The who’s who of the e-retail industry will converge for one night when the Online Retail Industry Awards (ORIAs) are held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 7 July 2010. 
The ORIAs were launched to recognise and reward excellence in e-commerce and program manager, Grant Arnott, said it was a critical time to recognise best practice in Australian online retailing and to promote industry development.
“As the fastest growing sector of retail by a long margin, it's time to recognise excellence in this exciting channel and we are delighted to initiate the ORIAs in 2010,” Arnott said.
“The pace at which this industry moves is amazing, and we continue to see extraordinary advances by the leaders in the field. With the online platform providing relatively low barriers to entry for retailers, a small entrepreneur with a big idea can challenge traditional retailers,” he said.
Australian online spending is expected to grow to $32 billion by 2012, according to Forrester Research.
“For this industry to thrive, it's vital to provide retailers with clearer benchmarks and strategic knowledge to fend off international competition, with the internet making geographical borders virtually irrelevant,” Arnott said.
Online Retailer of the Year will be determined based on achievements in one or more of 10 key categories including Best Pure-Play Online Retailer, Best Multichannel Retailer and Best New Online Retailer.
“Our panel of seven expert judges represent a cross-section of Australian and international expertise in online retail, and are attuned to recognising brilliance in all areas of e-commerce,” Arnott said. “The judges have been individually selected and will aim to expose the highest standards of achievement in online retail operations.”
Entries and nominations are open to all members of the online retail industry in Australia and New Zealand until 30 April. The names of those short listed will be announced in May.