Executives form SBTech, Sisal, Fiverr and J.Jill discuss driving customer loyalty and how big of an effect any brand can have on it.
– [Yoav] We’re about to kind of start our next panel. And the topic of it as you can see is, “What Drives Loyalty and How Much Effect Do We Have on it?” Now, this is really the topic of the entire conference. And what we’re going to be trying to understand here today is, as these user acquisition costs continue to grow, and as we know that today about 60% of the people that come to your website or make their first purchase or play their first game are not going to come back, what are some of the ways that different brands and different industries are trying to deal with this?
And this is kind of the topic that we’re going to be trying to deal with our four panelists today. So, I’m very, very excited to invite to the stage Francesco Hugony, please, Andrew Cochrane, Daniel Wiesenfeld, and the Rinat Halifi. So, we have a really good combination of people here from different industries with different perspectives. And I think to kind of kick us off let’s just do a quick round of intros.
If you guys could share a little bit about yourselves and a little bit about the company you work for and what you do, that’d be great. Let’s start down the end with you, Francesco. – [Francesco] Hello. Hi, I’m Francesco Hugony, I work for Sisal, which is largest Italian gambling company, was founded in 75 years ago. So, it was very early pioneer with the lottery business, I’ve been there for just about 10 years, since basically the online business was born.
I was saying very, very beginning of it. Previously was a management consultant, that’s why I got into the company. And then from there I was following the developments. So, I currently lead the CRM strategy for the online business division of the company. And yeah, so it’s a very, very exciting job.
– Great. Andrew? – [Andrew] Hi, I’m Andrew Cochrane, from SBTech. My background in gaming is retail gaming in the UK and sports betting. I’m currently Chief Commercial Officer for SBTech’s global operations.
For those who don’t know, SBTech, we are a technology platform, we’re a technology partner to over 50 operators around the globe. We’re operating in about 20 different regulated markets. We’re taking something like 1.5 million bets per day. Our services cover gaming, online casino, sports betting and also retail sports betting which we’ve most recently launched in the U.S.
– [Daniel] Hi, I’m Daniel Wiesenfeld, I lead the customer analytics function at J.Jill. My background is also in management consulting prior to joining J.Jill. I did like a step out. Anybody here has ever known, any management consultant knows that it’s very common to give it up after a while and just go into industry and try to relax a little bit. So, J.Jill is a, it’s an omni-channel women’s apparel retailer based in the U.S.
We only sell in the U.S. We have about 275 stores, an ecommerce platform, and a catalog. We don’t sell through any other channels. We don’t sell through any department stores, we don’t sell on Amazon. So, it’s a little bit of a unique model in that way. And, one thing that we’ve done really well is really gather data very, very well on our customers so that we can understand what’s going on.
And they’ve hired me to try to help them utilize that information as much as possible. – [Rinat] I am Rinat, and I work for Fiverr. I’m head of CRM at Fiverr. I have to start by saying that I’m really excited that I got this mic. From the previous panel…- And by the way I wanted it and they wouldn’t give it to me.
– They didn’t?
– Yeah, and they said that it’s especially for you.
– So, for those of you who don’t know, Fiverr is a marketplace for digital services. So, we’re kind of connecting between freelancers all over the world, offering their services to any type of business small or large, from startups to enterprises, so you can get anything done. Which is a very exciting, new venture for me.
I’m coming from an 888, there are lot of you out there. And it’s a really big difference, you know gaming and online marketplaces, offering services, addressing both sellers and buyers, as opposed to just having a single customer. So, that’s super interesting for me.
– Awesome. So, I think that one of the things that probably most of the people in this room know is that loyal customers tend to be much more valuable than non-loyal customers. It sounds kind of simple, but yeah, I think when you go and you quantify it, and you can see that typically we will expect to see twice the lifetime value for a loyal customer versus a non-loyal customer. Now, knowing all of the changes and everything that we’ve discussed kind of about the CRM world all through today and yesterday, how has the understanding of loyalty changed for you?
Rinat, I’m not going to let you start because I know you’re new at Fiverr, so that’s not fair. So, we’re going to go back to Francesco for that question. But how has loyalty, as a concept, changed for you guys over the last three to five years?
– It was a real change of paradigm. When we have launched the CRM division only in 2013, before that we were basically product-centric and we believed that customers just need to be acquired, and they would basically find their way. And in my previous job I was Product Manager, and I was assigned to a CRM.
And when we started we were just a team of 3 people, now we’re over 30. And nobody even knew why we were doing that. And results were going, I mean they quite like stable, we were growing not very much.
Since 2013, 2014 was the first year we really make a difference. We went from being the fourth operator in Italy to being market leader. Now we have over 20% of Italian customer base. And we more than doubled our revenues, actually two and a half times, while other companies just was suffering.
So, this really shows what really made a difference. And for so many reasons now only the existing customers, we have went from 70% retention rate on monthly active customers coming from the previous years, now we have over 92%. So, basically means that over 9 out of 10 customers who play every month have more than one year or more lifecycle with us.
And that’s invaluable because it’s very, very expensive to acquire customers in the gambling market. We have reached over 80 euro per customer, and it takes a lot of time to make the money back. And majority of times you don’t even get close to that. So having a customer as a free customer, you can extract value from is very, very critical. So, our main appreciation was that we need to have more players play longer for less amount of money, which is a value for us.
We have the lowest RPO in the market, it is consistent with our company values. And this is the key of having extend and prolong the customer journey made of an engagement, which is probably the key why we’re so successful at it.
– Was there a moment where the penny dropped for you guys to understand, you talked about in the beginning, “People didn’t really know why we did this,” so what made you guys start focusing on CRM? Where was the understanding from, CRM and loyalty?
– Well, it came from the fact that acquisition was getting more and more expensive. We had some major players come into the market, like PokerStars or like bwin and [inaudible], and they were spending huge amounts of money on paid search, so which needed to find an alternative. And we said, I mean we had a very loyal customer base.
We have a brand, we have retail stores. So, we have a lot of assets which help us with this, and we said we just maybe focus some of the budget there. And now over 89% of our revenues come from players every year who have more…which we didn’t acquire in the same year. So, I wouldn’t say that acquisition is not relevant, you still need to, but we now focus only on natural search and just like brand awareness.
But yeah, that’s where like the money comes from. And now that the budget is completely reversed, first it was acquisition the main driver, now CRM has over 80% of the budget.
– Daniel, I’m guessing that in retail it’s a little bit different, right? I wouldn’t say that the majority of time is spent today on CRM. But I mean, how has loyalty evolved in the world of retail over the last three to five years?
– So, I would say that over the past few years eCommerce has become much more important for J.Jill. So, traditionally the stores were the big focus, and our typical customer, she would come to our store and that would be kind of an experience, and she would know the store associate, and the store associate knew her and what she liked.
And our typical loyal customer was like she’d have almost like a personal relationship with a store associate. That, we realized doesn’t replicate easily online. And so, we’ve been thinking a lot about how we can do that so that we can recreate to at least some extent that kind of personal experience that generates loyalty through our eCommerce platform.
So, being the head quant guy I kind of started by looking at…by analyzing the data to the greatest extent possible. And one thing, specifically, that I’ve noticed is that we have kind of some definitions of an active customer versus an inactive customer that are just kind of an arbitrary cut off. And I think it’s really important to start looking at customer behavior based on individual patterns and propensities.
So, instead of saying, okay, if you haven’t shopped for a year, you are no longer an active customer, but if you have then you are. It’s, well. If you are a six-month shopper, then if you haven’t shopped for six months you’ve lapsed. And if you are a three…every three-year customer, I mean that’s not really relevant, but a year and a half customer then we give you a year and a half for it, to really thinking about it that way. Because, if we think about loyalty specifically, loyalty is not really about your likelihood to buy generally, it’s about your likelihood, so when you do buy, it’s your likelihood of buying from that brand versus another brand.
So, you can have a very slow shopper who’s very loyal. Maybe she doesn’t buy a lot, maybe she doesn’t buy often, but when she does buy she buys J.Jill. And you can have a very, very frequent shopper who’s extremely unfaithful, where in a sense that you know she just shops a lot of J.Jill, but she also shops a ton elsewhere. Very hard for us to quantify that and know that, but when you’re thinking about loyalty I think understanding that customers’ patterns as proxies for that behavior can be very helpful.
– Great. Andrew, what’s your perspective? I mean, from where you sit, has loyalty changed? Has your understanding of loyalty changed over the last three to five years?
– Yeah, listen, I can talk broadly based on the 50 operators that we power, and you know we get asked for, you know, many different, new approaches to loyalty on a regular basis. From our perspective we provide operators with tools and functionality so that they can go and execute whatever loyalty strategies that they have. Some trends that we’re seeing is, first and foremost is operators are leveraging data to create churn models much more complex, these carte blanche logic schemes of the past and certainly in the gaming industry, whilst are still being operated by some, I would say for our partners, it’s a minority, I think they’re much more targeted now.
The CPAs in the industry are very high, so getting players into improving lifetime value by moving cross-product I think is becoming very important today, cross channel as well. Talking about the retail experience, you know, of someone walking into the shop, I think now certainly in our industry where you have brands across multi channel in retail Iike Sisal, they’re online, they’re mobile.
Customers are demanding the same experience across all of these channels. They’re demanding the same experiences, they’re placing a bet for sports if they’re going to the casino, so I think engaging with players with a more holistic view across all the products and services that you offer, and not just focusing in one area like casino, is key. Two kind of offline areas that we’ve seen a lot of focus on, I mean we also have a managed services division that takes care of things like frontline customer services, fraud and risk, and marketing services.
We’re seeing a lot of emphasis on VIP management, a lot of emphasis on that first customer contact. If anyone is not aware, but one of the biggest critical success factors for operators is that first time a customer contacts you, usually with a deposit query or a withdrawal query, is how fast you solve it and how well you solve it, and how fair the customer feels is being treated.
So, I think some operators are overlooking that, but the ones that are not overlooking that, operators like Betway, for example who are seeing some fantastic results from strong customer service and strong VIP management.
– Awesome. Rinat, you probably have the most different challenge around loyalty at Fiverr, we were just discussing this before, but you guys are a two-sided marketplace. So, can you talk a little about how you view loyalty and how you view kind of what you need to achieve in loyalty at Fiverr?
– Well, I can really connect with a lot of what you guys just said both in terms of, you spoke about frequency and how you can’t really define one frequency for all buyers. So, I think one of the things that were a key understanding for us looking at the marketplace, trying to understand what our customers do and how do we define retention is really to look for the valued customers, those VIPs, the ones who generate the most revenue, understand their patterns and not really treat everyone the same.
Try to understand, what are their frequencies, what will give them value, and address that. That’s in terms of the buyers. So again, a two-sided marketplace you have to understand that the sellers from our end, the sellers are a part of the product, they are a part of the brand. And you can’t really control that, you have to make sure that they represent the brand properly, and that really influences retention, that influences loyalty.
So, you have to address that as well. So, that’s one of the understandings we had recently. And we addressed the churn models that way, we address the communications that way. We built dedicated protocols and educational content both for sellers and for buyers that are really addressing their specific needs and their specific life stage.
As stated before, the onboarding is super important, you have to understand that the first touch is really crucial for the second one, and I said before, the first moment of…what was it called? Moment of truth?
– First moment of truth.
– was [inaudible], yes.
– So, it is. And that’s was the recent understanding.
– Do you guys face the opposite kind of thing where you might have maybe on the seller side of things where you don’t want to keep them loyal, you don’t want them coming back? Because as you said, they’re a part of your product, maybe they’re not a good product.
– Yes, but I didn’t say that.
– Okay. Don’t quote you. Okay, got it. So, I want to move on to kind of the second question, and I want to talk a little bit about kind of what are the nerves that you need to touch in order to drive loyalty? Are there any interesting things you know that you guys have found which are good predictors of loyalty or kind of good ways that you can influence customer loyalty?
Francesco, we’ll go back to you.
– Well, we have found that in general loyalty is very, very predictive, and now we have tools, we’re using Optimove since…for a couple of years, and we can actually see it. But even before that we were…estimated our predictive models, and we were amazed by how accurate they were doing, especially with our quiet customers.
So, although there’s a churn, there’s a lifetime curve, and then people actually… We only keep at the end of the day 30% of the newly acquired customer over one year, but that’s very, very predictable. So, if you… It would be… It’s not easy to pinpoint a single indicators, but overall you can easily see them. Now, what we’re trying to do is more like to be proactive and that’s like, what is the key driver to win the customer loyalty?
And we have tried many different things, and they’re constantly evolving. For example, we established a very, very advanced loyalty system, it was first of its kind in Italy. And then we, on top of that we built a proprietary platform which does very interactive bonusing and promotional system.
What we saw now, it’s the more we empower the customer the more loyal it becomes. So, having the possibility to choose, first to choose the prizes of loyalty, so first time empowering, like you can actually make your own decisions what to do with your value, and then choose your own promotion, opt in, and you then have like a variety of options there also was very appreciated.
And we are going, like our next step would be to release a gamification platform which entirely empowers the customer, he’s a real protagonist, he will be choosing basically every single step of the game of his like rewarding system. The more they feel they have a word on that, the more loyal they are.
Of course, you need to back it up with having a product with the other panelists that are very correct thing. Like you just need to have the best products. We have 16 platform providers just because we want our players not to miss any game. Although, we don’t really believe that’s really relevant, but you just have to be there.
But then you do play the game with how you empower the customer later. And this really, really can say…so I’ll just give you this figure, we have our three main categories of engagement which are like the customers who never even logged into our loyalty/promotion platform, the people who are actively consulting it, and the people who actually got any rewards from it.
And the RPU is in the order of magnitude of 1 to 5 to 13 times. So, of course it’s also it goes like both way if you spend more money you get more rewards. But, the people who do get rewarded just when they receive something they feel so much more loyal. And this is why for example we had also physical prizes.
We are the only one entity who really believed in that. So, because when you open a box and receive like a physical prize, the sense of relation you have with the brand is like as if you have received a gift, so you need to give something back. And those are customers which we will rarely see going away.
– Interesting. We saw with one of our clients that one of the interesting factors that contributed to loyalty, this was a food delivery company, that if people changed their meals, if people actually got involved and kind of we’re a part of tailoring their experience, that was a really, really, really strong predictor of future behavior, and it changed the way that they thought about it.
So, from being in a place where they wanted people to make as little changes as possible, because it was operationally very, very convenient, they understood that if you can get people involved, and if you can get people to change kind of what they’re getting that made a huge difference in the lifetime value of their customers. So Andrew, kind of from where you sit, and you have a good view, have you seen anything kind of that was out of the ordinary and think super interesting in terms of factors that are contributing to loyalty or somebody that’s done it right?
– I think, I mean we kind of look at it from a product perspective in three areas. One is speed, and the faster the sites are things like loading speed, how fast the user can navigate the site. How fast, If it’s a sports betting, how fast they can cash out, how fast the market settles when a goal goes in.
All these key things I would say are prerequisites now for like a good sports book, you have to have them. Players are not going to be loyal if the product is not up to speed. So, obviously that’s key. I think the most interesting area for us certainly in the last 12 months has been on engagement. So, we’re a kind of a mobile engagement-led business, so all of our product innovation is focused on driving player behavior, A to mobile, and B to the price segments within different categories on mobile.
So, a good example of that would be for those that are sports bettors amongst us, if we if we all went on tomorrow’s event on a Champions League game, there’s probably something like 100 to 150 different betting markets that we can all bet on. Now, the reality is everyone in this room is probably going to pick one of the top five betting markets.
But yeah, operators feel the need to offer this huge amount of choice. So actually, taking the choice away from the customer and actually engaging with them, and actually creating a UI that actually engages them and keeps them on the site longer is quite interesting. So, what we’ve done is we created something off the back of the Request a Bet phenomenon that was in the UK, Sky Bet were the first company to pioneer it.
A very manual process, it was simply you’re watching a game, you decide you want to…I don’t know, Wayne Rooney to score, you want three yellow cards, and you want, you know, X team to win 3-0. That’s my choice as a user, that’s the bet that I want. Now, I might have 150 options here, but I don’t see that option. So, giving users today the option to create their own bet, via a fully automated UI is actually quite exciting.
– And you guys have seen A Rooney scoring right now in D.C. United is a thumbs up, he can’t stop scoring since he moved to the U.S. But have you seen, can you really show statistically or with the numbers that people that use the Request a bet feature are going to be much valuable not just in the moment, but over the long term?
– Yeah, because we’re seeing a number of things. First of all, we’re shifting their behavior. So, rather than players that shop around pre-game on a desktop, betting low margin because it’s a very price sensitive product vertical within sports betting, A we’re moving them to in-play, B we’re moving them to multi-selection bets which are higher margin. So, you know we’re increasing the player’s value from a margin perspective.
And then what we’re also finding is, if we get the UI right, players come back for it. And we’re seeing lots of repeat bets on that same function. We’re trying to take that a step further actually by using some old retail technology, the old what they called book a bet, which is in the retail shops, so where you’d walk in with a coupon and you get a code, and then that would get you whatever the coupon combination was, we’re actually using it online now to actually…you know a player can create a bet themselves, completely customize, the automated coupon number comes out, and essentially you can then you know WhatsApp to friends and say, “Hey Joe, I’ve just put this combination bet on. Why don’t you do the same?”
– And you get people to join you.
– Yeah, absolutely. So, they’re the kind of things that is driven by demand from our partners, the type of innovations that they’re looking for, and where we kind of focus our marketing efforts. But the last area around innovation will be around personalization as well. So, there’s a lot of focus with our businesses making the content very right for that individual user, so that everything from the ranking of the sports to what offers they’re seeing, everything is driven by personalization, it’s all using algorithms in the back end.
– Got it. Rinat, I’m guessing that for you guys one of the factors that contribute to loyalty, and especially if we look at the buyer side is how happy they are with what they got. But have you guys found anything kind of particularly interesting around behavior which fosters loyalty or something which is, you know, very likely to contribute to the loyalty of the customer?
– So, of course the experience is super important. If you’re not happy with the experience, if you’re unhappy with the product then you won’t come back. As amazing as the seller would be and as communicative as he would be, if you’re not happy with the product you won’t come back. But, we do see that when people browse the catalog and when they do look at more and more options, when you do supply relevant content that really is of value to them, that you show that you understand who they are and what they need at that moment, we did see that it had a positive impact on revenue actually, and on repeat orders and conversion, which I have to say I was surprised because when you give a customer an email that is super long, but it has valuable content, and he has to go through and read all of that, and then at the end of the day you see that it had a higher impact than giving them 10% off, that’s a very pleasant surprise for us as marketeers, because you understand that you found what was relevant for them, that you actually gave them value.
So, I think that’s a very key understanding for us, of understanding what really drives loyalty, which is, it was said a lot here before and I just…I think that we all have that understanding at the end of this specific day, that if you understand who you’re talking to and what will give them actual value, and you supply that value to them, which could be educational content, it could be something that is related to their need or relevant offer at the right time, it was brought before momentum and what has a value to them at that moment, that’s something we understood.
– It’s all easier said than done unless you work with Optimove, and then you do know all these things and you’ve got no problem, but that’s a very difficult thing to deal with I’m guessing. Daniel, you talked earlier about you know that initially the relationship was in the store. Right? There was a store associate and, you know, they knew me, and… I actually do have a store by my house, and they knew me, and I used to walk in or whatever.
Do you still see that as the biggest factor contributing to loyalty? In other words, are people that buy primarily instore more valuable, because of that?
– So, I mean the most valuable customers shop across channels. But I don’t know if that’s causative or correlated. That’s a whole other conversation. But what we have seen lately, and I think that there are three primary drivers of loyalty just generally, not quantitative, just common sense. So, there’s like the convenience aspect, you know is it easy to buy? You know sometimes it’s just not even easy to buy just what you’re used to.
If you like Kellogg’s cornflakes, and you’re just not too lazy to try something else, it’s kind of just convenience loyalty. There’s rational loyalty, which is you like the product and the product does what you need it to do at the right price. So, you stick with it because it serves the need better than anything else. And then, there’s emotional loyalty, which is somehow you either identify with the brand that is outside of the product itself, in a manner that makes you want to continue engaging with that brand.
And I think good examples of that are like you know Apple or Getty. Those guys are really good at making their brand out to be almost like a lifestyle more than anything else. So, I think that we’ve always really focused on the product and the emotional side of it, emotional with our way we engage with customers in stores, the product we’re very, very proud of, the way we source our materials and manufacturer our products.
But I think we recently realized how important that convenience piece was, especially as we upgraded our eCommerce platform, and we had a little snag at one point, and we lost loyal customers because of that, because they got through the bug and they couldn’t make an order, and they write an email saying, “No, this happened twice, I’m done.”
So, that’s really, really crucial, and it’s silly to lose customers over something like that. So, I think that in my mind that adjusted the weighting a little bit, and so we as marketers have pushed to make sure that that process is even smoother than it has been in the past. So, we’ve added different payment channels. Right now if a customer wants they can use PayPal, we’re adding ShopRunner, which is kind of like an Amazon Prime that…you know is for other types of companies, you can sign up but then you get free two-day shipping from lots of different companies.
All right, so we’re trying to do more things just to make the process as seamless as possible, it’s what the customer expects, and if you don’t give it you lose loyalty.
– That’s a great point. And I want to stay with you to ask you the next question as well, because I think that typically a lot of marketers or a lot of consumers when they hear loyalty they think discount. That’s kind of what people think about, that’s the way of driving loyalty. I’m going to give you 10%. I’m going to give you free shipping. Buy one, get one, whatever it is, there are a lot of different ways. I think we’ve already heard two examples of things that have contributed to loyalty, which is kind of create your own bet, which I thought was pretty interesting.
And also, you know Rinat mentioned that quality content ended up outperforming discounts. For you guys, what has been kind of successful in terms of driving loyalty which isn’t discount or promotional based?
– Sorry, the question is, what is being successful in driving loyalty that isn’t discount based? I mean, obviously it’s getting people to be loyal without discounts. I mean, that sounds awesome to me.
– How do you get people to be loyal?
– So again, the question, as I mentioned before, I think it’s those three things and getting that balance right. It’s getting the right product at the right price to the right person, Getting her engaged emotionally, I think that one is absolutely crucial, because there’s always going to be another good product out there, especially in a space like women’s apparel. And then just not screwing up on the convenience side of things.
I think if you do all those three things right, that will work. Now, in terms of the product piece though the rational part, I think a big part of that, especially in the eCommerce space was we don’t have the personal talking part is personalization. It is about making sure that we are giving her relevant information through the eCommerce channel, through our different communications about… That is, when I say relevant it’s not just about, “Okay, well you looked at this in your cart, so let’s send it to you.”
It’s, you know, can we figure out what you like, what size you wear, you know, what your patterns of shopping are? What are the right times? What are the right price points? And yes, even what are the right discounts? Some people are discount shoppers, and if they are that’s the only time they’ll shop, then it might be…you know sometimes it’s worth it, right to give them discount in those cases. But if you’re not a discount shopper, I actually don’t want to give you a discount, I’d rather you buy full price, it’s just better.
And then of course the markdowns as well which are a little bit different than discounts, but, you know, do you care about having the newest collection or do you like to shop in the older collections? And just the more we know that, the more we can cater to those needs, I think the more we’ll generate loyalty.
– Great. Francesco, what about you guys? What’s worked aside from financial incentives, kind of what have been the things that have helped you guys drive loyalty?
– Well, as other people said, okay in the gambling the product is mostly a commodity, although we did have very successful results with betting on demand, it’s a product we invested a lot on. So, what we do is we normally use discounts. It’s the largest part of our budget.
And since we have been doing that, so the budget it include bonus cost, sums up to almost 15% of revenue, so it’s pretty hefty. We have been trying to find alternatives. Now, recently we went in the way of customization, personalization of the offer and empowerment, but this still is always normally tied to a discount because it’s just nowadays what people expect.
So, until now we haven’t really had a really strong alternative, but we are now working on the next level loyalty which is non-discount based. It all evolves around the reason why, so why would people want to do something? And if I can give them a good reason they will do it.
And till now it’s only been discounts, optimized of course, but evolving around discount. So, we decided that the product itself that we sell is based on money, so you ideally play to win money. So, of course the money is the language you speak.
But in reality we also realize the people who do this are playing a game, so they want to win, but they also want the excitement, they want the fun and they’re basically gamers. So, we have developed a very advanced game platform in which the player has two different level of engagement, one on the product side and one on this parallel-world side which they’re basically protagonists of their own game.
And the game itself has a rewarding system, our players just have to speak the language, but it’s a nonlinear rewarding system. So, it means that it’s a fixed budget. So for example, like draw entries, a draw has a fixed budget, the prizes are set. And by progressing through this game, which has made of like personalized actions and requires permissions, they just receive more chances to winning these prizes.
So for them it’s linear in the sense that the more they follow the path the more chance they have to win, so it is relevant, but it doesn’t have any extra costs for the company, because it’s like a fixed marketing budget for that. And this… Okay wait, it hasn’t been released yet, so I kind of wouldn’t say a lot of details, but we did try some trials, and we were amazingly successful. Like when people had nonlinear rewarding system which they could actually make some relevant choices, they were thrilled by it.
And even for example, the open rates of the promotions was more than double the standard. So, this is one. And the second thing we have been working on is status-based promotions. So, what happens, this will start, that we want the player to try another product, he just doesn’t care about it.
So, what we do is we say, we set a bar, and if you can achieve these like, let’s say milestones, you will receive a status that gives you a fixed set of space, advantages on the other products that you like. So for example, you play five times of [inaudible] and you’re will get a 10% extra value on all the points of casino plays you make too.
So, you will want to be in that tier which has a different interface and a different like discounts and some advantages, and then that is your goal, so that’s your reason why. So, then you will be doing other things which you may not like as much without having any bonus for doing them. So, even that is a way to give a reason why which isn’t directly correlated to one’s expense.
– I’ll just say from a product perspective about listening to customers. I think we saw there was presentation earlier today about listening to what people want and giving them what they want is a very good driver of loyalty. So, I think from our perspective, just a few micro examples. We had one of our partners with a very big VIP who was very big in sports but didn’t just…would not touch the casino, no matter what they did was just refused to.
So they asked him, just asked him why, “What is wrong with our product that you’re not getting…well, we keep throwing these discounts and bonuses and promotions and you won’t touch it?” He said, it’s just one particular game that this this VIP likes playing that wasn’t available. It’s a very old game, it’s not even that popular in terms of rankings, but this guy particularly likes it, so he said, “You know, if you can get this piece of content onto the platform then ultimately I’m going to go cross-product onto casino,” and therefore you know increase lifetime value and become a more loyal player.
More wider than that we’ve seen for example the popularity of UFC as a sport, so we’ve seen much more demand from players saying, “Look..” crying out for more matches, for more betting markets and saying, “Look, we’ll stick with you, we’ll bet with you for longer, we’ll engage with you more if you give us a product that we want.”
So, I think you know our job which is quite difficult, to kind of take all of these requests from all of our partners and try and work out which ones make commercial sense across the board.
– And I think that goes back to Gloria’s point earlier about play favorites, that if you know that somebody is a very high tier VIP or if you know that somebody is very, very valuable for you, you know, maybe it does make sense to not just send them an email asking for review or maybe you know, I’m doing something which is a little bit more hands-on, something which is much more proactive on the part of the brand often does yield kind of surprising results.
Rinat, what about you? What have you seen? I mean, apart from the personalized content, have there been kind of any incentives that you guys have managed to give which weren’t just financial, which helped drive loyalty either on the buyer or the seller side?
– Yes, of course. So, there were a lot of things that were discussed here before, so I just want to like reinforce that. We did a VIP kind of a proof of concept, we didn’t have that here before. And what…- On the buyer side?
– On the buyer side. We really focused on the buyer side until now. And we saw that by you know recognition is something that we kind of, we say, “Okay, so you have this title, you are now a VIP,” or the way we call it, VID, very important doer. And just by giving them that recognition, just by saying, “Listen, guys you are super important to us, we care about what you think, what you do.”
We gave them obviously priority support, we gave them tailored recommendations again about being relevant, about giving value.” But the main item, the main change was really about the perception, and the fact that they were recognized for that. And we saw amazing uplifts in terms of churn reduction, NGOA[SP] in orders and everything.
So, I think that’s one of the things that we need to understand, that people at the end of the day are people. The same things that motivate us in real life motivate us in terms of our relationship with brands. And that’s why it’s really called marketing relationship management, because it is all about relationship, you want to be recognized for all the efforts and the investments you’re doing with that specific brand.
I said before, there are millions of brands out there, there isn’t much differentiation between the different products. So once you understand what really motivates that person, what he finds value in, and we found that recognition was just a small, small, small example of that, but it’s really small but for the customer it’s huge.
And it’s all about what you derive out of that, what will give them value? So, that’s one key thing that we found.
– I mean, I think that that’s obviously the challenge of eCommerce, has been in a sense of the D…well, E everything has been the depersonalization. In a sense, what everybody’s trying to do, what we’re trying to do obviously here at Optimove is to create that relationship, is to understand, how can we recreate that primordial promise of CRM again and again? How can you understand people?
How can you make them feel special, even in a world where you’re constantly getting bombarded with messaging, that’s what we’re trying to do. So, I have one last question that I’m going to kind of put out, and anybody who wants to answer can answer. How do you foster long term loyalty? I think that a lot of what we’ve talked about, you know we talk a lot about how do you get people past the second hump, the second purchase hump, that’s a big thing in retail, or to place their second bet, or to you know do something again?
But have you guys seen that there’s a very big difference between what’s driving people from purchase 1 or, you know, deposit 1 or bet 1 to bet 2, to 11 and 12 kind of further down the road? I’m not going to pick on anyone, so you can pick on yourselves.
– I’ll just go back to the innovation. So you know, what we just talked about creating my bet products which we’ve recently released, which is fantastic, and we’ve seen some amazing results off the back of it. But you know, it’s not sitting on your laurels, it’s moving forward. And what’s the next thing and the next thing? Because every time that player comes back, is that going to be the time he’s going to churn? Is that going to be his last visit? So, I think keeping focus on engagement, certainly on the mobile channel, for us is…- Do you think that there’s a difference though for example if somebody has just played their first bet with you guys, are they more likely or less likely to create their own type of bet versus somebody who’s a longtime customer, or is it relatively uniform?
– First bets generally are coming probably from promotions, from you know acquisition promotions, deposit bonuses, that kind of thing, so they’re usually driven from specific events. So, we’ve seen some interesting use of things like CMS into banners, but deep-linking to bet slips, multiple selection.
So, someone just can click I want to bet all draws on the Champions League today. And bang, there’s, you know, 11, 12 selections into my betting slip. So, I think just trying to create that journey as fast as possible and just keeping improving all the time.
– I don’t think it’s that much of a difference honestly, between our second purchases and our future or the later purchases. I think the biggest thing that we can do with that is the more somebody has purchased the more we know about them, and we can be using that more, and that’s one of things we’re working on right now.
And I think that we definitely have seen that the more we personalize, when we make communications relevant to customers the more likely they are to convert and continue to engage. So, we saw that very strongly when it came to side segments, like misses versus women’s…we call the plus size women’s and petites. And if we just call out in an email, because we know that she brought the majority of her products in that category our conversion goes through the roof.
So, you know that’s a really simple one. And so we’re trying this around different colors and product categories, and I think just maintaining that so that’s always as relevant as possible will yield dividends. And we haven’t really seen it yet because we just started doing it, but that’s what I think will happen.
– I want to add to that, that one of the things, and I again I think everybody’s here doing that already, but one of the things that really is different from a first time, second time, and someone who is a multiple buyer like said here is the fact that I already know so much about you. And I can really adapt the product and what you see to what you need.
And if I know that there’s something that you use very often, if I highlight that, if I bring that to the front, if I make it easier for you to do that, then that’s something that really creates loyalty. It creates loyalty because it changes behavior. If I make something so much easier for you to do, then you are more inclined to do so. And if you do it over and over again, that really generates loyalty and repeat buyers.
So again, taking the data that you already have on frequent buyers, learning what they are using most, what they need most not just from the product and their behavior, but like they said before, as them. You know, take those product insights, put them into voice of customer, ask them, actually talk to them physically, and try to understand what they need and what will make them come back and make that journey easier for them.
That’s really a difference between someone who’s already a repeat buyer and someone who it’s their first or second purchase, they kind of need baby steps. So, with them you’ll be more educational, more explanatory, you’ll take them step by step, you’re not going to expose your entire catalog. I mean, for Fiverr it’s a huge catalog, you have probably every digital service that exists.
And for some people that could be quite overwhelming, you know, you go in, and at the end of the day because of all that variety, a lot of people just you know, “So, I’m going to buy a logo.” And we’re much more than that. So, you have so much things to offer them, but you can’t really overwhelm them with all the options.
So again, taking them baby steps when it’s the first steps and then when they’re repeat buyers, really know what they’re looking for and say, “I know you. These are the recommendations for you.And these are the subcategories that suits you.” And because I already know your type of business and ask them, “What type of business are you?” So, show them the relevant services and the relevant education that really kind of complements that to say, “I can take you to the next level, you can grow with us.”
So, really giving value, connecting everything to product, and using the data that you already have kind of gives you the different approach to first time and repeat buyers.
– Well, in the gambling business there’s one major differences that you don’t really need to buy the product. So, you’re not run out of clothes or appliances or food, eventually you have to buy some insurance. It’s just really on top.
– I think it’s a need for some people though.
– It is. They don’t mean though for sure. But yeah, I mean that’s … So we… I think there are three types of customers. There’s the one timers, I mean we call them tourists. They just drop by and they are physiologically going to leave. And if they’re either trying to exploit bonuses or just trying out we try to make the best of the conversion, we have a strong welcome onboard but we are totally fine with them leaving.
And then the RD, let’s call them various creative addicted players, I just call them they have the habit of gambling, which is, I mean could be totally fine if they are just spending what they can afford, and those will be the long-term customers. On those you just need to make them feel safe and like taken care of, that you want their products to be easily shown, you must be relevant.
So, that’s…I mean it’s not easy, but you build loyalty over time. The more time they pass with you the less likely they’re going to leave. The real challenge I think is on the [inaudible] which are, like, the casual players. And they are trying out, they like the idea of excitement, but they are by no means committed to it. So, if you’re not exciting enough they get bored, they lose too fast, they didn’t have a good experiences, they will just leave.
And that’s where like the real challenge is. We value a lot these type of customers because we are still fighting addiction also. So, we do want people to be more casual in the gaming experience, and to them the real challenge is keeping the thing new and exciting. So, we try different things and giving them something very fresh. And that’s the real thing which is hard, because if you try something which is even exciting after a while will be boring again.
So, you have to renovate all the time and that’s why we’re like shifting more towards a strong gamified approach, because game itself do offer a lot of variety. So, we just switch games and they’ll be excited again. So, the promotion becomes a game, the game becomes a promotion. If we can succeed with that then we will achieve a result of having the most RPO in the industry, and keep growing healthily.
– Awesome. I mean, I think that your last point there was very important, which is you know we shouldn’t assume, something also that has worked for a while has worked for with all customers is not going to work forever. And if there’s one thing that we try and preach is to test and constantly, constantly, constantly test. Never make assumptions even when something has worked for three years. It might not keep working going forwards. Guys, thank you very much for joining us.
– Thank you.