Amazon has started telling online merchants that it plans to shut down its Amazon Webstore business, which helps small and midsize retailers create and run their own online shop, according to sources. Amazon is giving its Webstore customers more than a year to find a new vendor before it kills off the service, these people said.
The e-commerce software business focused on small and midsize businesses has become more competitive in recent years as young companies such as Shopify and Bigcommerce have raised gobs of venture capital to expand their tool sets and attract more customers. Last summer, eBay announced plans to discontinue its Magento Go software offering for small online shops and recommended they move their business over to Bigcommerce.
The news has also started to spread on message boards for Amazon sellers. It’s not clear why Amazon has made the decision to shut down this service. An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.
Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, a publicly traded company that helps small merchants sell on their sites and on big online marketplaces, said his company has already started advising some of his sellers on a move off of Amazon Webstore.
“We have about 100 customers using the Amazon store platform and are working with them on a transition plan to one of the other popular e-commerce platforms we support, such as Shopify, Bigcommerce, Mozu and Magento,” he said. “The good news is as an inventory and order hub, we can help make this a seamless and rapid transition for our customers.”
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.