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INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS 2014 The Service Sector Award

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

While there are many excellent retailers with superb e-commerce and omni-channel operations, there are a whole raft of retailers who have no high street stores, no products of their own and yet manage to capture and captivate consumers through excellence of service.

“Promise, experience and delivery: selling services online has its own challenges and rewards, and this Award looks to recognise those retailers who are taking a share of our customers’ wallets, yet without any physical products to show, sell and ship,” says Internet Retailing’s editor-in-chief Ian Jindal. “While other retailers may envy their lack of physical product, we know that their business lives or dies on the promise, the experience and the memory under their brand. This Award is open to retailers – pure-play and multichannel – who sell direct to consumers yet who do not deal in product. Whether travel, financial services, games, software or innovative service, this Award recognizes the retailing talent beyond the normal notion of a ‘shop’.”

We have five finalists for this year’s the Service Sector Award: Dressipi, eBay, Etsy, Hungryhouse and Notonthehighstreet.


Dressipi offers a free fashion advice and recommendation service. Or so you think. They also collect, store and use vast amounts of data on customers’ fit and style preferences, mapping that against thousands of individual products across many brands. Part direct style advice, part white-label service to retailers, Dressipi is a modern service hybrid that blends big data with style to create big insight.

With Stuart Rose supplementing the founding team as Chairman, Dressipi now suppliers M&S amongst others, in addition to running its own service.


eBay ‘retails’ the service of making anyone a retailer, and allowing established retailers to have their own shop under its umbrella.
 In addition to the individual looking to sell, eBay increasingly supports major retailers sell full-price products in branded stores. No longer just a discount and disposal channel, eBay offers “customer volume as a service” to the world’s biggest retailers and brands.

Add in the payment services and the growing Magento movement and it’s clear that eBay has grown to fully deserve the Service Award.


Etsy is an e-commerce marketplace specialising in handmade or vintage items, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. These items cover a wide range, including art, photography, clothing, jewellery, food, bath and beauty products, quilts and toys.

Many sellers also sell craft supplies such as beads, wire and jewellery-making tools. All vintage items must be at least 20 years old. Sellers purchase personal store fronts for a fee of US$0.20 per item.

As of August 2013, 30 million users are registered on the website and by the end of 2013, projections of one million sellers and over US$1 billion in total annual transactions have been announced.

While not to the same scale as eBay, Etsy’s marketplace has created a protected, positive and valuable ‘space’ in which creative craftspeople, designers and retailers can connect with customers. Spawning and supporting innovation and community, Etsy has defined a service of niche, credible market-maker, that previously did not exist.

 launched in 2006 as an online food ordering platform, since when it’s expanded to more than 9,000 restaurant partners in the UK. Consumers use its website, mobile platform and apps to find local restaurants, browse menus and order food. Today more than 50% of its traffic is via mobile, and the company is analysing its data to give its customers the service experience they want.

Notonthehighstreet , has developed its own distinctive and recognizable identity in the eight years it’s been working with a range of more than 4,000 creative small businesses to offer more than 100,000 products, many bespoke and made to order. In its first year, it turned over £134,000, and in 2012 it turned over £43.3m and was ranked 12th in the 2013 Deloitte Fast 50 as one of the UK’s fastest-growing technology companies.

The final winner of The Service Sector Award will be named at the Internet Retailing Awards 2014, to be held at One Mayfair on June 26.

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 your vote to @etail with #theawards.

Get tickets for you/your team/your clients/your friends here:

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

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