An independent bed and mattress retailer has reached the finals of the Digital Entrepreneur Awards (North) 2017 in the Online Retailer of the Year category.

Land of Beds was shortlisted from hundreds of businesses which submitted entries to the only national awards dedicated to championing digital entrepreneurialism and innovation.

"We are absolutely delighted to reach the finals, as our website has been built entirely in house using customer insights and our expertise at selling beds,” says MD Mike Murray.

“To be nominated in the Online Retailer of the Year category is a testament to all of the hard work the web development team has put into driving this area of the business forward. Collectively, we have risen to the challenge of moving with the times and embracing modern methods of how business is conducted, with online sales being a fundamental part of our success.”

This year has seen an intensive period of growth and investment in online technology for Land of Beds, with the company emerging from a small independent business with two Cheshire showrooms to a multi-channel retailer selling UK-wide.

Customers can now apply for financing online in less than 10 minutes, or use PayPal Express Checkout, which is integrated into the site. A new Click and Collect service allows customers to collect products that are in stock from Land of Beds’ newly-built distribution centre in Astmoor (near Runcorn) within one hour of placing their order online. In June this year, Live Chat became functional – allowing customers to ask questions and be supported in real-time as they shop.

“We have enjoyed a record-breaking year of sales, and we are on course to achieve our turnover target for 2017-2018, which is hugely positive,” adds Mike.

“The DEAs give us the opportunity to build upon our success of being crowned the national Retail Family Business of the Year 2017, as well as winning the High Sheriff of Cheshire’s Family Business Award of Excellence 2016, so it’s exciting times ahead.”

Now in their thirteenth year, the Digital Entrepreneur Awards (DEAs) celebrate not only the high-profile websites and leaders driving online commerce, but also the silent heroes who develop the systems that change the online landscape and shape our digital future.

A panel of eminent judges has been assembled and set with the task of choosing a worthy winner – and among them are Lawrence Jones MBE, the founder and CEO of the web hosting company UKFast, who says: “It’s an amazing honour to return as the lead sponsor this year, as the awards evolve to encourage involvement from every region in the country.

‘The Digital Entrepreneur Awards are an incredible opportunity to celebrate the best in digital talent from up and down the UK. This year’s finalists have all shown a clear appreciation of the challenges faced in business and how to solve them using digital innovation – meeting the everyday needs of their customers by evolving new solutions and approaches; that’s what the DEAs are all about.”

The awards will be presented at The Principal Hotel in Manchester on 22nd November.