Eight companies honoured at sixth annual Awards
Canada Post last night honoured innovators in Canadian retail that are revolutionizing e-commerce and transforming the online shopping experience for millions of people across the country.
Hosted by TSN sportscaster James Duthie, the annual Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards are the country’s premier e-commerce event. Now in their sixth year, the Awards celebrate Canadian retailers that are delivering the very best in e-commerce through innovative products, ideas and strategies.
Award winners are forging new retail frontiers and providing an excellent customer experience from first click, to checkout and delivery.
In all, 32 finalists faced off for prestige and more than $1 million in prizes. Winners receive cash in the form of shipping credits — $100,000 in free shipping for large businesses, $50,000 for small — and valuable marketing packages. More than that, the Awards also provide important recognition for companies in an ultra-competitive e-commerce industry.
This year’s finalists demonstrated the incredible calibre of e-commerce companies — large and small — operating across Canada. They included retail giants innovating for the digital world; cutting-edge fashion, footwear and furniture companies; delectable chocolatiers; game-changing start-ups; and philanthropic brands supporting high-impact causes.
Each company is helping drive the e-commerce revolution and redefine Canadian retail.
The gala in Toronto began with the Best Omni-Channel Retailer awards, going to a large and a small company combining physical, online and mobile retail into one seamless shopping experience. The large award went to La Maison Simons Inc., a much-loved fashion brand selling men’s and women’s clothing, and home décor. The company’s 15 locations and access to its total inventory, from any device, at simons.ca are eliminating the boundaries between digital retail and bricks-and-mortar shopping.
Best Omni-Channel Retailer (Small) went to Rent frock Repeat, for enabling women to rent high-end, designer fashions for single events, while bringing the showroom to its customers with online access to personal stylists, and detailed measurements of dresses and models.
The next award, the Most Disruptive Start-Up, went to The Packaging Company for helping retailers customize and simplify their short-run packaging and logistics. The company offers affordable and creative custom packaging and supplies for businesses of all sizes, ensuring the fulfillment process continues smoothly after customers have made their online purchases.
The Best Marketing and Brand Engagement Award went to Poppy Barley, a rapidly growing retailer selling luxurious and affordable footwear for women and men. The company has built a community of brand advocates with high-quality shoes, boots and handbags that are ethically sourced. Once an online-only retailer, it now has a flagship store in Edmonton and pop-up stores across the country.
The Pure Play of the Year awards go to a large and a small retailer providing an excellent end-to-end online shopping experience. The large award went to Article, a direct-to-consumer furniture brand offering original and modern furnishings at incredible value. The company’s online store is efficient, easy to use and visually engaging with high-quality images of hundreds of products. Its 30-day satisfaction guarantee lets customers shop in comfort.
Pure Play of the Year (Small) went to Cook it, a Montréal-based meal-kit company that’s focusing exclusively on families and busy parents. Subscribers create their own menus online from meal plans prepared by a team of chefs. Customers receive a box of fresh and healthy ingredients at their doorstep with easy-to-follow recipe cards, leaving more time for conversation around the dinner table.
The Social Impact Award recognizes companies that are giving back through philanthropic, charitable and socially conscious initiatives. This year’s award went to Eve Kit, a social enterprise offering Canada’s first at-home screening system for women to test for the human papillomavirus (HPV) — which can cause cervical cancer — and for sexually transmitted infections. The goal is to reduce the roughly 1,500 cases of cervical cancer in Canada every year, and to make screening easier and more accessible.
The evening culminated with Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra presenting the Canada Post E-commerce Innovator’s Award, which goes to a company that has made a significant contribution to advancing e-commerce in Canada. The 2017 award went to Zebra Technologies for innovating a critical part of the e-commerce ecosystem — scanning. The company’s cutting-edge scanning and tracking technology is shaping the future of retail by providing companies with valuable information on products, performance and people. The data are helping businesses personalize shopping experiences for customers and track assets across their e-commerce networks.
The Innovator’s Award was a fitting way to wrap up a celebration of companies — old and new, big and small — that are driving e-commerce innovation in Canada.