It’s official, the countdown is on.
With the December 31st deadline for this year’s Shopify Commerce Awards fast approaching, it’s time to start reviewing your 2017 commerce projects. What are you most proud of? What really transcended 2017 trendiness? What demonstrates your ecommerce excellence?
Regardless of whether you develop apps, design ecommerce sites, craft marketing masterpieces, or dream up your client’s UX/UI, we want to hear from you. Not only is this an opportunity to win an exclusive Shopify Unite 2018 experience (trust us, you want to be there), but it’s your chance to position yourself as a leader in the commerce industry.
With all this in mind, we asked our esteemed panel of judges to weigh-in on what they’re looking for in their respective Commerce Awards categories. They’ll cover what they define as exceptional work, provide examples, and offer tips on what they look for in award-winning submissions.
Want to win Commerce Awards 2017? Then read on!
1. Design category
What would a commerce awards competition be without a design category? This year, we’ve broken design down into four awards categories:
Best Product Page — The goal of an ecommerce site is to make sales, meaning stellar product pages are critical. We’re looking for an effective and captivating product page that immediately conveys the value of a product.
Best Home Page — The home page is like a website’s virtual front door, and can serve as a place to jump start site exploration. We’re looking for a home page design that leaves a lasting first impression.
Best Collection Page — A collection page can tell a story about a merchant’s products, how they play together, and complement one another. We’re looking for the best collection pages that draw in casual browsers, and turn them into eager buyers.
Best Custom Design with Slate — Slate is a recently released theme scaffolding and command line tool built for Shopify theme development and deployment. We’re looking for the pioneers of this tool who are designing their best work with Slate.
Two judges are responsible for reviewing design submissions this year:
What do you look for in exceptional ecommerce design?
“The biggest thing missing from too many ecommerce sites is a strong sense of the brand and its values. You know when you're shopping on Apple, Tiffany, or the Zappos website. These companies have mastered the idea that people are more likely to shop when they feel a strong emotional connection to a brand whose values resonate with them.
Creating, communicating, sustaining and growing a believable, appropriate, and compelling brand is what makes an ecommerce company's site exceptional. It’s what takes it to a higher level, making it a pleasurable and even emotionally fulfilling experience for the person who uses the site. That’s what I'll be looking for in every category of the Shopify Commerce Awards competition.”
— Jeffrey Zeldman
The biggest thing missing from too many ecommerce sites is a strong sense of the brand and its values.
“Exceptional ecommerce design is all about serving the customer, not the brand. While flashy technologies can be fun and exciting, they have to be employed for the right purpose. For example, parallax should tell a story; motion and animation should help with spatial perception; colors carry meanings, etc. Simplicity is unfortunately often underrated.
As a Commerce Awards judge, I’ll be looking for quality content. The best-looking website, the most complex app integration, and the most thoughtful information architecture is useless if it doesn't sell a product.”
— Cynthia Savard Saucier
What tips do you have for those submitting work to the Design category?
“Don't settle for me-too, cookie-cutter design. If you're noticing a new design trend everywhere, that's a good reason NOT to use it on your (or your client's) site. Your site shouldn't feel like this week's hot variation on Bootstrap. It shouldn't remind me of ten other sites. It should remind me of your (or your client's) company, not Spotify's or InVision's.
Good sites make the user think the designers are clever. Great sites make the user think she is clever. Great sites want to be used, like great cars want to be driven, and great instruments want to be played.”
Beauty is subjective, and a successful project is all about the context surrounding the project.
“Do not gloss over the "Why should your entry be considered for a Commerce Award?" question. Beauty is subjective, and a successful project is all about the context surrounding the project. Some design choices can be fantastic, but without understanding the background, they go unnoticed.”
— Cynthia Savard Saucier
Examples of award-winning design
Our judges offer up some examples of exceptional design out in the wild.
The Cotton BureauBellroy
You might also like: 10 Drool-Worthy Product Page Examples to Inspire Your Next Ecommerce Project.
2. Marketing and Branding category
With so many amazing marketing and branding experts in the Shopify Partner ecosystem, it only made sense to celebrate stellar talent. This year, we’ve broken marketing and branding down into four awards categories:
Best Ecommerce Copywriting — The written word can take you places you never imagined. From homepage to checkout, we’re looking for compelling copywriting that tells the story of your client’s brand.
Best Ecommerce Course — Learning how to start and scale an ecommerce business can be daunting. We’re looking for the best in user-friendly, educational, and inspirational Shopify courses.
Best Offline Marketing Event — Whether it’s a pop-up shop or meetup event, offline experiences leverage the power of human interaction. We’re looking for an offline event that created a unique attendee experience.
Best Abandoned Cart Recovery Experience — Customers abandon carts for various reasons, but setting up a recovery notification or email campaign can save merchants lost sales. We’re looking for abandoned cart campaigns that turned potential buyers into customers.
Two judges are responsible for reviewing marketing and branding submissions this year:
- Ezra Firestone. CEO of Smart Marketer and one of the leading ecommerce experts in the world.
- Melissa Gonzalez. CEO of Lionesque Group and the go-to retail and pop-up architect for businesses and brands.
What do you look for in exceptional marketing and/or branding?
“I look for a clear message and well told stories that relate to the experience of a specific group of people. Entries for Commerce Awards should be clear and concise. I'll be looking for fun, effective, and visually compelling examples of great marketing/branding.”
A great campaign should not only be creative, but it must also truly speak to its target demographic.
“I look for out-of-the-box thinking — a unique but highly relevant approach to storytelling. For Commerce Awards, I want to see a clear correlation of goals and execution, combined with creativity. A great campaign should not only be creative, but it must also truly speak to its target demographic.”
What tips do you have for those submitting work to the Marketing and Branding category?
“Tell us what worked AND why you think it worked! Show and tell.”
— Ezra Firestone
Tell us what worked AND why you think it worked! Show and tell.
“Illustrate goals, thought process, and your qualitative and quantitative success metrics.”
Examples of award-winning marketing and branding
Our judges offer up some examples of exceptional marketing and branding out in the wild.
Marc Jacob | Daisy Daze Uber Campaign