Volusion is one of the preferred hosted ecommerce platforms. They give attention to offering a full toolkit for ecommerce house owners who need a hosted solutions. They’ve traditionally been a go-to answer for mid-size ecommerce corporations who valued their operations & stock options.
Get Volusion’s free trial right here.
But, as of July 2018, Volusion launched V2 of their platform. With Volusion V2, they are making an attempt to develop into the go-to answer for entry-level and intermediate ecommerce sellers with a heavy concentrate on simplified pricing and simplified onboarding.
I originally used Volusion again with their V1 platform for this evaluation, but lately tried out their V2 platform for a analysis undertaking. I’ve re-written this submit to mirror V2 solely – despite the fact that there are lots of shops out there using Volusion V1.
There are so much of Volusion critiques on-line – often with user-generated evaluations based mostly on anecdotes and personal experience. That’s high-quality but I take a special strategy. Like several choice, it’s going to have some execs and a few cons and can actually come right down to if it’s a superb match on your specific business. On this Volusion assessment, I’ll give attention to 6 execs and 6 cons that may in all probability most affect your selection.
Skip to the Conclusion & Next Steps
- 1 What Is Volusion?
- 2 Pros of Volusion
- 3 Cons of Volusion
- 4 Volusion Evaluate Conclusion
What Is Volusion?
First off – a quick overview of the web retailer software program panorama. Like I coated in my selecting an internet store platform publish, ecommerce platforms exist on a spectrum with lots of technical issues that can have as huge of an influence in your online enterprise as your store sort & location can in the physical retail world.
Despite the fact that the technical issues aren’t as instantly related to your success as sales, service & product – it can be the variable that helps or hinders your each day and especially long-term progress. That stated, identical to choosing a selected location; leasing vs. owning; or going mall vs. solo storefront within the physical world – there’s no “top” or “best” selection. There’s only the selection that makes probably the most sense given your price range, experience, circumstances and objectives.
On the spectrum of ecommerce solutions, Volusion lives on the top that’s all-inclusive and supplies the whole lot it is advisable begin, run & grow your on-line store whereas offering your personal online “space” that you simply management and may customize.
It’s in contrast to solutions the place you buy, install, handle but wholly personal totally different items of what makes your retailer your store (assume getting a server & installing WooCommerce). And in addition contrast to platforms that where you simply have an inventory of their area as an alternative of a retailer of your personal (assume eBay, Amazon or Etsy).
Using Volusion is type of like leasing a store with the power to customise your store to your liking. You control the whole lot business-wise like gross sales, advertising and merchandising however you allow the plumbing, security, development and maintenance to the landlord.
Aside – I constructed a whole Buzzfeed-style ecommerce platform quiz to mirror all these issues.
Volusion (see Volusion plans right here) primarily competes with the other two huge hosted ecommerce platforms:
And Volusion competes indirectly with non-turn-key options like WordPress + WooCommerce (see how one can setup here) and more website builder options like Wix or Weebly who typically add a purchasing cart, however don’t have strong inventory or order management choices.
Let’s take a look at Volusion execs & cons general however with a tilt in the direction of their direct rivals.
Quick aside & disclosure – I get customer referral fees from any corporations mentioned on this submit. My opinions are based mostly on my experience and research as a paying customer or advisor to a paying buyer.
Pros of Volusion
Listed here are the issues that I feel are a bonus to the Volusion platform based mostly on my expertise.
Built-in Schooling & Professional Providers
As I mentioned in my BigCommerce evaluate, there’s no scarcity at all of the way to guides, ebooks, programs, and newsletters that will help you run your online store. And there’s definitely no scarcity of freelancers, design businesses, and specialists who may also help with design, improvement or advertising.
Often the actual drawback is curation and specialization – researching info that applies particularly to your store may be exhausting to seek out. You may find some nice search engine marketing or Facebook store advice, nevertheless it’ll be very onerous to truly implement in your [name your platform] store. Discovering and vetting a freelancer that is aware of your retailer’s platform could be even harder (and much more expensive should you select the improper one).
Using an organization that has built-in on-boarding supplies and highly educated account specialists can simply justify the extra value of using a platform, and that’s an area the place Volusion really excels. They do the shop setup e-mail sequence and knowledgebase very similar to BigCommerce and Shopify.
But Volusion goes a step additional with their account specialists – they really take a direct interest in your store and getting it arrange precisely proper. Even shops at a smaller worth level seem to get a very good bit of consideration.
Volusion also does something a bit totally different with professional providers that can be a huge con – but for the benefit of the doubt, we’ll deal with it as a professional. That pro is that they provide skilled service instantly via Volusion to help with every part from design to search engine optimization to PPC buying feeds.
Since the whole lot is offered via Volusion (and not indirectly by way of freelancers like Shopify’s Skilled directory), you already know that they know the whole lot about offering that service on the Volusion platform.
Now, that may easily be a spot to upsell clients, nevertheless it can be a useful association – type of like Ikea where you should purchase the furniture and do it yourself or just pay them to do it. For those who’re the sort of one that hates upsells, then this can be an enormous con, but in any other case the choice plus the well-done schooling is a strong pro for utilizing Volusion.
Buyer Help & Onboarding
Customer help is one of the hardest issues to take a look at when reviewing a company. Solely an organization actually is aware of its inner culture and the way it treats customer service. Any feedback or scores that you simply see solely will development to the extremes (ie, both naively constructive or absurdly adverse).
To attempt to figure out how an organization views customer support, I attempt to take a look at issues like availability, quantity of channels, and the way they clear up the “onboarding” drawback (ie, do they remedy potential points earlier than they turn into problems).
Volusion gives help by way of telephone, e mail, chat, ticket system, and so on 24/7. In my experience, they’ve been awesome and really responsive. They appear to have invested fairly a bit in worldwide telephone strains, their knowledgebase and chat software.
Their customer support doesn’t stand out above BigCommerce or Shopify. But – most importantly – the 24/7 customer support is a large pro vs. internet hosting and piecing together your personal ecommerce website where you don’t have any dedicated customer service. It’s type of like owning a bodily retailer in a mall with 24/7 plumbing on call vs. a retailer you build, personal & operate which may get flooded for those who burst a pipe. And since Volusion helps with their platform – they are more doubtless to be able to clear up the basis problem.
This point truly segues properly into the subsequent professional of utilizing Volusion – velocity & safety.
Velocity and Security
In case you are building your personal store on your own hosting account (ie with WordPress & WooCommerce), 2 of probably the most difficult issues can be making your website fast and making it bulletproof secure.
Like I discussed in each my Shopify and BigCommerce assessment, velocity is extraordinarily necessary in ecommerce. Clients merely haven’t any endurance waiting for a page to load. Research after research factors to the truth that conversion rates plummet once you get into the 4ish second web page load time.
It’s so necessary that Google truly built it into their natural search algorithm. And getting velocity right on an internet site with tons of graphics and a big database (as all ecommerce stores have) could be tough in the event you don’t know where or find out how to look. Through the use of Volusion as an ecommerce platform, your retailer is hosted on their servers that are particularly optimized to run your website shortly.
Security can also be a associated challenge to speed because it’s one thing that’s elementary to operating a modern ecommerce retailer. You can’t accept bank cards until your website is secure. There are lots of methods to outsource the security to PayPal, or any number of suppliers but to simply accept and course of cards on your website together with your merchant account – it’s a must to have a secure setup.
Volusion allows simple 3rd celebration funds integration and bundles in the prices of SSL certificates regardless.
Volusion provides you extra control over your security and checkout whereas making it straightforward to implement and giving help to ensure your safety is all the time set appropriately.
If you end up first establishing your retailer on any platform, it may be irritating to figure out precisely where the whole lot is. Lots of platforms & CMS’s have their very own lingo and unique format (like WordPress’ Dashboard).
Volusion isn’t an exception to this, but they do have a bias in the direction of an intuitive interface, thoughtful navigation and straightforward setup. The backend design has been lately up to date. The precise consumer interface is strong and straightforward sufficient for newbies to use, but with enough options for mid to giant measurement ecommerce operations.
Cons of Volusion
Listed here are the disadvantages that I’ve discovered with Volusion.
It may really robust to match all of the pricing issues for a brand new on-line store – it doesn’t matter what sort of answer you select. But even among all-inclusive ecommerce platforms like Volusion, it can be maddening to figure out what worth compares to what since no one’s tiers align at all. Here’s how I escape the pricing to attempt to examine apples to apples.
First, your monthly worth. That is the sticker worth you pay for a certain set of features. It’s what you see on pricing pages. Volusion’s plans begin a $26/mo and go as much as $269/mo.
Second, your platform transaction fees. Some plans on all platforms will charge a transaction payment on every buy (above bank card processing fees). Volusion doesn’t cost transaction charges.
Third, your bank card fees. These was fairly standardized, however now extra platforms like Volusion, Shopify and BigCommerce are establishing their very own bank card processing. These fees would go to the bank card corporations regardless, so any low cost or flexibility right here can be a win – however still something to finances for.
Fourth, your add-on charges & exclusions. This space is what you actually have to take a look at. Whether it’s the price of add-on apps, bandwidth charges, or the exclusion of key options, these fees can actually influence your “walking out the door price.”
Here’s how Volusion stacks up on each in comparison with direct rivals.
Monthly pricing – Volusion could be very aggressive at the prime and bottom tiers. In the center tiers, they cap products and don’t embrace some options vs. rivals. The center tiers could be aggressive or not relying on in case you have quite a bit of merchandise or plan on using those options (notably Amazon/eBay). They’re effective, however not notably superb.
Transaction fees – Volusion doesn’t do transaction charges on any tier. Massive plus to think about.
Bank card fees – Volusion gives a service referred to as Volusion payments with low processing charges (aggressive with Shopify) along with integrating with other processors. Good to go right here.
Add-on charges – And…that is the place Volusion used to actually fall down in V1 with weird hyperlink removing charges and bandwidth fees and such. Nevertheless, with V2, it seems to be like all these charges are gone. What you see in your subscription is what you pay. Now – there are nonetheless V1 shops out there getting hit with random bandwidth fees (I had a reader write in just some months in the past). But V2 retailers ought to be ok.
Web site Rendering & Revisions
Volusion V2 was a ground-up rewrite with “the latest technology.” They even moved the internet hosting from Google to Amazon. Nevertheless, as someone with a deep background in Technical web optimization, the platform has been an enormous disappointment. It seems to be superb. It is intuitive and it appears to “work” on browsers…however I discovered a couple of points.
First, it seems the location uses AngularJS for rendering. That’s very cutting-edge and hip and cool and all from a developer’s perspective. But as a marketer in charge of truly serving to websites get visitors, convert gross sales, and analyze knowledge…it makes me sad. Very unhappy. I have turned down very lucrative shopper contracts as a result of I didn’t need to work with an Angular website. SEOs hate it, regardless that some charge a reasonably penny for fixing points. Google says that “Angular websites can be made discoverable” – which isn’t super-resassuring.
For example, Volusion has what seems like useful search engine marketing tools within the Dashboard. They even have improved product URLs from V1.
But the page doesn’t truly render any new meta info. In truth, it doesn’t render **something** when a crawler visits the page. Right here’s what the product web page exhibits up as –
In case you depend upon organic or paid visitors, I can’t imagine how irritating it will be to work with this platform. But that’s not all.
Second, the precise Analytics are utterly off and arrange in an amateurish means. You’re routinely assigned a Google Tag Supervisor account without consent or approval. And there are odd 3rd celebration trackers which have access to **all the things** that you simply and your visitors do. I know this platform wouldn’t fly outdoors of the US underneath the GDPR. However even within the privateness Wild West of the US, it was very odd to see.
My private account info was embedded within the public source code of the web site for causes that I can’t comprehend – aside from an amateurish set up of one-page checkout.
Volusion has stated of their PR releases that V2 has not “reached feature parity” with V1 and that it’s continuously enhancing. However I used to be variety of shocked that the product is public at all. There are primary CSS code errors, insecure parts, and concern that I have by no means encountered with other platforms.
It looks like the product was overly targeted on usability and design while neglecting the nuts and bolts of getting the code right.
Weblog, CMS & Analytics Function Set
For some on-line retailers, your web site begins and end together with your retailer catalog. But for others, your catalog is simply part of the complete web site experience you need to supply – whether or not it’s customized pages, content material varieties or a built-in running a blog answer.
And on the identical theme, most of the time a primary set up of Google Analytics is ok. But for others, adding conversion pixels, tweaking the analytics code or making edits is vital.
Sadly, Volusion actually falls down on the latter points. Not that rivals like BigCommerce or Shopify have world-changing content management methods or built-in weblog setups, but at the very least they’ve them obtainable. Volusion has very minimal options obtainable.
Volusion also falls flat on straightforward analytics implementation. You will have Analytics installed on the Dashboard by way of Google Tag Manager (which may run Google Analytics). But I’ve but to be able to get access to that account. In truth, Volusion advocate putting in yet one more Google Analytics account on the web site. Positive…you are able to do that. Nevertheless it’s incredibly amateurish, along with slowing web page load time and including but more page bloat. The whole point Google Tag Manager is to let it hearth as soon as, and permit it to lazy load all the tracking scripts within the background.
This can be a huge instance of advertising options that simply aren’t part of the platform. There are others – which depend upon what particular solutions you already use – however suffice to say, it’s value wanting with a trial to see if you will get the features you want in the platform.
Enjoying off the cellular website con, Volusion’s whole design features are additionally very limiting. The draw back of Volusion begins with a really limited limited template retailer.
In contrast to different rivals, Volusion’s templates are all hard-coded and arrange in a hard to browse file structure. It’s advantageous to edit when you’ve got robust CSS or HTML expertise, nevertheless it’s actually not a match for a solo DIYer (or somebody making an attempt to click and tweak HTML). In contrast to rivals like Shopify – they don’t have drag and drop to make up for the shortage of templates.
For a self-serve platform, I’d wish to see a neater design modifying interface.
third Celebration Apps & Extensions
As I mentioned in my Shopify & BigCommerce Evaluate, your retailer will evolve and alter over time. Whatever platform you select shouldn’t only have the function set you want up front, but in addition afterward. Shopify solves that drawback with a huge add-on app retailer. BigCommerce additionally has an app store, but in addition has an enormous amount of built-in functionality.
Volusion doesn’t actually have that enlargement functionality. They’re definitely expanding the function set, however there’s no robust app store or big listing of superb features (see blog for instance). Volusion has a function set to start out your store, but nothing to add-on and adapt. There’s capability for developers to build on it, but again, that’s not optimal for a solo DIYer or perhaps a small store that is selecting an all inclusive platform particularly to keep away from developer charges.
Volusion Evaluate Conclusion
So. Is Volusion a superb choice for an internet?
In case you are a web-based retailer that wants a extremely usable platform with inventory management and order achievement options and does not rely upon natural or paid visitors, then Volusion could be an excellent fit. Get Volusion’s free trial right here.
When you have advertising or design features as a priority, then I’d advocate taking a look at Shopify (get their free trial here; see my assessment right here) or BigCommerce (get their free trial right here; my evaluation right here) for hosted platforms.
In case you are extra confused than ever, I created a Buzzfeed-style ecommerce platform quiz that will help you determine based mostly in your objectives, experience & priorities.
- Editor Score
- Rated 2.5 stars
- Reviewed by: Nate Shivar
Revealed on: June 18, 2019
Final modified: June 19, 2019
Volusion is one of the preferred hosted ecommerce platforms with a concentrate on simplicity and ease of use. Falls down on advertising & function implementation.