There’s some sad news on the social commerce front. Payvment, the leading provider of Facebook enabled social commerce storefronts, today announced that it will cease operations on February 28, 2013. [Disclaimer: Payvment is a sponsor of this site.]
The reason? Payvment’s team has been acquired by a yet undisclosed company in a deal that was, according to Payvment CEO Jim Stoneham, “too good to pass up.”
The question regarding what that means for Payvment’s 200,000 sellers has already been answered. Ecwid, an e-commerce provider with more than 250,000 customers, will be taking over, though terms of the deal are unknown at this time. An announcement released this morning states that Ecwid will be “acquiring sellers referred by Payvment.”
The news must come as a shock to Payvment users, but both companies have taken great pains to ensure the transition process is seamless – so seamless, in fact, that it will only require a single click.
In an attempt to reassure its sellers, Stoneham said, “Ecwid’s e-commerce technology will not only enable our merchants to keep selling on Facebook, but also allow them the opportunity open up new channels by placing a store anywhere their customers shop online.”
For those unfamiliar, Ecwid is no slouch when it comes to e-commerce. It built the first PHP-powered store builder, which eventually became known as X-Cart. Its current platform allows merchants to easily embed a shopping cart widget into their blogs or websites with no little or no technical knowledge required.
There’s also a mobile version of the platform and Ecwid also has its own Facebook shopping cart app, which I assume is what Payvment sellers will transition to.
Both Payvment’s and Ecwid’s customer base consists primarily of small businesses, so there is synergy there. In fact, if you ask me, based on my knowledge of both companies and their respective CEO’s, I think Ecwid is the perfect e-commerce provider to take over Payvment’s client base and would suggest to its sellers that they are in good hands.
Sellers can visit Payvment’s website to find answers to questions they are most likely to ask such as “What will happen to my store and Lish?,” “Can I save my order information?,” and “Can I have a refund?” (Payvment states that it will refund yearly subscribers on a pro-rated basis.)
On a personal note, this comes as sad news for Social Commerce Today for a very specific reason. Payvment has been the sole sponsor of the website and, as a result of the company’s decision to discontinue operations, that relationship will come to an end. We wish Jim Stoneham and the rest of his team the best of luck in their new (ad)venture and bid them godspeed.
UPDATE: The Next Web is attempting to cause a stir by questioning whether the deal signals that f-commerce has come to an end. Though mystery surrounds the company’s decision to close up shop, I don’t think that portends a death knell.
If you’re a Payvment customer, we’d like to hear your take on this development. Please leave a comment.