This past March, Amazon announced they will be closing their online store cart software, Webstore, in 2016. If you’re a current Webstore user, chances are you’ve begun thinking about new providers. Maybe you’ve even done a little research.
Or, more likely: you haven’t had time to seriously consider your options. You’re busy, and with the switchover happening next July, there’s a year left to make your choice. A year feels like a pretty long time, right?
Well, even if a year is a long time (we all know it isn’t), here are 7 reasons to make the jump now instead of waiting until the last minute. And some good news—Whitebox is offering free conversions to a better store cart to all of our ecommerce automation clients.
1. Webstore wasn’t top of the line to begin with
When I first heard of Webstore, I thought it made a lot of sense to use Amazon’s software for my company mp3Car, because we use a lot of Amazon’s other services. However, we were so disappointed with Webstore, we still pulled the plug after investing 40k in converting. We encountered too many problems and there were too many features we would have to custom build to make it worthwhile.
Luckily, establishing Shopify for our branded online store was a smooth, easy process. We recommend most clients use Shopify, however some clients fit better with Magento, Bigcommerce, WooCommerce or Volusion.
2. Amazon is no longer incentivized to add best practice features
With just a year left in the life of the Amazon Webstore, the company has little reason to keep up with current trends. Amazon has no interest in drawing in new customers – or even holding onto old ones—so why add best practice features? In ecommerce, not implementing industry best practices can cost you money. For example, Webstore has a 20 minute delay between updating a listing and when that listing goes live. Twenty minutes can mean the difference between your company getting a sale instead of a competitor.
3. Amazon doesn’t let customers checkout with Paypal
Paypal is many customers’ top choice for online purchases, but Webstore doesn’t offer payment via Paypal. Though some folks may trust the alternative, “Amazon Checkout,” this hitch in the conversion process could mean your business is missing out on customers.
4. Amazon’s employees are looking for new jobs
The Webstore shut down is certain. Amazon’s employees in the Webstore division are on a sinking ship. As employees look for new placements within Amazon and beyond, chances are the service is going to suffer.
It’s only natural to move on before a big transition. Think about how you felt in spring of your senior year of high school. Did you really care that much about the grades you got on that Chemistry final? Probably not.
Or, to keep things relevant to the business world, let’s put it this way: would you prefer your store cart to be maintained by individuals who are committed to long term quality, or by those who have started to move on?
5. Amazon doesn’t accept backorders
One of the largest disadvantages of Amazon’s Webstore is that they don’t accept backorders. Obviously, this can be a huge setback for Webstore users, because their customers may look elsewhere to purchase a similar product.
Imagine how great it’ll feel to switch and finally be able to meet your customer’s needs.
6. You can finally get those standard features Amazon’s Webstore ignores
Though Amazon Webstore comes from a company with a big name, there are actually quite a few standard features that it doesn’t offer. This means more time spent on custom developments for your team. For example, adding new products and making other updates to Webstore require uploading CSVs, whereas store carts like Shopify allow you to do this programmatically. At Whitebox, we are all about spending a little time upfront to automate tasks, which cuts down on manual work later. Many times, this was not possible with Webstore.
When Whitebox worked with Amazon Webstore, every time we encountered a missing feature, we had to spend time building that feature ourselves. Plus, Webstore’s code wasn’t documented well, making development more time consuming than it should have been.
7. Access to Apps Stores
The best online store builder providers, like Shopify, give you access to app stores that let you add on the features you need—just like you’d add apps to your iPhone or Android. Shopify, for example, has apps for things like international commerce, subscription programs, affiliate programs, and all sorts of other goodies.
There’s simply no reason to keep limping along with Webstore.
Yes, we know, conversions are a pain. But we have good news: for clients who sign up with Whitebox for ecommerce automation, we will manage your store cart conversion for free.
Once you sign up with Whitebox, we’ll automate your ecommerce, so you can spend more time on product design, marketing, or even taking a vacation.
Want to learn more?