November 30, 2012, 12:00 AM

Specialty / Non-Apparel

A tight focus on their specialties.

Internet Retailer
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The retailers in this category sell a specific type of product—car seats and strollers for children, dog tags, camera bags—everything but apparel, which gets its own Hot 100 category. To stand out in this category, a retailer has to sell in a particularly appealing way.

Take the dog collar, a mundane product if ever there was one. But not at, where a pet owner can outfit his dog with a reflective collar for safety, a designer collar for beauty or a Green Bay Packers collar for ... well, just because.

Online product demonstrations are a staple at Skooba Design, which makes and sells bags for carrying laptops, tablets and other devices. Its staff produces videos that show off various product features, and a Bag Finder tool enables consumers to find the right-sized bag for their gadgets. International shoppers also receive special attention. The site recognizes their locations and offers discounts to help defray international shipping costs.

At U.K.-based Kiddicare, the e-retailer makes delivery convenient. It also offers next-day delivery in a one-hour time slot selected by the consumer. A countdown clock on the home page and on category pages shows consumers exactly how much time they have to place an order for next-day delivery.

Thoughtful merchandising makes stand out. The pet product retailer makes it easy for consumers to find what they need. For example, a New Pet category provides a checklist of products for new pet owners, organized by pet type, and Healthy Pet displays wellness products the same way. The quick search box automatically filters results by pet type so consumers see only what applies to their needs.

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