Adore Beauty and Bunnings win big as Australia’s top online retailers are revealed

Adore Beauty Kate Morris

Kate Morris, founder of Adore Beauty. Source: Supplied.

Beauty retailer Adore Beauty has taken out three categories in Power Retail’s annual online retail awards, which also saw Bunnings named the country’s top online retailer. 

Each year Power Retail recognises the top 100 online retailers in the country, as well as leading digital retailers in 18 other categories. 

This year’s winners were announced at an ‘All Star Bash’ event in Melbourne on Thursday evening, attended by more than 750 guests. 

Despite being somewhat of a late-comer to online retail, Bunnings secured the top spot in the rankings thanks to its click and collect and marketplace offerings, which led to significant increase in traffic and sales during 2020. 

Supermarket giant Woolworths took out second position, followed by Kmart, Coles and Kogan in the top five. Also in the top 10 were Catch, Target, Chemist Warehouse, Officeworks and JB Hi-Fi. 

In the category awards, Bicycles Online was named the top small-medium retailer, while mattress maker Koala took out the prize for top emerging online retailer and Flora & Fauna was named top sustainable retailer. 

Adore Beauty

The Adore Beauty team accepting one of their awards. Source: supplied.

Customer feedback essential for Adore

Adore Beauty emerged as one of the clear winners of the night, taking out the category awards for best beauty retailer as well as best email marketing and top user experience. The retailer was also ranked 28th on the overall list. 

Speaking to SmartCompany, Adore Beauty founder and chief of innovation Kate Morris says Thursday night “felt like a very overdue celebration” for the Adore team, which had a “huge year” in 2020.

The retailer went public in October 2020, via an initial public offering that raised $269.5 million and valued the business at $614.8 million.

In its half-year results released in February, Adore recorded revenue of $96.2 million for the six months in the first half of the 2020-21 year — which was 8% ahead of its prospectus forecasts — and 777,000 active customers.

Adore’s wins in the user experience and email marketing categories follows a conscious effort to adjust and refine how the brand communicated to its customers during the pandemic, says Miranda Bliss, Adore’s loyalty and retention manager.

The retailer paid close attention to customer and community feedback throughout 2020, says Bliss, and that led to a greater focus on self-care in its communications, and “less sell”.

Adore also conducted an extensive A/B test plan to gain a better understanding of how its customers were interacting with its emails, and overhauled its lifecycle program to make sure customers were “receiving the level of information they wanted and [at] a time that suited best”, says Bliss.

In 2021, Bliss says Adore will continue its focus on personalisation and segmentation to make sure its content is “hyper relevant” to its customers. And this will work alongside its first-ever loyalty program, which was launched in March.

“We want to embrace our tagline, ‘whatever makes you, you’, and support what customers want to see from both a product and content perspective,” she says.


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A post shared by Kate Morris (@kateadorebeauty)

Power Retail’s top 100 online retailers list forms part of its rolling rankings of the top 500 online retailers, and is determined by analysing the retailers’ performance in four key phases of the consumer lifecycle: acquisition, conversation, fulfilment and retention. 

Power Retail says it uses more than 3 million data points for 41 weighted metrics to assess the retailers, including measurements such as search capabilities, delivery and payment options, site performance, net promoter scores, and click and collect offerings. 

Commenting on the performance of the overall list, Power Retail managing director Grant Arnott said booming online sales during COVID-19 helped many online retailers survive last year; however, brands will need to focus on customer loyalty and personalisation to retain customers in 2021. 

“Revenue and traffic overall is still increasing year-on-year and the conversion rate is strong, so the onus will be on retailers to ensure they’re delivering the best user experience possible, otherwise shoppers will simply look elsewhere,” he said. 

The first 20 from Power Retail’s top 100 online retailers are:

  1. Bunnings
  2. Woolworths
  3. Kmart
  4. Coles
  5. Kogan
  6. Catch
  7. Target
  8. Chemist Warehouse
  9. Officeworks
  10. JB Hi-Fi
  11. Big W
  12. Myer
  13. Temple & Webster
  14. Ikea
  15. Cotton On
  16. Dan Murphy’s
  17. Harvey Norman
  18. The Iconic
  19. Microsoft
  20. Rebel

The ‘All Star Bash’ category winners are:

Most improved online performance: Princess Polly

Top emerging online retailer: Koala

Best email marketing: Adore Beauty

Top home and decor retailer: Temple & Webster

Top user experience: Adore Beauty

Top beauty retailer: Adore Beauty

Top electrical and office retailer: Officeworks

Top small medium retailer: Bicycles Online

Top innovator: Modibodi

Top sustainable retailer: Flora & Fauna

Top sports and outdoor retailer: Rebel

Top customer experience: CUE

Top department store: Bunnings

Top mobile experience: Bras N Things

Top fashion and accessories retailer: Cotton On

Top social retailer: Showpo

Top online only retailer: Kogan

All Star Legends: Gabby Leibovich and Hezi Leobovich (Catch)


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