It is difficult to conceive a world without the internet and mobile devices for today’s consumers. People now expect exciting and engaging experiences at the click of a button as standard, with the demand for digital experiences impacting upon almost every consumer market. In this interview, Dave van Velzen, Marketing Manager at TOTO explores how the company has evolved and experimented to take full advantage of the omnichannel approach to capturing and retaining consumers.
- Exciting times at the TOTO. How have you experienced the merger process with Staatsloterij? (if you want to share…)
We’re still in the midst of it, but so far it’s going reasonably well. It affects a lot of processes and, most importantly, involves and affects a lot of people. That’s never an easy thing to manage, but the new joint teams are gradually forming and some are already working together on future projects.
- What digital transformation do you see happening in the sports betting world?
That’s a very broad question. For us it’s about an easy omni-channel experience for our consumers. It doesn’t matter where you are, we should always deliver quick access and very easy ways of playing our games. With around five thousand retail sales points and all the online possibilities, we’re always close to the Dutch consumer.
- What is the role of mobile in this transformation?
Everybody is glued to their mobile phone these days, so it’s been an easy step to use this device to play our games. But next to playing the actual games, it’s also important to use it to service our offline players with the latest information and make it easier to place a bet in the stores.
- You introduced a point of sale device in the stores recently where consumers can select their bets. Can you tell us more about the reasons behind this, and the scale of it?
Yes, the Toto EasyPlay terminals, as we call it, allows people to make their bet selections and print them on a barcode coupon. They then get the coupon scanned at the counter by the retailer and only then is the bet is placed. The reason behind the terminals is to provide better service and lowering the threshold to play the Toto games in retail. From the service part: in sports betting, odds can change everyday due to reasons such as players injuries etc The weekly program guide with our odds can then be outdated, so with this terminal the latest odds are always at the players and retailers disposal. They can, of course, also use our mobile site or mobile apps to access this information. For the retailer, as it lowers the troubleshooting with incorrect details or unreadable bet slips, and because the consumers have all the latest info on the EasyPlay terminals, retailers get less questions, so it makes their lives a lot easier and they can focus more on customer relations. As for lowering the threshold to play, the physical payslips can look a bit intimidating for new players at first sight with all the various betting options on it. With the EasyPlay terminal, the consumer can now easily select matches simply by touching the screen and not have to fill out the physical paper betting slips.
This easy way of placing a bet at our retail locations has been successful and made available on our native apps and mobile site for the last few years and has proven itself enough for us to take this next step and invest in retail EasyPlay terminals. The big wins are for both consumer and retailer.
- How do consumers and shop owners experience the devices in the stores?
Both consumer and shop owners have responded very positively to the EasyPlay terminals, we’ve seen a big rise in the percentage of transactions done through the EasyPlay terminal. We’ve also received good reviews from retailers as it indeed makes their lives easier.
- What would be your greatest digital wish to realise for TOTO in the future?
I think this wish is constantly evolving. For now, it’s all about giving the players the best personal experience while playing our games, and also to contribute to their love for sports as much as we can with our challenging betting products, services which bring extra fun and excitement around the matches.
For a long time, the gaming industry has held close ties with technology and the development sector. Needless to say, the betting industry has undergone revolutionary transformation. TOTO strives to persevere in offering its customers the best personal experience through technological innovation. It’s not enough to simply run a healthy and stable core business, rather it is also vital to guarantee investment and innovation for future customer experiences.