Six in 10 of us prefer buying in person to shopping online

Three Ireland announces €27m investment to 'transform' the customer experience
Six in 10 of us prefer buying in person to shopping online

Aislinn O'Connor: 'Expertise and guidance.'

This week Three Ireland announced a €27m investment to transform its customer offering and retail stores across the country. While so many businesses are investing in their online presence, research conducted by Three from 2019 through to 2021 has shown that consumers want an in-person experience, supplemented with an online offering. The concept isn’t new and companies like Apple continue to open flagship stores around the world so that people can experience their products first-hand.

The recent online survey for Three of 834 respondents in March 2021 by Foresight Factory found that three in five people (60.6%), agree they prefer shopping in person to shopping online.

The brave move by Three to introduce a new wave of shops will begin this week with sites in Patrick Street, Cork, Henry Street, Dublin and Parkway Shopping Centre, Limerick. With 13 stores due to launch in 2021, the programme will continue to roll out until 2023. Over 100 additional lifestyle and connected products will be available at launch online and in selected stores, as the rollout continues.

Aislinn O’Connor from Three said: 

Our vision is about creating a destination and making sure that we have the expertise and guidance and a product range that is relevant for everybody to be able to come in and find something really interesting.

Products available at launch will fall into themes such as Home, Work, Music and Play with more themes to follow later. It’s exciting to see Irish companies like OneSonic, Vinehall and Ecoset are being showcased in the new stores. OneSonic makes excellent headphones and Vinehall producess home office equipment including a Laptop Raiser and the Laptop Lap Tray made from sustainable wood. Ecoset is a reusable water bottle company with products ranging in the new stores include Quench Water Bottle, Flasket Water Bottle and Travel Mugs.

A sample of the initial 100 eclectic collections of products includes Veritable Smart Garden connect, Anker Nebula Apollo projector and a Steepletone Tabblue Bluetooth speaker table and robot vacuum.

Elaine Carey, chief commercial officer with Three Ireland & Three UK, said: “Today is an exciting day for us in Three Ireland as we fundamentally shift and become Ireland’s first connected lifestyle brand supported by an investment of €27m.

"For consumers this will dramatically change perceptions of retail, providing for the first time an offering that is curated to consumers personal tastes with expert advice at its core. To ensure the customer experience is seamless across online and in-store, Three’s retail experts will undertake extensive training to allow them to provide in-depth guidance to consumers.”

“Despite the incredible challenges Covid-19 has presented to the high street, retail as a physical space is incredibly vibrant. It became clear to us, based on our own research and customer feedback, that Irish consumers want a different experience. Online shopping means consumers have access to so much choice they are looking for help to find what best suits their needs; over 50% of consumers surveyed said they want recommendations from brands that are better tailored to them. In making this investment we are meeting this need, and simultaneously powering the change through Ireland’s fastest mobile network.”

Visit Three to check out the new range of lifestyle products and find details on when and where you can visit the new retail stores.

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