Actions to Improve the In-Store Player Experience

STRATACACHE Founder & CEO Chris Riegel travels the world to help organizations connect with their consumers via intelligent visual and consumer engagement solutions. “We see a lot of different ways organizations use digital signage to solve problems,” said Riegel. “We are always looking for ways to move the needle across multiple industries in any consumer engagement.”

STRATACACHE is a behemoth in the in-store digital media and marketing technology industry, working with multiple verticals including retail, QSR, banking, and gaming on a global scale. Its clients include McDonald’s, Walmart, P&G, and Coca-Cola, among others. The company services the lottery industry through its subsidiary, Carmanah Signs.

The ultimate goal, said Riegel, is to learn more about consumers’ behavior and apply that expertise across multiple industries. What may shock many shoppers is that retailers win the game by understanding the value of “micro-moments” and the impact of brain chemistry on purchase decisions.

“There is an existential battle in retail,” declared Riegel. “All retailers are scared to death of what Amazon will do next that affects their bottom line—and this directly affects the lottery. The fewer trips the consumer makes to retail means fewer opportunities for the lottery.”

Consumer Motivation

STRATACACHE has developed a consumer profile that it calls The Modern Shopper. “We have built an optimization strategy around The Modern Shopper focused on micro-moments of joy,” said Riegel. “You do not need to have big, sweeping changes to affect the consumer. Minor in-store changes can often result in single- or double-digit sales growth.”

“You will get consumers based on the type and quality of experience you provide. If you look at the experience that lottery delivers today at the retail level, you may be ignoring one key fact about what the experience delivers,” explained Riegel.

What is this key fact? “Every consumer is influenced by a specific chemical in the brain—dopamine. Digital interactions, such as social media and search, release tiny amounts of neurotransmitters which play a major role in reward-motivated behavior,” explained Riegel.

Why does someone click a “like” on Facebook? “Because you get a little shot of dopamine. When you look for the answer to a question, you get another shot of dopamine. Technology and society are driving this response. Why can’t people have a normal conversation without looking at their mobile devices? Because they enjoy this rewarded response,” said Riegel.

How does this retail consumption and reward-motivated behavior play into lottery and gaming? “Dopamine causes you to want, desire, seek and search. It is tied to belonging and admiration. In the gaming industry, for instance, before even playing a slot machine, the player gets multiple shots of dopamine from the lights, sounds, and experience,” said Riegel.

“We talk to gaming organizations all over the world who are telling us their players are old. You have to look at relevancy. We do this with micro-moments of benefit to a consumer, which can be broken into six engagement points: know me, engage me, help me, serve me, thank me and reward me. Each is a micro-moment of joy to the consumer. Welcome to the mind of the millennial. If you don’t serve the consumer, someone else will,” he added.

Recommended Actions

The first action is to use low-cost mobile sensors to help deliver moments of joy. “We can locate individuals’ smartphones in real time by sensing the Wi-Fi pings automatically sent out. This allows us to anonymously gather valuable in-store behavioral insights and advance the player experience—welcome the consumer, help them with their transaction, give them information of value, and thank them for their business,” said Riegel.

The second action is to link to the personalization engine, which is done within the mandate and aligned with consumer privacy laws.

“As the visit data of each player builds over time, we gain information and insights to drive deeper engagement and optimize the retail footprint. Additional individualized player insights can be gained by integrating a lottery’s opt-in mobile app,” he explained.

“Personalization should match the brand voice and provide a tangible benefit,” said Riegel. “Think about how much information we trade for a benefit, such as loyalty points to Starbucks or the airlines. We can use sensors for that. It is already pervasive.”

The third action is to provide a modern, enjoyable experience. For instance, content change on a digital sign can be triggered while the player is still in-store.

“One European lottery customer went from paper to digital. These screens can meet, greet, and suggest products,” said Riegel. “Another benefit is in retail intelligence. This is in the form of learning about volume, dwell times, and frequency, along with actionable insight into patterns and brand loyalty. The more effectively you can collect data, the more you can understand what the consumer wants.”

In summary, Riegel stressed that understanding why consumers buy and what motivates their behavior is key to improving results. All of this can be accomplished within privacy laws and best practices for consumer engagement.

“Modern sensors, displays, and consumers’ mobile devices give you all the necessary tools to provide a better experience for your players,” stressed Riegel.