Amazon to shut down Webstore

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has informed its merchants that it will be shutting down the Webstore e-commerce platform that allows small businesses to run their own stores.

According to a post on a forum for Amazon sellers, the platform will be closing June 1, 2016, which means retailers that rely on it will have more than a year to make the necessary arrangements, reported GeekWire.

Customers on the forum reported receiving phone calls informing them of the Webstore's closing.

"It's not a huge surprise to see Amazon shutting down one of its endeavors into independent retail," said Dax Dasilva, CEO of Lightspeed." One of the biggest concerns for small and mid-sized stores is being erased by online giants—so it's logical that they'd shy away from using Amazon as a platform to run their business. Independent retailers are doing everything they can to differentiate with curated products and incredible omnichannel experiences, and they're gravitating toward companies that are in the business of keeping independent retail alive."

Similarly, eBay recently announced that it will be shutting down its Magento Go service, which also provides a platform for small businesses. The industry has grown increasingly competitive in the last few years and other companies, such as Shopify and Bigcommerce, are offering dedicated experiences for these small businesses.

But even as one Amazon service closes, another one opens. Just last week the e-commerce giant announced the launch of Exclusives, a new store that features products from up-and-coming brands. Amazon also recently unveiled Elements, which offers a line of ethically sourced items available to Prime members.

For more:
-See this GeekWire article
-See this Amazon Seller Forums page

Related stories:
Amazon, eBay most active retailers on Twitter
Amazon unveils one-hour delivery in New York
Amazon stores could pressure back-end operations
Amazon opens Exclusives store
Amazon launches second store on Alibaba's Tmall

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