QR codes will appear on all pink lottery tickets, allowing hopeful players to use their smartphones to check whether they’ve won in what Camelot hopes will quicken the momentum behind its online sales.
All tickets for the charity’s draw based games will feature the codes, meaning players for the Lotto, EuroMilions, Thunderball and Lotto Hotpicks will know whether they’ve won in a matter of taps. Final tests to prepare the app are underway so that all a person will need to do is tap on a ‘scan ticket’ button to scan the code.
“It’s getting harder for many of our retail customers to find out if they’ve won because we’ve got so many [prize] draws and some people have five or six lines on one ticket, explained Camelot’s digital director Tim Copper . And while some might view QR codes on a ticket as a PR stunt, Copper assured that the introduction was due to popular demand. “Customers have been asking for this,” he added. “It’s not something we suddenly thought of. They’ve been asking for an easier way to check their tickets.”
“Reasonable” marketing will support the rollout as Camelot looks to ramp up the momentum building behind its mobile app. Whether it’s scanning a QR code or using Barclays mobile payment service Pingit, Camelot wants to make the app as easy as possible in order to drive impulse sales. Consequently, its working on a different version of its Android app that will allow people to pay to play directly from it after its previous iteration was prevented from doing so due to Google guidelines.
“Mobile payments is exploding,” said Copper . “So we’ll keep building on the knowledge and experience from how people are using Barclays Pingit….We’re such an impulse purchase at the end of the day. You get a push notification on a Friday at 6pm and it’s for a £30m or £50m jackpot andwithin four taps you can play. We’ve worked really hard to improve that experience.”
Mobile sales now account for almost half of all interactive National Lottery sales off the back of a 2015 that saw the former jump 53 per cent year-on-year, spurred by a 71 per cent lift in smartphones. It’s an upward curve that Copper is keen to continue, hence why much of his energies for the rest of the year are going into streamlining the experience across digital products.
Camelot’s brands are already present on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but there’s an appetite to cast its net further.” We want more distribution,” said Copper , who said the organisation is already “experimenting” with “what people want to do from their Facebook or Instagram account”.
The success of digital helped reverse a sales decline in the flagship Lotto game, which was controversially overhauled last year. Sales hit a record £7.6bn in the year to March, with Lotto sales up 14 per cent in the second half of the year – following the revamp – compared to the previous six months. However, sales from all Camelot’s draw-based games dropped by £6.2m to £4.6bn in part due to the Lotto’s first half dip and flagging interest in the Euromillions due to a lack of rollovers.
Despite the drop, Camelot’s chief executive Andy Duncan said it was “necessary” to overhaul Lotto in order to swell interest in the draw. The challenges of doing that for the Lotto and the rest of the draws are compounded by competition from the likes of the Health Lottery, the People’s Postcode Lottery – umbrella society lotteries – which Duncan believes are “exploiting loopholes”. It’s an issue Camelot has had for some time due to fears they are spending vast sums of money on expenses, paying themselves and marketing to take money away from its Good Causes initiative.