Payvment to shut down social commerce platform, direct customers to Ecwid after being acquired by Intuit

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By Brittany Darwell Comment

payvmentSocial commerce platform Payvment today announced it will be ending service on Feb. 28, after nearly three and a half years of powering Facebook storefronts through which users could buy items from merchants.

Payvment will refer its merchants to transfer their Facebook stores to another social commerce platform, Ecwid. Payvment says it has sold to another company, but it has not announced which one. It denied that it was being acquired by Ecwid, saying that deal is just a solution for its merchants. TechCrunch reports that accounting software company Intuit is the buyer, though Payvment has not officially announced the acquisition. [Update 1/28/13 12:30 p.m. – Intuit has confirmed to TechCrunch that it acquired the Payvment team.]
Payvment began in 2009 to give companies a way to easily add a store to their Facebook pages. It combined inventory from all its merchants so users could conduct a search and find an item being sold on another page. It also offered a universal shopping cart so that users could complete a purchase even after browsing several different pages.

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In 2011, the company expanded beyond Facebook page tabs and created a unified Shopping Mall app to improve discovery. Then last year, Payvment took its learnings and created a standalone site called Lish, which incorporated Facebook Open Graph actions and focused on driving impulse purchases. But despite a seller network of more than 180,000 merchants, Payvment only had about 20,000 monthly active users logging in with Facebook in recent months, according to AppData.

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Payvment has raised a total of $7.75 million since 2009, but its business model never developed. The platform is available free to merchants, and the company does not take a cut of vendor sales. In June 2012, it added a Facebook ad buying service to its platform, but it likely wasn’t generating enough revenue to support the company. Facebook has also been making its own moves into the commerce space with Gifts and Collections, suggesting that the market for third-parties could get tougher.

Ecwid says it has more than 250,000 merchants in 174 countries on its platform. According to AppData, it has had about 200,000 Facebook-connected MAU in recent months.