What Amazon’s Pending Webstore Closure Means for Retailers

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Several reports have confirmed that Amazon will shutter its Webstore service by July 2016. Amazon has notified its online retailers that are using the ecommerce platform on their own sites of the shutdown, according to SmartBusinessTrends.com.

Amazon Webstore, geared towards small business e-retailers, was launched in May 2010.

Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, said his best guess was that Amazon Webstore was an experiment that didn’t hit the company’s internal goals, leading executives to focus on other areas.

“Amazon commonly follows this pattern – try things and the ones that work keep living, while the ones that don’t, they sunset,” said Wingo. “It’s kind of a Darwinian approach that many large companies take, but it seems to work.”

Wingo said ChannelAdvisor has about 200 customers on the Amazon Webstore platform, and their analysis indicates that there are about 2,000 total Amazon Webstores out there.

“There are around 300 branded manufacturers on the platform and the others are SMB/mid-tier retailers,” said Wingo. “The good news is Amazon has given a very long load time for the closure and there are a lot of alternatives for Amazon Webstore users to pick from.”

Wingo said Shopify and BigCommerce are similar SaaS options for SMB oriented retailers. Magento is an option for someone that wants to explore an on-premise option.

“There is a big boon for platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce,” said Wingo. “Earlier this year eBay also sunsetted a platform they had called Prostores and most of those platform refugees ended up at one of those two platforms.”

Amazon notified sellers with an announcement on its Webstore saying, “The Amazon Webstore service, an ecommerce solution to build your own standalone website, is no longer available to new sellers.”

Amazon sent an email to retailers currently using the ecommerce platform saying, “Please make sure you secure all relevant data from your Webstore by July 1, 2016, as you will not have access to Amazon Webstore content or features after this date. Amazon Webstore’s data export features can be used for this purpose as you migrate to a new platform.”

The email provides retailers enough time to find another ecommerce platform provider. It also says it will work with companies to help them find the solution.

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