Necessity is so often the root of invention — and the events of 2020 certainly gave rise to unprecedented necessities. Countless brick-and-mortar stores closed their doors, and the ones that stayed open saw traffic slow to a quarantine-driven trickle. Fortunately, as brands were already increasing their reliance on e-commerce and digital experiences, some quickly found themselves capable of inventing, innovating and personalizing — despite the times.
This year’s Modern Retail Awards will honor the retailers that survived and thrived in 2020 by doubling down on customer-focused experiences, even when it meant swiftly pivoting their campaign and product strategies to accommodate new shopping behaviors.
Some of this year’s shortlisters enjoyed the benefits of digital nativity, while others ventured into the digital wilds with newfound courage.
Take eBay, a finalist for Most Responsible Retailer and Best E-Commerce Experience. Among many other initiatives, eBay developed a new light-on-dark color scheme for its iOS and Android platforms, honoring shoppers’ device preferences and improving accessibility and readability.
Then there’s Brooklinen, a finalist for Best Email Campaign, Best Customer Service Experience and Best Digitally Native Brand. Brooklinen drastically modified its launch schedule, its events calendar and its communications strategy — and it augmented its one-to-one approach to the newly online consumer journey with the rollout of a personalized email marketing campaign.
In another example, 1-800 Contacts, a finalist for Best Customer Service Experience, Best Use of Technology and Best Established Retailer, adapted to the necessities of the pandemic era with the launch of ExpressExam, an innovative first-of-its-kind app that enables consumers to renew their contact lens prescriptions from home.
Ultimately, the events of 2020 demanded near-instantaneous shifts in strategy, the launches of new digital products and a laser focus on personalization and customer experience. Finalists such as eBay, Brooklinen and 1-800 Contacts rose to the occasion — and they weren’t the only ones.
See the full list of finalists below.
Allbirds – Carbon Footprint label
Horizon Media and Geico – GEICOWEEN
January Digital and Honest Company – Honest Beauty
The GIANT Company and Brownstein Group – For Today’s Table
AT&T and Warner Brothers Television – AT&T 5G
The Clear Cut – The Bling it to the Ballot Necklace
Sephora, DeVries Global and Weber Shandwick – Bringing the 15% Pledge to the Masses
Touch of Modern and Marketing Architects – What We Can Do
Nuts.com and Marketing Architects
Sleep Number and Horizon Media – Sleep is a Game Changer
Thrive Market and YML – The Future of Grocery, Built in Silicon Valley
Horizon Media, Blue Hour Studios and Little Caesars – #BestThingSince
Measured and Johnny Was
Apply Digital & Arc’teryx Equipment