Candy might seem like kids’ stuff to some, but the success of Candy Crate shows how the sweet treats can lead to a prosperous enterprise. Based in Hesperia, Calif., the company sells more than 3,000 varieties of candy via the Internet, including retro and penny candies and gluten-free and vegan products.

Operations Manager Randi Caporale says her mother and grandmother started the business in an office 12 years ago. Over time, the firm found a niche when it began serving clients who were looking for hard-to-find products like Abba Zaba miniature candies or Chick-O-Stick Nuggets.

Ebags1 ThumbLearn how this online retailer paved its dot-com path, reaching customers through the intangible. Before Facebook gave everyone an invitation to participate in the online world, the Internet was a vast, opportunistic, yet largely anonymous playing field. And while many online retailers sought to play with its fiscal potential, few were able to fully harness its power of reaching its customers like How did they do it? They kept online shopping simple, and, more importantly, they kept it personal. 

Tabcom1 ThumbWhat started as a pet food catalogue company turned into a multi-divisional marketplace for consumers looking for community with their commerce. "You can’t survive in the e-commerce business by just being a retail merchandiser,” said Alex Tabibi, CEO of TABcom (formerly Pets United). “To get e-commerce right, you have to do 500 completely disparate things really well at the same time, which is why the time for consolidation of infrastructure is now.”

Barenecessities1 ThumbThis online retailer of intimate apparel lives by one rule: let your customer be your guide. It’s a common struggle among e-commerce businesses: how do you differentiate yourself based on customer service when you have no brick-and-mortar store to develop your presence? For, the premier online retailer of brand and intimate apparel products, it comes down to personalized service. 

2checkout1 ThumbThis online outsource payment processing business is thriving due to its attention to detail and to its clients. Alan Homewood, founder and CEO of outsourced payment processing company, considers culture, quality of product, and customer satisfaction as his direct reports. He spends as much time on them as he would people reporting to him. Perhaps this is how he’s managed to grow his company from a one-person operation in his living room to one with 110 employees and $244 million in revenue. 

Babyage2 ThumbDifferentiated products and service excellence established this pregnancy, infant, and juvenile online retailer. Now an infusion of capital is taking up to the next level. When Jack Kiefer, president and CEO of, founded his company more than a decade ago, he knew there was an opportunity to become a leading online retailer selling unique products to parents-to-be and their friends and family. With now firmly established and ranked 280th on the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, fresh capital is helping the company reach for greater heights. 

Folica1 ThumbWhat started as a simple marital conversation has evolved into a $40 million e-com business that goes above and beyond to answer its customers’ hair care questions. It all started as a hobby. Dennis Huang was experimenting with the Internet back in 1995 when he was still in college pursuing his PhD. He first put up a web page on AOL, selling organic green tea. Business was disappointing, so he shut down the business twice.

Hayneedle1 ThumbThe people behind this home living e-com retailer understand that an accurate company name is the key to building a strong company brand. In 2009, seven years after it was founded as, the company now known as Hayneedle decided to rename and rebrand to make its service offering clear. Ash ElDifrawi, chief marketing officer at Hayneedle, said the name represents the benefit to consumers of shopping on the site, which is finding exactly what they were looking for to decorate their homes. 

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