The omnichannel experience is a major driver for lotteries looking to acquire and retain players and drive revenue. Omnichannel content is based on successful retail and digital games with strong brand affinity. This convergence of retail and digital channels for lottery play has grown dramatically throughout the pandemic, and indications are strong that this trend will continue.
As IGT continues to expand its omnichannel product offerings, the Company is finding that the key to successful omnichannel experience is a lottery’s content. Omnichannel content strengthens branding and adds credibility to the digital channel. Seeing familiar retail brands from a trusted lottery encourages players who are uncertain of playing online to register. For example, Wheel of Fortune on the Road®, in-market since 2019, remains among the top games that new players try within their first week of play.
Omnichannel content consistently drives revenue. IGT’s data shows omnichannel games have the highest sales when they launch on the platform. On their first day, omnichannel content contributes to 40-55% of sales compared to a typical launch day of 24-37%. Also, average player spend for omnichannel games is 57% higher in the first 30 days compared to other game launches. The Georgia Lottery Corporation’s (GLC) beloved Jumbo Bucks retail-to-digital evolution is the perfect example of how a lottery can increase revenue with a popular brand. In partnership with IGT, GLC launched the Jumbo Bucks eInstant in 2018. After three years, the eInstant Jumbo Bucks is still a top performer with a consistent top 10 ranking, and most recently, had the second highest sales in October 2021.
Lotteries are always looking for ways to engage and retain their players. Leveraging strong retail brands and creating omnichannel eInstants is a proven strategy. Omnichannel games rank in the top 10 games after 12 months in both total spend and average player spend. In fact, average player spend is 78% higher after 12 months.
“Players have their favorite games, whether it’s draw, keno, instant, or eInstant,” said Tom Napolitano, IGT Director, Business Development, iLottery. “Players who are passionate about a game will rally around the brand, actively exploring new ways to engage with that brand through new channels of play, if offered. Omnichannel content encourages players to transition from one channel to the other. We have seen when a lottery implements strong cross promotional marketing campaigns such as utilizing promo codes, second chance drawings and other cross channel promotional strategies, player engagement and revenues increase.”
IGT helps lotteries identify a current game with the most engaging brand and game play that resonates with players. Once a brand is identified, IGT takes one of three primary routes to support a customer’s omnichannel journey: retail to digital, digital to retail, or new content in both channels. Each offers a strong opportunity to adapt a brand to a new play style.
Evolving retail brands into digital taps into the lottery’s instant ticket experience. Lotteries have spent many years building strong brands and building a loyal player base for these games. Converting these games to eInstants is a natural transition to offer players more opportunities to engage with the brand. In concert with its customers, IGT creates custom content from scratch tickets and develops eInstants from retail draw games. In Kentucky, IGT worked with the Lottery to take the robust elements of the dynamic 5 Card Cash game and convert it into a popular eInstant game.
On the flip side, IGT creates retail games from successful eInstant games. In Rhode Island, an original eInstant game, Triple Platinum, was identified by IGT as a strong instant candidate for retail. This is a fast to market strategy because a retail ticket is a much-simplified version of an eInstant. A retail ticket doesn’t require high resolution artwork, animations, music, etc and can utilize the existing eInstant symbols to design a ticket. This allows lotteries to be reactive and expedite cross-channel launches. Launching content at the same time in both channels cross-pollinates players from one channel to another and saves marketing dollars.
Lastly, adding new content across all channels builds excitement and brand affinity at retail and online. “This is a great opportunity to develop content using proprietary IGT brands like Cleopatra or licensed brands that have proven market performance. This offers that seamless ‘one lottery with multiple channels’ player experience and provides players with choices,” said Napolitano. On the licensed branded front, IGT adapted the widely popular and trusted licensed brand, Wheel of Fortune®, and launched it into an extensive lineup of instant and eInstant play styles. IGT is currently supporting Wheel of Fortune omnichannel lottery products for four jurisdictions—Georgia, Virginia, Michigan, and Kentucky.
“There are lots of incentives for lotteries to embrace omnichannel strategies,” said Napolitano. “Acquiring new players tops the list, but the strategy is also a strong retention tool for players, providing them with exciting new opportunities to enjoy their favorites games.”
Promotions are key components to this strategy, incentivizing players to cross from one channel to another with second chance buys and cash bonuses. Lotteries also benefit from the ability to cast a wide marketing message that covers two verticals using marketing budgets wisely. Campaigns can be directed to a large group of people who may or may not play the lottery, which is a helpful tool for lotteries to acquire new players.
With this depth of experience, IGT is ideally positioned to support a lottery’s move to omnichannel. The Company partners with customers to define an appropriate strategy and works with them to identify the brands that will perform best for both retail and digital channels.
While there are multiple strategies to employ an omnichannel solution, IGT partners with customers to create the best offering for them. “When putting an omnichannel experience together, we create a fine-tuned offering that is truly a custom and complete approach,” concluded Napolitano. “IGT’s solution will support all sides of the business, create the most impact for a customer’s game portfolio, and ensure that the experience delivers enjoyment to players.”