Yahoo Woos Small Retailers With New E-Commerce Offerings

Looks to gain bigger retail foothold

By 2018, e-commerce is expected to make up 11 percent of retail sales in the U.S.—equivalent to $414 billion—according to a study by Forrester Research. Yahoo’s newest initiative helps small businesses leverage this growing opportunity.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo has just launched a revamped version of Yahoo Stores in an attempt to widen its share of an increasingly crowded market. Amazon, eBay, Shopify, Etsy and Weebly are just a few competitors who are also betting on small retailers to make a name for themselves in the space. Yahoo Stores' new, enhanced features include mobile-friendly interfaces and improved payment processing. Merchants will also have the option to market their mobile apps on Commerce Central, Yahoo’s new app store.

Launched in 1998, Yahoo Stores lets merchants conduct business online through e-commerce sites hosted by Yahoo. For just a few dollars a month, business owners can access tools for creating, managing, marketing and analyzing their sites from domains to templates to blogs. Currently, more than 1.5 million people use Yahoo Stores. "We’ve taken care of some of the stumbling points that small businesses face in setting up online stores," said Amit Kumar, head of Yahoo Small Business, in an interview with the Journal.

Yahoo-hosted e-commerce sites include Strings and Beyond, Ranger Up, Go Jane, and Bacon Freak.