Modanisa.com was named the winner of the E-commerce and Digital Experience Award at the 2018 International Business Excellence Awards on Tuesday night. The modest fashion e-tailer beat leading Gulf retail chain Aswaaq and UAE’s RAKBank to pick up the prestigious prize at the awards ceremony held at Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.
Kerim Türe, Modanisa’s co-founder and CEO, said: “Winning the IBX E-Commerce Award is fantastic recognition for us, especially when we were up against such strong competition. Innovation and investment in technology have been central to Modanisa’s growth from an e-commerce start-up into a global marketplace that offers our 500 suppliers endless opportunities.”
The world’s original modest fashion brand, Modanisa became Turkey’s first shopping website after launching its online fashion portal with 50 suppliers back in 2011. The company’s aim was simple: to fill an important gap by giving conservatively dressed women more choice – not just loose, functional and drab Islamic clothing, which was the norm for most hijab-wearing women, but bright, colourful on-trend clothes that worked within Islamic dress codes.
Today, Modanisa’s supplier numbers are up ten-fold. The company has spearheaded significant growth in Turkey’s thriving modest fashion sector, with many emerging labels and small textile manufacturers signing up to sell via its website. As a result, they now have access to a global customer base.
Modanisa’s multi-lingual website – all content comes in five languages – helps to attract 15 million visitors per month. Its distribution network is global, delivering goods to 120 countries worldwide.
The Istanbul-based company also boasts several major innovations. One is the Capster – the world’s first non-slip sports cap worn underneath headscarves – which Modanisa introduced in 2011. Another is the Modest Fashion Week concept, which it launched in Istanbul in 2016. The high production levels have not only attracted the attendance of fashion designers and influencers from around the world, but also the interest of the world’s media. Since Istanbul, Modest Fashion Weeks have also been held in London and most recently in Dubai in December.
The company also demonstrated its effective use of digital platforms such as Facebook and Google – Modanisa is published as a successful case study for both. Its IBX Awards application form, presented as a slick 4-minute video, includes data that their mobile conversion rates and revenue grew by 91% and 221% in 2017 through its Google ad words campaign, while it generated a four-fold return on investment while trying to crack the German market via Facebook.
Modanisa have also invested heavily in featured over a hundred of the world’s leading modest fashion bloggers for its marketing campaigns on social media, which have also been vital to its rapid business expansion. Collaborations include with Briton’s Dina Tokia, Belgium’s Samia El-Hassani, UAE’s Soha Mohammed Taha, and Omaya Zein, of Palestinian-Venezuelan heritage living in Florida. Each of these women has hundreds of thousands of social media followers, making them vital channels in reaching diverse Muslim communities around the world.
Clearly the company wasn’t expecting to win as they did not send anyone to the International Business Excellence Awards (IBX) gala dinner and awards ceremony on Tuesday 24 April. They were one of two Turkish businesses to win an award on the night – Savola Foods won in the sector-specific Food and Beverages category.
All finalists in the 23 categories had to satisfy judges drawn from the Middle East’s business elite, supported by experts from Cranfield School of Management and Modul University. A spokesperson for organisers Awards International said decisions involved “live transparent judging and benchmarked feedback reports for all the Finalists” to make this “a truly unique event”.