With most sporting events – post-Cheltenham – having been suspended for the duration of lockdown, fans who look forward to flagship events like The Grand National, Wimbledon or the UEFA Football League have been sorely disappointed. The spring and summer months are usually packed with championships and tournaments – enough to suit followers of every type of sport from cycling to three-day eventing. But, in what should be an Olympic year, we’re missing more than ever.
It’s a blow for fans but a double whammy for anyone who combines a keen interest in sport with a flutter on their favourites. Those who can’t contemplate life without sport have looked far and wide for new opportunities: Mexican football and Australian rules football offered some respite until they, too, were cancelled. While Russian table tennis filled a sports-shaped hole for some, Tajikistan became the unlikeliest of sports hotspots, as it was one of the last to continue to stage football matches.
What happens when sports lockdown lifts?
In the short term, online gaming sites have continued to offer access to other types of gambling. At the moment, casino games are dominating play, but that balance is likely to shift as the sporting calendar restarts – even if only tentatively at first.
Some events have been pushed back to 2021 but a phased reintroduction of others has already begun: The Championship League will restart on 20 June, more than three months after it was suspended, while snooker and horse racing have both already resumed, albeit behind closed doors and with heightened hygiene protocols.
Online gaming sites will have to remain sensitive to the pace of resumption and recognise that the usual, expected peaks may well be out of kilter for a while. We envisage a sharp spike in demand as gamblers return to gaming sites in bigger numbers and recommend commissioning an effective load testing programme to ensure that businesses are delivering an optimal user experience (UX), even when enjoying increased footfall.
Plan for the peak
In our experience, if you can’t give your customer an error free journey, you’re inviting them to jump across to a competitor’s website instead. Customers have huge expectations of service levels, regardless of platform or device and are intolerant of delays or frustrations. The more complex the site, the more likely it is to throw up problems that could impact performance. Add into the mix spikes in traffic and it’s easy to see how your UX could be sub-optimal.
At thinkTribe, we script our load-testing journeys to accurately assess performance under pressure, using protocols based on real user traffic data which replicate a realistic sequence of events. This cloud-based, fully managed service offers optimum coverage with minimum disruption to your operating teams.
Our load testing service will help you:
• Plan for peak periods
• Evaluate performance accurately
• Gain crucial insights based on real behaviour
• Identify pressure points
• Improve the UX
Game the competition
In a highly competitive market, it’s more important than ever to deliver an exceptional UX that will reinforce brand values and reassure customers. A realistic testing programme will allow you to fully understand how your customers’ behaviour will impact your site at peak. We recommend incorporating load testing as part of an ongoing site optimisation programme – rather than an unplanned response to peak traffic challenges – you’ll not only have a better chance of keeping your customers (and maybe poaching a few more from your competitors), but you’ll benefit from improved performance all year round.
Let’s kick things off
We already work with some of the largest online gambling and gaming companies in the business and we’d love to talk more about how we can help you anticipate and avoid performance problems. Give us a call on 01227 768 276 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk more about runners and riders!