Sapar Karyagdyyev for CasinoBeats: Finding the balance between new content and efficiency
Gamingtec CEO Sapar Karyagdyyev wrote to CasinoBeats why platform providers are facing an uphill battle in terms of promoting their content to customers and how Gamingtec is streamlining their user experience to deal with content oversupply issues.
Games portfolios are critically important for platform providers that offer a full turnkey solution. Ten years ago, game content was dominated by providers such as NetEnt and Evolution Gaming; having them in your list of products was more than sufficient when it came to building a decent business.
Now, however, it appears that we are facing a whole new outlook. Instead of cooperating with four to six suppliers, platform providers like us are having to deal with over 50 content suppliers. This means a heavier load for the IT team and an overall increase in maintenance-related time and costs.
Oversupply of content is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the diversification of volumes allows operators to reduce the heavy reliance on a small number of suppliers. Bigger competition has also pushed royalty levels down, and as a result, the operators have a greater profit margin.
On the other hand, there is a new challenge on the horizon for casino operators. Platform providers are offering more than 5000 games, and the list is growing longer by the day. The sheer number of games available makes it impossible to display them all to clients effectively.
On average, customers utilise less than 50 per cent of the gaming content as they prefer to play familiar games. This means that the commercial upside of adding a new game gradually lessens as more new games are added.
The challenge for operators has therefore shifted from sourcing the best content to maintaining the efficiency of delivering their portfolio to clients. E-commerce companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Spotify have already faced oversupply challenges and have managed to address those issues with effective usage of customer behavioural data and AI.
For instance, Netflix’s individual offering is based on what subscribers indicated they liked when they signed up, what they watched and what they gave thumbs up or down to on the service itself and so on. For users, highlighting the best titles works better than categorising content according to genre because it allows the platform to recommend high-quality content, which, they feel, the consumer accepts is worth watching based on previously selected preferences.
We need to learn from such leading companies and bring a similar level of sophisticated contribution to our industry. We need to be better at serving the right content at the right moment. Game suggestions should be based on the results of predictive and AI analyses.
Sometimes, it can be tempting to ask a client directly what he or she finds lacking and would prefer to be improved. Such surveys can be useful to resolve certain types of problems, including UX-related issues. However, when it comes to choosing new content, the client is often in doubt of what they want and what new options may appeal to them.
Thus, we face a considerable challenge; we need an AI algorithm that will find a way to offer an end-user the content that he or she will enjoy.
We, in our work, pay a great deal of attention to website design and functionality. That is why we have to conduct UX analyses before launching any project. It is a thorough task that includes a great number of questions; for example, What kind of experiences are customers looking for? How long does it take to choose a game? Is it easy to find a certain game? Is it easy to find the play button and start playing? Do all players face the same difficulties using the website? Once a person manages to find the answers to those questions, they will be able to demonstrate empathy with the players and earn trust and loyalty.
The trick, when promoting games to a user, is to find a balance between creating an elegant minimalistic design and encouraging the user to try new products and search for new experiences. It is highly unlikely that there is one single correct answer on how to deal with content oversupply issues, yet it is clear that increasing the number of games is not enough on its own. This process has to be accompanied with an improvement on the way that those games are presented to customers.
The one who addresses this challenge fastest will gain a strong competitive advantage, as customers want content to be quick and relevant, but they also want suggestions on certain items that they might like and would be happy to use.
The original version of this editorial has been published by CasinoBeats on October 14, 2020, under the title: Double-edged Sword: Finding the balance between new content and efficiency.
Read the OpEd in Spanish: Gamingtec: Hay que encontrar un equilibrio entre el nuevo contenido y la eficiencia de la oferta