Starting, owning, and running a business is a big part of “The American Dream.” It’s not just the dream of Americans, though; in fact, it’s one the entire world seems to share. Entrepreneurs all over the globe have spent time cultivating their ideas, developing them into a business plan, and offering their services and products to improve the lives of consumers.
If starting a business is a dream you have had, but you’re having a hard time coming up with ecommerce product ideas or struggling to get financing because you’ve made some credit card mistakes in the past, don’t give up just yet. Not all businesses get off to a smooth start, and not all innovation requires reinventing the wheel. Sometimes innovation simply means solving a long-time problem or offering a new, better way of doing things.
These five ecommerce companies were among BigCommerce’s 2017 Innovation Award winners, and it’s not necessarily because they created something nobody has ever seen before. Check it out:
- Seriously Silly Socks. Seriously Silly Socks sells… socks, of course! If you haven’t noticed, outstanding and “silly” socks have become quite popular in recent history. It’s a great way for wearers to express themselves and make a statement while maintaining an overall professional appearance (if need be). Seriously Silly Socks offers socks in a variety of colors, fabrics and lengths, as well as offering different brands. You can choose a favorite pair for each day of the week or send a gift box to the sock fanatic in your life.
They won the innovation award grand prize for offering a build-a-box tool which helped consumers customize the perfect box of socks while reducing pick, packing, and shipping time.
- Andie Swim. Andie Swim sells women’s swimsuits made by women in the U.S.A. Their three principles are: focus on the one-piece; create a perfectly curated collection; and make luxury affordable. Rather than offering an overwhelming range of swimsuits for consumers to pick and choose from, hoping it all fits when it arrives, Andie swim offers a simple but chic selection of one-piece swimsuits. They’re all priced the same and include the option to try three suits on at home before making your final decision.
They won the innovation award for creating an experience that isn’t limited to the product.
- Freund Container & Supply. Freund Container & Supply is a B2B company that supplies all kinds of different containers, caps and lids, bottling tools, bags, mailing supplies, hazmat packaging, and more. They know appearance matters when it comes to products, and their packaging solutions are both functional and attractive. On top of that, they don’t have any minimum order requirements and offer “unbeatable customer service.”
They won the innovation award for enabling and empowering B2B marketing in a way that works seamlessly across all touchpoints.
- Sam’s Appliance & Furniture. Sam’s Appliance & Furniture is exactly what it sounds like – an appliance and furniture store that has focused on providing fair prices on quality furniture to the Fort Worth, TX area since 1946. Although a local business, they do have a user-friendly website where customers can browse products, track delivery, and get in touch with their customer service team.
They won the innovation award for bringing online furniture shopping and buying up-to-date.
- Rollie. Rollie is an online retailer that sells attractive, fashionable shoes for men and women. It was founded by Vince Lebon with the purpose of providing a shoe that was light, comfortable, and fashionable so it could be worn in a wide variety of situations. They now have shoes in leading stores around the world, helping people from all walks of life be as comfortable and fashionable as possible.
They won the innovation award for bringing innovation to the entire brand and customer experience.
- Sorority Specialties. Sorority Specialties is run by a by a husband and wife team and has been in business for over 20 years. They sell licensed sorority merchandise, both in their retail store in Las Vegas, NV and online. They have a variety of pieces, including sweatshirts, tank tops, T-shirts, and more for sororities to choose from. Whether sororities need a uniform or want a wearable memento for each new pledge, Sorority Specialties has the perfect item.
They won the innovation award for using APIs to target Gen Z’s online shopping expectations.
- Berlitz. Berlitz offer language courses for adults, kids, businesses, governments, teachers, and exchange students. Their mission is to enable people around the world to achieve their goals in a global environment. They provide the most effective language solutions based on individual needs, with programs that teach English, French, Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, and many more. Berlitz is a huge asset for anyone wanting (or needing) to learn another language.
They won the innovation award for integrating APIs across a variety of systems, as well as an enhanced user experience.
- Glory Cycles. Glory Cycles sells everything related to biking, from helmets to shoes to gear bags and the bicycles themselves. They carry a number of popular brands, including Shimano, Pinarello, Look, Fizik, Colnago, Giro, and many more, and they allow consumers to customize their bikes and equipment.
They won the innovation award for providing quality customizations that cater to an expert audience.
You don’t have to create something world-changing to be considered innovative. If your dream is to sell hockey skates, you can do it in an innovative way without designing an entirely new skate or coming up with an entirely new sales model.
What are some of the most interesting innovations you’ve seen in ecommerce?