You have probably seen a commercial stating how easy it is to create an online store with Volusion. Many of us have and it really seems like the perfect ecommerce platform to use. That being said, Volusion is not as popular as it once was. However, despite all of the recent jabs thrown at Volusion, this Volusion review will show you why their shopping cart is still one of the best ecommerce software platforms. No transaction fees and an array of built-in features is what make Volusion a popular choice for ecommerce.
Volusion hosts over 40,000 online stores and has processed over $18 billion in merchant sales thus far. Some of the well-known companies that use Volusion include Intel, 3M and Skates.com. And, their core values revolve around you, the customer – which, in this type of business is vital.
WHO IS VOLUSION GOOD FOR?
Due to its flexibility, Volusion is going to be a good choice for nearly every online store out there. It is also good for those that plan on spending extra time on configuring and setting up the store. As you can see, even large online stores like Intel and 3M use Volusion to sell their products to the public.
The only problem that stores with a large traffic count may run into is the limited bandwidth being offered across all Volusion plans. Although, there is an enterprise solution that is geared more towards large online stores.
However, in either case, this is a minor drawback and should not be a deal breaker.
Volusion compares very well to other ecommerce platform solutions. Volusion offers four different pricing tiers, all come with a fully functional 14-day free (no credit card required) trial – the cheapest plan will cost you a low $15/month while their most expensive plan will cost you $135/month (compare all Volusion plans here).
The cheapest plan, being geared more towards small online stores, allows you to sell only 100 products. Their most expensive plan goes above and beyond by giving you the ability to sell unlimited products. The $15/month plan offers 24/7 online support while all other plans offer phone support as well.
Unlike AmeriCommerce, Volusion does not have the option to manage multiple stores within the same dashboard. However, if you plan on running multiple stores with Volusion, you qualify for a 10% discount. You can also receive an automatic 10% discount by choosing an annual ecommerce plan.
Also, neither plan charges any transaction fees. And to be clear, Volusion does not charge you extra for removing the “Powered by Volusion” that is found in the footer area of your store.
I have hand-picked the Volusion features that are most important and listed them below for your reference. If you want a full list of features, go here, but they do not do a good job of listing all of their features. Here are some feature highlights from each category:
- Unlimited product options (such as size, color and shape) with SmartMatch technology.
- Integrated one-page checkout.
Marketing & SEO:
- Built-in affiliate program.
- Customer in stock requests.
- Deal of the day.
- MyRewards point system.
- Fully supported gift cards and gift certificates.
- Coupons and discounts.
- Add page titles, keywords and meta descriptions for maximum exposure.
- Full integration with Google Analytics.
- View multiple reports for orders, returns and traffic.
Social & Mobile:
- iOS support for Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.
- Volusion offers mobile apps for Android and Apple users. There is also an app for Apple Watch users.
- Sell products on Facebook, eBay and Amazon.
- The ability to integrate your store with Facebook and Twitter. This allows you to share promotions, daily deals and store announcements directly from the admin dashboard.
- Add social sharing buttons to your product pages.
- Templates are responsive across multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops.
- The Volusion checkout page is now optimized for mobile users.
- A full Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This allows you to communicate with customers, manage support tickets and see their order history.
- Manage inventory with ease.
- Built-in POS that enables you to create orders manually. A lot of store owners are going to find this feature useful.
- Built-in recurring billing. Volusion is the only ecommerce platform that has this feature built-in. If you are selling membership and/or subscription type services, you are going to fall in love with this sweet feature.
TEMPLATES AND DESIGN
Volusion offers a total of 116 templates, only 28 are free. The other templates range from $50 to $895. Out of the 28 free templates, only 6 are responsive across multiple devices. The first time I reviewed Volusion several years ago, I was a bit disappointed at the lack of template design and expressed my concerns to their design team on multiple occasions. As you can see the theme below, Volusion has updated a lot of their templates, giving them a professional but cool look. Now, even small businesses can get the template they want without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, with only a few templates being responsive, your template choices are still somewhat limited.
Other ecommerce platforms like CoreCommerce offer a neat drag and drop editor to edit your store. Sadly, Volusion does not. However, they do have a file editor that allows you to edit all of your store files. Their file editor is just a simple text editor, not a WYSIWYG.
Volusion gives you the ability to add a text or graphic logo to your store and order invoices. Additionally, you can add a favicon as well.
I feel like if you are not a developer and comfortable with editing HTML and CSS codes, you will find it very difficult to edit the template design to your liking.
Adding products to your Volusion store is straightforward and really simple. Volusion did a really good job at restructuring their “add a product” page, hiding the more advanced settings at the bottom. As you can see by the image below, all of the basic product settings and options are at the top while the advanced options are hidden at the bottom.
If you are just starting out, you might want to stick to completing the basic information first. However, as you get acquainted with the process, I would recommend adding both the basic and advanced product information for maximum exposure on search engines and a more convenient shopping experience for your customers.
VOLUSION SEO & MARKETING
When it comes to search engine optimization and marketing, Volusion has it all. All of Volusion’s plans come with built-in SEO options and marketing features. Thanks to their SEO options, potential shoppers can see multiple snippets (product star ratings, product price and product availability) right from the search engine results page. You can also add basic SEO options such as friendly store URLs, meta page titles and keywords.
You can also sell your products on Facebook, eBay and Amazon with ease – a lot like what Bigcommerce and Shopify are offering. Managing your products for each platform is done directly from the Volusion dashboard.
The array of built-in marketing features is what makes Volusion stand out from the rest. Some of the marketing features that stand out are:
- Built-in affiliate program for bringing in new customers from multiple venues.
- Deal of the day that allows you to advertise a selected product, giving it exposure on your entire store.
- MyRewards point system that rewards customers for shopping and keeps them coming back.
- In stock requests that notifies customers as selected products become available.
The marketing features above stand out to me as they are vital for attracting new customers and enticing them to shop again. Also, these marketing features are rarely built-in or seen on other ecommerce platforms.
EASE OF USE
Volusion is not as easy as Shopify, but it comes very close. The admin dashboard is clean and you should not have any issues navigating around. Also, the customer front end is pretty straightforward as well.
If you are building an online store for the first time, learning the ins and outs of Volusion may take some time to get accustomed to.
Volusion gives you an array of tools that can assist you in caring out multiple store tasks and functions directly from the main dashboard
Volusion features over 30 payment gateways to choose from. Some of the more popular gateways include PayPal, Authorize.net, Stripe and Skrill. You can also apply for a merchant account to accept various credit cards directly through Volusion. So, regardless of where you are from, Volusion will have a payment gateway to suit your needs.
Like I stated earlier in this Volusion review, Volusion does not charge transaction fees. However, as with any ecommerce platform, you are going to pay credit card and PayPal fees. Depending on the payment gateway you are using, credit card fees range from 2% to 3% per transaction. PayPal and Stripe fees are 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Again, the above fees have nothing to do with Volusion and have to be paid, regardless of the shopping cart you are using.
Before you start accepting orders, you are going to have to integrate an SSL certificate onto your store. When accepting credit card transactions, the law mandates that you have to have a secure shopping cart.
Fortunately, Volusion offers a custom SSL certificate for $89 for one year or $149 for two years. Their competitor, Shopify, offers a free SSL with all of their plans. However, it is a shared SSL certificate that may not work properly if you point a custom domain to your store.
Furthermore, their ecommerce platform offers an IP firewall that you can fine-tune for increased store security.
APPS AND EXTRAS
If you find yourself looking for more, Volusion has an extensive app store. In terms of selection, they have both free and premium third party plugins in the app store. Furthermore, all of these plugins are easily installed and integrated with your online store.
If you look at the image below, you will see some of the popular apps that you can easily install onto your store.
VOLUSION CUSTOMER SUPPORT
Volusion offers some of the best technical support in the ecommerce industry. The company offers unlimited, 24/7 support via phone, live chat and email ticketing on all of their pricing tiers, except their cheapest plan that is limited to online support only. Priority support (shorter wait times) is available on their Pro and Premium plans.
In addition to their human support, Volusion offers an array of support resources that are informative and easy to follow. They also feature an active ecommerce blog that I found very useful. Since Volusion has been in business for over 15 years, you can expect to find an answer to almost anything relating to ecommerce.
So, before I started crafting this Volusion review, I decided to see what all of the buzz was about by getting in touch with their technical support. Within minutes, my live chat request was answered promptly and my questions were answered. The representative even pointed me to several guides that were just what I was looking for.
After about an hour, I was contacted by a member of the Volusion customer support team via phone. It was like a follow-up call. The guy made sure that I was completely satisfied with my support request and asked if I had any further questions. I did not get this treatment with other ecommerce platforms.
VOLUSION VS COMPETITION
Maybe, after reading this Volusion review, their shopping cart no longer appeals to you. Or, maybe you want to see where Volusion stacks up against the competition. Use the links below to compare Volusion against their competitors:
- Volusion does not charge any transaction fees.
- All pricing tiers come with unlimited storage space.
- Volusion is easy to use and manage.
- The Volusion platform is fast and secure.
- Built-in education and other services.
- Their ecommerce platform offers comprehensive ecommerce tools.
- Clean, intuitive backend interface.
- Volusion earned an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- 24/7 support that speaks English and is always willing to go above and beyond to answer your questions.
- All pricing tiers come with limited bandwidth, ranging from 1 GB to 35 GB. Current bandwidth overage fees are $0.007/MB.
- A blogging platform is not built into the software. You would have to point an existing blog to your store.
- Not a big selection of free, responsive templates.
To conclude my Volusion review, I want to say that all of my interactions with the Volusion team and software were positive. Of course, there are minor bumps in the road, but there is not a single ecommerce platform that is perfect without any setbacks.
Over the years, the Volusion software has proven that it can host small, medium and large stores. I am not sure if I can say that about the other ecommerce platforms out there.
If you want a solution that is flexible, easy to work with and offers reputable support, you might want to try Volusion. A free trial is available, so you have nothing to lose.