Characterized by uncertainty, 2017 suffered from post-Brexit market fluctuation, news media has been dogged by trust issues; and most recently the political unrest along the Spanish/Catalonian border has caused the weakening of the Euro. On top of the macroeconomic environment, Amárach Research and Three Ireland have published a report – The Three Connected Ireland Report – to delve into how the population ‘connect’ in a digital age.
We live in a post-modern era whereby all brands must have a digital presence in order for consumers to connect. How we connect has never been a more interesting question for brands. 40% of people no longer have a home landline; and 76% of people use a smartphone to shop online. Interestingly, how we choose to connect is also different between genders, men are more likely to call whereas women will opt to text.
It can be said that smartphones are imperative tools for consumers to navigate the dizzying array of choice offered, but smartphone and ever-increasing connectivity has offered brands some key opportunities. Three in every ten mobile users have uploaded original content, necessitating brands to have an engaged and interactive presence online.
Summary of the Findings
While the main findings of the report can be accessed via Three’s site, the report summarises Irish people have a huge appetite for a brand’s digital and mobile presence. Some of the highlights include:
- Three in every four Irish smartphone users surveyed had used their smartphone to shop at least once per month, with a slight skew towards female shoppers. Yet despite this, 42% of respondents said they would purchase from Irish websites over foreign ones. The resounding growth in Irish ecommerce therefore is only beginning to fill this gap and brands should look at their ecommerce offering to address the need.
- 60% of smartphone users say that they would welcome a service which connected their home security system via the internet to their smartphone. Not only does this indicate a major movement towards trust in digital devices, but also a growing need for industries such as utilities to have a growing mobile presence and interface.
- This is seconded by the findings surrounding customers which have used their smartphone to provide feedback or avail of services. Certain industries and categories are more effected than others, but 47% of mobile network customers, 19% of airline customers and 31% of bank customers had used their mobile to give feedback or make a complaint to a service provider.
- Interestingly, seven out of ten 16 to ten year olds said they would get upset if they knew somebody had seen their message but hasn’t responded whereas 22% felt similarly from 55+ age group. This change in consumer sentiment and expectations cannot be ignored and is highly relevant to those companies which pride themselves on consumer communications.
To summarise, everyone from Philip Kotler to Richard Branson has been avowing the importance of after-care service post the purchasing point.
As the research suggests, 80% of 16 to 34 year olds would check out someone online before going on a date, so how is it that some brands haven’t perfected their digital presence so we can check them out?
To nobody’s surprise, the report offers conclusive evidence that those savvy brands which perfect their digital presence and mobile performance will be the market leaders of tomorrow.
(Source: Three Connectivity Report, 2017)
Michelle O’Brien – Client Associate