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Priming the purchase is key to boosting lottery sales


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Lottery and convenience go hand-in-hand. For its most recent fiscal year (which isn’t over yet) the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation reports that C&G delivered more than $2.846 billion in lottery sales, earning retailers more than $207 million in commissions.

“We are the single largest traffic driver into the convenience channel (in terms of transactions),” Larry Colatosti, executive director retail sales, OLG, told attendees during a packed lunch-and-learn session—“Driving lottery commissions to your store”—at The Convenience U CARWACS Show in Toronto March 3.

Colatosti outlined the organization's efforts further boost business at the c-store level. For instance, OLG recently completed a pilot project with 300 new, more efficient terminals. The organization rolled out 800 new machines in February and all 10,000 terminals in Ontario will be replaced by the fall.

“This is one example of how we are committed to retail. Making sure you, we, have the right equipment in place to bring us into the future,” said Colatosti, adding OLG is getting ready to introduce new products designed to generate even more excitement among players and sales for retailers. “We continue to innovate at retail to make sure you can serve your customers, our customers.”

He said there are three important steps operators and their staff can take to boost sales in-store. It comes down to priming the purchase:

  1. Signage: Promote lottery to increase visibility and excitement

  2. Play area: Ensure it is clean, inviting and well stocked

  3. At cash: Ask for the sale, you have to create an interaction (one in two will say yes)

Colatosti, whose first job was at a convenience store, paid homage to the role c-store operators play in supporting OLG : “Thank you for what you do every day to make sure lottery is well represented in our stores.”

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Dante Anderson, director, brand marketing for OLG, also took to the stage to talk about the OLG’s ongoing rebranding efforts, which aim to build stronger relationships with customers. “The opportunity is for us to reintroduce the OLG brand and create a new brand image that stands for fun, excitement and play.”

Research shows most people think of OLG as a regulator. The plan is to shake off the conservative images and reposition the organization.

“Our goal is to hit reset in terms of what people think of the OLG brand,” said Anderson, adding OLG is going to be about play. “We are making this shift to appeal to a new generation of players.”

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