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IN-DEPTH 3 January 2018
Attracting the next gaming generation
Jade Sahota, Head of Design at Degree 53 explains how gambling operators can better position their products to appeal to a younger demographic
By Gambling Insider

Today, we have a wide range of online gaming options available from sports betting, lottery and bingo to various casino games. However, despite this variety, their services are still relatively homogenous and some tend to lack an engaging experience. This is one of the reasons why customers opt for brands that offer attractive promotions instead of being loyal to a certain operator. While sign up bonuses may work for the time being, gaming companies will need to take a different approach to attracting the next generation of customers who are more online-savvy and value UX and engagement above anything else.

DELIGHTFUL DETAILS

Often, the solution to a product with a fun gaming experience lies in the small details that would delight the user. It’s always nice to open an app that presents its information in an engaging way. For example, onboarding can be displayed in a creative way, using graphics and animations that reflect the brand and its personality. Similarly, page transitions, phone gestures, push notifications and sounds can be incorporated to enhance that. Operators could really take inspiration from leading brands, such as Google. The tech company’s walkthroughs or ‘Get Started’ messages are supported by interactive visuals and animations with a friendly tone that makes the entire experience fun and interesting.

BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP

It’s a known issue across the gaming industry that operators are struggling to bridge the gap between the current punters and the younger generation. Spending more time online and on other gaming and sports platforms, such as video and mobile games, social media, as well as eSports, Millennials approach gaming in a considerably different way and are not necessarily interested in casino games or sports betting. They look up to brands that offer a comprehensive experience, such as Playstation, Netflix and Snapchat that understand their needs and speak the same language. This means that to attract a younger audience, operators need to change their tactics to modernise their products and communication. They should look at what companies outside of gaming are doing and how Millennials respond to them.

GAMIFYING THE EXPERIENCE

One of the proven user experience tactics that could really address the generation gap challenge is gamification. It’s become a massive success across many video gaming, retail, sports, education and even corporate apps. This is why it’s somewhat surprising that operators are reluctant to use it. Gamification is a tried and tested model that works for customers as well as brands. Encouraging users to participate in various activities to earn points or rewards can grow engagement and retention, as well as increasing customer spend. Gamification could be incorporated throughout the entire gaming or betting experience from registering to playing games, or placing bets on various events. For example, operators could highlight any trending games or matches, showing some contextual information and encouraging users to bet to reach a milestone or earn a reward. This could be easily linked to a loyalty scheme, showing the user’s progress and what they can do to achieve the next reward. This would add more fun to the entire experience, as well as building a stronger relationship with the customer.

There is industry-wide concern over acquiring new customers and attracting the younger generation to betting or gambling. One of the challenges is different digital gaming experiences and habits of the current punters and millennials. The latter have different platforms to accessing sports and games, such as video games and social media. Therefore, operators need to change their offering and customer experience to attract the younger generation and provide products they can relate to. Operators need to take a look at other successful brands, such as Candy Crush or Casumo, and follow in their footsteps to appeal to new demographics. Focusing more heavily on customer engagement, offering services that are more game-like with light-hearted and friendly brand personality could really boost acquisition and build a better relationship with these customers.
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IN-DEPTH 17 April 2018
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