Amazon Webstore was launched in 2010. It enabled businesses to build a scalable and secure online shopping experience using Amazon’s cutting-edge cloud infrastructure solutions and payment processing technology.
Following the lead of other popular web store solutions, Amazon provided businesses with the opportunity to create e-commerce websites and platforms without additional investment into hardware and software. The Webstore included seamless integrations with the Amazon Service suite and claimed to be an all-in-one e-commerce solution. Businesses could also advertise their products using Amazon Product ads and offer Amazon Prime shipping.
Amazon Webstore was adopted by major e-commerce websites and top brands, including Black & Decker, Samsonite and Fruit of the Loom.
Amazon started telling online merchants about the impending closure of its Webstore service well before 2015. Ecommerce websites operating on Amazon Webstore were given more than a year to switch to another alternative before Amazon suspended its services. Following this news, Ecommerce advisory companies began recommending their clients to shift to other popular platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, or Magneto.
Finally, in 2015, the Amazon Webstore service was closed down. At that time, Amazon Webstore was facing some serious competition from smaller startups like Shopify and BigCommerce. These young companies had started raising impressive amounts of venture capital to attract a large number of new customers. In 2014, eBay had also decided to shut down its Magento Go software made for small online businesses, recommending users to switch to BigCommerce.
Apart from the growing competition, Amazon’s customer base was also dwindling. Merchants were not very comfortable with using Amazon Webstore as their core channel. From the flow and structure to the UI and checkout process, websites running on Amazon Webstore were looking too much like Amazon itself.
Soon after the shutdown of Amazon Webstore, Amazon released an endorsement for Shopify and said that it would be partnering with the company to provide web stores for Shopify’s third-party merchants. Evidently, Amazon found Shopify to be a much better option than their own services and Shopify was thrilled at the prospect of partnering up with such an industry giant.
Interestingly, considering Shopify’s impressive growth in recent years. The Canadian startup could prove to be Amazon’s biggest competitor in the west, especially bearing in mind the possibility of a merger between Shopify and any fulfillment giant in the US.