Congratulations to the 2012 Online Retail Industry Award winners! SurfStitch, Sneaking Duck and Woolworths all stand out with wins in multiple categories, but Mobile Commerce is the star of the night.
This year’s Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAs) seemed to have one overriding theme: Mobile. Not only did 2012 mark the introduction of the Mobile Commerce Award, but innovation and mobile usability was a key element in every part of the judging process. The ORIAs capped off day three of the four day Online Retailer Conference and E-Commerce Expo with a glamorous Gala Dinner attended by the who’s-who of the online retail industry.
“If we were judging whether a site was usable, then that included judging whether it was usable on mobile devices,” said Chair of the Judging Panel, Steven Noble of Forrester Research, in his address at the Awards. “If we were judging whether a retailer was innovative, then that included judging whether they were innovating around mobile.”
“Don’t get me wrong,” he added, “mobile wasn’t the only issue…But it was never far from our minds, and if Australian online retailers want to succeed in 2013 and beyond, then it should never be far from their minds too.”
The star of the 2012 ORIAs was SurfStitch, taking out Best Pureplay Retailer, Best Site Optimisation and Design, and Online Retailer of the Year to top it all off. SurfStitch trumped an impressive array of finalists, including The Iconic and CatchOfTheDay in the Pureplay category, and Appliances Online and brandsExclusive in the Site Optimisation category. From stunning imagery to seamless shipping and fulfilment, SurfStitch excels by providing the best end-to-end user experience, clearly making its mark on the Australian online retail landscape.
Best New Online Retailer is always an exciting category, with contenders varying from the controversial Harvey Norman to Vinomofo (which was recently acquired by CatchOfTheDay). But it was The Iconic, with its bold marketing strategy that saw it go from launch in October 2011 to become a household name seemingly overnight, that deservedly won the award.
Grocery giant Woolworths won Best Multichannel Retailer as well as Best Online Retail Marketing Initiative, showing that long-standing, traditional retailers are following suit with their UK and US counterparts, utilising a multitude of channels from mobile apps to virtual stores and QR codes.
The Industry Recognition Award was presented to Michael Fox. Fox contributes to the online space, not only as Co-Founder and Director of pureplay sites Shoes of Prey and Sneaking Duck, but through sharing his retail experience via his 22Michaels blog and regular contributions to Power Retail, StartupSmart and NETT. He is a staunch defender of online retail, lobbying government to reform the local payment processing and postal industries.
Not only did Fox win the Industry Recognition Award, but Sneaking Duck was awarded Most Innovative Online Retailer and Best Customer Experience, while Shoes of Prey won Best Use of Technology. A notable night indeed for Fox and his fellow Co-Founders.
With mobile making its mark in the 2012 ORIAs and the high calibre of entrants making use of innovative technologies and marketing initiatives, it’s exciting to think what’s in store for 2013!
Best Pureplay Retailer
Best Multichannel Retailer
Best New Online Retailer
Best Use of Technology
Shoes of Prey
Most Innovative Online Retailer
Best Online Retail Marketing Initiative
Best Customer Experience
Best Aggregation Channel
Best Site Optimisation and Design
Best Mobile Commerce
Online Retailer of the Year
Industry Recognition Award
Michael Fox, Shoes of Prey
THE ORIA JUDGING PANEL
Steven Noble, Forrester Research
Dan Ferguson, VistaPrint
Jake Hird, Econsultancy
Martin Newman, Practicology
Ross McDonald, Google
Laura Yeomans, ShopStyle
Joanna Lord, SEOmoz
Grant Arnott, Power Retail