I just got back from IRCE Focus in Los Angeles and sources confirm that Amazon will shut down Amazon Webstores in 2016. Although this will not impact Amazon at all in regards to their marketplace, it signifies that Amazon finally gave up in competing with eCommerce platform players such as Shopify and Magento. Although Amazon itself has not commented on this topic, many sellers that currently use Amazon Webstore have received notifications from Amazon, letting them know of this change in hopes that they can find a new eCommerce platform. This of course is going to open up opportunity for other eCommerce platforms, but which platform will benefit the most is still to be determined.
This event reminds me a lot of last summer when eBay announced the shut down of Magento Go. Both Magento Go and Amazon Webstore targets small to medium size businesses that didn’t want the large investment into a self hosted eCommerce platform. Therefore, the most obvious eCommerce platforms that will absorb Amazon Webstore clients is probably Shopify and Bigcommerce. However, personally I think that any platform that already has a strong integration with the Amazon marketplaces is going to have a huge advantage. For example, Volusion comes out of the box with a feed that is built into Amazon. Also, Magento with M2E is a great solution since sellers will be able to manage their product inventory from one platform and still push product to Amazon, without having to pay for a 3rd party Channel Management System such as ChannelAdvisor, Mercent or Solidcommerce.
Although Amazon won’t admit the reason for this decision, I believe they finally realized they cannot compete in the eCommerce platform arena because today they account for less than 2% of all eCommerce websites. It also doesn’t help that their eCommerce platform was seriously lacking basic features like email marketing, loyalty programs and basic SEO control. The worst part of Amazon Webstore is the fact that Amazon analyzes your websites sales and if your products sell well, they will poach your manufacturer and buy your product directly to sell on their marketplace, which basically takes your business out of the equation.
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If you need to move off of Amazon Webstore and you need help picking a new eCommerce platform, let me know and I can work with you to help you pick the right platform for your business.