|Mon Feb 9 2015 19:27:48|
Is Yahoo Abandoning Merchants, or Setting Them Free?
By: Ina Steiner
Online merchants who run their ecommerce business through the Yahoo Stores platform got a rude awakening when Amer Akhtar announced Yahoo was spinning off Yahoo Small Business. It had only been 5 months since his predecessor, Amit Kumar, announced the launch of the "next generation" Yahoo Stores platform, which is part of the YSB unit.
Akhtar had replaced Kumar as head of Yahoo Small Business in November. Yahoo spokesperson Lauren Whitehouse, who said Akhtar would continue with YSB through the transition, did not respond to our follow-up question asking if he knew about the proposed spinoff of YSB when he joined the company.
I also asked Whitehouse if Yahoo would have any ecommerce related businesses once Yahoo Small Business is spun off?
Her response: "Yes, Yahoo Shopping."
The news is likely bad for those sellers who were hoping Yahoo might launch an auction platform as eBay and PayPal prepare to split - remember this blog post from December?
We've got details of the YSB spin-off in Tuesday's Newsflash along with some perspective from two vendor-partners of Yahoo Stores on what this means for merchants. Given the circumstances, is it really possible Yahoo places a value on its ecommerce platform?
We also delve into the reasons why Yahoo felt it necessary to spinoff YSB along with its shares of Alibaba. Is there an inkling of hope that if Alibaba buys the new spinoff (dubbed "SpinCo") to gain control of its shares, that it would embrace Yahoo Stores rather than shut it down or sell it?
What do you think of Yahoo Stores? Have you tried it - why or why not?
And what do you think of Yahoo's the decision to spin it off - will that be good for merchants, or is it the final nail in the coffin for those disappointed with the Yahoo Stores platform?