In January, Amazon quietly acquired Selz, an Australian company that competes with companies like Shopify and BigCommerce to help small brands launch their own online stores. The acquisition wasn’t made public until mid-February when Selz announced the acquisition on its blog.
As consumers have heavily relied on digital storefronts to fulfill their shopping needs, Amazon’s former CEO Jeff Bezos identified Shopify as a top competitor in the space, making this partnership with one of its direct competitors to be a powerful endeavor.
Amazon’s History With Digital Storefronts
Amazon is not foreign to helping small businesses operate storefronts on the web. In 2015, the company shut down its Amazon Webstore, which was home to about 100 small businesses. It’s unclear why the platform shut down, but Amazon relocated its 100 businesses using the platform to competitors like Shopify, BigCommerce, Mozu, and Magento.
With Selz in the picture in 2021, Amazon has added more than 2.5 million sellers to its database. Selz is anticipated to account for more than half of Amazon’s e-commerce sales, already bringing the company higher revenue figures at the beginning of February.
The Future of E-Commerce for Small Business
Amid COVID-19, e-commerce has proven to be essential for small businesses to succeed. Digital storefronts have helped to supplement businesses whose brick-and-mortar storefronts have been closed or openings have been limited to slow the spread of the virus.
This shift in consumerism impacts spending habits and even helps some businesses become more successful than they were without integrating a digital strategy into their business plan. Studies conducted by PayPal concluded that 67% of small businesses accept online payments, and almost half (47%) of those companies adopted the service since last March when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.
Increased online shopping is expected to make digital strategy a continued priority for businesses big and small. Experts say e-commerce isn’t just a way to build revenue for a company, but to increase brand awareness and better connect with consumers to ensure their satisfaction.