Security ( PCI / PA DSS Compliant ) - 8
Ease-of-Use - 8
Customer Support - 8
Marketing Features / Features - 8
Level of Customization - 7
Overall Value - 8
Design Features / Templates - 7
Social Media / Social Commerce Intergration - 7
Mobile Commerce Intergration - 6
Scaleability - 6
Amazon Webstore is the new Webstore by Amazon and is not Checkout by Amazon or the same as simply Selling on Amazon… confusing? It can seem that way but once you get into the application, Amazon will ensure your store set-up is fairly hassle free. If you’re a newbie to the eCommerce world, don’t mind trading fees for convenience, and are looking to promote your products behind a powerful name that already has millions in their client base, Amazon Webstore is worth a look.
Whether you’re new to the eCommerce world or looking for a place to promote an existing web store, it’s a nice feeling to have the powerful name of Amazon behind you.
Perhaps because Amazon Webstore is banking on the Amazon name, they don’t offer some of the great features that many other carts do, such as email marketing, loyalty programs or a built-in blog for store owners. Also, it’s easy to get confused with their pricing structures as they have many different percentages and fees that change according to the level of package or add-ons.
Amazon Webstore will allow you to promote your own brand on their site, set-up a store selling and shipping with them, or add Checkout by Amazon to your existing website. All Webstores will be comfortably hosted on the AmazonCloud and payment processing is built-in so online merchants will not need to set-up additional accounts.
Zippy Carts Expert Review of Amazon Webstore
Store Set-up /Designs Whether you are a mega seller or an eCommerce newbie, Amazon Webstore tries to make your store set-up a quick and painless process. Instead of having to set-up separate accounts or partnerships within your eCommerce solution, Webstore packages your storefront, shopping cart, payment gateway and merchant accounts all under the same Amazon cloud hosting. When you look towards store design, the process starts off well with a convenient quick start guide. Unfortunately, efforts quickly become a bit more complicated with things like different template options for different product categories and an outdated bulk upload system for products. They do offer a million help articles that are actually helpful instead of promotional… which we loved. The ZippyTeam enjoyed reading through all of the insight they provided. All-in-all, the store set-up can be quicker than some but that may be because the feature list is quite limited and basic. Amazon Webstore is great at taking care of online store owners who are interested in transferring to their solution. If you currently have an online store and are interested in migrating it over, Amazon Webstore provides permanent URL redirects that help save the current search rankings of your shop.
SEO / Marketing
Amazon Webstore has built their SEO into the Webstore platform and provides additional tools to help eRetailers drive traffic to their sites. In addition to the millions of searches that are being made daily through Amazon, they will also automatically submit your products to other free shopping engines such as theFind.com and Google Product Search. They also routinely submit your SML site maps to Google and provide default options for title and META description tags. It is possible to add your own social media widgets but doing so is not easy through the admin panel. The Amazon Webstore system seems to cater around the traffic that it already gets (which is substantial) and the expanded reach of the Google Product search. Merchants can set up specific search refinements that will help their customers narrow the results by many different attributes. They start with the standard searches, such as, brand, category, price, and size but then allow dozens of others to be added. Online business owners can even add their own customized search options, according to what they feel their inventory and traffic will need.
Amazon Webstore has security under control as they meet all the global standards for PCI-compliance. One security benefit that Amazon may have over the others, however, is that when dealing with Amazon Webstore, you’re only dealing with one company that has taken care of most other accounts for you (such as a payment gateway and merchant account). Because of this, your online store and all of the processes that power it are only relying on security from one system… Amazon’s. It could argued that having everything in a single package that is hosted under Amazon’s own Cloud is more than just convenient, it’s also better defense against possible fraud attempts. To further their security efforts, they protect personal information and data with SSL certificates.
Product / Store Management
All of your product, store and order management needs can be easily accessed and managed through Amazon Webstore’s online administrative panel. Though the look of the panel leaves a lot to be desired, it gives online merchants access to inventory, orders, store design, reports, performance and other general settings. The ZippyCart team especially liked the performance features which give you a checklist of your customer metrics, such as, order defect rate, cancellation rate, and late shipment rate. These stats can be checked by product line or performance over time. All of this will add up to performance based on customer satisfaction… and important and often overlooked consideration with online retailers. One of the best things that Amazon Webstore has going for it is that it allows business owners to sell through their own online custom shop or through Amazon itself, while still managing everything through their central control panel. Orders placed online or thru the phone can all be processed through the same online admin area. They also give you options as to how much interaction you want with your product. In certain packages and flat fees or a percentage of the total sale, they’ll even take care of shipping and handling. Amazon Webstore is on the top of their game when it comes to a quick and easy customer check-out. We don’t know many people who don’t have an Amazon account because people love to take advantage of their easy, secure, one-click check-out. Amazon Webstore offers their merchants many of the same features that Amazon has, including Checkout by Amazon. This can be placed on an existing website as well as used through Amazon.
As noted in the past, Amazon is a big company and sometimes with big companies, customer service can get lost in the mix. Our ZippyCart team continues to notice a slower response time than other eCommerce companies have and we were frustrated at how difficult finding a customer service help was. Submit a ticket by email: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Contact support by phone: Mon – Fri: 7AM – 8PM CST Luckily, to help out while you’re on hold, there are other help tools offered by Amazon Webstore. These include video tutorials, how-to guides, a seller support blog and webinars. While the ZippyCart team enjoyed the informational material, we don’t like that you may have to rely on those extra resources if you’re seeking a quick solution.
When considering Amazon Webstore, there are 3 main pricing structures to choose from. These include Webstore Only, Webstore + SOA (selling on Amazon), and Webstore + SOA + FBA ((shipping) fulfillment by Amazon). The pricing tiers associated with these packages may appear a bit confusing as the package with the least amount of features costs the most and has the highest transaction fees associated with it. However, they are structured this way based on the amount that Amazon makes from your partnership. For example, depending on the product you sell and the package you choose, there may be extra charges per transaction. For example, if you sell books, software or video games with an SOA account, there will be %15 referral fee and a $1.35 fixed closing fee, per item sold. With an SOA package, referral fees will also apply to products such as cameras, baby products, home and garden, kitchen, and more. Despite what seems like some hefty fees, merchants flock to Amazon Webstore for the traffic, convenience and stability they offer. One of the best features with hosting your web shop with Amazon Webstore is that Amazon provides a completely scalable option. Because your store will be hosted on the Amazon cloud, it will grow with little hassle and actually be charged a lesser percentage for higher growth. Their automatic scaling will ensure that you are never charged overage fees or loose transactions and customers as you grow and you won’t have to keep track of bandwidth restrictions. This can be a great feature as traffic spikes or seasonal selling can push some shops just over the edge, into needing a higher priced package with other shopping cart solutions.