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What I learned from judging the Top 50 People in E-Commerce

We’re about to kick off a new weekly series of Q&As with our 2019 Top 50 People in E-Commerce, but before we do, we’d like to take a moment to share some of our impressions from the judging process.

Being a judge for the Top 50 is like stepping into the headquarters of Australia’s most successful, innovative and passionate e-commerce companies and finding out what they’ve achieved over the past year, how they’ve done it and what they’re working on next.

There’s just one drawback: It’s confidential.

For reasons of competition, we have promised not to publish any information the Top 50 shared with us in their applications. But we can share some of the key learnings we took away from the experience of reading their applications.

Below, Internet Retailing co-founder and judge Mark Freidin shares the strategies and technologies used by many of the Top 50. If you haven’t downloaded this year’s report, get your copy here. And if you want to learn more about how the Top 50 were selected, read this.

Mark Freidin’s learnings from judging the 2019 Top 50

I was humbled to read some of the submissions for the Top 50 this year. The detail, energy and passion expressed in the words of some of the nominees took my breath away at times.

The richest part of judging the Top 50 was the learnings that I picked up. I want to share some of them with you, as these insights are invaluable and hugely time-saving.

So here it is: the processes and technologies that some of the Top 50 mentioned that you could consider using in your business. Get ready to do some Googling!

Innovative thinking and strategies

  • Agile framework methodologies including BAUs, or business analysis units (e.g. buying and merchandising, supply chain, operations, marketing, etc). The key thing is to give teams focus and empowerment and to engage in stand-ups, scrums, showcases and retros.
  • Net Promoter Scores appeared to be a frequently used tool especially in businesses where KPI metrics  are required to validate performance. Key mentions were: Touchpoint Net Promoter Scores, NPS, delighters, pain points, wins and initiatives.
  • Design thinking and ideating. This topic has garnered a lot of interest in the past few years.
  • The double diamond method: All creative processes involve numerous ideas being created (‘divergent thinking’) before they are refined and narrowed down to the best idea (‘convergent thinking’). This can be represented by a diamond shape. The ‘double diamond’ indicates that this happens twice: once to confirm the problem definition and once to create the solution. One of the greatest mistakes is to omit the left-hand diamond and end up solving the wrong problem.


  • Yieldify helps optimise conversion, while Maritz CX allows you to collect and combine customer data  into actionable information.
  • Genesys Purecloud offers a smart cloud-based contact centre platform that easily integrates with existing platforms, and Forter is used to manage fraud and customer experience.
  • Bazaarvoice syndicates content, enabling you to display consumer-generated content like ratings, reviews, questions, answers and comments across your retail and brand websites.
  • Google now offers Local Inventory Ads. This means you can run adverts on Google targeting local clients to your local stock, fantastic for bricks-and-mortar retailers.
  • The Top 10 DynaTrace Digital Experience Rank was mentioned by one person in the Top 50 as the predominant web and mobile performance monitoring solution provider for the world’s top online retailers.
  • Ashton Media Cx Collective offers an ongoing program of events, content, research, study-trips and more for CX practitioners to learn, share and develop their capabilities. Members work with peers to benchmark their CX programs, problem solve and drive progress, personally and professionally.
  • Customer data platform Lexer enabled another Top 50 to unify their business’s online and offline purchase data with loyalty and engagement data into a practical tool for decision-making and action.
  • DOMO is a business intelligence solution bringing together, data, systems and people and Plann App is a fascinating app for social media planning.
  • Tilly is a cross retailer app that allows customers to walk into stores, scan the products they want and check out all on the app without needing to visit the checkout counter.
  • connects apps, syncs data and automates processes.
  • Monetate allows retailer to commence both experience split-testing and personalisation experiences.
  • And finally, in supporting indigenous business, Supply Nation is a business directory offering various services and categories bringing together the procurement teams of Australia’s leading organisations to help them engage, create relationships and do more business.

The Top 50 are high performers, putting in hard hours to ensure the success of their businesses or jobs. This is evident from the quality of the submissions which indicate innovative thinking, care about the environment, giving back to the industry, economic success and a willingness to share and give back.


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