The 2016 PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards showcased pioneering new entrants and visionary e-commerce innovators, alongside major brands in the industry. The category winners were announced at a gala dinner held in Cape Town last night, with Takealot.com scooping the Overall Winner Award as well as the People’s Choice Award.
As part of a thorough judging process, the candidates for each award were selected by public nomination and were required to meet specific criteria. The list of nominees was then submitted to a panel of expert judges who selected the top three nominees per category, finally choosing a winner.
From Best Payment Service to Best Online Marketplace, the PriceCheck awards seek to recognise outstanding South African businesses and individuals in the e-commerce and technology spheres.
Kevin Tucker, founder and CEO of PriceCheck, Africa’s largest product and financial services comparison platform, noted that one of the toughest categories this year was the Best Mobile Shopping Experience, which was awarded to the popular fashion e-tailer, Zando.
“Given that the mobile shopping experience is becoming so important, it was unsurprising that the three finalists in this category all offer a great mobile service for their customers,” says Tucker.
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“Major emphasis is being placed on optimising the mobile customer experience, and Zando exemplifies this with various features that encourage consumers to explore and ultimately purchase online.”
The awards unveiled the emergence of niche e-commerce businesses that reflect the innovation taking place within specific sectors.
Aisha Pandor, the founder of SweepSouth, exemplifies this wave of innovation, and has applied the Uber operating model to provide domestic cleaning services in South Africa. Pandor was named the Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur as well as the Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur. She was competing with Ntuthuko Shezi, the founder of Livestock Wealth, which is a platform that essentially allows people to invest in cattle.
“The success of these passionate entrepreneurs who are breaking ground within niche categories really speaks to the importance of understanding and believing in your product,” adds Tucker. “To gain traction in today’s online marketplace requires far more than just a product and a slick platform, it requires real passion and a willingness to put yourself out there behind your ideas.”
One of the surprise winners of the night (and evidence that niche players can succeed) was Funky Tights, which sells custom tights online. They clinched the Best Small Online Business Award, on the back of impressive growth in a short period of time.
“This year’s awards reflected the general formalisation of the sector, with the bigger brands coming to the fore and really starting to stand out within their categories,” says Tucker, “Within financial services, for example, the major banks are taking the lead.”
In line with this trend of the juggernauts setting the pace, FNB was named the Best Online Financial Services Platform; OLX took the title of Best Online Classified Platform; Uber was crowned the Best On-Demand Service; and DHL emerged as the Best Delivery/Logistics Provider.
List of winners
Best Fintech Platform 2016
Best Payment Service 2016
Best Mobile Shopping Experience 2016
Best Overall Shopping Experience 2016
Best Travel Booking Service 2016
Best On-Demand Service 2016
Best Online Financial Services Platform 2016
Best Small Online Business 2016
Best Online Classified Platform 2016
Best Marketplace Platform 2016
Best Delivery/Logistics Provider 2016
Best Customer Service 2016
Aisha Pandor (SweepSouth)
Best Black Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur 2016
Aisha Pandor (SweepSouth)
Best Female Tech/E-Commerce Entrepreneur 2016
Employer of the Year 2016
People’s Choice Award 2016
Overall Winner 2016