Amazon Webstore is the online storefront solution from Amazon.com, a company that led the concept of selling online to the successful ecommerce industry it is today. Merchants who use Amazon Webstore love that this solution lets users sell directly on Amazon.com, use Amazon's order fulfillment, and host their own online store for a very low monthly fee. Stores are built off of the Amazon.com framework, so the feature set is almost as robust as Amazon itself. All packages include a low transaction fee on top of the monthly fee, which is typical of ecommerce solutions from well-known brands (like Amazon, Yahoo, and eBay). Read the Amazon Webstore review below to see what makes this ecommerce solution a popular choice.
|Shopping Cart Feature||ZippyScore (out of 5.00)||Shopping Cart Feature||ZippyScore (out of 5.00)|
|Overall Value (15%)||3.95||Customer Service (15%)||3.84|
|Level of Customization (15%)||3.70||Ease of Use (15%)||3.89|
|Search Engine Friendliness (10%)||3.95||Range of Tools Available (10%)||3.98|
|Depth of Reporting Tools (5%)||3.88||Social Media / Social Commerce Integration (5%)||3.51|
|Mobile Commerce Integration (5%)||3.71||Free Trial Features (5%)||4.25|
|Overall ZippyScore: 3.87 out of 5.00|
Almost everyone who has shopped online has made at least one purchase from Amazon.com at one time or another, as the ecommerce giant is one of the most popular destinations for consumers to go when they need to buy something online. This is one of the reasons why merchants choose Amazon Webstore as their ecommerce software solution for their own online store, as they trust the brand and want to use it as a portal to sell and reach even more customers. The Webstore by Amazon team is based in Seattle, Washington, which is the home of Amazon.com. Not only do merchants get to have a trusted name power their online store, but they also get to use a lot of unique features provided by Amazon.com.
When it comes to the setup and design process, Amazon Webstore wants to ensure that you can tackle this task quickly, so that you can move onto adding products and selling online. Amazon Webstore makes the setup process fast, by providing merchants with a variety of help topics so one can learn more, plus they have a launch checklist that merchants can walk through so they can be assured that all their bases are covered. There are good template designs that can be easily accessed via the Amazon Webstore admin interface, to help merchants get set up easier. Templates can then be further tweaked and customized to match the desired look you want for your online store. Within the admin interface, merchants will also be able to define their navigation paths and the structure of their product categories, so that the online store will be prepared for the addition of new products.
All told, setting up your online store with Amazon is pretty easy, but keep in mind that this is a very light weight ecommerce solution, so you will not have all the bells and whistles that come with some of the best hosted shopping carts. Instead, you will have very basic features, which can be a blessing or a curse. For instance, while you can tweak the design of your storefront template, you won't have the breadth of customization available in other solutions that give you full access to source code, drag and drop design, and hundreds of templates. You also won't have a lot of marketing tools at your disposal, which is one of the reasons setup is very fast, but might not be worth it in the end.
Merchants who are new to Amazon Webstore can receive a 30 day free trial so they can become more familiar with the ecommerce software, but keep in mind that a credit card is required to get things started.
When you open an online store using Amazon Webstore's ecommerce software you will be able to manage everything you need in the online administration interface. Regardless if you have orders via the phone or online, the management tools in Amazon Webstore will allow you to be in full control of your online store. The dashboard view provides merchants with all of their top level information about the performance of their online store, and from there you can dig in deeper and look at more detailed data, or generate reports to help you manage your business. Merchants using Amazon Webstore can have a large catalogue of products, but they should be aware that all hosted ecommerce packages have transaction fees associated with them.
The main thing that Amazon Webstore has going for it, is the fact that you can sell your products in both your online store and on Amazon. When selling across these multiple channels, you will be able to manage all of your products, sales, and customers from a single administrative interface. You may also choose to let Amazon fulfill your orders. This means that they will house your products in their warehouses across the country and they will handle all of the shipping. If you are a merchant that is new to ecommerce, then Amazon might be a perfect fit for you, but this depends on your inventory. If you sell a product that you don't think people would go to Amazon to search for, but the features of Amazon Webstore peek your interest, then consider eBay owned ProStores, where you can easily sell your products on eBay. Or consider Vendio, which is a free ecommerce solution that lets you add on the ability to sell on both Amazon and eBay for only $10 per month. With Vendio, you will also be able to manage all of your products in one interface while selling across Amazon and eBay, but your admin interface won't be as easy to use as Amazon. Overall most merchants have little troubles using Amazon Webstore ecommerce software, and find it a good option for people who are new to selling online.
Amazon Webstore has a lot of good tools to help merchants market their online store, including the ability to tap into Google Product search to expand the reach of an online store. As mentioned above, merchants can also choose to sell their products on Amazon.com, which is a quick way to grow the presence of an online store, as your products will show up in the search results on one of the biggest ecommerce sites in the world. Once visitors arrive at your online store, you will be able to utilize a lot of the promotion tools that you see on Amazon.com, to help to drive people to complete a purchase. You can offer fixed dollar or percentage discounts, free shipping, and other promotions for your online store. Merchants using Amazon Webstore often learn how to add Google Analytics to their online store, so they can better understand their traffic, and improve their marketing efforts, as Amazon Webstore reporting doesn't include some of the basic traffic reporting that you'll get from Google Analytics.
One area where Amazon Webstore is lacking is in social commerce, as they do not offer the ability to have an online store on Facebook or other social media sharing tools. Social Commerce is becoming a must when it comes to selling online, as customers expect to interact with any trustworthy merchant through Facebook or Twitter. Mobile commerce is another area where Amazon Webstore does not have much going on, and this is something that merchants are wanting in 2011. This is because smart phones are continuing to dominate, with more and more consumers using their iPhone to compare costs and make purchases online.
If you have shopped online at Amazon.com before, then you are aware of how easy it is to add products to your shopping cart and make a purchase. Amazon Webstore looks to mimic much of that experience, and then even offer the option for merchants to add Checkout by Amazon buttons to their products pages. If a customer uses the Checkout by Amazon button then the transaction can be finalized much quicker as they can use their built in information at Amazon.com. This also adds a nice layer of trust, as consumers are used to giving their money to Amazon, so they will feel more confident making a transaction through this trusted brand.
Amazon is a pretty big company, and sometimes with big companies, the little guys get lost in the mix. Unfortunately, this is sometimes true of their customer support for Amazon Webstore. When secret shopped by ZippyCart, we found that it would sometimes take more time and expected to get answers to questions, and we often found ourselves emailing to get answers rather than being able to speak with someone on the phone due to long hold times. If you feel that you will need support through the phone, then you may be at a loss with Amazon Webstore. If phone support is not as important to you as just getting any kind of help, then Amazon will come through for you, it just might be over email.
Amazon Webstore provides 3 different package levels which include 3 different sets of features. These packages include setting up an online store only, having an online store and also selling on Amazon, or having an online store, selling on Amazon, and letting Amazon fulfill (ship) all orders. Each package level has different transaction fees and pricing associated with it, which can sometimes be confusing since the package with the least amount of features (build a website only), ends up costing more each month and has the highest transaction fee. This is because Amazon makes less off of this package in the end, whereas the package that lets them host your products and fulfill your shipping ends up bringing in more money due to transaction fees.
Now that you know a bit more about Amazon Webstore, you can go test out the ecommerce software, as they offer a 30 day free trial (credit card required). You can also learn more about their ecommerce solution by reading our Amazon Webstore customer reviews, and see what other merchants have to say about using the software. If Amazon Webstore does not seem like the right solution for you, then you can compare it to other ecommerce software options by visiting our shopping cart reviews guide here on ZippyCart, to see what your other options are.