Retail betting companion app

In recent years, the betting industry has revolutionised the way it does business by developing a powerful digital presence that's attracted a new generation of customers. However, the industry's retail sector remains a valuable source of revenue and constitutes a significant portion of its customer base

At Paddy Power a significant proportion of its customers still place bets in brick-and-mortar shops.

A mobile app mockup displaying the web app interface design for a sports online betting app

Paddy Power Betfair

Services provided

Web app development, Native mobile app development, Design, Art Direction, Website

Case study on Paddy Power

The original brief

We were initially approached to develop a unique digital service solution for the organisation's retail arm. This involved creating a micro-website that allowed people who placed bets in their shops to track their bet on a mobile site and cash out if desired. Though this original brief was tightly specified, the project itself posed several challenges.

First and foremost, Paddy Power had a one-year exclusivity agreement on the 'watch my bet' functionality. However, they didn't have anything in place to maximise the competitive advantage the exclusivity agreement promised and required us to complete the project within a remarkably short window. Fortunately, Steer73 benefits from a responsive organisational structure that's specifically designed to allow us to embrace challenging briefs and quickly move towards a solution.

In response, we developed a successful digital service that allowed in-store customers to push a button on-screen, enter their phone number, and receive a message containing a link that allowed customers to view their bet immediately.

This tidy and effective solution ensured customers were able to view the status of their bet at any time and in any location. It also enabled Paddy Power to authenticate the identity of its customer via phone verification automatically. The service was branded as Paddy Power Onside.

Next steps and the start of a long-term relationship

While our successful deployment of the Paddy Power Onside micro-site allowed them to take advantage pf their exclusivity agreement and get a lead on their key competitors, we also saw the potential for more significant development.

'Although the site looked and behaved like an app, it was still a single-page website," Alex Bogdanovski, Product Director at Steer73 explains. 'We saw the potential to develop it and began adding several new features. We launched the ability to watch the relevant sporting event in real-time, we added a profile section, a login for apps and loyalty functionality."

All of these features worked to allow customers to enjoy greater engagement with their bet once it had been placed in the shop.

User interface design for Paddy Power login screen
High fidelity wireframe for a mobile app game

Expanding to free-to-play games and native apps

As our relationship with Paddy Power developed, we were asked to create two free-to-play games for the site. The first of these was Last Man Standing - a popular in-store game that enjoyed a strong following amongst retail customers. This was followed up by 'Streaks,' a game that was designed, built and developed from scratch by our product team. You can read more about the free-to-play games aspect of our work with Paddy Power in our independent case study.

Most recently, we've been tasked with taking Paddy Power's apps native, ensuring maximum exposure for their services.

As Alex explains, 'We're now in the position where we have a three-pronged relationship with Paddy Power - we're working on two individual native apps, the website, and the free to play games.'

Breaking down the benefits of our partnership

Our work has benefitted our client in several different ways

Understanding customers

Before we introduced the Onside bet-tracking service, Paddy Power had no way of knowing who was betting in their shops. This meant that they had no personal information for a significant portion of their customer base. With the implementation of our service, most users have tracked a bet and, in doing so, registered an ID.

Many will have gone through the profile builder, which gives Paddy Power information relating to how the user interacts with retail betting products and services, as well as their local shop, their favourite team, and valuable betting pattern information. 'Essentially,' explains Alex, 'we've given them the ability to analyse that % of the community that they just didn't have any information for.'

Increasing engagement

While all of our work with Paddy Power has revolved around ways in which we can increase engagement with retail betting services, our free-to-play games have proven particularly successful in this respect.‘With both of the games we put in place, we saw a massive shift in engagement during the week,' continues Alex. 'You can't build something that users only think about once. Instead, you need a system that they're continually engaging with and that regularly poses questions that require a response.'

Our free-to-play games were designed with this philosophy in mind and have been key to opening up habitual, weekend retail betters to midweek engagement with Paddy Power products and services.

Entire product management

Though our relationship with Paddy Power began by providing a single software solution, it’s now reached a point at which we’ve assumed a full product management role. In many ways, we’re operating as an external product team for one of Paddy Power’s key retail technologies. This ability to handle the entire product lifecycle ensures that we’re developing solutions that meet the client’s precise specifications and providing them with a full range of services, including product analytics.

Unique digital solutions expertise

The longer we’ve worked with Paddy Power, the more opportunities we’ve had to demonstrate our expertise and experience. As valued partners, we’re now approached to advise various parts of the business.

While our ability to develop successful software applications for Paddy Power is valued, so too is our ability to analyse how these services are used, how they can be enhanced and improved, and how other digital services could move the organisation forward.

Working together with different teams

Our capacity to anticipate and overcome the challenges associated with developing complex digital solutions for diverse clients has been key to our success. In the context of Paddy Power, this has meant the accommodation of working practices and cultures that don’t necessarily complement one another.

'The Paddy Power marketing team begins gearing up for the next big sporting event a month in advance,' explains Alex. 'This could pose a bit of a problem – we need more notice if we're to build their ideas into an app. Fortunately, we're used to juggling disparate workplace cultures. All organisations have a different way of working that we can adapt to as much as possible, while also trying to guide them towards the best practice for developing the software solutions they want and need. Our approach emphasises finding a way that works for both of us.’

Our process is key

At the heart of what we do are the key processes we've developed to identify an organisation's main challenges and problems. In many ways, they're what make us successful and allow us to work with clients in any sector.

In Alex words, 'our expertise can be pointed at any sector because our process revolves around understanding the needs of both your company and your users and investigating those. It is in no way sector-specific.'

The future

Our relationship with Paddy Power has grown from providing a single service solution to acting as an external product team for one of their critical retail services. Along the way, our advisory role has grown.

The trust and recognition we've earned have allowed us to demonstrate our aptitude in every aspect of the software development lifecycle. Over the last three or four years, this has enabled us to grow the team we have contracted to Paddy Power and provide a broader range of services. In the future, that relationship is set to strengthen, and the team will continue to expand to meet our client's evolving needs.

Paddy Power retail outlet shop front