Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’ may have been a ‘60s protest song, but the sentiment certainly rings true today, especially in our technological era, when everyone, including c-store lottery retailers, has a hard time keeping up with trends.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has recognized its role in keeping up with the times, issuing its “Modernizing Lottery and Gaming in Ontario” report to the Ministry of Finance on March 12, 2012. This report focuses on the customer experience, and looks to implement new technology and gaming that will attract younger lottery players.
Lottery profits across the country are on the rise, with OLG reporting almost 850 million transactions with a sales value of $3.24 billion (source: OLG), the Atlantic Lottery Corporation increasing gross profits by $15.3 million from 2009 to 2010 (source: ALC 2010-11 Accountability Report), and cumulative sales of $1,267,649,000 reported by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation in 2011 (source: WCLC 2011 Annual Report).
The age of the major lottery-playing segment, however, is also increasing, which means as lottery corporations across the nation focus on fresh gaming strategies, convenience retailers need to start engaging younger adults (25 to 45 years old) at the point of purchase.
The OLG report acknowledges the large role convenience stores play in the execution of lottery and gaming throughout the province: in 2011, eight million Ontario adults (80%) played the lottery at least once, and convenience store lottery sales made up more than 74% of total Ontario lottery sales (source: OLG). Convenience stores are expected to continue their dominance of the lottery category.
OLG promotes “execution excellence,” encouraging retailers to learn the ins and outs of the lottery portfolio, and to pass this knowledge along to all staff members so they can accurately upsell lottery products at the cash, especially with the younger demographic in mind.
Players aged 18-25 are vital to the future of lottery; if you engage them now through service excellence, they’ll be even more likely to become gaming regulars when lottery programs are updated across the country. Because, as Bob Dylan sang, “…you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone.”
The path to lottery execution excellence:
- Spread the knowledge. Learn how every lottery game works, and include your employees in the learning process.
- Keep it clean. Ensure play stands and silent sellers are clean and clutter-free.
- Get visual. Use POS signage, along with signs on your window or outside, to entice customers to play.
- Talk it out. Display up-to-date jackpot signage, and encourage employees to mention the next jackpot draw to all customers at the cash.
- Use your guide. Follow the planogram provided by your lottery sales rep to best meet the demands of your customer base.