Promoted feature: Staying relevant in the ever-changing igaming market

Boris Chaikin of Soft2Bet outlines the firm’s approach to evolving in step with an ever-changing igaming marketplace

EGR Intel (EGR): Given the rapid pace of change in the igaming industry and shifting market needs, how important is it for operators to concentrate on features that improve the user experience? 

Boris Chaikin (BC): The betting and gaming market is moving at such speed that is difficult to stay competitive without constantly improving and advancing your product. Following an influx of new brands in recent years, customers today are faced with a plethora of choice. As a result, brand loyalty is not as easily won as it once was. It is therefore critical that the user experience moves with the shifting demands and growing expectations – and since features are a defining factor of a product’s offer, their constant development is critical to staying relevant.

To be ahead of the trends, there is an element of guesswork involved – especially since Soft2Bet likes to keep customers on their toes. Predicting novelties in the igaming market is one of our strong points, and we’ve worked hard to introduce new features and upgrades that players don’t expect, but significantly enhance the experience.

A proof point is the payment journey offered across all our brands. While the industry is not short of quality payment providers, our Pay’n’Play option integrated throughout our online casino and sportsbook portfolio raised the bar. It eases the process of making a deposit or withdrawal, thereby boosting customer satisfaction and confidence in the product. We didn’t stop there, though. Our flagship online casino brand Wazamba recently debuted a brand-new payment solution which allows players to instantly deposit funds without exiting the game in play. The quick deposit tool will soon be rolled out across our sportsbook and online casino platforms to offer each of our customers an innovative new payment option that dramatically enhances the user experience. This continual improvement is how we keep customers on-site and returning to our products.

Variety is also key to standing out from the competition. As more and more online casino lobbies and sportsbooks merge into one blanket industry offering, it’s important for us to strive to be different. Regularly updating our platforms with new and engaging content, integrating with local games studios and developing new betting markets are the pillars of our engagement strategy, so that each brand offers originality. Coupled with our retention tools, gamification features and approach to customer communication, we believe we’re onto a winning model.

EGR: Many of Soft2Bet’s brands are focused on the mobile environment. Why did you decide to take this route and how do you build an experience that stays relevant with advancing technology and software system updates?

BC: People today cannot live without their smartphones. In terms of betting and gaming, these small devices have taken over from laptops and tablets as the preferred way to play. Since our inception we recognised that mobile would come to dominate how customers interact with our brands and were one of the first to move on the trend that has now taken the igaming sector – and most other industries – by storm.

More than half of our users play on their phones, so we concentrate on making our products as mobile-friendly and easy-to-use as possible. What mobile play offers is convenience, allowing customers to bet on the go, such as on their way to work as well as at home. The benefit for us, of course, is that users have more opportunity to play. Keeping up with technology upgrades and advancements isn’t without its challenges, but that is where flexibility provides us with a major advantage. Our products have been designed with a mobile-first approach that enables us to keep up with developments and maintain device optimisation across our offering.

EGR: These front-end innovations obviously require heavy lifting in the back-end system too. How do you ensure you have the technical capacity to support product development goals?

BC: It’s really a case of having the latest technology and in-house talent. Our development team is second-to-none and ensures every feature upgrade is implemented without a hitch. It’s incredibly important that the back and front-end systems marry together in order to make improvements to the user experience without resulting in service downtime. The job becomes a lot harder if you’re operating on legacy tech, which is why our agility is so important. We update our in-house system on a regular basis to ensure that we have the flexibility to innovate quickly and stay ahead of competitors.

More than half of our users play on their phones, so we concentrate on making our products as mobile-friendly and easy-to-use as possible

EGR: As a global operator, how does Soft2Bet keep pace with fragmented rules while staying true to its brands?

BC: It’s all about the mindset. You have to take each challenge as a new experience that allows you to grow rather than as a restriction. We are not afraid to learn at Soft2Bet, and each market entry presents us with new knowledge that aids our expansion and growth. There is no room to take your eye off the ball when it comes to regulatory changes. Our teams are always monitoring developments and acting appropriately, which includes moving on opportunities in new markets, while ensuring we comply with the letter of the law in jurisdictions where rules are tightening.

EGR: Sweden in particular has proven to be a testing market for both operators and suppliers, with recently imposed deposit limits set to bring additional challenges. How is Soft2Bet approaching the restrictions and has your outlook for the market changed in light of the new rules?

BC: Working with a Spelinspektionen licence has been a new experience for us and we take every step necessary to best follow all the rules and regulations. It is no secret that the legislative framework has created difficult operating conditions in Sweden and the new rules recently imposed on all operators are expected to bring further challenges. We fully respect the decisions of the Swedish government, however, and will do all we can to ensure our products are as safe as possible for users.

Our goal is to both entertain and protect our customers, so we have been quick to implement technical solutions and responsible gaming features that enable us to offer a best experience possible while adhering to the regulatory requirements. Additionally, our support team has passed special training, so they know how to communicate and ensure the safety of our players.

Boris Chaikin, Soft2Bet

With a passion for creating new products and 19 years working in the igaming industry, Soft2Bet’s CEO, Boris Chaikin, has a wealth of experience in building and managing teams in areas such as marketing, customer support, CRM and general operations. Chaikin has previously held the roles of marketing director and general manager at the B2B sportsbook and platform provider OffsideGaming for over five years out of his 10 years with the company.

Innovation | Mobile | Product | Soft2Bet | Sweden