- Can easily be customised and extended
- 24/7 support
- Great-looking responsive templates
- User friendly website building and business management tools
- Complicated free structure
- Forced SSL
- Premium templates can be pricey
Reasons to use Volusion
- Easy to use website builder
- Fully hosted
- Solid order management and fulfillment capabilities
Like Shopify and Bigcommerce, the model is similar – you are effectively renting your store on a monthly basis, and in the process gaining access to the power and customization potential of the Volusion platform. Ideal for scaling and technically supporting your business as it grows, Volusion packs a lot of punch into their monthly fee.
Volusion is a complete hosted e-commerce platform. What this means is that you don’t need to download anything, or install anything on your own to get your online store going. You just have to sign up through the Volusion website, and you can start working with your store in a matter of minutes.
Feature-wise, Volusion gives you everything you might need to effectively launch your online store and start selling your products.
There’s also a free trial available, so you don’t need to invest anything before you’re sure that Volusion is going to be the right choice for you.
Who’s Volusion Ecommerce Platform best suited for?
Volusion has an interesting offering among the other e-commerce solutions out there, and particularly when it comes to those who are just starting out their e-commerce adventure.
The platform is easy to use and easy to set up (you basically get a working store after you sign up, and you only have to adjust the settings, add your products, and change your design). There’s also a customer service phone number that you can call and get some help from a Volusion expert. They will guide you through the entire process and suggest solutions that are optimized for you.
On the other hand, Volusion is also fit to handle a bigger number of products and cater to a store owner that needs advanced features. All this makes Volusion an interesting choice for an e-commerce platform that can grow alongside your business.
Features in Volusion Ecommerce Platform
Here are some of the main features inside Volusion:
- Website builder module – helps you craft your online store, along with some additional non-commerce pages. Effectively, it lets you build a complete website and not just the e-commerce part.
- There’s 24/7 support, plus dedicated account managers.
- More than 300 quality designs/templates to choose from, and they’re optimized for mobile viewing.
- Detailed product listings.
- Built-in marketing, social media and SEO tools.
- Accept all major credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Payments.
- iOS, Android and smartwatch apps make it possible to manage your store on the go.
- Sell on Facebook, Amazon and eBay.
- Ratings and reviews.
- Deal of the day feature.
- Coupons and discounts.
- Advanced inventory management.
- Easy order processing.
- Secure hosting.
- PCI compliance.
Volusion Ecommerce Platform Pricing
There are 4 main pricing models at Volusion:
The first one – $15 / month – should be more than enough to get you started. You can add up to 100 products, and you’re not limited by the volume of traffic or sales you get.
The downside, however, is that Volusion also forces you to buy an SSL certificate alongside your plan. Those certificates go for about $89 / year. If you want to be accepting credit card payments, you must get the SSL. You can pay for Volusion either monthly or yearly.
Example online store designs in Volusion
The designs in Volusion look very good, there’s over 300 of them, and from what I’m seeing, they’re all mobile responsive.
Managing products in your Volusion store
Store management with Volusion is fairly easy to grasp. You can add and edit your products pretty easily, and there are helper tooltips next to each attribute of the product (so you don’t have to guess):
Volusion lets you accept credit cards, and also integrates with a number of popular online payment options:
Is Volusion the right tool to launch your online store with?
Pros of Volusion Ecommerce Platform
- Natural Interface: Volusion is intuitive to use, even for those without years of experience developing e-commerce sites. Despite its hefty function load, Volusion has a lot to offer in terms of the shop building experience, but it does it in a straightforward, logical way. This means for the most part, you can get away without hiring a developer to make basic adjustments to your store.
- Integrating Inventory: Inventory is an essential piece of the e-commerce puzzle, and every second lost to inventory management is a second that could be more productively spent on your business. For some, inventory integration features give Volusion its edge over competing alternatives. This makes Volusion easy to use if you have thousands of product SKUs to content with, or if you are just looking for efficiency gains in the process of handling your inventory.
- Customer Support: One of the big pros of setting up shop on Volusion is the customer support function. Whatever you need assistance with, their support services (including real people you can actually speak to!) are second to none. If you prefer a less invasive approach, you can consult tomes of resources and how-to’s, aimed at making it as easy as possible to get full value from the Volusion service.
Cons of Volusion Ecommerce Platform
- Fee Structure: While Volusion is great in terms of features and usability, this does come at a cost. The fee structure is complicated, and there are various steps to the charging process – so much so, that it’s difficult to wrap it all up into a single “hang your hat” price point. These include a series of secondary costs that don’t become apparent until you encounter them (see below), or things like charges for excess bandwidth usage. This can make Volusion an expensive choice, but again, if you want this level of functionality it is worth paying for.
- Forced SSL: One real down side is that you are forced to pay for SSL if you want to accept payments by card. This means you need to not only go through the SSL application process with your business, but also that you need to pay further costs to get this tied up – in the order of $100, whether you like it or not. They don’t put this up-front in their marketing materials, but it is an essential cost level.
- The Price of Premium Templates: If you’d like to get a premium template – instead of going with a free one – then the price tag on those can be even as high as $900.