Methodology - 3

Interactive Week's third annual Interactive 500 ranks companies by the amount of revenue generated from their Web operations, based on online sales over the four quarters beginning July, 1, 2000 and ending June 30, 2001.

Interactive Weeks third annual Interactive 500 ranks companies by the amount of revenue generated from their Web operations, based on online sales over the four quarters beginning July, 1, 2000 and ending June 30, 2001. Our listing includes public and private companies conducting business during the 12-month period. If a company did not close a fiscal quarter on June 30, we looked at the four fiscal quarters that closed closest to that date.

In recognizing online revenue, we have followed the broad guidelines issued last year by the Department of Commerce: "E-commerce sales are sales of goods and services over the Internet, an extranet, electronic data interchange or other online. Payment may or may not be made online."

This year we were assisted in our efforts by an accounting team from Grant Thornton, which was led by Michael C. Bernstein, a partner and the firms national technology industry practice director. Grant Thornton, which is one of the Global Seven accounting companies, contributed most of the data on publicly held Interactive 500 companies.

We began our research efforts back in July with a survey of Interactive Weeks readers, conducted by Advantage Business Research. The pollster sent out online sales questionnaires to more than 70,000 e-commerce professionals, interactive managers, chief executive officers and chief information officers. Additional surveys were e-mailed to public relations contacts at several hundred of the nations largest companies. The Advantage Business Research survey results were also posted on our Web site.

Some companies could not, or would not, break out online sales figures from overall revenue. However, if a company shared such information with us as the percentage of overall sales generated by e-commerce operations for a given period, we calculated an online revenue estimate from that number. We also generated estimates if our editors, after researching a company, compiled enough supporting data to sufficiently assess a companys e-commerce activities.

As was the case the last two years, there may be a handful of companies that had the Web revenue to make it onto this years list, but either missed our deadline or — in a rare occurrence — slipped under our radar, and we failed to identify them as e-commerce leaders. Companies that come forward with online revenue figures that would have been significant enough to make this years cut will be added to the Interactive 500 listing on our Web site.

In the end, we compiled online revenue information on nearly 1,500 companies. The top 500 became this years Interactive 500, the most complete listing of the Webs biggest and best e-commerce players.