These businesses had alternatives to Shopify, of course. There were sites like Squarespace and Wix, which make it relatively easy to whip up a website, but don’t specialize in e-commerce. And there were thriving marketplaces like Etsy and eBay that offered a large built-in customer base…
David H. Freedman
They actually have loads of other options. Miva, Woo Commerce, Big Commerce, etc. I get why Shopify is so popular, but of the 1,000+ ecommerce sites I've worked on, Shopify costs more. Woo Commerce can get pretty pricey also, though many WordPress folk swear by it.
This is a great story that puts great focus on the mom and pops. Just wanted to add that there are scores of options for small business, including some that easily integrate with existing POS systems, providing for real-time handshaking.
Plus, it's hard to compare Shopify to Amazon. They are two entirely sectors. Shopify allows businesses to create their own marketplace. Amazon is a third-party marketplace. One produces a site dedicated to a specific line of products, whereas the business has control, the other is a gateway to hordes of product lines, featuring many brands.