What gaming can learn from two billion retail and travel digital customer journeys

Given that number crunching and prediction are so core to eGaming companies’ trading success, it is no surprise that operators have applied the data-driven ethos to their conversion and retention strategies.

Yet a significant degree of murkiness remains around the true effectiveness of different personalisation and optimisation techniques. The gaming sector’s inherent focus on data doesn’t protect it from falling prey to the mistakes other industries are making.

Here at Qubit, we recently released a comprehensive research paper on the effectiveness of 28 commonly-used ecommerce techniques, analysing more than two billion user journeys to rank what works and what doesn't. Working with PwC to assure the methodology, the research found that combining the right techniques could yield as much as a 6% revenue uplift per visitor - potentially worth billions.

This data was captured across businesses in the retail and travel sectors - but we know that gaming experiences a lot of the same challenges. So what can this sector take away from this report?


Uplifts from cosmetic UX alterations are rare

It was clear from our findings that common UX optimisation tactics - such as changing button colours simply no longer turned the dial for customers and in some cases even negatively impacted revenue per visitor. It was instead persuasive experiences, based on customer behaviour and contextual information, that had the greatest impact on revenue uplift.

Techniques that targeted consumer behaviour with urgency (flagging low stock counts or last-minute deals), anti-abandonment (capturing the attention of visitors before they leave the site after indicating purchase intention) and social proof (leveraging the behaviour of others to highlight trending or popular products) were among the report’s highest drivers of revenue per customer. These techniques can all be applied in gaming - and some businesses in this sector are already employing them to great effect.

For instance, one of the first experiences Boylesports launched created a sense of urgency by adding a countdown timer 30 minutes before each fixture kicked-off, which then turned red at the five minute mark. The added impetus drove Boylesports’ ‘Market viewed’ to ‘Bet placed’ conversion rate up by 5%.

Some gaming businesses have also taken steps to combat abandonment and re-engagement. In this area the sector has two big advantages over others. Firstly the majority of user journeys occur when users are logged in (i.e the customer is known), and secondly because a higher proportion of the customers have operator’s apps installed.

Ladbrokes is capitalising on these advantages with a customer recovery solution which uses push notifications to remind users they can track their selections watching the live stream in their app. At the time of kick off, customers who have placed a pre-game bet are reminded with a contextual push notification. This programmatic solution has seen a 9% increase in live streaming on the Ladbrokes app, which has in turn driven more cash out and additional in play activity.


Social proof works, but where and how can it be applied in eGaming?

Across travel and retail, the research found that social proof outperforms even urgency and abandonment. You have probably experienced a travel website highlighting exactly how in demand that seat or hotel room is, once you express an interest. Social proof is more complicated to translate into gaming though - after all, the odds themselves will eventually reflect the 'proof' element and the whole concept of scarcity is completely different.

This said, firms in the sector have begun experimenting with experiences surfacing ‘trending markets’, with results so far indicating there is a huge opportunity to take this further. Not only for more efficient navigation but also for ‘next best action’ recommendations.

Marketers in eGaming are constantly evaluating which events users will be most interested in on any given weekend. In your home market the knowledge that Spurs v Chelsea will be the big game of the weekend might be intuitive, but this doesn’t scale to other markets. A social proof solution can improve navigation by, for example, showing the trending matches in Norway to Norwegians and those in Denmark to Danes.

Social proof can also be used at an individual level. An A-Z Sports navigation is very functional, but must be annoying for people who only ever bet on Volleyball (probably not a massive segment but every customer counts). A social proof solution can be used to, for example, to insert each individual’s top sports into the navigation above the A-Z.

Social proof strategies can also be applied to bet slip recommendations. Amazon pioneered the ‘users who bought x also bought y’ upsell tactic. In eGaming an operator could try and upsell a user who has just placed a selection from a win-draw-win football market into the betslip, to combine this with a selection from the same event’s first goalscorer market. Knowing which market is most commonly paired with which though is again, knowledge that does not scale easily. Social proof allows this to be defined in an automated manner, reducing the manual resources required and maximising revenue per customer.

Applying proven eCommerce strategies for eGaming

The examples above highlight arguably the most important finding of our report; while it's possible to see success by concentrating solely on the most effective techniques, the real revenue per visitor growth comes by combining them and employing smart segmentation. The more you know about a customer - their sports preferences, their favourite teams, the time of day they like to place wagers - the better results you’ll see from deploying the most effective techniques.

The findings of this report indicate that there are potentially billions to be made by ecommerce businesses if they pursue the right approach. While our research results are based on findings from other sectors, the implications for gaming are just as exciting.

Operators are already adjusting these strategies to account for the nuances of the industry and many of the recommendations from our report are already being applied, in advanced ways by operators. By pursuing the tactics proven to provide the best results, we will undoubtedly see gaming take these experiences to the next level.

This article was originally featured in EGR

 

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