Why operators should let the customer decide

Why operators should let the customer decide

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Posted by Totally Gaming
Operators discuss the mobile universe at EIG

Operators should let the customer decide how they interact with their brand, rather than force them to use a specific channel, according to Jari Vähänen, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Finnish operator Veikkaus Oy.

Speaking on a panel entitled ‘Gearing up for a Mobile Universe’, Vähänen rejected the suggestion that operators second guess what customers would use to gamble in the future: “It doesn't matter what devices our customers are using really. Just let the customer decide what channel to use - give them the choice. Offer services across all channels, don't force them to use one.”

He also believed that mobile would not be the be all and end all channel, despite its still increasing popularity, “Mobile will be part of the business not all of it. It won't be a standalone,” he commented.

New Intertain CEO Andy McIver echoed these comments, revealing the value of his firm’s multi-channel customers.

“Our most valuable customers in the bingo and casino space are those who use desktop and mobile,” he said. “They are 2.5 -3 times more valuable than someone who is mobile only or PC only. 30% of our customers are mobile and desktop.”

McIver added that Vera&John started off as mobile-only to carve itself a niche in the sector, but still added desktop when the time was right.

Looking forward, McIver believed that there would be a new platform engaging players beyond mobile, but what platform that would be was still unclear. He commented that the development of gambling services on mobile so far has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

Mark McGuinness of BetOlimp discussed whether virtual reality could be the way forward. “Where I think Virtual Reality can work is as a complimentary service to land based venues, particularly casinos,” he said. “At the moment, VR can't replicate the social aspect from a casino; the experience of playing against people, learning their tells and their strategies, for example.But what VR can do is demystify the experience around casinos and allow potential players to investigate the locations and the games in their own time, giving them confidence to visit the real thing and know what to expect when they get there.”

McGuinness also suggested that conversational commerce is set to make a big splash in all kinds of industries, gambling included. Allowing customers to have conversations with brands via chat boxes would increase conversion and retention, he said.

“I don't want to spend time looking at head to head of two teams to work out the best outcome. I want a chat bot to go out there, analyse the data then come back to me with a bet. Or even go and make the bet themselves.”

TotallyGaming says: While the mobile is obviously the key channel to get right at the moment, operators are not putting all their eggs in one basket. But it is the customers who will drive what channels they want to use in the future, brands just need to be able to react quickly enough to consumer demand.

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