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Mobile websites or Apps: Which comes first for a successful mobile strategy?

12 Jul 2016

National Lottery entrusted its mobile approach to Imperia Mobile and came out winning from the best of both mobile solutions

What distinguishes a real brand from any other company, is the unique feel and experience it provides online, as well as offline. That is why National Lottery turned to us to reinvent its online presence and be able to step confidently into the mobile market. The company has over a million customers across the country, offering them a variety of entertaining online gambling games, sports betting, as well as the widely popular lottery scratch tickets, sold at countless shops and supermarkets. However, like in any other business, digitalization isn’t far behind when it comes to upholding market positions and nurturing customer satisfaction. As Internet usage trends continue to shift to the mobile market, and more and more people spent their time on smart phones and tablets, National Lottery decided to indulge its customers in premium mobile experience.

 

That is where we come in. Imperia Mobile lay down the foundation of an entire digital transformation. Our first task was to develop a mobile version of the website to accommodate the growing number of mobile users who prefer the experience of online gaming on their smart devices rather than on desktop. The responsive web platform supports the whole game portfolio in addition to providing full information for rules, conditions and prizes. But was this enough to grab the customer’s full attention?

 

According to a research by Salesforce.com, it turns out that 85 % of mobile users prefer using applications to mobile websites. That is precisely why we included in our digital program for National Lottery the development of a native app for iOS and Android. Unlike the responsive web platform, the UI/UX design of the apps corresponds completely to the user’s expectations for functionality and experience. The information architecture is well thought out and optimized, but the app’s true purpose is to engage the user rather than simply inform him. That is why we included features like code scanning of lottery tickets, collecting VIP points for “second chances”, location searches for closest points of sales, and of course push notifications to encourage app interaction.

 

In the end, National Lottery needed both software solutions – a mobile website and an application, because of legal restrictions towards online betting games in the App Store and Google Play. Users can still browse through the games from the app, but if they want to play they would be automatically transferred to the mobile website. Nonetheless, this is still a win-win situation for our client, since they get more website traffic, plus an excellent conversion indicator for leading a fruitful online marketing strategy.

 

 

The Challenge

 

National Lottery reached out to us not only for our IT expertise, but also for our insight on online marketing and customer engagement. We started the project by conducting a thorough business analysis of our client’s opportunities and threats in order to find the best approach to developing a successful mobile strategy. The hardest questions to address were those concerning the essence of the business – online gambling games. We had to take into account the restrictions and regulations in this sector, set by the Bulgarian legislation and by the mobile platforms “App Store” and “Google Play”.  After drafting the scope of the project, we finally focused on the main technical questions at hand:

 

  • How to build a fully functional and unified mobile solution in accordance with the current online presence of the company
  • And how to achieve astonishing user experience, while incorporating in our mobile products National Lottery’s unique brand identity

 

 

Our Solution

 

We devised a massive, yet precisely detailed digital program in full collaboration with our partners at National Lottery. Our strategy included 5 labor-intensive development phases, each with its own unique specifications, complex guidelines and tough deadlines.

 

Phase 1: Develop a responsive mobile web platform with the opportunity to add quickly new web applications (games)

Phase 2: Design and engineer native applications for iOS and Android mobile devices

Phase 3: Develop a back-end system to support the applications and communicate with the internal systems of the company

Phase 4: Integrate and maintain all components and services through a strict and measurable SLA

Phase 5: Consult on the best marketing & launch approach to attain maximum level of customer engagement and satisfaction

 

In order to complete this massive mobile strategy for our client, we took on the full management process and delivery of the project. In its execution we included: 3 project managers, 4 IT experts, 16 developers and QA engineers, and 2 web designers to insure slick and smooth user experience. As a result National Lottery received its own custom-tailored software products with exceptional usability and seamless functionality.

 

 

Aftermath

 

In today’s digitalized and overcrowded marketplace, every business, big, medium or small, is in constant need for innovation and improvement. Thanks to our expertise in mobile technologies, skilled IT specialists and distinguished project managers, Imperia Mobile successfully delivered a full digital transformation to one of the biggest B2C companies in Bulgaria. National Lottery is now effectively using its brand new online marketing channel –mobile devices. Their dominance is estimated to reach over 85% of Internet usage in Easter and Central Europe till 2019, which is why this projects was a top priority for the company.  Customers can now reach National Lottery on their phone or tablet via its mobile website or simply download the app to get the full user experience.