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The Most Influential in Ecommerce tackled every commerce challenge 2020 threw at them

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It’s forever been the case that when a high-octane group of one industry’s professionals get together they eventually get down to one thing: war stories.

And it was no different when the nearly three dozen who were just named Signifyd’s Most Influential in Ecommerce gathered virtually to celebrate each other while commiserating and reassuring their peers that as the best in the business they’d continue to dominate the pandemic challenges that arrive daily.

No doubt ecommerce is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business. But for a glorious hour and a half recently, fraud fighters, omnichannel experts, cross-border coordinators, dedicated direct-to-consumer strategists and wonderfully accomplished women of ecommerce took the time to look back via Zoom, not at how they had survived 2020, but how they had crushed it.

What you need to know
  • Signifyd’s Most Influential in Ecommerce honors the retail heroes who helped push their enterprises and organizations to new heights during the most challenging year in ecommerce history.
  • The 30 awardees represent a broad range of verticals and responsibilities, but each went above and beyond any job description to see to it that their organizations would be successful no matter what the world threw at it.
  • Last week they all gathered to share stories, encouragement, ideas, aspirations and a laugh or two. It won’t be the last time this sterling crew gets together.

“I was just blown away by the creativity, making sure folks didn’t have to go to the store to get what they needed, what they wanted,” Signifyd CMO Indy Guha said in welcoming the 30 Most Influential in Ecommerce award winners. “That all sounds well and good but it means finding magical innovation, finding inspiration.”

It was that innovation and inspiration during the most challenging year that ecommerce has faced that prompted Signifyd to launch the Most Influential awards. The 30 winners displayed incredible perseverance, creativity, agility and faith — faith in themselves, their organizations and their co-workers.

And their work was the stuff of war stories, which are retold in the 30 Most Influential in Ecommerce ebook.

The Most Influential in Ecommerce moved commerce mountains

The 30 honorees spun up new fulfillment channels or expanded existing buy-online-pick-up-in-store and curbside initiatives. They scrambled as links in the supply chain frayed. They met unprecedented order spikes head-on, not only seizing an opportunity for their enterprises but serving the needs of consumers who had wondered how commerce would go on in the midst of COVID-19. They found the time, empathy and humanity to comfort co-workers and direct reports who were dealing with both work and personal challenges and stress.

When pandemic lockdowns hit, Huda Beauty faced disrupted supply chains and store closures. Not easy for a high-touch brand that sells through consultation and conversation. Huda accelerated a major ecommerce initiative already underway. And Vice President of Ecommerce Emma Lawson immediately took up another challenge: What would become of Huda’s trademark in-store beauty consultants?

“How do we, one, retain their jobs, give them something to do, and allow them to keep connecting with the customers?” Lawson said, describing her thought process. “We had to think quickly about how do we emulate the in-store experience online. We had to be flexible in ways we never had to be flexible.”

And so, virtual consultations it was.

The Most Influential award winners’ stories didn’t end there. Rohan Cherian, AVP, Ecommerce & Consumer Technology at Toys R Us Canada, initially scrambled to find the best way to continue to fulfill a need that had become more serious amid lockdowns and nearly universal homeschooling: Providing a diversion for kids during their downtime.

“All of the sudden the pandemic hit and we had to switch and pivot and become ecommerce and BOPIS,” said Cherian, who was honored as an Omnichannel Trendsetter.

Sometimes toys just gotta get there

Of course, neither channel was new to the retailer, but obviously, the pandemic created conditions no one had ever seen. Traditional shipping companies — FedEx, DHL, UPS — began to reach and exceed capacity. So, Cherian looked for ways to supplement the standbys. And what he found was DoorDash.

It turns out whether it’s pasta primavera or My Little Pony, with DoorDash, it pretty much works the same.

“DoorDash orders were showing up at customers’ homes faster than a pizza delivery,” Cherian said. “You could order a pizza and still be waiting for your pizza delivery and the Toys R Us product showed up in 20 minutes.”

The 2021 Most Influential in Ecommerce awards were Signifyd’s first, but they won’t be the last. Nor did the recent uplifting gathering mark the end of 2021’s award programming. That’s just getting started.

The Most Influential in Ecommerce Class of 2021 are the founding members of a community of ecommerce leaders who will share the depth and breadth of their expertise in a series of virtual and — some day soon, we hope — in-person events. The first such event? A virtual gathering of the Most Influential Women in Ecommerce to discuss leading through uncertainty.

And if the history of human interaction is any guide, beyond formal events, the Most Influential honorees will choose to connect via social media, email, phone (remember phones?) and, yes, Zoom.

And the winners are

Given the range of the creativity and business acumen that the honorees displayed, Signifyd broke the awards into five categories: Women in Ecommerce, Fraud Fighters in Ecommerce, D-to-C Pioneers in Ecommerce, Omnichannel Trendsetters in Ecommerce and Global Titans in Ecommerce.

And, so you can get to know the award winners better: Presenting the comprehensive list of The 2021 Most Influential in Ecommerce:

Congratulations to each of them. We can’t wait to see what they do next.

Photo by Signifyd


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Mike Cassidy

Mike is lead storyteller at Signifyd. A former journalist and a retail geek, he covers ecommerce and the way technology is transforming digital commerce. Contact him at mike.cassidy@signifyd.com; follow him on Twitter at @mikecassidy.