Brian Corish, head of digital, Vodafone Ireland

24 Apr 20152 Shares

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Brian Corish, head of digital at Vodafone

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Corish, who spoke to Siliconrepublic.com at the Smart Business Show in Dublin, said that companies like Apple and Facebook have had an impact that transcends businesses at all levels. “The biggest trend I would see is around personalisation of the experience, so user experience is now almost more important than the product,” Corish explained. “Apple did this […]

Corish, who spoke to Siliconrepublic.com at the Smart Business Show in Dublin, said that companies like Apple and Facebook have had an impact that transcends businesses at all levels.

“The biggest trend I would see is around personalisation of the experience, so user experience is now almost more important than the product,” Corish explained.

“Apple did this years ago, they created an expectation that techology is simple to use and beautiful, and then you saw Facebook come along and now everyone expects everyting to be personalised to them.”

Tailored consumer experiences

What this means is that companies – Vodafone included – will have to come up with online experiences that aren’t one-size-fits-all but tailored to respond to consumer traits.

“Customers can have a short attention span – how we talk to them and communicate and be relevant is vital. We look closely at the information customers are sharing with us on social.”

As Vodafone’s customers navigate the digital maze, Vodafone itself is undergoing a digital transformation.

Corish explained: “We are more customer focused in terms of how we design products, our web experiences and how we design our apps. As a company we are doing that ourselves, getting much closer to customers than we would have in the past in terms of the way that everything we design is designed with actual customers.

“We sit down with customers, protytpe with them and figure out what is the experience customers want to have.”

“Technology is changing so quickly. The key to getting around technology change is to look at customer behaviour.”

While Vodafone has the scale and resources to transform itself digitally, the reality is that businesses, particularly SMEs, are being left behind by the digital revolution.

Research from the IEDR this week revealed that 91pc of business websites in Ireland are incapable of processing e-commerce transactions.

Worse again, 53pc of Irish businesses’ websites are not mobile-friendly.

“There is an awful lot of work to do,” said Corish.

“Ireland is one of the fastest growing e-commerce economies in Europe. A lot of other parts of Europe had matured, we hadn’t.

“We had a few years of financial turmoil and now, as the markets recover and our e-commerce market is growing at a phenomenal rate, there is a huge opportunity there for businesses.

“But getting that experience right is a huge challenge.”

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com