Small retailers migrating from Amazon, eBay, Yahoo

Many of the larger e-commerce players are dropping their online support platforms designed for small business partners. Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) stated plan to shutter its Webstore next year is just the latest in a series of moves by big online retailers. Even eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is dropping its Magento Go and ProStores, and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) is spinning off its small business unit. As a result, smaller retailers seem to be looking elsewhere for better e-commerce support.

And e-commerce sales are doing anything but slowing down. Online sales are expected to pass $1.6 trillion this year, and retailers that sell online and in-store will only keep getting bigger.

Last July, Magento teamed up with Bigcommerce as its migration partner for its Go and Pro stores. The migration from eBay, which was recently completed, took eight months and involved thousands of retailers. Thus far, the feedback from retailers has been positive. Bigcommerce has implemented features, such as abandoned cart, advanced shipping options and a built-in blog, that help small retailers realize opportunities to grow their business.

Magento is also partnering with social shopping service Soldsie, which offers retailers a platform to transform social communities into revenue-generating channels.

"As the main hub of an online store, having an e-commerce platform slow down and close its doors can leave business owners confused on next steps to take," said Melanie Kalemba, senior VP of sales and strategic business development at Bigcommerce and a leader in the Magento migration. "If Amazon selects a partner to help them migrate their Webstores, it would put business owners at ease and make the change easier to handle."

With the increasingly competitive nature of today's e-commerce, Kalemba is not surprised by Amazon's news. "Amazon closing Webstores, eBay shuttering Magento Go and ProStores, and Yahoo spinning off its small business unit all speaks to the evolving needs and expectations of online retailers. They are looking for platforms that focus on delivering an unrivaled e-commerce by making the technology 'invisible' and integrated with the other tools and providers they rely on to run their business," she said.   

Kalemba predicts that small business owners will need to sell online in order to survive. If a brand only sells in one marketplace, it limits its exposure. Conversely, if a retailer sells only in brick-and-mortar, they miss out on a massive number of potential customers.

"As shoppers evolve and become more attuned to instant gratification anytime, anywhere, an omnichannel strategy should be strongly considered," said Kalemba. "Many of the most successful merchants sell online, in brick-and-mortar stores, through mobile devices and with wholesalers. Working with a platform that supports selling through all of these channels makes the process much easier than it's been in the past." 

And as new merchants more frequently choose to sell online, Bigcommerce believes they will choose to work with larger companies that specialize in online retail.

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