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7-Eleven partners with new app to build relationships with lottery players

The convenience store chain is the exclusive retail partner for YooLotto, a free lottery-management app that stores and tracks individual lottery ticket information. Users are notified via push notifications of their results in the lottery within minutes of drawings.

“7-Eleven is the No. 1 lottery retailer in Texas and the U.S.,” said Margaret Chabris, director of public relations and marketing communications at 7-Eleven, Dallas, TX. “We also are keenly interested in new business development.

“The director of our new business development group met Elmer Cha and Eric Yoo at a Texas Wildcatters event and thought this would be a great program for our many customers who purchase lottery tickets,” she said.

“By partnering with E Squared Technologies, Inc., we can provide them two services – the opportunity to learn within minutes if a Powerball or Megamillions ticket they purchased is a winner and to showcase our products and services on their smartphones.”

The winning ticket
Currently, 7-Eleven is piloting the app in stores in Texas and anticipates expanding the program to other states. The app supports Powerball and Megamillions games in the state.

Flyers and POP signs are being used in stores to make lottery players aware of the app. The retailer is also offering coupons and other deals for lottery ticketholders who redeem their tickets in participating stores.

Approximately 57 percent of Americans play the lottery at least once a year, and of those, 70 million own smart phones.

However, hundreds of millions of dollars in lottery winnings go unclaimed each year because players misplace or forget to check their tickets.

The YooLotto app hopes to address unclaimed lottery winnings by automatically notifying users when they have a winning ticket.

Building customer relationships
Once the app is downloaded, users must purchase a lottery ticket and take a photograph of is with their smartphone, which stores the information. After a drawing, the app uses GPS technology to direct players to the closest participating retailer to collect their winnings or, if they do not win, to try their luck again.

Every notification also includes mobile coupons and offers as an added to incentive for users to visit a retail location.

YooLotto provides a way for retailers to strengthen their relationship with lottery players, who can be important customers.

“Lottery players actually spend three times more than a non-lottery player especially in convenience stores,” said Elmer Cha, chief operating officer and co-founder of YooLotto, Dallas.

“Even though retailers only make $.05 on the dollar for a lottery ticket, they provide it anyway because it creates additional sales,” he said.

The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

A national roll-out for the multi-state games is planned for later this year. Additional notifications may be added at a later point, such as to inform users when the jackpot reaches a certain threshold.

“We believe mobile directly translates to convenience for lottery customers and that is something that has been lacking in this industry,” said Eric Yoo, CEO and co-founder of YooLotto.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York