As the online retail industry continues to heat up, the competition for the StarTrack ORIAS becomes stiffer. This year, Shoes of Prey emerges the clear victor with four awards.
While the run of this year’s StarTrack ORIAS winners proves the point that pureplay retailers still outperform their multichannel counterparts in digital, it was due to the marketing and optimisation smarts (and its own forays into bricks-and-mortar) that saw Shoes of Prey pick up four of the 12 award categories.
Every year, the Online Retail Industry Awards is the jewel in the annual Online Retailer Conference & Expo‘s crown. This year is no different.
Hosted by Sunrise Presenter and all-round TV personality James Tobin, the event got off to a flying start (Tobin managed to fit nearly an entire industry-worth of online brands into his humorous opening remarks). The festivities continued with entertaining featurette video footage produced by StarTrack, used to build the suspense prior to the awards being ‘delivered’.
But beyond the glitz, there was serious business to get to, as the nominees quickly discovered whether they had come in a winner at this year’s ORIAS.
Having witnessed the surge of innovation and palpable excitement evident throughout the conference sessions, the competition for StarTrack ORIAS 2o14 couldn’t be any tighter, according to Andy Powell, perennial ORIAS judge and Director at Agile Commerce Consulting.
“Every year the field just gets harder and harder to judge as the retailers continue to up the ante,” Powell says. “I can honestly say this was the toughest competition to judge yet.”
The truth of this is borne out in the fact that this year’s Best Pureplay Retailer category came down to a tie, with both Surfstitch and Appliances Online sharing the title.
And now for the complete winners’ list (in no particular order):
Best Pureplay Online Retailer
— Equal Winners —
“I think we’ve continued to innovate – I think it demonstrates the good work of the Appliances Online team over the past 12 months,” says John Winning, CEO of the Winning Group, in response to the news. “We certainly haven’t been complacent in improving our website. Hats off to the team, I certainly wouldn’t have thought we’d win an award two years in a row.”
Justin Cameron, Joint Managing Director for Surfstitch (a near-constant feature on the ORIAS winners list) was equally pleased: “Surfstitch has invested heavily since its inception in 2008. Investing in its platform, customer service and engagement, as well as the variety of offering, to ensure that it continues to innovate, whether that’s overseas or in our home market of Australia. This wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and hard work of our ever growing team.”
Best Multichannel Retailer
James Johnson, Group Digital Manager for Michael Hill says the award was “absolutely won as a result of our sole dedication to customer service and the customer experience. A big thanks to the whole Michael Hill digital team, as well as our partner Amblique – couldn’t have done it without them.”
Best Online Retail Marketing Initiative
Most Innovative Online Retailer
- Shoes of Prey
Jodie Fox, Co-founder of Shoes of Prey says the team had been working hard over the past year to present a more unified retail front.
“In the past 12 months we’ve made huge headway in the vertical integration of our company, while making leaps and bounds on the manufacturing side, which ultimately allows us to provide a customer experience that’s competitive with off-the-shelf retail, where customised products have traditionally struggled to perform in most categories.”
Best New Online Retailer
— HelloFreshAU (@HelloFreshAU) July 23, 2014
Best Social Commerce Initiative
James Webber, CEO of Bookworld, was ecstatic to have received two awards: “We’ve worked very hard in trying bro put a new brand into a mature marketplace. To do that we’ve spent a lot of time creating a tone and voice that we believe is different to anything else out there in the book industry and we’ve focused very heavily on social, as probably the best media for us to spread our message.”
Best Site Optimisation & Design
- Shoes of Prey
Best Aggregation Channel
Matt Dyer, General Manager at Eatnow receives his second ORIAS award in as many years: “This is certainly a team effort and congratulations is owed to the entire Eatnow team. It couldn’t happen without the support of The Catch Group. Our aim is simple; we operate all areas of the business with a view to promote absolute customer satisfaction every time, with every interaction.”
Best Customer Experience
- Shoes of Prey
Best Mobile Commerce Site/Application
Patrick Schmidt, CEO of The Iconic was suitably excited for having received the award.
“This is the most important award for us, because we are definitely a mobile company,” he says. “More than fifty percent of our traffic comes from mobile, so coming first in mobile is always our number one priority.”
- Carl Hartmann, Temando
Hartmann was quick to point out the work and support of those around him.
“It’s such an honour to receive this award, but it couldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the entire team at Temando as well as the whole e-commerce industry in Australia,” he says.
Online Retailer of the Year
- Shoes of Prey
Congratulations to all winners and runners up, and for those that didn’t make the cut: there’s always next year…
And with that, another Online Retailer event closes with a bang. However, stay tuned for our full breakdown of the proceedings, coming soon.