Internet Retailer of the Year – 2017 Finalists
The longtime leader in U.S. e-commerce, Amazon.com Inc. turned a corner on profitability last year, with net income growing 300%. Amazon, through products it sells directly and the gross value of goods sold by Amazon marketplace sellers, accounted for 43% of U.S. e-retail sales last year. More consumers start shopping online on Amazon than they do anywhere else, and Amazon, with a massive number of product and service rollouts, continues to the raise the bar with ultra-fast delivery and selection. Amazon outperforms industry benchmarks for customer satisfaction, customer service and overall shopping experience. It’s also working on convenience-minded services, such as ordering by voice and connected devices.
Dollar Shave Club
A two-time winner of Internet Retailer Excellence Awards—it won for Marketer of the Year last year and the E-retailer Growth award in 2015—this is the first time Dollar Shave Club has been nominated in this category. Its story arc is remarkable. The 5-year-old e-retailer established its name with a highly viral video introducing the service on YouTube, and its fast-growing business of selling quality razors by subscription for less than market-leading brands helped turn the shaving industry upside-down. Dollar Shave Club’s disruptive nature in part led to its acquisition by CPG leader Unilever for an estimated $1 billion last year, roughly 6.6 times its 2015 sales.
Nike Inc.’s web sales leapt more than 50% last year to an estimated $1.5 billion, and the athletic shoe and apparel brand is well on its way to reaching an ambitious goal: Growing its e-commerce business to $7 billion by 2020. It has rolled out a number of initiatives in recent years to get there, including a much-touted mobile app, advances to its Nike Plus loyalty program, expanding online into new foreign markets and strategies aimed at connecting in-store and online shopping.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Ulta Beauty Inc. sold more online that it did in all of 2014. With $345 million in online sales, Ulta grew its web business the most in percentage terms among this year’s finalists. Online now accounts for 7.1% of Ulta’s sales, up from 5.6% in 2015. The retail chain, which opened several dozen locations last year, has been vocal about developing its digital channel hand in hand with stores, and says consumers who shop both spend 2.5 times as much as single-channel shoppers. Online, deep content in Ulta’s Beauty Mix section keeps loyal shoppers visiting to see the latest trends and style information. The retailer also is shifting more of its marketing spend to digital.
Award Category Description: A Top 1,000 retailer demonstrating extraordinary performance in all aspects of e-commerce activity and on all major e-commerce metrics. 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).