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Retention rates for iGaming are far lower than other industries – how can we fix that?

A recent research by Statista showed that the average retention rates for various industries varies from 55% to 84%. But iGaming is more difficult when it comes to customer retention. The industry is dominated by a few sought-after games which almost every operator offers. The true differentiator is the customer experience and the drivers of customer relationships.

An article by Optimove on iGamingBusiness claims player retention rates were “between 37% to 40%” in 2019 for iGaming operators. That makes it far lower than the average industry.

What affects customer retention?

According to ProfitWell customer retention is affected by 4 main factors:

– Customer satisfaction
– Customer success
– Customer reliance
– Difficulty to leave

All four come into play in the iGaming industry but should be viewed under a different light because they are affected by unique influences specifically pertinent to online gambling.

Customer Satisfaction:

Keeping customers happy

Keeping customers happy

Customer satisfaction is always important and the number one motivator to stay or leave. However satisfaction is often closely connected to expectations. Expectations are set by industry standards and the previous experience of the customer.

They can be easy or hard to meet. In the case of iGaming, expectations can be easy to meet. A nice looking site, with a handful of the player’s favourite games, and you’ve met expectations. However in an industry where exit is easy and the competition numerous, customer satisfaction on these terms is not enough.

A strong customer experience in iGaming involves delighting your players and exceeding their expectations. The closer you get to treating each customer like a VIP, the more customer satisfaction and loyalty you will garner. 

Customer Success

Customer success is probably the trickiest to approach in iGaming. Focusing on customer success in most industries means making sure you customers achieve the outcomes they desire from your products or services. This is key to most industries, it’s probably more important even than the customer experience, however with iGaming it can be a bit of a sticking point. 

What do iGaming patrons really want? Some would say they want to win. Others would say they want to be entertained. It’s likely a mix of both, however most players just want to stay in the game with the money they can afford and enjoy the journey.

The tricky part is when you’re potentially dealing with people that could become addicted to gambling. It’s a thrill. Some can handle it, others are wired to become problem gamblers. It’s a reality we have to deal with. 

So as a responsible iGaming company it’s important to design a customer success strategy that entertains, inspires loyalty, gives a little back in terms of winnings and also filters out those that are not wired to play responsibly. The latter require ‘external’ support to protect players from their own behaviour patterns. 

Customer Reliance

How much do your customers rely on your service?  In iGaming, this is a tough question.

Since most platforms offer the same or very similar games, customer reliance is volatile at best, and pretty much a small factor that cannot really be leveraged. Unless you create something that is exceptionally good at resolving a common pain point in the industry, for example, if you offer the option to pay using a local card without re-authenticating every time, the ease of use could become an element of customer reliance.

Difficulty to Leave

Once again, this is not a factor in iGaming, there is little to no difficulty to leave or play on a competitor website at the same time. The competition is strong and ever present and there is realistically very little friction for a customer to leave. This is why the focus should be on distinguishing yourself with the customer experience and inspiring loyalty through engaging customer interactions.

How can iGaming operators increase player retention?

The two main factors operators can and should focus on are customer satisfaction and customer success.

Seeking to delight and stand out every step of the way across all the different touch points:  the website, the games, the branding and customer interactions. Dig into your data and speak directly to your customers, understand what their expectations are so you can find ways of exceeding them.

You can focus on creating loyalty by calling your customers. Speaking to them, one to one, will make them realise that you care and they will care more about your business. It also gives you a powerful way to implement responsible gaming checks that protect vulnerable customers.

Boost your retention rates: One strategy that grows retention and profits

Increasing retention rates in iGaming encompasses looking at churn rates and creating some KPIs for them. There is a segment of your customers that was loyal but has defected. Probably because at some stage, one of the 4 elements mentioned above, didn’t perform to your advantage.

By calling customers that stopped playing or started playing on a competitor site, you make them feel special and can convince more of them to come back to your site. This is called reactivation and in iGaming it is very powerful because you’re bringing back customers whose playing patterns you already know. 

It empowers you to engage with customers who you know will have a profitable lifetime value once re-engaged, whilst enabling you to delight customers and filter out those players that show signs of vulnerability.

Would you like to know more about reactivation? Book a chat with our business development team to understand how it could help you boost your operator’s bottom line.  Contact