Online payment service WePay has unveiled a new merchant feature that makes it easier for small businesses to set up their own online stores.
The new WePay Stores aren’t designed to replace more advanced ecommerce software solutions like Zencart or Magento. Instead, WePay Stores are best-suited for home business and small stores that only have, at most, a few dozen items to sell. WePay has streamlined the process of getting items onto the market.
WePay Stores don’t require a merchant account and the user doesn’t need any programming knowledge to set it up. And because the system is powered by WePay, it doesn’t have any setup fees — it takes its cut from the transactions.
The feature that will definitely get the most attention though is embedding. With just a few lines of code, you can stick your WePay Store on your website or blog. This is exactly what Startup Tees did with its website.
One of the disadvantages of WePay Stores is that they lack the depth of customization options. For instance, making subtle color and design changes requires CSS knowledge, though WePay co-founder and CEO Bill Clerico says that it will add more customization options to its ecommerce platform over time.
The WePay Stores are part of the company’s broader strategy to be simpler and easier to use than its biggest competitor, PayPal. The startup has raised approximately $10 million in funding from Dave McClure, SV Angel, Y Combinator, Highland Capital Partners, August Capital, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen and, interestingly, PayPal co-founder Max Levchin.