In the past, online gambling in Canada was primarily limited to offshore operators. However, the legalisation of single-event sports betting created opportunities for online gambling operators to enter the Canadian market legally.

Now, the market potential is significant. Canada is known for its population size and avid sports culture throughout. This sets the near perfect scene for an industry, with doors freshly opened, ready for growth.

However, not every bettor starts and ends up in the same place. Some might begin their betting journey on a mobile app or website, while others will sit at tables playing cards in physical casinos. Location plays a huge part in the manner in which players bet. So too does a person’s general preference. But players aren’t totally stuck in their ways. They can be open to opportunities to change up their betting experience. There just needs to be something to sweeten the deal.

Operators need to identify ways they can catch the eye of an online bettor to promote their physical locations. And the same goes for in person bettors getting familiar with online methods.

Challenges to Overcome

Things aren’t always as straightforward as we might like to think. There are challenges to overcome on the route to success. However, considering the opportunities that lie on the other side, it is worthwhile to confront them head on.

Standing out in the crowd

As the regulatory environment has shifted in the industry across Canada, the industry, as expected, is booming.

It’s only natural that operators flood the market when an opportunity opens up in front of them. For example, Ontario alone hosts 1.6 million active user accounts, is home to more than 40 operators, and just shy of 80 gambling sites.

Competition is high around the country. Different areas enforce different rules regarding the number of operators allowed to run in their province, adding to the already highly competitive nature of the landscape.

But there is a significant issue in the market around differentiation in experience from one operator to the next. The bigger names will get the most players through their doors, but that isn’t down to having a better app or experience. It’s purely in the name.

Catching the attention of players can be made more realistic by providing a unique and differentiated experience for them in order to stand out from the crowd.

Cross selling

Multi-product players are far more valuable and have higher retention rates than single product players. For instance, those who play both sports and casino games are more valuable to a business than those who only play casino, or just bet on sports.

Casino is the driver of revenue for operators, so there is a high necessity to get players over to casino games if they aren’t already there. But for a lot of businesses, it’s not always that simple.

Operators need to have a deep understanding of their players, including their behaviours and interests, to put relevant games and cross-selling content in front of them. Otherwise it becomes a guessing game which, nine times out of ten, won’t come out in their favour. Establishing a single customer view married with the use of inline messaging creates opportunities to put games in front of players that they are interested in, without breaking their flow in your app.

Also, given the amount of options available to players in the industry, some may go to specific brands for casinos and others for sports betting, and stay loyal to that. With a strong affinity for certain operators they may be hesitant to try new products or services from other providers. You need to establish loyalty before you can successfully cross sell your products.

Building loyalty in the first place means taking the time to understand your players and putting out cross sells that interest them. Effective cross-selling relies on understanding player preferences and providing personalised recommendations. Operators need to collect and analyse player data to identify cross-selling opportunities and tailor their offers accordingly.

Essentially, make the experience personalised and easy for players to explore new products and services you may offer.

The Omnichannel Experience

One of the most effective tools you can have to drive player engagement, brand loyalty, and increase betting is having an omnichannel marketing campaign. But when it comes to omnichannel marketing, your player needs to sit at the very centre of it. The focus is to drive conversions by delivering value to them, so put yourself in their shoes before building out your campaign.

Remember, it’s not all about what you want to deliver to the players, but what they want to see from you. The more you show them that you have their interests at heart, the easier it will become to hook them with other products and offers further down the line.

Omnichannel marketing campaigns need to include different aspects to make sure it’s a successful one. Good quality player data, automation, personalisation, and identifying the right channels all play important roles. It’s imperative to remember that it’s not always about digital channels, especially when you’re trying to unite online and land based players.

The need for unique and relevant experiences for players should always be consistent across your online and offline channels.

Tools for Uniting

Although you won’t be without challenges, you also won’t be without answers. There are a few straightforward things that you can do to help.

Getting them right and implementing properly will send you down the right path.

Loyalty Programmes

Loyalty programmes play a crucial role in strengthening player engagement and retention. By linking online and land-based players through a unified loyalty program, operators can incentivise players to engage with both platforms. 

You can offer a single loyalty account that allows players to earn points or rewards for their activity across both online and offline channels. This type of integration strengthens the connection between the two channels, promoting cross-channel engagement and loyalty.

Offering exclusive awards and incentives for cross-channel activity should also encourage players to involve themselves in both offline and online play. Online sports bettors might receive bonus credits to use at land-based casinos. Conversely, land-based casino visitors could be offered online casino bonuses or free spins on specific games.

Rewards create a sense of value for players who participate in both channels, providing them with additional incentives to explore and enjoy the operator’s offerings across multiple platforms.

By creating a cohesive and integrated experience for their players, operators can foster loyalty among players who appreciate the convenience and flexibility of playing across different channels.

The Importance of Convergence

For those not yet familiar with the concept, convergence refers to the merging of different forms of gambling and betting activities into a single platform. Bringing all these activities together in one place creates a seamless and enhanced experience.

Providing your players with multiple different games and betting opportunities can certainly help to build loyalty. But converging these games into the same app is of utmost importance to ensure players are engaged and remain loyal.

With so many options available for players, it’s now more important than ever to keep them as happy as possible with your offering. Negating the need to exit your platform and go to another one for their betting needs will encourage them to stick with you and improve the overall experience.

Converging all betting types into one platform will also make cross-selling your products a much easier task, due to the ease of access you’re providing. This opens up the door for you to turn a sports bettor into a casino player, and beyond.

Building an Online Presence in Land-based Properties

Operators need to start leveraging their physical locations to promote their online products.. Actively promoting online offerings on-site catches the attention of their existing player base, and also attracts new players at the same time.

There are several different ways that operators can carry out their physical promotions. Use of signs, brochures, posters and large screens can do the trick. But QR codes are an incredibly effective tool for both promoting and encouraging cross-channel interactions. By making it quick and convenient for players to transition from the physical venue to the online platform, operators can drive engagement and increase the likelihood of cross-channel play.

Organising events that revolve around both channels can also aid in encouraging and promoting both channels. There are plenty of casinos that host in person poker tournaments. They could add an extra dimension to their competitions by adding an online element or strand to it. This can create a sense of community and inclusion for everyone to be a part of.

By leveraging in-person and on-site promotion, QR codes, events, and promotional tie-ins, operators can effectively bridge the gap between their physical establishments and online products.

The Role of a CRM

CRM systems play a significant role in the sports betting and iGaming industry across the globe by helping operators effectively manage and nurture player relationships.

Your data is the most important asset you have. Without it, understanding players and recommending relevant games is near impossible. A CRM system allows operators to centralise player data, including contact information, betting history, preferences, and interactions. By having a single source of player information, operators gain a holistic view of their players and can tailor content and promotions.

CRM systems can facilitate the management of loyalty programs, including point tracking, rewards, and promotions. Operators can use it to track and monitor player participation, reward point accumulation, and redemption history. They can also automate the process of assigning loyalty tiers, tracking progress, and notifying players about exclusive offers or benefits based on their loyalty status.

Personalisation is what will help you stand out from the crowd. By leveraging player data, operators can send targeted emails, SMS messages, or push notifications that are relevant to players’ interests and preferences. This leads to stronger relationships, enhances the experience, and increases the level of loyalty amongst different types of players.

If you want to know more about how Xtremepush can help you retain players and increase wallet share, or how we build seamless cross selling experiences using inline messaging and a single player view, get in touch with our team of experts or book a demo. Or book a meeting to see us at the SBC Canadian Summit. We’ll be at stand H131!

Click to download our guide to increasing eCommerce conversions and retention.