This year's Hot 100 showcases the 100 most innovative e‑retail companies in the world.

Internet Retailer’s December issue, the Hot 100, showcases the 100 most innovative e-retail companies in the world. In doing so, it celebrates the groundswell of creative thinking that’s transforming both e-commerce and the broader retail market.

Fresh thinking and new approaches to sell to consumers are coming from companies large (Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for example), small (Brandless and Feat Socks) and everything in between. The Hot 100 profiles each of the 100 e-retail companies leading the way. Each company has found innovative ways to address gaps in the market.

Take Amazon, which recognized a need to offer shoppers more offline options to interact with its brand. To expand the already-strong relationship it has with many shoppers, it paid $13.7 billion to acquire Whole Foods Market and its 474 stores in North America and the United Kingdom, launched a program with Kohl’s Inc. to allow shoppers to return Amazon orders to Kohl’s stores in Chicago and Los Angeles, installed pickup lockers in Whole Foods locations and opened same-day pickup locations near and, in some cases, on college campuses nationwide.

Or Brandless, which launched in July as a private-label consumer packaged goods retailer with a simple, straightforward value proposition: Everything it sells is $3. At a time when retailers seek to differentiate themselves from Amazon, Brandless, by its very nature, does just that.

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The 2018 Hot 100 recognizes e-retail innovation in all its forms, with entrants organized by the elements in which they stand out. The categories are: business model, content, design, growth, marketing, omnichannel and technology.

In addition to featuring the 100 most innovative e-retail companies, the Hot 100 issue also showcases Internet Retailer’s research that examines the fastest-growing retailers in some of the hottest retail categories, such as apparel and food.

Click here to download this year’s Hot 100 issue.