How Online Poker Can Help Businesses Keep Customers Interested
Casinos are often at the forefront of marketing and tech developments, due to the increased competition in the field.
One of the cardinal rules of business is ensuring customers remain interested in what you have to offer. People often say “the customer is always right”, and following that adage can help ensure a business remains on the right track. But keeping a customer interested in a business is a difficult feat, especially in an age of saturation of social media and intense competition from similar offerings. Both gaining a customer’s interest and keeping that customer’s interest as your brand evolves are key facets of a business, and not all can succeed in this. One strong example of a business attracting and maintaining customer interest is the online poker industry. By taking the values of the industry and keeping them modern, online poker has kept fans interested. So what can we learn from them?
The History of Poker
The poker industry moved online around twenty years ago, and since then has flourished with what can be offered, especially advancing on the initial product proposition. Customers are obviously interested in the baseline poker offering – the ability to play the game of skill against others and win money and kudos. And, this proposition hasn’t really altered since the 10th century, when poker began. Online and mobile poker help merge the traditional base of poker for the past 1,000 years with the modern.
The revolution of poker was down to the array of opportunities online. Being able to play – as well as learn – online easily and quickly attracted a lot of players, and the brands took advantage of this. But, in maintaining customers, the industry as a whole realised that a lot more needed to be done to keep interest, especially when there were so many online sites.
Poker Variants on Offer
One advantage online poker sites have in order to keep customers entertained is by producing new versions of much-loved games with such slight differences that gameplay is not affected, yet play is different enough to enamour new fans. While land-based casinos are usually restricted by the one or two types of poker available – e.g. Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud and so on – online poker offerings are able to offer dozens of variations of the variations, because these tables don’t take up any physical space. The differences between these different poker games can be as simple as how many cards players can draw and what limits are on the betting, which would be difficult and tedious to roll out for land-based casinos with a table dedicated to each little change. By offering customers exactly what they want, while also allowing them to try something new, online poker is able to keep customers interested. Indeed, even the online retail sector has learned that by being flexible in their offering and appealing to the niche interests as well as the mass market, greater profitability can be achieved.
The poker industry saturation is a difficult barrier to break, given how the basics of the game need to be maintained, yet there are ways poker brands are working on adding extra challenges to traditional gameplay to up the ante. Indeed, in addition to the widely played variants described above, certain brands have gone beyond, to place their own spins on games of poker, often looking to address any player frustrations this way. For example, Flopomania on 888poker scraps the pre-flop betting round, meaning players can see the flop every single hand, which gives a unique twist to classic Texas Hold ‘Em poker and makes it speedier. Another example, BLAST Sit & Go, adds a timer and a multiplier of a prize fund up to 10,000x the buy-in. Once the timer drops, all players have to go all in until there is one winner. It bills itself as a super turbo Texas Hold ‘Em. The lesson here is to not only rely on previously used variants of your product or service – be bold and experiment with completely new products that address your customers’ needs.
Another way poker has attempted to keep customers interested, which can be definitely harnessed by many other sectors and industries is through webcam poker. By utilising something as simple as the computer’s webcam, the game can be massively opened up in order to allow players to see one another playing. Poker is a hugely strategic game, and part of that is the interpersonal element of bluffing and maintaining a poker face. While the opponents are unable to interact, the mere viewing of someone’s face as they make their move will be akin to watching one’s body language when playing poker. Something as simple as harnessing the power of a simple piece of technology opened a great deal of new avenues for online poker, which can be replicated across other businesses. After all, studies have shown that audiences and customers appreciate personal interaction, even online.
One of the huge differentials that enabled online poker to really flourish was the introduction of the live dealer. By adding an option for those playing online to interact in a live capacity both with dealers and other players brought the edge that bricks and mortar casinos may have had to the online arena. Plus, exhibiting the latest technologies was also a huge coup for the poker industry, which looks to continue the trend of staying on top of the latest developments moving forwards.
Virtual Reality (VR) is expected to make a huge difference in a variety of sectors
The Future of Online Poker
The future of online poker – and what that may consist of – is also a way that online poker has maintained customer interest. Using live dealers as a springboard, the industry can take advantage of the latest technology, including AR and VR tech in order to revolutionize what it means to play poker online. VR developments are already in place in other gaming industries, so it’s a logical step to enhance poker this way. Creating the poker atmosphere and adding a sense of challenge to the game is likely to attract fans interested in engaging with VR tech, while also keeping the interest of diehard poker fans. VR technology has been applied to art galleries, exercise machinery, and even university campus tours, so it’s only natural that the online gaming industry takes the technology and adapts it to suit its ever-growing modern needs.
The poker industry acts as a good barometer as to how industries can keep customers interested. By modifying the offering while retaining the core values, and connecting to the demand for how the customer wants to interact with you, a business can ensure they keep the customer interested.