Role of payments in customer acquisition for US sports betting


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Editor’s Note: The following is a guest article submitted by the payment processor Paysafe. It has been edited in style and the content does not necessarily reflect the views of Legal Sports Report.

Finding a competitive advantage is critical for sports betting firms operating in crowded markets. Especially in mature markets like that United KingdomProduct differentiation is typically marginal. Similarities in user experience can outweigh differences, and the size and breadth of sports markets offered is quite similar from operator to operator.

This does not mean that there is no product and user experience (UX) Innovation across the industry – as it undoubtedly is. With such a homogeneous offering, however, acquisition and retention can by default lead to a race to the bottom.

As we see in the US, operators are competing fiercely for signup offers, ongoing promotions, opportunities to win, and competitive strength. This tactic has proven effective in the US so far, but is also expensive as the cost per acquisition continues to rise.

Winner in the USA

With the rapid scaling of the US online sports betting market – both in states that have already enacted regulations and in states that are about to pass laws – millions of new customers will be able to be won for sports betting. And sports betting is already investing a lot in the battle to attract these new players.

DraftKings and FanDuel alone supposedly over spent $ 154 million in media advertising (excluding spending on social media) between January and September 2020, according to market researchers Cantar.

More expensive promotional offers and lower chances of winning seem the inevitable and predictable conclusion to attracting new players as the US market becomes more saturated. Make no mistake: a combination of pent-up demand for sports betting and a growing addressable market can support this strategy in the short term.

But what is long-term? This is the high risk game in the game – spend big upfront and bet on long-term player monetization. To maximize the economics of this strategy, operators need to consider more opportunities for differentiation.

A change in approach

The constantly increasing costs of acquiring players are not a healthy condition either for the operators or for the entire industry. So if sports betting can differentiate themselves, they should.

To find out if there are other tactics that the operators can use to set themselves apart from the players, we commissioned a survey 2,000 Players in eight states with a regulated online sports betting market in December 2020.

When we asked US gamblers to tell us their top three criteria when evaluating various sports betting that they do not currently have an account with, over a quarter of gamblers (28%) named good promotional offers as a differentiator that is important to them. A similar percentage (27%) said that good odds were among the top three criteria when evaluating one sports bet against another. So there is clearly some value in both, as would be expected.

But surprisingly, promotions and attractive odds weren’t the biggest differentiators for the players. Instead, “can trust the brand” (32%) and “quick and easy withdrawals” (37%) were both selected by a higher percentage of sports bettors as the most important factors in choosing a sports bet.

How payments flow into the acquisition

The same pattern applies when we asked players with multiple online sports betting accounts how to choose which account to bet with at any given time.

Both the odds (36%) the specific commitment you want to make and the inclusion of a promotional offer (44%) are important to far fewer players than how quickly they can get their potential winnings (51%.)

In addition, three-quarters of players, when asked directly, say that the ability to receive quick withdrawals is the most important factor in deciding whether or not to open an account with an online sportsbook.

looking ahead

As the U.S. online sports betting industry grows and gets stronger and new markets open in 2021, solving the problem of how to stand out from the competition will be of vital importance for operators. Treating account withdrawals and withdrawals as a point of differentiation rather than just a necessary function will be vital.

In particular, this means that the withdrawal speed to bank accounts is increased as two thirds of the players (66%) expect your money to be received within 24 hours.

A second strategy is to offer players more payment methods to deposit and withdraw from. Three quarters (75%) of players would change their payment method if that meant a faster withdrawal, and more than half (52%) would even pay a bonus. Hence, it is easy to understand why payment methods that offer instant payouts from such a digital wallet are critical to the success of sports betting.

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