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Personalization: Augmenting the bettor experience

Insight | Analysis

With the sportsbook business heating up, and everyone leading with their mobile apps, it is high time that operators began to differentiate their digital offering. Russell Karp, senior vice president of DataArt says that there is a tremendous opportunity for companies to leverage the power of personalization to drive retention.

Personalization is powering the future of the media industry, helping businesses stand out from the competition and nurture a loyal fan base.

Most mainstream platforms deliver personalized experiences on their apps, yet when it comes to sports betting, users are still often faced with static interfaces devoid of any personal touches.

As Jonathan Power, Managing Director at Voxbet, said in a recent interview with DataArt, “Everybody looks the same now. […] You’re still offering an old-style user interface, which is going through endless clicks of menus. And that doesn’t happen anywhere else in the digital world. It doesn’t happen on Spotify, it doesn’t happen on Twitter, it doesn’t happen on TikTok, it doesn’t happen on Amazon. But it happens in sports betting”.

Operators are potentially missing out on significant payoffs by not implementing personalized digital offerings. These payoffs range from immediate returns such as improved usability and customer satisfaction, to mid- and long-term benefits such as increased engagement and enhanced user retention.

Personalization has a direct and positive impact on the bottom line of businesses.

Improving usability

While operators may prioritize innovative data solutions such as machine learning or blockchain when developing their apps, they can sometimes overlook fundamental elements like user experience (UX).

A strong understanding of UX is essential, as even a platform that boasts the latest features and capabilities will struggle to succeed if it has poor usability and is difficult to navigate. Therefore, prioritizing UX is critical for operators to create an app that is user-friendly and successful in the marketplace.

A fast and intuitive platform design in terms of technology doesn’t always translate into a positive real-life user experience. That’s why it’s important to adopt a fan-centric approach when developing a betting product.

To achieve a good user experience, focus on three key factors: ease of use, personalization, and localization. Ensure that your betting solution is newbie-friendly and mobile-optimized, making it easy for users to understand the different types of bets, how to place bets, and how to cancel them. Include security features without being overly restrictive, provide clear payment and payout options, and consider other UX factors like speed, accessibility, and customer support.

Having a good tech stack is important, but adoption will be impeded if users can’t navigate or engage with your app.

Prioritizing usability is crucial as it provides a solid foundation for building personalized features. By ensuring that users can easily and intuitively navigate your app, you create a strong user experience that sets the stage for more advanced features like personalization.

Therefore, usability is a critical component in creating a successful app that meets user needs and expectations.

A customized interface for every bettor

Creating a customized interface is the first step towards providing a satisfying fan experience.

By allowing users to select their favorite sports or teams, you can display relevant content and events on their home page. Providing personalized content feeds tailored to the user’s interests – such as news, analysis, and educational material on their selected sports or betting – can enhance the experience even further.

Complementing this with a notification system that keeps users updated on their favorite sports or events is an excellent addition; a number of operators have already implemented this feature, but this should be standard in every app.

To make sports betting apps even more personalized, you can add features like “My Stats”, “My Events”, or “My Rewards”. These elements summarize a user’s betting history and performance, interests, and pay-offs, allowing them to better manage their betting activity. By incorporating these personalized elements, you can significantly improve user experience and foster a more engaging and satisfying experience for your users.

Nurturing with social elements

Going beyond simply having social media widgets linking to Facebook or Twitter, leveraging the power of human connections is crucial to increasing fan engagement and retention.

Incorporating forums or message boards where users can discuss bets and share information can increase “dwell time” and usage, and also fosters a sense of community among users. Additionally, offering a feature that lets users create an avatar adds another layer of personalization to the app, which can further increase engagement.

Another effective way to leverage social media is by allowing users to set up and manage their own betting groups or leagues within the app and displaying the results and standings. FanDuel’s Friends Mode is a great example of this.

By adding sharing features and gamified elements, FanDuel simplified league management, increased user engagement, and also created a new revenue stream in the process.

Therefore, incorporating social media features that foster community and connection among users is an effective way to enhance user engagement and retention.

Read part two here.