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The Customer Award

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We have six candidates for this year’s Customer Award: ASOS, Cult Pens, Escentual, John Lewis, Lovehoney and Ocado. Please read through their commendations below before submitting your vote at the bottom of the page. Choose your favourite from the list or select up to three in order of preference.

This award recognises the impact upon the customer and her experience created by the Award winner. Whether it’s a case of insight to a given segment, an unerring knack of connecting, the greatest customer service or an immersive, breathtaking experience. The Award winner will have done things that make the customer go “wow”, and the rest of the industry long to emulate them.


  • Viewed from a customer’s perspective, the level of connection, advocacy and passion elicited

  • Not just a love of ‘the product’, but of the service/process of retailing

  • Evidence of responding to customer need

  • Evidence of creating anew a service proposition that delights the customer

  • The extent to which the service sets the bar for others to emulate.


ASOS [show-irdx raso]

ASOS is set apart from other very good companies by its ability to delight the customer in a large number of very different geographies. Although there is clearly some global commonality in youth fashion, ASOS unerringly adapts to local requirements and is fabulously profitable despite – or perhaps because of – its apparently reckless global commitment to free shipping.

Recent addition of the “ASOS Premier” service (giving free next day delivery for £9.99 a year) has further increased customer advocacy of the 30million visits/month they receive.

Cult Pens [show-irdx rclt]

Cult Pens is a site with a passion for pens, writing and stationery. Stocking leading fountain pens, as well as rare consumables and parts, this is a site for lovers of fine writing instruments, willing to spend to get what they want, supported by passionate and knowledgeable staff. A true niche offering.

While one’s interest will reflect one’s level of graphophilia and papyrophilia, the ardent support of their loyal customers is a commendation indeed: this online-only retailer has sixteen thousand TrustPilot reviews with a Trustscore of 9.9:

Escentual [show-irdx resc]

Escentual offers 2 day tracked delivery as standard. When a customer leaves a review with fewer than 5 stars the company will get in contact to ask how the experience can be improved for next time.

John Lewis [show-irdx rjlw]

John Lewis has received many nominations that highlight the ease with which customers are served. Shopping is not a chore. The company’s approach is built on customer insight, focus, service and connection. A highlight is the great convenience customers derive from the utilisation of Waitrose supermarkets as collection points. Additonal value comes from the fact that staff know service protocols, but are empowered to break them better to serve the customer; the partners feed back front-line experience to other colleagues, especially online; and front-line staff uphold all service promised, online and offline, with the same conviction.

Lovehoney [show-irdx rhon]

Lovehoney’s no-quibble returns and satisfaction guarantee, without time limit. Perfect for customers who would rather not answer questions! The demonstrates a sensitivity to their customers, a faith in products and an understanding of customer value over time rather than transaction value. The retailer’s high level of customer support is evidenced by its win of the Internet Retailing Award 2013, voted on by our readers.

Ocado [show-irdx roca]

Ocado gained plaudits overall as a result of selling Waitrose food, but now that the service is maturing we see that it has set delivery and service standards that the other grocers must emulate – time slots, accuracy, order completion. Ocado was nominated due to its “Delivery Pass” and “Saving Pass” customer-oriented service innovations that are to become commonplace in some form throughout the sector in due course.


Next up: The Capability Award

Read More

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