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Yahoo and Amazon go after the small business business




ALR_Customer_Checkout_SalonAmazon and Yahoo are both diving deeper into the small business business with tools to help online and offline sellers. (While attempting to squash competitors in both areas.)

First is Amazon Local Register. This is point-of-sale gizmo that allows anyone to accept a credit card as payment. It’s a direct competitor to Square which I see being used in the brick-and-mortar world all the time.

The app doesn’t do anything the competitors don’t already do but Amazon Local Register is doing it for less money. Amazon is charging 2.5% on all transactions, Square charges 2.75%. If you sign up before October 31 you’ll get a drastically lower promotional rate of 1.75% percent per card swipe  until January 1, 2016.

Both companies charge more when you type in a card by hand. Can anyone tell me why? Is it because it’s less secure?

Amazon Local Register comes with all sorts of reporting tools and physical add-ons. It’s backed by Amazon support and their specially designed card swiper “limits swivel”. So, if you hate swivel – Amazon Local Register is the way to go.

It’s a smart move and makes more sense than delivery drones. What doesn’t make sens to me is this odd photo they used in the press release. Is it me or does that girl look like she’s naked? And why isn’t there a close-up of the product? That’s the only photo in the release. Strange.

Yahoo Stores

Yahoo got back into the third party eCommerce biz today with the launch of Yahoo Stores. It’s actually kind of a relaunch because Yahoo used to have a very successful online seller program – you know, back when MySpace was king and people built their websites on GeoCities. The templates were flat and static and I have this vague memory of them being mostly drop-shipped items pulled together by a theme. . .

The all-new Yahoo Stores is an easy way for anyone to get online and sell their products. It’s not revolutionary. There are other platforms that do the same thing but Yahoo says their stores pack an extra punch.

“Yahoo Stores provides automatic SEO – so from day one, your store will have the same serving technology used on Yahoo.com, including relevant keywords in your website URLs, concise descriptions of your website’s content and more.”

Yahoo isn’t the powerhouse they used to be but I can believe that stores on their network will have a little extra umph. Especially at the beginning when Yahoo is anxious to make this program a success.

yahoo storesThe templates are modern and clean. Buyers can use any major credit card. Shipping is integrated through UPS and there are a variety of app add-ons to help boost your business.

The downside? Yahoo is taking a transaction fee on top of a monthly store fee. I don’t like that. $29 for the basic plan with 1.50% transaction fee. The fee drops if you buy a more expensive monthly plan.

The one thing I can’t find is whether or not you can use your own URL or if you have to use a Yahoo Stores URL. For me, the lack of a custom URL would be a deal breaker. [Yahoo informs me you can indeed use your own URL] Overall, it’s not a bad option for anyone testing the eCommerce waters.