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Announcing The Winners Of The 2020 Shopify Commerce Awards

announcing-the-winners-of-the-2020-shopify-commerce-awards

It’s time to celebrate the best in the business! In late 2020, we asked the Shopify Partner and Developer community to submit their most impactful web design and development work to the 2020 Shopify Commerce Awards competition.

Last year presented unique challenges for merchants and partners alike in the wake of COVID-19. In just 90 days, ecommerce growth surged 10 years into the future as more merchants started selling digitally. The 2020 Shopify Commerce Awards recognizes Shopify Partners and Developers who have made a difference for some of the 1.7 million merchants using Shopify’s platform.

With almost 3,000 submissions to the different categories this year, our panel of talented judges were put to the test of selecting just nine award winners. We’re thrilled to now officially announce the winners of the 2020 Shopify Commerce Awards. 

Let’s meet the best of this year’s submissions!

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UX + FED

User experience (UX) and front end development (FED) form the cornerstone of the web design and development work you do for your clients. Our category judges, Cynthia Savard Saucier and Darrin Henein, respectively Directors of UX at Shopify, took on the challenge of identifying this year’s top three UX and FED submissions.

Best mobile store experience: Pattern and Presidio Creative

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the Natreve website homepage, showing the vegan protein powder product collection, adapted by Shopify Commerce Awards 2020 winners Pattern + Presidio into the Best Mobile Store Experience.

Shopify Partners: Pattern and Presidio Creative

Store: Natreve

Tech Stack: Cinema4D, Lottie, React JavaScript

“This is a super fresh design with a beautiful cart, nice use of motion, and a funky variant picker. I love the typography and they have a good localization popup as well. Great to see alt text and great page structure for accessibility.” – Darrin Henein, Director of UX, Shopify

Natreve is a plastic-neutral and carbon-neutral wellness company, specializing in products like protein powders and dietary supplements. On a recommendation, Natreve connected with the power duo of Pattern, a digital design and ecommerce agency, and Presidio Creative, an ecommerce development agency specializing in Shopify Plus, to help bring the company’s recent rebrand and vision to life.

“When we started Pattern, 95 percent of our focus was on building sites for emerging brands on Shopify Plus, with a specialization in design,” says Michael Janiak, co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Pattern. 

We’re not a typical Shopify Partner in the sense that more than 50 percent of our builds are done with Presidio. So we’re more of a Shopify partnership within the partnerships ecosystem.

“We’re not a typical Shopify Partner in the sense that more than 50 percent of our builds are done with Presidio. So we’re more of a Shopify partnership within the partnerships ecosystem,” he adds.

Natreve hired Pattern and Presidio Creative to communicate the brand’s core values of wellness for all, ocean-minded sustainability, and social inclusivity as part of a brand launch across Canada and the US. 

Pattern and Presidio Creative came back with a mobile-first online store design that represents the brand’s playfulness and values.

Natreve’s core customers are active women who live in urban areas and don’t have much storage space, so the beautiful packaging would be on display. The customer profile was key to many design elements on the site, including a rotating, 3D bottle of supplements.

One of the more complex issues the team faced while building the site was the unique product page, which they solved with a combination of custom development and Shopify apps. They used Lottie for the spinning bottle animation combined with Accentuate to upload all product images to give users a smooth scrolling pattern.

“It was exactly what Pattern was hoping for,” says Jonathan Osborn, co-founder and Partner at Presidio Creative. “It really brought the packaging front and center and brought the offline experience online.”

“Modelling for 3D and rendering out those sequences to be super, super smooth, was a challenge,” Janiak says. “But I think we proved that it’s possible to do within a Shopify theme if you pay attention and you actually optimize for it. We rendered out all the sequences into the theme. That, to us, was pretty rad.”

Best custom storefront: Ctrl+Alt+Del

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the OffLimits website homepage, showing the two brand mascots, Zombie and Dash the rabbit, enjoying bowls of cereal named after each mascot.

Shopify Partner: Ctrl+Alt+Del

Store: OffLimits

Tech Stack: Gatsby, Sanity, React, Serverless, ReCharge

“Ctrl+Alt+Del came up with a super playful design with great use of illustration and animation—even a custom cursor! It’s inclusive and accessible with alt text and good keyboard navigation.” – Darrin Henein, Director of UX, Shopify

This award recognizes the best custom store experience built using Storefront API or Shopify Custom Storefront software development kits. Our judges sought out submissions that were unique, innovative, and effortlessly smooth. 

And they found what they were looking for with freelance developer Kevin Green’s build for OffLimits, an out-of-the-box cereal company. Green, who does business as Ctrl+Alt+Del and has a flair for developing unique commerce experiences, has been building on Shopify for eight years and recently transitioned to building API-only-based solutions when OffLimits approached him.

“I was really stoked on this project, it was really different than any of the other sites I’d built before,” Green says. “I do a lot of non-traditional—but still traditional—ecommerce sites and this one stood out to me as a little less traditional than the rest.”

OffLimits approached Green with an opportunity to build a truly custom experience for their cereal brand, focusing on a surprise and delight toy reward program, and an end-to-end brand experience.

Green proposed the team build with the Sanity CMS, a low-cost high-reward solution that made space for a unique marketing and product experience that complemented the custom toy point system within the CRM. This allowed OffLimits to offer shoppable toys in a point system instead of relying on discount codes.

Green says the experience of building a site that encompasses both web development and Shopify apps showed him that apps “aren’t this big scary thing.” He’d built app-esque solutions in the past but building OffLimits’s site sparked an interest in developing a Shopify app, and several ideas.

“Developing a Shopify app would add some tech diversity to what I’m doing as a DTC ecommerce guy, and instead building some of these apps that power some of these platforms, as well,” he says.

Developing a Shopify app would add some tech diversity to what I’m doing as a DTC ecommerce guy, and instead building some of these apps that power some of these platforms, as well.

Best custom product page: Eastside Co.

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the Wild website homepage, showing bright orange and pink brand colors and a call-to-action button encouraging visitors to subscribe and save.

Shopify Partner: Eastside Co.

Store: Wild

Tech Stack: ReCharge Subscriptions payments integration

“This build is pretty quick and lightweight. There’s great branding and colors, fun photography and GIFs, and a fun, personalized experience to create your bundle.” – Darrin Henein, Director of UX, Shopify

Wild is a direct-to-consumer (DTC) vendor of sustainable deodorants using natural ingredients, based in London, UK. Wild is on a mission to disrupt the deodorant industry, and created eco-friendly, subscription-based products, to reduce the amount of waste created once a stick of deodorant is finished.

They did this by creating a reusable case for their deodorants and the subscription would be for refills.

However, Wild was using a non-transactional website, which required an overhaul to enable them to start bringing in revenue. Wild approached Eastside Co., a Shopify Plus Partner, for help with their ecommerce store in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign. 

The mission for Eastside Co. was to overhaul the site for ecommerce, map out a subscription signup flow, and optimize it for conversion, focusing on simplicity and ease of use.

“Wild is slightly different from a traditional, add-to-basket-t-shirt kind of site,” Jason Stokes, founder and CEO of Eastside Co. “Wild’s a pretty cool concept when it comes to the type of product that they’re selling.”

One of the biggest challenges for the East Co. team, in addition to planning out the subscription signup flow, was addressing the massive potential audience Wild targets: from teenagers to people who are over 50 years old.

“That’s why we designed for mobile first,” says Matthew Izzard, Senior Designer at Eastside Co. “If we can nail it on mobile, we can nail it on all devices and responsive elements. I would say that was our biggest tumbling block we had to overcome, and from the data we can see we’ve completely nailed it. The mobile-first approach is converting at a level higher than I ever expected.”

Stokes and Izzard said they finished this project with a deeper understanding of pricing psychology, customer satisfaction, and how ReCharge works within Shopify so they could create a seamless customer experience. This new perspective is a lesson they say adds to their eight years of experience building Shopify stores for merchants.

“I absolutely love the Shopify platform,” Stokes says. “I used to be a Magento developer so switching over to Shopify allows us to focus more on the front-end experience, really crafting our customer journeys, and making sure we’re offering the merchant much more flexibility when it comes to the appearance and aesthetic of their site rather than focusing on their tech stack.”

I absolutely love the Shopify platform. I used to be a Magento developer so switching over to Shopify allows us to focus more on the front-end experience, really crafting our customer journeys, and making sure we’re offering the merchant much more flexibility when it comes to the appearance and aesthetic of their site rather than focusing on their tech stack.

Development and apps

More than 80 percent of Shopify merchants report they rely on third-party apps to run their daily business operations. There are now more than 6,000 public apps in the Shopify App Store to choose from to give merchants the specific functionality they need to run their businesses effectively. 

There’s no shortage of opportunity to develop an app and grow a micro-SaaS business on Shopify. In 2020, Shopify’s app partners earned more than $230 million, and that number continues to grow.

So what makes an app stand out as one of the best in the business? Our category judges, Jean-Michel Lemieux, Chief Technology Officer at Shopify, and Fatima Yusuf, Director of Partnerships at Shopify had their work cut out for them.

Check out all the Shopify Commerce Award-winning apps recognized for their innovation, design, and impact in helping grow online businesses.

Best omnichannel experience: Sesami Inc.

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the Sesami appointment booking landing page on the Shopify App Store.

Shopify Partner: Sesami Inc.

App: Sesami Appointment Booking

Tech Stack: JavaScript, React, Polaris.

“This app is useful and well-built. The online store integration is well done, smart, and easy for merchants to use.” – Jean-Michel Lemieux, CTO at Shopify

Time is money. And no one knows that better than merchants who run service-based businesses and charge for their time. Those merchants know this intrinsically, and so do the developer team behind the Sesami Appointment Booking app.

Sesami easily allows merchants and their customers to book and pay for appointments directly from the merchants’ website, admin, or POS. Sesami automatically loads, and adapts to the theme on 95 percent of standard Shopify themes with no additional developer work required, without injecting any Liquid code.

Sesami co-founders Ehsan Khakbaz and Ramtin Ghajar were on a mission to make doing business on Shopify easier for merchants in the service industry. They started by shipping a minimum viable product (MVP) powered by a NodeJS stack, React, and Polaris. The goal was to meet their merchants no matter where they were.

“We used Polaris to design our UI because we wanted to be embedded and have full integration with Shopify, not only on online stores but also on POS and anywhere, really,” Khakbaz says. “Sesami works anywhere Shopify is.”

We used Polaris to design our UI because we wanted to be embedded and have full integration with Shopify, not only on online stores but also on POS and beyond. Sesami works anywhere Shopify is.

The Sesami Inc. team made a conscious decision to ensure merchants could use the app, regardless of what browser, mobile device, or operating system (iOS and Android) they prefer, alongside the traditional desktop and Shopify POS integration.

“We wanted Sesami to be fully integrated, so using these libraries and tools, and building on top of it, I think we were able to do that,” Khakbaz adds.

The team shipped their second iteration of Sesami just a few months after launching on the Shopify App Store, and has served more than 100,000 concurrent users driven by over 6,000 merchants. They also made sure Sesami was built to scale by consolidating all app data, offering worldwide time-zone support, offering the app in multiple languages, and ensuring no request takes longer than 0.1 seconds to resolve.

Khakbaz and Ghajar say Sesami is built to scale, and they are continuing to explore new ways of expanding their app, emphasizing that they “think omnichannel” first.

“We are still trying to evaluate different ways of expanding the software, but I think we’re on the right track,” Ghajar says. “We have a much more stable system that we can reliably continue building out.”

You might also like: How to Build a Shopify App: The Complete Guide.

Best app user interface: Mason

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the ModeMagic badges sale booster app landing page on the Shopify App Store.

Shopify Partner: Mason

App: ModeMagic Badges: Sale Booster

Tech Stack: React, Apollo, Redux, Flask, Celery

“ModeMagic is a nice concept to develop in response to COVID-19, and I think these types of apps and solutions will become more common. DTC brands have to invest in experiences. ModeMagic looks well built and has a good UI.” – Jean-Michel Lemieux, CTO at Shopify

Merchants are often pressed for time and struggle to keep their online stores updated, informing customers about which items are low in stock, when new products arrive, and helping convert customers more easily at the same time.

The Mason team (formerly known as Kubric) noticed this merchant struggle after analyzing more than 1,000 merchant stores.

They heard over and over again from merchants that they were driving traffic to their store, but couldn’t convert that traffic into repeat, paying customers. And in 2020, the community chatter about converting traffic to customers was at an all-time high.

“We heard Janet, a small-business owner, say, ‘I’m getting traffic, but no sales.’ And so did countless others!” says Kausambi Manjita, co-founder of Mason. 

When the Mason team started digging into the ways they could help merchants convert traffic to conversions, Manjita says they found product lists often looked “drab and boring” with just an image of the product. They quickly realized that highlighting products and product badges creates an interesting visual differentiator where customers can quickly pick out the items that are low on stock, on sale, or vegan.

“It helps me as a shopper. I’m a shopaholic and it helps me convert better,” she laughs. “So we felt that was a great start for us.”

With ModeMagic, merchants can improve their store design by editing product images with stylish badges in minutes. The key was to give merchants customization options without overwhelming them.

“The most interesting design problem was figuring out how to make sure that we give enough customization capabilities to a merchant using ModeMagic to make certain changes to the badges, products, and badge positioning, so that they can make it look good for their store,” Manjita says. 

“But, on the other hand, you want to make sure it isn’t so complex that they have to really think hard about it or rely heavily on support to implement it end to end.”

Manjita says they resolved this natural tension by implementing a set of presets for users who want to get up and running without a lot of thought, while still maintaining functionality for power users who want to make advanced changes.

In the early development days, Manjita says the team reached out to the Shopify ecosystem itself, asking for help about how to go about submitting their app. They also reached out to the Shopify merchant community before building anything to understand the daily business problems they were facing.

“Nothing beats the Shopify community, because in a way, yes, you are competing with each other to reach the same merchant, but there’s so much partnership and cross-pollination of ideas, and help, that it just makes you better,” Manjita says. 

Manjita adds that her biggest takeaway of the whole experience of having an app on Shopify is that partners, developers, merchants, and Shopify teams are all just a ping away when you’re looking for feedback or help.

For us, Shopify has been an ecosystem, not just a platform we dumped our app on. It’s been an ecosystem of people who come together to help each other. We’re all a big team striving to make life easy for the merchants.

“For us, Shopify has been an ecosystem, not just a platform we dumped our app on. It’s been an ecosystem of people who come together to help each other. And we’re still in touch with many partners. I think that’s the difference and I think that’s really cool,” Manjita says. “We’re all a big team striving to make life easy for the merchants.”

You might also like: 6 Principles of Effective Interaction Design.

Best storefront app: Octane AI

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the Octane AI Shop Quiz landing page that shows text saying:

Shopify Partner: Octane AI

App: Octane AI Quiz, Messenger, SMS

Tech Stack: Polaris

“Shop Quiz is a good example of personalization and shopping companions, which is important for DTC brands. The UI is nice and looks well integrated.” – Jean-Michel Lemieux, CTO at Shopify

An unsure customer is one who doesn’t convert. An informed and empowered customer feels confident they’re making the right decision. In stores, sales associates regularly ask customers about their needs and help them find the product that’s right for them. Online stores were missing this experience—there wasn’t a personalized, engaging, brandable platform that integrated with Shopify.

Then, in 2019, Octane AI discovered merchants were creating their own scrappy solution to solve this pain point. They were building product recommendation quizzes using the Facebook Messenger features from Octane AI’s existing app. Merchants also engaged with new visitors by adding live chat via Messenger to their site. That discovery sparked an idea. Less than a year and thousands of merchant conversations later, Octane AI launched Shop Quiz to help merchants humanize and personalize the ecommerce experience. 

“Shop Quiz is really visual. It’s part of the website itself and it’s super beautiful. It encourages merchant creativity,” says Ben Parr, co-founder and President of Octane AI. “We saw a lot of our customers make incredible quizzes and designs. The best quizzes were the ones we had no hand in.”

The Octane AI team says Shop Quiz was difficult to build because of the many different logic segments required so product recommendations would be accurate and personalized, while also ensuring it was easy to use for merchants who have no coding experience. 

The team says they found success because they weren’t afraid to fail—repeatedly.

We’re like an R&D team that works with thousands and thousands of merchants around the world.

“We’re like an R&D team that works with thousands and thousands of merchants around the world,” says Octane AI co-founder and CEO Matt Schlicht. “You can’t instantly make something easy to use. It takes a tremendous amount of iteration, a tremendous number of mistakes. And without our merchants that we’re so lucky to partner with, the product would not have ended up anywhere near to where it is today.”

Shop Quiz is not only code-free, it leverages the Shopify REST API and Shopify’s Order, Cart, and Checkout webhooks to attribute revenue and trigger notifications. It also connects to Klaviyo and Facebook to create better omnichannel marketing experiences across a merchant’s site, Facebook ads, Messenger, SMS, and email.

Octane AI made several major, profitable pivots throughout their growth journey, often launching innovative products in times of the greatest uncertainty. One of the biggest calculated risks they took was launching the Shop Quiz functionality within their existing personalization and automation app when COVID-19 hit. And that risk led to some of their biggest rewards to date.

“We really changed the company in 2020. The big thing is we launched Shop Quiz, which is a completely different type of product and experience than everything else we’ve ever done,” Parr says.

Build apps for Shopify merchants

Whether you want to build apps for the Shopify App Store, offer custom app development services, or are looking for ways to grow your user base, the Shopify Partner Program will set you up for success. Join for free and access educational resources, developer preview environments, and recurring revenue share opportunities.

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Overall builds

Big changes can be scary, but they can also be exciting. New beginnings often signal new opportunities. In the case of the overall builds category, these Shopify Partners and Developers were the catalyst for commerce transformation. Our category judges, Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify, and Atlee Clark, Director of Shop at Shopify, were impressed with this year’s submissions. Get ready for some serious online store inspiration.

Best store migration: Artie Codes

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the animation on the Fika Swedish Kitchen home page, showing illustrations of the brick and mortar storefronts in Manly and Bondi, Australia, with customers enjoying baked goods and coffee, and walking past the shop on the way to the beach.

Shopify Partner: Artie Codes

Store: Fika Swedish Kitchen

Tech Stack: Liquid, JS, PHP

“This submission was the clear winner. The brand is super fun, there was a great use of animation, and all the local features were released in the last year. It looks great on mobile too!” – Atlee Clark, Director of Shop, Shopify

Fika Swedish Kitchen is a chain of cafes based in Australia, co-owned and run by three Swedish women. The arrival of COVID-19 forced the Fika team to take a hard look at their sales channels to see how they could continue to safely operate.

Fika ran its website on Squarespace since its inception in 2013, but with COVID-19 changing how they would be able to operate, the team realized they needed more commerce functionality to maximize online sales, including buy online, pickup curbside or in-store across their three locations.

That’s when the Fika founders approached independent developer Richie Tyler, who has been doing business as Artie Codes since 2005. Tyler recommended Shopify as a new commerce solution, and began the migration process as Shopify rolled out even more features to help merchants survive the new realities of operating a business during a global pandemic.

“The site was built on Debut, and that was a very conscious decision because it meant that everything was going to be done from a Shopify best practice. We could confidently leave the ecommerce experience alone,” Tyler says. 

“Instead, we were able to focus on creating a fun, vibrant site that really represents the business, hopefully give users a really enjoyable experience, plus make some more sales.”

Tyler added customizations for multiple locations, menus, job applications, and product offerings, such as fresh food, which can’t be shipped, as well as merchandise and packaged food which can be shipped.

Migrating to Shopify and taking advantage of those additional commerce functionalities resulted in a significant boost in online sales, ultimately helping Fika survive during COVID-19 lockdowns and physical distancing restrictions.

“All of the features that Shopify was rolling out to support merchants during COVID-19 last year, like local pickup, were so helpful,” Tyler says, “It was the timing feature we had to sort out.”

The Fika co-founders needed to know the exact time customers would come in to pick up their orders, and with the holidays coming up fast, they had Christmas hamper orders coming in. Getting the timing right—in more ways than one—was crucial for the business. 

Tyler had to build in some solutions on top of local pickup to give Fika that additional functionality. Those capabilities paired with a UX that reflected Fika’s brand personality turned out to be a winning combination for both the cafe and for Tyler. 

And, in the process, the migration helped keep a dream business alive for “three of the most hardworking women you’re ever likely to meet,” in a tough industry made even tougher by COVID-19.

I’ve been doing this type of work for a while but this project struck me as a really good example of how little businesses, little merchants, and independent developers like myself can do some pretty amazing things with the Shopify platform.

“I’ve been doing this type of work for a while but this project struck me as a really good example of how little businesses, little merchants, and independent developers like myself can do some pretty amazing things with the Shopify platform,” Tyler says.

You might also like: Magento to Shopify: How Bluegg Increased a Client’s Conversion by 40%.

Best store rebuild: We Make Websites

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the Pangaia website homepage, showing product categories sportswear, sneakers, and pyjamas, rebuilt by Shopify Commerce Awards 2020 winners We Make Websites.

Shopify Partner: We Make Websites

Store: Pangaia

Tech Stack: Shopify Payments, Boost, Directed Edge and Nosto

“This is a beautiful site. The product page really steals the show with the impact icons.” – Atlee Clark, Director of Shop, Shopify

Shopify Plus merchant Pangaia is a materials science company that creates environmentally friendly products, such as apparel and accessories, with a penchant for technology and innovation. They’re known for constantly pushing the limits of their products as well as their online store as they scale.

“Pangaia is one of the fastest-growing brands in the world, it’s an absolute rocket ship,” says Piers Thorogood, co-founder of We Make Websites, an international Shopify Plus Agency with offices in London and New York City. “We do way more work for them than almost all of our other clients. They’re a really exciting client to work with.”

One of Pangaia’s unique problems is mitigating customer disappointment because stock sells out fast. They needed a way to communicate to customers when an item was low in stock, nudging customers to check out quickly, and sign up to get notified when an item is back in stock. This helped with customer retention, says Sarah Corcoran, Senior UX/UI Designer at We Make Websites.

“We introduced a ‘notify me’ animated pop-up so that Pangaia could also plan their production better and produce more sustainably,” Corcoran says. “They’re adding new technologies all the time, so we needed to design a system where Pangaia could continue to innovate and experiment as they grow. They also needed to educate customers on their sustainability mission while ensuring the customer experience is cohesive.”

Pangaia started with an out-of-the-box Shopify theme, and they balanced its ongoing development in-house. But their build was simplistic, lacked search, linked off-site to their blog and technology pages, and had slower performance—all inhibitors to rapid internationalization.

The speed of their global growth, ambitions to widen their product offering, and ongoing material innovations meant they needed a trusted agency to rebuild a custom solution that would fit to scale. 

The store rebuild not only needed to be functional, it also had to highlight Pangaia’s brand mission of sustainability impact, along with their products.

So the We Make Websites team got to work—and had to move fast. 

It was a challenge for We Make Websites to continue delivering high-quality work while keeping pace with Pangaia’s growing international reach, rapid development, launch of new products and campaigns, and team growth. 

Pangaia approached us with a really good problem, which was to scale, and scale at pace. So they needed a really tight, performative tech framework to them achieve that.

“They approached us with a really good problem, which was to scale, and scale at pace. So they needed a really tight, performative tech framework to help them achieve that,” says Jessica Briggs, Product Owner at We Make Websites.

The team got to work consolidating off-site pages to unify the brand experience, while adding animation and customizations to emphasize their brand mission. To manage the new challenges internationalization can introduce to a business, the team added Shopify Payments’ multi-currency functionality to allow Pangaia to continue selling from just one Shopify Plus store and localize currency for their global customer base.

They also slashed site speed from 4.24 seconds to 2.44 seconds, and implemented search to ease UX. Adding thorough discovery also meant high-impact suggestions like pre-order functionality (informing more sustainable production). Rebuilding more basic pages with meta fields granted more flexibility with design choices, such as fonts and color options.

The rebuild laid the foundations for a more sophisticated tech stack, which now includes Shopify Payments, Boost, Directed Edge, and Nosto.

The We Make Websites team says the successful site overhaul sparked a long-term partnership through which they will continue to scale Pangaia’s ecommerce success. 

“Pangaia has huge ambitions. We’ve given them the framework and flexibility to experiment with new ideas, product launches, content pages, and technologies,” Briggs says. “They needed a tech framework that would help support them as a brand.”

And Pangaia’s growth and store needs show no signs of slowing down.

“We did this website rebuild, but even since we submitted our work to the Shopify Commerce Awards, we rebuilt the product page and rebuilt the navigation, so it’s just constantly evolving. And they’re a really exciting brand that the team loves,” Thorogood says.

You might also like: Web Performance: 11 Must-Read Tips to Give Your Site a Speed Boost.

Best offline to online: Juicyorange

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: Screenshot of the Old Souls home page featuring an arial photograph taken by the shop owners of a river surrounded by dense forests at dusk. Text overlaid the photo encourages site visitors to visit Old Souls's brick and mortar shop on Main Street.

Shopify Partner: Juicyorange

Store: Old Souls

Tech Stack: JavaScript, Liquid, CSS

“This WHOLE thing is built on Shopify. Very impressive. The shopping section is fairly straightforward but leveraging Shopify to build a whole online store like this is very interesting.” – Atlee Clark, Director of Shop, Shopify

Sometimes you just need to step off the beaten path. And when you start a new adventure with old friends, that makes the journey even better. 

Old Souls, an outdoor apparel company based in the small town of Cold Spring, New York, wanted to embrace ecommerce while still keeping their brick and mortar store. They knew they wanted to use the Shopify platform, but wanted a unique look that would reflect their brand ethos.

“We took the outdoor spirit of a small town store and leveraged Old Souls’ wanderlust spirit, making their small site seem more like an expertly curated collection of goods,” says Mark Robohm, founder of Juicyorange.

Robohm lives down the street from Old Souls after moving from New York City to Cold Spring, a town of 2,000 people, and became friends with the business owners.

“They’re another small business just doing their best,” he says. “Old Souls had been around for a couple of years but they didn’t have a website, they just had a brick and mortar store.”

Old Souls had a clear vision for how they wanted their business to be represented online, and a keen sense of design supported by lots of gorgeous photography from their local and international guided fishing tours and outdoor experiences. 

Robohm and his team of five at Juicyorange are “hardcore programmers and designers at heart,” so they were equally keen to create a beautiful online store that would reflect the carefully curated mix of products and services Old Souls provides its customers.

After much conversation, consideration, and customization, the Juicyorange team created a site that both they and Old Souls could say truly represents the brand. The timing was critical too, as COVID-19 heavily affected their small business, and launching the new online store became a reliable source of income.

We’re really proud of that site. It did a lot of things that we didn’t think Shopify could do.

“We’re really proud of that site,” Robohm says. “It did a lot of things that we didn’t think Shopify could do, and a lot of that was driven by the client wanting certain things. So we would custom code in Liquid and do all sorts of fun stuff to make it work.”

Robohm has been building websites since 1994 and has seen lots of technologies come and go. Shopify became his platform of choice as new ecommerce technologies emerged over time. 

“Shopify has been good to us,” he says. “It opens doors for us.”

You might also like: Tips on How to Transition Your Brick and Mortar Clients Online.

Building the best in the business

It’s official—these Shopify Partners and Developers are the best in the business!

For their excellent work, the 2020 Shopify Commerce Awards winners receive prizes that will help take their businesses to the next level:

  • Brand new at-home studio equipment for the ultimate work-from-home setup
  • Opportunities for community-wide recognition, such as features and takeovers in Shopify Partner Town Hall
  • Exclusive winners package
  • An official winner badge for digital marketing materials
  • 1:1 meetings with industry leaders
  • And, of course, a sleek trophy 

Shopify commerce awards 2020 winners: gif of a black trophy twisting into view with the words

You might also like: Shopify Commerce Awards Past Winners: Where Are They Now?.

The Shopify Commerce Awards may be over, but we’re not finished celebrating the best in the business. We received so many amazing submissions that we’re excited to feature the Shopify Commerce Awards honourable mentions in the coming weeks. 

After learning more about the most impactful web design and development projects and apps of the year, it’s clear that there’s no better time than now to build a Shopify app or design game-changing store.

“Today isn’t just a celebration, it’s a challenge—a challenge to rise up together and continue pushing ourselves and our teammates to build the best apps and storefronts in the industry,” Atlee Clark said during the winners announcement at Partner Town Hall. 

“There’s so much untapped opportunity to build, design, and innovate—and shape the future of commerce. Build faster, build smarter, build the best. This is your time. Let’s go.”

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all the participants! Let us know which submissions are your favorites in the comments section below.

Special thanks to our friends at the Shopify Partner Blog for their insights on this topic.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA, starting in the early days of online commerce when he achieved Power Seller status through his eBay store. This propelled him to become a co-founder of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. With a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify Plus, where he helps identify, navigate, and accelerate growth in the complex world of commerce.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast and Shopify Founder Stories, a top-rated twice-weekly podcast where he interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands improve efficiencies, grow revenue, profit, and lifetime customer loyalty.

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