We have seven candidates for this year’s the Service Sector Award: Dressipi, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, Hungryhouse, Notonthehighstreet and Thomson. 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.
“ 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. 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’.”
- Retails a service, as differentiated from a product
- Relies on the reputation of the brand; consumers see it as different from its competitors
- Sells direct to customers or facilitates the transaction as a marketplace.
Dressipi [show-irdx rdre]
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 [show-irdx reby]
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 [show-irdx rets]
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.
Facebook [show-irdx vfac]
The National Retail Foundation in the US reports that a quarter of Facebook users have made a transaction on a retail site linked through Facebook.
Hungryhouse [show-irdx rhho]
Hungryhouse is a new service aggregator that allows the customer to navigate the slew of take-away options. These range from independents who are difficult to aggregate to major businesses with their own unique systems. Jungryhouse exemplifies a new approach to food ordering offering a ‘portal’ that included menues, ordering, payment, delivery tracking, ratings, reviews and history. This aggregation has been tried a number of times, but not with such polish or liquidity.
Notonthehighstreet [show-irdx rnot]
The company’s niche service is ‘to hunt out the most original items from the best creative small businesses, and bring them together in one place, making it easy for people to browse and buy.’ Similar to other niche marketplaces who stand out via a unique character, NOTHS’ additional twist is the level of curation, noevelty and stimulus it offers visitors.
Thomson [show-irdx rtho]
Retailing travel is an obvious example for the service sector. The innovation behind their new retail store experience is as innovative as anything else currently in the physical retail. Thomson has impressed since it’s selling, effectively, a dream, a promise of future happiness. That it has optimised its stores, staff and web to support the dream and the process makes it a worthy candidate for this award.
Next up: The Brand Award