MRI Blog
Casinos Lagging Behind on Mobile Technology Leave Money on the Table

Mobile Optimization
Posted on Jul 16, 2014 in Mobile Comments

Businesses never truly sleep in today’s hyper-connected and always-on world. Customers expect to have access to you whenever they wish, from wherever they are, and mobile technology and connectivity is the driving force behind this.

Addressing the needs of mobile customers once meant you had an edge over slower-to-adapt competitors.  But that was yesterday’s mindset. Today, it’s an absolute necessity to have a mobile optimized website and digital communications strategy if you want to remain relevant; let alone thrive and survive.

This is especially true for casino marketers. When it comes to responding to mobile technology trends, casinos have inexplicably lagged behind other industries. As a result, the industry has failed to leverage a real opportunity to boost revenue and have constant connectivity to players for promotions that keep them on the floor longer and cementing a relationship to keep them coming back more often. 

Why has the casino industry been slow to respond to mobile technology? Perhaps it’s because some casino marketers believe their customer is older and only a small portion of their web traffic are using smartphones or tablets. This flawed thinking is a detriment to business.  Here’s why.

Mobile Won’t Be a Tiny Fraction of Your Web Traffic Much Longer

Recent findings indicate that 87% of U.S. adults frequently access the Internet using a smartphone or tablet. In fact, 25% of that number only uses their mobile device to access the Internet. In 2013, for the first time in our history, more people accessed the Internet with mobile devices than desktop PCs.

  • 90% of U.S. adults own a cell phone
  • 58% of U.S. adults own a smartphone
  • 32% of U.S. adults own an e-reader
  • 42% of U.S. adults own a tablet

So what are adult mobile users doing on their devices?They spend more than 30 minutes of their day updating or checking their social networks. 65% of all emails are also first opened on a mobile device so they’re checking their email, too. In other words, customers are staying connected although they aren’t necessarily staying still.

Even if your analytics tell you that just 30% of your total traffic uses a smartphone or tablet, it’s time to see the writing on the wall. Fewer people are sitting behind a desktop PC. They’re on the move firmly clutching their mobile device.

Your Google Analytics reporting will reflect this sooner rather than later, but it’s time to be proactive when it comes to effectively engaging this user. Smartphone and tablet users spend more time online than those using PCs or laptops and they’re more apt to respond to calls-to-action and spend money than Gens X and Y. By not addressing their needs, you’re leaving money on the table.

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’re providing a sub standard experience for this person and will likely lose them to a competitor with a mobile optimized website that is easier to navigate and use.

Baby Boomers Are In On This, Too

It’s easy to associate mobile technology with images of Millennials mindlessly gazing into their phones, oblivious to their surroundings and life around them. But here’s something that may surprise you; baby boomers, the most coveted demographic to many marketers, are actually more tech savvy than anyone gives them credit for.  

This demographic, who coincidentally controls more than three-fourths of America’s wealth, maybe weren’t the first to buy a smartphone or sign up to Facebook and Twitter, but the rate at which they’ve adopted and use this technology is surpassing that of younger generations.

They are the fastest growing demographic group using social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. Over 35% of Twitter accounts belong to people over the age of 55. 

The notion that the generation that gave us Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, and the late Steve Jobs are tech novices is incredibly shortsighted. These aren’t stay-at-home grandpas and grandmas either. These are C-level executives, VPs and Presidents, entrepreneurs, and world travelers, and with discetionary income or accumulated savings they’re willing to spend.

Let’s Get Digital

The casinos that are prospering today amid a shaky economy and oversaturated market typically have two things in common. First, they have a responsive web site with the same content and functionality across all mobile devices. Second, they’re effectively using email marketing and SMS marketing campaigns to stay in front of the players at all times.  

Today’s gambler has embraced mobile technology. The time for casino marketers to follow that lead was yesterday. Mobile matters in 2014 and it will hurt a casino’s bottom line if its website isn’t optimized for mobile devices. Casinos must embrace responsive design and digital marketing now, or else their antiquated approach will continue to eat away potential revenue growth opportunities.

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