How Wayfair quietly built a $500M a year web business

In today’s crowded world of e-commerce, it’s not easy to make a name for yourself. That’s why it’s so impressive that Wayfair, a relatively little known website dealing in home furnishings and decor, is set to make more than $500 million in top-line sales for 2011.

Study: Apple’s iPhone, iPad account for 90 percent of mobile purchases

f people are buying through online retail sites on mobile, they’re most likely doing so on Apple devices, according to a new report. iPads and iPhones accounted for over 92 percent of online retail not originating from a desktop device in December, according to the study.

EBay adds invoice payments to PayPal with BillSafe acquisition

EBay is continuing its buying spree, snapping up Germany’s BillSafe, a payment-by-invoice provider. The new acquisition will be rolled up into PayPal, which made a minority investment in BillSafe last year and collaborated on a joint online invoice payment solution for e-commerce customers.

Forget wallets. What else is NFC good for?

NFC has been trashed by critics, who say it adds no value to consumers or is a technology in search of a need. But increasingly, we’re seeing more interesting projects and applications being built that show how NFC will be deployed outside of mobile payment situations.

Today in Connected Consumer

What recession? U.S. shoppers were out in force over the Thanksgiving weekend, spending a record $52.4 billion and getting the holiday shopping season off to an unexpectedly strong start. That’s raised hopes among online retailers that the trend will continue through today, Cyber-Monday, a made-up phenomenon that has nonetheless been more or less officially adopted by e-commerce sites as the focus of Black Friday-like promotions and discounts. Analysts estimate cyber-sales could reach $1.2 billion today, topping last year’s $1. 0 billion, while mobile e-commerce sales could double. Don’t expect much work to get done today, however. Roughly half of today’s online shopping is expected to be done while at work.

Today in Cloud

Originally an American phenomenon, retailers are now working hard to make Black Friday a fixture in other markets as well. My (UK-based) email inbox has been inundated with offers from the local branches of global retailers including Apple and Amazon. From an infrastructure perspective, this mad rush to spend money on a single day places significant pressure upon e-commerce sites. I’ve looked before at one of the leaders in the provision of cloud-based load testing, SOASTA. Other than a tweet noting that their customers are “ready,” the company is keeping surprisingly quiet about today. Presumably the press releases will follow next week, if all of their customers successfully negotiate today’s traffic spike.