Emerging E-Retailer of the Year – 2017 Finalists
Chewy Inc., an online retailer of pet food and products, has taken on larger competitors in part with personal service—something that’s not easy for a website to provide. The e-retailer operates a round-the-clock contact center and its 450 customer service agents are encouraged to chat with customers about their pets to build loyalty. Founded in 2011, Chewy’s 2016 online sales came in at $900 million, which is more than more than double the $423 million it sold 2015. According to 1010Data.com, Chewy captured 57% of online pet food sales in 2016, easily outdistancing Amazon at 33%. Chewy, No. 57 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 rankings, sells products from some 550 suppliers and launched its American Journey dog food brand early in 2017.
Hollar.com is an online retailer that seeks to bring the dollar store experience to e-commerce—and particularly to mobile e-commerce. Many of its more than 10,000 items are offered for $2. Its CEO, David Yeom, was formerly an executive at Jessica Alba’s The Honest Co. Hollar raised $30 million in fresh venture capital funding in November 2016, on top of $17.5 million previously raised. Hollar then moved to a 200,000-square-foot facility that was once used by dollar store operator 99 Cents Only Stores. In February 2017, Hollar released its first private-label line of home goods called Just the Nest, and a month later started advertising on TV. Hollar is No. 970 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 rankings, with 2016 revenue estimated at $6 million.
MeUndies Inc.—which sells underwear, loungewear and robes—last fall rolled out a subscription model aimed at better catering to its shoppers’ buying preferences. The retailer allows shoppers to choose one of three monthly subscription plans depending on that shopper’s style preference. Shoppers can choose to receive a pair of classic, bold or adventurous underwear each month. Subscriptions start at $16 per month for men and $14 for women. MeUndies has also been actively marketing on social media, notably hosting a two-hour Facebook Live broadcast on Black Friday 2016. MeUndies is No. 491 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 rankings with 2016 revenue of $36.2 million.
MVMT Watches was founded in 2013 and sells its own watches at MVMTWatches.com and online through Nordstrom and Amazon. The retailer credits Facebook for much of its growth. The social network enables the brand to leverage the information the social network knows about its users—such as their demographics, interests and offline buying behaviors—to develop campaigns tailored to particular groups of prospective customers. The website includes a “Shop Our Instagram” page, which allows shoppers to buy items featured on MVMT’s Instagram page. MVMT is No. 407 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 rankings, with 2016 revenue estimated at $55 million.
Purple Inc., which sells mattresses and related items on OnPurple.com, got its start on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, where it raised $2.6 million. In 2016, the retailer found social media success with its “Goldilocks” video. The video, which attracted more than 100 million views on Facebook and YouTube, makes the case that, if a mattress is really great, a raw egg should remain intact while being pushed into it. Purple’s products are made out of patented hyper-elastic polymer. In October 2016, Purple named Sam Bernards as its CEO. He previously worked at Peak Ventures, Mycore LLC and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Purple, which offers only offer about 33 SKUs, is No. 351 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000 rankings with 2016 revenue estimated at $75 million.
Award Category Description: The retailer that grew its sales most dramatically to emerge from relative obscurity to a first-time ranking in the Internet Retailer Top 1,000 of North American retail web sites. The Internet Retailer Top 1,000 consists of retailers whose North American 2015 online sales rankings fall between 1-1,000, meaning they’re included in either the 2015 Top 500 Guide® (which ranks retailers 1-500) or the Second 500 Guide (which ranks retailers 501-1,000).