Kings of conversion and stars of SEO will be celebrated June 3 with the presentation of the inaugural Internet Retailer Excellence Awards in 10 categories.
Internet Retailer unveiled today the finalists for each category today, and three retailers earned two nominations: Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500, Target Corp., No. 18, and Groupon Inc., No. 44.
The awards will be presented the evening of Wednesday, June 3, at a gala banquet in Chicago at IRCE 2015, the leading e-commerce conference and exhibition in North America.
A total of 35 companies have been nominated by judging panels, which include Internet Retailer editors and industry experts. The nominees range from such retail giants as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 4 in the Top 500, and Amazon, to such fast-growing newcomers as Warby Parker and The Honest Co. and quirky startups like subscription-based personal care merchant Dollar Shave Club and web-only used-home furnishings retailer Previously Owned By a Gay Man.
“I enthusiastically congratulate all 35 finalists for our inaugural 2015 Internet Retail Excellence Awards,” says Jack Love, publisher of Internet Retailer. “By selecting them as finalists for these awards after studying hundreds of high-performing websites, our editors and expert advisers recognize the remarkable achievements of these finalists in designing, marketing and operating state-of-the-art retail websites that all e-retailers should strive to emulate and, in that process, raise the level of performance for the entire e-commerce industry. Given this slate of contenders, our job of picking the winners in each of the 10 categories will be extremely challenging.”
The final award to be announced at the June 3 event will be the Internet Retailer of the Year. The four finalists are Amazon and Wal-Mart, along with The Home Depot Inc., No. 16 in the Top 500, which increased its web sales 37% in 2014 as it tightly integrated its store, web and mobile assets; and Etsy Inc., No. 30, operator of an online marketplace where nearly 1.5 million artists sell some $2 billion worth of goods each year. Those finalists were selected by a panel that included Internet Retailer editors Kurt Peters, Don Davis and Mark Brohan, as well as Lauren Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group; Sucharita Mulpuru, principal analyst, Forrester Research Inc.; and Nikki Baird, managing partner, Retail Systems Research.
Internet Retailer solicited nominations for the awards in five categories—Web Redesign of the Year, Marketer of the Year, Best Video of the Year, B2B E-commerce Player of the Year and Mobile Commerce Award. “We were pleased to receive hundreds of nominations for our Internet Retailer Excellence Awards,” says Kurt Peters, executive editor of Internet Retailer. “The broad range of retailers and high quality of all nominations made choosing finalists difficult but ensured that when we announce the winners on June 3 at IRCE, we will be recognizing the leaders of the industry.”
Internet Retailer editors selected the winners in four categories—Newcomer of the Year, E-Retail Growth Award, Comeback of the Year and Global E-Retailer of the Year, largely based on the annual Internet Retailer research on retailers’ web sales compiled in such annual reports as the Internet Retailer Top 500, Second 500, Europe 500, Latin America 500, Asia 500 and China 500, and on Top500Guide.com.
Here are the finalists in all 10 categories (click here for an explanation of why each nominee was selected):
Web Redesign of the Year: Sunglass Hut, Signature Hardware, The New York Times Store, Medelita
Marketer of the Year:Charlotte Russe Inc.,Julep, Macy’s Inc.
Best Video of the Year: Lululemon Athletica Inc.:#givepresence; Previously Owned By A Gay Man: “Mom, Dad, I Have Something To Tell You!”; Tiger Direct: “Orphanage Robbery Prank!!”; Zendesk: Product overview
Mobile Commerce Award: Amazon.com Inc., Groupon Inc., QVC Group, Target Corp.
B2B E-commerce Player of the Year: MSC Industrial Supply Co., W.W. Grainger Inc., Environmental Lights Inc., Newark element14, Tacoma Screw Products Inc.
Comeback of the Year: J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Pier 1 Imports Inc., Target Corp.
Newcomer of the Year: The Honest Co., NatureBox Inc., Uniqlo
E-Retail Growth Award: Dollar Shave Club, Etailz Inc., Groupon Inc., NoMoreRack.com, Warby Parker
Global E-Retailer of the Year: ASOS plc, Xiaomi Inc., Yoox Group
Internet Retailer of the Year: Amazon.com Inc., Etsy Inc., Home Depot Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The awards banquet June 3 at McCormick Place in Chicago, site of the annual IRCE e-commerce event, will be by invitation-only, with nominated companies receiving two free tickets each. Sponsoring companies will distribute additional tickets.
Internet Retailer also has invited to the banquet the retailers, analysts and consultants who helped select the finalists, and who will work with Internet Retailer editors to choose the winners. The following industry experts joined with Internet Retailer editors to select the finalists in these four categories:
Web Redesign of the Year: Krishna Gupta, partner and CEO, Sortfolio; Michael Hughes, CEO and founder, Plushbeds; Steve Rowen, managing partner, Retail Systems Research
Best Video: Bernardine Wu, CEO, FitForCommerce; Tom Clifton, co-founder and head of product, Animoto; Jamie Troia, managing director, Greystack Digital Marketing
Marketer of the Year: Charlie Cole, CEO, The Line; Andrea Weiss, co-founder, The O Alliance; Brendan Witcher, principal analyst, Forrester Research
B2B E-commerce Player of the Year: Gene Alvarez, research vice president, Gartner; Andy Hoar, principal analyst, Forrester Research; Miya Knights, senior research analyst, IDC Retail Insights