Treating the diversified online betting business as one misses the proper scope, writes Jakub Myszkorowski, Chief Commercial Officer at STATSCORE, who thinks that while it would be an “obvious truth” to highlight changes in the market since it became digital, customer preferences are now more and more specific to mobile betting – a sector firmly on the rise.
Let the numbers talk. According to the PEW Research Centre, 76% of adults in advanced countries own a smartphone (in countries such as South Korea, Israel, Sweden and the Netherlands this tops 85%), while even in emerging countries the median sits close to 50%.
Real-time data from GSMA, a trade body that represents the interests of mobile network operators worldwide, suggests that there are over 8.98 billion mobile connections in the world – more than the total population – which confirms that many use more than one device.
In 2018, 58% of websites were opened from mobile devices, accounting for 42% of the total time spent online.
If this does not convince you that we are witnessing a real online revolution, let me just add that – according to the research by Tecmark – a typical smartphone owner picks up his or her device around 200 times per day or more than 1500 times per week.
It should not surprise us, therefore, that this impacts the betting sector. Mobile devices make betting more accessible for the fans, as they do not limit them to a certain time or place to bet.
In order to join the competition, all you have to do is to reach into your pocket and make sure that you are online, bringing about a closer and more immediate individual betting experience.
This is why more and more betting-based companies are focusing attention on their mobile services, making sure that they don’t just replicate the desktop experience, but go beyond to offer a completely new and fully customised experience. This is a strategy familiar to both my colleagues at STATSCORE, and our high profile betting partners.
Christophe Michel is the Head of Digital at Ladbrokes Belgium, a major operator that works with two of our leading products – LivematchPro and PrematchPro.
“We have been increasing mobile services for betting for a long time as we see how many of the final users prefer to use their personal devices to bet,” said Michel. “For this, we need fast and reliable live trackers to display the sports events in a nice and easy to follow way. We decided to use STATSCORE widgets due to their format and responsive design.”
This mobile-first preference is, of course, driven by millennials, the most demanding target group for many businesses (including for gambling) whose preferences continue to shape the market.
Unlike their predecessors, they tend to be more solipsistic, seeking contact only with those mediated with the use of media. Shopping, watching movies, listening to music – all of these hold common features: immediate access, individualised offers, and computer learning used to recognise personal needs. Mobile devices make a perfect entrance to this world.
Betting and gambling already follow this path, which seems to be the only way to remain in touch with the powerful target group, whose importance will keep on rising in terms of buying power. They already are overcoming baby boomers in this area.
This is why the betting experience for mobile devices is now being reshaped to meet their needs. A good example comes with the aforementioned STATSCORE sports widgets, whose popular trackers have been totally redesigned to meet the needs of the mobile users.
Dariusz Łęczyński, STATSCORE Chief Product Officer, explained: “All kinds of widgets on mobiles have to be smart, compact and practical. These features can be treated and understood by each client differently. The key issue here is to let the client express his or her ideas regarding the default widget upgrade and then make sure these meet their expectations.”
PrematchPro is aimed at delivering the pregame insights, ranging from league standings to recent results, head to head, key stats, squads and even Twitter accounts of the competitors.
Meanwhile, LivematchPro brings the same depth of data, but served as the game progresses. The heart of this product is a live sports tracker that consists of a representation of where the event is taking place e.g. soccer pitch, race track or even ice rink.
Many STATSCORE clients have recognised the upgrades made to these widgets, especially those that built their betting platform specifically for mobile betting.
Marcin Doszczeczko is the Head of Sportsbook at EnergyBet, an online sportsbook and casino who, like Ladbrokes, has been utilising the products.
“STATSCORE LivematchPro and PrematchPro widgets offer all we needed for the mobile users to keep them inspired to bet with their devices,” said Doszczeczko.
The world is changing. The question for betting companies is no longer whether to consider the implementation of dedicated mobile services, but when and how you will get started.