CVS Pharmacy, Bombas, StockX and more took home the first-ever Modern Retail Awards, which honor the companies and campaigns modernizing retail in the digital age. This year’s program awards standout work across categories like Best In-Store Tech, Best Retailer/Agency Collaboration and Most Responsible Retailer.
Lending their expertise to determine the standout entries were Iris Nova CEO and founder Zak Normandin, Ollie cofounder Gabby Slome and David Bakey, vp of DTC at Harry’s among others.
See the full list of winners below.
Best Experiential Marketing Campaign
Outdoor Voices – Launch of The Exercise Dress
New styles of the Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress launched in August of this year alongside a free Zumba event at Lincoln Center in New York City. This one-off event has now turned into The Exercise Dress tour, which stopped in Washington D.C., Nashville, Atlanta and Miami.
Best New Product or Launch Campaign
Bombas x Pride 2019
Bombas, the comfort-based apparel brand that gives back by donating one pair of socks per pair purchased, donated 40% of all specially designed donation socks purchased from mid-May to the end of June directly to organizations who support the LGBTQIA+ homeless youth community.
Best Use of Social
Canada-based direct-to-consumer fine jewelry company Mejuri celebrated International Women’s Day with a campaign that saw its collection of engravable diamond enamel and ceramic rings as the focus. The brand gifted items from the collection to women in leadership with a postcard asking the recipient to answer “Today I am ___,” the responses to which many shared organically on its Instagram accounts. The effort was supported by female-led panels and the takeover of a station in Toronto with “Diamonds for my own damn self,” messaging.
Best Retailer/Agency Collaboration
CVS, Digitas, Standard Black, UM – Beauty Mark
CVS Pharmacy teamed up with Digitas, Standard Black and UM to take aim at the beauty standards set forth by the industry. Beauty Mark provides a method of identifying images within the beauty aisle that have not been digitally altered — also a way that the giant could ensure the industry’s marketing is as transparent as possible.
Best Digital Transformation
1-800-Flowers integrated conversational commerce into its business and as a result became one of the first retailers on Apple Business Chat, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger and Samsung Bixby. The goal? To meet customers where they are.
Best Customer Insight Strategy
Food52 founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs knew they would eventually make their own products, but wanted to make sure they went about it in a way that gave a nod to the community at the core of the Food52 business. Five Two, the company’s first DTC line, takes everyday kitchen essentials and the input of its community, which is 13 million strong, and creates items like cutting boards, aprons, silicone straws and dryer balls.
Most Innovative Retail Model
StockX – Ben Baller IPO
Detroit-based StockX provides real-time pricing across four categories: sneakers, watches, handbags and streetwear. In 2016, the bidding platform began partnering with brands on its own version of an IPO or Initial Product Offering, which would allow brands to release product directly to the secondary market and allow the market to set the price. In 2019, a limited run of red and black slides by celebrity jeweler Ben Baller had its IPO, which brought in 10,000 bids on 800 pairs of slides.
Best E-Commerce Experience
Publicis Sapient and Bang & Olufsen
Bang & Olufsen, whose business-to-business services include custom AV installations for car manufacturers and the hospitality industry, relaunched its website this year in a way that stayed true to the luxury product range in an understated way.
Best Personalization Strategy
The average person only wears 20% of what’s in their closet. Since 2012, Le Tote’s mission has been to provide 1:1 fit recommendations based on rental feedback in an effort to ensure that more people have more well-fitting, wearable items in their closets.
Best Omnichannel Strategy
Foxtrot is the convenience store for the modern world. The digitally native brand brings neighborhood retail and e-commerce together and lands on the doorstep of a purchaser in under one hour. This year, it launched Pay-In-App in order to fully integrate customers into its ecosystem.
Best In-Store Tech
Valyant AI, Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard – Launch of Holly
Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard teamed up with Valyant AI to deploy “Holly,” the voice-activated POS system, which began taking customer breakfast orders early this year and has since expanded to lunch and dinner orders. The goal of the AI utilization for the Denver, Colorado-based company is to increase employee efficiency, average ticket size and shorten wait times.
Best In-House Innovation Team
SoulCycle’s in-house label, Soul, leverages years of rider and instructor insights to create performance clothing for both on and off the bike.
Best DTC Retailer
Eargo is a modern brand that treats mild-to-moderate hearing loss. With a simplified buying experience, innovative products and affordability as a result of cutting out the expensive middleman, the company continues to work toward its goal of making hearing accessible to all. The company’s most recent product, Eargo Neo, is rechargeable and nearly invisible.
Most Responsible Retailer
Rothy’s, which repurposes discarded plastic water bottles into shoes, expanded to seven silhouettes and plans to open more brick and mortar locations this year. The company has also repurposed nearly 40 million plastic water bottles.