Some of the leading suppliers to the sports betting industry offered their insights into the future for sportsbook personalisation based on automated customer segmentation, advanced behavioural analysis and predictive AI-driven models.
The sixth round table participant was SG Digital, represented by its VP Sportsbook Product, Nikos Konstakis.
SBC: What role does pricing and risk play in the differentiation of a sportsbook offering?
Nikos Konstakis (NK): Pricing is a key differentiator in the sportsbook world, especially when you consider the number of operators active within the market. Competitive, if not aggressive, pricing is the best way to attract new players.
In mature markets, players are experienced and know how to pick and choose the best bets and where to place them. Good quality local sporting events are the “name of the game”, as betting brands strive to become the local, one-stop betting shop. Focusing on matches or events that drive local interest will engage bettors on a more connective level.
To attract and retain customers, an offering must have breadth and depth, which means operators providing markets on every sporting event, both for pre-match and in-play. With that in mind, risk management is essential to a sportsbook, as it’s unrealistic for a small team of traders to become experts on all sporting competitions around the world. Risk is the art of balancing between liabilities management and player satisfaction.
SBC: How can operators build on their customer analytics to both enhance player experience and drive higher margins?
NK: We have to make betting easy to understand to attract new customers. Lots of sports fans never place bets, mainly because they either find navigating through a sportsbook extremely complicated, or simply not fun. If we can enhance the experience, we can convert more sports fans into active bettors and grow our business.
Analysis of customer behaviour should drive product roadmaps in a proposition that will enhance a brand’s margins. Player habits should inform product development so that suppliers and operators give bettors the content they want.
There’s nothing dangerous in recreational players that simply want to place bets and get an experience out of it. They are here for the entertainment. Catering to those players is just as useful as catering to seasoned sports bettors.
SBC: How can AI and analytics be used to personalise and tailor the sports betting experience?
NK: Investment in AI and analytics is key in order to transforming the sportsbook experience towards a more relatable, emotional and entertaining journey for sports fans. As a result, operators are now following the paradigm of digital giants like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify, by introducing new features such as recommended and popular bets, as well as highlighting the latest sports trends.
These tools are also enhancing areas such as product efficiency, which helps to optimise and automate business processes including trading. Technology allows us to learn and adapt over time to changing market trends, which leads us to provide a more personal experience for bettors.
SBC: A lot has been said recently about gamification; what can it do for sportsbook?
NK: Gamification is talked about heavily in the casino market, and now these concepts are also being rapidly introduced by sportsbook operators, often aimed at the sports fan and casual bettor, as well as the traditional punter.
We’re witnessing an increasing number of features such as leaderboards, bet achievements, tipster areas and mission-based betting now available to bettors, which are all being crafted in a way to keep customers excited and actively betting. Moreover, operators are now relying on gamification concepts to boost customer retention and lower acquisition costs.
I think you will see a lot more work within this area, particularly as modern architecture and technological capabilities accelerate the development of such tools.