|Why They're Hot:
W.W. Grainger focused on mobile in 2013, adding numerous mobile developers to its 300-member e-commerce team, adding features to its iPhone and Android apps, and launching a stellar iPad app. The B2B retailer designed these apps to make life easier for its customers. The iPad app enables office-based managers to order products or approve purchase orders from employees in the field. The field worker can use the smartphone app's speech recognition feature to enter search terms and the live chat feature to get help. Workers also receive a push notification when a manager approves his order. The app also uses GPS to lead a field worker to the nearest Grainger branch. "For our customers, great utility is what is sexy," says Geoffrey Robertson, vice president of e-commerce strategy and planning.