Announcing the 2020 Shopify Commerce Awards: Celebrating the Best in the Business

shopify commerce awards 2020

The Shopify Commerce Awards are back! After a two-year hiatus, we’re excited to announce the 2020 Shopify Commerce Awards competition, where we recognize and celebrate the best in the business.

It’s time to show off your beautiful work! Those long hours you put into your client’s store, or months of building your app mean more than just paying the bills. Your creative digital solutions become the backbone of many Shopify merchants’ commerce presences and have a ripple effect beyond those late nights and tough decisions.

Read on to learn more.

What are the Shopify Commerce Awards?

The Shopify Commerce Awards showcase and celebrate the best in the business. Shopify Partners and Developers are encouraged to submit their most impactful web design and development projects for consideration. A team of esteemed judges will be assessing the submissions and the category winners will take home some valuable prizes.

As you’ve probably already guessed, the Shopify Commerce Awards will be completely digital by design this year given the current reality of COVID-19—from the submissions and nominations to the awards ceremony. There will be all the pageantry you love about awards ceremonies with a hefty dose of putting your safety first.

So, why should you apply? Well, beyond the opportunity to win an exciting prize, winning a Shopify Commerce Award can help elevate your brand and you can be recognized as an industry leader by your peers and customers. 

“Winning a Shopify Commerce Award opened a lot of doors and opportunities within the ecosystem,” says Bjorn Forsberg of FORSBERG+two. “It really helped position me and my apps as the go-to solutions in their space, while also adding exposure and partnership opportunities at the same time. It added that extra level of trust that can be so hard to create in a large marketplace.”

Winning a Shopify Commerce Award opened a lot of doors and opportunities within the ecosystem.

Bjorn Forsberg, FORSBERG+two

Got a truly satisfied client or user that loves your work? This year, merchants can also nominate a partner or app developer they’ve worked with.

Submit your custom Shopify store experience or app for a chance to have your work celebrated by the Shopify community. If your project was built and launched between 2018 to 2020 and it’s still live, you may be eligible for a Commerce Award. To make sure, please review all of our eligibility criteria in the competition rules.

Submissions are now closed and winners will be announced in early 2021. Good luck to all participants! 

Award categories

Now, let’s talk recognition! There are nine awards up for grabs across three categories:

  • User Experience and Front End Development (UX and FED)
  • Development and Apps
  • Best Overall Builds

Let’s dive into the awards in each of these categories.

You might also like: Announcing the Winners of the 2017 Shopify Commerce Awards.

User Experience and Front End Development (UX and FED)

User experience and front end development form the cornerstone of the web design and development work you do for your clients. Get to know more about the three awards in the UX and FED category as well as the judges who know what it takes to make these builds successful for your clients and users in an online-first economy.

Best mobile store experience
Mobile-first design means building your site for mobile before the desktop version. This category recognizes the stores built with a mobile-first mindset. The judges are looking for the best store build that finds success on the small screen by prioritizing better mobile UX.

Best custom storefront
Everyone wants their shop to stand out from the crowd. The best custom storefronts are unique, innovative, and easy to navigate, creating standout shopping experiences on the web, for mobile, and beyond. This category recognizes the best custom store experience built using the Storefront API or Shopify Custom Storefront software development kits.

Best custom product page
Does your client’s custom product page tell a compelling story that increases conversions? This category is for the innovators who can bring a product to life. Tell us how you customized the perfect experience for a customer to fall in love with your client's product.

Get to know your UX and FED judges

shopify commerce awards 2020: Darrin Henein

Darrin Henein – Director of UX, Shopify

As the Director of UX for Retail at Shopify, Darrin Henein is an expert in designing exceptional user experiences. Outside of Shopify, Darrin is a regarded designer, photographer, and video game developer. In 2015, Darrin designed and developed the hit indie game Lastronaut, which won Game of the Year in the 2015 Ray Wenderlich Reader’s App Awards. Darrin brings a unique perspective on UX strategy and design to the 2020 Commerce Awards.

“What I’m excited to see are elegant, delightful, and accessible experiences that challenge the way we think about buying and selling in 2020,” Henein says. “Our world has changed—and I can’t wait to review the work of the creators, innovators, and problem solvers who are helping to make commerce better for everyone as we move into the future."

shopify commerce awards 2020: Cynthia Savard SaucierCynthia Savard Saucier — Director of UX, Shopify

Cynthia Savard Saucier is the UX Discipline Lead at Shopify, and co-author of Tragic Design. She has a knack for strategic design, creativity, and leadership problem solving. Her range of experience has brought her broad recognition as a leading expert in ecommerce and UX. In addition to her day job, Savard Saucier is regularly invited to speak at events around the world, where she gets to share her experience. Her initials spell CSS, as if she was born for this job.

“I’m so excited to be returning as a judge to the 2020 Commerce Awards,” Savard Saucier says. “Above all else, I’ll be looking for quality content. The best-looking website, the most complex app integration, or the most thoughtful information architecture is useless if it doesn't sell a product.”

Development and Apps

With 87 percent of Shopify merchants reporting that they rely on apps to run their businesses, third-party apps give entrepreneurs the exact functionality they need to run their businesses. Get to know more about the three awards in the development and apps category as well as the judges who know a thing or two about powerful builds that truly have it all.

Best omnichannel retail integration
The best commerce comes from a comprehensive, fluid, end-to-end experience. For this award, the judges are looking for the Shopify app that connects the dots, building a true omnichannel presence for a store owner and their customers.

Best app user interface (UI)
Building for speed, accessibility, and reliability are crucial when it comes to apps, and keeping international audiences and privacy in mind are must-haves as you scale your app and grow your reach. The best app UI has it all.

Best storefront app
Adding an app to a store can be a great way to enhance its functionality. But, if it increases lag or load times, or if it’s incompatible with the store’s theme, it won’t stay installed for very long. Submit your app to this category if your app is lightning-quick and compatible with as many themes as possible.

Get to know your Development and Apps judges

shopify commerce awards 2020: Jean- Michel Lemieux

Jean-Michel Lemieux — Chief Technology Officer, Shopify

Jean-Michel Lemieux is the Chief Technology Officer at Shopify and joined the company in 2015. Prior to joining Shopify, he served as the Vice President of Engineering at Atlassian and as the Chief Architect for Rational Team Concert, a division of IBM. Lemieux co-authored the book, Eclipse Rich Client Platform and has filed two US patents on software configuration management. Lemieux holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Ottawa.

“I’m looking for apps that address a merchant pain point in the simplest and fastest way possible,” Lemieux says.

shopify commerce awards 2020: Fatima YusufFatima Yusuf — Director of Partnerships, Shopify

Fatima Yusuf leads business development and strategic partnerships for Shopify’s platform ecosystem, including Shopify’s technology and service partnership teams across North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. Before joining Shopify, Yusuf co-founded a home decor ecommerce company called Tressle. Today, Yusuf remains engaged with the startup community as an advisor to entrepreneurs who she supports with fundraising, product strategy, and business development.

“I’m looking for Development and App submissions that connect all the dots,” Yusuf says. “From speed to accessibility to privacy protection, I want to see builds that truly have it all.”

Overall Builds

Big-picture projects often mean one thing: it’s transformation time! Get to know more about the three awards in the Overall Builds category as well as the judges who will be evaluating the submissions. 

Best store migration
Replatforming is tough, but when you know it’s time to make a move, it helps when the experts take the lead. This is the category where you can showcase an existing store you helped migrate to Shopify. Share how you helped your client reimagine their user experience and migrate their design, content, products, and customers to their new store.

Best store rebuild
Have you given an existing Shopify store a complete makeover? We want to see the before and after shots of a complete store rebuild! As with any true “glow-up,” it isn’t just what’s on the outside that counts. Make sure you show how you not only improved the store’s look and feel, but also kept it stable and secure in the process.

Best offline to online
Now more than ever we see the importance of having an online store presence as much of the world shifted to remote work—and business owners with physical storefronts found themselves adapting to an economy that moved to being online-first. This awards category is for partners and developers who have worked with a client who had a retail-only or brick and mortar store and enabled them to make their debut in the realm of ecommerce by shifting their operations online.

Get to know your Overall Builds judges

shopify commerce awards 2020: Harley Finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein — President, Shopify

Entrepreneur, lawyer, and the newly named President of Shopify, Harley Finkelstein needs no introduction. As one of the “Dragons” on CBC’s Next Gen Den and an Advisor to Felicis Ventures, Harley understands what it takes to build something great. Throughout his career, Harley has received multiple awards for his impact across commerce and technology, including the Canadian Angel Investor of the Year Award and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.

"In Overall Builds, I’m looking for submissions that showcase creative solutions to the process of rebuilding, building, or migrating a Shopify store. I’m excited to see our partners showcase exceptional designs and interfaces," Finkelstein says.

shopify commerce awards 2020: Atlee ClarkAtlee Clark — Director of Shop, Shopify

As the Director of Shop at Shopify, Atlee Clark is an expert at building thoughtful and innovative experiences for users. Throughout her career at Shopify, Clark has led the development of the App and Partner platform, which has played a pivotal role in expanding the Shopify community. Clark is a passionate supporter of the Canadian technology and entrepreneurial community and seeks to promote and enable success for Canadian entrepreneurs.

“I’m looking for submissions that push the boundaries of commerce—show me how you solved a complex problem with Shopify—focusing on power, flexibility, and speed,” Clark says.

Remember that you must be a Shopify Partner or Developer in good standing to submit your project for consideration. If you’re submitting any work you did for a client, be sure that you get permission from them first.

The prizes

So, what do you win if your work is recognized? In addition to community recognition, category winners will receive:

  • A 2020 Commerce Awards trophy 🏆 
  • A digital 2020 Commerce Awards winner badge that allows you to keep sharing your industry recognition—it’s the perfect addition to your website and marketing materials
  • Mentorship time with judges and industry experts
  • Exclusive promotional content opportunities, such as Shopify Partner Town Hall takeovers and showcasing your work on inspiration sites like inspiring stores
  • Participation in our virtual awards ceremony
  • A studio-in-a-box that will help you look and sound your best as you walk the virtual red carpet

As a member of the Shopify Partner Program, you already get great benefits, and the Shopify Commerce Awards are an opportunity to take that a step further. Stand out, make new connections, and scale your business by sharing your work with the greater Shopify community.

"As a member of the Shopify Partner Program, you already get great benefits, and the Shopify Commerce Awards are an opportunity to take that a step further. Stand out, make new connections, and scale your business by sharing your work with the greater Shopify community."

Celebrating the best in the business

The stage is set, and now is the time to share your work by applying today and showing us what you’ve got. We’re excited to celebrate all the outstanding work that Shopify Partners and Developers do for their clients and users. 

“There is no better time to be recognized for your work,” Clark says. “As more businesses are looking to move commerce experiences online, and current online brands are looking to cut through the clutter, they need great partners to realize their vision.”

Submissions are now closed and winners will be announced in early 2021. Good luck to all participants! 


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