Volusion targets larger companies with its new e-commerce platform

Volusion Inc., a provider of e-commerce software to small retailers, today stepped into the market for larger companies with its launch of Mozu, its new Internet-hosted e-commerce technology platform for online operations with annual sales of up to $100 million, CEO Clay Olivier says.

Volusion is offering Mozu for now under an “early-access” program, with a limited number of companies beginning to migrate to the new platform, he says. The company is positioning Mozu to appeal to existing clients who are considering migrating off of the company’s Volusion e-commerce platform, which caters to online companies doing up to $5 million in annual sales, as well as to prospective clients who may be considering e-commerce platforms from such companies as Demandware Inc. and MarketLive Inc., Olivier says. Like Demandware and MarketLive as well as the Volusion-branded e-commerce platform, Mozu is offered under a software-as-a-service model, under which clients rent the technology over the Internet without having to install the software on their own servers.

Industry analysts who have reviewed Mozu say it appears to have been designed to compete well in the highly competitive e-commerce technology market for small to mid-size companies.

“It certainly appears they have architected the system to be competitive with companies including Demandware and MarketLive,” says Leslie Hand, research director and e-commerce technology analyst at research firm IDC Retail Insights.

Adds Peter Sheldon, an e-commerce technology analyst at Forrester Research Inc., “Mozu will allow Volusion to go up-market, and retain growing customers that might otherwise have moved off the Volusion e-commerce platform to go to Demandware, MarketLive or others.”

Hand and Sheldon both cautioned, however, that Mozu has just been released and that clients have no history with it as yet. That makes it too soon to say how well it will meet Volusion’s objectives of being a flexible and scalable platform designed for managing orders and inventory across online, mobile and store channels. Volusion plans to make Mozu generally available in January.

Volusion says Mozu is the latest offering in the company’s efforts to upgrade its technology offerings, in which Volusion has invested more than $10 million in the last year alone and added 100 employees. The Austin, TX-based company now employs more than 450 people.

Among the expanded staff are a several technologists from the retail industry, says Steve Krebsbach, who joined Volusion in June 2012 from mobile commerce technology company Motricity, where he was senior director of infrastructure operations. (Motricity has since been renamed Voltari.)

One of those technology experts is Jason Wallis, who joined Volusion in 2011 as chief technologist and vice president of architecture from similar roles at Dell Inc. At Dell, Wallis worked as chief architect of Dell.com, No. 8 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide, before being promoted to Dell’s chief technical architect and director of I.T. “I left Dell in April 2011 to begin building Mozu,” Wallis says.

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