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Retailer Lessons from iGaming Companies

Aliaksandr Marko-stock.Adobe.com

Retailers are always looking to improve their game, with an eye to increasing sales, reducing costs and maximizing profitability. Retail competition has increased from small upstart retailers to big box stores and peers, so the ability for retailers to improve on their game is more necessary than ever.

Gaming companies, more specifically iGaming companies, have undertaken strategies that could help retailers that mimic those practices improve their game, and their profitability.

The velocity of the buying cycle for iGaming companies is 10 times that of online retail, and much more than 10 times faster if a trip to a physical store is factored in. iGaming companies typically have minutes at most, and usually only seconds, to retain or lose a customer.

If an iGaming company doesn’t respond to a gamer’s quirks, likes or dislikes in a matter of moments, that “customer” will move to an iGaming company that does respond. There is no leisurely browsing as in retail.

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Additionally, while most retail shoppers might spend minutes to hours shopping, iGamers can be much more engaged, with that engagement continuing to grow. As reported, it was revealed that “80% of sports bettors spend up to six hours per day gambling, and that 76% of them wager through apps and websites. Meanwhile, online casino gamers spend about three hours per day immersed in the activity.”

Contrast that to retail. About four in five U.S. consumers shop online, according to 2022 statistics; 79% of shoppers shop at least once per month, with 22% doing so once a week, 27% once every two weeks and 29% once per month. 

From the above numbers, one can see that iGamers often engage daily with gambling and other sites, while retail shoppers are less likely to do so. A gaming site constantly interacts with its VIP customers, while retailers have intermittent interactions with their VIP customers.

During those intermittent interactions, retail marketers need to think like iGaming marketers to build customer engagement and to drive more sales. 

According to a Forbes report, 61% of online shoppers will take only five seconds to move on to another site if they don’t find what they are looking for. So retail marketers need to present engaging, relevant content quickly and at key points while the customer is on the shopping journey.

In retail, like in iGaming, marketers have only seconds to influence the prospective customer. While the velocity of retail interactions doesn’t move at the breakneck speed of iGaming interactions, online retail customers are still looking to complete any interaction quickly, be it to get more information on a product or service or to make an actual purchase.

If a customer leaves a retail site, the marketer needs to know why. Marketers also need to ensure that websites are optimized for quick loading. Half of all users will abandon a website if it doesn’t load in two seconds. But slow loading speeds are only one reason a customer may leave a site. Granular data about website interaction will uncover other reasons, as iGaming companies have discovered.

They have drilled down to uncover their customers’ (gamers’) personal preferences and trigger points to build highly personalized customer relationship marketing strategies centered around engagement. Maintaining engagement with customers can involve personalized communication about the customer’s favorite type of game for wagering, or having timely new promotions for customers who enjoy online casinos.

iGaming companies have built this granular data from the high level of communication that they enjoy with their customers. An iGaming company communicates with 1,147 consumer segments, nearly three times (401) the amount for retailers and other companies, according to Optimove research.

For both retail and iGaming, a natively integrated customer data platform (CDP) and multichannel marketing hub (MMH) enable greater personalization based on deep insights and granular segmentation for gaming companies to react to players’ (consumers’) desires in near-real time, assuring greater player loyalty and maximizing lifetime value.

The following disciplines are essential:

  • A 360° single customer view across all products and services
  • Management and automation of highly personalized customer interactions across all channels
  • Quick development (in minutes, not days) of customer retention campaigns
  • Easy deployment of hyper-targeted, customer activity-triggered campaigns
  • Continuous experimentation, testing and optimization of marketing strategies and messages
  • Predictive analytics to automatically identify and respond to customer behavior, preventing churn and maximizing the customer value for VIPs and every other distinct customer type
  • Leveraging the latest AI to discover untapped potential in their customer base

Conclusion

As iGaming companies have discovered, micro-segmentation, based on each customer’s unique preferences, is the key to improved engagement. And marketers with a strong data foundation can create a seamless synergy between their CDP and MMH systems, fostering real-time communications that move at the speed of the customer’s interaction with the brand. It ensures personalized messaging. According to a survey of 514 US consumers, 32% of consumers say if a brand offers recommendations based on previous shopping or browsing, it increases the chance they will buy more.


Pini Yakuel is the Co-founder and CEO of Optimove, a customer-led marketing platform. From its two-person launch in 2009, under Yakuel’s leadership, Optimove is now a multi-million-dollar global retention marketing business with more than 450 employees. Today the company provides industry-specific and use-case solutions for hundreds of leading consumer brands, including Dollar Shave Club, BetMGM, SodaStream, The Pennsylvania Lottery, Papa John’s, and Staples. Yakuel led the CRM industry in making a powerful fundamental shift in marketing by always starting with the customer instead of a campaign or product. Customer-led marketing has been proven to deliver brands an average increase of 33% in customer lifetime value.  Yakuel holds an MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from Tel Aviv University.

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