As Webstore winds down, Amazon hands Shopify a win

Online merchants are getting a pretty good deal as the largest online retailer is teaming up with the top eCommerce platform.

Shopify recently announced that it’s partnering with Amazon as the latter’s preferred migration partner as we approach Webstore’s 2016 closure. It’s a move that essentially has the online retail giant admitting defeat through it’s own efforts to compete with Shopify-like platforms.

For instance, Amazon’s Webstore service is an eCommerce platform for online sellers that offered services like webstore design, inventory management, payment processing and order fulfillment. However, Webstore was having trouble staying profitable in the shadow of competing services of Shopify, which boasts over 175,000 merchants on the platform. And so, in a move that feels like steering into the skid, Amazon made a deal with the eCommerce darling to make migration easy for customers who remain on the Webstore platform.

Accompanying the migration partnership is new integration that will allow Shopify sellers to use Amazon services and tap into much larger markets. Login and Pay with Amazon will allow shoppers to login to their Amazon accounts from Shopify sites and place their orders with Amazon credentials and payment methods, while Fulfillment by Amazon will open Amazon’s vast warehouses to Shopify sellers. Though not available yet, Shopify sellers will also soon be able to access Amazon’s marketplace through the Amazon Sales Channel.

While Amazon’s partnership with Shopify is certainly something of a feather in the cap, Shopify’s been enjoying some pretty rapid growth and success. Since the Shopify was released in 2006, it’s collected some major names in online retail including FiftyThree, Herschel Supply Co., Studio Neat, Master & Dynamic, the Tesla gear store, and the official Lollapalooza store. Following it’s IPO in May of this year, the value of Shopify shares has more than doubled as the number of merchants using the service continues to climb. The Canadian company has also teamed up with social sites like Facebook and Pinterest to integrate “Buy” buttons and allow sellers to make sales through Shopify directly from social media pages and posts. Shopify’s services also extend beyond online portals to include hardware and software systems for in-person Point of Sale.

The way we buy and sell online is changing, and Shopify’s growth, services and success are a testament to that. Integration with Amazon and social media sites signal Shopify’s recognition that online shopping often takes place outside of a merchant’s website, and that sometimes the decision to buy happens outside of the traditional “catalog-and-cart” format.

“Shopify wants to be the platform that allows merchants to sell wherever they have customers,” says a Shopify spokesperson, “whether that’s through an online store, on social media, at a physical retail store or on marketplaces like Amazon.”