30. September 2021 By Renat Mustafajev
Five trends the lottery industry must be ready for
In 2021, most industries suffered major financial losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying measures imposed to protect public health. The lottery industry was able to grow in some regions where online distribution channels were available, as a growing number of people have tried online gambling in recent months. Companies who did not offer an online option to play the lottery were left behind. In the US, for example, 42 states have a state lottery, but only eight of them also make the services available online. As a result, significantly fewer lottery tickets could be sold through the retail outlets due to contact restrictions. The time to act is now.
Lottery companies can no longer avoid these five trends that, in my opinion, will profoundly shape the lottery industry in the coming years.
1. Customer focus: personalised customer services and communication
More than ever, lotteries need to focus on the people who play them. That’s because their emotions and aspirations are what drive the game and because in the digital age, the next gambling site is just a few clicks away. It is all about getting to know as much about the players’ wants and needs as possible in order to deliver suitable services and communicate effectively with them. If lottery operators are able to do this, they will benefit from higher customer satisfaction and increased customer loyalty.
Today, you don’t need to go to work or the supermarket or shop to run your errands or do your job. Most things you can now do from the comfort of home. That also applies to playing the lottery.
In today’s world, buying tickets has to be quick, easy and convenient, especially if there are no lottery outlets near you who are open for business. For example, adesso’s iGaming platform, LotteryForce, provides one-click purchase options that can be placed on streaming platforms or social media networks – everywhere where customers are already online.
Digital gaming gives lottery operators an opportunity to learn a lot more about the players than would be possible at traditional retail outlets. It’s hard, after all, to find out more about the person who has bought a lottery ticket anonymously at a kiosk.
Lotteries can provide appealing, entertaining and personalised services if the right technical requirements are met. They need to use appropriate software and systems to collect, analyse and further utilise the relevant data on players and actions at the various points of contact. If they keep the human factor in mind at all steps in the process when selecting and deploying the software, they truly can put the customer at centre stage.
2. A smart, mobile world
Customers today have grown accustomed to being able to do whatever they want – whenever and anywhere they want. The services offered by lottery operators should therefore work across all devices. Smartphone apps are in broad use and have been for some time. But smartphones are no longer the only smart devices people have. Many enjoy the advantages that come with using a smart watch or tablet, while augmented reality glasses will soon be in widespread use in the not so distant future. At home, people are now increasingly connected to the digital world via voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. Lotteries can profit from this trend by creating apps designed specifically for smart watches or voice assistants to give users an option to complete transactions hands-free. And finally, the number of people who use voice assistants is growing all this time because they order products from Amazon via Alexa, for example.
3. Building bridges between the offline and online worlds
Lottery providers know who plays regularly, what games their customers like most and when they like to play. But once the ticket is rung up at the till, the interaction ends there. LotteryForce helps the operators develop customer relationships and digitalise the process. Every interaction is logged with the data captured by the app or at the terminal. Lottery providers can use this information to better understand players, develop personalised services and encourage customers to play.
There has never been a time in history when the rate of technological advancement was as fast as it is now. It is difficult to keep up with the pace of digitalisation, especially for older generations who were around when the technology was in its infancy. Lotteries should take care not to lose this key demographic who make up a significant proportion of lottery players. To ensure this does not happen, it is critical to find ways to inform them about the online services available to them.
Many older people prefer to buy their lottery tickets in the shop. As mentioned above, the relationship with core customers ends at the point of sale.
To get beyond this issue, it makes sense to support older customers by explaining how to use the app or software, if at all possible by guiding them through the installation process and showing them how to submit a ticket.
adesso is currently developing a VR app that will help train staff in retail outlets. Lotteries could offer an app like this to their customers, lowering the barrier to entry to the online shop and allowing them to play from anywhere in the future.
4. Protecting players
Lotteries have a responsibility to act fairly and transparently as well as protect the players. The lottery is a game of chance and any form of gambling entails risk. Companies must therefore use every opportunity to protect their customers by instilling a healthy attitude to playing the lottery. They need to understand that while winning the lottery can be a life-changing event, there are no guarantees that they will win, no matter how often they play. adesso’s iGaming platform, LotteryForce, can help them in this quest (more to come on this later). The platform can be used to set limits to protect players from heavy losses. In addition, special modules can be used to analyse the habits of lottery players and spot unhealthy habits early on.
5. Social responsibility
Many of us are no longer indifferent to what a company stands for when we buy something from them. In fact, we care about whether the company has strong ethical practices. If it does not, we will take our money elsewhere. This is largely the result of our greater awareness of business ethics that is evolving in line with advances in technology. Lotteries should recognise this responsibility and turn it into a strength. I believe it is important for the companies to be transparent about the charitable organisations they are affiliated with through the funds earmarked to them and about which projects they support. This way, they can let people know that buying a lottery ticket gives them a chance to win while also helping those in need.
Technology will play a major role in shaping how our future will look. The potential is immense, and lottery companies stand to benefit. We help lottery providers to fully align strategies, organisations, processes and infrastructures to their customers’ needs and to the challenges that digitalisation presents in the gaming market.
We have drawn on our vast experience to develop LotteryForce The iGaming platform and cross-channel sales solution allows lotteries to reach all users through the individual components of the system and obtain a true 360-degree view of the activities of the players for whom they are responsible or whom they support on behalf of a B2B partner. Either way you look at it, LotteryForce campaigns let lottery companies directly or indirectly target known players.