How We Gather the Data for the Second 500 Guide
The newly compiled annual information for all Second 500 retailers is updated in late June. Data and profiles for individual retailers are updated throughout the year. Updates may include new vendor relationships and newly hired or promoted executives. Each year as the web retailing market grows in size, new and bigger web retailers are added to the rankings while some smaller companies drop off. In the 2014 edition, the company ranked as No. 501 had annual web sales of about $21.7 million.
The starting point for data gathering is the retailers' web traffic from comScore and Millward Brown Digital. That list is supplemented with merchants that Internet Retailer has covered editorially. Whenever possible, web sales listed in the electronic and print versions of the Second 500 came from the company. If the company did not provide sales figures, Internet Retailer estimated sales based on traffic and assumed conversion rate and average ticket for that retailer's category. Internet Retailer also uses analyst interviews and historical knowledge of the e-commerce industry to formulate its estimates.
Internet Retailer researchers contact each retailer by phone and e-mail several times over the five-month course of data collection to compile, collect and fact-check each merchant's information. If the merchant did not provide full financial, operations and web site summary information, Internet Retailer used metrics from that retailer's category—as well as analyst interviews and historical knowledge of the industry—to formulate estimates. Additional data are supplied to the Second 500 from these information partners: comScore Inc., Millward Brown Digital, Compuware and ROI Revolution Inc. In all instances where an estimate is used or the data is supplied by a third party, the figure is footnoted.
For monthly visits and monthly unique visitors, official numbers were supplied by many retailers. When a retailer did not reveal numbers, researchers used comScore, Millward Brown Digital or Internet Retailer estimates. For the conversion rate, in most instances researchers used category data and analyst interviews to formulate estimates. For the average ticket, if the merchant would not reveal a number, researchers used category data and analyst interviews to formulate estimates. In all instances where an estimate is used it is footnoted. Retailers were given multiple opportunities to review and respond to estimates.
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