Yahoo Rolls Out Updated E-Commerce Service

In its latest effort to ramp up revenue growth, Yahoo on Thursday unveiled an overhauled e-commerce offering for small businesses.

With the rollout of Yahoo Stores, the Web giant boasts that merchants can have an online store up and running “in less than a couple of minutes.” It also promises PCI-compliant payment promising, automatic SEO on Yahoo.com, and catalog tools for organizing and promoting products.

“Yahoo Small Business took the best of everything we’ve learned from our million+ customers over the past 16 years and applied it to Yahoo Stores to give small business owners a more powerful, streamlined and beautiful way to turn their ideas into a business,” stated a post today by Amit Kumaar, head of Yahoo Small Business.

On the front end, Yahoo has added new Web design options that can run across mobile phones, tablets and desktop. An updated editing process allows Stores users to make changes to titles, pictures and other features directly to a site with no preview required.

Consistent with Yahoo’s renewed focus on mobile, merchants will also have access to Yahoo’s Live Web Insights app to manage their sites and view real-time analytics while on-the-go.

How much the revamped e-commerce platform will help attract more businesses to Yahoo isn’t clear. Perry Evans, CEO of Closely, which helps small businesses monitor their presence in social media, is skeptical.

“The hook that someone like Yahoo could bring is to provide lower effort, higher value ways to attract customers to these stores, and — in theory — Yahoo should be good at that,” he said. “However, most of the competitors in this space have already packaged distribution via ad networks and distribution partnerships.”

Specifically, he mentioned Web-building services, such as Wix and Moonfruit, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to expand online.

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