Amazon has reportedly started telling online merchants that it plans to shut down its Amazon Webstore business. According to a report by re/code, Webstore customers will have some time to find a replacement, as the service won’t be shutting down until the 1st of June 2016.
Amazon Webstore currently offers businesses a complete website with an estore for $79 per month in addition to charging them 2.10% to 2.90% of the sales proceeds. The platform helps create a mobile, tablet and desktop website and offers features like inventory management, order management, payment processing, shipping settings and Amazon services integration. Amazon also hosts these websites on its own network.
Note that back in December 2013, Amazon had raised the prices of its Webstore to the current $70 from $39.99 per month. However it looks like the service will be now shut down entirely as multiple online merchants reported getting this message. As of today morning, Amazon is not accepting new registrations for the service anymore.
It is possible that Amazon wants to go back to hosting merchants on its website rather than offering them their own website, as Amazon might actually be losing these sellers to the Webstore service. Competition in this field is also heating up, and it might simply be a case of not being able to keep up. There is no official word by Amazon on this yet, although we have written to them and are waiting to hear back.
Amazon’s main competitors in the market are, Canada based DIY e-commerce store Shopify, which expanded its operation in India with the help of SingTel and Bigcommerce which started its operations in India in February last year. Other local players in the market include, BuildaBazaar which launched third party apps store in India for its traders in July last year, MartJack which recently launched integrated solutions for sellers to list items on Amazon’s Junglee platform, Sellmojo.com, a unique take on the DIY e-commerce platform that lets users create e-commerce stores on Facebook, ambab.com, bigcommerce.com, zepo.in,Kartrocket, PowerStores and 39shops.com among others.