(Updated to reflect comment from Ecwid and Payvment)
Facebook eCommerce platform Payvment is shutting down at the end of the month and will be transfering its customer base to one of its competitors, the company announced via a letter posted on its homepage Monday.
It was revealed that the team at Payvment will be "joining a new company," and that the Payvement platform will no longer exist on March 1.
Payvement CEO Jim Stoneham has confirmed to VatorNews that Intuit has purchased Payvement, and that the company employees will be joining Intuit.
"As part of this transition, you will have one month to transfer your store to Ecwid, which will allow you to continue selling on Facebook. Ecwid is a global leader in Social Commerce with over 200,000 sellers in 174 countries and a robust Facebook application very similar to Payvment," the company wrote.
Payvment chose to refer customers to Ecwid because of Ecwid's popularity, and because it afford customers the opportunity to "move quickly and provide a simple, seamless migration for Payvment customers," Jim O'Hara, President of Ecwid, told VatorNews.
"In fact, the automated transfer of stores is working perfectly so far." he said.
"A business agreement was reached between the two companies," O'Hara says, without giving any more detaiils. "The primary focus is on providing a smooth transition for Payvment’s customers so they can continue selling on Facebook with minimal disruption."
Stores on both Facebook and Lish will remain active and fully operational until February 14th, after which the "Buy" button will no longer function and customers will no longer be able to place orders. New Weekly Deals will no longer be available, as the last Weekly Deal period is January 28 to February 1.
Stores can no longer purchase Facebook Ads using Payvment, though all existing ads will be honored and will run on Facebook. No ads will run after February 14th, after the "Buy" button is turned off.
The identity of the company that the Payvement team will be joining is unknown at this time, but Payvement CEO Jim Stoneham told AllThingsD that the team will not be joining Ecwid.
In a Stoneham wrote a separate letter, in which he talked about what he learned, and thanked his customers.
"Over the past two years, we've grown the Payvment seller network to over 200,000 members and delivered a succession of powerful social commerce capabilities to drive product discovery on social networks. We're humbled to have been a part of helping our amazing entrepreneurial customers achieve their dreams by growing their brand and business using our platform," Stoneham wrote.
"It's been an honor to be part of the rise of social commerce, and we've learned many lessons along the way. It's still early days, and we expect to see great things from our incredible customers, our trusted partners, and the industry as a whole."
As for why Ecwid able to succeed in the social commerce business while Payvement seems to have failed, O'Hara says that the company was succeeding, even though it is now being shut down.
"I think Payvment was succeeding in social commerce and their (mostly) small business customers are selling successfully on Facebook and were quite happy. That's part of what attracted us to this opportunity," said O'Hara. "They established very productive and loyal selling relationships with their end customers using creative social techniques, and were growing their businesses very consistently. We’d like to learn from them and share any of their unique social selling best practices with all of our community of sellers."
Palo Alto-based Payment was founded in 2009 as a platform that enabled retailers to open e-commerce ied storefronts on Facebook.
The company launched a mall on Facebook in 2011, in which it unified all of the businesses on the platform with Payvment storefronts and categorized shopping experiences by seller, items, bestsellers, and recommended items. It added a directory where shoppers could browse through a grid of shopping categories and a universal shopping cart and checkout feature, which allowed the user to add items from different stores to the same cart and go through one checkout process.
Last August, Payvment launched Lish.com, a site off Facebook which allowed users to shop for the products that were currently trending on social media.
Payvement has raised nearly $8 million, including a $6 million Series B round of funding in November 2010 led by Sierra Ventures with participation from previous investor BlueRun Ventures. Sierra partner Vispi Daver will be joining Payvment’s board. The company raised a $1.15 million Series A from BlueRun in March of this year and a $250,000 seed round in March 2010.
Payvment currently has roughly 200,000 registered sellers globally, and adds another 5,000 per month. So how many of those are expected to go over to Ecwid?
"As you can imagine, we hope as many as possible choose to transfer their stores to Ecwid. However, we understand it can be an anxious time for the merchants, so we have provided a one-click process and support structure to make it hopefully as straightforward as possible," O'Hara said.
The team at Ecwid put up the following video, welcoming Payvment customers:
Payvment was unavailable for comment.
(Image source: http://www.ecwid.com/payvment)