What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. Tech giant Amazon exemplifies this philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche for it not only survived after the failure of dozens of its products, but came out stronger and is continuing to strengthen its position in the tech space.
Yesterday we published ‘Killed by Amazon (Part 1)’. The list of the world’s largest marketplace’s axed products and services continues.
- Amazon Distribution
In late 2022, Amazon shut down its distribution business without revealing the reason. The service was designed for Indian kirana stores and pharmacies to secure inventory from Amazon’s marketplace.
- Kindle Scout
Amazon’ Kindle Scout a ‘reader-powered publishing’ was one of the first crowdsourced publishing platforms. But in 2018, the platform stopped accepting submissions without stating the reason.
- Amazon Smile
Launched in 2013, a decade later Amazon shut down its charity platform in 2023 to cut costs. Through the program, the company donated a percentage of eligible purchases to the user’s choice of charity.
- Amazon Product Ads
In 2015, Amazon pulled the plug on its pay-per-click “product ads” that showed links and photos at the bottom of search results and diverted traffic out to other sites.
- Amazon Cloud Cam
- Fire TV Cube (Gen 1)
Without specifying the reason, Amazon decided to discontinue its cool little box with Alexa built-in, Fire TV Cube Generation 1.
Debuted in 2009, Amazon’s PayPhrase was a shortcut to purchasing online. “We think this is a huge benefit for the holidays,” said Matt Williams, general manager of Amazon PayPhrase while announcing the product. But the company quietly ended it in 2012.
- Amazon WorkDocs Companion
On its official page, Amazon declared that Amazon WorkDocs Companion is reaching the end of its life and will not be available after November 15, 2023.
- Amazon Restaurants (UK)
Amazon shut its flash sale site Myhabit.com in 2016 and pushed it under its Fashion umbrella. But unlike the above Myhabit.com does not redirect its visitors to Amazon.com/Fashion.
Amazon set up the WebStore for small and medium businesses to easily set up their own store and sell online directly to customers. But in 2015, it was shut down within a year of its debut.
Wallet, a standalone Android app to store gift and loyalty cards was cancelled in 2015, about six months after its debut.
- Local Register
Amazon Local Register let small businesses accept credit-card payments through Amazon’s payment processing with a card reader on the users’ phone. Amazon stopped selling the dongle in 2015 and quit supporting it completely in 2016.
WebPay was Amazon’s version of PayPal that shut down in 2014 and was replaced by AmazonPay.
AskVille was Amazon’s reply to Yahoo Answers, but users had to go through a gamified process to answer those questions. The service ended in 2013, and the archive of the message board was taken down in 2019.
- Book Depository
Amidst the ongoing layoffs by Amazon, the UK-based Book Depository announced its closure recently. Book Depository was purchased by the e-commerce giant in 2011 and stopped all its operations on 26 April, 2023.
- Digital Photography Review
Similar to the above, photography community website DPReview shut down on April 10, 2023, due to layoffs.
In 2012, Amazon entered the Indian market through Junglee. However, in 2017, Amazon decided to shut down the service altogether and its features were integrated into Amazon India’s Local Finds platform.
- Twitch Prime
In 2020, Amazon discontinued Twitch Prime only to later rebrand it as Prime Gaming, offering the enhanced service to its millions of members worldwide at no extra cost.
- Amazon GameOn
After Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, GameOn came to the iOS app store and was discontinued in June 2022.
- Prime Now
On May 21, 2021, Amazon announced by the end of the year it would shut down its stand-alone Prime Now platforms and direct users to order them through the Amazon app or website.
- Alexa Rank
The Alexa Rank score was used as a metric to determine a site’s popularity in the initial days of SEO. Over time it became irrelevant and Amazon retired the service in 2022.
- Amazon Academy
Amazon will discontinue its edtech platform, Amazon Academy, in a phased manner starting August 2023. However, users will have online access to course material until October 2024.
In October 2022, Amazon halted testing its home delivery robot Scout, which it started testing in 2019. The company did not reveal the official reason but it’s likely they shut it down due to unsatisfactory customer feedback.
- Amazon Care
Within a year of piloting its telehealth service for its employees, Amazon ceased operations of its Amazon Care service in December 2022.
- A9 Portal
In 2008, the famous portal a9.com was discontinued. Prior to that in 2006, Amazon also sunsetted the A9 Instant Reward program, the A9 Toolbar and personalised services such as history, bookmarks, and diary.