Time will come when going to the mall to buy something will be mainly a thing of the past. It will not go away but people nostalgic for the time will treat it as a throwback to the olden years when life was a lot different. It will be talked about in the same vein as vinyl records and arcade games.
The reason for this is the continuing popularity of online shopping web sites. Electronic commerce has been increasing steadily through the years. In 2011, total sales of online retailers amounted to $194.3 billion, a hefty 16.1 percent increase from the previous year’s number of $167.3 billion. Online sites are further expanding and increasing their marketing efforts by tapping into social media, with branded Pinterest boards slowly becoming a standard feature.
While Amazon and the shopping pages of Yahoo may rule the roost, a lot of retailers are coming up with really competitive edges. Here is a list of the top 10 standout online shopping sites.
10. Zappos (zappos.com)
Zappos.com is an online shop that specializes in shoes and clothing. Nick Swinmurn established the site in 1999 after failing to find a pair of his preferred shoes at the local mall. It also sells other items like handbags, accessories and eyewear. Its parent company is Amazon and it has 1,500 people under its employ. Last year, it earned revenues of a billion dollars. The company is based in Henderson in Nevada, while its warehouse is located in Shepherdsville in Kentucky.
9. SINGER22 (singer22.com)
SINGER22 is an online shop that deals with clothing, accessories, swimwear and footwear. It carries a variety of brands from about 250 designers, including Rag & Bone/JEAN, J Brand, Emerson Thorpe, Alexis, Jeffrey Campbell and Elizabeth and James. Jon Singer established the site in 2003, focusing initially on women’s items. It was only in 2010 that the company started to release a men’s line. Buyers can choose from picks of celebrities, like Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Lauren Conrad and Kim Kardashian.
8. Shoptiques (shoptiques.com)
Shoptiques is an online shop that offers a fresh concept in electronic commerce. Buyers can choose from 200 boutiques that are organized by neighborhood, which allows shoppers to shop like a local. The items bought are then shipped to the buyer at a flat rate of $15, whether in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia or France. Buyers in the United States can even get free shipping for a minimum purchase of $100.
7. Rent the Runway (renttherunway.com)
Rent the Runway is an online rent service of high-end designer clothing and accessories. Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss, both graduates of Harvard Business School, founded the site in 2009. The site requires membership among its clients, who can choose from over 25,000 dresses that can be rented out on a four- or eight-day basis. The dresses come from the 165 designers that Rent the Runway has under its fold, including notable brands like Vera Wang, Calvin Klein and Badgley Mischka.
6. Otte (otteny.com)
Otte is an online shop based in New York that aims to help clients build a wardrobe that is both functional and fashionable. The company offers a wide choice of ready to wear designer clothes, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Kay Lee established the company that even boasts of a collection of signature pieces that were inspired by its clients.
5. Nasty Gal (nastygal.com)
Nasty Gal is an online shop that specializes in clothes, shoes and accessories for the young woman. Sophia Amoruso established the site in 2006 and it now has over 550,000 customers coming from over 60 countries around the world. The company is based in Los Angeles and is considered as one of the fastest growing retailers in the online industry.
4. Mr. Porter (mrporter.com)
While most online shops are dedicated to the female species, Mr. Porter has gone against the grain and specializes in men’s wear. It sells products from all the major designers, like Ray Ban and Alexander McQueen. It is also known for its active online community that features a style council that offers tips from celebrities like Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D. It also has an iOS application that provides fashion advice to men while on the move.
3. ModCloth (modcloth.com)
ModCloth is an online shop that specializes in vintage and indie clothes, accessories and décor. As the name of the company suggests, it is geared towards the mod crowd. Eric Koger and Susan Gregg-Koger established the site in 2002 in Pittsburgh, Pennsyvania, though its headquarters have since moved to San Francisco. It is considered as one of the most innovative companies in the world. With more than 400 people now under its employ, the company earned $15 million in revenue in 2009. The founders have also been recognized as two of the most influential young entrepreneurs in the world, as well as two of the most important people under the age of 30 in the fields of technology and art & style by Forbes magazine.
2. Fitiquette (fitiquette.com)
Fitiquette is pioneering the new way of trying out clothes that was deemed impossible to do in an online mall. Customers are allowed to create a virtual representation of themselves, so that they can try on different styles and sizes. These are then presented in 3D representation from all possible angles. The virtual fitting room is an innovative format that made different popular brands take notice of this relatively new online retailer.
1. ASOS (asos.com)
Asos is considered to be one of the largest fashion and beauty stores in the United Kingdom that only deal with its clients online. Nick Robertson and Quentin Griffiths established the company in 2000 and has since established itself as a major player with over $803 million in revenues and $45 million in net profit last year. It has over 50,000 products cutting across women’s fashion, men’s clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelries, and beauty products. It ships to over 190 countries around the world.
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