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Tuesday 12th February. Three Ireland today launched the second edition of The Three Connected Ireland Report – a quarterly research report that examines the ways in which mobile technology is changing how we interact with each other, businesses and government, and how the Irish public wants mobile services to develop in the future.

Conducted by Amárach Research among 1,000 smartphone users throughout the Republic of Ireland, respondents were asked for their opinions in three key areas: The Connected Business, The Connected Citizen and The Connected Life.

Among the key findings are:

The Connected Business

  • Impact of influencers: social media influencers are a relatively recent addition to marketing campaigns and business activity but they’re having a significant impact on sales according to today’s research. Almost one in four respondents (23%) have bought something recently with their smartphone as a result of recommendations by bloggers they follow on social media. This figure rises to 38% of 16–24 year olds and 35% of 25–34 year olds.
  • Dining Out: the importance of an online presence is not exclusive to retail brands, as the research reveals that 35% of diners now book restaurants online.
  • Word of mouth: sharing customer experiences, be it feedback with friends, directly with the organisation, or via online reviews is proving to be particularly popular among younger generations, with over a fifth (21%) of 16–24 year olds using their smartphone to review restaurants and 22% rating holiday accommodation. Overall, almost a third of all age groups use their smartphone to review or give feedback on restaurants and accommodation.
  • Communicating with colleagues: in general, respondents feel that smartphones and tablets make their working lives more flexible (39%), while smartphones also play a key role in how we communicate with colleagues at work – 30% use messaging apps, 34% send text messages and 41% rely on both email and phone calls.

The Connected Citizen:

  • Protecting private data: the effect of Wannacry and other international scams seems to have hit trust in private companies harder than public sector organisations with just under three quarters of respondents (72%) expressing concern about the safety of personal information held by private companies, compared to 68% when considering personal information held by public service organisations.
  • Public Services Card: recent negative press surrounding the much debated Public Services Card doesn’t appear to resonate with respondents 68% are in favour of using the card, while only 32% object to the card.
  • A step further: the research highlights a public appetite for state agencies to use smartphones and technology to engage further with citizens. 78% of respondents would be interested in a secure Government app to manage all of the public services they are entitled to e.g. PRSI entitlements, booking your NCT, etc.

The Connected Life

  • Shopping on the go: when it comes to buying items online, laptops remain the go-to device for the majority of respondents (39%). However, younger generations say smartphones are their shopping device of choice, with 45% of 16–24 and 35–34 year olds and 46% of 35–44 year olds admitting they are more likely to purchase items online using their mobile.
  • New year’s resolutions: 45% of respondents are interested in using their smartphone to improve fitness levels this year, while 42% want to use their mobile to develop a healthier diet.
  • Cashing in career-wise: just under a third (32%) are interested in using their smartphone to help identify new or additional sources of income and 34% are open to using their smartphone to study, learn new skills or even acquire new qualifications.
  • Media on the move: when seeking news headlines in the morning, Facebook is the most popular source of information, with almost a third (32%) accessing the app, compared to 28% tuning in to the radio, 11% watching TV and 4% picking a traditional print newspaper. 12% search for news from dedicated news websites and 3% access news apps. Overall, 57% of people said that their smartphone was their primary source of news.

Commenting on the results, Robert Finnegan, CEO, Three Ireland said: “As Ireland’s leading mobile data network, we are investing heavily to ensure we remain at the forefront of Ireland’s digital evolution. As we modernise our network across the country, we can see the benefit of this enhanced connectivity to our customers in their everyday lives as consumers, workers or citizens.

In 2017 we were the only operator to secure uniform national 5G spectrum across Ireland and not prioritise urban areas which will ensure that all our customers can reap the benefits of increased connectivity in the years to come. The Three Connected Ireland report will assist us to develop the services our customers want and to help their life mean more through connectivity.

Part two of The Three Connected Ireland Report is available here.

Part one, released in October 2018, is available here.

Download an infographic on this research.

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