Optimising registration forms in gaming
14 July 2017
A registration form on an online gambling website is one of the most important parts in the customer acquisition process. Let’s take a look at why this is a crucial area for operators and how we can make the most out of registration forms for the gambling industry.
Once a customer has made the decision to sign up with a sports betting or casino operator, registration forms are the first point of contact in that journey. Operators are required by law to ask for a lot of specific information to verify a customer’s age and identity, so a registration form needs to be really simple and easy to complete. If a form is clunky and the customer is faced with a number of obstacles, they may end up leaving and joining another operator. This, of course, will drive up already high acquisition costs.
Keep up the good form
Currently, a large number of registration forms in gaming don’t get the love and attention they deserve. Usually, when a customer is shown an entire form upfront, they might be put off because there’s so much information to fill out and nobody really wants to spend time entering details. Customers aren’t always told why they’re being asked for lots of information as these forms tend to lack context or even any guidance to aid the them to completion. Some forms aren’t even optimised for mobile, which now should be one of the first priorities in form design.
To make a form feel less tedious, it should be broken up into sections, whilst displaying a progress indicator, so the customer knows exactly where they are in the journey, what to expect and how much is left to fill out. The use of tooltips will also help the user complete the form much quicker as they provide clear guidance on how to fill in the more obscure fields.
In his book, Don’t Make Me Think, Steve Krug states that it’s not always about the number of steps or clicks it takes to complete an action: “It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.” As long as each step in the registration process is simple and clear, the user will spend less time thinking, therefore signing up within a matter of minutes.
Errors can also be quite frustrating, especially when the customer is told at the very end, forcing them to go back and fix the problem. It’s important to make sure that forms are validated throughout the journey and they show helpful instructions on how to recover. Access to a Help section or Live Chat throughout the journey means that customers can resolve issues at any point and are less likely to abandon registration.
Every input slows users down
Some registration forms can be tedious because of relying too much on unnecessary input fields. For example, drop down menus can be quite clunky, especially on mobile. For details like the title, you really don’t need a drop down, as it’s much easier to simply select whichever is applicable if there are only a few options. There should be a good reason for using drop down menus or text entry fields. Drop downs take longer to find the right option so in some cases, like entering a date of birth, a simple number entry would suffice. It’s important to validate these options through A/B testing to analyse what works best for customers.
It’s also important to display the right keyboard on mobile devices, such as a number keyboard for entering the date of birth or a text keyboard that includes the @ symbol when typing an email address. These small details make a massive difference to the time spent filling out each field. UK bank accounts have a sort code, which consists of three pairs of digits (11-22-33). Quite often, they need to be entered in separate boxes, so it is very useful that the cursor always moves along with the numbers and the user doesn’t need to click or tap to enter the next one.
Users can also experience obstacles when thinking of an alternative username when their first choice isn’t available. Offering suggested usernames helps speed up their decision e.g. a username similar to their initial choice with additional numbers. It’s less thinking time for the user and easy to remember.
Entering passwords can get unnecessarily complicated. The more requirements there are, the more difficult a password is to remember. Understandably, this is all done to ensure maximum security, but operators must help customers set their password with as little effort possible. MailChimp’s password input is very simple - there’s a checklist of requirements which turn grey as soon as they are met and acts as a visual guide to reflect progression.
Minimise human error
Operators are required to follow a Know Your Customer (KYC) process to verify their users’ identities and legal age to play, so entering an address is mandatory. While customers may complete the form, this is one of the main areas where many fail verification due to simple typos or wrong information entered in the address field.
It’s important that there’s little room for human error when entering an address. For example, using an address lookup feature will increase the number of KYC approvals, resulting in more sign ups. Mr Green and William Hill display great examples of these. Allowing the user to search their address or postcode displays the most accurate information. Operators should still have the manual entry option but only for cases when an address is not found or a customer lives in a different country which the lookup system does not cater for.
Be more transparent
There are multiple discussions around the upcoming European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will affect gambling operators from 2018. GDPR will address the EU-wide data protection rules to provide a more structured governance between the operators. One of the changes will require them to be more transparent about how the customer data will be used. This includes obtaining user consent to be contacted for marketing purposes. Customers will need to manually select from specific options how they would prefer to receive any communication (email, post, text etc). Asking customers clearly and honestly will build trust and loyalty.
Continue testing and improving the form
We’ve spent quite some time working on Betfred’s registration form over the years. After we last redesigned their mobile form, we saw a 34% increase in sign ups which has massively benefited their business. We’re constantly working on updating and improving this and we’ve found that using tools like Google Analytics to A/B test is a very useful way to find out what we can improve further. Forms should always be ever-evolving and operators need to be constantly analysing them to understand where drop offs occur and how they can improve the customer journey.
If more time and effort was spent on the usability and design of registration forms, the entire process would be so much simpler and more engaging. Fixing small, but annoying elements will grow customer satisfaction. From a business point of view, if there is an rise in customer acquisition, this will result in more transactions and increased revenue.