Is personalisation the key to operator success?
Personalisation in gaming isn’t a mature concept, especially since it’s been used far less than in other industries like streaming services that have focused on personalisation for years. With ‘suggestions’ based on viewer activity and email marketing that hits viewers with similar releases to what they’ve watched before, it’s a move that has worked over and over again. But can igaming lean on the successes of other industries?
“Personalisation is being used in every industry, so igaming can definitely take advantage of this. Take, for example, Netflix, they moved from 10 years ago at 90% search to now just 10%. They know what their customers want to see and they personalise it – like a bullseye”
With competition fiercer than ever and every operator looking for ways to engage a wider player audience and more importantly, retain them, the previously-considered marketing gimmick of personalisation is now a must. Instead of focusing on price points, which the industry has been guilty of until now, differentiating by other means is a necessity.
“Operators have attempted to offset product similarity by concentrating on price differences, which has caused their profit margins to narrow. Despite the general enthusiasm for the online gambling industry, the cost of acquiring new customers from competing operators has increased due to market-wide, price-based advertising tactics that include free money promotions such as welcome bonuses.” Shwartz explains.
Finding a long-term strategy to retain players is the foundation for every operator’s success story and Shwartz believes that a pricing war is not where their attentions should be set. Instead, personalisation should be at the forefront of operators’ minds since Delasport itself as seen a huge percentage increase in player retention after focusing its efforts on tailoring player journeys on a more granular level.
“Personalisation can be used dynamically, based on preferred sports, game schedules, vehicles (such as mobile or desktop), geolocation, time of day, and even real-time behaviour.”
Igaming lags behind the rest
With the evolution of smarter technology over the past decade, standards of personalisation have also evolved. No longer can you simply use basic tactics like someone’s name, or “you might also like” options. Shwartz believes that choosing to put a spotlight on personalisation means you have to get innovative.
“The igaming sector lags behind other e-commerce sectors. For instance, Netflix has seen a shift in its user base from those looking for specific films to those just watching the suggestions. There’s no reason why operators can’t offer the same but on a more innovative level, so it’s time for a change. There are situations where the lack of personalisation effects the user experience, such as, welcome bonuses being offered to returning customers.”
Making way for high-level personalisation
Getting to know your customer is the crux of getting personalisation to work and Schwartz believes that operators need to focus on players’ circumstances and specific needs. By doing this, players feel like they’re an individual, and operators are catering to their specific needs as opposed to being in the general audience scope.
“An increase in conversion rates and transaction value is driven by relevance, especially when that relevancy is executed intelligently. Personalisation can be used dynamically, based on preferred sports, game schedules, vehicles (such as mobile or desktop), geolocation, time of day, and even real-time behaviour.”
The player-first approach
Due to the rising costs of attracting new players and keeping hold of existing ones as well as the limitations on advertising, many operators are struggling to draw in and keep hold of customers.
“Players should always come first, and operators that have products that offer personalised experiences are more likely to succeed in the long term. Perfecting the user-centric approach is vital to Delasport as it allows customers to receive maximum service with little to no resistance. Players come and bet, so the faster they can do that, the better. It is a fact today that personalisation = retention.”
Delasport’s learnings have been vital to continuing to grow its personalisation strategy. Knowing which market and demographic your players fit into is vital to ‘getting it right’, alongside knowing what they’re on the site for, what they’re interested in, and what type of games they tend to choose. Luckily for operators, this doesn’t have to be a manual process; there’s plenty of technology platforms out there that can collect player behaviour and showcase this in the backend to help shape a personalised approach.
“Understanding all of these key points helps to create a better foundation for player acquisition and retention methods that are more intelligent and successful. For operators offering both sports betting and casino, the potential benefits of personalisation are even more alluring. For example, once an operator knows enough about the bettor’s habits on a sports platform, they can create special promotions to offer them casino experiences based on what is already known about their preferences.”
Pathing the way for a new era with personalisation
With this being the scene set for now, what does the future for player experience hold? Just like any other technology, personalisation is going to need to continue evolving alongside customer needs and expectations. For global igaming supplier, Delasport, this evolution is already in full swing.
Delasport’s latest product offering puts personalisation at the forefront. The ‘My’ era is a game-changer for the igaming industry, focusing on personalisation to the point where players can specifically request content. So much so that “they can control what they say”, explains Shwartz.
Personalisation spotlight: My Sportsbook and My Event Builder
The ‘My’ era has two main products that lay the foundation for operators to get to know their customers. The first, My Sportsbook, goes above and beyond to tailor the experience to its players. Starting with a questionnaire on first sign up, players can highlight exactly what they care about from specific sports to tournaments. The biggest advantage to this? Players don’t need to hunt down the content they’re most interested in leading to higher adoption and engagement rates.
“My Sportsbook personalisation will apply after the first deposit, and then the player can choose which outlet, which teams they like- and this will be straight onto their mobile device.”
The second product in the ‘My’ series is the My Event Builder. Shwartz explains “This gives bettors something completely new – the chance to create their own unique custom events to bet on. They can choose two teams from completely different leagues, who aren’t even scheduled to play at the same time.
“For example, a bettor can create an event between a small local team and an international powerhouse, who would never play against each other in the real world. They can bet a score of 3:2 in favour of the small local team, and if that team scores 3 in their game against someone else, and the international team scores 2 in theirs, the player has won their custom bet. This essentially means that there is an unlimited combination of bets they can place, where their imagination is the only limit.”
“In Q2 we will be releasing ‘Mycasino’ which will do the same personalisation for those customers- showing only the relevant content.”
Delasport puts players at the forefront
Delasport isn’t simply telling the industry that personalisation is the way forward; it’s actively building and releasing products that solve this challenge for operators. Putting a footprint in the sand for the future ways that both marketing and on site experiences are shaped, Delasport seems to have cracked the code for making gaming about more than just the revenue.
“There is a huge inflation of content out there, so what we want to do is reduce this by making only the relevant one display to the relevant players. We are going above and beyond content.”
Oren Cohen Shwartz has over 15 years of experience in C-Suite-level roles in the igaming industry, including CEO at Casino, Sportsbook and PAM at Delasport, B2B Slots & Live Casino: at Skywind (Managing Director), B2C: Superbet (Group Gaming Director) B2B: Everymatrix (VP Product and Corporate development) and B2C: William Hill (HO Operation, HO Innovation). As CEO of Delasport his teams goal is to support operators with the best Sportsbook, Casino, PAM and services that allow them to compete successfully in their market, increase acquisition conversion and maximise player retention.