As competition becomes ever more fierce, the necessity of installing effective retention strategies to ensure a continuous uplift in performance is increasingly crucial.

In the latest CasinoBeats roundtable, John Smith, VP of Sales, Gamification and Loyalty at Xtremepush, and Denis Kosinsky, Chief Operating Officer at NuxGame, address evolving trends, which tools are found to be the most effective when it comes to retention and the effectiveness of data within the process.

CasinoBeats: Data-driven decision making is at the forefront of platform providers’ minds this year. What do your data insights show about how operators can retain and continually engage customers?

John Smith: Effective personalisation is the key to retention and growth for operators. The more data an operator has on a player, the richer the profile of that player becomes, meaning they can be presented with highly relevant content and offers via their preferred channels. This is where the modern CRM platform comes in, as an essential tool for shaping the player journey.

John Smith, VP of Sales, Gamification and Loyalty at Xtremepush

We believe that AI has a big part to play within retention and engagement, giving operators the power to leverage machine learning for campaign personalisation.

Our solution will offer out-of-the-box models for the most common use cases while allowing operators to create highly customised AI models to match their own user data and use cases. It’s a transparent tool that provides a detailed view of a customer’s behaviour and preferences to tailor their experience.

Denis Kosinsky: At NuxGame, staying ahead of the curve means anticipating the evolution of player preferences. Working on retention on the casino platform side is more of a multifaceted process than within a game itself and involves looking at the external factors that would keep a player coming back rather than specific gameplay.

Our platform has a strong emphasis on user experience and AI-driven personalisation, which has led to the success of clients dependent on retention. We have also revolutionised our aggregation platform to deliver more than just games; we provide a bespoke, customer-centric service.

Through harnessing cutting-edge data analytics, we not only address the immediate requirements of our operators but also anticipate and adjust to their users’ evolving preferences.

CB: Gamification and personalisation are all methods used to tailor products to specific demographics of customers. How do you see this evolving in 2024 and what key trends have caught your eye?

Denis Kosinsky, Chief Operating Officer at NuxGame

DK: Loyalty programs remain a quintessential strategy in all sectors for retention. They mean that operators can form a connection with users and personalise the experience.

Speaking to player psychology, loyalty programs stimulate a challenge and a need to accumulate points which maintains engagement on the operator’s website. Our Loyalty Tier Programme provides an easy-to-use UI to track points, redeem rewards and view history.

Our vision is trained on crafting a personalised iteration of this concept. This means empowering our clients with advanced admin tools including tier management, deleting, or modifying tiers, as well as the ability to create shop items and track purchases to tailor rewards specifically for individual players. This customisation fosters stronger brand loyalty and deeper connections with an audience.

JS: Free-to-play games are a useful tool that can help operators gather a deeper understanding of a player’s behaviour. We still see some operators utilising FTP purely for acquisition, but mindsets are starting to change as the realisation kicks in that they can offer so much more than that.

Used to best effect, FTP solutions can help to increase daily activity, reactivate players and increase deposits. I believe that FTP should form an integral part of an overall CRM strategy for operators, as part of a unified solution. This way, operators can use player data to serve up personalised content based on real-time rewards and real-time actions.

While I expect to see new game types emerge in 2024 as operators seek to grow their player bases, the real evolution will be how the data this content provides is used.

CB: Which of your retention tools do you find to be most successful and what is it about them that works so well?

JS: The key is to provide a range of solutions across a number of channels because one size will never fit all. Within the mix, loyalty and reward programmes will always have a big part to play in making players feel valued, even before they sign up. Education is also an important aspect that can be addressed through FTP experiences.

It’s a chance for players to try something new for free – a parlay bet, for example, or a slot game – and build confidence to have a go at it for real. We are also increasingly seeing operator mindsets changing over omni-channel solutions.

While once there was a perception that the online solutions would cannibalise land-based business in a market like the US, we have found that players are more likely to try new games or place different bet types in person, having experienced them first online. The right omnichannel marketing strategy presents players with offers and reward schemes across both land-based and online worlds.

DK: In a fiercely competitive igaming landscape, gamification is a vital tool for player acquisition and retention. Features such as player tournaments, free spins, live stream promotions and leaderboards are integrated into our platform, providing an immersive experience that truly entertains.

An emerging trend from 2023 has been multiplayer slots, with the feature waking the competitive spirit with players, mirroring the feeling of a video game. Our proprietary PVP battles allow users to take on opponents for jackpot prizes. They have been a resounding success in increasing the LTV of clients’ players.

In addition, the new tool allows operators to customise the mechanic in line with their brand’s identity, including battle type, stake limits and jackpot boundaries, to finely tune the game to resonate strongly with their specific player base.