Ideas & musings about consumer behaviour

Sports bettors expect ease of use as a bare minimum

Sports bettors expect ease of use as a bare minimum

Author: Marie Sheehan

In the year February 2014 to February 2015 Global Reviews conducted three Digital Sales Effectiveness* studies into the Sports Betting Industry in the UK and Ireland.

This research examines how effective 888, Bet Fred, Bet Victor, Bet365, Betfair, Coral, Ladbrokes, Matchbook, PaddyPower, Sky Bet and William Hill are at converting customers online.

Bettors expect more online
Prospective bettors are looking for key online capabilities from a sports betting site – a website that is easy to navigate, information that is easy to understand and the ability to register and manage their account online.

These factors have remained key to their usage decisions for the past year, and in fact, one in five would immediately abandon the website if they encountered a problem; users just won’t give sites the benefit of the doubt any more, they will seamlessly move on to a competitor.

Sites that make registration a faff, or hide key pieces of information such as phone numbers, will suffer as users refuse to make what they see as unnecessary effort.

Features of sports betting providers’ websites that were “nice to have” are now expected to be there by consumers. The key is keeping them “invisible” while delivering a seamless customer journey filled with all the factors bettors need, but that doesn’t get in the way on their pathway to purchase.

Fig 1: Top ten reasons a bettor chooses one sports betting provider over another (mean scores on a ten point scale) Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Fig 1: Top ten reasons a bettor chooses one sports betting provider over another (mean scores on a ten point scale)
Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Expecting more: Higher abandonment rate
When we asked in market consumers (consumers who are looking to open a sports betting account within the next 90 days) what they would do if they encountered a problem on a sports betting provider’s website, 19% would immediately leave and look for another provider. This has increased from 12% in the last year.

This increase in abandonment rate is a clear sign of change. Consumers are becoming harder to please and should they encounter a problem on the website, they more likely to leave than they were 12 months ago.

It is worth pointing out that the study we ran in June was conducted during the World Cup, when there were consumers opening sports betting account that aren’t regular bettors; so they might have needed more support, which it seems they didn’t get.

Fig 2: What consumers would do if they encountered a problem on a Sports Betting provider’s website Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Fig 2: What consumers would do if they encountered a problem on a Sports Betting provider’s website
Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Users want an online chat feature

A substantial number of bettors who encounter a problem on sports betting provider’s website would look for an online chat feature for support. At 28% this is a much higher proportion of consumers when compared to other industries – 18% in the motor insurance industry and 17% in the mortgage industry.

Why might this be? Well, it may be related to the time sensitive nature of the industry; the urge to lock down certain odds would suggest a need to solve a problem sooner rather than later. This means that sports betting sites need to be alert to users’ demands for immediate support throughout the application and betting process.

Fig 3: Excerpt of what consumers would do if they encountered a problem on a Sports Betting provider’s website Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

Fig 3: Excerpt of what consumers would do if they encountered a problem on a Sports Betting provider’s website
Source: Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness studies into the UK and Ireland Sport Betting Industry 2014 -2015

So what does this mean for sports betting sites? Our three top tips:

1. Keep the website simple, but clever – meet consumers expectations on ease of use and account navigation, anticipating issues before they arise
2. Provide contextual online chat features – anywhere and everywhere relevant
3. Measure and track customer effort scores to ensure that the website is easy to navigate – where are the points of pain?

If you would like to know more, please contact us

Maybe of interest:
• Recorded Webinar: UK Digital Sports Betting in 2014 – A Review of the Year
First impressions convert: Blog posting on the importance of initial engagement on sports betting websites
KISS your website: Blog posting on importance of keeping a website simple

* The Global Reviews Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) programme focuses on the Consider and Act stages of the online purchase journey.

DSE circles

Through a proprietary, task based methodology; we invite ‘In market’ consumers to visit and experience the customer journey on your site.

We also measure the performance of your competitors’ sites in a similar fashion with a separate group of ‘In market’ consumers. This enables us to benchmark the performance of your brand within the marketplace and against the competitive landscape. We can tell you why some customers abandon the purchase journey on your website and complete purchase with a competitor.

We can provide you with a totally unique insight into how ‘In market’ consumers research and make decisions about your brand, your products and your competitors online and will help you to answer the following strategic digital sales questions:

1. Is your online sales journey more effective at converting prospective leads than your competitors?
2. Where do you need to focus resources to maximise online sales and customer experience?
3. Does your website meet best practice customer experience design for that product purchase journey?
4. How much effort is it to buy from you online?

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