Hot 100 Retailers: Ecommerce

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The world of ecommerce these days requires identifying a niche, exploiting it as rapidly as possible and then putting the company on the selling block so some bricks-and-mortar retailer can buy its way online. Amazon.com, transferred to the food-drug-mass merchant category where its major competitors reside, has sucked a lot of air out of general merchandise sales online — accounting for about 43 percent of all web sales, according to Slice Intelligence.

Two of the four hot ecommerce businesses have already been spoken for by bricks-and-mortar operators. Build.com, founded in 2000, was acquired in 2007 by Wolseley, a building materials company based in Switzerland that changed its name to Ferguson; Chewy.com, launched six years ago, was acquired by PetSmart in April.

Group leader Wayfair continues to blaze a trail of technical innovations as it expands more deeply and broadly into home goods merchandise. Technology initiatives including expanding its three-dimensional product library to enhance virtual reality and augmented reality experiences for shoppers, particularly as more smartphones incorporate 3D sensing technology.

This spring Wayfair launched a new website, Perigold, designed for upscale customers. “Perigold essentially picks up where our current offerings end and then runs all the way through the luxury segment,” says co-founder Niraj Shah.

“We know some affluent customers occasionally shop at Wayfair for their second home, their son or daughter’s college dorm room or their child’s playroom. But they wouldn’t necessarily think about coming to Wayfair for their master bedroom, living room or dining room.”

Source: Kantar Retail

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