Introducing the 2015 Retail Customer Experience Top 100


Our readers have ranked the top retailers in four categories, with one clear winner coming out on top.


Top 100: 1. Social media

2010 was decidedly the year social media came into its own. It is impossible to view social media as separate from the Web itself.

Top 100: 2. Multichannel integration

Multichannel integration has taken off: No. 54 on the 2009 list of Top 100 Retail Movers & Shakers, it now appears at No.

Top 100: 3. Apple stores

Apple stores continue to grow in popularity, moving up from No. 7 on last year's Top 100 Retail Movers & Shaker's list. Apple gave consumers a glimpse into the future of retail shopping when the first Apple store opened in 2001.

Top 100: 4. Online reputation management

The business of reputation management has undergone big changes in recent times and, once again, social media is at the heart of it. (See why social media is No.

Top 100: 5. Digital products

Despite the explosion of digital distribution of music, books, games, movies and software, retail sales are still very much a thriving part of the mix. According to the NPD Group's most recent "PC Games Digital Downloads: Analyst Report," digital distribution...

Top 100: 6. Mobile coupons

Mobile coupons are becoming increasingly important to retailers, rising from No. 48 on the 2010 Top 100 Retail Movers & Shakers list. According to a recent survey conducted by research agency mobileSQUARED on behalf of Airwide Solutions, 61 percent of...

Top 100: 7. Amazon

Amazon dropped from No. 3 on the 2010 list, but still remains a strong player in the retail world. Amazon wrote the book on diversifying with ingenuity.

Top 100: 8. Deal of the day

Jumping from No. 74 on the 2010 Top 100 Retail Movers & Shakers list, deals of the day are a significant part of the retail experience. is an online store and community that "focuses on selling cool stuff cheap,"...

Top 100: 9. The economy

While the economy dropped from No.1 on the 2010 list, it still plays a large role in consumer spending. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the worst recession since the Great Depression began in December 2007 and came to an end in June 2009.

Top 100: 10. UGC, product reviews

Jumping from No. 31 on the 2010 list of Top 100 Retail Movers & Shakers, consumers are increasingly turning to each other for product or service information before making a purchasing decision. According to a recent study from comScore ARS,...

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Retail Top 100 2012, No. 1: Amazon

For those who remember Amazon as a really cool online bookstore, the view from 2012 shows just how far the retailer — and the world — has come. What once seemed a promising fad is now an accepted way of life.

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 2: Apple

Despite Amazon’s steady march of progress throughout 2011, Apple, true to form, managed to out-dazzle the world’s biggest online retailer every step of the way. The company continued to lure consumers and business users away from desktop computers to the...

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 3: Discounting

Discounting dates back to the days of open-air bazaars, but the proliferation of e-commerce and smartphones now puts the neighborhood boutique in direct competition with the biggest discounts offered by any vendor anywhere in the world. And vice versa. The...

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 4: The economy/unemployment

The numbers say the Great Recession ended way back in June 2009. Somebody needs to tell the economy that.

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 6: M-commerce

Technology companies and retailers alike have hailed 2011 as the year of mobile shopping. Consumers are fast approaching the tipping point in their embrace of smartphones and tablets to access apps, discounts, price comparison information, and payment mechanisms.

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 7: Assortment localization

As consumers continue to trim spending and do more of their shopping online, big-box retailers are moving to smaller stores to reduce under-utilized space and stay profitable. At the same time, consumers are treating retail stores as showrooms where they can test-drive merchandise before making a purchase.

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 8: Experience design

In theory, experience design — or user experience (UX) design — operates from the premise that consumers wish to engage in a meaningful interaction when purchasing a product or service. In practice, experience design involves the creation of culturally relevant...

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 9: iTunes

Apple has benefited mightily in the past decade from the shift from CDs to online music services — a shift it helped set into motion with the unveiling of the iPod in 2001. Two years later, Apple launched the iTunes...

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 10: Mobile coupons

According to a study by Group SJR and Liz Claiborne Inc. conducted among 801 smartphone and tablet owners between the ages of 18 to 64, half said they planned to scan barcodes more often to get additional information about a product, suggesting that barcode scanning is poised to go mainstream within the next few years.

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 11: Behavioral targeting

As yet another example of how the Amazon model continues to shape the evolution of the Web, the deluge of user-generated content — from product reviews and comments posted on news stories, to the glut of unguarded personal information offered...

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 12: Zappos

Seeking to drive home the point that Zappos offers “more than shoes,” the online retailer last summer launched a uniquely interactive print ad campaign that invited consumers to dress naked models using QR codes. The ads depicted naked models (mostly...

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 13: Retail CRM

The future of retail CRM — both its potential and pitfalls — is writ large on the walls of Facebook. Amassing more than a trillion page views per month, Facebook is an immense source of CRM data with unlimited potential,...

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 14: Facebook

It’s no exaggeration to say that Facebook represents an unprecedented leap in the history of human interaction. As of September 2011, Facebook has more than 800 million active users, with more than 50 percent of those logging on in any given day and amassing more than a trillion page views per month.

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 15: Mobile POS

Point-of-sale systems have become the true command centers of in-store operations, providing a host of applications that leverage customer search histories, generate cross-selling recommendations to prompt add-on purchases, streamline inventory functions, schedule employees and allocate store resources. Yet “traditional” POS...

Retail Top 100 2012, No. 16: In-store web access

In an effort to draw customers into stores as the primary means of merchandise distribution, some retailers are offering in-store Web access through self-service kiosks and workstations to engage customers, provide convenience and increase satisfaction. This past year, JCPenney refined...

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