Omnichannel is a common theme in this sector. The term has been with us for a while now – the simple concept of offering the same product via different channels. Now, when the words innovation and evolution are mentioned, it is imagined that reference is being made to developments many years down the road. However, with omnichannel, this paper will suggest that the future is now.
When it comes to his gaming and betting experience, the consumer has high expectations and this report explains how any operator can deliver on these right now, using existing technologies.
That technology is artificial intelligence or A.I. for short. A technology will help operators attract players and – vitally – attain high degrees of brand loyalty.
The following pages will give an overview of how an effective next-level platform, based on A.I., can help to generate additional revenues via a ‘thinking’ omnichannel platform, able to calibrate player offers and produce suggestions according to each player’s personal preference, whether that is mobile, online desktop or retail.
What can Omnichannel already provide to players today?
- The same level of service via every channel
- A unified betting engine
- Differentiated betting content according to each channel
These are important aims. However, for the future of omnichannel we need to look at what operators will be requiring from their systems in the future. These include the ability to:
- Collect same quality of players’ data through every channel
- Operate cross channel-data analysis
- Settle automatic marketing and fraud prevention actions according to the player’s channel in use (online, mobile or retail)
- Deliver a totally one-to-one customized experience, different for each channel, according to every single player’s behavior and preferences.
The technology method
The real innovation lies in being able to give the player the power to decide where to bet/play and on which product. It is about knowing what the clients prefer and using that information to inform future offers to gain their attention, trust and ultimately their loyalty.
Today’s bettors are ever more demanding and are now cross-channel users. They play in shops, online and mobile.
When they enter a shop to make a bet, the operator ideally wants to know:
- As much information as possible about his customers
- To recognize them immediately as mobile or online players
- To understand their betting preferences, which team they support, and which type of match they like to bet on
- To have the tools and adequate technology that can help you to recognize your bettor’s aptitude, and if they are also a mobile or online player know what they normally stake money on.
The key is to have the right tools available to, first, collect the data and second, transform the raw stats into actionable information about a player. It means an operator can provide a tailor-made offer and a satisfying gaming experience, regardless of the channel that player is using to arrive at the product offering.
Artificial intelligence plays a central role in this process
A.I. is crucial to provide personalized and satisfying offers cross-channels and it works through four fundamental steps:
- Collecting data from players/bettors when he is on the site (as his age, his preferred teams, his preferred bets and events, etc.)
- Collecting data also in shops through the CASHIER ASSISTED BETS SYSTEM
- Analyzing the data and player behaviors and categorizing players by their similarities
- Automating offers that are tailored to the interests of each individual player segment
Importantly, this is a continuous process – a flow of information, analysis and suggested bets that can be offered to each player regardless of channel – and which can help operators’ direct traffic between mobile, online and retail.
The agent opens an account for the bettor and places the bets directly into his unified account. The bettor can play via mobile or online, and cross-channel via a single account (and wallet). The gaming intelligence monitors the user’s behavior and, thanks to the Recommendation Engine, suggests the best bets, events or games that it predicts the player will like.
No matter if the bettor decides to play in a shop, online or mobile, operators can be supported by the gaming intelligence to deliver the most appropriate gaming offer at any moment through technology, increasing the player loyalty and brand’s revenues.
Further aspects to consider
The evolution of the technology has advanced beyond simple player management systems that enable operators to acquire and analyze a player’s data and behavior. The innovation of A.I. – and the related concept of the Recommendation Engine – enables operators to automatically cluster users according to their interests and preferences, managed across all channels and providing them with cross-channel marketing solutions.
The combination of A.I. and R.E.
A closer look at the concept of A.I.
A.I. is fundamental for analysis and personalization. Through sophisticated algorithms, A.I. can interpret key player information (player’s happiness level, type of player and player segment) and enable a dynamic segmentation of gamers according to their behavior.
The Recommendation Engine (R.E.) becomes the essential solution to retain players.
In sports-betting and online casino, players are provided with a huge range of sports, events, bets and games. The selection of events and games must be quick and the customers need suggestions to access their preferred content, all in a one-click. The R.E. – working alongside the A.I. programmer – can predict similar bets and games that the player will be interested in. The consequence? The combination of A.I. and R.E. enables operators to easily build the best marketing strategies and most effective specific promotional activities. Moreover, it reduces cost.
The combination of A.I. and R.E.
The combination of the Artificial Intelligence and the Recommendation Engine brings countless benefits for both players and operators.
A.I. helps licensees to:
- Monitoring of the player’s data, activity, preferences through the sophisticated and precise algorithms (based on the human brain system and processes)
- Analyze an immeasurable amount of key player information (player’s happiness level, type of player and player segment
- Micro-segment gamers dynamically according to their behavior
- Automate actions for marketing strategies and risk and fraud management.
The RE enables operators to:
- Collect and analyze the information on player behavior, activities and preferences
- Predict what players would like to bet on next
- Offer quick automatic suggestions to customers to access their preferred bets in one-click
- Offer specific automatic one-to-one marketing campaigns
Sportsbook and casino R.E. characteristic.
Looking more closely as the characteristics of both the sportsbook and the casino recommendation engines, it is notable that there has been wholesale adoption of REs in e-commerce – but it is not so prevalent in the online gaming sector. Indeed, from BtoBet’s analysis of the current state of the market the evidence shows that very few operators have developed REs for their own operations. Meanwhile, in the gaming supplier arena there is even less evidence of R.E. adoption. BtoBet is the amongst the first companies in the sector to offer both casino games and sports-betting REs.
Depending on the algorithm used, recommendation engines can mainly be defined on the following lines:
- Collaborative Filtering
- Content-Based Filtering
- Hybrid Recommendation Systems
BtoBet’s B Neuron System is a hybrid recommendation engine, which can provide more accurate recommendations than the two other (pure) approaches. It is based on both content and collaborative methods. This is extremely useful when you are looking to overcome common problems in recommendation systems such as cold start and the sparsity issues. Recent research has demonstrated that a hybrid approach, combining collaborative filtering and content-based filtering could be more effective. In example, the Netflix Recommendation System is based on just such a hybrid recommendation engine.
The BtoBet sports-betting R.E. (available for online and mobile betting) can control and suggest bets or events, including virtual, live and eSports. It will acquire and analyze the bettors’ behavior according to sport, category, tournament, competitors and market-type preferences. BtoBet’s recommendation engine is regularly re-trained on an extremely short timeframe – adding in accreted new data and player behavior – and can fully and precisely update the system and every single player’s profile.
The Casino R.E. recommends all games according to their similarity, comparing the attributes of the games – such as theme, volatility and category – and matching it with player preferences. For new players, the recommendations are strictly based on the collaborative approach: it follows a filtered method, then collects and analyzes a large amount of information on players’ behaviors, activities or preferences and predicts what players will like giving social-proof recommendations.
The benefits of innovation through AI and RE
Innovation through Artificial Intelligence and Recommendation Engine brings lots of benefits to both, players and operators.
- feels unique after receiving suggestions based on preferences, cross-channel
- enjoys a dedicated one-to-one front-end, designed according to preferences
- has more time for playing and enjoying the betting experience – less time searching
- receives one-to-one marketing offers, tailored by behavior channel-by-channel
- enhanced user experience
- gains detailed and select knowledge about the player, channel-by-channel
- paves the way for better marketing and business management plans
- increases players’ loyalty to the brand and life-time value
- increases revenues