Amazon recently announced that they would shut down their eCommerce platform, called Amazon Webstore. If you’re one of the many Amazon Webstore customers, it may leave you wondering what to do next.
The good news is that you have options! There are a number of viable alternatives to Amazon Webstore, from which you can choose.
In this post, we’ll dive into what those options are, and how you can choose which are right for you. We’ll also talk about your transition plan from Amazon Webstore.
What are the best Amazon Webstore alternatives?
Three eCommerce platforms make up your list of best alternatives. They are comparable or better in terms of features and within the same relative price point.
We’ve evaluated these options for you, based on the criteria you’ll need to evaluate them. Those criteria are:
- Price: The price for the offering most comparable to Amazon Webstore
- Support: Whether or not there is 24/7 support
- Transaction Fee: The fee each platform charges per transaction
- Storage: How much storage space you have for your website’s images / videos / etc.
- Ease of entry: How difficult the transition from Amazon Webstore will be
- Feature: The breadth of features available through the platform
These criteria are the basics, and you’ll want to assess them in more detail than we can fit into a table. If you want more detail about how you should evaluate eCommerce platforms, check out our Buyer’s Guide.
Comparison of the Best Amazon Webstore Alternatives
|eCommerce Platform||Price||Support||Transaction Fee||Storage||Ease of Entry||Features|
|*If not using Shopify Payments there is a 1% transaction fee, which varies based on sales
**Magento is not a hosted eCommerce solution
Shopify is known for being extremely easy to use and quick to set up. The company has been quite successful over the past few years–it recently announced they are preparing for an IPO in 2015. Shopify claims to have over 120,000 merchants using the platform, so it certainly has a user base to back it up. Shopify may not be ideal for enterprise organizations, but they do offer Shopify Plus at a higher price point.
Bigcommerce is the newest kid on the block, founded in 2009. They’re a hot commodity right now, having just raised another $50 million in capital. Bigcommerce isn’t quite as easy to use as Shopify, but it includes some compelling features for SEO and inventory management. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of ease for functionality (versus Shopify), Bigcommerce may be best for you.
Magento CE is somewhat the outlier in this group, because unlike Shopify and Bigcommerce, it is not a hosted solution. However, there are plenty of hosting providers who make implementing Magento easier. According to BuiltWith, Magento is by far the most used of the three solutions here. It’s also open source, so technically the Community Edition is free (you’ll have to pay for hosting and other add-ons). Magento is slightly more complex to use, but it’s by far the most customizable.
If you want to consider a more full-featured version, compare with their Enterprise Edition. It is hosted, but more expensive. The cost may be an issue for some Amazon Webstore customers.
Migrating From Amazon Webstore
Once you’ve picked the eCommerce platform that’s right for you, it’s time to plan for migrating to that new system. Consider the following, when making that plan.
You may need to hire someone to redesign and redevelop your site, if customizing an available theme is not enough. Look for an agency or developer who has experience making mobile friendly sites, experience with your chosen platform, and has a strong portfolio of past projects.
This is probably not where you want to save money either. Someone who knows what they’re doing will expect to be paid well. It’ll be worth spending on an expert.
Also, make sure they understand SEO…
You’ve probably got all kinds of SEO value built into your webstore as it currently stands. Failing to take the precautions to the preserve your search rankings beyond your migration could be costly for you business. You’ll need to remember important steps:
- 301 redirect the URLs for all pages from the old URLs to the new ones
- Make sure the templates for your new product pages don’t remove any important keywords
- Make sure image references are not broken in the new system
- Migrate the meta titles and descriptions to your new system, so Google continues to use them
You’ll probably want to work with an SEO consultant if you’ve got the budget and you aren’t using an agency. They’ll be able to help you make the transition smoothly.
You need to move all your product, inventory, customer, order, and shipping data to the new system. Some or all of that may have resided in your Amazon Webstore. Some of it may reside in an ERP or accounting system. The key is understanding what data must be migrated and to where.
Keep in mind, you’ll also need to plan ahead in order to not interrupt your business operation. You wound’t want to lose outstanding customer orders or support requests.
Unless your webstore is the only technology you use, you’ve got integrations to other systems. There could be integration to an ERP or accounting system. It could be to a POS or 3PL.
Any integrations you’ve built/bought to or from Amazon Webstore must be rethought. You’ll need to consider how your new eCommerce platform integrates with the rest of your systems.
What To Do Next
Step one is to pick a new platform (remember our Buyer’s Guide can help). Step two is to plan for all the data you’ll need to move. Step three is to do the migration and test it. And, that’s no easy task.
Pardon the sales pitch, but we can help!
Consider utilizing our multichannel management system to make this transition easier. By allowing your webstore data to flow through our system, we can seamlessly sync it to whatever other webstore you choose. (We recommend and support any of the three listed above.)
You’ll simplify your transition, and you’ll have the platform you need to scale. Let us know if you’re interested in how we can help make this transition much easier for you.