How is the Second 500 data compiled?
The starting point for data gathering is the retailers' web traffic from Compete Inc. and comScore Inc. That list is supplemented with merchants that Internet Retailer has covered. 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 for that retailer's category as well as on analyst interviews to formulate estimates. For monthly visits and monthly unique visitors, official numbers were supplied by many retailers. When a retailer did not reveal numbers, researchers used comScore, Compete 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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What sources are used when compiling the Second 500 data?
Researchers contact each retailer several times over the 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 to formulate estimates. Additional data is supplied to the Second 500 from these information partners: comScore Inc., Compete Inc. and Compuware Gomez. In all instances where an estimate is used or the data is supplied from a third-party, the figure is footnoted. Retailers were given multiple opportunities to review and respond to estimates and metrics provided by third-party research firms.
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Do the Second 500 rankings change each year?
Yes. 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 2012 edition, the company ranked as No. 501 had annual web sales of about $17.7 million.
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