Online shopping has been on a steady rise in recent years placing Australia’s E-Commerce industry among the top ten globally with over $32 billion of online purchases. The foremost awards for the online retail industry are the long-standing Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAS), which were just held on 25 July in Sydney.
Australia’s leading online retailers went head to head in this prestigious awards, vying for recognition across fourteen categories ranging from multi-channel and social commerce to independent retail and in-store initiatives. Come to the Customer Service Excellence category the expert panel of judges awarded Melbourne-based Brava Lingerie the coveted award.
“We are overjoyed with the award win especially seeing we were up against some pretty strong contenders,” said Brava Lingerie co-founder Maxine Windram.
The category saw the likes of Birdsnest, Naked Wines Australia, ECO Modern Essentials, Showpo and Appliances Online being judged on their focus on excellence in customer service across every touchpoint of their customer experience.
While this award category recognises those retailers who know that they are only as good as their last communication, their last interaction and by adding value to their customers creating an experience that instills trust in their brand, Brava Lingerie, despite spreading their efforts across both in-store and online customer service, were selected as the winner over some of the leading online-only retailers in the field.
“To come out on top of such a high-calibre field of much bigger online retailers is a great recognition for what we are offering at Brava Lingerie,” says Lin Windram, co-founder of the family-owned retail brand.
“We have always been committed to providing exceptional customer service, be it in-store or online, with our customers being our most important gauge for how we are doing. However, winning this sought-after industry award is of course a major recognition of the Brava Team’s dedication to looking after women and providing customer service excellence,” she added.
According to the Brava Lingerie co-founders, the Brava values of compassion, inspiration, empowerment, integrity and respect are instilled into every customer interaction. This criteria has been successfully replicated online through their unique virtual fitter initiative; vital for busy women or those that cannot visit a store due to distance or perhaps a disability or anxiety.
Brava Lingerie started in 2006 with a vision of providing alternatives for the many curvy women who were only offered beige unattractive bras in mainstream stores. After their own poor bra fitting experiences, Lin and Maxine felt larger breasted women deserved more and were determined to provide a positive bra fitting experience both in-store and online. Opening their first D-Cup & Up store in Prahran, Melbourne, was the virgin plunge into the retail world for the mother-and-daughter team. And, while the online economy was still in its infancy here in Australia, the pair started online retail alongside their brick-and-mortar store pretty much right away.
Fast-forward thirteen years, and four redesigns of their eCommerce website later, the specialist D-Cup & Up lingerie and swimwear retailer has not only grown to six stores across Melbourne and Sydney, but caters to customers right around Australia and beyond, reaching women in Europe, the US and New Zealand with their online shop.
“Our passion to give women more choice is really what drove our vision and success. Of course, we had some pretty major learning curves in the beginning, still do sometimes, but it is what has steered us toward the success we are seeing today, and to winning this award,” says Maxine Windram after having received the ORIAS trophy.
While the growth in Brava Lingerie stores is evidence for their retail success, it is their customer service and UX that has earned them their industry recognition. On the back of winning the Inside Retail Innovator of the Year Award back in 2013, Brava Lingerie has won the AusMumpreneur Awards and Australian Retail Association Customer Experience Awards last year plus a double win at the Inside Retail Retailer Awards this year – again for recognition of their excellence in customer service.
Introducing high quality European brands in an extensive selection of styles embracing sport, special occasion, maternal, bridal bras, as well as swimwear has given every customer an eclectic choice in terms of ranges, designs, sizes and price. More importantly, with most larger breasted women wearing ill-fitting bras and experiencing discomfort or even back pain, the Brava duo takes a unique approach, they fit by eye, which works both online and in-store.
To learn more about lingerie and swimwear in 6 to 22 & D – K cups visit a Brava Lingerie store, or experience their award-winning customer service first-hand, log onto www.bravalingerie.com.au.
Erik Bigalk is a Business Solutionist, serial entrepreneur, an internationally published writer and keynote speaker, quantum coach and founder/CEO of Smart Solutions, a brand communications firm based in Melbourne Australia.