Shopify Becomes the Go-To E-Commerce Platform, Again
Elliot, an online store provider, announced yesterday that it would be shutting its doors. This comes after an advertised launch date being pushed back and the CEO departing days ago.
Challenging Amazon and Shopify
If you want to being selling items online, your two best options are either through Amazon or creating a custom website via Shopify. Amazon boasts over eight million merchants and Shopify recently hit one million merchants.
Elliot aimed to offer another option, with no coding experience required and no problems.
Started in 2017 by Sergio Villaseñor, Elliot originally launched a “Unified Commerce” platform as a way to streamline brands’ existing technology. An August 2017 press release said “From APAC, EMEA, LATAM, and North America, Elliot is fully integrated with the leading eCommerce platforms and marketplaces. In addition to its array of digital channel integrations, Elliot also comes integrated with leading POS software; providing its customers the ability to manage their catalogs on six continents with the click of a button.”
The company then raised $3 million in a January 2018 round to continue its push into allowing retailers to sell across the globe. Elliot’s then-CEO Villaseñor said “Retailers now have the ability to sell into new markets and connect with billions of new consumers. But, one major problem exists. There wasn’t a single out-of-the-box technology solution that allowed brands to rapidly scale their business globally. Elliot has created that solution.”
The fundraising event had several notable investors including Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen and then-Chief Digital Office of TUMI Charlie Cole.
By 2020, Elliot had built a comprehensive team of software and digital experts and was gearing up for a public launch of its new platform. Morning Brew wrote a description of the service in its Retail Brew newsletter in February of this year.
The scheduled release was June 17, 2020. That Friday, the company issued this statement, saying “Starting Tuesday evening (CST), our customers had begun to experience outages spanning multiple web services. After investigating the problem, we discovered that a DDoS attack was targeting our application’s infrastructure, at or around the time of launch. The attack itself spanned dozens of IP addresses…” Villaseñor tweeted that the updated launch date would be on Christmas Day:
The next day, Villaseñor send out a tweet announcing his departure from the company on an iPhone-written note. And on June 30, the company announced it was “The End of Elliot” and released an accompanying statement.
It is still unclear the exact reason that Villaseñor left and the company shut down. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has proven valuable to e-commerce retailers—and platforms like Amazon and Shopify. Shopify (SHOP) grew Q1 sales 47 percent compared to the same period in 2019.