Amazon acquires Shopify rival
Amazon.com reached a deal last month to acquire Selz, an online platform provider that helps small and medium size businesses create and operate online sites.
Selz, which operates in a similar space to Shopify, was founded seven years ago in Australia. Founder and CEO Matt Rushe announced on a company blog last month that his company had agreed to be acquired by the retail and technology giant. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the acquisition had been completed, according to a CNBC report.
Mr. Rushe’s blog post did not offer any insight into “what’s next” under Amazon. He wrote, “Nothing is changing for our customers at this time, and we’ll be in touch with customers as and when we have further updates.”
The Selz acquisition appears to be a good fit for Amazon, which is increasingly dependent on third-party sellers to drive its top and bottom line performance. Marketplace sellers, which now account for more than half of Amazon’s online sales, posted record numbers during the holiday season.
Shopify, which offers tools for businesses to build and manage online stores, reported that its business and that of companies that use its platform produced record results in the past fiscal year. The online platform also made headlines when it signed separate deals with Walmart and TikTok in 2020 to give its sellers greater exposure via the former’s online marketplace and the latter’s immensely popular video app.
Shopify executives, who have routinely eschewed the moniker of being the anti-Amazon in recent years, have clearly gotten Amazon’s attention. Third-party sellers using Shopify’s platform generated $5.1 billion in sales over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, topping the $4.8 billion of the businesses selling on Amazon, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal, in separate reporting in December, said Amazon had created an internal team dubbed “Project Santos” to replicate part of Shopify’s business model.
Shopify reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results this morning, Revenues were up 94 percent during the holiday quarter and 86 percent for the year.
“Our fourth-quarter results capped off an outstanding 2020, thanks to the success of our merchants in a year that truly tested their mettle and triggered more entrepreneurs around the world to start their journey toward economic independence,” Amy Shapero, Shopify CFO, said in a statement. “Shopify was prepared to ship the features that our merchants needed during the pandemic because we had invested for several years in a future that arrived early with the acceleration of online commerce. We’re amplifying our efforts in 2021, as we focus on executing on a portfolio of initiatives that will fuel further growth for our merchants and for Shopify.”
- Selz/Amazon – Selz
- About Us – Selz
- Amazon Completes Purchase of Shopify Competitor Selz – The Wall Street Journal
- How Amazon Wins: By Steamrolling Rivals and Partners – The Wall Street Journal
- Shopify Announces Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2020 Financial Results – Shopify
- Amazon.com Announces Financial Results and CEO Transition – Amazon.com, Inc.
- Shopify Merchants Break Records with $5.1+ Billion in Worldwide Sales over Black Friday/Cyber Monday Weekend – Shopify
- Walmart teams up with Shopify to give Amazon a run for its money – RetailWire
- Will Shopify merchants go viral with their TikTok videos? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: In what ways do you think Amazon is likely to respond to Shopify? How do you see the Selz acquisition playing into that?