Volusion was founded in Austin, Texas, by Kevin Sproles, and has been in business since 1999. They provide a fully cloud-based ecommerce shopping platform. The company offers all the basic functions needed to operate your own online store, as well as some features that set them apart from their main competitors.
Famous clients include companies such as Intel, 3M and Slickwraps and they currently power more than 40,000 online retailers. Many consider Volusion to be one of the top ecommerce platforms, read on to see what I think about their features.
One of the reasons why this platform is so popular among store owners is the fact they have many features built directly into the dashboard, in other words you don’t need to purchase costly add-ons through a separate app store. With the deal of the day feature you can quickly encourage customers to keep checking back. The feature enables store owners to pick a product and offer a limited discount; you can even display a countdown timer to inspire shoppers to purchase the product before it is too late. Another feature that will help retain customers is the MyRewards program; this system allows them to gain points whenever they complete a purchase through your store. These points can then be redeemed at a later time.
With the live and abandoned carts feature, storeowners can quickly gain an overview of which clients are currently completing an order, as well as which clients have abandoned their cart. Volusion encourages you to send emails to the customers who have abandoned their carts, however unlike other platforms that offer this as an automatic process, you need to send these emails manually, and if you have a lot of customers then this can quickly become a rather time consuming process.
If you are away from your computer, then you can monitor your store on the go. This is thanks to their native iOS and Android apps that allow you to check incoming orders as well as keep tabs on inventory levels.
One feature that I personally became a fan of is the fact that you can process phone orders directly from the dashboard. In other words, if you have a contact number listed on your site, then customers can call you and place their order in person, all you need to do is open the console and enter the required information. While Shopify offers something similar with their POS solution, they don't offer processing of phone orders directly from within the admin panel.
Mobile capability is a strong suit from Volusion, from responsive templates to mobile-optimized checkout modules. This means that shopper and store owners alike can easily navigate Volusion stores from any device.
The final feature that truly stands out with Volusion is the Amazon and eBay integrations:, which offer built-in, native integrations that let you sync inventory and manage Amazon and eBay listings right from your Volusion admin dashboard.
Volusion Ease of Use
The first time I entered the dashboard I was pretty impressed, the interface is clean and easy on the eyes, more importantly it is simple to navigate.
Unlike most companies, this platform doesn't really come with a setup wizard, instead they offer a quick getting started site, which pretty much just links you to the different areas of the dashboard. The guide, however doesn’t deliver any form of support on just how to get started. Personally, I believe it is best if companies offer some form of tutorial at least for beginners, you can always opt out but at least the option should be there.
Most other competitors such as BigCommerce and Shopify have a setup wizard; in fact most companies I have reviewed provide this service. One part I really do like, is the fact that most input fields come with a question mark icon next to them, once you click this icon additional information is revealed about the field. What I like about this is the fact I feel I am constantly learning something without necessarily having to navigate to the support section.
To make it easier for users, Volusion has recently launched a helpful video series that walks users through key areas of the setup for their new Volusion stores.
Volusion offers four different pricing tiers the cheapest plan, Mini, will only cost you $15/month while their most expensive plan the premium plan will cost $135/month. All plans come with free setup and unlimited storage.
The cheapest plan allows you to add 100 products to your store while the most expensive allows an unlimited number of products. While the cheapest plan only comes with 24/7 online support all other plans also offer phone support. Unlike AmeriCommerce you can't manage multiple stores within the same dashboard, however, if you run multiple stores hosted on Volusion then you can apply for a 10% discount on each additional store. Furthermore, if you pay up front for a full year you will also receive a 10% discount.
In the past, customers were complaining that they were charging $25/month to remove the “Powered by Volusion” link at the bottom, however thankfully this is a practice they have since abandoned.
Templates and design
Volusion offers 353 themes in total, of these
76 82 are free while the rest range from $50 to $895 for a theme. The first time I reviewed Volusion, I was very disappointed in the quality of their free themes, however thanks to recent changes that is not completely a thing of the past. As you can see below, the guys at Volusion has definitely spent a lot of time and effort on updating their themes. The free themes they now offer look just as stunning as some of their most expensive themes, this means even small businesses can have a stunning looking web store without breaking the bank.
Other platforms such as CoreCommerce allow you to edit your store simply by dragging and dropping elements, unfortunately this isn’t the case with Volusion. If you prefer to edit the HTML or CSS files for your theme then there is a built in editor called File editor, however, be prepared as this is not a WYSIWYG editor but just a simple text editor where you can edit the theme.
Unless you are a developer and feel comfortable with editing HTML and CSS codes, then chances are you will have a very difficult time editing the theme to your liking. Honestly the company makes something that should be very easy, unnecessarily difficult and that might scare the novice user away.
It's also worth noting that many of the Volusion templates, both free and premium, have mobile responsive capabilities for the optimal performance across all devices. The company has also made updates to its Easy Editor to make customizing a template more straightforward than in the past.
Adding new products to Volusion is relatively easy, unfortunately, however, similar to other platforms such as 3dcart I must admit at first I was a little overwhelmed with all the different settings and options. This is good if you are a veteran storeowner who knows exactly what you want your product information to include, but at the same time it can seem a little daunting for the novice users.
As you can see in the image above, there is an option to simply add the most basic information about your products and then adding the more advanced information at a later time, if you are just starting out with the platform I would suggest using this approach until you get more acquainted with the process.
Volusion SEO & Marketing
All pricing tiers come with advanced SEO built right into the store. Thanks to SEO optimization, you can quickly earn snippet displays where potential shoppers can quickly see things such as star ratings, product pricing and stock status directly from the search engine results. Similar to Shopify and BigCommerce you can easily sell your products through your own personalized Facebook store.
This means that while customers are looking through their feeds they can view and purchase your products without ever having to leave Facebook. Another way of reaching more clients is through their integration with Amazon. When people search for a product on Amazon your products will appear in their search, and you can easily start selling products through the online store. Similarly, you can sell your products through eBay, this allows you to reach over 100 million new potential customers. You can easily manage inventory of both Amazon and eBay directly from your Volusion dashboard.
Unlike some other platforms, Volusion auto-generates sitemaps for customers, which helps search engines scan your site easier. Volusion also has built-in shopping feed capabilities so merchants can list products on major shopping engines like Google Shopping.
Read this other post if you want to learn more on which is the best ecommerce site builder for SEO.
Payment wise you can accept payments from more than 30 different processors, these include PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.Net, which is a popular payment processor in Europe. You can also sign up for a Merchant account and accept credit cards directly through Volusion.
The company doesn't charge any transaction fees, however, as with most other platforms you still need to pay a transaction fee for accepting third party processors. If you sign up for the “in house” payment processor, called Volusion Merchant Services, then the standard rate for transactions is 2.17% whereas it would be 2.9% if you were using PayPal. One negative point about the Merchant account is the fact that you must be a United States citizen in order to sign up for the plan, this pretty much rules out 96% of the world’s population. In defense of Volusion this is the same if you sign up with merchant accounts on competing platforms such as CoreCommerce, if you want to use a program that offers a merchant account to international citizens then you should sign up with 3dcart.
Before you start operations of your store, you will need to sign up for a Volusion SSL security package, these range between $89 for a year to $199 for three years. Furthermore, you can sign up for Semantic SSL certificates, these however do cost much more and start at $399 for a year if you are located in the United States, and $499 if you are located elsewhere.
If you have read our Shopify review you will notice that all their pricing plans come with free SSL, which is why I was rather surprised to see this platform charging almost $100 for something I can get for free with other companies. One thing to keep in mind however is that Volusion does offer true custom SSL certificates per store, while other companies such as Shopify offer a shared SSL.
You may be wondering what the difference is between a dedicated and free SSL. With a free (or shared) SSL the shoppers get redirected to a different domain for checkout, whereas the dedicated SSL (offered by Volusion) keeps the checkout on your own domain.
Finally, Volusion is known for its best in class hosting, 99.9+% up-time performance and its in-house hosting, which is ideal for keeping your site secure. In short, Volusion takes security quite seriously.
Volusion Customer Support
Volusion offers some of the best support in the industry. The company provides 24/7 live support via phone, chat, or email, to all pricing plans, except for the mini plan who only receive online support. Furthermore, Pro and Platinum members get priority support, which translates, into shorter wait times.
I decided to give their live chat support a try and asked a few questions about their security measures, my questions were answered in a professional manner within minutes, and much to my delight within 30 minutes of the chat I was actually contacted over the phone by a member of their support staff. He asked if I needed any additional support, he gladly clarified any questions I had. He even sent me an email with more information.
After having contacted more than 10 different ecommerce platforms in the past, I must say this is the first time I have ever received a follow-up call. The company also offers access to an extensive knowledge base filled with video tutorials and articles to help you get your store up and running. In addition to their video tutorials they also operate a YouTube channel and a community forum. For the developers among their users, they also offer access to a Dev Wiki, where you can find code samples that can easily be incorporated into your storefront.
Since the first review, Volusion has continued adding members to their support team, this in return helps reduce the wait time and improves customer satisfaction.
There are some great features offered by Volusion that I found to be a positive, however overall I just wasn't really happy with the platform as a whole. I liked the fact that I can easily accept orders over the phone directly within the dashboard, however, I was a little disappointed with their templates as well as the fact you need to purchase SSL certificates. I would recommend you give their free trial a run. If you feel comfortable editing HTML and CSS code in order to edit your theme then maybe Volusion is something for you, otherwise you can also read my Shopify overview or BigCommerce overview to see if these platforms offer what you are looking for.
During my initial review, I mentioned several things that annoyed me a little. This included the fact that their free themes looked like something from the 1990's, however thanks to their recent updates I really think their themes are now on par with some of the other ecommerce platforms. My suggestion would still be to give their free trial a spin, that way you can easily see if they features meet your needs.