2021 Transforming Retail Awards – winners announced!

The winners of the Retail Insider ‘Transforming Retail Awards 2021 have been announced during an online ceremony on Zoom – with Patrick Berghaeger from award sponsors Talkdesk unveiling the winning entries. The Awards always aims at highlighting some of the most exciting innovations to happen in the retail sector over the past year and there were plenty of those in 2021.

The categories being judged this year by an independent panel of retail experts were: Best Connected Experience, Sustainability Award, Most Intelligent Use of Data, Most Promising Newcomer, Best Delivery Innovation and finally the Editor’s Choice Special Award.

Each year the Awards attracts entries of an ever higher standard but this year as last the pressures of the Covid pandemic gave the awarding judges a particularly difficult job as there has been so much innovation in such a short time. They eventually whittled all five categories down to three shortlisted entrants but there can only be one winner so here they are:

First up was Best Connected Experience where Go Instore, the immersive live video company which allows retailers to show customers around their stores in real time battled against the Pick and Pack app from cloud commerce platform Kooomo. However it was eventually the stunning new interactive showrooms from heritage cycling brand Ribble  which caught the judges’ eyes.

Patrick Berghaeger from awards sponsor Talkdesk

Delivery Innovation of the Year was hotly contested as one can imagine in a second year of massive home delivery demand. Micro-fulfillment and robotics company Fabric impressed enough to win for its work with SuperPharm, finally beating strong competition from InPost’s work for Missguided on Instant Returns and OneStock’s ongoing success helping retailers use their shops’ inventory as mini-warehouses.

The judges needed to have their wits about them for the Most Intelligent Use of Data category with three very different and complex entrants. Refer a friend system Mention Me with its unique Name Share feature and the Origin product data platform from new consultancy Retail247 ultimately lost out to AI solutions provider Antuit.ai Antuit works with an impressive array of retailers to deliver maximum data predictability.

Some things never change and, as always, the most popular category was the Promising Newcomer of the Year. This year Antuit.ai, detailed above, was also shortlisted in this category along with THIS which produces and creates plant-based meat alternatives with the claim that it makes meat-alternatives for meat lovers. But the eventual worthy winner in this category was Trove which powers the circular shopping platforms for retailers such as Levi’s, lululemon and Patagonia.

With sustainability always among the hot topics in retail, we introduced a Sustainability category last year.  This year judges shortlisted Secret Sales, an online marketplace for fashion, beauty which is disrupting the usual approach to off-price retail and reducing textile waste, Trove (as seen above) and Thriftify – a new dedicated online marketplace connecting charity shops with consumers which is also integrated into eBay, Google Shopping, Facebook Marketplace and Amazon – giving charity shops access to millions of shoppers across the world. In the end it was Thriftify’s year.

And finally Retail Insider editor Glynn Davis chose Secret Sales for his Editor’s Choice Special Award. He felt that with new owners, a new leadership team, and a new business model the company has been enjoying incredible growth and will be a game changer for this sector of the market ongoing.

The judging panel consisted of a completely independent group of retail experts and we would like to thank each and every one of them for giving the awards their valuable time.  

View video of winners being announced.

Full run-down of the winners is as follows:

Best Connected Experience of the Year: Winner –  Ribble

Delivery Innovation of the Year: Winner – Fabric

Most Intelligent Use of Data: Winner –  Antuit.ai

Most Promising Newcomer: Winner –  Trove

Sustainability Award: Winner –  Thriftify

Editor’s Choice Special Award: Winner – Secret Sales

Retail Insider would very much like to thank Talkdesk for their sponsorship of the Awards.

Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider