UI can hold the key to holding customers longer

Mark Gibson
Mark Gibson

Mark Gibson, Business Development Director at mkodo, says that an effective user interface can make an operator stand out from the crowd.

The online sportsbook market is a relatively mature one and, certainly, a competitive one. Market advantage for operators is hard-won and probably even harder to maintain with substantial pressure being placed on user-loyalty through the widespread use of freebet offers, money-backs, price-boosts etc. by operators looking to lure your customers away.

One area in which operators can differentiate and improve their customer retention rates is by enhancing the user-interface and user journey for their product. Increasingly this means optimising the UI and user journey on their mobile product. Mobile now accounts for in excess of 50% of many operators’ sportsbook activity and this percentage is still growing. The increasing dominance of tablet over desktop means that mobile will account for a significant majority of all interactivity.

Sportsbook is, to a large degree, a data-dominated product … there are a lot of sports, a lot of events, markets and outcomes and all this data is changing very, very frequently. There is no need for sportsbook’s to shy away from offering players this large and dynamic volume of information. Sportsbook betting has a far greater level of commitment from players, both money-wise and personal-time/opinion wise, than other forms of individual wagering actions – players expect, and want, to see and consume data.

What a sportsbook should look to do is to ensure that the presentation of its hierarchy of sports, events, markets etc. is formed in such a way as to best suit the patterns of user behaviour that the operator most wants to encourage and that gives their customers the best experience.

A good example of this is the work that mkodo has recently undertaken in conjunction with the BCLC sportsbook team. mkodo, as a leading independent mobile sportsbook enabler,  provides the mobile PlayNow sportsbook. mkodo works closely with the BCLC team to identify how to best serve their players’ needs in terms of user-journey. In general, the fastest user-journey tends to be the best and mkodo determined that, whilst PlayNow sportsbook players, especially regular players, have both ‘market loyalty’ and ‘sport loyalty, market-loyalty is pre-eminent. This means that when players place parlay bets they are most happy selecting a series of outcomes from the same market types (e.g. x legs of 1×2 selections; or x legs of U/O 45pts selections). This will probably be within the same sport but the key judgement call was that quick compilation of parlays using the same markets across events would be most effective.

Did this work? Yes, it did … and in spades. Early results have seen the overall activity within the mobile product increase significantly via bets placed and staked amount within a 2 month period. The second aim was to ‘improve’ the average number of legs to a parlay. The enhancement in ease of parlay compilation saw this target also resoundingly achieved during the first 2 months.

The message is clear, continuously enhancing your UI based upon user behaviour knowledge gives your players a satisfying playing experience and retains their loyalty.

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