Too much choice? Player-friendly site design is more important than ever

Too much choice? Player-friendly site design is more important than ever

Thursday, May 25, 2017 Posted by James Walker
Magdalena Podhorska: ‘New games count for nothing if players can’t access them easily’

Magdalena Podhorska, head of sales and B2B marketing at Authentic Gaming, says players have too much choice today and operators should use more tabs to make it easier for them to access the games they like.

“Operators have gone to great lengths to ensure their players have plenty of choice when it comes to the verticals and games they offer. They have become truly multi-vertical, providing consumers with the option to wager on casino, sports, poker, bingo, live and lottery – all from one place.

Most portfolios now boast more than 1,000 slots games, hundreds of table games from roulette to blackjack via baccarat and craps, and sportsbooks packed with markets and odds on just about every sport, league, tournament and event from around the world.

In theory, it keeps punters sticky, churn low and retention high. The idea being that if players have access to a full suite of verticals and games, they won’t be tempted to venture over to a rival site offering a bit more choice. But, in reality, players have far too many games to choose from, often overwhelming them.

This is hampered further by poor website design and layout. It is difficult to display 1,000+ slots games in a way that players can find the themes and brands that appeal to them most. This is particularly true when it comes to roulette, with upwards of 50 game tables/varieties often illustrated with the same stock image.

How are players supposed to know if it is the variant they enjoy playing the most? This certainly applies to live dealer, and differentiating between tables streamed from a studio or from the floor of a real-world casino – each format appealing to a different type of player, and offering a very different experience.

In short, exciting and innovative content is becoming lost in the sheer volume of products operators are packing into their portfolios. And while the aim of the game is to reduce churn and drive engagement, if players can’t find the exciting content they are looking for, the opposite happens.

So what’s the solution? Games should be presented to users in a way that makes sense while providing a call to action. Whilst some players looking for live casino are enticed by an image of an attractive dealer, many more choose their live table based on the statistics of the cards that are currently being dealt or the numbers that are coming out on the roulette wheel.

Here at Authentic Gaming, we also believe some verticals and features require their own tabs. Operators have already done this for ‘Jackpots’ and ‘Macau’, and there is a strong argument for doing the same when it comes to live dealer games – particularly those streamed from real casino floors.

Live dealer is on course to be worth €2bn+ per year in Europe by the end of the decade, as players continue to seek out a more realistic and authentic experience. Operators and suppliers are hard at work bringing new and exciting formats and features to market, but they count for nothing if players can’t access them easily.

This is certainly true for live dealer games streamed for the floors of real casinos. The idea is to port players right to the heart of the action – not only by allowing them to play at real tables with real dealers, real cards and chips, and real players, but by using video to walk them through the casino and to the table of their choosing.

There is a massive difference between live casino games that are streamed from a purpose-built studio compared to live games streamed from bricks-and-mortar casinos.

For a start, land-based casinos are open to the public and whilst most online players won’t visit the casino it still provides added elements of trust since physical players are on the same table to that of the online players, constantly scrutinising every move of the croupier.

Also, the land-based casinos, at least the ones that Authentic Gaming collaborate with, add more substance to the presentation and marketing of the games since they are all five star properties located in capital cities or otherwise stunning locations.

By incorporating photos and videos in the presentation and marketing that show the properties and surrounding areas helps create a unique experience that can’t be done through studio games, including a possibility of sending a lucky player to the property as part of a promotional tournament for example.

This is not just to the benefit of online players, but land-based consumers making the move online. Our data proves that these players often engage with live casino – especially games streamed from actual casinos floors – as their first port of call when trying online gaming for the first time.

If players can’t easily access these games, then operators not only miss out on the chance of capturing them in the first instance, but eventually porting them to other products and games on their sites.

These players are often high value VIPs, so there is significant incremental revenue at stake. These players are drawn to authentic live dealer due to the glamorous and luxurious casino locations the games are streamed from, as well as the introductory videos that walk them through the casino floor to their table.

Authentic live casino games are the perfect acquisition tool – particularly for high value players – but if the games are not clearly visible to players – many of whom will be trying online for the first time – then they will simply go elsewhere.

Which is a shame, because all it takes to effectively capture this demographic is a little tab labelled up with the word “Authentic”.

Totally Gaming says: Over recent years, online operators have been clamouring to offer the widest possible variety of games across numerous verticals. Choice is certainly important, but this needs to be backed up with an intuitive interface that allows players to find the right content at the touch of a button.

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