December 5, 2011, 11:02 AM

Mass Merchant

Creative masses of innovation

Lead Photo

The innovations by the companies that comprise this year's Hot 100 mass merchant category are as diverse as the web retailers that make up the list. But if these mass merchants have one thing in common it's building better features or launching products that keep consumers coming back in droves.

Amazon.com continues to innovate by launching Kindle Fire, a tablet version of its popular electronic book reader, while Kohls.com made its customer reviews section a lot more social by adding more ways for visitors to post comments and reviews and share them on Facebook and elsewhere. On Buy.com the shopping experience is up close and personal based on updates the online retailer made to its product recommendation engine and site navigation. Another innovation—What's Shakin'—features products with the highest change in sales rank over the past 24 hours.

At Overstock.com the future is all about change and a renewed approach to e-commerce. Overstock.com has rebranded as O.co, a change that refl ects the constant evolution that keeps this early e-commerce entrant among online's top sellers. Its newly updated BuzzBuy feature combines promotion, loyalty rewards and social media—shoppers can earn added points when they share an item with a friend who then buys one herself.

At HSN.com much of the innovation is geared to keeping the shopper experience engaging—and fun. The new arcade section of HSN.com allows shoppers to play some 25 computer games as they view product pitches and a live feed from HSN's TV channel. The games, which change regularly, tend to focus on such simple endeavors as solitaire, blackjack video poker and slots.

E-Retailers Awarded the Hot 100 of Mass Merchant:

AMAZON.COM, BUY.COM, HSN.COM, KOHLS.COM, OVERSTOCK.COM

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