|Why They're Hot:
No one can accuse the world's largest retail chain of standing pat on e-commerce. Wal-Mart this year revamped its Walmart.com site search, raising conversion rates some 20%, and debuted a weekly web series highlighting products invented by the 20 finalists in its Get on the Shelf contest, whose winners sell their products on the e-commerce site and in Walmart stores. The retailer also was among the first merchants to use Pinterest "product pins" that show consumers pricing and other information about items for sale that shoppers "pin" on the social network, such as where they can buy a product. Most of the credit goes to the chain's @WalmartLabs e-commerce research and technology arm, which launched in 2011 and continues hiring workers and buying e-commerce-focused companies.