December 5, 2011, 10:51 AM

Health / Beauty

Bringing makeup counters to the web

Lead Photo

Health and beauty retailers face the challenge of translating the colorful and social experience of shopping for cosmetics and related goods from store counters to the web. That's where these Hot 100 retailers shine.

Smashbox.com, for instance, encourages consumers to share their favorite products with friends on Facebook via the retailer's Social Shop tool, with Facebook messages appearing both on the social network and on the e-commerce site. Smashbox also offers advice for women who desire specific looks.

Education and the sense of community are also important at Clinique.com, which off ers live chat and a skin diagnostic tool, along with welcome messages to shoppers visiting the site, like the greetings one might receive at a store's makeup counter.

Benefit Cosmetics.com off ers video tutorials on how to use its makeup, and an online club that connects consumers with Benefit fans across the globe—the manufacturer launched its Chinese site in April.

That's not to say images and design are less important than social features when it comes to beauty products. H20 Plus, for example, upgraded its site in late 2010 with improved product images, a move that helped to boost the time shoppers spend on the site.

Convenience and inventory also play a role in this Hot 100 category. Health and beauty products retailer Stockn'Go is on pace to triple its product selection—which stands at about 7,000 SKUs—by the end of 2012, in part by working with drop-ship suppliers. 1800Contacts.com, meanwhile, now enables shoppers to refill their contact lens orders in fewer clicks, thanks to a new site design. Health and beauty can be about efficiency, too.

E-Retailers Awarded the Hot 100 of Health / Beauty:

1800CONTACTS.COM, BENEFITCOSMETICS.COM, CLINIQUE.COM, H2OPLUS.COM, MACCOSMETICS.COM, SMASHBOX.COM, STOCKNGO.COM

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