Amazon Completes Purchase of Shopify Competitor Selz
By Sebastian Herrera
Amazon.com Inc. said it has acquired Australian e-commerce
company Selz, in a deal that underscores an increased focus on
fast-growing rival Shopify Inc.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. A spokeswoman for Amazon
said the deal, which Selz announced on its website about a month
ago, has been completed and nothing will change for Selz's
merchants or their customers.
Founded in 2013, Selz serves as an online platform that helps
small and medium-size companies launch and maintain their online
businesses. The private company employs more than 30 people,
according to data firm PitchBook. Previous backers include Macdoch
Venture and Adcock Private Equity, PitchBook said.
Amazon has heightened its efforts to match fast-growing Shopify,
which also aids small merchants in creating online shops. Last
year, Amazon created a secret team named "Project Santos" to
replicate part of Shopify's business model, The Wall Street Journal
reported in December.
As the pandemic has made online shopping more popular,
brick-and-mortar stores have invested more into their e-commerce
presence. Some estimates have the sector expanding by 50% in
Shopify has become a significant threat to Amazon. The company
saw aggregated sales of $5.1 billion over Black Friday weekend,
topping Amazon's $4.8 billion from its third-party sales, according
to the companies. Shopify's share price has more than tripled since
January 2020, to a market capitalization of roughly $177
Amazon, which initially dismissed Shopify's rise, began to zero
in on the company over the past year, people familiar with the
matter said. Amazon learned that many sellers had been defecting to
the Canadian firm because of Amazon's increasing cut. Its seller
fees can on average amount to roughly 30% of each sale on its
platform from outside vendors, up from 19% five years ago,
according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Shopify
collects 2.9% plus 30 cents on a transaction.
Amazon created its top-secret task force to study Shopify and
copy parts of it. Peter Larsen, a longtime Amazon executive who was
tapped to lead the project, recruited dozens of executives. The
team presented its work to company head Jeff Bezos in October. Mr.
Bezos was enthusiastic about the project's potential to reduce the
amount of seller defections to Shopify.
Write to Sebastian Herrera at Sebastian.Herrera@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 16, 2021 17:25 ET (22:25 GMT)
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