Getting the basics right for the sportsbook
05 December 2018
The digital space offers a variety of opportunities for gambling operators, such as providing innovative and diverse products to their customers. In particular, mobile technology has become a great channel for reaching a wider audience at any time and any place. Sports betting continues to grow across Europe, generating around £2.3 billion GGY in the UK alone, and is a great opportunity for operators to capitalise on.
The distinct popularity of mobile has opened doors for sportsbook owners to get creative to gain as many customers as possible. Spending substantial amounts of money on marketing and acquisition may definitely bring in new users, however, it is also essential to get the basics of the product right to make sure it meets their expectations in terms of the design, UX and ease of use so they keep coming back.
Load testing as a preventative measure
Before rolling out an extensive marketing campaign, operators need to ensure the sportsbook can handle lots of users at once, especially around the biggest sporting events. This can be achieved with load testing which involves a simulation of a high traffic event using multiple sportsbook features simultaneously. These tests can show which elements withstand peak times, as well as whether any more server capacity or code optimisation is required. This type of prevention can be really useful ahead of any important event and limit the risk of losing service availability.
Integrating a robust data feed
Finding a reliable sports data provider that would seamlessly integrate with the sportsbook to provide live event news and score feeds is another key element for operators to consider. Users expect to access information instantly, so it’s important to display the latest results as soon as possible for both recently finished matches or events, as well as in-play games. This can be done by selecting the right data feed provider and integrating it into the sportsbook with the right system and API. Some operators may be dealing with legacy platforms, so it’s vital to find the right supplier that understands how different systems can be joined together.
Designing with the user in mind
Once the back-office is set up, it is crucial to focus on the frontend and design. Sportsbook UX can facilitate user retention when it meets customer preferences and needs when it comes to betting. It’s important to create the user journey by thinking like the customer and considering every step they would take when using the app. This means that the product manager needs to take into account the different mobile devices of their target audience, how users of different levels will engage with the sportsbook app and how easy it is to get to the main sections (find the right match or game, access account/register or find help).
Sportsbook design can be very busy, with numerous sections for each sport, images, news and announcements that take up a lot of space on the screen, which can be confusing or distracting for many users. Therefore, designers need to create interfaces with minimal graphics, yet clear elements relative to each sport or feature. The design also needs to correlate with the UX and implement the standard functionalities of each device that the user will be accustomed to. Taking into consideration both the design and UX principles for each platform will improve the customer experience, as well as encouraging users to return thanks to the user-friendly sportsbook functionality.
Putting the customer first
Sports betting continues to grow across Europe and it is very easy for operators to reach their target audience via mobile sportsbooks. It’s a great opportunity for them to provide innovative products to overcome their competitors and be present on such a personal device. To achieve this and retain users, they need to make sure the sportsbook is robust, provides smooth service during peak times and biggest sporting events, as well as having great functionalities in terms of providing latest updates on each match or in-play games. Moreover, sportsbook UX and design also need to go hand in hand to provide a pleasant customer experience. Both novices and regular users need to be able to find the right sport or match to place a bet, as well as accessing their account or the operator’s customer services. Getting these basic elements right will increase the chances of improving retention, as well as growing the customer value for the operator.
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