Volusion is among the leading located ecommerce platforms. They concentrate on supplying a complete toolkit for ecommerce proprietors who would like a located solutions. Their features lean for the operational side of the ecommerce store (ie, inventory management, customer managment, etc) over marketing-brought features.
There are plenty of Volusion reviews online – usually with user-generated reviews according to anecdotes and private experience. That’s fine however i have a different approach. Like every option, it’s likely to possess some pros and a few cons and can really come lower to whether it’s a great fit for the specific business. Within this Volusion review, I’ll concentrate on 6 pros and 6 cons which will most likely most affect your decision.
Get Volusion’s free trial offer here.
Editor’s Note – This review was initially printed in November 2014. It’s been upgraded throughout by Feb 2017.
However – a fast summary of theonline store software landscape. Like I covered within my selecting a web-based store platform publish, ecommerce platforms exist on the spectrum with many different technical factors that may have as big of the effect on your web business as the store type & location can within the physical retail world.
Although the technical factors aren’t as immediately associated with your ability to succeed as sales, service & product – it may be the variable that can help or hinders your daily and particularly lengthy-term growth. That stated, much like selecting a particular location leasing versus. owning or going mall versus. solo storefront within the physical world – there’s no “top” or “best” choice. There’s just the choice which makes probably the most sense given your financial allowance, expertise, conditions and goals.
Around the spectrum of search engine optimization, Volusion endures the finish that’s all-inclusive and offers all you need to start, run & increase your online shop while supplying your personal online “space” that you simply control and may personalize.
It’s as opposed to solutions in which you buy, install, manage but wholly own different bits of why is your store your store (think obtaining a server & installing WooCommerce or Magento). As well as contrast to platforms that in which you only have an inventory within their space rather of the store of your (think eBay, Amazon or Etsy).
Using Volusion is kind of like leasing an outlet having the ability to personalize your store the way you like. You control everything business-wise like sales, marketing and merchandising however, you leave the plumbing, security, construction and maintenance towards the landlord.
Aside – I built a whole Buzzfeed-style ecommerce platform quiz to mirror each one of these factors.
Volusion (see Volusion plans here) mainly competes using the other two big located ecommerce platforms:
- Shopify: See their plans here and my Shopify review here
- BigCommerce: See their plans here and my BigCommerce review here
And Volusion competes not directly with non-turn-key options like WordPress + WooCommerce (observe how to put together here) and Magento. Let’s take a look at Volusion pros & cons overall however with a tilt towards their direct competitors.
Quick aside & disclosure – I recieve customer referral charges from the companies pointed out within this publish. My opinions derive from my experience and research like a having to pay customer or consultant to some having to pay customer.
Pros of Volusion
Listed here are the factors which i believe are a benefit towards the Volusion platform according to my experience.
Built-in Education & Services
When I pointed out within my BigCommerce review, there’s an abundance whatsoever of methods to guides, e-books, courses, and newsletters that will help you run your web store. And there’s no lack of freelancers, design agencies, and specialists who can sort out design, development or marketing.
Normally the real issue is curation and specialization – researching information which applies particularly for your store can be difficult to locate. You will probably find some good Search engine optimization or Facebook store advice, however it’ll be very difficult to really implement in your [name your platform] store. Finding and vetting a freelancer discussion your store’s platform could be even tougher (and much more costly when you purchase the incorrect one).
Utilizing a company which has built-in on-boarding materials and experienced account specialists can certainly justify the additional price of utilizing a platform, which’s a place where Volusion really excels. They are doing the shop setup email sequence and knowledgebase similar to BigCommerce and Shopify.
But Volusion goes one step further using their account specialists – they have a direct curiosity about your store and becoming it setup right. Even stores in a smaller sized cost point appear to obtain some attention.
Volusion also does something a little different with expertise that is one huge disadvantage – as well as the advantage of the doubt, we’ll address it like a pro. That pro is they provide professional service directly through Volusion to assist with everything else from design to Search engine optimization to PPC shopping feeds.
Since things are provided through Volusion (and never not directly via freelancers like Shopify’s Expert directory), you will know they are fully aware everything about supplying that service around the Volusion platform.
Now, that may be easily a spot to upsell customers, but it is also a useful arrangement – kind of like Ikea where one can purchase the furniture and do-it-yourself or simply outlay cash to get it done. Should you’re the kind of person who hates upsells, then this is a large disadvantage, but otherwise the choice as well as the well-done education is really a solid pro for implementing Volusion.
Customer Care & Onboarding
Customer care is among the toughest things to check out when reviewing a business. Merely a company can tell its internal culture and just how it treats customer support. Any comments or ratings that you simply see will just trend towards the extremes (ie, either naively positive or absurdly negative).
To try and work out how a business views customer support, I attempt to check out such things as availability, quantity of channels, and just how they solve the “onboarding” problem (ie, will they solve potential challenges before they become problems).
Here’s the first onboarding email that you will get from Volusion at register –
Volusion offers support via phone, email, chat, ticket system, etc 24/7. In my opinion, they’ve been awesome and incredibly responsive. They appear to possess invested a great deal in worldwide phone lines, their knowledgebase and chat software.
Their customer support doesn’t stick out above BigCommerce or Shopify. But – most significantly – the 24/7 customer support is a big pro versus. hosting and piecing together your personal ecommerce site in which you don’t have dedicated customer support. It’s kind of like having a physical store inside a mall with 24/7 plumbing available versus. an outlet you build, own & operate that may get flooded should you burst a pipe. And also, since Volusion helps with their platform – they are more inclined to have the ability to solve the main issue.
This time really segues nicely in to the next pro of utilizing Volusion – speed & security.
Speed and Security
If you’re building your personal store by yourself hosting account (ie with WordPress & WooCommerce), 2 of the very most challenging issues is going to be making your website fast and which makes it bulletproof secure.
Like I pointed out both in my Shopify and BigCommerce review, speed is very essential in ecommerce. Customers only have no persistence awaiting a webpage to load. Comprehensives research points that conversions plummet when you are getting in to the 4ish second page load time.
It’s essential that Google really built it to their search formula. And becoming speed right online with a lot of graphics along with a large database (as all ecommerce stores have) could be tricky should you don’t know where or how you can look. By utilizing Volusion being an ecommerce platform, your store is located on their own servers that are particularly enhanced to operate your website rapidly. This is actually the speed test using my Volusion development site:
This pro comes with a caveat that neither BigCommerce nor Shopify has. Volusion caps the bandwidth (eg, the information transferred in the server for your customer’s browser) that come and continue your bank account – even around the premium plans. For those who have large store on Volusion with a lot of traffic, then you’ll have to enter into the tricky speed optimizations anyway (ie, using CDNs, etc) if perhaps to reduce Volusion bandwidth usage.
Security is another related issue to hurry because it’s something which is prime to managing a modern ecommerce store. You can’t accept charge cards unless of course your internet site is secure. There are many methods to delegate the safety to PayPal, or a variety of providers but to simply accept and process cards in your site together with your credit card merchant account – you need a safe and secure setup.
Volusion makes that provision by requiring a set up of the SSL certificate. Their setup is different from BigCommerce and Shopify – who provide shared, built-in SSL certificates for those their stores whereas Volusion helps make the SSL unique for you.
It’s an additional fee (that will come into cons later), but it is also a professional because you own the SSL and checkout is going on completely in your domain rather of Shopify.com or BigCommerce.com.
Volusion provides you with additional control over your security and checkout while which makes it simple to apply and providing support to make sure your security is definitely set properly.
When you’re first establishing your store on any platform, it may be frustrating to determine wherever things are. Lots of platforms & CMS’s their very own lingo and different layout (like WordPress’ Dashboard).
Volusion isn’t the best for this, however they will have a towards an intuitive interface, thoughtful navigation and simple setup. The backend design continues to be lately updated. The actual interface is solid and simple enough for novices to make use of, however with enough choices for mid to large size ecommerce operations.
Integrated Marketing Features
No ecommerce feature matters when the store can’t drive sales. While your online marketing strategy matters greater than the various tools, getting a proven method is important.
There’s a couple of new ways to supply the numerous marketing tools to online storeowners. Shopify likes to accept “app” approach where they build within the essential features, however require online storeowner to include the characteristics heOrshe really needs. BigCommerce loves to provide everything on this page – fully integrated. Which’s the approach that Volusion takes too.
Volusion doesn’t have each and every marketing feature that you desire, however they have most – and they’re seamlessly built-into the woking platform.
I won’t dive deep on every feature, and can look carefully in their Search engine optimization toolkit.
Volusion is definitely an ASP-based platform. That’s development jargon for which programming framework the program is made on. And normally I wouldn’t call that out aside from the truth that anybody that has labored in Search engine optimization for some time recognizes that ASP usually produces websites very unfriendly for Search engine optimization.
But, that isn’t the situation for Volusion. It’s some Search engine optimization risks to prevent (especially duplicate homepages and incorrectly implemented HTTPS redirects), but overall Volusion includes a robust Search engine optimization set of features and it is technically solid as they are.
There’s built-in fields for simple meta implementation, content boxes on category pages, XML sitemaps, and canonicalization options. It’s not far above Shopify and BigCommerce – but it’s solid enough to become a strong pro for Volusion (especially when compared with a lot of other available choices with a lot of Search engine optimization problems like Magento).
There’s one caveat to think about with regards to hiring Volusion’s ongoing Search engine optimization services – they (not their located stores though) happen to be penalized by Google for link manipulation.
The majority of Volusion’s marketing features overlap with Search engine optimization – well-considered and fully integrated. But – that does assume they have the marketing feature, that is something I’ll cover within the cons section.
Ecommerce Operations Features
Ahh inventory management. Administrative tasks. Crm. SKU tagging, warehouse communications, shipping and logistics. It’s the boring backend of the store, but really kind of the reason behind its existence. When you can’t possess a store without marketing & sales – companies are actually created to last with operations.
It is really an area where Volusion really excels for me. The things they lack when compared with competitors in marketing features, they create up here.
Actually, this pro really implies that Volusion is made for storeowners who’ve a complete presence both on and offline – who do retail instead of “running a web-based store.”
Volusion takes proper care of small things like product option updates –
And larger such things as getting built-so as type functionality.
Volusion also offers intuitive administrative controls for ecommerce stores with multiple employees and different responsibilities.
Inventory abilities are simple to access and integrated well in to the platform. It syncs across other platforms (like Amazon . com, eBay, etc) with no application.
And there are many other operations style features, but when compared with BigCommerce and Shopify – Volusion includes a strength there.
Cons of Volusion
Listed here are the disadvantages which i’ve found with Volusion.
It may really difficult to compare all of the prices factors for any new online shop – regardless of what kind of solution you select. But of all-inclusive ecommerce platforms like Volusion, it may be maddening to determine what cost comes even close to what since nobody’s tiers align whatsoever. Here’s the way i bust out the prices to try and compare apples to apples.
First, your monthly cost. This is actually the sticker cost you have to pay for any certain group of features. It’s a specific item on prices pages. Volusion’s plans begin a $15/mo and increase to $135/mo.
Second, your platform transaction charges. Some intentions of all platforms charges you a transaction fee on every purchase (above charge card processing charges). Volusion does not charge transaction charges.
Third, your charge card charges. These was once pretty standardized, however more platforms like Volusion, Shopify and BigCommerce are establishing their very own charge card processing. These charges visits the charge card companies regardless, so any discount or versatility here will be a win – but nonetheless something to plan for.
4th, your add-on charges & exclusions. El born area is what you truly have to check out. Whether or not this’s the price of add-on apps, bandwidth charges, or even the exclusion of key features, these charges can definitely impact your “walking out of the door cost.”
Here’s how Volusion compares on every when compared with direct competitors.
Monthly prices – Volusion is extremely competitive at the very top and bottom tiers. In the centre tiers, they cap products and don’t start adding some features versus. competitors. The center tiers could be competitive or otherwise based on for those who have lots of products or intend on using individuals features (particularly Amazon . com/eBay).
Transaction charges – Volusion doesn’t do transaction charges on any tier. Big plus to think about.
Charge card charges – Volusion provides a service known as Volusion payments with low processing charges (as good as Shopify) additionally to integrating along with other processors. All set here.
Add-on charges – And…this is how Volusion really falls lower. They perform a couple of not necessarily awesome things. To begin, they cap your bandwidth (even at top tiers). Bandwidth with just how much data could be transferred between Volusion’s server as well as your customer’s browser. When you review your bandwidth…you get billed for overages.
For many websites that wouldn’t be a problem, however for ecommerce websites (that have plenty of images, products, etc) it’s really a huge concern. Plus staying away from bandwidth overages results in integrating with increased complex solutions like CDNs which have a price and expertise to cope with. Other competitors offer limitless storage and limitless bandwidth.
Further, Volusion mandates that you buy an SSL certificate for on-site charge card processing – these usually run at $100 each year. It features a benefit as your full checkout happens in your domain and never, say, Shopify.com (which supplies free, shared SSL certificates) – however it does give a it for your fee every month as well as your “walking out of the door cost.”
Lastly, Volusion has past hitting retailers with random charges. In 2013, they billed retailers having a $25 PCI compliance fee. Until very lately (and just once they were penalized by Google for link manipulation), they accustomed to charge $20 to achieve the “powered by Volusion.com” link taken off your store’s footer. Nothing huge – and surely an indication of too little cost transparency.
Blog, CMS & Analytics Set Of Features
For many online retailers, your site begins and finish together with your store catalog. However for others, your catalog is just area of the full website experience you need to offer – whether or not this’s custom pages, content types or perhaps a built-in blogging solution.
And on a single theme, more often than not a fundamental install of Google Analytics is okay. However for others, adding conversion pixels, tweaking the analytics code or making edits is essential.
Regrettably, Volusion really falls lower around the latter issues. Not too competitors like BigCommerce or Shopify have world-altering cms or built-in blog setups, but a minimum of they’ve them available. Volusion doesn’t have the choices available.
And even though you go the suboptimal route of getting your blog.yourstore.com with WordPress/Drupal/etc for any CMS (or getting your Volusion setup at store.yourwebsite.com) – Volusion still falls flat on easy analytics implementation. It needs to be hard-coded out of all page templates rather of adding a snippet to some <head> or <footer> section. If you’re awesome with hacking with code – it’s fine, but otherwise it’s a significant disadvantage.
This can be a big illustration of marketing features that merely aren’t area of the platform. You will find others – which rely on what specific solutions you already use – but suffice to state, it’s worth searching having a trial to try to obtain the features you would like within the platform.
Mobile Site Setup
Or no business owner understands any online trend, it’s the shift to mobile. Individuals are browsing and purchasing on from their iPhone 6 for their HTC Someone to their Android Tablet for their Universe Note for their PC Desktop.
Volusion stores possess a built-in mobile site, that is fine, with the exception that it’s a mobile site – not really a responsive form of your site.
It may sound just like a small difference, but in my opinion it’s a significant disadvantage. A mobile site implies that your clients are redirected to some m.yourstore.com out of your world wide web.yourstore.com. Sure, they obtain a custom experience, however it’s completely different than your own personal store experience. Furthermore, the mobile website is only triggered by display size. There’s no among sizing for that Notes, iPads, and tablets around the globe. Your store is gorgeous around the iPhone or on the desktop – but bad on other things.
The net has gone to live in responsive design because the best practice by far – also it’s something which Volusion is still building to their platform
Playing from the mobile site disadvantage, Volusion’s entire design features will also be very restricting. The down-side of Volusion begins with a
limited limited, but growing (thoug costly) template store.
Unlike other competitors, Volusion’s templates are hard-coded and placed in a tough to browse file structure. It’s fine to edit for those who have strong CSS or HTML skills, however it’s not really a healthy for any solo DIYer (or someone attempting to click and tweak HTML). Unlike competitors like Shopify – they don’t have drag to compensate for the possible lack of templates.
For any self-serve platform, I’d want to see an simpler design editing interface.
third party Apps & Extensions
When I pointed out within my Shopify & BigCommerce Review, your store will evolve and alter with time. Whatever platform you select shouldn’t have only the set of features you’ll need in advance, but additionally afterwards. Shopify solves this problem having a huge add-on application store. BigCommerce also offers an application store, but additionally has a lot of built-in functionality.
Volusion doesn’t genuinely have that expansion capacity. They’re certainly expanding the set of features, but there’s no strong application store or giant listing of amazing features (see blog for example). Volusion includes a set of features to begin your store, but absolutely nothing to add-on and adapt. There’s capacity for developers to construct onto it, however, that’s not optimal for any solo DIYer or perhaps a small store that’s selecting an exciting inclusive platform particularly to prevent developer charges.
The final major disadvantage about Volusion is implementation. I’ve discussed this in a number of points, but overall it’s not very simple to get stuff implemented in Volusion – particularly if you aren’t web savvy. Even right from the bat, obtaining the SSL installed properly could be a challenge. From your audit of even Volusion’s featured customers – even they are able to’t obtain the SSL installed properly.
Which theme continues right through to design, technical Search engine optimization, and analytics implementation. It’s difficult to just get stuff in. If you’re a site that has development sources, it’s fine…but i then’d also question the reason why you aren’t running your personal custom store by yourself hosting. If you’re a DIYer or small company, the entire reason for selecting an exciting-inclusive platform is to possess a “click, click, done” setup – and also the freedom to create edits without developer help. DIY implementation is really a major disadvantage of Volusion.
Volusion Review Conclusion
If you are a online shop that –
- has some developer sources
- uses a robust located platform for everyone as the catalog/shopping cart software
- wants checkout to occur in your domain
- wants solid operations features
– then Volusion is a superb fit. Get Volusion’s free trial here.
For those who have marketing or design features like a priority, i then’d recommend searching at Shopify (obtain free trial offer here see my review here) or BigCommerce (obtain free trial offer here my review here) for located platforms.
Or provide a shot at building & hosting your personal store with WordPress + WooCommerce wordpress plugin (my guide regarding how to here).
If you’re more confused than ever before, I produced a Buzzfeed-style ecommerce platform quiz that will help you decide according to your objectives, expertise & priorities.
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