Embracing the unfolding tapestry of 2023, lottery retailers have found themselves navigating a dynamic landscape marked by formidable staffing challenges and ever-shifting currents of consumer shopping behavior. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, the Illinois Lottery has set its sights on the horizon of FY24 and is committed to uncovering untapped opportunities to bolster and fortify its retailers’ daily lottery best practices.
The Illinois Lottery, in collaboration with Camelot Illinois, launched a transformative SCiQ® pilot program. The initiative unfolded across 43 retail locations, spanning a 90-day period. At the heart of this pilot were three primary goals:
- Achieve a sales increase of 10% post-installation compared to the benchmark or expected performance.
- Improve performance metrics, specifically Out of Stock (OOS) and Hours to Fill, compared to the Win-30 benchmark.
- Garner positive retailer feedback in areas they have deemed operational challenges.
To cater to retailer needs, the lottery implemented a series of measures. On installation day, comprehensive, on-site training was provided. Additionally, a 24-hour hotline and field tech program were established, offering immediate assistance as needed. Lottery sales representatives underwent thorough system training, guaranteeing seamless operations, and a dedicated Camelot Field Manager was assigned to facilitate communication of KPIs and retail sales. Furthermore, sales and KPI reporting were conducted weekly, providing valuable insights to Key Account HQs and store/field-level management.
The program yielded promising results, showcasing a notable increase in sales. Compared to control stores and the state average, sales rose by an impressive 9.2%, with an additional 2.1% increase surpassing control stores, resulting in a net 11.3% growth. Performance metrics also demonstrated improvement when compared to control stores. Out-of-Stock (OOS) occurrences improved by 1.05%, and Hours to Fill improved by 4.9 hours. While new game activation remained flat, retailer feedback echoed positive sentiments, affirming the pilot’s success.
Building upon that success, the Illinois Lottery made the strategic decision to expand the program to 700 high-volume locations, constituting 9.8% of the retail estate. This expansion will encompass Key Accounts and top-performing Independents, which currently operate solely from vending machines or under/back counter locations. The targeted completion date for this expansion is set for October 2023.
With a dedication to fostering mutually beneficial growth, the Illinois Lottery and its SCiQ pilot, with its Instant Ticket selling management tools, is expected to improve the selling experience significantly, promising a new era of prosperity for the lottery industry – a true testament to the Illinois Lottery’s commitment to excellence.