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INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS 2014 The Mobile award

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Every week we’re highlighting the shortlisted retailers in the 2014 Internet Retailing Awards. Today we focus on the Mobile Award.

Mobile is at the heart of online and, increasingly, in-store retailing these days and as such we salute those that are pushing how the technology is used to drive their entire business, not just open up a new sales channel.

Those shortlisted this year are: Free People 
House of Fraser 
Shop Direct

“The mobile dimension is integral to Internet Retailing,” says Internet Retailing editor on chief Ian Jindal. “Phablet, tablet, phone or whatever new untethered device comes along, this Award focuses upon the role of mobile, mobility and unchained freedom within multichannel retail.”

Jindal adds: “The Award will go to the retailer whose mobile activities extend beyond an obligatory app and tablet optimised site to creating an integrated, coherent and compelling experience under their brand – using the unique capabilities of the device, location and context to reinvent the retail experience.”

Free People has been nominated for its app which acts as a social network/shop the look hybrid allowing users to photo fashion and looks they like and then pin then and ‘heart’ them and then shop them.

The app allows scanning of product swingtags in store, and links to the brand’s product information as well as user-contributed imagery of those products. Customers’ photos are also integrated into the product pages online.

FP uses the Olapic (www.olapic.com) system to link Instagram, moderation and products (as also used by retailers like Desigual from Spain). The app have been downloaded c300,000 times and is in our view and on-brand, savvy appropriation of Instagram to combine the customer’s voice with brand curation.

House of Fraser is up for an award because it has really taken to heart the ‘mobile first’ approach to redesigning its web offerings, making them clean, scrollable and adapted to device. They also respond to the context associated with devices and seek to serve up content accordingly.

HoF’s head of ecommerce, Andy Harding, puts the mobile focus thus: “We regard the mobile site as the glue that binds our store and online offer, to attract the truly multi-channel customer.”

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Shop Direct has transformed itself from a catalogue seller to an eCommerce mainstay with a responsive mobile site. ShopDirect’s CEO expects that in 2015 every single transaction will involve a mobile at some point, and so mobile-led, mobile-enabled, mobile-focused multichannel is finding its first form at Shop Direct.

The eventual winner of the award will be named at the Internet Retailing Awards 2014, to be held at One Mayfair on June 26. The winner will be the retailer that seamlessly incorporates digital technology into the store, linking the customer’s online and offline experiences. But they’ll also be the retailer that most successfully empowers their staff to use technology in-store to its best effect, creating a service that is both usable and elegant.

A reminder too that voting is open for the overall Internet Retailing Award 2014, sponsored by Venda. This is our readers’ award, in which a winner is chosen by you from the full awards shortlist. Vote and your name will go into the draw for a free ticket to the awards party.

Join the conversation and tell us who you want to win the Internet Retailing Award by tweeting us your vote to @etail with #theawards.

Get tickets for you/your team/your clients/your friends here: www.internetretailingawards.net

We’ll be exploring the other awards categories in the weeks to come.

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