GWG Awards' judge, Ciaron Dunne, co-founder & CEO of Genie Ventures, sets out what he'll be looking out for amongst the entries this year.

Ciaron Dunne is co-founder and CEO of Genie Ventures, the e-commerce tech business behind a series of successful brands including Broadband Genie, the broadband comparison website, Office Genie, the shared desk marketplace, and Genie Goals, a fast-growth performance marketing agency. Ciaron is also a Board Advisor at Amara, the home fashion retailer, an occasional investor in adtech and e-commerce, and has launched and exited two online coffee startups. Ciaron's particular interests are growth strategies, customer acquisition, marketing technology. Here Ciaron gives us an insight into what he'll be looking out for amongst the entries in this year's GWG Awards.

CIARON SAYS...

I'm looking for an website which is fully committed to its business goals. I really want to see brands that have built unique customer journeys which enable us to experience the full force of their particular style, product or service.

• The commitment should come through strongly in the tone of voice, the visual design and the value proposition itself - all the way through the user lifecycle.

• Websites (and social media presences) which look the same as everyone else's may perform and convert just fine. But businesses need to take risks, back their own creativity, and aspire to be the best at what they do in order to really stand out in the market.

BEST ADVICE

Consider how your website can engage with the user throughout their entire lifecycle.

• A retailer, for example, should consider customers who are very much in the early phases of research and provide content to help the customer reach a decision (e.g. buyers guides, chat support, samples).

• Likewise, the customer's experience post-purchase (e.g. delivery & packaging, email newsletters, etc.) are all opportunities to keep the customer engaged, happy, making further purchases and recommending to friends.

• The website and customer journey should be designed to support the whole lifecycle, not just the transactional purchase phase.

September 2016