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Lottery innovation highlighted at Atlantic Convenience Store gathering

by Jennifer Tulk

Chances are you’ve bought an Atlantic Lottery ticket at a convenience store at some point, but have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes to help make that possible?

It turns out, a whole lot of preparation and planning goes into making sure your retail experience is the best it can be.

Each year convenience store owners and operators from throughout Atlantic Canada gather with their partners at the Atlantic Convenience Store Expo – which, this year, took place in Halifax.  Organized by the Atlantic Convenience Store Association (ACSA), the industry networking event promotes collaboration, innovation and connectivity. Atlantic Lottery has long been a partner of the ACSA, essentially since the association’s formation in 2007.

Modernizing the C-Store Lottery Experience

Julien Belliveau, Atlantic Lottery’s Manager of Salesforce and Retailer Effectiveness, was part of a small delegation of employees that attended this year’s expo.  Belliveau led a seminar entitled “Modernizing the C-Store Lottery Experience.”

“We all know that lottery is an important category for the convenience store industry, and it continues to be a big part of our overall retail revenue,” said Belliveau.  “So I took the opportunity to bring them up to speed on some of the innovations coming out of the gaming industry – some of the cool, new features that are coming out – but also to outline some of the new lottery features we are currently working on that will or are impacting their day-to-day when it comes to selling lottery to their customers.”

Belliveau says the association responded positively to his innovation presentation, especially two new Atlantic Lottery features that have helped streamline the lottery experience at retail, which can sometimes be time-consuming.

  • PRO∙LINE QR codes – Atlantic Lottery now has a device-responsive website so players can make their selections, generate a QR code and present that code at retail without filling out a paper selection slip, speeding up the process.
  • PoolApp – Recently, Atlantic Lottery launched a new mobile tool for lottery pool captains to manage their groups, including features to help track who has paid, upload tickets, post winnings, and capture notes for both upcoming and previous draws.

The Digital Age

In a time when technology and digitization is expanding, Atlantic Lottery is adapting to the changing market, while still focusing on its important partnership with the convenience store industry – the convenience store and gas industry represent close to 70 per cent of Atlantic Lottery’s retail revenue.

This was the first expo for Vernon Hoben, Retail Sales Supervisor for Atlantic Lottery in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Hoben called it an eye-opening experience.

“We want to work with the retailers and be a partner with them,” said Hoben. “It is so important to use the technology coming to improve the experience for the customers and our retailers.  We took to opportunity at the expo to reassure the industry we want to continue to work together.”

Belliveau also acknowledged the importance of that relationship, saying convenience store owners and operators are the front line for lottery players.

“For us to have the opportunity to work very closely with an association of that magnitude enables us to have an ear to what their concerns are and at the end of the day, their concerns are our concerns as well,” said Belliveau. “We strive to improve the lottery experience for our players, as much for our retailers as well.  So, anything we can do to improve their experience will enhance the player’s experience and we want to make sure that we educate and arm our partners with the right knowledge so that they can provide the best lottery experience for our players.”