Results for 2013 and previous years
SUMMARY OF RESULTS 2013
Online Retail Awards Prix d’OR
Winner: Virgin Atlantic and agency DigitasLBi
Judges’ Special Award – Online Agency of the Year
Nominated by Judges: Imaginet, LBi London, Qubit and Tamar
OVERALL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES
Overall Achievement – Launch site of the year
Overall Achievement – Mobile
Finalists: Debenhams, Diamond Manufacturers (now Vashi.com) and Vodafone UK
Overall Achievement – Independent site
Winner: Country Attire
Winner: Diamond Manufacturers, Vashi.com
Finalists: Country Attire, Diamond Manufacturers (now Vashi.com) and WorldStores
Overall Achievement – Specialist site
Winner: Vodafone UK
Award of Commendation URBANARA
Award of Commendation: YOOX.com
Finalists: Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports, the Smith & Morris Retail’s Outdoor & Country site, Harveys Furniture, URBANARA, Vodafone UK and YOOX.com
Overall Achievement – Multiple or Department Store site
Finalists: Debenhams and Worldstores
Babies & Children
Finalists: Alex & Alexa and Labels4Kids
Beauty, Perfumes & Cosmetics
Award of Commendation: PerriconeMD
Finalists: BeautyBay, PerriconeMD with agency MarketLive and Sk:n with agency Tamar
Cars, Bikes & Accessories
Winner: Halfords with agency Tamar
Computing & Telecommunications
Winner: Vodafone UK and Vodafone UK with agency Prismastar
Finalists: MobileFun, Vodafone UK with agency Prismastar and Vodafone UK
Fashion & Clothing
Award Winner: YOOX.com
Award of Commendation: Country Attire
Finalists : Brastop, Country Attire, Smith & Morris Retail’s Outdoor & Country website, Purple Rose Boutique and Italy-based YOOX.com
Finance & Insurance
Winner: Barclays Pingit
Finalists: Barclays Pingit and SquareTrade
Food & Drink
Winner: Natural Balance Foods with Imaginet
Award of Commendation: The Hummingbird Bakery
Finalists: Natural Balance Foods with Imaginet and The Hummingbird Bakery
Winner: Handpicked Collection
Award of Commendation: Cuckooland
Award of Commendation: The Great Gift Company
Finalists: Cuckooland, Diamond Manufacturers (now Vashi.com), The Handpicked Collection and The Great Gift Company
Home & Garden
Award of Commendation: Made.com
Award of Commendation: Zebrano Rattan
Finalists: Harveys Furniture, with agency Qubit, MADE.com, Outdoor Leisure, URBANARA’s, WorldStores’ and Zebrano Rattan
Leisure & Travel
Winner: Virgin Atlantic and DigitasLBi
Award of Commendation: Hotels.com
Award of Commendation: Netflights.com
Finalists: Hotels.com, Netflights.com, Virgin Atlantic with agency LBi London
Office & Workplace Supplies
Winner: Central Source's WorkplaceDepot.com
Award of Commendation: , RubberStampSA
Finalists: Central Source’s WorkplaceDepot, Rainbow Zebra, and RubberStampS
Winner: Ellis-Brigham Sports
SUMMARY OF RESULTS 2012
Online Retail Awards 2012 - Final results
Another fascinating year for entries, with a sharp increase in UK entries (up 94%) matched by an equally marked drop in entries from the USA. Indian online retail made an impact, but mobile entries showed there is still a long way to go before the shopping experience on smartphones, for instance, matches what can be experienced through desktop, laptop and the bigger screen tablets. There were more entries from newcomers to online retail, and one or two excellent examples of the online experience evoking the personality and atmosphere of the bricks & mortar outlet. As usual, there are some names you would expect to see and others that are unexpected and, for the first time, there is a Judges’ Special Award for an exceptional project that was not entered, but which the judges felt moved the whole concept of online retailing forward. We hope you enjoy learning about this year’s ORA winners and the awards for commendation.
To see a winning site, or find out about a winning agency and their retail clients, just click on the logo image or the agency name in text.
First the Prix d’OR and the new Judges’ Special Award.
Online Retail Prix d'OR Award
In the opinion of the judges, and for being the winner of two Overall Achievement categories, the 2012 winner of the Online Retail Awards Prix d’OR is ASOS. As the winner of both the Marketing Campaign and Mobile categories, ASOS has proved itself as savvy as its customers: using technology to power growth and build relationships.
Judges’ Special Award
Online Retail Award for Innovation: Tesco Home plus, South Korea
Tesco’s international subsidiary, Home plus, in South Korea had no intention of remaining second to rival e-Mart and came up with a radical solution to dramatically increasing their online market share by creating a virtual subway store that shoppers could use through their mobile devices, while waiting for their train. Online sales increased by 130% pushing Home plus ahead of its rival. What’s more the impact has had a beneficial effect on store sales, lifting Home plus to just behind it’s rival.
Judges’ comment: “There have been other examples of this innovative use of technology, but Tesco Home plus deserves this special recognition for being one of the very first with their ambitious online retail initiative.”
Overall Achievement Categories
Online retail portal site of the year
ORA Winner: Yebhi
Yebhi.com is a one stop shop for all lifestyle products and provides latest and quality product offerings to its customers for shoes, apparel, bags, mobiles, cameras, sunglasses, watches, accessories, kitchen appliances, home décor, home furnishings and many more categories. It is truly a portal and is one of the largest e-commerce sites in India. What sets Yebhi.com apart are the company’s dedication to high quality control and its fulfilment and delivery service.This has made Yebhi.com South Asia’s largest multi-brand, fashion e-store. Yebhi stocks its products in large quantities and ensures a comprehensive three-step stringent quality check before offering products to customers.
Judges’ comment: “There is huge mutual support between Yebhi’s online and bricks and mortar activities. Great to see.”
Online retail multiple site of the year
ORA Winner: World Stores
WorldStores must be doing something right. Their sales from their home/home improvement division grew four times faster than IMRG’s calculation of e-commerce growth for the sector. There are now 43 home/home improvement sites and reputable source, Hitwise, states that WorldStores has consolidated its position as the UK’s leading home retailer. With a redesigned website that’s fresher and with a more newsy feel, WorldStores continues to delight hundreds of thousands of customers with their online experience and delivery service.Judges’ comment: “WorldStores ‘next day or choice of day’ delivery option just makes the online experience for many customers. And their site design has gone from workmanlike ‘techie’ to an informative, engaging, brisk and enjoyable experience.”
Online retail independent site of the year
ORA Winner: BathEmpire
Luxury For Less is an Independent online multi-channel bathroom retailer and has achieved an average 82% yearly sales increase for the last four years. Its direct-to-consumer brand, BathEmpire.com, was founded in 2009 and is now amongst Google’s Top 10 for click share in the Bathroom sector. BathEmpire has an ongoing strategy of developing their website to create a customer friendly website, constantly adding and updating content, images, navigation, landing pages and key word searches to increase the conversion rate of visitors to sales and to reduce bounce rates.Judges’ comment: “BathEmpire is a restless, interested, online retailer that perpetually questions and probes ways in which the customer experience can be improved. An immaculately organised site and a good winner.”
Online Retail Award of Commendation: Labels4Kids
Judges’ comment: “Labels4Kids is a fantastic site. So dedicated and so easy to use.”
Online Retail Award of Commendation: Seranata Flowers
Judges’ comment: “This company has learned from early errors and is now a brilliant success.”
Online Retail Award of Commendation: Vinegar Hill (with Pink Sky Design)
Judges’ comment: “The agency has delivered an evocative, on-brand website for Vinegar Hill and progress over the next 12 months will provide useful hard data on its success.”
Online retail mobile site of the year
ORA Winner: ASOS
Bugs and glitches were found in nearly all the entries for the mobile category, making the experience often less than enjoyable. Not so with the ASOS mobile site: it proved bug free, simple to navigate and good looking. ASOS has always been conscious that mobile would play a big part in reaching their young, global, tech-savvy audience and the company has made sure their mobile site works on every kind of device. In December 2011, visits to ASOS from mobile devices hit an all time high of 18.8% of all visits. Mobile now accounts for up to 20% of the ASOS visits on a daily basis, delivering around 200,000 visits per day internationally, and growing fast.
Judges’ comment: “There’s no doubt that ASOS is using mobile to drive growth, but the consistent quality of the user experience is there – on every platform.”
Online retail launch site of the year
ORA Winner: Vinegar Hill (with Pink Sky Design)
The Vinegar Hill brand identity is not just about the logo, but about the experience gained from entering the shops. Cleverly, their agency, Pink Sky Design, has been able to capture the essence of the Vinegar Hill stores and breathe it into the website. The hand made, artisan feel of the site is very deliberate, ensuring that visitors enjoy the site as much as the bricks and mortar stores.
Judges’ comment: “Full results from this bold exercise for Vinegar Hill have yet to be realised, but sales have increased substantially, and there is online conversation and some impressive feedback to support claims.”
Online Retail Award of Commendation: Frisbee
Judges’ comment: “Frisbee.com was launched in 2011 and rapidly became the top online petfood shop in Russia. Started by two partners who had never run an online business before, Frisbee has focused from day one on putting customers first, at the heart of the website experience. We can’t wait to see how well they do over the next 12 months!”
Online retail marketing campaign of the year
ORA Winner: ASOS
Well thought out, behind-the-scenes intricacy, yet user-friendly simplicity at the receiving end made the ASOS Summer Sale marketing campaign the winner of what the judges termed “the battle of the fashion houses”. ASOS managed to create orderly marketing out of a stampede for their sales. The more a shopper engaged with the retailer, the faster they moved up their queue. The results are confidential but were made available to the judges. And the results were astounding with figures expressed in parts of or multiples of a million.
Judges’ comment: “Complete, engaging, effective and absolutely on brand”.
Online Retail Award of Commendation: BrandAlley (with Lisa Berwin Communications)
Judges comment: “It was only the absolute numbers that eased BrandAlley out of the top spot in this category. Sadly, the company didn’t enter the Fashion & Clothing category, but this Award of Commendation is justly deserved.”
Retail Sector Category Awards:
Beauty, perfumes & cosmetics
ORA Winner: Nails Inc (with Tangent Snowball)
With an existing 4-year old website, Nails Inc brought in digital agency, Tangent Snowball, to give their online activities a complete makeover. Clear objectives, a thoroughly thought-through strategy, highly creative chic and simple implementation make the site a user-friendly stunner, with mobile device access and social media integration. Results speak satisfyingly about what customers feel: site visits up by 112%, returning visitors up by 122%, mobile access up 370%, resulting in online transactions up 52%, revenue up 57%, and overall sales up by 65%.
Judges’ comment: “A powerfully elegant site that really made me want to buy.”
ORA Winner: RAF Benevolent Fund (with Headscape)
In 2011 the RAF Benevolent Fund worked with digital agency, Headscape, to relaunch the Fund’s website and to reposition their online shop at the centre of their digital offering. The result has integrated their e-commerce activity with all their other communications. This, combined with a refreshed product range, has seen a phenomenal 463% increase in sales. The Fund has managed to seamlessly integrate their main and shop sites into one excellent experience, with the help of Headscape and Shopify, with Beetailer creating a Facebook shopfront for 23,000 supporters.
Judges’ comment: “A great result, with benefits for many in the future.”
ORA Winner: Labels for Kids
The strapline defines this extraordinarily successful online retailer, which is currently franchising its offering around the world. The company has a growing range of vinyl labels for kit, woven sew-on, iron on and stick on labels for clothing, bag tags and gym bags, which can all be personalised with a choice of colour and image, as well as the owner’s name from the Labels4kids website. Complimentary products are added to the range as uses become obvious. Everything about this operation aims to look after customers and engage them in linked activities, such as schools’ commissions, which feed back into a school’s funds for the benefit of pupils. The company continues to surprise and delight every year.
Judges’ comment: “This active website reacts swiftly to new or changing needs. It’s a real pleasure to name Labels4Kids as an Online Retail Award winner, once again.”
Computers and telecommunications
ORA Winner: Mobile Fun (with Vitis PR)
Having done well in 2011, MobileFun re-entered in 2012 and with good grounds. The company’s ethos is a powerful catalyst for growth; their investment in people and training pays off right across the company, not least where it matters most in the design of the website for a great customer experience, where shoppers see “Everything First”. Customer testimonials provide further encouragement for retailers to dive into this massive site, which is never intimidating and always informative.
Judges’ comment: “Sadly much of the good stuff in this submission was embargoed, but the judges were privileged to receive insights into a highly successful, customer-friendly operation that now has 5 UK websites and 4 overseas websites - all of them profitable.”
Fashion & clothing (including footwear and fashion accessories)
ORA Winner: Outdoor & Country Clothing
Smith & Morris Retail trades under the brand of Outdoor & Country, which is also the name on the website. Diversifying from selling animal feed, Smith & Morris has made a huge transition to be the leading online Barbour retailer in the UK, delivering high standards of clothing and service from their online store. The company has done this successfully, achieving its ambitious turnover goal, but, more importantly reporting that 95% of customers are highly satisfied with the online service, gaining an outstanding Net Promoter score of +82% on a scale of -100% to +100%.
Judges’ comment: “This is a precisely targeted experience: beautiful photography shows clothes accurately and unfussily. The direct link to the Barbour site adds a whole extra level to the experience.”
Online Retail Award of Commendation: Yebhi.com
Judges’ comment: “From mission, to website, to fullfilment, to delivery network and to investment in Google Commerce Search technology, Yebhi scores highly.”
Finance & insurance
Winner: Monmouthshire Building Society (with Imaginet)
A feature rich website for one of Wales' leading financial services providers. Monmouthshire Building Society and Imaginet have a 5 year working relationship, each year making the most of the technology available to provide a better service for the building society’s customers. Changes are notable: 50% of all direct mortgage enquiries now come via the website, up from 10% just 2 years ago; online savings balances have increased by 200%; market share has increased, attracting customers from across the UK; and e-commerce initiatives are now crucial to the Society’s marketing.
Judges’ comment: “A bright and breezy experience, with drop down lists reducing the amount of clicking around so prevalent on other financial services sites.”
Food, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
ORA Winner: Domino’s Pizza (with Future Platforms)
This extract from the entry submission summarises the success of the Domino’s Pizza website: ‘e-commerce sales accounted for 44.3% of UK delivered sales. In the 13 weeks to December 25, they climbed by 39.6% to reach £53.1m, up from £38.1m at the same time in 2010. Online sales for the full year to December 25 were £183.1m, up by 43.0% from the previous year’s £128.0m.’
Judges’ comment: “There’s more to this success than the numbers. Customers love using the site. And that’s because Domino’s Pizza has worked consistently with Future Platforms to develop e-commerce sales by creating a simple, informative, appealing website for pizza lovers.”
Online Retail Award of Commendation: Dove’s Farm (with Imaginet)
Judges’ comment: “A well deserved Award of Commendation for a website that effortlessly straddles the worlds of retail and wholesale, supplying both consumer and trade customers.”
Garden & gardening
ORA Winner: Zebrano
Entering for a second year, the team at Zebrano Rattan Furniture has taken the website onward and upward, using last year’s entry to give a true perspective on progress. Zebrano’s ethos is give all customers delight in the shopping experience, soundly backed by the sort of service only a family-run business can deliver. Their efforts have paid off again, giving them greater interaction with customers and delivering 40% of all sales through the website. Other sales also come via the website, but they are converted over the telephone or when customers visit the showrooms. Greater use of video has helped and this extra level of information will increase as the site evolves.
Judges’comment: “You don’t expect a furniture company to win the Garden & Gardening category, but then you look at what Zebrano has achieved in 12 months and why this category is so relevant to them, and it all becomes crystal clear. Outstanding progress.”
Gifts & greetings
ORA Winner: The Handpicked Collection
Handpicked’s unique proposition is that all the products featured are vetted and endorsed by a panel of lifestyle experts, designers and journalists. This adds credibility to their product offering and provides the customer with an added level of confidence when making their online purchase. 2011 saw the successful re-design of the Handpicked site, resulting in an improved conversion rate and a sustained feefo rating of 96%, which means customers are very happy.
Judges’ comment: “Once again, it is a company that does everything for the benefit of the customer that wins an award. This is probably one of the most informative sites we’ve seen and products are meticulously organised.”
Online Retail Award of Commendation: Vinegar Hill (with Pink Sky Design)
Judges’ comment: “This newcomer website from Vinegar Hill should rate extremely highly in years to come, when the data will help back up claims more precisely. Great site.”
Home & home improvement
ORA Winner: Made.com
Made.com’s online offering has grown dramatically in the last 12 months and the service has grown to match, gaining the company a coveted 5-star service rating on Trust Pilot. Made.com sees itself as a new type of furniture retailer, where product line decisions are sought from and helped by the general public. Made.com’s designers enjoy the interaction with end users of their products. Commercially, Made.com is seeing phenomenal growth of around 20-30% per month and receiving high ratings from customers for the enjoyable experience that is shopping at Made.com.
Judges’ comment: “Such amazing growth carries risks, but Made.com seem to be able to provide a service to back up their marketing. They are to be congratulated on making such enormous progress in 12 months.
Online Retail Award of Commendation: Dwell
Judges’ comment: “It was a tough battle this year, with Dwell picking up this Award of Commendation, ahead of World Stores, Bath Empire and Rainbow Zebra.
ORA Winner: Cheltenham Racecourse (with True Digital)
Up against a static budget, a tough economy and fierce, heavyweight competion from other major sporting events, including the Olympics, the Cheltenham Festival called on digital agency, True, to redesign the site and provide a hub for all of Cheltenham Racecourse’s marketing efforts targeted at racegoers and hospitality buyers. The results have driven website traffic up by 33%, bounce rate down by 20%, transactions and revenues both up by around 35% and, ultimately, record attendances.
Judges’ comment: “If the results for 2011/12 are anything to go by, 2012/13 should be outstanding. Another shining example of building a site round the user experience.”
ORA Winner: Netflights.com
In 2009, Netflights became part of Thomas Cook’s Scheduled Businesses Division and in 2011 the operation embarked on a major web development project for Netflights.com, which took full account of in-depth customer research and usability studies. The new site had to offer a “customer-centric experience”, with greater engagement, higher conversion rates, increased multi-product sales and greater bookings traffic via the web than on the phone. Results speak for themselves: Facebook fan base tripled in 3 months, monthly site traffic up 48%, community section unique users up 445%, total bookings via website up nearly 30%, insurance sales up 5,400%. What’s more, users have been giving their experience a 5-star rating.
Judges’ comment: “It hasn’t been easy for the travel industry, but the results from Netflights in just 3-6 months predict a fantastic full year and a great many happy customers.”
Copyright © 2012 Online Retail Awards®. The rights of all brand owners, retailers and their agencies credited in this document are fully recognized by the organisers.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS 2011
Online Retail Awards - Final results 2011
- Prix d'OR award:
Online Retail Site of the Year: Ty Mawr (www.lime.org.uk)
For proving that building materials and environmentally-sound products don’t have to be boring and for entering one of the most informed and informative, intelligent and challenging retail experiences in this year’s competition, it is a surprise and a real pleasure to award the 2011 Prix d’OR to Ty Mawr
- Multiple online retail site of the year
Winner: Sears Holdings (www.sears.com)
In this toughly contested category, the Sears site “imbues every visitor with a sense of excitement about the international Sears group.” From the home page you can go anywhere and one of the judges remarked, “ any one of the Sears’ divisions could have won an ORA this year." Great site. Thrilling to explore.”
Highly Commended: Halfords (www.halfords.com)
Highly Commended: Kiddicare.com (www.kiddicare.com)
Highly Commended: NotOnTheHighStreet (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
- Independent online retail site of the year
Winner: Labels4Kids (www.labels4kids.com)
For a second year, Labels4Kids provided evidence of a site that is “growing and developing for the benefit of customers.” The helpful instructional videos and online label designer are crucial to way this site continues to develop - changing and adapting to the needs of customers. The company’s focus on the customer is outstanding and positions it well for massive growth in overseas territories. For customers, the site is an example of simple brilliance.
Highly Commended: Made.com (www.made.com)
Highly Commended: Purple Rose Boutique (www.purpleroseboutique.co.uk)
Highly Commended: Twisted Twee (www.twistedtwee.co.uk)
- Online retail portal site of the year
Winner: NotOnTheHighStreet (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
This innovative online marketplace “enables customers to immerse themselves in a unique shopping experience, bringing together over 1,800 independent British businesses selling 35,000 high quality, creative products.” The judges consider the “phenomenal growth of this portal site to be attributable to the customer experience, which is unsurpassed and is a benchmark for excellence in online retailing.”
Highly Commended: Kiddicare.com (www.kiddicare.com)
- Online retail marketing campaign of the year
Winner: Dairy Crest Milk&More (www.milkandmore.co.uk)
The Milk&More campaign was the excellent outright winner in this category, “leaving all other entries far behind” in the view of the judges. A simple explanatory pdf of all the marketing material that supports the online activity “gave us a clear sense of the skill with which this campaign has been built and how the service brings real benefits to customers.”
- Online retail mobile site of the year
Winner: Kiddicare (www.kiddicare.com)
Customer experience comes in many guises and the Kiddicare site proves that careful consideration of customer needs reduces costs in other parts of a business, while enhancing customers’ expectations and experiences. “The seamless integration of Kiddicare’s mobile site and app with the main site has reduced the demands on the customer communications team, while increasing sales, conversions and future growth rates.”
Highly Commended: Halfords (www.halfords.com)
Highly Commended: Sears Holdings (http://m.sears.com)
- Online retail launch site of the year
Winner: Made.com (www.made.com)
Three very different websites made it to the final in this category. The Made.com website, though, “is a genuinely fascinating experience for customers – clear, beautifully photographed images, loads of information, engagement in product selection through customer voting, preferential discounts and sensible enticements to invite friends to visit and register on the site.” Customer feedback, opinion, engagement, and crowd sourcing of product point the way to future retailing right now.
Highly Commended: Barclays Bank (www.barclays.co.uk/investments)
Highly Commended: Knowlarity Communications (www.superfax.in)
- Babies & Children
Winner: Twisted Twee (www.twistedtwee.co.uk)
Not a massive website, not one of the big names in children’s retailing “but this site is just so much fun for the customer.” A fun home page, clear, chunky, fun, product visuals, and a glorious sense of humour make this site stand out for customer enjoyment. Well worth a visit, just for the fun of it.
Highly Commended: Radio Flyer (www.radioflyer.com)
Highly Commended: Kiddicare (www.kiddicare.com)
- Beauty, perfumes & cosmetics
Winner: Escentual (www.escentual.com)
At first glance there’s little to separate the good websites in this sector. For the judges, Escentual’s site won because “it cut down on the irritation factor of drop down menus forever obscuring the primary navigation.” Escentual opted for a simpler approach, making sure the brand list was always there – just a tiny mouse move from the main content. “The site also scores highly for elegance in the way content is presented.”
Highly Commended: BeautyBay.com (www.beautybay.com)
Highly Commended: Feel Unique (www.feelunique.com)
- Books, magazines & newspapers
Winner: Green Metropolis (www.greenmetropolis.com)
In the words of one judge: “Genius”. This initiative, which benefits charities such as The Woodland Trust, allows customers to sell books and earn money, donate from their earnings to a charity and buy their favourite books at preferential rates. “A well thought out, fully rounded, helpful initiative, with a customer friendly website to match that makes the whole experience engaging and leaves participants feeling uplifted.”
- Cars and car accessories
Winner: Halfords (www.halfords.com)
The vast Halfords’ website is “proof of how successful a retail website can be if the customer is placed centre stage. Halfords’ customers can now source and pay for products in four different ways both online and mobile.” This in turn has led to increased sales and greater conversion. Navigation options are made easier for customers, too, with “fewer clicks on the customer journey.” Over 40 million visitors and growth of around 35% prove Halfords have got their multi-channel strategy right.
- Computers and telecommunications (inc mobile/cell)
Winner: MobileFun (www.mobilefun.co.uk)
In one of this year’s most complete entries, MobileFun takes the top spot in the Computers & Telecommunications category, winning outright. This award-winning company “has got it right in almost every way”. The judges were impressed with the vast reservoir of expertise that lies behind the site, with the clear decision making to create a site that was less text, more image rich, with the investment in a new checkout that increased conversions by nearly 5% and the subsequent flow-through to the bottom line. These and many other changes obviously helped the company over-achieve, but more importantly, made customers feel wanted, excited by the offerings and well served at every level. “A thoroughly deserved win”.
Winner: Appliances Online (www.appliancesonline.co.uk)
Appliances Online embarked on an ambitious drive to improve conversion rates and to drive forward overall online sales. “They were able to do so because they listened to the reasons why customers were not buying online. This gave the company the understanding to make the necessary changes to their website. And the results showed dramatic improvement.” The site now offers 4,000 products, 4-hour delivery time slots, no-fuss returns, a price match guarantee and a dedicated free phone line. Over 200 video reviews per month are created, which have improved conversion rates by well over 50% and the power of their About Us video has shown that, once viewed, customers are 700 times more likely to buy from Appliances Online. “This is an impressive entry in 2011.”
- Fashion & clothing (including footwear and fashion accessories)
Winner: Brand Alley (www.brandalley.co.uk)
For the third year, BrandAlley has been voted a winner by the ORA judges. New for 2011, and adding further appeal to the BrandAlley offering is Le Lab, BrandAlley's online community, “which hooks up young talented designers wanting to reach out to more fans and style lovers on the hunt for the latest, coolest labels and original finds.” In addition, Le Lab gives every designer a profile page where they can showcase their work. Designers need to reach 2000 votes to be considered for their first boutique. The judges believe “innovative BrandAlley continues to lead in the highly competitive online fashion space.”
Highly Commended: Boot Barn (www.bootbarn.com)
Highly Commended: El Ilhaam (www.elilhaam.com)
Highly Commended: Yebhi (www.yebhi.com)
- Finance & insurance
Winner: Barclays Bank (www.barclays.co.uk/investments)
Barclays wants to lead the way in helping customers manage their investments online. This meant a website that provided customers with the ability to research, purchase and manage their investments in one place. The judges wished “that other financial institutions had the same customer-focused appeal, which Barclays enhanced with the inclusion of an investment game, some great videos, a quiz and a jargon-buster section that helps demystify the whole subject.” The first three months of operation saw more customers opening Barclays’ investment accounts than the whole of the prior 12 months.
- Food, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
Winner: Dairy Crest (www.milkandmore.com)
Just three navigation buttons make this one of the simplest sites to navigate in this year’s ORAs – a Home page, a Store page and an About page. “The customer only has to concentrate on the online shopping experience provided by Milk & More.” The Home page makes clear announcements about offers and news, the Store page is clearly illustrated and, again, simple to use, and the About page is a succinct summary. “There are no distractions, messages are brief and clear; branding is immaculate; the number of words are kept to a minimum; and the site is a real pleasure to experience.” Yet, there at the side are links to other informative pages. “Great marketing. Great site.”
- Garden & gardening
Winner: Worldstores – Gardening sites (www.worldstores.com)
While not the most beautiful, Worldstores’ websites are building the company a solid reputation for expertise in the online retailing, handling and delivery of large, high-value items that are difficult to transport. As a result, Worldstores’ garden product sites deliver choice and service, traditionally hard to find in these markets, and an informative shopping experience that gives customers the confidence to make high-value purchases online.
- Gifts & greetings
WINNER: Your Hamper from Virginia Hayward (www.yourhamper.com)
The judges expressed real enthusiasm for this hugely enjoyable “build your own hamper” site. With a clear choice of hamper size and a list of goodies to delight any customer making their selection, this really is a remarkably successful gift-site. One judge was so impressed she placed an order and reported back “that this is probably the best hamper gift site I’ve ever used.” Praise indeed.
Highly Commended: Handpicked Collection (www.handpickedcollection.com)
Highly Commended: NotOnTheHighStreet (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
- Green products
Winner: Ty Mawr (www.lime.org.uk)
The judges unanimously agreed that the Ty Mawr website was the out and out winner in the Green Products category. There’s a huge amount of useful information about ecologically sound building materials on this immaculately designed website. “One of the most informed and informative, intelligent and challenging retail experiences in this year’s competition” was the view of the judges
- Home & home improvement
Winner: Made.com (www.made.com)
Three stylish websites made the final in this category but the Made.com website won out for the reasons that secured the company a win in the Launch Website category: “a genuinely fascinating experience for customers – clear, beautifully photographed images, loads of information, engagement in product selection through customer voting, preferential discounts and sensible enticements to invite friends to visit and register on the site.”
Highly Commended: Rattan Furniture (www.rattanfurnitureuk.co.uk)
Highly Commended: Sofa.com (www.sofa.com)
Copyright © 2011 Online Retail Awards®. The rights of all brand owners and retailers credited in this document are fully recognized by the organizers.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS 2010
Click here to view the Winners and Finalists
of the Online Retail Awards 2010
SUMMARY OF RESULTS 2009
Click here to view the Winners and Finalists
of the Online Retail Awards 2009