Can Sportsbook adapt to a changing world?
Global Gaming’s Head of Sportsbook, Chris Naudi writes about the changing face of Sportsbook
Sad as it may sound, when I’m not dealing with the daily responsibilities of heading a Sportsbook unit, I frequently find myself after hours with my eyes back on a Sportsbook. Yes, I do enjoy a bet and I also enjoy seeing what other Sportsbooks are up to.
One thing that has fascinated me over the years is the evolution in development in terms of design and layout of the Sportsbook and how its shop window is ‘dressed’. Of course, when I say ‘shop window’, I refer to what immediately hits your eye on the home page of a Sports Betting site.
Coming from the traditional background of “You can’t effing place a bet using this” when Blackberries were all the rage, the industry has now evidently moved on to a mobile first experience – and some deliver that experience much better than others.
Personally, I’m still more inclined to head towards a desktop experience for online betting and, on desktop, many Sportsbooks take the Left-Hand Navigation, Central Panel, Right-Hand Navigation approach with the betslip in the top right-hand corner. This is seen as the norm, the standard, and the way that punters have been used to visualising a Sportsbook for years. While I’m generally fine with that aesthetically (except for the betslip placement), I enjoy seeing operators ‘break the mould’ and try different layouts.
Regarding the amount of information packed into the shop window, I am a firm believer that ‘Less is More’. Far too many Sportsbooks look cluttered and clumsy with too much information packed into the front page. A simple, clean looking experience would win over a site that is too packed with information. That goes for colours too – I don’t want to be looking at a rainbow! Simple and easy on the eye is what I would be looking for with no more than three or four colours on the page.
Having a clear and well-designed search bar has become the norm in the shop window in the last few years. Most punters do not want to have to manually trawl through the Sportsbook to find what they want to bet on and ideally you would want the punter to get to where they want to go with a few ‘clicks’ of the mouse (or taps on the mobile) as possible.
Millennials don’t want to have to go round a whole supermarket to find the milk placed at the furthest point form the till – if they do they’ll get annoyed quickly and won’t enjoy the ‘user experience’.
The future…? Personalisation! The ability to tailor the user experience to exactly how the punter deems fit either by predicting future behaviour (by using transactional data) or by allowing the punter to specifically tailor their experience is the next step in the evolution of the ‘Shop Window’. Whatever we do online, we are faced with targeted ads, suggested connections that use AI etc, and the Sportsbook will soon follow suit. Sports betting doesn’t have to be a solitary activity and millennials are used to sharing their lives with friends: let’s see if the Sportsbook is able to adapt?
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