Frances Leone is Director of Marketing & Operations at Fishermen’s Source: “We’d been in business over 10 years, and about 3 years ago we had over 3,000 products on Amazon and eBay. It became difficult to manage the inventory and stock levels. There was the dual concern of not selling out, and adjusting the stock quantities across both marketplaces. Steve had taken the business as far as he could. He was basically carrying around a $2milion-a-year business in his head.
“We knew we weren’t able to grow the business further and expand onto other marketplaces without software. We’d just built our Magento store and we needed something that could do inventory management, market repricing, and multiple channel management.”
“Steve saw an ad for Volo on Amazon. He did some research and found that the Volo system was compatible with Magento, and what marketplaces we could connect to, which were key deciding factors. He asked me to research Volo further. Volo has really good customer reviews, with lots of positive comments about customer support. We knew it would be a big undertaking to get our catalog into the Volo system while we were running the business, and the Volo reviews on customer support contrasted with other providers whose customer reviews were not good. This factor, taken with the Magento factor, and Volo’s revenue share model, swung it for us.
“The onboarding process was very involved. It took 3-4 months I think, there were a lot of channels to connect. Our business development manager was amazing, he stayed with us throughout the implementation. We had site visits from New York City. Not everything went to plan, but we persevered, us and Volo, and we got it done.
“There are several things we like about the Volo platform, but these are our top 3. First the inventory management, and the control it gives us. Second the automated re-ordering, which saves us a lot of time. Third is the Amazon repricing tool. Together with our emphasis on customer service, this is really important for getting the Amazon Buy Box. These are things we definitely couldn’t live without.”
“The Volo system is pretty robust. It helps us run things with a skeleton staff, it’s managing all our channel activities for us. In addition to our Magento site we're on all the Amazon regions, we're on eBay, and we’ve around 30% of our catalog on Walmart, which we’ll be ramping up since Walmart is investing hard in online right now.
“We’re not live on the Volo system a year yet, but already we’re up 100% year-on-year and we’re coming into our really busy season. We’re also looking at 5 or 6 additional selling channels.
“We’re a US-based company, but we didn’t hesitate to go with Volo who, although they’re building their presence here, have a lot of their resources outside of the US, in the UK. We weren’t deterred by this at all. In fact, most of my resources are outside of the US. I think as a whole the ecommerce industry tends to look further afield. Prices are high here in the US, without necessarily a corresponding high quality.
“My advice to other companies in the research phase for a solution is this: look for a software that has all-in-one ecommerce capability. You need inventory management, repricing and compatibility with many marketplaces. Good reviews for customer support was important to us too.”