December 1, 2010, 12:00 AM

Mass merchants’ web sites evolve

By crafting innovative ways to help shoppers shop, these mass merchants have positioned themselves to be formidable online players.

Each of the mass market retailers in the Internet Retailer Hot 100 list faces a constant challenge—how to meet the disparate needs of their wide-ranging customer bases. However, each has managed to meet that test by leveraging their large organizations and deep pockets to stay one step ahead of consumers’ expectations. launched a beta program that allows consumers to log in to their Facebook profiles through in order to receive highly personalized recommendations for movies, music and books based on their social media profiles. And, to further position itself for the growing mobile commerce market, Amazon launched iPad-specific apps for and its subsidiary.

Sears Holdings Corp. overhauled its web site not once, but twice, to streamline the consumer buying experience and provide shoppers with a wealth of unbiased information such as ratings and reviews. The retailer also rolled out home delivery in several markets, which it then expanded to some merchandise sold in its marketplace. also focused on third-party sellers as the retailer announced plans to open up its marketplace to more small and mid-size merchants. The retailer also said it plans to roll out a white-label marketplace that allows retailers to sell all or some of the marketplace’s more than 7.5 million SKUs on their own sites.

And QVC found ways to provide consumers with a consistent message—regardless of whether they were connecting with the retailer via TV, its e-commerce site or its mobile apps.

By crafting innovative ways to help shoppers shop, these merchants have positioned themselves to be formidable online players.


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