Strong levels of customer retention are key for iGaming operators in the US and are the result of joined up corporate thinking, writes Andrew Foster, Chief Business Development Officer at Enteractive.
What are the key ingredients that help operators in their quest for growth? The answers to that question are varied and depend on operators’ corporate strategies. However, without doubt, key factors such as quality products and joined up marketing will play a role. To those can be added strong expertise in areas such as risk management and trading for sportsbooks or customer service for online casinos.
True product innovation will be another determining factor in how operators develop their businesses and the industry has been on a good run in recent years when it comes to launching new features and products.
For example, in online casino the Megaways slots have revolutionized the sector and players have taken to what is a strong new twist on an established iGaming staple. Live casino and more generally ‘live’ components also continue to influence how interactive rooms operate.
From dedicated studios to live streamed gameplay and game shows, it is changing how operators produce and promote online casino products to their players.
In sports betting, the two biggest recent innovations have been bet builders (mainly in Europe) and same game parlays (in the US). Both have been major successes, although of course the question of whether a parlay is the same thing as an accumulator could be debated for many hours. Nonetheless, the reason those products are successful is because they resonate so strongly with players.
In the US in particular, parlays have really come into their own with the widespread sports betting regulations of the past four years. Some 35 states and the District of Columbia have now legalized sports betting and with around 160 million Americans able to access legal betting apps and websites, same game parlays generate close to 50% of sportsbooks’ gross gaming revenues with average margins of around 9%.
Industry followers will have seen the recent news that FanDuel’s market share leadership has kept on widening in the US, with industry data provider Eilers & Krejick reporting that FanDuel’s total gross gaming revenues in April were larger than those of all its competitors combined.
The statistic is highly impressive and is due in large part to the group’s mobile app, the quality of its same game parlays and, importantly, the strong retention rates those parlays generate for FanDuel.
Showing the key retention role played by SGPs, at the time of its first quarter results it said punter-friendly results had actually cost the group around $130m in revenues, but it viewed this as “positive developments in parlay products” as FanDuel players kept returning to the site to place wagers on the highly popular product.
Casino retention key
This principle also applies to online casino operators. The vertical in the US is interesting because it is more profitable than sports betting and this enables smaller brands to carve out a space for themselves.
For example, in a recent call with investors the medium-sized operator Rush Street Interactive explained how quality products, strong user experience features and customer service helped it retain players and avoid major marketing expenses.
The group’s CEO Richard Schwartz said: “From day one we have said product development will be the winner in this industry. Short term marketing will result in some market share, but players are fickle and in the long term they decide on who they play with according to which products they prefer. If you treat players well and have strong products you can grow.”
Schwartz added that his company was not trying to compete with the biggest brands through marketing and instead focused on product differentiation to produce strong retention levels and returning players that would help the business to become profitable.
The examples mentioned in this article show how quality products and strong integrated strategies help operators generate strong customer retention levels, but of course retention also has to be nurtured through regular dialogue and communication with players.
Enteractive’s corporate mission is to help operators increase their customer retention and reactivation rates and enable them to grow across highly competitive markets.
Find out more about how we can help you achieve those goals in the US.