Amazon vs. Shopify: What the tech giant’s latest deal says about its larger retail ambitions – GeekWire

When Jeff Bezos named e-commerce software company Shopify as an example of Amazon’s growing competition in his testimony to a U.S. House antitrust subcommittee last year, e-commerce consultant and former Amazon seller Jason Boyce wasn’t buying it. It struck Boyce then as a red herring, a false equivalency to get regulators to back off by overstating Amazon’s competition.

“When he brought it up, I’m like, this is a joke,” Boyce recalls. “Shopify doesn’t have a front door. They’re not a marketplace. They have a small percentage of the total online market.”

This week’s news convinced him otherwise. Amazon’s acquisition of Selz, a 7-year-old startup that helps entrepreneurs sell products online, signals its ambitions to go beyond its own e-commerce platform to help power standalone third-party retail sites, moving into a new area of online commerce and going head-to-head with the likes of Shopify and BigCommerce.

The potential implications for Amazon’s business and the broader retail economy are immense.

“They want to capture a greater and greater share of the internet itself,” Boyce says.

Boyce is our guest commentator on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Avenue7Media, and the co-author of The Amazon Jungle: The Seller’s Survival Guide for Thriving on the World’s Most Perilous E-Commerce Marketplace. A former U.S. Marine, he was an Amazon seller for 17 years, before finally giving up after Amazon repeatedly launched products that competed with his, as detailed in the House antitrust subcommittee’s report last year (page 279).

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