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In April, we launched the inaugural BigCommerce design awards. The goal was simple: ask BigCommerce store owners to show off their best ecommerce site designs and ingenuity, and in return work with the best of the best in the industry in judging which stores are truly exemplary. There will be one grand prize winner and three runner-ups chosen by design experts from BigCommerce, Uber, Inc. Magazine –– and even LaQuan Smith himself. One additional winner will be chosen by you, the audience, as a people’s choice award via social voting below.
Because let’s be honest: we’re all online consumers and each of us can recognize good site design when we see it. It’s the designs that make us feel something, a portray a personal connection to the brand. It’s the designs that take only one click to find the exact product you were looking for, and give you everything you might need to know about that product right there on the page. It’s beautiful photography. It’s well thought out typography. It’s the sites you see and think: “If I started my own store, it would look like this.”
So, today, we are announcing all 20 finalists and opening each of them up to social voting. Whichever store you guys vote to the top will be our People’s Choice award winner –– earning a spot as one of our finalists whom of which will be eligible for up to $5,000 in prizes.
How to Socially Vote for Your Favorite BigCommerce Site Design
Voting begins today, May 11 and runs through May 18. You can vote once per day per store. All you need to do to vote is scroll through the options below, click the “heart” button to like a store, comment if you want to let them know why. Share with social followers to increase votes for your favorite store. The winner will be announced in early June.
FYI: Want to learn more about BigCommerce’s new themes? Stop by and see us in Chicago on June 7.
About the BigCommerce Design Awards for Burgeoning Brands
With online and offline experiences blending together more quickly than ever before, it is increasingly essential that a retailer’s site beams with beauty, enables community engagement and ultimately drives conversion. Tying each of these aspects together takes true mastery and in-depth knowledge of buyer behavior and psychology, design best practices, the most cutting-edge scripts, and the willingness to take a leap of faith to move away from the traditional, and begin to carve out a unique brand differentiated from any other.
Earlier this year, the BigCommerce team released Stencil, a design framework heralded as the best in the industry, and the only hosted ecommerce platform with a local development environment. Building that environment into the backend was a priority for the team. After all, we’ve been in the ecommerce game for seven years and online store design has changed more rapidly than the retail industry itself. We know designers need time to craft, build and test. Merchandisers need time to upload, edit and optimize. And customers need to be able to shop your store 24/7, even if you’re undergoing a redesign.
After all, selling never stops in an online world.
Your store doesn’t have to be using the new Stencil framework in order to be considered for the awards, though. At BigCommerce, we know that every business is unique and only you know the solutions that work best for your bottom line and put your company’s best foot forward, now and well into the future.
So, whether you’ve undergone a recent brand redesign or have long believed your site to be among the best of the best of online store experiences, learn more below about the prizes and submission process.
How the BigCommerce Ecommerce Design Awards Work
We will begin taking entries for consideration today, April 20, through May 6, 2016. Once all entries have been received, judges will review the submissions and ultimately award one grand prize winner and four runners up.
What’s at stake? The grand prize winner will receive $5,000, a feature in the July issue of Inc. Magazine and two tickets to the Inc. 5000 Conference & Gala (a value of $1,700 per ticket). Four runners up will receive $3,000 each and a mention in the Inc. Magazine feature. All five winning brands will receive featured placements on the BigCommerce Blog as well as website and social promotion to our more than 250,000 followers. Winners will be notified the week of June 7, 2016.
The grand prize winner will be selected based on overall aesthetics, product imagery, creativity and site usability.
Meet the Judges
Josh Bisch –– Lead Designer, Uber
Josh has spent more than a decade as a designer, crafting smart and impactful solutions for problems big and small. He’s worked with Fortune 500 and large enterprise brands at top tier digital agencies including Razorfish and Huge, Inc. While there, Josh helped redefine ecommerce experiences for Southwest Airlines, BlackBerry and J.C. Penney Mobile. He also art directed digital marketing campaigns for Google Shopping Express, Twitter and Capri Sun.
A born and raised Texan, he knew early on he wanted to be a creative and work with computer graphics to express wild ideas. Today, Josh is helping build the future of transportation at Uber, where he is the lead designer focused on solving marketplace challenges for riders and driver-partners. In an alternate universe, he’s known to dabble in producing electronic music and collect scotch from Islay, Scotland.
Mike Morello –– Chief Operating Officer, Digital, Inc. Magazine
As the Chief Operating Officer of Digital for Inc., Mike oversees all aspects of the digital product management, visual design/UI, engineering and audience development at Inc.com. He is a product leader with more than 20 years of experience building interactive websites and web applications at world class media companies such as AOL (dating back to 1994), CBS and WebMD, as well as multiple start-up and entrepreneurial environments.
LaQuan Smith –– Founder and Designer, LaQuanSmith.com
LaQuan Smith and his eponymous label are headquartered in Queens, New York. Smith’s signature style has found a devoted following among Hollywood A-listers including Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian, each of whom have selected the brand on and off the red carpet.
In addition to his robust celebrity clientele, Smith has cultivated an equally dynamic private order clientele which spans the globe from Lagos to London. Smith’s singular aesthetic has also been tapped by world recognized brands including Heineken and Chicago’s famed Joffrey Ballet, all of which have commissioned custom editions of Smith’s designs. BigCommerce recently partnered with LaQuan on the relaunch of his online store at New York Fashion Week 2016, making him the very first customer to use a Stencil site.
Andrea Wagner –– Head of Design, BigCommerce
Andrea Wagner has been creating digital experiences and building creative teams for more than 10 years. Her agency experience allowed her to solve many different types of ecommerce, shopping and merchandising problems for a variety of large enterprises, most notably Sony.
In recent years, she has been focused on building in-house teams to help businesses better connect their digital properties with the needs of their users. Andrea has a passion for all things ecommerce and is always interested in finding new ways for brands to connect with their audiences.
Win 2 Tickets to the Inc. 5000 Conference & Gala
The 2016 Inc. 5000 Conference and Gala celebrates the 34th year of Inc.’s ranking of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S.. The event brings together current Inc. 5000 honorees and alumni, along with the greater business community, to recognize their achievements and contributions to the economy. The Inc. 5000 Conference and Gala will be held October 18-20 in San Antonio, Texas.
In 1982, Inc. introduced the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. Since then, this prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success and the place where future household names first make their mark. Pandora, 7 Eleven, Toys ‘R’ Us, Zipcar, Zappos.com and numerous other well-known brands have been honored by the Inc. 5000. In 2007, the Inc. 500 list expanded to the Inc. 5000, giving readers a deeper, richer understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape and capturing a broader spectrum of success.
The conference serves as an access point to the BigCommerce design awards grand prize winner, allowing them 1:1 time with leading industry experts and on the rise retailers.
Now for the Rules
All entries must be submitted by the owner or operator of the storefront, or with the owner’s permission, if you’re a partner, to be considered for the award. You must be a brand based in the U.S. to win. All designs must be the original work of your brand or your brand partner. Submitting your store gives BigCommerce permission to use the imagery in design awards marketing material.
For more information on the rules for participation, read the full terms and conditions.
How to Enter
To enter your brand, visit the entry page and fill out the form. The URL for the store must be a store that is already launched and live. No demo stores will be accepted.
Let the Competition Begin
And that’s it, everyone! Nominate yourself, your friends and the best in class online stores using design to alter the digital shopping world as we know it.
Still have questions and concerns? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.
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