedback loop helps us identify and address specific regional needs more effectively.”
Regional preference of payment options
For operators, there’s a long checklist when it comes to their payment’s providers, especially when expanding across new markets. Keeping compliant with ever-changing regulatory requirements is paramount, and one that is always at the forefront of an operator’s strategy. But with players wanting to place bets in their local currency, especially if they’re new to the website, staying compliant and localising the offering now goes hand-in-hand.
Ensuring a deep understanding of regulations and laws will halt issues such as providing payment methods that are illegal in certain countries or any cross–border payment issues that may be forgotten in the forward planning.
Bashkevich explains, “On the other side, the regulatory environment surrounding payments can also differ from one jurisdiction to another. For instance, in the UK, gambling with credit cards is not permitted. Ignoring such regulations can not only lead to legal repercussions but also hampers the creation of a responsible gaming environment.”
And that’s not all, localised currencies aren’t the only consideration when it comes to payments. Providing recognisable payment options can make or break a player’s experience; seeing expected options encourages confidence and trust in a sportsbook.
For example, if an operator enters the Brazilian market offering Sofort, they are likely to see low deposit levels because players don’t have easy access to this payment method. Without locally popular options like PIX or Boleto, operators will struggle to attract bettors.
Uplatform recognises these regional differences and provides an array of payment methods – presently over 500 – as well as currencies, that cover a global spectrum.
“The global landscape of payment methods varies significantly; what’s popular in one region may be unavailable or unused in another. For example, in some places, mobile and card payments are widely used, while in other regions, access to global financial tools is limited, and there are only a handful of local payment methods. Our team of experts further aids operators in understanding the popularity and relevance of different payment systems in various markets.”
Regulation and local laws
Remaining compliant with local laws and regulations whilst offering an enjoyable and safe player experience requires a fine balance, and one that Uplatform has managed to find for its clients.
Uplatform’s strategy begins with collaboration, ensuring a strong understanding of the regulatory environment in each of the region’s met. Continual study of laws on hosting, content and responsible gambling is at the forefront alongside understanding the significant variations in legal frameworks from one jurisdiction to another.
“Equally important is the customization of our processes to align with regional requirements. This includes adapting payment methods, player support, and account setup and verification processes to fit the unique infrastructure and regulatory standards of each target market. Our adaptability enables us to meet these varying needs effectively, ensuring not only compliance but also a smooth user experience.”
“In essence, offering support and expertise for a variety of languages and regions is about bringing together a skilled team, advanced technology, constant training, thorough localisation, and active collaboration.”
Understanding new jurisdictions
There has been much talk of the LatAm market this year and it’s no surprise as to why. Gross gaming revenue is predicted to quadruple in size, reaching $6.75bn in annual revenue by 2027. These numbers are made even more attractive by the fact that regulations are taking a progressively stronger shape, with legislation passing in December 2023 to legalise online betting in Brazil.
While the financial potential may tempt operators across the water, it’s important for operators preparing to penetrate this region have a strong localisation strategy in place.
Bashkevich explains, “It’s essential to recognize the challenges in LatAm, primarily the diverse trends and behaviours across different countries. Latin America stands out as a region of unique diversity, with each country having its own distinct preferences when it comes to sports and betting. This diversity means that operators need to be adaptable and responsive to the constantly evolving trends.”
“Players in LatAm are increasingly looking for unique and attractive betting options that go beyond traditional offerings. This demand for novelty and innovation presents both opportunities and challenges for operators and something that Uplatform can help to solve.”
Live betting is gaining popularity in the region, and there’s a longstanding interest in esports with the younger generations. This surge in esports has certainly created a thriving market that operators can instantly tap into. As experts in this area, Uplatform are on hand to help operators with over 60 esports titles, all of which can be tailored and localised to a target market.
Bashkevich adds, “Also, the technical infrastructure varies not only from country to country but even inside one country. For example, in Brazil, where North and South are absolutely different in terms of smartphone adoption. The same applies to the payment solutions, as having local payment methods is a must for the region. Only thorough research will help operators utilize the undoubtedly colossal potential of the region.”
The future of localisation in sports betting
With localisation just the first step in enhancing the player experience, Uplatform has predicted key future trends that the industry needs to be prepared for.
While the level of detail acquired from data analytics tools is already at an acute level, Uplatform considers that AI-driven technologies will soon enable sportsbooks to tailor content and promotions on an even more detailed level. This means that players will see sports events, odds and offers that are entirely relevant to their interests and betting history.
On a similar thread, Uplatform believes that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) hold significant roles in the future of sportsbooks and localisation. Think of players being able to virtually attend a match or experience in-depth statistics and analysis in real time, something we are slowly seeing in the sports betting arena today.
“This skill could herald a new era in AR, a field that has garnered much discussion but limited practical application. Until now, VR glasses have largely been seen as novelties with limited real-world use.
“However, Apple is poised to transform this perception by integrating AR into everyday life, potentially revolutionizing how we interact with this technology.”
A focus on the whole player, and not just content
For Uplatform, localisation strategies should go far beyond the basics, focusing instead on players’ needs and expectations. Utilising feedback from the industry and building strong collaborative relationships in new markets are paramount when building holistic player experiences, something that Uplatform excels in.
“We empower our clients to enter and succeed in any market they choose while providing unparalleled expertise and support throughout the process.”
Maria Bashkevich, head of marketing at Uplatform