Jungle Scout vs. Viral Launch
We all know at least one person who’s killing it on Amazon. They white-labeled a supplement or imported a kitchen gadget, and now they’re making six or seven figures selling via Amazon FBA.
You know that you can have the same success, but one of the first things you need to figure out is what product to sell. Maybe you’re already selling on Amazon, but you’re ready to scale up, and you’re not sure what your next step should be.
By now, you’ve probably heard of product research tools (which is why you landed here), but you still have questions. Two of the most popular tools for Amazon sellers are Jungle Scout and Viral Launch, but which one should you choose?
We’ll compare both of them side by side in a Jungle Scout vs. Viral Launch analysis and then give you some useful guidelines that will help you make a decision based on your specific needs.
Of course, when we get to the end, we’ll discuss the price of both tools, compare them side by side, and conclude with our recommendation. First, however, let’s put product research on Amazon into perspective.
A Brief Overview of Product Research
Just a few short years ago, finding successful products to sell on Amazon was a time-consuming and tedious process. It involved logging into Amazon daily and trying to speculate how many units were being sold each day. It was a hassle, to say the least.
Then, once you figured out which product to sell, the keyword research was another mammoth undertaking. Sellers would use the Amazon search bar and mine the “autofill” results to find out which keywords to include in product descriptions. If you were lucky, you might discover a complementary product to add to your catalog.
It was challenging to discover new products, identify hot niches, and gain a competitive advantage. Everyone with half a brain selling on Amazon was doing the same thing, and if you didn’t move fast enough, someone would beat you to the punch. Then you’d be left holding hundreds (or thousands) of units that no one wanted. The chances to fail were high.
Before long, the market demanded a better solution, andJungle Scout was the first on the scene. A successful Amazon seller by the name of Greg Mercer founded the company. He knew there had to be an efficient, data-driven way to discover selling opportunities that would allow him to grow his seven-figure business further. In 2015, Jungle Scout was born.
The Fallacy of First Mover Advantage
For years, marketers thought that being the first to introduce a product to the marketplace guaranteed a foothold in the industry and a significant head start to capture market share and inspire loyalty. They argued that “no one remembers the second man on the moon.”
What they failed to acknowledge was that in a fast-moving industry with lower barriers to entry in most niches, being first isn’t always best. A few examples:
- Apple’s iPod became the standard MP3 music player in 2001, but the first MP3 player was invented four years earlier by a company called Advanced Multimedia Products (AMP).
- Altair made the first personal computer in 1975 with limited success. They were blown out of the water by IBM, which expanded from commercial to personal computers later that year.
- Before Google became synonymous with search engines, there were dozens of other options. The first was Mosaic in 1993.
The point we’re making here is that just because Jungle Scout was the first comprehensive product research tool for Amazon to be released, that doesn’t automatically make it the best. In fact, until recently, it had several limitations, which allowed competitors to enter the market and take a chunk of business away from Jungle Scout.
Recent Changes to Jungle Scout
There have been several reviews written during the last couple of years comparing Jungle Scout to Viral Launch. In many of the reviews, Jungle Scout came up short. Reviewers noted that Jungle Scout functioned exceptionally well for product research, but it didn’t have the helpful launch support features and functionality that Viral Launch had.
Someone over at Jungle Scout must have been paying attention because Jungle Scout now comes standard with a launch feature that executes automated email communications, promotions, reviews, and more. They’ve also added some exciting new features that make it our favorite keyword research tool available today.
The ins and outs of the launch feature are significantly different between Jungle Scout and Viral Launch. We’ll get more into that when we compare the individual features side by side.
Comparing Jungle Scout and Viral Launch Features
For a quick reference point, you can compare the presence of key features in this table:
Product Research Tools
Because both Jungle Scout and Viral Launch are essentially product research tools for Amazon and they’re both industry leaders, we would expect both of them to deliver spectacularly in this area, and they do.
Both platforms provide you with the following:
- A product database
- The ability to track products
- Niche analysis
Regardless of which platform you choose, you’ll be able to find and generate product ideas with relative ease.The product tracking featurealso helps you verify which items have the most demand and can be the most profitable.
Both the Jungle Scout and Viral Launch dashboards are similar. They track the same categories, and both report on monthly sales volumes, price, revenue, and review count. The interface looks nearly identical.
Verdict: Just because two things look the same, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are. Keep in mind that both Viral Launch and Jungle Scout use algorithms designed by their scientists to gather this data. This means neither will be 100% exact. Depending on the unit volume, there could be a 5% to 15% disparity between what these systems report and what the real data is.
We looked at several real-world comparisons from both Jungle Scout and Viral Launch users, and we discovered that Jungle Scout is significantly more accurate than Viral Launch. If you’re trying to gauge demand, evaluate the profitability of a niche, or manage a supply chain, then accuracy is paramount to your success.
Users also noted that Viral Launch tends to overestimate sales and revenue numbers. If you are trying to forecast demand and budget for the future, an overestimation can be tragic to your bottom line. Jungle Scout, on the other hand, is more accurate, and any disparity tends to err on the side of conservatism. The worst case scenario is that you’ll run out of inventory, but at least you won’t be stuck holding the bag.
Both platforms provide a market research tool that helps you validate product ideas. You can view metrics like product idea scores, sales estimates, BSR (best seller ranking) trends, market trends, price and margin estimates, reviews, and more.
Verdict: These two platforms perform equally well. We declare a tie.
Keyword Research Tool
This tool helps identify highly relevant keywords, and it can provide insightful metrics, especially when it comes time to buy ads and try to rank for Amazon SEO. By entering one keyword, you’ll get a report showing related keywords, Amazon search volume, trends, CPC bids, and keyword scores.
Verdict: This tool functions well on both platforms. However, we declare Jungle Scout to be the winner because it provides this valuable feature in all of its plans, but Viral Launch requires you to upgrade.
This reverse ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) tool shows you how your competitors are performing. Enter the ASIN and get a list of top-performing and under-utilized keywords.
Verdict: Viral Launch has a separate dashboard, which some users prefer, while others like being able to do competitive analysis from the product database like Jungle Scout allows. Viral Launch has a slight edge in that it provides more in-depth information and points out your competitors’ weaknesses.
Finding a profitable product to sell on Amazon is just the beginning. Your audience must discover it, and having a well-written listing that optimized for search is incredibly helpful. This feature is included in both Jungle Scout and Viral Launch, but if you want it on Viral Launch, you have to upgrade to the Pro plan.
Verdict: While the tool functions similarly on both platforms, we appreciate that it’s available on all Jungle Scout plans without an upgrade.
If you need additional help with your product listings, Viral Launch provides insights about your listing’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.You’ll be able to see how you measure up against competitors and get actionable tips on how to improve.
Verdict: This feature is not included in Jungle Scout, so Viral Launch gets the extra point here.
Instead of trying to manage a million spreadsheets, imagine being able to track your keywords and their metrics all from one organized dashboard. Both Jungle Scout and Viral Launch have ways to track BSRs, badges, search volumes, sponsored ad rank, and more.
Verdict: If you want this feature on Viral Launch, you have to upgrade to Pro, but it is included in all Jungle Scout plans.
For the last couple of years, Viral Launch touted their ability to help you launch a product, and Jungle Scout had to sit on the sidelines and wait for their dev team to finish building this feature. Now, launch support is included as an option for Jungle Scout, too.
While both companies provide similar launch services, they view the pricing and logistics radically differently. At the time of publication, Viral Launch charges a one-time fee of $200 for a 15-day promotion. Their rationale is that when you launch a product, you should discount it heavily (up to 90% off) for 7 to 10 days to drive Amazon SEO and sales velocity.There are also additional fees for product photography and copywriting services.
Jungle Scout takes a different approach to launch. They charge a monthly fee based on your number of orders (starting at $49 for up to 500 orders in 30 days). In addition to a launch promotion, they also have an internal CRM that allows you to automate follow-up for customer reviews and relationship building.
Verdict: We prefer Jungle Scout’s approach because it addresses specific points in the customer journey and allows you to draft and send unique notifications for order confirmations, shipping updates, refund requests, delivery notices, and more.
Both Jungle Scout and Viral Launch have a Chrome extension in addition to a web application. The Chrome extension allows you to get product and competitor info directly from an Amazon listing page, right in your browser.
With the Chrome extension, you’ll see what people are searching for on Amazon, how much you can expect to pay for Amazon PPC, and what keywords your competitors are using.
This is an optional add-on for Jungle Scout, so you can buy the extension separately or save money when you bundle. If you’re serious about your success on Amazon, you’ll want both the web app and the extension.
Verdict: Even though the Chrome extension is an add-on for Jungle Scout, it’s deeply discounted when you bundle it with the web app, so we declare a tie.
This feature is included in Jungle Scout (but not Viral Launch), and it’s worth its weight in gold. The database is updated in real-time, and it collects information from shipments imported into the US. You can go back up to 48 months to view history as well.
The supplier database helps you find and verify suppliers as well as spy on your competition.You can see who is supplying what, how frequently, and what the volume is. Search by product, company, or supplier and you’ll get instant access to a dashboard that shows you everything you need to know, including how much they’re paying for their items.
Our favorite uses for this tool include the following:
- Check who a supplier’s top customers are, which is valuable. For example, you’ll be able to see who Amazon’s suppliers are as well as who is supplying the major players in your niche.
- Look up your competitors to see which suppliers they’re using, what volume they’re ordering, and how much they’re paying.
- Cross-reference the supplier’s profile on Alibaba to see if they’re representing themselves accurately.
Verdict: Jungle Scout is the clear winner here since this feature isn’t available on Viral Launch. If you’re on the fence at this point about which one to choose, this should steer you in the direction of Jungle Scout. The insights here are invaluable.
Both platforms are available in several international marketplaces. Here’s a breakdown:
Verdict: If you’re in the US, both platforms have you covered. Jungle Scout is missing support for Japan and the minor EU marketplaces, while Viral Launch is missing compatibility with the Indian market.
Viral Launch offers a free trial, while Jungle Scout offers a money-back guarantee.
Verdict: The difference is subtle, but we prefer Jungle Scout’s offer. The Viral Launch trial only provides you with limited functionality, so you don’t get to experience everything on offer.
With Jungle Scout, you get full access to everything. Research to your heart’s content and launch a product if you want. You get everything Jungle Scout has to offer; nothing is restricted or off-limits. Then, if you don’t like what you see after 14 days, you can get a full refund.
Jungle Scout vs. Viral Launch – How Much Do They Cost?
We saved the cost discussion for the end because we wanted to compare the features of both keyword research tools side by side before getting down to the dollars and cents.
Comparing the costs of these two applications side by side is a bit of a challenge because they have vastly different price structures.
- Jungle Scout charges separately for the web application and the Chrome extension. They also charge based on the number of orders you receive per month.
- Viral Launch offers four pricing tiers based on which features you want. The top pricing tier includes the most features, and the monthly fee is based on the revenue your Amazon seller account collects each month.
- Both Jungle Scout and Viral Launch offer discounts for purchasing an annual plan as opposed to paying monthly.
Confused yet? Yeah, same. We decided to create a chart that shows how the pricing works based on the size of your business. This way, you can compare apples to apples instead of trying to figure out which company has the best overall price.
Notes: To create a basis for comparison, we assumed a product price of $40 or less. If your product price is over $40, then Viral Launch would be even more expensive. This is because your Viral Launch subscription fees are based on how much revenue you earn.
You can get all the features that Jungle Scout has to offer for as low as $69 per month (or $49 if paid annually).
Notes: For both the monthly and annual pricing, we compared the cost of Viral Launch Kinetic, the plan that Viral Launch recommends. We chose this tier for comparison because the other levels of Viral Launch don’t have the same functionality as what comes standard in Jungle Scout. To be fair, we wanted to compare a suite of features that are equivalent.
The lower tiers of Viral Launch range from $59 to $149 per month, but their usefulness is limited to the research phase of your business. Once you are an active seller on Amazon, you’ll probably want the full suite of features.
If you’re serious about selling successfully on Amazon, you need market insights and competitive intel. Both Jungle Scout and Viral Launch do an excellent job of providing the necessary tools. The dashboards are intuitively easy to use, and they provide all the data you could ever want. In fact, other than the color schemes, several of the interfaces look identical.
Where Jungle Scout shines is in the Supplier Database. Being able to validate suppliers and find out who the top ones are in your niche is incredibly valuable. Even if you already have a supplier network in play, it’s helpful to know who your competitors are using, who commands the most volume, and what other items they supply.
Jungle Scout also wins when it comes to affordability. If you’re just starting your business and you have low order volume, you can get both the web application and the Chrome extension for a price that’s dramatically lower than Viral Launch. We know that when you’re in the startup phase of your business, every dollar counts. Jungle Scout lets you enter the game at a lower price while still providing vital features like keyword research.
With Jungle Scout, you’ll also continue to benefit as you grow. You can add other features like an internal CRM that helps you connect with customers and enhance their experience by setting up automated emails for every step in the customer journey.
Finally, Jungle Scout continues to add new features at no extra cost. The founder and the support team all sell actively on Amazon, so you’ll have a team of customer service professionals who are in the trenches with you on a day-to-day basis. Any time you have a question, need advice or just want to chat, someone at Jungle Scout will be available to help, and they’ll know what they’re talking about!
Want more Jungle Scout comparisons? Try our Jungle Scout vs. Unicorn Smasher post.