E-commerce provider Volusion touts multichannel integration

Close ties to Amazon have helped the platform attract 40,000 active business customers. Moving forward, deeper mobile support will be a primary focus.

There are dozens of e-commerce platforms that any given smaller retailer or business could choose to use. One thing that distinguishes the tools offered by Volusion is a particular focus on multichannel integration. More than 40,000 active businesses use the technology -- offered as a service -- to process roughly $12 billion in sales annually, said Clay Olivier, CEO of the company.

"We believe we are the only SaaS provider to offer true multichannel selling," he said. "In particular, by enabling our customers also to sell on Amazon -- which has 182 million customers -- they can really expand their scope."

Actually, Volusion does a lot more than just integrate with Amazon seamlessly, and with eBay (which it also supports): there are actually dozens of plug-ins and product features that integrate it closely with payment systems like PayPal, and various delivery services such as FedEx, Olivier said.

GrillGrate, a specialty retailer based north of Atlanta that generates about $1.8 million in annual sales, switched over from the GoDaddy e-commerce and shopping cart solution when it became clear that it needed a more robust solution to handle its fast-growing online business. Although it opened its doors as a brick-and-mortar retailer, its e-commerce business now accounts for a vast majority of sales, said Brad Barrett, founder and president of GrillGrate. "They have more than grown with us," he said.

Volusion helps Barrett manage sales from both its Web site (which accounts for about 75 percent of business) and Amazon (which generates the remainder). Initially, the company opted for Volusion because of its technical support capabilities. "They were one of the few people I could get on the phone to answer my questions," Barrett said. 

Volusion's plans start at $15 per month, depending on the number of features that your business intends to use. (You need the Gold plan, which is $125 per month, for the Amazon integration.) A big focus of the company's development activities in the coming months will be improvements to its mobile shopping experience.

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