Customer acquisition remains a huge challenge for both new sportsbook operators and those who are more established. Even once customers have been acquired, any friction in the customer journey could result in a bettor not completing the registration process. Unlike in many other industries, switching operators is often far more appealing to bettors than remaining loyal.
In fact, earlier this year, Betting Hero conducted a study which found that 77% of sports bettors expressed a willingness to switch from their current betting platform to another – with just 4% staying loyal to a single platform for more than a year.
It’s clear that this new generation of sports bettors favour the welcome bonus over steadfast loyalty. So the question is: to retain lifetime value, how can sportsbooks maintain bettors’ engagement once they have taken advantage of the welcome offer and placed their initial bet on the platform?
Shooting for a winning strategy: Facing sportsbook challenges
One of the biggest challenges for sportsbook operators is to differentiate themselves from the competition. Lazar says that it’s here that innovative new engagement tools come in. “Bookmakers must adopt new tools and technologies to stand out. It’s the most natural thing to do in a market flooded with similar-looking and feeling engagement tools. However, it can be challenging for the same reason.”
Add to this the skyrocketing cost of acquiring new players and it means sportsbooks face what can often feel like a never-ending battle – but this is where LSports is ready to lend a helping hand. “When discussing the development of new products internally, we always try to understand the challenges our customers encounter, and the cost is the most significant one,” says Lazar.
“We’re seeing extremely high customer acquisition costs all over, especially in the US, and the competition in other places like Europe is fierce. Losing a player after you’ve already spent so much to acquire them – that hurts operators a lot.”
The tools for a successful sportsbook: Introducing SEC and Points in Play
With acquisition costs high, the best course of action for operators is to retain existing players rather than invest in acquiring new ones. For that, operators must optimise their customer retention strategies.
LSports believes that engaging betting stimulation tools are the key to this industry-wide problem. The company is ready to tackle this with its latest product – SEC (Sports Expert Chat).
The leading product in this lineup is a revolutionary platform utilising similar technology to ChatGPT, which serves as a personalised sports adviser. Lazar says this product takes LSports’ offering ahead of competitors – analysing bookmakers’ odds quicker than ever before.
“SEC provides bettors with pre-match and real-time data-driven tips, insights, relevant news, weather conditions, and statistics about specific events they’re interested in,” he explains. “Since launching it for pre-release we have experienced enormous traction.”
Points in Play
This year also paved the way for other interactive products across the industry. Thus we saw the birth of LSports’ Points in Play, an interactive social betting tool that offers users contests and activations during live sporting events. It does everything to engage the latest generation of players thereby encouraging them to stay on a platform.
Lazar explains that what makes this tool different to others on the market is that it keeps users engaged through content and promotions. However, importantly, it avoids overwhelming them with non-essential information. “We are now in the process of adding early-bird design partners that will pioneer the shaping of Points in Play and enjoy its benefits before others,” he adds.
SEC and Points in Play are backed by a set of visualisation solutions called LiveMatch Pro, Prematch Pro, and Scoreframe. These are designed to keep users informed and engaged around the clock. As end-to-end products they provide bettors with comprehensive support for sports events, including in-depth statistics, head-to-head comparisons, tables, play-by-play displays of key events in a match and a live score feed.
These tools keep end-users on the same platform before and during an event and they encourage players to continue to place bets after the action. It’s a triple sports coverage like no other.
Gathering feedback from those who matter most
LSports believes that collecting and using customer feedback is pivotal to its product development work and Lazar credits its success to the constant feedback it receives from clients. It is this, he believes, that has fueled the significant product innovation over the last year.
“The main trigger was the feedback we received from our clients,” he says. “This goes back to the high customer acquisition costs (CAC) which almost all of our clients highlighted as their biggest challenge.” The majority of operators cited a desire for unique solutions that not only minimised user churn but fostered a deeper engagement while providing a competitive edge over their rivals.
“Our technology and know-how allow us to create differentiating tools for sportsbooks,” says Lazar. “This is the only way to stand out in an industry dominated by major mergers and acquisitions. The reality shows that our partners put their trust in us in that regard and I’m delighted they do.”
Player personalisation is key
With Lazar citing CAC as a roadblock for sportsbooks, he stresses the importance of providing a personalised offering to clients. Often, operators bombard customers with a one-size-fits-all approach to promotional offers and are shocked when they see a drop-off in retention. While one-to-one personalisation is unattainable for most operators today, Lazar recognises that bettors continue to seek improved products in this area as they decide where to spend their time and money.
“We understand that bombarding users with generic promotions is counter-productive and the right way forward is to provide bettors with a bespoke experience. In every industry, loyal customers are those who receive direct answers and solutions tailored to their specific needs and areas of interest,” he says.
“Personalisation is a constant focus in our current product lineup. I mentioned SEC and Points in Play – both offer bettors tailored insights and content aligned with their personal preferences to avoid flooding them with irrelevant information.”
“Sports bettors crave data and the demand for more than basic odds is substantial. When they find a platform that provides them with a personalised experience, it’s a win-win. Users stay loyal and bookmakers enjoy a boost in retention.”
Alongside personalisation, Lazar recognises that consistency is critical to maximise long-term retention of players. “This is why we keep developing AI-driven methods to identify players’ patterns and make intelligent recommendations to end-users,” he says. “This is true also for our hardcore B2B offering and our flagship sports trading platform – TRADE360.”
TRADE360 launched officially earlier this year. The AI-powered product will allow LSports’ clients to set their own margins and other trading-related features to generate odds based on real-time features. This includes automatic suspension of odds following selected competitors and more, while all can be manually filtered by list, sport, league, or pretty much any other metric.
“AI plays a vital role in this process,” he adds. “It’s already present in our frontend products, and by next year, TRADE360 will feature real-time recommendations to bookmakers on adjusting their coverage and margin considering the market status and offers.”
Technology and data analytics to engage and retain
Lazar says that technological excellence and superiority are at the core of LSports’ strategy heading into 2024. “We collect data from over 100 live sources by combining web scouting and TV/venue scouts with highly advanced computer vision techniques,” he explains. “The latter enables us to extract information from live videos of sporting events which results in dozens of terabytes of data, a scale comparable to what LinkedIn and X [formerly Twitter] encounter.”
“You must have incredible technological capabilities to process this amount of information and verify its credibility. We have this capacity and it allows us to develop the betting stimulation tools we have more and more every day.”
Dotan Lazar is the Co-Founder and CEO of LSports. Under his leadership, the Israeli-based company has emerged as a leading provider of real-time sports data, empowering sportsbooks with cutting-edge solutions that give them a competitive edge. Lazar’s expertise and unwavering commitment to innovation make him a prominent figure in the sports data industry and a driving force behind LSports’ remarkable success.