December 5, 2011, 10:32 AM

Apparel / Accessories

All dressed up and ready to sell

Lead Photo

Innovative business models. Personalized product recommendations. Practical tools. The apparel and accessories retailers in this year's Hot 100 are leveraging the power of the Internet to make it easier—and more fun—to shop online.

Take BeachMint.com's various specialized members only subscription sites like jewelry site JewelMint.com. The first time a shopper visits JewelMint.com, she's asked to complete a Style Profile that asks questions like "Which fashionista's look below do you most covet?" to determine her taste. The site then provides the shopper with product recommendations based on her interests and purchases. Because the site is a subscription service, the shopper is sent those recommendations unless she elects to skip that month's delivery.

Sometimes, however, a recommendation isn't enough, consumers need a helping hand. That's why web-only retailer FreshPair.com offers a free phone consultation with a bra expert who discusses the woman's needs, then sends her 10 bras that she might like. The shopper can try them on at home for a week and send back the ones she doesn't like. Lands' End is taking a similar, but more high-tech approach.  The retailer off ers shoppers live one-way video chat that enables them to see, as well as talk to, a personal shopping assistant who can guide them through the site. The agent also can help a shopper compare merchandise and demonstrate product features and details.

Some apparel and accessories sites aim to answer customers' product questions before they have the chance to even think of them. On MyHabit.com, the flash sale site launched in May by Amazon.com, each apparel item includes a video of a model wearing it and rotating 360-degrees. It also includes the model's measurements and the size of the product she's wearing. That enables a shopper to see the actual fit and drape of the clothing so that she can gauge how the item might fit her. And EyeFly.com enables a shopper to see how a pair of glasses would look on her by trying them on virtually—placing frames on a photo of herself that she uploads.

This year's hottest apparel and accessories retailers are transforming how consumers shop online in ways not possible, or not conceived of, just a few years ago.

E-Retailers Awarded the Hot 100 of Apparel / Accessories:

ABERCROMBIE.COM, AE.COM, ANNTAYLOR.COM, ARIAT.COM, COACH.COM, CUSTOMINK.COM, ESHAKTI.COM, EXPRESS.COM, EYEFLY.COM, FRESHPAIR.COM, GILT.COM, JEWELMINT.COM, LANDSEND.COM, LOUISVUITTON.COM, MINEFORNINE.COM, MOOSEJAW.COM, MYHABIT.COM, ONLINESHOES.COM, PATAGONIA.COM, RALPHLAUREN.COM, SAKSFIFTHAVENUE.COM, SCOTTEVEST.COM, SHOEDAZZLE.COM, SOREL.COM, SPENCERSONLINE.COM, TORYBURCH.COM, URBANOUTFITTERS.COM, ZULILY.COM

To Order the Entire December 2011 Hot 100 Issue: Click Here

To View a Sample Profile Page: Click Here

To View the Entire List: Click Here

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