One of the biggest advantages of using hosted eCommerce software (like Volusion), is that they offer seamless integration with other retail platforms (like Amazon), to help increase your online sales.
Volusion and Amazon recently partnered to offer built-in Amazon integration that helps sell your products through Amazon, but manage everything from your own eCommerce store.
So, if you are interested in starting an eCommerce website with the intention of selling via Amazon, or want to find a way to increase existing sales by reaching out to the millions of buyers on Amazon, Volusion is what you're after.
This article looks at why online retailers need to be able to reach out to customers on 3rd party platforms like Amazon, and how Volusion makes this quick and easy to implement and manage - at no extra cost.
Why is 3rd party integration important for sales?
One of the hardest aspects to growing an eCommerce business is being able to reach your target audience - people who are interested in buying your products.
This is not easy due to an abundance of large eCommerce sites that suck up vast amounts of organic search traffic, have plenty of brand recognition, and have well established trust and authority with online consumers.
It makes sense then for small to medium sized retailers to find a way to work with the big eCommerce sites in order to gain access their huge markets - selling goods directly on those platforms.
But, this is only possible if you have an eCommerce solution that comes with the ability to easily integrate your products and store management facilities.
The alternatives are to:
- manually develop Amazon integration for your store: requires plenty of technical skill, costly Web development, and lots of time
- operate a separate Amazon store: redundant duplication of effort maintaining the same product line on two different platforms
If you want access to millions of buyers, you don't really have a choice - pick an eCommerce platform that has 3rd party integration built in.
What does Volusion's Amazon integration offer?
Amazon Product Ads integration comes standard with Volusion's Gold & Platinum plans.
It allows you to sell products on Amazon, but manage stock, sales and inventory from your Volusion store. This dramatically cuts the amount of administrative man-hours required to sell on two different platforms.
Not only that but because integration is built directly into Volusion it means that you can work with Amazon's catalog and products listings directly from your own store. This saves time locating and matching products, and updating product info.
Why is this so important?
Only one version of a product can exist on Amazon.
So, except for when you are selling something completely unique, it is crucial that you are able to locate products easily in order to list your own store's offer on an existing Amazon product page.
But, for me, the real beauty of this tight integration with Amazon is that sales on Amazon are picked up and reflected in your own store's inventory. This means that you can't inadvertently sell products that are out of stock.
From this perspective, Volusion has turned Amazon into a sales channel for your store. It's an extension of your store, not something that is tacked on.
How to sell products on Amazon using Volusion
In order to be able to sell products through Amazon, you will need:
- Amazon Professional Seller account
- Volusion Gold or Platinum plan
Once you have both accounts, it is quick and easy to tie the two together:
- Log in to your Volusion account and go to Marketing >> Sell on Amazon, to bring up the following page:
- Click Go to Amazon, and then, after signing in, accept the Amazon MWS license:
- Complete the agreement, and click Continue to return to your Volusion store
That's it! Not too hard...
You can now add new products to Amazon. Remember, that if a product you are selling is not unique, then your offer must be added to the existing Amazon listing, and it will show up as an alternative offer on the product buying page:
As you can see, this particular book has a range of buying options including collectible, used, and new offers, some of which are cheaper than the Amazon offer.
The process of listing products is fairly straightforward too, and you can find out more by visiting Volusion, and doing a search for "Amazon" (Hint: they have links directly to their Amazon integration info, lower down on the pricing plans page).
How much does it cost to sell products on Amazon?
A professional seller account from Amazon will cost $39.99 per month.
While Amazon integration features are provided free of charge by Volusion, these features are only available for Gold and Platinum accounts.
Your total monthly expenses for selling via Amazon are therefore approximately $165.
An incredibly low amount given how fast and easy it is to set up and start operating. Especially when you consider the long term increases in productivity arising from having a single point of administration for both stores.
About Volusion's eCommerce software
Volusion is one of the leading hosted eCommerce website builders on the market.
Their shopping cart software has won numerous awards and accolades from prestigious organizations like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur.
They offer a wide range of cutting edge features, including responsive Web design to support mobile eCommerce (mCommerce), high security (PCI compliance), innovative features like one-click checkout, and free 24/7 support.
In our own independent analysis (carried out prior to this article) of the Value for money offering of Volusion, which included an analysis and comparison of all its features, performance, SEO, pricing, and customer reviews and testimonials, SME Pals gave Volusion the following score:
¹ Popularity was determined by aggregating each service's Alexa ranking with their Google Trends brand search popularity to give a rating of between 1 and 10 - 10 being the best.
² The Reviews value was determined by aggregating independent customer reviews from around the Web to give a rating of between 1 and 10 - 10 being the best.
³ Value for money was determined by comparing the features and service offered by each service with their pricing and reviews to give an overall value for money metric, expressed as a percentage.
100% being perfect value for money, and 0% being no value for money at all.
An overall value of 89% is exceptional, and confirms that Volusion is a leader in the field of eCommerce Web hosting.
So that's our review of Volusion's latest technology upgrade. Without doubt, the time and effort their Amazon integration will save, combined with the increased revenue and exposure to millions of Amazon shoppers, represents a significant leap forward for any store owner or entrepreneur selling online.
Are you currently using a different eCommerce solution or hosted shopping cart? How are you managing integration with Amazon?
Share your tips and experiences in the comments.
This article was sponsored! Find out more.