May 8, 2013, 11:15 AM

Top 500 Twitter trivia

As a thank you, we’re giving away free Top 500 Guides starting Mon., May 13. Stay tuned on Twitter with hashtags #Top500Guide and #Trivia.

Each year in April, Internet Retailer's research staff is barraged with e-mails from our sources. They write: "When is the new Top 500 Guide coming out?" "Can we see a copy of our listing?" "How did the others in our category do?" or my favorite (to which our answer is always some variation of "No" and "Sorry!") "Can I have a free copy?"

We love these e-mails from our readers and our trusted sources because we know that for the last 10 years, the Top 500 Guide—many call it "The bible of e-commerce—has been unrivalled as the most comprehensive and in-depth look into the marketing, merchandising, customer service and technology strategies of the leaders in online retailing.

Merchants have often shared their internal data with Internet Retailer because inclusion in the Top 500 Guide provides the quintessential bragging rights in online retailing—only the biggest and the best e-commerce companies are included. Small retailers use the Top 500 Guide to benchmark their progress, vendors view it as a valuable marketing tool and investors find potential business partners.

We want to thank our readers for their loyalty over the last 10 years and to celebrate the publication of this tenth anniversary edition with a little fun.

With that in mind, Internet Retailer will be hosting a Top 500 Guide trivia contest on Twitter starting next Monday, May 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. The format will be a trivia quiz based on Top 500 news, data and analysis that Internet Retailer has been posting in its Top 500 Insider stories on since last Mon., April 29, when the 2013 Top 500 Guide was released.

There will be three prizes awarded. First price is a one-year subscription to the online database version of the Top 500 Guide. A $239 value, a subscription includes the same data available in the print version of the guide, such as 2012 online sales figures, conversion rates, company executive names and the technology vendors each retailer uses, but also allows users to slice and dice data to create custom reports. For example, subscribers can use filtering tools to compile a list of apparel retailers in California with more than $25 million in 2012 web sales, or books and music merchants based in Illinois that collect no sales tax.

Second prize is the bundled digital and print versions of the Top 500 Guide, a $135 value. And third prize is the print version of the Top 500 Guide, a $75 value.

Here's how it will work.

To participate, readers must first follow IR_Magazine on Twitter. Those that follow our news regularly will have an easier time with the questions. There will be three rounds. At 2 p.m. Eastern on May 13th, IR_Magazine will Tweet the first question. Something like, "Who is No. 1 in the Top 500 Guide? #Top500Guide #Trivia."

To move on from Round 1, participants must quickly retweet the question asked, include the proper hashtags, #Top500Guide and #trivia, and include the correct answer. The first 15 people to tweet the correct answer will move on. In the case of our sample question (the real ones will be much harder) a winning response would be: "RT@IR_Magazine Who is No. 1 in the Top 500 Guide? #Top500guide #Trivia. Amazon."

@IR_Magazine will notify the winners of the first round on Twitter, and the next round will continue the next day at the same time among those 15 qualifiers. The second round of questions will narrow the pool to 10 qualifiers and the last round of questions, to occur on Wednesday, May 15, at 2 p.m. Eastern, will determine the three winners. Those who send in correct answers will be ranked according to who tweets first. Those three users can send @IR_Magazine a direct message for instructions on how to claim their prizes.

We think this will be fun and hope our readers and Twitter followers do as well. Who knows, Internet Retailer might make this a regular thing.

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