There’s little doubt online casinos are on the way to becoming one of the most profitable global industries. Growth sometimes seems virtually unstoppable, with increasing volumes of people getting into online gaming as time goes by. Worldwide, online gambling is estimated to gross $20 billion, and an estimated $400 million of that total is thought to be spent annually just in Ontario. So with iGaming revenues soaring, there can be no denying the demand for online gaming is strong. But how does this happen? Online casinos in Canada have managed to adapt and reinvent themselves several times over. And it’s the way they use big data analytics and data science to drive smart marketing which allows casinos to keep on bringing customers what they want.
What is Data Analytics and how do online casinos use it?
One of the primary reasons casinos collect immense volumes of data is to fuel and refine their marketing campaigns. For example, online venues can easily determine which kinds of video slots and other games are the most popular ones just by consulting their data – and equally, of course, they can also quickly spot which games are rapidly going out of fashion. That means they can make adjustments to their advertising based on that specific data gleaned from their own customers.
But the use of data analytics for online marketing purposes actually extends way beyond simply initiating grand promotions and ad campaigns. Of course, that remains important, but online gambling sites are now more likely to be seeking information at a more personalised level. The emphasis now is on analysing customer loyalty, which they take to be based on a customer’s individual experience of visiting a site. So by tracking and collecting this kind of big data, Canadian online casinos can establish precisely which of their many bonus offers and promotions appealed most to which of their customers.
Armed with that kind of information, they can clearly determine not only which casino games seem to be best suited to which player, but also identify those particular games which are proving to have broader popularity across different demographic groups.
For Canada’s online casinos, web analytics is all about capturing meaningful analyses from the flow of website data. This data can, of course, be measured, sorted and classified to provide a picture of web traffic, but it is the ability to also contribute to business development which is the most valuable aspect of web analytics.
Customer profiling is one core activity which drives subsequent marketing activity. Here, sophisticated data gathering enables casinos to offer targeted suggestions to customers: Along the lines of ‘players who enjoyed this video slot also enjoyed these games’ etc. But overall business strategies can also be refined in the light of analysis which identifies and tracks key performance indicators based on website traffic. Website enhancement itself can also benefit from web analytics which can look at A/B versions of site improvements and quickly determine which is proving more effective. And more broadly, analytics can also track social media activity and gather information about themes and issues related to the business. This is one more thread which can contribute to product and business enhancement.
It seems possible in the not too far off future that some of the present novelty which attaches to iGaming will fade as it starts to become commonplace. A new generation of gamers will have experienced a lifestyle into which digital experiences have been fully integrated. This coming generation will expect all services to be available at their fingertips – whether that’s arranging an Uber taxi or booking vacation accommodation via Airbnb – everything will have to be rapid, efficient and always available across any device.
To a great extent, the industry has largely tended to rely upon reporting and business intelligence. But if casino businesses are to continue to stay ahead of the game and reap the full benefit of the data streams they command, today’s analytics initiatives must really start to embrace prediction, forecasting and optimization.
The ultimate goal of casino analytics is to predict the future worth of each gambler, and the gaming industry has a wealth of information to suit such advanced analytics. Right from their first visit, players register to gain access, so basic information – age, gender, location and more are immediately available. And as play commences, the data trail just grows and grows. Soon there’s an in-depth profile which can be used for tightly targeted marketing and much else besides. So delivering the right offer at the right moment to the right individual becomes a breeze.
In addition to product improvement and customer retention, analytics can project profitability into the future by looking at average bets over time etc. This can soon identify the most valuable customers, and perhaps give early warning of irresponsible gambling habits too. Further perspectives can be gained by comparing gambling traffic to external weather conditions, and some businesses are even looking at online incentives to draw gamblers back to land-based casino facilities.
Big data in the online gambling industry
Big data is having a major impact on the gambling industry, and one expression of this is the increase in the number of data scientists employed in this sector. The benefits for online casinos go right across the board from cost savings to product enhancements and more. The consequent improvements in player experience are driving up customer retention by personalising every aspect of the offer from bonuses and promotions right through to setting and streamlining the odds on offer.
As a result of maximising their operational efficiency and minimising their exposure to losses, online casinos can free up more capital to deploy in further carefully targeted marketing campaigns.
Data science applied to online casinos
Casinos can only really thrive if they have returning customers. And it’s the job of data science to guarantee that happens. There is also a delicate balance to be struck because customers will leave if they don’t win substantial payouts from time to time, while online casinos would soon go broke if every gambler always won big. There’s also the matter of business competition to consider because players will melt away to patronize other online casino sites if they think they will get a better experience and/or if they believe they are likely to gain more profitable returns.
With technology allowing ever more sophisticated evaluations, it seems likely that data scientists will continue to be busy for the foreseeable future – but it’s likely they have already predicted that!
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