Internet Retailer Hot 100 2017 Best Retail Web Sites

Hot 100 Overview

By Allison Enright

How the 2017 Hot 100 took shape.

For the last 18 years, the editors of Internet Retailer have evaluated and compiled annually a list of the e-retail web sites that push the boundaries of e-retailing. This year is no exception: The e-retailers profiled in this issue, which range in age from barely a year old (Elu, Iconery, Away) to those that have sold online since the web’s earliest days (Amazon, eBay, Sephora), are standouts.

These merchants do what they do differently or better than competitors, and make innovating central to their day-to-day processes. EBay, for instance, this year launched a highly functional virtual-reality app in Australia that lets consumers browse and add to cart items just by looking at them for a few seconds. Iconery is using 3-D printing to bring jewelry styles to market within a matter of days, or even hours, to capitalize on of-the-moment trends.

There is an immense amount of innovation going on in e-commerce, and the e-retailers on the 2017 Hot 100 represent many of the best of the new ideas that emerged in the past year. We encourage you to review the profiles that follow, and then visit the sites and apps to explore these retailers yourself.

We’re often asked how we select the merchants featured in the Hot 100.

Here’s how the process works. Internet Retailer’s 15 editors and researchers draw on their experience of viewing and reporting on thousands of sites and apps a year and each nominates about 25 retailers. We also consider nominations submitted by merchants themselves and their technology providers. The editors and researchers break into teams and get to work, pitching their nominations and showing off features and functions they deem noteworthy. Retailers are voted up or down until a final list takes shape, and we then sort the finalists into seven categories according to what makes them innovative. This year’s categories are business model, content, design, marketing, mobile, omnichannel and technology. The selection process starts in August and concludes in October.

If you have e-retailers you’d like to see in the Hot 100 next year, email me at and tell me why you think they are outstanding. Include as much detail as you can. We take nominations year-round. In the meantime, we hope you find the merchants profiled here useful in developing your own e-retail businesses.

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