Changing face of sportsbooks

Sports Betting

Andrew Dagnall CEO at Bettorlogic.

The sportsbook betting market remains as popular and competitive as ever. Consolidation continues at a frantic pace to form a few major players dominating the sector, but that does open opportunities for the more agile companies who can move quicker by adapting to the latest trends.

Whether an established or new operator, delivering the best customer experience is vital to success. It’s only a start when offering a tempting acquisition sign-up offer as customers will soon look elsewhere if the user experience doesn’t match entertainment expectations.

The vast majority of operators talk about offering unique and unrivalled in-play or fixed odds betting experiences, but most don’t know how to actually put these ideas into practice.

Approximately 80% of the current betting landscape is now in-play markets which generates vast amounts of data and player behaviour information. Football and tennis are the most popular markets thanks to the multiple and quick-fire opportunities which arise from the unfolding action. Both sports run for the majority of the calendar year and football often has international tournaments when there is downtime through the summer.

In the case of football, heightened interest tends to come towards the end of the season and also during the summer months when a major football tournament such as Russia 2018 kicks off. Likewise in tennis, each of the Grand Slams drum up huge attention and also around the ATP tour events at London’s O2 Arena.

Mobile betting popularity means punters can access accounts and place bets wherever and whenever they are.

Each of these opportunities to place bets enables Bettorlogic to gather more data to then create accurate profiles of punters to tailor an offering to exactly what they want.

Live betting analysis means you can discover what triggers a player to convert on the betting user journey. Before the invent of in-play this was slow to do as there was less data to work with.

There are a plethora of triggers, but one of the most prevalent is an early goal during a football fixture and the impact scoring has on punter behaviour. Injuries to star players, dismissals, final stages of a game are all factors that people take into account. Pre-match triggers can be monitored too as fans anxiously await for line-up announcements. A player like N’Golo Kante has such an influence on Chelsea’s chances that his confirmation in the starting XI following an injury lay-off can instigate a wave of bets.

All data is securely housed and evaluated to understand more about players’ preferences. Another source of data capture is reviewing entire betting histories. Access to vast betting history discloses key patterns pre-event and how they change over a period. Opening channels of communication between sportsbooks and players is increasingly important to prevent this analysis going to waste.

Sportsbooks are in a fantastic position thanks to the sheer amount of data they have access to owing to the number of transactions completed. This information helps build an accurate picture of individuals and profile user habits. Regular dialogue with bettors develops a rapport between the sportsbook which is based on understanding demands.

Data provides a foundation for operators, but it will not help them realise the potential if it is not used properly. Much of this depends on display and how operators interact with customers on the site or to draw them onto the site in the first place. Aesthetics and positioning form an integral function of website design and Bettorlogic undertakes extensive research into how space on a web page is broken down into sections and which ones see most engagement.

Bettorlogic player analysis enables a page to be designed to the exact preferences of individuals. Around 60% of page design is created from what direct data depicts and the remaining 40% derives from what trends tend to be associated with those characteristics. Spotify has made waves with their algorithm which predicts music you may like on the back of your active music selections. People rave about the suggestion feature, but Spotify would know less about a customer than a betting account.

Bettorlogic applies the same predictive principle to sports betting, but thanks to the shear number of transactions made on sportsbooks, we’re armed with more data to suggest the most relevant markets or events.

For example, research shows that punters who enjoy in-play betting during football matches also have a penchant for tennis too. Initial experiences should centre around football, but it’s also a chance for operators to promote tennis offers or matches yet to be played.

Displaying personalised banners and widgets containing customers’ bet preferences is one of the best ways to enhance engagement. Cutting through distractions on the site by showing visitors what they want and when boosts dwell time. Inaccurate dialogue with bettors is a waste of everyone’s efforts and it’s imperative once you have a customer engaged to give them what they want as often as possible.

To truly stand-out from the crowd, an operator needs to add the finishing touches to the customer journey. It’s all very well knowing what a customer prefers, but getting them to place a bet on the back of evidence researched is key to keeping them engaged.

Here it’s about harnessing the customer profile by giving them reasons to place a bet . If a new customer doesn’t have a winning bet in their first five bets the chance of a sixth bet drops to 19%, therefore trying to give them a winner with a reason to bet or bet type supported by why the bet might be successful is more effective than simply a free sixth bet.

Clarity is important across every area of communication with customers. Displays must be digestible and another area Bettorlogic focuses on is frequent updates around current bet statuses. Currently the access to live bet status isn’t always easy to locate and then once you have it, there is streams of information that makes it hard to analyse.

A lot of work has gone into making this data more readable to let punters see not only if a bet is winning or not, but what the live score is in the match. Additional in-play elements highlighted are red cards, injuries and the exact minute of the match.

Understanding customers and traits is the only way to provide a genuinely bespoke betting experience. Profiles are gradually built, but the advent of in-play betting has accelerated this process thanks to increased bet propensity.

Armed with accurate pictures of punters, then responsibility falls on operators to tailor the offering accordingly to individual preferences. This can revolve on what markets to show or when to flash relevant content during a game.

Nailing this mechanic helps drive acquisition and then retention on the site. Both elements are vital in an ever-competitive market and operators who focus on agility are better placed to succeed. As consolidation continues, it provides opportunities for smaller operators who react quicker to improve customer experiences.

Andrew Dagnall