Glossary

Unless otherwise noted, data is collected, estimated and analyzed by Internet Retailer researchers.

FINANCIAL

Web Sales: Net revenue transacted annually by the retailer on the internet. This includes e-commerce sales placed through a retailer’s own website in addition to sales from online marketplaces, including ones operated by Amazon.com Inc., eBay Inc., etc. For retailers based in North America and ranked in the Top 1000, these are global online sales figures. For companies based outside of North America and ranked in the Top 1000, these numbers represent online sales to the United States only. Figures are for the calendar year unless a company operates on a different fiscal year. If the latter is the case, the figures are for that fiscal year provided that at least half of the company’s fiscal year falls in the corresponding calendar year. Whenever possible, web sales figures come from the retailer directly—either from company reports, financial surveys or interviews. Web sales figures may not come directly from the merchant—whether the information is unavailable because a retailer is private and doesn’t report its revenue or whether a retailer is public but doesn’t break out e-commerce figures. If web sales aren’t disclosed, Internet Retailer conducts research and estimates those figures, and estimates are marked as such. Retailers are given several opportunities to respond to and adjust estimates.

Percent Growth: Web sales growth from one year to the next.

Total Sales: Total net revenue transacted annually by the retailer. This includes all store, e-commerce, catalog and call center sales. If a retailer is a web-only merchant, this figure will generally match the web sales number. Figures are for the calendar year unless a company operates on a different fiscal year. If the latter is the case, the figures are for that fiscal year provided that at least half of the company’s fiscal year falls in the corresponding calendar year. Whenever possible, total sales figures come from the retailer directly—either from company reports, financial surveys or interviews. Total sales figures may not come directly from the merchant, and it’s likely that the information is unavailable because a retailer is private and doesn’t report its revenue. If total sales aren’t disclosed, Internet Retailer conducts research and estimates those figures, and estimates are marked as such. Retailers are given several opportunities to respond to and adjust estimates.

5-Year CAGR: Five-year compound annual growth rate, or the average web sales growth per year for the previous five years.

 

OPERATIONS

Monthly Visits: A measure of how many times a website is visited, on average, per month. Whenever possible, this data comes from retailers directly. If the data is unavailable, third-party estimates from data providers such as SimilarWeb are used. SimilarWeb traffic figures are calculated from January through December in a given calendar year. Third-party and Internet Retailer estimates are marked as such, and retailers are given several opportunities to respond to and adjust estimates.

METRIC source: SimilarWeb; data time stamp: January 2017

Monthly Unique Visitors: A measure of how many unique people visit a website, on average, per month. Whenever possible, this data comes from retailers directly. If the data is unavailable, third-party estimates from data providers such as SimilarWeb are used. SimilarWeb traffic figures are calculated from January through December in a given calendar year. Third-party and Internet Retailer estimates are marked as such, and retailers are given several opportunities to respond to and adjust estimates.

METRIC source: Internet Retailer analysis of SimilarWeb monthly visits data; data time stamp: January 2017

Conversion Rate: Percentage of website visits that end in a sale. Whenever possible, this data comes from retailers directly. In some cases, Internet Retailer estimates these figures, and estimates are marked as such. Estimates are based on industry knowledge, category averages and expert input. Retailers are given several opportunities to respond to and adjust estimates.

Average Ticket: A measure of the average value of a total sale on a website. The metric also is sometimes known as average order value. Whenever possible, this data comes from retailers directly. In some cases, Internet Retailer estimates these figures, and estimates are marked as such. Estimates are based on industry knowledge, category averages and expert input. Retailers are given several opportunities to respond to and adjust estimates.

Total SKUs on Web: Number of SKUs that a retailer has in its e-commerce store inventory.

Merchandise Return Rate: Percentage of all items purchased on a website that are returned.

No. of States Where Sales Tax is Collected: Total number of states that collect sales tax when an e-commerce order is shipped to a consumer with an address within state lines.

METRIC source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: December 2016

States Where Sales Tax is Collected: List of individual states that collect sales tax when an e-commerce order is shipped to a consumer with an address within state lines.

METRIC source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: December 2016

Internet Retailer Performance Score: Each Top 1000 retailer is ranked by its performance score, a proprietary scoring system devised by Internet Retailer that measures merchants’ success in online retail in comparison to its peers and to the overall e-commerce market. Internet Retailer factors in the following 10 metrics into its score:

·         Annual web sales,

·         Annual web sales growth,

·         5-year compound annual web sales growth rate,

·         Rank within a given merchandise category,

·         Comparison of a merchant’s annual growth rate to the collective growth rate of all Top 1000 merchants in the same category,

·         Conversion rate index,

·         Average ticket index,

·         Whether retailers have a mobile-optimized site,

·         Time it takes a website to load,

·         And percentage of site traffic each merchant receives from social networks.

 

WEBSITE SUMMARY

Year Launched: Year the company launched e-commerce operations.

Merchandise Category: Primary type of merchandise sold. All retailers are broken into one of 15 categories.

Merchant Type: All retailers are broken into one of four merchant types—web only, retail chain, consumer brand manufacturer and catalog/call center. If a merchant falls in more than one merchant type, the classification will default to the model upon which the company was founded. Web-only retailers sell primarily online with few or no brick-and-mortar stores; retail chains sell online but conduct most of their business in brick-and-mortar stores; catalog/call center merchants began as print catalogs or call centers but now also sell online; and consumer brand manufacturers produce and sell their own brand of products.

URL: A list of the domain names owned and operated by a retailer.

 

ONLINE MARKETPLACES & COMPARISON SHOPPING ENGINES

This section tracks a retailer’s presence on and sales through a variety of online marketplace channels and comparison shopping engines. Marketplaces are shopping portals that offer goods sold—and often shipped—by multiple sellers. Unlike marketplaces, where shoppers make purchases directly from the site, comparison shopping engines redirect consumers to a seller’s site to place an order.

Sell on Marketplaces: Whether a retailer sells its products on an online marketplace such as Amazon.com Inc. or eBay Inc.

A checklist of major online marketplaces:

·         AliExpress

·         Amazon

·         eBay

·         Jet.com

·         Newegg Marketplace

·         Rakuten.com

·         Sears Marketplace

·         Shop.com

·         TaoBao

·         Tmall

·         Walmart Marketplace

 

A checklist of major online shopping comparison engines:

·         Become.com

·         Bing

·         FindGift.com

·         Google Shopping

·         Nextag

·         PriceGrabber.com Inc.

·         Shopping.com

·         ShopWiki.com

·         Shopzilla Inc.

·         Sortprice.com

·         Yahoo Shopping

SECTION source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: January 2017

 

% of E-Commerce Sales from Marketplaces: Percentage of a retailer’s total web sales that are derived from transactions on online marketplaces.

% of Amazon E-Commerce Sales: Percentage of a retailer’s total web sales that are derived from transactions on Amazon.

% of eBay E-Commerce Sales: Percentage of a retailer’s total web sales that are derived from transactions on eBay.

% of Walmart Marketplace E-Commerce Sales: Percentage of a retailer’s total web sales that are derived from transactions on Walmart’s marketplace.

% of Other Marketplaces E-Commerce Sales: Percentage of a retailer’s web sales that are derived from transactions on other marketplaces not broken out above.

Amazon Sales Growth: Percentage growth of web sales that are derived from transactions on Amazon from one year to the next.

eBay Sales Growth: Percentage growth of web sales that are derived from transactions on eBay from one year to the next.

Walmart Marketplace Sales Growth: Percentage growth of web sales that are derived from transactions on Walmart’s marketplace from one year to the next.

Jet.com Sales Growth: Percentage growth of web sales that are derived from transactions on Jet.com from one year to the next.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

This section tracks whether a retailer is active on a number of social media outlets and how many browsers have engaged with or subscribed to its account.

A checklist of major social media outlets and corresponding engagement or subscriber numbers:

·         Facebook

o   No. of Likes

·         Twitter

o   No. of Twitter Followers

·         YouTube

o   No. of Views

·         Pinterest

o   No. of Pinterest Followers

·         Instagram

o   No. of Instagram Followers

·         Snapchat

·         Blog

·         Email a Friend, or a tool that allows a customer to share product content, such as a description or photo, with someone else via email

SECTION source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: January 2017

% of Online Sales from Social: Percentage of a retailer’s total web sales that are derived from social media.

 

MARKETING

Search Engine Shoppers: Percentage of monthly site visitors who come from search engines such as Google, Yahoo! or Bing.

METRIC source: Hitwise; data time stamp: January 2017

New Shoppers: Percentage of visitors over the course of a year who had not visited a given site within the previous four weeks or 28 days. The average for the year would be representative of the share of a site’s visitors who hadn’t visited the site during a typical four-week period during the year.

METRIC source: Hitwise; data time stamp: January 2017

Return Shoppers: Percentage of visitors over the course of a year who had visited a given site within the previous four weeks or 28 days. The average for the year would be representative of the share of a site’s visitors who had visited the site during a typical four-week period during the year.

METRIC source: Hitwise; data time stamp: January 2017

No. of Affiliates: Number of external website partners a retailer has that market on its behalf and are rewarded for traffic or sales generated from its referrals.

Rank in Category: The ranking a retailer has received within its merchandise category as determined by annual web sales figures.

Monthly Average PPC Spend: Average monthly amount spent on pay-per-click marketing, or a model where a retailer pays a fee whenever a browser clicks on its ad rather than landing on the site organically. These paid search spend figures, which are calculated based on data from January through December in a given calendar year, is available at the parent company level only and not by individual brand or URL. This metric combines desktop text ads, desktop product listing ads, mobile text ads, and mobile product listing ads on Google and Bing in every country where paid search spend could be identified for submitted domains as well as every country that those two search engines are operating within the approximately 50 countries monitored.

METRIC source: Kantar Media; data time stamp: January 2017

 

EMAIL MARKETING

Monthly Email Campaigns: Number of emails sent to a customer in a one-month period. Totals can vary greatly, so averages are not provided.

Incentive Offered: Percentage of all emails sent to a customer with a special promotion, discount, closeout or early look incentive. This metric excludes welcome emails to newly subscribed shoppers.

Mobile-Optimized Emails: Percentage of all emails sent by a retailer that are optimized for mobile devices.

SECTION source: MailCharts; data time stamp: January 2017

 

INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING

This section tracks whether a retailer offers international shipping outside of the United States and which countries are eligible for delivery.

SECTION source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: January 2017

 

E-COMMERCE DISTRIBUTION CENTERS

No. of E-Commerce Fulfillment Centers: Number of packing warehouses a retailer has to facilitate the delivery of e-commerce orders.

METRIC source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: December 2016

States Where Fulfillment Centers are Located: List of individual states where packing warehouses that facilitate the delivery of e-commerce orders are located.

METRIC source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: December 2016

 

PERSONNEL

No. of Full-Time E-Commerce Employees: Number of full-time employees working in e-commerce roles.

METRIC source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: December 2016

No. of Full-Time Employees in All Fulfillment Centers: Number of full-time employees working in fulfillment center roles.

 

PERFORMANCE

Site Availability: Percentage of time during which a retailer’s website loads properly. 100% is a perfect availability rate.

Webpage Load Time (Seconds): Average length of time needed for a retailer’s website to load. The response time is measured in seconds.

SECTION source: Catchpoint; data time stamp: March 2017

 

CORPORATE INFORMATION

This section details a retailer’s corporate contact information including:

·         Names and titles of key e-commerce executives

·         Street address, city, state/province, zip/postal code and country of a retailer’s corporate headquarters

·         Phone number of a retailer’s corporate headquarters

·         Parent company

 

VENDORS

This section lists which companies a retailer works with for a variety of e-commerce technologies and services. If the technology or service is performed in-house, it will be marked as such. This information comes from the retailer directly, from e-commerce vendors, and from website-tracking firms such as BuiltWith and Ghostery, which crawl websites to capture information on which technologies and frameworks a site is built.

Affiliate Marketing: A marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays a commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. Software and services help a retailer manage the relationship with referral sources.

Comparison Engine Feeds: Prepares and monitors product data flow to online price-comparison platforms and shopping marketplaces.

Content Delivery: A system that copies the pages of a website to geographically dispersed servers. When a page is requested, content is identified and served from the closest server to the users, enabling faster delivery.

Content Management: Technology that addresses the creation, review, approval and publishing processes of web-based content.

CRM: Customer relationship management, or CRM, technology manages all aspects of interaction a company has with its customers, whether they are sales- or service-related exchanges.

Customer Reviews/Ratings: Technology that enables customer ratings and written reviews of products posted on a retailer's or manufacturer's website.

Customer Service Software: Provides access to customer purchasing and support history as well as access to product purchasing information from purchase to delivery.

E-Commerce Platform: Provides a combination of operating system software, hardware and individual tools that enable online shopping.

Email Marketing: An electronic mail variation of the traditional method of marketing directly to consumers via bulk mail.

Fulfillment: Labor-based services as well as software programs and applications that automate the fulfillment process to help an online retailer receive, warehouse, package, ship, exchange and return orders.

International E-Commerce/Fulfillment Services: Cross-border processing of an order, which can include the picking, packing, shipping and delivery of a product plus currency conversion and returns.

Live Chat/Click-to-Call: A web service that enables a business to communicate—or chat—in real time with visitors to its website.

Marketplace Management: Technology and services that help a seller list products and establish web stores on a marketplace. Services can include providing product descriptions and payments, among others.

Mobile Commerce: Technology that enables e-commerce transactions to be conducted on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

Online Advertising: A form of digital marketing and advertising that uses the internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to a consumer. Services included remarketing and programmatic targeting.

Order Management: Software to help merchants process, track and manage orders.

Payment Processing: Services for processing a payment during an e-commerce transaction.

Payment Security/Fraud Prevention: Services that offer online customer payment security tools that protect the consumer’s personal data and provide a retailer with fraud detection support.

Personalization: Software that facilitates the process of creating a customized experience for an individual visitor to a website. Rather than providing a single, generic experience, website personalization allows a retailer to present a site visitor with unique content and products tailored to his or her specific needs, desires, demographics, and browsing and purchasing history.

Rich Media: A broad range of advanced interactive technologies commonly used on web pages, such as streaming video, audio, and other elements that encourage a visitor to interface and engage with site content.

Search Engine Marketing: Paid search and organic search software and services designed to increase exposure to internet search engines.

Security Certification: Technology that provides a secure web connection by Single Socket Layer (SSL) protocol. For an SSL connection to be created, both sides must have valid security certificates issued by a certificate authority.

Shipping Carrier: Transportation companies that deliver an online retailer’s goods to consumers and businesses.

Site Design: Website services including planning, creating, building and maintaining e-commerce sites.

Site Search: Software that organizes and presents website content and also tracks how a site visitor uses the tool, such as by analyzing keywords that have been entered and browsing patterns within search results.

Social Media Marketing: The use of social network websites as marketing tools to place messages and track consumer use of company and product names.

Web Analytics: The measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of web data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage. Metrics studied include how many people visited a site, how they came to the site and what keywords they search while using the site’s search engine, among many others.

Web Hosting: The operation of website data servers either at a data center or a co-location facility.

Web Performance Monitoring: Technology that gathers data on metrics that provide a business with knowledge of its website’s performance, such as webpage load time and availability.

Website Testing/Optimization: The process of using controlled experimentation to improve a website’s ability to achieve business goals. This includes site testing software and tools that help improve site performance and optimize layout.

 

SHOPPER PROFILE

This section tracks demographic data on shoppers on a retailer’s site and reflects the share of a merchant’s shoppers belonging to a certain gender, age range and annual household income group. The demographic breakdowns provided by Hitwise are calculated based on traffic data from January through December in a given calendar year.

SECTION source: Hitwise; data time stamp: January 2017

 

MOBILE COMMERCE

Mobile Site: Whether a retailer has a dedicated website geared toward browsing from a mobile device.

Mobile App: Whether a retailer offers a mobile app.

% of Online Sales from Mobile Devices: Percentage of a retailer’s total web sales that are derived from purchases completed on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

SECTION source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: January 2017

 

WEBSITE FEATURES & FUNCTIONS

This section tracks which main features and functionality a retailer’s website offers to shoppers.

A checklist of key website features and functions:

Affiliate Program: A marketing arrangement by which an online retailer pays a commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals. Affiliates advertise brands and products on their websites or blogs and link to the retailer’s site.

Alternate Views: Images that provide multiple angles of a product.

Color Change: Product images reflect individual colors or patterns of an item as they are selected.

Customer Reviews/Ratings: Product page includes customer reviews and ratings of an item. This allows consumers to describe their experience with a given product.

Customer-Generated Content: Community-based, user-posted content such as photos, videos and a peer-to-peer question-and-answer format.

Flash/Hourly Sales: Items are sold at greatly reduced prices with sales lasting for a brief period of time.

Frequently Asked Questions: A designated section of the website where retailers answer common questions from online shoppers.

Gift Center: A designated section of the website where consumers can shop gifts by price, occasion or recipient.

Guided Navigation: Detailed filters and search parameters so that items can be browsed by category and products can be found faster.

Interactive Catalog: An online catalog that allows a shopper to click on a featured product and go directly to the product page.

Loyalty Program: Incentivized shopping program where shoppers earn rewards— which can include dollars back, discounts, free shipping, free gifts and other bonuses—for purchases.

Mouse Over: Hovering the mouse cursor over a product’s image automatically zooms in on a product or offers information about the item.

Outlet Center: A discount category of the website with deals or sales.

Persistent Shopping Cart: Tracks abandoned, or unpurchased, items left in a shopper’s cart and restores the contents when a customer next visits the retailer’s website. This prevents shoppers from having to retrace their steps by repeating a search in order to refill their carts after a break in shopping.

Pre-Orders: Allows for pre-ordering before a product is available for purchase. The item will be charged to a shopper and delivered once it’s in stock.

Product Comparisons: Allows consumers to select multiple items to view simultaneously and compare on the basis of price and product descriptions/specifications.

Product Customization: Products can be customized or personalized according to a shopper’s preferences.

Product Recommendations: Browsers are offered suggestions for similar or related items—often based on a shopper’s browsing history.

Product Sharing Tool: Allows a customer to share product content, such as a description or photo, with someone else via email, social media, etc.

Quick View: A button that allows a shopper to enlarge a product image and often view an abbreviated description via a popup window rather than navigating away from the current home page or search results to an individual product page.

Real-Time Inventory Check: A view of an online store’s available inventory. Products often will be marked as “in stock” or with the number of items remaining.

Registry: Online registry where shoppers can create a list of desired gift items to be shopped by friends and family members for occasions such as weddings, baby showers, housewarming parties and other events.

Ship from Store: A retailer uses brick-and-mortar stores to fulfill online orders. This often reduces shipping costs and speeds delivery since a merchant can locate the closest item to a customer.

ShopRunner: Membership-fee based service offering unlimited free, two-day shipping and free return shipping.

Store Locator: A tool to help shoppers find the nearest local store.

Top Sellers: A designated section of the website featuring best-selling products.

Trending Products: A designated section of the website featuring products that are generating interest from shoppers or are buzzworthy.

Video: Product videos featured on product pages. These often feature usage demonstrations or models wearing apparel and accessories.

What’s New: A designated section of the website for new items recently added to a store’s inventory.

Wish List: Online list where shoppers can add desired items onto a wish list for purchase at a later time.

Zoom: Ability to zoom in and out of product images within a product page.

SECTION source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: January 2017

 

PAYMENT SYSTEMS

This section tracks which payment options a retailer offers to a shopper completing a purchase.

A checklist of major payment methods:

·         Affirm

·         Alipay

·         American Express

·         Android Pay

·         Apple Pay

·         Bill Me Later

·         Bitcoin

·         Diners Club

·         Discover

·         eLayaway

·         Electronic Check, or a form of internet- or data network-based payment such as a direct deposit system

·         Google Wallet

·         JCB

·         Klarna

·         MasterCard

·         Masterpass

·         Pay with Amazon

·         Pay with Cash

·         PayPal

·         Private-Label Credit Card, or a store-branded credit card that can only be used at that store

·         Samsung Pay

·         Splitit

·         Stored-Value Cards, or a type of electronic bank debit card programmed with a specific dollar value

·         Venmo

·         Visa

·         Visa Checkout

SECTION source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: January 2017

 

CUSTOMER SERVICE

This section tracks which customer service features a retailer offers.

A checklist of key customer service tools:

Account Status/History: Allows a shopper to log into his or her personal account and view prior orders and track current ones.

Buy Online/Pick Up In Store: Items can be purchase online and picked up at a local brick-and-mortar store.

Currency Converter: A tool that automatically converts prices of goods from one currency to another (i.e. from U.S. dollars to euros).

E-Gift Certificate: Allows a digital gift certificate/card to be emailed to another person.

Estimated Delivery Date: An estimated arrival time/date for a package that is being shipped.

Express Checkout: Allows a transaction to process quickly by bypassing the usual shopping cart checkout steps.

Free Return Shipping: A package can be returned free of charge without return shipping costs if an item doesn’t meet a shopper’s needs or if it’s damaged or incorrectly delivered.

Free Shipping: A package is delivered without the customer incurring an additional fee for shipping costs.

Gift Message: Allows for shoppers to write a personalized message to be delivered to a gift recipient.

Gift Wrap: Purchased items can be gift wrapped rather than being delivered with just standard shipping packaging.

In-Store Returns: Allows for a customer to return a delivered item that was purchased online to a brick-and-mortar store and exchange it for another product or process a return for a refund.

International Shipping: A retailer ships its goods outside of its country of origin.

Live Chat: Allows for customers to speak with a customer service representative in a live chat pop-up window linked from a retailer’s site.

Multiple Languages: Customers can choose to view a retailer’s website in more than one language.

Next-Day Delivery: A package that is shipped to a customer and delivered the day after an order is placed if it’s finalized within a certain shipping time frame.

Order Confirmation: An email sent by a retailer to a customer to confirm the receipt of an order and, generally, that payment has been processed.

Order Status: Notifications for the customer as an order progresses from received to shipped to delivered. Often retailers offer updates for back-ordered or pre-ordered items in addition to returns/refunds and exchanges.

Same-Day Delivery: A package that is shipped to a customer and delivered the same day an order is placed if it’s finalized within a certain shipping time frame.

Shipment Tracking: Allows customers to track an order in real time.

Shipping Cost Calculator: Automatically calculates the cost of shipping for a given purchase based on type of shipping and distance once delivery information is entered.

Subscription Services/Auto-Delivery: Auto-replenishment of certain items on a regular basis without a shopper manually placing an order. This often is used for household items or supplies that need periodic restocking.

SECTION source: Internet Retailer; data time stamp: January 2017