Shopify vs. Volusion for Ecommerce: Tradeoffs & Comparisons

Shopify and Volusion are two of probably the most well-known “hosted” eCommerce platforms on the Web.

See Shopify’s Current Plans & Pricing

See Volusion’s Current Plans & Pricing

Ecommerce choices exist on a spectrum of convenience and management. Each Shopify and Volusion are proper in the midst of the spectrum because they bundle all of the technical elements of a web-based retailer – internet hosting, velocity, security, stock, purchasing cart and cost processing – and bundle it right into a single monthly worth. This contrasts with solutions like WordPress + Woocommerce where you purchase, function, and keep each bit of the store but in addition have true 100% control over your web site.

Ecommerce Real Estate Tradeoffs

However like a self-hosted eCommerce web site, Shopify and Volusion additionally bundle as a part of your website in your domain where you could have full control of merchandise, pricing, and customer expertise. So in contrast to operating a store on Etsy, eBay or Amazon – you control the construct, design, and content of your store.

Despite the fact that this a part of the spectrum has plenty of tradeoffs – providers like Shopify and Volusion are a superb choice for many store house owners. So the question becomes – Shopify vs. Volusion?

I’ve reviewed Shopify here and Volusion right here. I’ve used both as a buyer and as a advisor to clients of both.

They’re both wonderful corporations with a superb product. And like all my different eCommerce and hosting evaluations, there isn’t a such factor as an absolute “best” – there’s only the best choice for you based mostly in your state of affairs, objectives, and assets.

Here’s how Shopify compares to Volusion throughout 6 totally different variables that the majority clients take a look at – and what it is best to contemplate with Shopify vs. Volusion.

Skip to the conclusion here.

Apart – I constructed a Buzzfeed type quiz for eCommerce platforms that grades the elements together with your objectives. You’ll be able to take a look at the quiz here.

Additionally, a fast disclosure – I receive referral fees from corporations talked about on this website. All knowledge and opinions are based mostly on my expertise as a paying customer or marketing consultant to a paying customer.


Ahh – worth. It’s each the only and most complicated approach to examine two products.

The brief story on worth is that each Shopify and Volusion operate on a monthly worth construction with a ~2 week free trial. Additionally they have a very comparable “sticker” worth with tiers at ~$29/mo and ~$79/mo and up.

Shopify Pricing

Volusion Pricing

That stated, their plan structure is just totally different sufficient to make a direct comparability a bit troublesome.

The primary tradeoff comes from fees – And there are three several types of fees to think about.

First is your month-to-month retailer charge. This payment is the “sticker” worth. Each Volusion and Shopify are usually the identical. Volusion is slightly cheaper, but additionally they do not embrace every single function on decrease tiers that Shopify does.

Second is your store transaction payment. Shopify does not charge transaction fees in the event you use their credit card processor. In any other case, their transaction charges are the identical.

The third is your bank card processing charges. In the event you use a third social gathering processor like Authorize.internet, PayPal or Stripe – then you definitely’ll pay no matter they cost. In case you use Volusion, you’ll have to make use of a third celebration processor. In the event you use Shopify, you should use Shopify payments for 2.9% + $0.30 – about business common.

In case you plan on utilizing a 3rd get together processor (ie, for worth or for sticking together with your current supplier), then Volusion shall be about the identical – or even barely cheaper than Shopify every month.

In case you are open to going “all in” with Shopify, then you definitely’ll save a big sum of money in fees depending in your income degree.

Either approach – worth isn’t the deciding issue for Shopify vs. Volusion. As an alternative, I’d take a look at different elements.

Buyer Help

Customer help is likely one of the most underestimated advantages of using a hosted eCommerce platform.

The entire control of a self-hosted eCommerce website is fantastic till it gets hacked and you’re paying $$$ to a developer or you find yourself within the WordPress boards hoping someone factors you in the appropriate path.

Both Volusion and Shopify have customer help built into their month-to-month worth. You get entry to all types of channels on each – every little thing from telephone to talk to boards to e mail tickets.

All buyer help is custom-made since each run on proprietary platforms.

At enroll – they each have an “onboarding” sequence and a marketing consultant to assist with any issues.

Volusion Onboarding Materials

I’ve had good experiences with each and there are a couple differences that I’ve observed –

  • Volusion has extra thorough and instructive DIY schooling. They’ve videos and screenshots for even small modifications on the Dashboard whereas Shopify could have text directions.
  • Volusion comes throughout as extra beginner-friendly as a result of onboarding and heavy advisor walk-throughs
  • Shopify has more thorough and instructive content on operating your general enterprise. They invest numerous time and assets in case research, long-form guides, tutorials, and serving to your corporation succeed past just implementing a brand new function.
  • Shopify additionally has a more well-developed network of 3rd get together builders and entrepreneurs who focus on Shopify. They’re otherwise referred to as “Shopify Experts.” It’s not with out issues, however it is a better start line for advanced help than a Google or UpWork search.
  • Shopify has *many* more integrations with different 3rd parties and different platforms. And sometimes, those different platforms will truly present help for the Shopify integrations. That is crucial for labeling providers, achievement suppliers, bookkeepers, and so on

General, I’d say that freshmen will probably find Volusion’s help system to be much less daunting. But a rising retailer will doubtless discover Shopify’s help system to be far more versatile. In other phrases, Shopify has a bit extra of a studying curve to study their system, but once you study it – you can do extra with it.

Buyer Focus

Shopify and Volusion each serve businesses that range from very small retailers selling area of interest products to multi-million greenback manufacturers. Both have enterprise plans (I wrote about Shopify Plus right here) they usually both have customer help teams educated to assist absolute learners.

That stated – there is a vital difference between the businesses when it comes to assets and mission. Shopify did an Initial Public Offering in 2015 to develop into a really well-funded public company. Their platform is constructed to serve all retail businesses each on and offline – but with a concentrate on startups or online-first businesses that need to increase offline.

Shopify runs their own cost processing service and even has their own Level-of-Sale (POS) system so that small offline retailers can sell offline and on-line from inside the similar system. They have been the first to roll out “buyable buttons” on Pinterest and Fb in order that merchants might sell inventory instantly anyplace online – not just from clients who checked out by way of the service provider’s website.

Shopify’s backend (which I’ll cover within the subsequent section) displays this focus. The merchandise / orders / clients / inventory area is separate from the “website” space. The thought is that your website is just one of many sales channels. You possibly can undoubtedly run your web site as your only sales channel in Shopify – however the choices to sell elsewhere are already built-in.

Ever because the launch of Volusion V2, Volusion’s focus appears to be solely on entry-level to mid-size ecommerce stores. They’ve a heavy give attention to usability and simplicity, however begin to fall down on superior implementation that every growing retailer needs.

Each Volusion and Shopify are wonderful platforms for entry-level shops. Nevertheless, Shopify’s focus is on having a broad platform that may work for any sort of retailer.

Consumer-friendliness & Onboarding

Related to Customer Focus are the problems of user-friendliness and “onboarding” (ie, getting a new buyer to an lively storeowner).

Both Volusion and Shopify have wonderful onboarding processes and user-friendly administration areas.

The primary distinction is how each backend is structured. Volusion has a single Dashboard where you handle every part – your merchandise, inventory, website pages, settings, billing, and so on.

Volusion Dashboard

Shopify breaks out merchandise/clients/orders and your website into separate areas. Moreover, Shopify has their very own lingo.

For example, as an alternative of “product categories” – Shopify has “Collections.” As an alternative of a “website” – Shopify has “Online Store” that’s considered one of your “Sales Channels.”

Shopify Backend

For an absolute newbie, it takes a couple of more minutes to figure out Shopify’s lingo and structure in comparison with Volusion. That stated, as soon as Shopify’s lingo clicks, it does present a bit more versatility for each day operations. Shopify’s inventory setup, their product filtering, and template editor are all quicker and extra versatile – once you figure them out.

When you have by no means run an internet site before and only have a small to mid-size product assortment, then Volusion will probably make more sense than Shopify.

If you need extra long-term versatility, you’ll possible recognize Shopify’s system extra when you deal with the training curve.

Strategy to Options

Both Shopify and Volusion have virtually all the tools (advertising, web optimization, stock, order, and so on) a web-based store would must be profitable. They differ though in how they each strategy including new options.

Shopify takes the “platform” strategy. They’ve essential features that each one store house owners will need built-in. But for features that not all retailer house owners need – they concentrate on ensuring store house owners can add function extensions to their retailer as needed. They’ve a big and lively App Retailer that not solely has well-known extensions but in addition loads of indie apps for each state of affairs (ie, apps for international tax and delivery features). The sheer number of apps out there makes the comparability a no contest.

Right here’s Volusion’s 14 apps…

Volusion Apps

Right here’s Shopify’s monumental market of apps which trounces both Volusion and their other competitor, BigCommerce.

Shopify Apps

Shopify’s template modifying language, Liquid, additionally permits builders so as to add options on to a retailer if mandatory. Shopify also has a strong “CMS” to handle non-product content (ie, blogs, pages, and so on).

Shopify Blog Post

However their strategy to options goes beyond Shopify having this and Volusion having that.

The factor is that Shopify’s platforms truly works. And it has labored rather well for a long time. Volusion made an enormous leap in usability with V2, however they still fall down onerous on precise nuts and bolts implementation.

I wrote about issues extensively in my Volusion Assessment, however the brief model is that Volusion has critical Technical search engine optimization points related to their use of AngularJS. Moreover, the implementation of their software has a ton of random bugs that Shopify hasn’t had in a really very long time. For example, here’s Volusion revealing my personal info in the source code of my web site for causes that I don’t perceive –

Volusion Source Code

In truth, I actually don’t need to be too exhausting on Volusion – they might be a very good fit for stores that need maximum usability and little advertising help – however I might actively decline any new markting shopper using Volusion. It will be too heavy of a carry to succeed with organic or paid advertising. On the flip aspect, my most successful ecommerce tasks have all been with Shopify. Their features are so strong and so well-designed that I can move fast and transfer to issues that really matter – like content technique slightly than validating XML sitemaps.

Until you’re completely bought on Volusion’s simplicity and usefulness, there’s really no contest on function set, especially compared to Volusion V2. Shopify is the best way to go.

Strategy to Design

Both Shopify and Volusion use a system of themes/templates for design. You choose a base theme and then edit it to look as you want.

While the top end result is identical, they do take a slightly totally different strategy.

Shopify has a well-developed “Theme Store” which, like their App Store, has a wide array of free and premium themes made by corporations, individuals, and Shopify.

Shopify Themes

Shopify’s backend lets you make modifications to the theme. You are able to do it by way of drag and drop or by way of a hybrid strategy to modifying. Small customizations (colors, logos, and so on) require only a click on while greater modifications (format, widgets, and so forth) require modifying Shopify’s customized Liquid language. Here’s Shopify’s drag and drop device.

Shopify Drag Drop

Volusion has a Theme Retailer as properly. You possibly can edit the themes additionally. But, just like the App Shops, there’s actually no contest towards Shopify. Right here’s Volusion’s Theme Store.

Volusion Themes

General, I feel most retailer house owners will discover more flexibility with Shopify’s strategy to design. You’ll even have more decisions for a pre-built theme or design with Shopify.

Shopify vs. Volusion Conclusion & Subsequent Steps

So Shopify vs. Volusion – who is a better match for who? If in case you have time – I’d truly advocate doing a free trial (no bank card required) with both and just clicking round.

Get a free trial with Volusion right here.

Get a free trial with Shopify here.

I personally like the flexibility and options of Shopify. They are possible a better match for most on-line retailer house owners. Take a look at Shopify right here & my Shopify Evaluation right here.

Nevertheless, in case you are an already established retailer and need a easier expertise, you’ll do alright with Volusion, but concentrate on the tradeoffs. Take a look at Volusion here & my Volusion Evaluation here.

In case you are undecided – then take my Ecommerce Platform Quiz here. It’s going to take your preferences and inform you who is the only option for your online store.