Merchants who host their ecommerce storefronts using Yahoo Stores are dealing with the ramifications of the spinoff of Yahoo Small Business from Yahoo. On November 15th, Yahoo officially rebranded Yahoo Small Business to Aabaco Small Business and moved to the website AabacoSmallBusiness.com, where visitors to SmallBusiness.yahoo.com are now redirected.
There were some speedbumps, however, including a last-minute decision to scrap the Luminate brand, as had been planned and announced in August. Instead, the services will take the same name as the new company, Aabaco Small Business.
In addition, sellers were unable to access their control panel over the weekend and had to go through a process to claim their new Aabaco account. The process caused a lot of frustration for some merchants who ran into problems.
A Yahoo spokesperson provided the following statement explaining the snafu:
“Over the weekend, Yahoo Small Business made substantial progress on the technical migration and rebrand of our services to Aabaco Small Business. Some of our customers are experiencing issues with claiming and creating their new Aabaco ID and passwords.
This is due to a mail latency issue between our new email service provider and Yahoo, and by a security limitation restricting the number of times a user can click on the emailed links.
We are working to correct the issue now and will send new instructions to the less than 1% of customers affected by this situation as soon as possible. We apologize to these customers who are affected.”
One Yahoo Stores merchant wrote to EcommerceBytes on Monday and said in the process of spinning off Yahoo Small Business, Yahoo was “throwing their ecommerce customers under the bus.” The seller continued, “This weekend, 11 days before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping days, YSB decided to make a huge data conversion which was to be completed by Sunday night at 6pm.” The seller said they were able to successfully log in at 2:30 am on Monday morning.
But the seller also expressed concern about the future of the business. “Now that they are a small business with a dated ecommerce platform, will they invest in the platform and bring it up to Shopify or Big Commerce functionality with numerous add-ins, etc. or are they just going to milk the business? Alternatively they could buy Shopify or Big Commerce and continue to be a major player in the ecommerce hosting marketplace.”
But another merchant, Matt O’Donnell of NorthShoreCommercialDoor.com, said he had no difficulty logging in on Sunday (he hadn’t attempted to log in on Saturday). He noted that his store appeared to load faster after the change, and remained unconcerned about the spinoff.
Kevin Richards of Ventura Web Design said he hasn’t heard of any complaints from Yahoo Store merchants in transitioning to Aabaco – it was simply a matter of going to the login page and going through the process to claim the account, he said.
Richards admits he was concerned when he first learned of Yahoo’s plan to spin off Yahoo Small Business a year ago – he makes his living helping Yahoo Stores merchants. He diversified by expanding his services to assisting merchants on other platforms, but said on Monday he’s seen a better, more engaged management team and is confident in the future of Aabaco Stores. And he said the transition has been smooth for him as a developer.
Another developer who provides marketing services to Yahoo Stores merchants was also positive about the transition. Scott Smigler of Exclusive Concepts told EcommerceBytes, “I am impressed with how the new leadership engaged merchants and developers over the past year. They know what the issues are, and most importantly, they know what the potential is. The investments they have already started to make in the platform are a good sign of things to come. This community is powered by great people, many of whom remain optimistic. We’re all ready to take things to the next level.”
Another merchant told EcommerceBytes the migration has been terrible and said, “not once has Yahoo Shopping really improved the customer experience. I should have left to Amazon or Google shopping long ago.”
Yahoo provided details about the transition on this help page on November 6th. Yahoo’s spinoff of Aabaco Small Business is expected to be completed by the end of January 2016 according to filings with the SEC.