Amazon’s Hosted Solution Closes Its Doors
Amazon’s recent decision to shut down its hosted solution, Amazon Webstore, on July 1st, 2016 is a perfect example of a risk that comes with a hosted eCommerce solution. There is now a public notice on the Amazon Webstore Site notifying new sellers: “The Amazon Webstore service, an eCommerce solution to build your own standalone website, is no longer available to new sellers…”
This is devastating news for Webstore owners that have recently moved over to Amazon Webstore, and launched their store. We know from experience that the Webstore was not easy to work with: edits could take 72 hrs to populate, no live shipping rates, and the templating system was ridiculously difficult to navigate. Many store owners are voicing their frustration with Amazon’s decision in forums, as they are now forced to search for solutions that are comparable to the Webstore.
(Quick Note: If you are selling on Amazon, and do not have your own store, this will not affect you).
Popular eCommerce Hosted Solutions
A few hosted solutions to consider are: Shopify, Bigcommerce, PrestaShop (now offers a cloud version), LemonStand, 3dCart, and Volusion. (I did not mention Magento, as they have discontinued their hosted solution). Determining which one is best for you depends on what you want the site to do, and the needs of your business.
Make a List of Requirements
Before you start looking for a new solution, make a list of your absolute “must haves”, and features that would be nice to have, but aren’t required. With Google’s new update around the corner, (which expects all pages of the site to be optimized for mobile devices), a solution that supports responsive design should be one of your top priorities.
Volusion has new responsive templates, but hasn’t released their front-end rendering system yet, so responsive is not fully supported. This leaves Shopify, Bigcommerce, PrestaShop, LemonStand, and 3dCart.
Let’s Talk Options
Shopify: Responsive Designs, Built in Blog, and Supports Subscription Based Products. *Cannot Customize Checkout Page.
Bigcommerce: The Bigcommerce team is working on a solution that will make the transition between Amazon Webstore to Bigcommerce easier, and will also offer Amazon Payments. Bigcommerce also offers a built in blog, responsive designs, and unlimited bandwidth for images & videos.
PrestaShop: Responsive Designs, Marketplace with Modules, and a Multistore Feature.
LemonStand: Mobile Friendly Themes, Local Theme Development, and Accepts Bitcoins. *Requires a developer, or a store owner that is comfortable with code.
3dCart: Customize store with easy to use admin interface, no transaction fees, and responsive designs.
Questions or Comments
Please comment below, or send us a message if you have any questions about Amazon Webstore, or any of the hosted eCommerce solutions mentioned in this post. We offer free consultations and estimates, and would be happy to put together a custom approach for migrating your data over to a new store.