Thomas Filippou: How digital technology innovation is redefining the retail experience

By Gambling Insider

This article originally appeared in the November/December edition of Gambling Insider magazine: Thomas Filippou, Intralot group director of retail transformation discusses digital technology innovation and how it’s redefining the retail experience

Digital technology continues to transform retail by changing the ways of engagement for consumers, their micro-moments and their purchasing path. It is commonly accepted that the viability of retail spaces all around the world is being challenged by the rise of e-commerce, the overabundance of retail space and changes in consumer behaviour. Furthermore, COVID-19 changed the reality of retail in a way we could not have imagined. However, this is neither a new nor a unique challenge. The retail market has been experiencing major disruptions for some time due to strong competition from online retail and changing consumer behavior. The development of mobile e-commerce and the growth of digitally savvy millennial shoppers are dramatically changing consumer expectations in terms of in-store shopping experience.

To mitigate these challenges, retailers are adopting an omnichannel approach, in which they combine offline and online activities. Customers desire a convenient, easy and frictionless experience, which prompts retailers to examine and apply new technologies that enhance the in-store customer experience. Moving further into the digital era, retailers are also concerned about customer retention, as well as with reduction of costs with the use of new technologies, such as AI, IoT, RPA and big data analytics.

Moreover, the in-store, frictionless experience is driven by the increasing number of available payment alternatives. Both retailers and consumers seek touch-free options that provide a secure and safe experience for all. The answer is a consumer purchasing journey, which provides a balance of security, convenience and speed, while making the purchasing process as “touchless” for both retailers and consumers as possible.

It’s imperative that the technology components of the touchless journey are fully aligned with the latest market trends and advancements to offer both customers and retailers an enhanced participation experience

Intralot’s extensive knowledge and in-field research led to the conception of a new purchasing journey specifically for retail locations in order to strengthen player loyalty and appeal to younger audiences. Dedicated to accelerating the pace of digital transformation in retail, we are aiming at enhancing the lottery and betting experience via a “touchless journey” for customers in retail locations. Customers who visit retail stores will be able to purchase any lottery or sports betting game ticket in various ways with the use of their own mobile phones. In this “touchless journey” for retail, a smart mobile application enables players to select any type of lottery game, view betting markets and odds and build their selection slips digitally. When play selections are prepared, customers use their own mobile device for quick and easy play submission in the retail store and contactless payment. 

It’s imperative that the technology components of the touchless journey are fully aligned with the latest market trends and advancements to offer both customers and retailers an enhanced participation experience. Technology delivers a hassle-free player experience, especially for sports betting players who often find it hard and confusing to fill in a bet slip due to the complexity of the market offering.

Stepping into the new era of mobile apps, data collection and the new customer path, lotteries have access to priceless knowledge and insights that digitally transform the traditional retail environment. Information regarding trends of player participation, gaming options and spending habits lead to successful predictive analysis and data-driven decisions (through AI), which go straight to the heart of player wishes. All these new technologies and tools give lotteries the opportunity to identify the needs and preferences of players, offering them relevant products and services.

There is an exciting digital future ahead as lotteries and betting operators embark on new journeys of experience and growth.

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