Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how Volusion and Amazon FBA stack up.
Matthew Taylor and Mark Hammersley
Last updated 2o July 2020
4.4 Stackupp rating
$ 29.00 / month
Best forSmall businesses expecting to scale that are looking for a feature-rich platform.
3.4 Stackupp rating
$ 0.99 / month
Best foronline sellers with limited product ranges. It is also a good option for retailers with established stores that want to take advantage of Amazon’s significant reach.
Can't decide between Volusion and Amazon FBA?
Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of Volusion and Amazon FBA. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, design, support and value for money.
Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.
Volusion is a fully-hosted ecommerce platform with a loyal user-base and a wide selection of features. While the platform is suitable for businesses of all sizes, the intuitive user interface, high-quality customer support, and extensive feature-set make it an attractive choice for small and medium-sized retailers that are looking to scale.
Four pricing plans are available, beginning at $29/month and running all the way up to a custom option with VIP support. It is important for retailers to ensure that all the features they need are included with the package they select, as some features aren’t offered in lower-tier plans, like integration with third-party payment gateways and reviews and ratings functionality.
Use Volusion if you’re starting out or if you’re looking to scale and need access to a comprehensive set of ecommerce features. Larger stores that prefer to use a fully-hosted solution and wish to make a switch will also find a lot to like in Volusion.
Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is Amazon’s in-house fulfillment service for sellers. Instead of taking care of the storage and delivery of products themselves, sellers who opt for Amazon FBA can use Amazon’s warehouses and logistics networks. This can significantly reduce financial and administrative burdens.
It’s important to recognize that Amazon FBA is an additional service for Amazon sellers. It will only meet your needs if you already intend to sell products on Amazon. It is not a self-contained ecommerce solution that will allow you to list a wide array of different items and keep all the revenue from sales. What’s more, Amazon takes a significant cut of the final purchase price. You will also have to compete with other sellers in the marketplace.
With all that in mind, it’s essential to weigh up the benefits associated with access to the world’s single largest retail market with the cons of hefty fees, limited control, and high levels of competition.
Generally speaking, small retailers that don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing an entire ecommerce store (and all the technical, marketing, and logistical tasks this involves) will find a lot to like in Amazon FBA. Equally, retailers with established stores that want to bring their best products to a broader market should consider Amazon FBA.
Finally, keep in mind that running a successful business on Amazon FBA requires a unique skill-set. It’s a different ballgame to running a “traditional” ecommerce store, and this should be accounted for. You will need to familiarize yourself with topics like competitor research, keyword analysis, product page optimization, results page optimization, and so on.
you are a small independent retailer who doesn’t want to run their own store and handle complex back-end logistical tasks. Amazon will do a lot of the hard work for you while providing access to a large retail marketplace.
Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.
Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.
We take a look at how simple the Volusion and Amazon FBA platforms are to run.
Volusion is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. Users have access to a store builder, making it possible to design storefronts without any coding knowledge. Adding product listings, managing inventory and shipping, and setting up payment gateways, are all straightforward processes. What’s more, store-owners have 24/7 access to a variety of specialists.
“Always an awesome experience!”
“The online "chat" techs have been absolutely great. Solved my problems and are going to help me with a special "tweak" that I need done on my site. Should be ready to publish shortly.”
“Tech support is top of the list for all V2 owners. They are there for you to help you out for better ecommerce service.”
Amazon FBA is managed through “Seller Central”, an online dashboard that all Amazon merchants use to manage their inventory, product listings, storefronts, and analytics.
The interface is very user-friendly, and you can add and configure products quickly. There is a substantial amount of help documentation online through the “Seller Central” portal and Amazon also offers an “Amazon Seller App” for mobile devices. All in all, it’s a very good option for beginners, along with retailers who have limited technical expertise.
Configuring fulfillment options is also a straightforward, linear process and is completed within the “Seller Central” area once products have been added to a catalog.
Finally, you can manage your own independent store, which will show all your Amazon listings, via the “Stores” tab.
"This website is good for beginners who want to earn."
"This platform is the most solid on the web to sell products online."
"They have never failed to pay me and they have been supportive when deviant customers have tried to steal from me."
Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do Volusion and Amazon FBA templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.
Volusion is an excellent choice for users with limited design abilities that want to create a professional site. The site builder utilizes drag-and-drop content blocks (for reviews, images, testimonials, etc.), an editor for tweaking page elements, and also offers a variety of out-of-the-box features like search functionality.
On the downside, Volusion only offers forty-five themes, which is lower than some competitors. Only eleven themes are free. The remaining paid options each cost $180. Users should take advantage of the free trial to see if the templates and website builder are a fit for their store. It’s also worth reiterating that all customers have access to design specialists if they want to make changes or tweaks that require coding knowledge.
Amazon doesn’t offer much in the way of design freedom. Sellers can only customize specific product page elements, such as the title and description, images, and in-depth “body copy”. The layout and overall page design cannot be altered.
Once they have registered their brand, sellers can also open their own Amazon storefront, which affords a greater (albeit still limited) level of design flexibility.
If you’re looking for complete control over your store, you will likely find that a self-managed ecommerce solution like Shopify or WooCommerce better fits your needs.
Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if Volusion or Amazon FBA offers better value for money.
Volusion is fairly competitive on the pricing front. Even on the basic plan, users have access to a broad array of features, including checkout, inventory management, access to templates, and so on.
There are a few things to watch out for, however.
First, some features that might be considered essential, like ratings and reviews, third-party payment gateway integrations, and omnichannel store management, are only available on higher-tier plans.
Second, there are some hidden costs involved. All store-owners must purchase an SSL certificate, for example, and customer support is only available via the web on the entry-level plan.
“Value for money” is a slightly mixed bag when it comes to Amazon FBA. It’s important to stress that all serious Amazon FBA sellers will have to purchase a subscription to an Amazon Seller account. There are two plans available. The “Individual” plan is free, but a charge of $0.99 per item sold is collected. The “Professional” plan is $39.99 per month.
On the surface, these figures don’t seem significant. It’s when you get down to the nitty-gritty of item fees that a more precise picture starts to emerge. FBA sellers have to account for several charges: a referral fee (which can be up to 15% of the item sale price, a storage fee), storage costs, and a fulfillment fee. All of these can quickly add up, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the fine print and do all your calculations to ensure you can make a sustainable profit.
If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does Volusion's and Amazon FBA's support measure up?
Volusion excels in customer support. A 24/7 service is available and provides access to technical, design, and marketing specialists. As web chat is only available on the beginner plan, you will need to upgrade to the next package for phone support. More extensive support packages, such as “homepage optimization” or Google Analytics training, are available for an extra cost.
Amazon provides support to sellers through online tickets and has published extensive online documentation and training for new users. There is also an active community forum where it’s possible to get answers to questions.
While the support options are reasonable, we would like to have seen phone and email support in conjunction with the options already on offer.
The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.
Volusion has a great package of features, competitive pricing, and outstanding customer support. Retailers that require access to a team of technical, design, and marketing specialists should consider Volusion. Anybody without coding skills looking for a way to build and manage a store will feel at home with Volusion’s easy-to-use and intuitive dashboard.
The platform isn’t perfect, however. There are some hidden costs, like the requirement to buy or transfer an SSL certificate. Many features that might be considered essential, like omnichannel store management, coupon creation, and reviews and ratings functionality on product pages, are not included in the basic plan. Furthermore, third-party payment gateways are only available on the “Business” or “Prime” package.
Retailers should carefully check the features on offer to make sure they’ll have what they need with the plan they can afford.
In short, Volusion is an excellent platform for the right retailers. If you’re a small or medium-sized business looking for a platform that can scale as you grow, take advantage of the 14-day free trial to see if it’s a fit.
The FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) program has done a lot to open up Amazon’s sizable marketplace to new sellers and streamline the often-complex process of storing items and fulfilling purchases.
If you are starting out in the ecommerce space, and find the prospect of running an independent store daunting, then Amazon is a viable option. Equally, if you already have an established online presence and want to reach new customers, selling your top-performing products through Amazon is also worth considering.
Just keep in mind that running a profitable Amazon FBA business is different from running your own online store. It requires a unique skill-set and the ability to evaluate competition and find gaps in the market.
Overall, we found Volusion to be the better ecommerce platform.
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