William Hill have moved on their recent mobile sports betting successes at the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival by joining forces with the affiliate marketing network Tradedoubler.
The William Hill mobile app was downloaded 45,000 times on Grand National day and 51,000 times during the Cheltenham Festival, prompting Ralph Topping’s senior team to get excited about the possibilities that mCommerce has to offer the UK bookmaker. That excitement has manifested itself in a new relationship with the affiliate marketing network Tradedoubler, as they lay down the gauntlet by demanding their new partner drives more traffic to their mobile offering.
Kate Miller, PR director, William Hill, told ME: “The onus is constantly shifting towards mobile. The unstoppable rise of the smartphone and the tablet is proof of this. Our customers demand a high quality mobile service from us, and making sure that they can discover and download our range of apps is our top priority.
“Tradedoubler has a proven track record in the mobile space, so we’re confident it’ll be able to increase traffic to our mobile site as well as encourage customers to enjoy the convenience of betting, casino and bingo apps on their mobile and tablets.”
Miller is partly right in that their customers do need the opportunity to ‘bet on the go;’ never better demonstrated than those amazing figures recorded on the two special days for the sport of kings. But a ‘high quality mobile service’ depends on whom you ask. At the recent mGaming summit the speakers were all singing the same tune that the customer is king, and the king needs a mobile app that has been created specifically for mobile. Maybe William Hill would be better spending their hard earned cash on development costs rather than partnering up with an affiliate who is driving users to a mobile product that is nothing more than a portal to the existing desktop offering.
Nevertheless, Tradedoubler are excited about the relationship with the UK Bookmaker whose 2013 Q1 numbers showed a 145% increase in mobile sports book wagers, and a 298% increase in mobile gaming net revenue.
Neil Ranatunga, head of mobile at Tradedoubler UK & Ireland, told ME: “Mobile betting is growing at an exponential rate and consumers now favor this option due to its speed and simplicity. William Hill is a major player in the online betting industry, so we’re really excited about helping them drive mobile traffic and showcase their mobile app.
“Companies that don’t have a mobile presence will find themselves falling behind the curve, so it’s vital they have a mobile site that is accessible to users. Getting customers to access the mobile site is the first step to reaping the benefits of this lucrative channel.”
Ranatunga speaks the truth when he says that companies without a mobile offering will be left in the dust, but as Paddy Power has shown with their highly successful Roller Casino, spending your hard earned cash in developing a mobile product specifically for your customer is likely to reap greater rewards that just following the crowd.
According to a survey conducted by Tradedouble and Forrester Consulting, more than 50% of mobile users who have ever completed a purchase using their mobile phone now do so every month. This is true in Sweden, Germany, France and the UK. Other stats uncovered by the survey were that 70% of smartphone owners use their phones to research purchases each week, whilst 31% actually press the ‘buy’ button; over half of smartphone users bought something other than a small download (such as an app) and 27% of them buy online every month. The research also indicated that mobile users in the UK were the most frustrated when it came to the experience of mobile commerce.
Tony Plaskow, Senior Director of Sales for Bally’s Technologies, said it best at the recent mGaming Summit: “People are only snacking on their mobile phone because they don’t have a suitable product available to them.”
Whether William Hill take the same strides that PaddyPower has done, or remains deep inside the converging pack remains to be seen. In the meantime I guess its over to you Tradedouble.