August 31, 2011, 3:16 PM

Publisher's Letter

Toward a global e-commerce database

Lead Photo

Jack Love, President, Publisher, Internet Retailer

Ever since we introduced our first research guide in 2004, which ranked, profiled and provided a wealth of operating and financial data on the 300 leaders of e-commerce in the U.S., we have each year expanded our research efforts to cover a bigger part of the e-commerce market. We soon increased this research to the top 400 e-retailers and then to 500 with the publication of the first edition of the Top 500 Guide in 2006. Two years ago, we put all of the Top 500 Guide data online, creating the first online database of leading e-retailers, one that can be queried to produce a wide variety of custom research reports.

In March, we introduced the Top 300 Europe, which provides online sales rankings, profiles and much more data on the 300 largest European e-retailers. We followed that up two months ago with the Second 500 Guide, which provides competitive data on American e-retailers ranked between 501 and 1,000. And later this month we publish the Mobile Commerce Top 300, the first sales ranking of the largest m-commerce businesses, which also includes a good deal of competitive research on their operations.

Next month we will be unveiling an expanded Top 500 Guide database that will incorporate data from the Top 300 Europe and the Second 500, and by the end of the year we will add data on the Mobile Commerce Top 300, creating an online database of the 1,600 largest e-commerce operators in the U.S. and Europe.

The new online database will provide instant access to three times the amount of competitive e-commerce data as the current It will also include new search and report features that allow subscribers to easily extract the precise data they are looking for. Let's say you want to know the apparel web site with the best conversion rate, or the leading search marketing vendor for the e-commerce businesses with more than $50 million in annual sales, or the names and contacts of the e-commerce operators based in your Florida sales territory. Whatever your inquiry, the new database will deliver the answers you're looking for.

And in case you think we're taking a breather before we undertake the next expansion of our competitive e-commerce research, think again. We are already beginning to collect data to rank and profile e-commerce businesses in other foreign e-retailing markets and in markets outside the e-retailing arena.

We understand that e-commerce is a global market and not primarily national as has traditionally been the case for store-based retailing. Web sites are global by their very nature and advances in cross-border fulfillment have made delivering to foreign markets feasible to more competitors. Going global is best way of defending your e-commerce business against foreign operators using the web to penetrate your traditional market.

E-commerce has also blurred the lines between types of markets and competitors. Manufacturers are no longer content to sell only to wholesalers because web sites allow them to sell direct to consumers without breaking a sweat. Wholesalers are making up for that lost volume by using the web to sell direct. And all kinds of service companies use web sites to sell merchandise related to their services.

These trends put a premium on competitive data. E-commerce companies desperately need to track what their competitors are doing and how their own position in the market is changing. Our mission is to be the number one provider of that competitive data to the entire e-commerce marketplace around the world. We enjoy that position today and have no intention of relinquishing it.

Jack Love, Publisher

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