Gaming Innovation Group may itself be a company in transition, one that now focuses entirely on the B2B sector, but the group’s current drive is in helping other organisations to change.
CasinoBeats spoke to James King, the company’s director of sales, to find out what GiG is doing to help land-based operators make the omni-channel move.
CasinoBeats: Given today’s climate with the ongoing global pandemic, can you give us a brief overview of how embracing the digital world can benefit land-based operators?
James King: The landscape for retail operators has dramatically shifted over the past six months, initially with forced closures, which in many countries are still in place, and now a gradual, limited reopening amid the constant threat of having to close once more at a moment’s notice.
Among many things, the global pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a digital offering to complement and in fact support a retail operation. Under ‘normal’ circumstances, we’ve been seeing a steady shift in strategy from land-based operators looking to pursue opportunities to grow and diversify their earnings and, in doing so, addressing a relatively young, fast-growing industry that can be highly complementary to their land-based activities and offer their players a multi-channel gaming experience.
Having a complete approach in both the online and offline world allows the operator to be ever accessible to their customers.
In summary, by embracing the digital world as a land-based operator, you can leverage your current brand equity within your market/s to drive player acquisition, retention (especially in light of the pandemic and the loss of facetime on property with players) and, ultimately, revenue.
“…players need to be able to navigate the two worlds in a seamless manner”
CB: So, is an omni-channel solution crucial to the digital transformation of a land-based operator?
JK: Yes, if you want to leverage each asset to benefit the other, then a seamless omni-channel experience for your players to move between the two worlds is a must-have. In most cases land-based operators have been building brand equity within their given market for years and it would therefore make total sense to utilise this when moving into the online space.
If delivered and managed correctly there is no reason why one environment can’t support and drive traffic and revenue to the other. However, as mentioned above, the players need to be able to navigate the two worlds in a seamless manner, recognising one as part of the other and vice versa – and this can only be achieved with a powerful omni-channel solution.
CB: What creates that ‘powerful’ omni-channel experience?
JK: I believe this solution has two key pillars. Firstly, each environment should reflect a similar look and feel to the other. You want players from the land-based site to feel a familiarity and comfort with the online offering and feel the USPs they did in the retail, online.
This can range from similar design, through to the VIP experience as well as the content – players want to see the games they play on the floor available to them online. This will benefit the reverse scenario too, that players acquired and retained through online will choose the retail solution over others based on the familiarity and loyalty built online.
The second part – and arguably the most important – is to ensure you offer a seamless omni-channel experience for players navigating between the two worlds. For example, if a player registers in the casino, they should automatically get an online account and not have to register twice.
“The landscape for retail operators has dramatically shifted over the past six months”
They should be able to move funds between offline and online wallets (or as close to this as possible depending on specific regulatory requirements within the given market) as well as continue to build loyalty in both.
So if you’re climbing a loyalty ladder on an offline slot and need to leave, then you can pick up from the point you left on your mobile or computer. For me, that is the goal state that operators should aspire for when driving omni-channel.
CB: What are the USPs of GiG’s omni-channel solution?
JK: At GiG, we work with our partners to ensure their digital transformation is a smooth process that offers players a tailored and seamless journey between retail and online environments.
Our omni-channel solution can be integrated with any casino management system, allowing our partners to harmoniously combine their retail and digital offering. From a single point of registration that covers both worlds, to a single wallet allowing players to transfer funds instantly between all channels, through to a joined loyalty system giving players the choice where they earn and use their points.
Our solution increases customer convenience, translating into higher player lifetime value and retention as well as increasing our partners margins. The key benefits are summarised as:
- Uninterrupted player journey between retail and online.
- One seamless registration for all channels.
- Improve player experience and engagement via increased touch points.
- Drive loyalty and retention with detailed player spending insights.
- Engage players across all channels.
- Build loyalty and boost margins.
- Connect with a wider audience and customise the offer.
“…from player acquisition, management and retention there needs to be a digitally focussed solution/team”
CB: What additional services should a land-based operator consider when entering the digital space?
JK: When a land-based operator moves into the online space, the approach from a managed-service point of view will differ from that of the land-based operation, so from player acquisition, management and retention there needs to be a digitally focussed solution/team.
They will need to think about how they manage the support for their online site and also about aspects such as content, marketing and promotions, onboarding and KYC, payments and risk-and-fraud support, for example.
If an operator decides to bring these services in-house this will result in a long recruitment process as well as increased overheads from bringing a large team onto the books prior to going live.
At GiG we offer a full suite of managed services that provide operators with what they need and when they need it. This ranges from 24/7 customer support, through to managed media services and content management tailor-made to an operators business needs.
An operator benefits from an highly experienced and well trained team that can be leveraged to their advantage, without the high costs and time associated with bringing a large team in house and training them up. These services can then, over time, if desired, be taken in-house as the online operation grows.
CB: What other areas should a land-based operator consider when expanding their operations online?
JK: They will need to think about how they are going to drive quality traffic to their site by putting a digital marketing strategy in place that not only helps to retail their current customer base, but also makes sure that new opportunities are captured.
At GiG our media managed service team has decades of combined experience of driving results for online casinos and in successfully supporting land-based casinos in their digital transformation.
With our media managed-services solution, we create a proven acquisition model that specialises in following player journeys and focuses on customer experience, providing operators with actionable and competitive insights to help them make better decisions around their acquisition strategy.