Say goodbye to the socks: Evernote's getting out of e-commerce

The note-taking software company will let partners sell products integrated with its service

Two and a half years after Evernote announced that it would offer a suite of branded products through its own online retail store, the productivity company is walking away from the business of selling products like socks, messenger bags and wallets. 

As foreshadowed by a series of sales and app changes last year, the current incarnation of the Evernote Market -- a hub for people to buy branded swag and connected tools for the popular note-taking software -- will be no more come Wednesday.

In its place will be a page that directs people to a handful of products made by partner companies that are tightly integrated with Evernote's service and were previously sold through the Market. Users will still be able to buy the ScanSnap Evernote Edition scanner, Adonit Jot Script Evernote Edition stylus and Evernote-branded Moleskine notebooks that are designed to work with the notetaking software. 

The companies that make those items will be in charge of selling them and handling distribution, allowing Evernote to get out of the business of holding inventory and fulfilling orders. That means all of the Market's non-integrated items, like business card holders and those infamous socks, will be unavailable after Wednesday night.  

In some ways, the Market experiment was a fairly successful one. 40 percent of people who purchased goods from the Market were subscribers to Evernote's free tier, meaning that the company was able to monetize people who weren't paying for the premium version of its service. In the first year of its existence, Market made a little more than $12 million, though it's not clear how it continued to fare after that. 

It's a move that illustrates Evernote's current strategy of winnowing down the products and services it's providing to just focus on a core set of experiences that can make the startup money.

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Blair Hanley Frank

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