Friday, September 27, 2013

Categories: Retail Events

Canadian Retail Shines at the 2013 Canada Post eCommerce Innovation Awards Dinner & Gala

On Wednesday night, Canada Post hosted the second annual Ecommerce Innovation Awards Dinner & Gala in Toronto. The event saw Gemini award winner James Duthie and his witty banter return to the ceremony for a second straight year.

This year’s edition of the Ecommerce Innovation awards just about doubled the size of the inaugural Award show of 2012, with more than 600 ecommerce and retail enthusiasts attending the event. While the growth is significant, what truly stood out was the increase in attendee engagement. It was clear this event was heavily anticipated and slotted on many calendars months in advance.

Just as Canada Post went bigger with the 2013 Awards, so did OrderDynamics®. We were proud to be a Platinum sponsor of the 2013 Canada Post Ecommerce Innovation Awards and to associate ourselves with retail excellence in Canada. OrderDynamics President, Michael Turcsanyi, even presented the award for the Most Innovative Retailer category (a list of award winners can be found below).

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OrderDynamics President Michael Turcsanyi presenting the award for Most Innovative Retailer

The atmosphere throughout the night was electric and inspiring. Themes of innovation and out-of-the-box thinking repeatedly surfaced too. In many ways this event stood as a reflection of the Canadian retail industry and the evolution it has undergone in recent years. Nowhere was that more apparent than with Canada Post themselves. The long-time mail delivery company now calls itself a “parcel delivery company” and is completely entrenched into the ecommerce and omni-channel world – and subsequent omni-channel fulfillment expectations – we’re all living in today.

The evolution doesn’t end there, though. Nimble and relatively new web-only retailers (like Jewlr and Snakes and Lattes) and longstanding national brick-and-mortar retailers (like Lowes and Hudson’s Bay) are increasingly participating in high profile events like this. We are no longer seeing the same few names as in years past – Canadian retailers of all sizes clearly recognize the importance of ecommerce and are giving it the focus it rightfully deserves.

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Tanbir Grover and Martin Priest of Lowe’s Canada accepting the Best Multi-Channel Retailer Award

Canada has long been seen as an ecommerce straggler, but the 2013 Award nominees suggest something different: while there is a lot of work to be done within Canada to meet the high expectations of Canadian shoppers, the gap is closing at a considerable pace. Ecommerce in Canada has quietly shifted to the forefront of retail strategies and we’re witnessing the integration and alignment of web and other retail channels.

It will be interesting to see how Canadian brick and mortar retailers respond to the growing surge of web-only retailers entering the Canadian market (both Canadian and US-based e-retailers who see Canada as a strategic opportunity). Recent data from Forrester Research and Canada Post suggest Canadian consumers prefer shopping in and/or using retail stores as part of their shopping experience. We expect Canadian retailers to continue building a tighter cross-channel experience to leverage its stores, staff, inventory and more through omni-channel strategies. See what web-only retailers do to steer around this preference will be fascinating.

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OrderDynamics’ Steven Berkovitz with Glenn Burton of Neatfreak and David McPherson of Henry’s Camera

Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Awards show itself. It was a first-class event through and through. The event appropriately put the spotlight on cutting edge Canadian retailers who are pushing the retailing envelope in order to better service its customers. The amount of quality nominees and efforts that were on display suggest only great things are to come for this industry and ultimately for Canadian consumers. Hats off to Canada Post, all of the nominees and of course, the award winners on a fantastic evening and event! And speaking of award winners, here they are:

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OrderDynamics’ Michael Turcsanyi, Kevin Butler and Steven Berkovitz

Consumer Champion Award (fan voted)
Nail Polish Canada

Most Innovative Retailer (small), Presented by OrderDynamics
Ten Tree International

Most Innovative Retailer (large)
Jewlr

Best Multi-Channel Retailer (small)
Snakes and Lattes
Best Multi-Channel Retailer (large)
Lowes Canada

Best E-Tailer (small)

Build.ca

Best E-Tailer (large)
Well.ca

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The 2013 Canada Post eCommerce Innovation Awards Winners