With online retail in South Africa forecasted to grow beyond 1% of total retail this year, e-commerce is undoubtedly gaining that much needed momentum. Despite a challenging economic environment, both new and established brands are investing in online platforms and looking to join the global shift towards digitised transactions.
In South Africa, the emerging e-commerce sector is attracting a dynamic generation of entrepreneurs and innovators, who are looking to harness new technology and capture increasing online spend.
PriceCheck, which provides an online product comparison tool, looks to recognise and reward the frontrunners and disruptors in local e-commerce, through its annual Tech & E-Commerce Awards. Culminating in a high profile awards evening, the judging process is marked by transparency and the independence of all involved.
“From start to finish, including the way in which the categories are defined, the votes counted, and the judges selected, the PriceCheck Tech & E-Commerce Awards offer up a uniquely unbiased and credible snapshot of what local e-tailers are up to,” says Kevin Tucker, founder and CEO, PriceCheck. “Our goal is to draw attention to the advances that individuals are making in what remains a challenging sector, both in South Africa and abroad.”
This year the awards have drawn a heavy-hitting list of judges, who bring with them diverse backgrounds, authority and experience across the technology, business, digital, and marketing and commerce spheres. The seven judges are Alastair Tempest, Lianne du Toit, Matthew Buckland, Geoff Cohen, Lynette Hundermark, Toby Shapshak and Dirk Henke.
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“All of the selected judges present a unique perspective of the industry and an independent point of view,” adds Tucker. “In Alastair Tempest, for example, we have someone with a global lens who has developed and shaped key regulatory frameworks and policies.”
Of the upcoming event, Tempest says, “The great thing with any awards is that best practices are highlighted and that sets the bar for the coming year for all competitors. E-commerce is maturing nicely in the South African market as the candidates for this year’s Tech & E-Commerce Awards prove.”
Lianne du Toit has been involved in the technology startup space for decades, having taken delegations to raise funding in Europe as well as being selected to represent South African entrepreneurs at Global Startup Nations and Entrepreneurship Summits.
Both Buckland and Shapshak are well-known and respected publishers and writers within the tech and digital realms, while Cohen has led 24.com, a division of Naspers focusing on digital media, vertical classifieds and services, into one of the largest operations in Africa.
Toby Shapshak, editor-in-chief and publisher of Stuff says, “Fintech is especially important in the world right now; and competitions like this are important for app developers, who deserve the recognition they get.”
“In Lynette Hundermark, we have a great specialist in the mobile tech space – which is increasingly important within African e-commerce,” notes Tucker. “She really understands customer experience and usability online, which is becoming a key factor in determining the success or failure of e-commerce ventures.”
Dirk Henke, Managing Director, Emerging Markets at Criteo, which is also a key sponsor of the awards, has worked for major companies and brands including Yahoo and Microsoft Advertising, and brings an international viewpoint on how local developments are unfolding.
“E-commerce in South Africa is on an amazing rise. There is a hugely innovative start-up culture, and established retailers coming up with sophisticated approaches for e-commerce – factors which both drive the whole industry,” says Henke.
“The awards are a chance for the industry to sneak into these latest developments and to share best practices to drive further growth and reward those driving innovation. A local award is not only a great way to honour local players who go the extra mile, but also to further drive local innovation.”
“We are thrilled to have such influential and credible personalities on board this year, and look forward to seeing just how our local e-commerce entrepreneurs and innovators are faring in this fast-growing sector,” adds Tucker.
Here is the list of finalists: http://www.techandecommerceawards.co.za/shortlist/
Best Fintech Platform
Best Payment Service
- Peach Payments
Best Mobile Shopping Experience
Best Overall Shopping Experience
Best Travel Booking Service
Best On-Demand Service
Best Online Financial Services Platform
Best Small Online Business
- Funky Tights
Best Online Classified Platform
Best Marketplace Platform
Best Delivery / Logistics Provider
Best Customer Service
Best Black Tech / E-Commerce Entrepreneur
- Livestock Wealth
Best Female Tech / E-Commerce Entrepreneur
- Faithful to Nature
Employer of the Year
- We Are Monsters
People’s Choice Award