For years, etailers have depended on Amazon Webstore as their ecommerce web host of choice, but it looks like these customers are being forced to look elsewhere for their service. There have been rumors swirling on Amazon’s seller forums for awhile, and Amazon has finally confirmed that Webstore is coming to an end. According to early reports, some Webstore customers were told via the phone throughout March that service will be coming to an end next summer and now an official date has been announced: June 2016. That gives Webstore users over a year to research and secure new hosting, which may actually be a blessing in disguise.
The good news is that this shut down doesn’t come as a surprise for many savvy Webstore customers who have been keeping up on the rumors. It was previously thought that Amazon might close down the service during the IRCE Focus: Digital Design Conference, but so far Amazon hasn’t officially announced the shuttering with any specific event.
The End of an Era
For those who don’t use Amazon Webstore, here’s how it works (or “worked”): Users could make their own online store with relative ease. The Amazon store was then hosted on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure, of course. It cost $79 per month to do this, which was a drop in the bucket for many webstores that were even semi-successful. It also came with secure payment processing, fraud protection and a bevy of design tools that included mobile readiness and responsive design. This all sounds pretty cutting edge and in keeping with demands in the digital era, but today those features are considered par for the course with many website building and hosting services—many of which are available for free, such as with WordPress or Wix.
Ecommerce is a thriving industry, jumping up 15 percent from last year alone. However, it’s rumored that there is just too much competition now. Amazon’s Webstore wasn’t doing anything unique anymore, and there were just as user-friendly options out there for a lower cost. Take a look at Shopify or Bigcommerce, and they offer virtually the same features (and more!) for a fraction of Amazon’s costs. Plus, Amazon has bigger fish to fry, like their drone project.
Mobile Readiness is the Real Amazon
The mobile readiness movement means more and more companies—and not just the giants like Amazon—are prioritizing making it easy to shop online on a variety of devices. Yes, there are still lingering security fears over mobile payments, but the fears aren’t enough to stop many people from doing business online and with mobile options. However, already some Webstore owners are looking at transition options. Web hosting is one of the industries helping Webstore users identify new options such as Mozu or Magento.
Plus, ecommerce hosting specialists are considering the Webstore closure a means of getting more customers. Massive migration will likely happen soon. As a soon to be former Webstore user, this is also the time to make sure you have everything you need and want in an ecommerce platform and host.