Turning a profit in e-commerce isn’t easy. Competition is rising, as are digital advertising costs. Consumers increasingly expect fast and free shipping thanks to the expectations set by Amazon and its Prime loyalty program that offers “free” two-day shipping on more than 100 million items. And, of course, there’s Amazon itself, which accounted for 30.7% of all Top 1000 sales in 2017—and that’s before you add in the sales that occur on its online marketplace.

Despite those challenges, there’s no shortage of merchants seeking to find unique ways to build a successful business online, which is why we’ve examined the current state-of-play from multiple perspectives in this issue.

To start, we look at home goods retailer Wayfair, which consistently posts strong top-line numbers in the fastest-growing product category in the Top 1000. The retailer is ambitious, with bold plans to build out a logistics network, develop technology and expand internationally. But it’s also running into many of the same headwind…

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