Top 100 Retail Websites of 2009

Written by  January 12, 2009

We can all learn a lot from what those around us are doing. One thing I tell the clients I work with is if you can’t lead, then follow a leader. Often (not always) you can learn a few tricks by looking at some of the “big guys”.

The list of top 100 retail websites for 2009 was released by Internet Retailer and it includes a variety of sites across numerous industries. I’ve listed the top 100 and the industries they are each in so you have a resource you can come back to and look at from time to time. There should be something in here for just about everybody.

Here’s the list of the top 100 in order of industry from A-Z.

Apparel & Accessories

American Apparel
American Eagle
Design by Humans
Eddie Bauer
Lands’ End
Martin and Osa
Nine West
Shoe Line
Under Armour
Under Gear
Wet Seal

Books / Film / Music

Chapters Indigo
Pop Cuts

Computers / Electronics

Best Buy
Cable Organizer
Ritz Camera

Flowers / Gifts / Jewelry

Gold Speed
jtv Watches
Organic Bouquet
Think Geek

Food / Drug

Dunkin’ Donuts
Estee Lauder
Fragrance Net
King Arthur Flour

Housewares / Home Furnishings

CSN Stores
Land of Nod
Max Furniture
Smith and Noble

Mass Merchants / Department Stores
Sky Mall

Specialty / Non-Apparel

Action Envelope
Doctors Foster and Smith
Eye Buy Direct
Fat Brain Toys
Lion Brand Yarn
MoMA Store
Music Notes
Organize (Pets United)
Tool King

Sporting Goods

Gander MTN.
Nascar Superstore
Running Warehouse
The North Face

So the next time you are stuck trying to figure out how to approach your website marketing strategy take a look at each of these. This list should stir your ideas and get you moving in the right direction … even if that means asking the right questions or getting the right help in place to implement.

Remember though, plan carefully, choose your course wisely, and always test before saying “it works”. What is good for one industry may not work in another.

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17 Responses to “Top 100 Retail Websites of 2009”

  1. Jamie on January 13th, 2009 2:01 pm

    Another Great posting!

    When contacted to prepare a Zen Cart template design we always first ask the client to list the addresses of any websites that they like or those which contain design elements that they would want included on their own new website.

    Remember — “I want that one” is not enough.. (especially if you know about the Little Britain TV sketch with Lou and Andy — see Wikk). So we always ensure we ask what the client likes about each reference site.

    This then allows our design team to get to work inspired about their required.

    Note: You should never COPY a design but this certainly will help people better understand what is happening out there in the world of eCommerce. We will be sending our clients to this posting — if only allowing them to just get ideas to list what they like and what they want to avoid.

    Thanks once again

  2. Jim on March 10th, 2009 8:21 pm

    Eric, where did you get this list from and who authored it?

    Was it put together by yourself, or a research firm that listed the Top 2009 e-commerce sites?

    Just curious…


  3. Eric Leuenberger on March 11th, 2009 7:20 am

    This list was published by Internet Retailer in a recent issue. They come up with a list every year which is always interesting to look at.

  4. Rachel on May 16th, 2009 4:52 am

    This is a good post. It gives me the information I was in search of.

  5. Deanna on May 22nd, 2009 6:38 pm

    Hi Eric,

    This is very interesting, but I am wondering what the bold print denotes?



  6. William on September 3rd, 2009 3:28 am

    We did exactly what you talked about when we redesigned our site. Looked at the top 10 sites in the U.S. Can also be applied to A B testing. Look at sites that use A B testing heavily and you can forgo some testing yourself. IE: design your site like theirs.

  7. Helen Teague on October 22nd, 2009 9:56 am

    Does anyone know who designed

  8. Bob on October 27th, 2009 2:16 pm

    Almost half of the above sites are poorly designed, and half of those have decent I.A. So much junk…

  9. Eric on October 27th, 2009 3:49 pm

    Keep in mind that design is not everything. In fact, it is only a small portion. These sites were chosen by Internet Retailer (very prominent authority) for tops in their respective industries for 2009. They publish their findings every year in their magazine and keep a good eye on what’s out there. If you have any issues with the list I suggest you take it up with them. :)

  10. Jordan ly on February 26th, 2010 4:57 am

    This is a good post. It gives me the information I was in search of.
    Petition is pretty straight forward and is NOT intended to serve as a vehicle to extol the merits of wholesale nike shoes communications. (There is time enough to sing the praises of wholesale jordan shoes Internet communications, but we jordan dmp did not want this issue to be held back over a battle over preferred technologies.

  11. Stephanie on March 26th, 2010 3:17 am

    Eric, how about this year, what are the chosen retail sites?Any updates?

    I hope this site will be included on those list : :-)

  12. Eric on March 27th, 2010 8:56 am

    This updated list should be coming out within the next several months I would anticipate. Maybe sooner.

  13. top ecommerce site on April 22nd, 2010 9:51 am

    Thanks guys for the info, Excellent list!
    I was wondering if someone can recomned on the top ecommerce site ? if there’s any :P



  14. Rene on May 9th, 2010 3:21 am

    Do you provide a list of top UK sites as well?
    If you do could you please provide me with the link

  15. Eric on May 19th, 2010 10:21 am

    This list comes from Internet Retailer. They go over all websites regardless of location and rate.

  16. Shiatsu on September 26th, 2010 5:47 pm

    I see some very good sites in this list and some poorly designed. But in the web world the web design does not play a bigger role that it’s optimization. If the website is of great value to visitor/customers than it will be of great success.

  17. Evan on September 23rd, 2011 9:17 am

    Its almost 2011 and although this post was created in 2000 I must say that the list is still very handy. Thanks for creating it Eric.

    I am a HUGE Zen Cart fan and would like to share two of my own websites that I have been building up/ working on over the past few years.

    Would love to hear other peoples opinions especially other Zen Cart users.
    I am currently working on a third Zen Cart site which will be online shortly.

    I can’t wait to see the new list Eric.
    Please let us know when the new list comes out – I am currently subscribed follow up comments on this post.


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