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Editor's Comment: Turn the spotlight on your digital triumphs

Last week fashion’s finest independent retailers and brands gathered at The Brewery in the City of London to celebrate the very best in the industry.

The big winner of the day was lifestyle independent The Hambledon. The judges praised this retailer for being an institution in its area and highlighted that fact that each department in the store has its own identity, creating an experience for every customer that enters the store.

 PW29497 The Hambledon

PW29497 The Hambledon

What makes The Hambledon stand out is its innovative approach to merchandising and marketing, high level of customer service and passionate, close-knit team. It offers the whole package, and demonstrates why indies are such an important part of the fashion sector. Some of the larger chains could learn a thing or two from its approach. 

Of course, the independent sector is not the only one worth celebrating. This week, without pausing for breath, we launch the Drapers Digital Festival. Building on the success of Drapers Digital Forum and Drapers Digital Awards, this one-day event combines the two to bring more than 500 industry professionals from the fashion digital and ecommerce community together to learn, celebrate, innovate and shape the future.

The theme for the event, which will be held at Hilton Bankside in London on 25 April 2017, is personalisation – a top priority for many fashion businesses. The festival will explore how retailers and brands can stay ahead of the competition in the digital arena by providing a personal experience to their customers.

This interactive and informative day – which will also offer some fringe events, including an innovation tour with John Lewis – will then be followed by a celebration of the best across the digital sector. The awards recognise outstanding achievements in 19 categories, including Best Customer Experience, Best Digital Marketing Campaign and Best Use of In-Store technology, alongside Best Multichannel and Pureplay Etailer.And of course, Best Digital Leader, which this year was won by this week’s Drapers Interviewee, group ecommerce director at Shop Direct, Jonathan Wall.

Jonathan wall  pw14681

Jonathan wall pw14681

Jonathan Wall

Shop Direct is pushing the boundaries with its personalisation strategy and Wall discusses how the future could involve using artificial intelligence to tailor its offering to individual customers even further. In such a competitive industry, where customer expectations are higher than ever, a unique, individualised experience could be what catches their attention and keeps them coming back.  

The range of Drapers Digital Awards categories celebrates every development in this space. I urge you all to enter and tell us about your digital innovations and achievements over the last 12 months. 

To enter the awards today and read more about the festival, go to


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