Intralot: Retail is changing… but it is hardly becoming obsolete!

The digital revolutions we have experienced in the last few decades are nothing short of miraculous. The changes have been so dramatic that some have predicted the demise of physical commerce entirely. Only 3 years ago, retail gurus hastened to predict that “The retail guys are going to go out of business, and e-commerce will become the place everyone buys”. Straight-line extrapolations of digital dominance in shopping miss some important insights. First of, we, humans, are physical and social beings; we like to go out, to interact in person with other people, to touch and handle and make things. What is more, straight-line extrapolations assume that changes in the business ecosystem will continue predictably in the direction of the current curve; however, the truth is that rapid evolution creates unexpected opportunities and new competitive dynamics.

George Vassilaras, INTRALOT Group Retail Director

How do customers adapt to the new era?

The biggest challenge, in our effort to engage our consumers, is to understand how they have adapted to the new era; to understand what they do differently and what they continue to do in the same way. For that, we look at the millennials, since they constitute our effective target group.

Millennials, while having a reputation for being fixated on technology, still make most of their purchases off-line. More than 75% of millennials browse the internet before making either an online or offline purchasing decision. Interesting enough, 67% of the Millennials who browse for a product (on or offline) will purchase from a brick and mortar store.

When shopping online, Millennials are most impacted by savings, free shipping, and peer reviews. The primary reason Millennials follow brands on social media is to receive cost-saving offers and incentives.

Ultimately, however, the customer journey remains the same.  Our customers have expectations that lead them to research and purchase our products, receive varying degrees of satisfaction form the experience, which in turn makes them loyal toward our products and services and creates new expectations.

What has changed is the fact that our customers live in a multi-screen world, are constantly connected and contextual relevance is becoming of paramount importance. Our players learn fast, faster than ever before and they do not stop seeking knowledge. They know more than any other time in the history of mankind and often they know more than we/ our agents know!

They seek true value and are very persistent in doing so. They place a premium on offers that meet their needs. And last, but not least, they exert enormous influence on other groups with their behavior.

The Customer Journey

What should lottery operators do?

First, they should increase the effectiveness and the efficiency of their land based retail outlets, starting with a thorough and prudent evaluation of their retail networks.

For most operators, their retail footprint is a few decades old. It is logical to expect that several of their store locations may not be relevant. They should carefully evaluate the commercial viability of each store and relocate underperforming stores to more commercially attractive locations.

They should also reconsider the layout of our stores and ensure that it meets the requirements of the contemporary consumers. Finally, they should also ensure the efficiency and robustness of their infrastructure to keep up with the fast and efficient shopping habits of their customers.

Another area where operators should focus should be Agents’ empowerment through continuous training and the provision of the appropriate tools. Offering Agents readily available content that can help them engage the players in the stores, is becoming increasingly important and impactful. Especially, as it allows Agents to create a relation with customers that goes beyond any transactional aspect.

A cornerstone in this effort, is player registration. Introducing multi-faceted loyalty programs not only adds value to the relationship between players and the operators, but it also allows the operator to analyze players’ purchasing habits, to document the individual players needs and anticipate future needs, and to provide the right content for the right player the right moment. Ultimately, it provides fertile ground for the creation of trust between the players and the operator.

Operators are, more than any other time, ready to transform themselves in order to meet the new challenges. Not only because standing still is not an option, but also because the fundamental changes in the retail world bring along tremendous opportunities for growth and profits – but only for companies that are willing to restructure themselves for the future.

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Synopsis

Français

Intralot: Le commerce de détail évolue...mais il est encore loin d’être obsolète !

Les révolutions numériques de ces dernières décennies relèvent presque du miracle. Les bouleversements ont été tels que certains ont annoncé la disparition totale du commerce physique. Mais la vérité est que ces évolutions rapides offrent des opportunités inattendues et créent une nouvelle dynamique concurrentielle.

Comment les consommateurs s’adaptent-ils à cette nouvelle ère ?

Pour intéresser nos clients, notre plus gros défi consiste à comprendre comment ils se sont adaptés aux changements de notre époque. Pour y arriver, nous avons étudié la génération Y (du millénaire), qui représente notre véritable groupe cible. Bien qu’ayant la réputation d’être obsédée par les nouvelles technologies, la génération Y ne continue pas moins de faire la plupart de ses achats autrement que sur Internet. Et lorsqu’elle achète en ligne, elle est particulièrement attentive aux économies réalisées, aux frais d’expédition et aux avis des autres consommateurs. Mais au bout du compte, le parcours du client est inchangé. Ce qui a changé, c’est que nos clients sont connectés en permanence et vivent désormais dans un monde multi-écrans : la pertinence contextuelle revêt donc une importance fondamentale.

Quelle est la marche à suivre pour les opérateurs de loteries ?

Ils devraient dans un premier temps augmenter l’efficacité de leurs points de vente physiques, en commençant par une évaluation approfondie et prudente de leur réseau de détaillants. Ils devraient aussi repenser l’agencement des points de vente, mais aussi l’efficacité et la robustesse de leurs infrastructures pour s’assurer qu’elles répondent aux exigences des consommateurs d’aujourd’hui. Le renforcement des capacités des agents, via la formation continue et la mise à disposition d’outils adéquats, est un autre domaine sur lequel les opérateurs devraient se pencher. L’inscription des joueurs doit être au cœur de cette stratégie. L’introduction de programmes de fidélité multiformes non seulement valorise la relation entre les joueurs et les opérateurs, elle permet également à ces derniers d’analyser les habitudes d’achat des joueurs, d’analyser les besoins actuels et d’anticiper les besoins futurs, et de fournir le bon jeu au bon joueur au bon moment.

Español

Intralot: La venta al por menor está cambiando... ¡pero está lejos de quedar obsoleta!

Las revoluciones digitales que hemos experimentado en las últimas décadas son, como poco, milagrosas. Los cambios han sido tan drásticos que hay quienes han predicho la desaparición total del comercio físico. Sin embargo, la verdad es que una evolución rápida crea oportunidades inesperadas y nuevas dinámicas de competitividad.

¿Cómo se adaptan los clientes a la nueva era?

El mayor reto, en nuestro esfuerzo por conectar con nuestros clientes, es entender cómo se han adaptado a la nueva era. Para eso, nos fijamos en los “millenials”, ya que constituyen nuestro grupo objetivo real.  Los “millenials”, pese a tener la reputación de estar obsesionados con la tecnología, siguen haciendo la mayoría de sus comprar fuera de la red.  Al comprar en la red, lo que ejerce un mayor impacto en los “millenials” es el ahorro, los envíos gratuitos y las reseñas de usurarios. Sin embargo, en última instancia, el recorrido del cliente sigue siendo el mismo. Lo que ha cambiado es el hecho de que nuestros clientes viven en un mundo con múltiples pantallas, que están conectados constantemente y que la relevancia en el contexto está adquiriendo una importancia crucial.

¿Qué deberían hacer los operadores de lotería?

En primer lugar, deberían aumentar la eficacia y la eficiencia de sus puntos de venta físicos, empezando con una evaluación minuciosa y prudente de sus redes de venta al por menor. También deberían reconsiderar la distribución de sus tiendas, la eficiencia y la robustez de su infraestructura y asegurarse de que cumple con las necesidades de los consumidores actuales.  Otro aspecto en el cual deberían centrarse los operadores es el fortalecimiento de los agentes mediante formación continua y el suministro de las herramientas adecuadas.  Una piedra angular en este objetivo, es el registro de jugadores. Introducir programas de fidelidad polifacéticos no solo añade valor a la relación entre jugadores y operadores, sino que también permite al operador analizar los hábitos de compra del jugador, documentar las necesidades individuales de los jugadores y anticipar sus necesidades futuras, así como proporcionar el contenido adecuado al jugador adecuado y en el momento adecuado.

Deutsch

Intralot: Der Einzelhandel wandelt sich ... aber wird auf keinen Fall überflüssig.

Die digitalen Revolutionen der letzten Jahrzehnte stellen unglaubliche Fortschritte dar. Die Veränderungen waren so dramatisch, dass bereits der Niedergang des traditionellen filialbasierten Handels prophezeit wurde. Rasche Veränderungen schaffen jedoch immer auch unerwartete Gelegenheiten und neue Konkurrenzdynamiken.

Wie gehen Kunden mit dieser neuen Ära um?

Die größte Herausforderungen im Bereich des Kundenengagements besteht darin, ein Verständnis dafür zu entwickeln, wie Kunden auf diese neue Ära reagieren. Dazu sehen wir uns die Millennials an, denn diese stellen unsere effektive Zielgruppe dar. Millennials haben zwar den Ruf, technologiefixiert zu sein, aber erledigen trotzdem die meisten ihrer Einkäufe offline. Beim Online-Shopping sind Millennials Ersparnisse, kostenlose Lieferung und Kundenrezensionen am wichtigsten.  Die Kundenreise bleibt jedoch im Großen und Ganzen dieselbe. Geändert hat sich hauptsächlich, dass Kunden stets von mehreren Bildschirmen begleitet werden, permanent mit dem Internet verbunden sind und die kontextuelle Relevanz wesentlich an Bedeutung gewonnen hat.

Wie sollten sich Lotteriebetreiber verhalten?

Zunächst einmal sollten sie Effektivität und Effizienz ihrer Filialen steigern . Der erste Schritt hierzu ist eine sorgfältige und gründliche Begutachtung ihrer vorhandenen Filialnetzwerke.  Zudem sollten sie das Layout ihrer Filialen und Effizienz und Robustheit der Infrastruktur auf den Prüfstand stellen und sicherstellen, dass die Anforderungen moderner Kunden erfüllt werden. Betreiber sollten des Weiteren einen Schwerpunkt auf die Fortbildung von Vertriebsmitarbeitern mithilfe von kontinuierlichen Schulungen und auf ihre Unterstützung durch entsprechende Tools legen. Ein besonders wichtiges Element solcher Bestrebungen ist die Registrierung von Glücksspielern. Vielfältig angelegte Treueprogramme bieten nicht nur einen Mehrwert für die Beziehung zwischen Spielern und Betreibern, sondern erlauben es Betreibern auch, die Konsumgewohnheiten der Spieler zu analysieren, die Spielerbedürfnisse zu dokumentieren und neue Bedürfnisse vorherzusagen und dem richtigen Spieler den richtigen Inhalt im richtigen Moment bereitzustellen.

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