Have you heard the Yahoo Store news?
Recently, there has been a lot of news related to Yahoo Small Business, Alibaba, and Yahoo Stores. Yahoo has announced that they are creating a new company, currently referred to as SpinCo, and that the Yahoo Stores business will be broken off from Yahoo and moved to the new SpinCo.
Ventura Web Design CEO, Kevin Richards, gave an interview to Ina Steiner from e-commerce Bytes on this very topic. Many of you have asked for the full interview to be shared. Here it is, in its entirety.
IS: What’s the reaction among merchants? And among vendors who support merchants?
KR: Reaction among merchants has been mixed. Some are seeing this as the last nail in the coffin, while others view this very optimistically. Yahoo Small Business has a history of being the first and best ecommerce platform that small business owners could leverage to grow their businesses. The platform, in its current form, has helped generate more than $65 Billion* in revenue since inception. This news represents the beginning of a new era for Yahoo Small Business and its customers. (* Number confirmed and promoted at https://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/ecommerce, in the black background area, green text, right at the top of the page)
IS: What is your reaction to the news?
KR: This news offers merchants and Yahoo Small Business new opportunities that have not existed before. YSB is currently contained as a profitable business segment within a much larger corporate entity. Being a small part of something much larger doesn’t always allow you to get the proper support or resources that you may need to properly grow and support your existing customers. With Yahoo Small Business being broken out of Yahoo and operating separately under a new entity, this could quite possibly eliminate any barriers and processes that may have held the platform back in recent years.
IS: How will this impact merchants?
KR: Merchants should be optimistic about the opportunities coming their way. But as always, no company should ever keep all of their eggs in a single basket. It’s the store owner’s responsibility to continually evaluate service providers and internal processes to determine if the merchant is maintaining his or her competitive advantage. If your entire livelihood is funded by your webstore, it’s your responsibility to have a doomsday scenario plan in place regardless of which platform you’re currently using. To be clear, I am not saying that I see a “Storepocalypse” on the horizon, but I am saying that my company has taken steps to ensure that my clients, my family, and my employees’ families are not going to be caught flat footed, should things change.
IS: Should merchants start looking for a new platform? Why or why not?
KR: Replatforming is expensive and time consuming, there’s no doubt about it, but often times its the right solution for a merchant to remain competitive. As an example, I have seen instances where a merchant who was once a leader lost footing in organic search rankings as a result of staying with a platform that wasn’t evolving. It’s so incredibly important for merchants to either be fully immersed in the ecommerce world, or to work closely with a trusted ecommerce designer/marketer/advisor that can help with strategic planning. While replatforming isn’t without risk and cost, it can also be the most rewarding thing a merchant can do to help the business stay profitable and successful over the next wave of technological advances in ecommerce.