RealTime IT News

Wishlist Proves Its Worth

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Wishlist has emerged as the big winner at this year's AFR Australia Internet Awards, taking home prizes in both the e-commerce and most entrepreneurial achievement categories from the ceremony in Sydney last night.

After all the gloom, doom and speculation of the future of online retailing, with dstore now looking like the next victim to fall by the dot-com wayside, Wishlist may end up as the major player in the market, building a solid business and representing a symbol of e-commerce in Australia.

With Australia's burgeoning business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce industry currently worth approximately AUS $1 billion, wishlist.com.au has quickly captured a large slice of the local online retail market, with annual growth averaging over 1500%, since launching in July 1999.

This year's Most Entrepreneurial Internet Achievement honors an e-commerce prize acknowledged the brother and sister team behind the success of Wishlist, Huy and Jardin Truong.

"The company did not set up the electronic equivalent of bricks-and-mortar business, as others have done, but created a new highly personalized online service based on gifts," said Phil McCrea, chair of the Awards judging panel." They [Wishlist] also set up an innovative distribution model with BP where gifts could be picked up from a nominated BP service station."

McCrea said the 60 plus judges looked behind Web sites at "how well the sites were integrated with the IT systems of the organizations concerned," he said. "In other words, we gave less emphasis to the attractiveness of a site, and more on how well it met the aims of the business or organization in a holistic sense," he said.

Other winners in the 15 categories included anz.com for Investment/Financial Site; ABC Online for Media Site; designer Akira Isogowa's site for Small Business Site; Tribe for Entertainment and the City of Sydney for Government Site.