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Leading by example

The apparel and accessories retailers in this year's Hot 100 are thriving on the web thanks to the creative, and often unconventional, approaches they've taken to technology, design and service.



Why They're Hot: Zappos.com invariably ranks at the top of surveys of e-retailer’s customer service. And Zappos took that focus one step further this year when it launched Ask Zappos. The program lets customers send Zappos an image—via Instagram, using the hashtag #AskZappos, text or e-mail—and the retailer then tracks down the product on Zappos.com or on another merchant’s site if Zappos doesn’t sell it. “We wanted someone who is walking down the street and sees a girl in a great pair of heels to be able to turn to us to find them,” says a Zappos spokeswoman. Since launching in June, nearly 1,400 shoppers have used the service. Another way Zappos has sought to bolster its customer service is by working with the MapMyFitness app to add a new feature, called Gear Tracker, that lets users estimate when they’re ready for a new pair of shoes.
Key Statistics:
  • Date Launched:1995
  • Unique Visitors:8,856,920
  • Web-based Sales:Order the Hot 100 issue
Who They're Using: