We’re at a pivotal moment in several nations across Africa, where the widespread adoption of internet-connected devices creates a brand new space for business. There were 477 million unique mobile subscribers across sub-Saharan Africa at the last count, marking a 45 percent penetration rate.
What’s even more promising is the predicted 4.3 percent CAGR, which will pull the number of mobile subscribers to 614 million in the region. The continent’s smartphone market hubs stand as South Africa, making up over 15 percent of the total market, and Egypt, at near-12 percent.
As has been the case in many other jurisdictions with emerging online communities, one of the first internet-based industries to successfully establish itself in African nations has been iGaming. The companies, which offer online casino gaming, sussed the keys to breaking into any new market decades ago, enabling iGaming brands to become hugely competitive across Europe.
With an exciting and ever-growing online market, we’re looking at how online casinos successfully made their way into the most prominent African markets and the strategies that they use to appeal to and retain customers.
Localization is essential in each nation
Of course, when massive companies discuss looking to new markets, they tend to generalize, such as by seeking to conquer America or establish lines in Africa. In reality, it’s a piece-by-piece process, with every single nation having its own set of demands that have to be met to find success. This is as true in Africa for just about any business as it is anywhere else in the world. To become appealing and retain customers, online casinos had to localise.
Looking at the African market as a whole, there are 54 extremely diverse markets to localize for, ensuring that aspects such as payment methods, languages, and device adoption are fully considered. In many countries, cash is still the dominant payment method. However, where smartphones are being widely adopted, so are mobile money wallets. So, online payments via mobile money have become viable to internet-based businesses.
The online casinos have been very quick to assess and implement most widespread forms of digital payment systems where possible. They have also adapted their services to receive and pay money in local currencies, such as the South African rand. With deposits and withdrawals being locally accessible, the platforms have been able to retain customers by making play easy.
Creating help for newcomers
One of the problems that many new ideas and businesses have when trying to break into a relatively young market is cultivating an audience. It’s all well-and-good offering the best that the industry has to offer, but if the audience doesn’t grasp the product, it’ll be doomed to fail. iGaming operators recognized this, leading them to combine to create helpful, comprehensive online casino guides that also direct players to the free ways of trying out the entertainment platforms.
The South Africa-facing site offers everything that a new gamer could want to know before playing. Not only does it go into detail about banking methods and platforms, but there are also game guides, reviews for operators, and even some free games and bonuses to try. A knowledgeable audience is an engaged audience, so putting in the work to inform newcomers and offer ways to try the games for free goes a very long way towards retaining customers.
Very few industries have been able to spread to new and emerging online markets with the ease that has been shown by online casino platforms. The key to their success has been homed-in localization and the establishment of guide sites, which help cultivate and retain an active audience.