Adios, Amazon Webstore: Service Will Close July 2016





There’s no denying Amazon is a giant among e-retailers.

But if there’s one area where the company apparently wasn’t making strides, it was providing an eCommerce platform for others.

Several reports have confirmed that Amazon will close down its Webstore service in July 2016. The company began notifying e-retailers that are using Amazon’s eCommerce platform on their own sites of the shut down just recently. Indeed, on the Amazon Webstore homepage, the company has posted an announcement barring any new sign-ups.

MarketingLand.com obtained a copy of an email that Amazon sent to the e-retailers that are currently using its eCommerce platform.

In that email, Amazon explains to its eCommerce customers what to do before the shut-down date and how to transfer data out of its system to another:

“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 early heads-up gives those retailers enough time to find another eCommerce platform provider. And Amazon says it will work with the companies to help them find that solution.

The shuttering of Amazon Webstore next summer will mean the service lasted just over six years. Webstore was launched in May 2010.





Clearly, Amazon is giving up on Webstore because it just wasn’t appealing to e-retailers. The service was geared to small and medium businesses. It allowed e-retailers to use Amazon’s eCommerce platform structure but host their products at their own domain.

The problem? As of the time of the announcement that it was closing Webstore, only about 100 companies are using it.

According to a report from Internet Retailer, companies may not have been as attracted to Amazon’s eCommerce offering because it was too connected to the Internet retail giant.

One e-retailer toy shop owner told Internet Retailer that Amazon’s name was all over the product pages and that his prospective customers would see the Amazon name and just visit them instead of buying from him.



He also said the build of Webstore was cumbersome. Joshua Kluger, owner of Past Generation Toys, told Internet Retailer:



“It just really seems the functionality provided was not up to spec to what customers want.”

Amazon packages photo via Shutterstock 8 Comments ▼


Joshua Sophy


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Assistant Editor for Small Business Trends and the Head of Content Partnerships. A journalist with 17 years of experience in traditional and online media, Joshua got his start in the newspaper business in Pennsylvania. His experience includes being a beat reporter covering daily news. He eventually founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press, covering his hometown. Joshua supervises the day-to-day operations of Small Business Trends' busy editorial department including the editorial calendar and outgoing assignments.

8 Reactions

  1. Good piece Joshua, but as a correction, Amazon has over 1,000 sites using webstore, not 100. They have two main areas, small merchants who are big third party sellers and major manufacturers who used their product catalog to host their own site (see Fiskar.com as an example)

    The little guys will get crushed but some of the big players also sell a ton to Amazon. It will be interesting to see this play out.

  2. Aira Bongco

    That’s sad. I could still remember the days when marketers are raving about how much money they made with webstore along with some tutorials on how to make it work. That is the good old days.

  3. Does anyone know of a platform we could use since Amazon’s will be closing down? Our company uses the eTail software, so we need a platform that would be compatible with that.

    • Hi Aubrey,

      You can get in touch with Venda, they are an experienced eCommerce provider helping large and small companies succeed online.

      Thanks

  4. Amazon decides what is read by how it’s marketed.. and maybe even decides to some extent what is published.. the power of censorship.
    This is truly too much power for any one corporation to have.
    Amazon is becoming like General Electric and a few other corporation controlling what’s on TV, in the news papers and on the radio.. they are able to control the population of the USA… misinforming and hiding truth..
    Amazon has become way too big … and like all way too big corporation they think they are too big to need to care now…. and we’re all under their thumb.

  5. as you can see amazon has NOT closed the webstore astores and it seems they are doubling down and making it faster and better..be honest your shopify trolls or from some other wanker group…lol

    • Anita Campbell

      Brian, you are correct that Astores are still around. However, Astores are NOT the same as Webstores.

      Astores are for Amazon affiliate sales. When you sell on an Astore, you’re not selling your own items. An Astore simply is a collection of affiliate links for items on the Amazon website. If a buyer on your Astore clicks through and buys, you get paid a small commission from Amazon. But you are not really the seller.

      Webstores were private ecommerce storefronts that a seller would set up. Buyers would actually be purchasing from you as the seller on a Webstore. Webstores are what this article refers to.

      – Anita

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