A personal touch.
Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research
The web accounts for 38.6% of total U.S. retail sales of books, music and videos for retailers in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide. The e-retailers selected for this year's Hot 100 in this category are nurturing those sales by investing in personalization technology that helps consumers find the titles they are likely to enjoy.
For example, video-streaming service and Hot 100 pick Netflix Inc. in the third quarter this year added a feature that lets household members sharing a Netflix account personalize their own viewing lists and preferences, so children can see the latest cartoons and parents adult fare. It's another advance for an e-retailer that's built its business on making it easy for consumers to find movies and TV shows that suit their tastes.
The move comes at a time when Netflix is prospering. The retailer posted a 22.2% year-over-year increase in worldwide revenue and grew its global subscriber base 37% during the third quarter.
ChronicleBooks.com, another Hot 100 retailer, offers a gift recommendation tool that enables shoppers to filter by age group and recipient interests. Alibris.com, No. 208 in the Top 500 Guide and another a book retailer selected for this year's Hot 100, is working on a feature that will point out the differences in textbook editions to help money-conscious students determine if they need the newest textbook edition or if an earlier, less expensive edition will suffice. It is also using technology from Simularity to identify similarities between products and better recommend books a shopper might be searching for or enjoy. Alibris personalizes the site based on a shopper's actions, taking into account buying decisions of similar shoppers.
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