Volusion Review in a Nutshell
Volusion is a cloud-based, hosted eCommerce option that enables you to build your online store your way. Founded in 1999 by Kevin Sproles, the platform gives you everything you might need to launch your online store effectively, add products, integrate payment methods, and start selling.
The platform’s working model is comparable to other top ecommerce solutions like Shopify and Bigcommerce. That is, you’re essentially renting your online store every month while enjoying the flexibility and power of the platform, including integration with third-party applications.
Volusion also allows you to draw visitors to your website through SEO, social media sharing, and marketplace integrations (Amazon, eBay). Additionally, there’s a 14-day free trial on Volusion that allows you to test and decide whether it’s the best option before spending any money.
Who’s Volusion Ecommerce Platform Best Suited for?
Volusion positions itself as one of the best eCommerce platforms for small- and medium-sized business (SMB) owners. It’s a great fit to handle a more significant number of products and cater to a store owner that wants to leverage ecommerce advanced features.
The software platform has all the essential online store features, such as secure checkout, payment processing, and order management. However, it tends to lean more towards analytics, with tons of valuable data and analytics tools to measure your store’s performance metrics.
Volusion’s clearer inventory management system also makes it one of the best platforms for managing stock.
How Does Volusion Score in Website Building?
Besides its robust features for building and scaling a legit eCommerce business, Volusion doesn’t score high in designing a website’s appearance. A few other things we noticed on the platform include:
- It’s not as straightforward as other platforms. Beginners might feel lost without knowing what to do next.
- You’ll have difficulty customizing your store if you’re not knowledgeable enough in web design.
- There are limited website building traits, and you must constantly switch between the front and back-end editor to build your site.
In short, Volusion is a better fit for store owners more interested in a platform where you can manage your store and who doesn’t care much about website design.
Volusion Ecommerce Platform Pricing
Volusion’s pricing model is approximately the same as Shopify and BigCommerce. However, the most crucial part is that the platform allows you a 14-day free trial before committing.
The four pricing models on Volusion include:
Volusion Personal plan costs $35 per month. The package allows one staff user account and can upload up to 100 products. However, there are limited marketing features and no integration with Amazon or eBay.
The plan should be more than enough to get you started, and you’re not limited by the volume of traffic or sales you get.
Features of this plan include:
- Built-in SEO Tools
- Drag and Drop editor
- Easily Manage Inventory
- Free and Responsive Themes
- Online Support
- Powerful Site Editing Tool
- Secure Checkout Process
- Securely Accept Payments
- Social Media Sharing and Integrations
The Professional plan costs $79 per month. This allows you to upload up to 5000 products, improved access to up to five staff user accounts, and has unlimited bandwidth.
The package is perfect if you want to delegate tasks to some of your employees but still restrict access to certain site areas and information. One of the most significant upgrades in the Professional plan is the array of selling and marketing tools provided.
It has all the features from the personal plan, plus:
- Abandoned Cart Reports
- CRM features
- Easily Manage Inventory
- Import/Export of site data
- Phone Support
- Phone Orders
- Site Editing Tool
- Online Review and Ratings
Volusion Business plan costs $299 per month and allows you to upload an unlimited number of products. You also receive 15 staff accounts, so you can further loop in team members. A significant upgrade on this plan is the priority support and vast access to the services of Volusion’s marketing and design agency experts.
Online stores created on this plan also seamlessly integrate with Amazon and eBay. This will afford the user API access, which has numerous unique tools for creating customized designs. Other features of this plan include:
- 3rd Party Gateways
- 3rd Party Shipping Calculated Rates
- API Access and Batch Order Processing
- Premium Support
- Priority Support
Volusion Prime Plan
Volusion Prime plan works based on gross merchandise volume (GMV) calculated annually. The GMV is the total amount of all online payments processed through one of the payment methods offered by Volusion. It includes shipping, handling, taxes, and orders from online marketplaces using built-in integrations.
The plan is ideal if you’re operating a large-scale store as it will provide you access to unlimited staff accounts. Volusion prime also allows you access to a dedicated account manager who can help optimize your site and let you focus on other aspects of your business.
You can get this plan by contacting the sales team to enjoy other premium features such as unlimited products and bandwidth.
How Does Volusion Pricing Compare with Shopify and BigCommerce?
Volusion pricing is pocket-friendly and costs almost the same as other eCommerce website builders like Shopify and Bigcommerce. Shopify’s online eCommerce plans range between $24 and $299 a month, while Bigcommerce costs you between $29 and $299 monthly.
If you are interested in an eCommerce option with a wide selection of themes and responsive designs, you may choose Shopify over the rest. On the other hand, Bigcommerce is the best option if you need robust features without paying for expensive plans.
Volusion plans main benefits include a budget-friendly way to recover abandoned shopping carts and free marketing tools for your eCommerce business. However, there are details that prevent Volusion from standing out (for example, you’ll still need to spend more to buy an SSL certificate alongside your Volusion plan if you want to accept credit card payments.)
Regarding online help and support, Volusion falls behind a few e-commerce platforms. Still, the company has free 24/7 support from a customer experience team and an easy-to-use Help Center. You can access them via:
- Live chat
- Basic Knowledge base
Additionally, their help and support team sometimes answer questions on social media. The phone support and newsletter are not accessible on the personal plan.
Building an Online Store with Volusion
Volusion has a rough learning curve, especially for its limited design templates.
To sign up for the 14-day free trial period, you must enter your name, phone number, add your email address in the email field, and the desired password. Volusion will start the setting up process where you can:
- Add features
- Change settings
- Customize your store design with a range of free themes
Once in, you’ll see your dashboard and finally you’ll be able to start building:
Inventory: Managing Products
The product management function on Volusion makes tracking and managing your store inventory easy. Volusion’s system displays product status, tracks stock reorder quantity levels, and provides quantity verification.
Online merchants relying on Volusion are rewarded with unlimited storage capacity, which makes it simple to construct thorough product descriptions with top-notch pictures, videos, and more.
Essential functions from the inventory management system include:
The system lets you connect your warehouses, assign products and calculate shipping rates for better inventory management. It also allows you to streamline the inventory management process by automatically creating purchase orders to restock sold products.
Product Display Customization
This allows you to create categories and organize both products and website content. As such, you’ll be able to give customers the info they want about your products with reviews, social media sharing, availability notifications, and more.
Adding and Organizing Products
The platform will let you create a new product or edit an existing product on your online store. Just click the “Add product” button and start adding the basic info such as name, code, price, description, and so on.
Creating and Selecting a Category
To create and select a category, search for “categories” and select the box beside each category name. Click Apply to assign the selected categories to a product and return to the product page
For an online store with many categories, click the Advanced info option below the Categories label. This will allow you to add categories by their ID numbers, pricing rules, shipping options, product descriptions, vendors, etc.
Sometimes you may want to add a new category to which you can assign other products. Volusion allows you to perform this function by clicking on the “Create New Category” link. This link is to the right of the “Edit Categories” section and will direct you to assign the new product category to a navigation menu.
The remaining processes include creating and selecting product options such as size, package, etc. By providing an easy setup process to add products, Volusion allows you to offer an intuitive shopping experience that makes it easier for customers to find what they want and discover even more products.
Design: Building Your Website
Volusion provides many options to set up and style your website so you can attract potential customers. The platform’s homepage will guide you through the steps of setting up your online store when you fill the email field and sign up for the first time. An overview of your online store will be accessible on the same page once you have launched it.
You can access all the information you need about design on the platform’s dashboard and make the necessary changes, including:
- Purchase and select themes
- Add your brand logo
- Use the available style editor to create customized designs for your site
- Create and edit site content
- Manage your website’s navigation menu
- Upload and edit your website’s media file.
- Set up how your website displays your products
- Customize the slideshow on your homepage
- Enable reCAPTCHA on your pages
Volusion’s responsive themes mean your website’s design is fully compatible on any device, from the homepage to on-page checkout. There is also a team of experts to help you craft the best custom designs for your eCommerce website, just in case you can’t do it yourself.
Themes and Templates
Volusion provides many template designs to style your online store and create a unique storefront. Overall, there are 11 default free themes. However, you can purchase 34 premium themes that are more elaborate.
The platform lets you change themes anytime you like. This allows you to tweak your online store’s appearance without worrying about repopulating your content.
Tweaking web page elements for any chosen template is accessible using the visual editor. Volusion’s built-in visual editor will help you modify HTML or CSS code for more advanced customization and preview it.
Customizing Your Site
You can customize your site by clicking on the “view storefront” button in the theme section. This will allow you to add and edit elements such as titles, headers, images, etc.
The interface is intuitive and easily allows you to choose the different aspects of the site from both ends. Basic aspects are accessible from the left, while the content and style editor is from the right side of the screen. The style editor only allows you to change fonts and color palettes.
Additionally, there’s some stuff you can do in the backend such as adding your logo, customized banner texts, and set up the navigation.
Fulfilling Orders and Managing Customers
Volusion does make it friendly to manage your online store processes. The store’s ‘Orders Section’ has designated sub-sections for processing orders, handling phone orders, recurring billing, customer returns, point of sale, and abandoned carts.
You can quickly check the available orders, filter them, click “complete order,” and email the client through the same section. You can also
- Provide phone orders to customers.
- Check and deal with returns and refunds.
Volusion also provides a built-in CRM under the “customers” section to ensure efficient customer management, which integrates all the data collected from your orders and conducts sales work in one place.
The platform’s customer management system lets you see purchase history and contact information to keep a pulse on your customers.
Built-in Marketing Tools
Volusion offers built-in marketing tools that make it easier to attract more shoppers to your online shop and remain competitive. The platform enhances its marketing functionality by providing a variety of marketing tools in the form of:
Volusion has a social media center that integrates automatically with social media accounts to promote your content and digital products. You can integrate your Twitter and Facebook accounts to share content from Volusion’s Admin area via the social media centre.
Google Customer Reviews
Volusion’s Google customer reviews enable you to collect customer reviews from Google and learn from their pain points. This is vital to growing and scaling your eCommerce business per your customer needs.
Volusion allows you to sell directly on Facebook and reach more customers through Facebook Store. You can easily customize your store design & easily integrate it with your Facebook business page.
Sell on Google
You can create a Google merchant account to get your products in front of people who are ready to buy. The account is for selling products through PPC ads and listing them on page results.
Deal of the Day
Volusion’s deal of the day feature will allow you to add and edit different deals for the day of the day, week, or month. To enable this feature, log in to your Admin area and follow the simple steps:
- Go to Marketing
- Click Deal of the Day
- Click the Three-Dot Actions Menu Icon
- Select Deal of the Day Settings.
Coupons and Discounts.
The platform allows you the coupon and discount feature where you can add, edit, and trigger any discounts for your customers.
The Nav Menu promotion tool is accessible from the Admin Area under the Marketing category. It’s an advanced feature tool to showcase all the promotions your store comes configured with.
MyRewards is a built-in loyalty program to reward your loyal customers. The feature is designed to encourage brand loyalty and allows you to reward points to frequent customers who can redeem their in-store credit for a discount.
The Newsletters feature on Volusion is designed to allow store owners to create email newsletters and automatically send them to customers without leaving the admin area. It’s a form of email marketing that helps in driving repeat purchases.
Gift Certificates/ Gift Card Creation
This gift card creation feature is for creating and sharing gift cards with your customers. You can generate store gift cards to sell on your site, manage existing gift cards, and accept them at checkout.
Search engine optimization is a crucial component of the success of any online business. Volusion comes with various SEO tools and guides to help your online store rank high on SERPs. It also has meta-input fields to use SEO best practices to get your store to the top.
You can tweak a few SEO settings, such as
- Meta tags for each page
- Edit your robot.txt file
- Rewrite URLs for a search engine friendly
- Control your sitemap XML
- Prevent duplicate content with canonical links
- Set up customizable 404 error pages.
- Improve Your Search Engine Ranking with SEO
Similarly, Volusion’s built-in CMS (content management system) automatically generates rich snippets to provide search engines and users with relevant information. The only challenge is the lack of a built-in content marketing platform.
The in-stock requests feature specifically designed to alert your customers when an out-of-stock product is available again.
Volusion has about 100 apps to integrate with, which is not diverse compared to Shopify or BigCommerce. The App Store also provides Add-Ons and Integrations to enhance the performance of your online store. Popular apps available through the store include:
- Paypal Express–The App is designed to increase conversions with the security of Paypal
- ShipStation– Designed to create automated shipping labels
- Facebook Chat by Power – Enables you to assist customers using the Facebook social media platform.
Integration With Third Party Platforms
Volusion also partners with other app developers to provide e-commerce solutions that make their shopping carts more adaptable. The platform is designed to integrate with several third-party apps to create a full-fledged online store. These include top-tier tools for email marketing, drop shipping, order management, accounting, etc.
- Mail Chimp
- UPS WorldShip
Compared to other players in the eCommerce industry, Volusion does not integrate with as many add-ons. Still, your Volusion-powered eCommerce shop can incorporate compatible add-ons available on the Volusion app store. The store is simple to use, and you can even categorize search results to narrow down your options.
Volusion provides more than 50 payment processing options. To make accepting payments simple, they’ve partnered with industry-leading credit card processors worldwide to ensure your customers don’t miss out on their favorable payment processing option.
Depending on customers’ preferred payment methods, you can set up your online business to accept credit cards or electronic payments from trusted companies such as PayPal or Stripe.
To accept credit cards, you need to set up a payment gateway. The only ones available are Stripe, CyberSource, Authorize.net, and Network Merchants. The platform accepts other payment methods like;
- Check by mail
- Wire Transfer
- Amazon Pay.
Volusion also operates an “in-house” credit card processing service called Volusion Merchant Service. The advantage of this payment medium is that your customers won’t have to pay the transaction fee involved. Only third-party payment processors charge separate credit card fees.
Analytics and Reports
Volusion has an excellent dashboard analytics tool that shows performance data from your store. As a store owner, you’ll have full access to built-in analytics tools that display traffic metrics, site visits, abandoned shopping cart rates, and trending items.
You can access these analytics and reports using Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel integration. Deeper reports such as the number of active customers, product sales within categories, tax breakdowns, and other metrics are also accessible within a specific period.
Additionally, Volusion’s excellent analytic tool also allows you to track ROI from the specific campaign and what terms your visitors are searching for inside your website.
Volusion allows you to manage your shipping options inside your store settings. You can efficiently perform the following functions from your store setting.
- Handle the shipping rates, like flat rate and special rate
- Manage free shipping deals conditions
- Provide discounts
- Add labels, and so on.
The platform also provides drop shipping at no additional cost. Volusion’s fully integrated fulfillment services app allows users to ship products directly from their suppliers.
Setting up Taxes
Volusion has features that automatically calculate tax once you open the store. The platform also integrates with Avalara to automate tax rates based on location and calculate them precisely for each transaction.
Merchant services operating from the United States can take advantage of the automatic tax integration by simply following the simple steps:
- Go to Settings in the Admin Area
- Select Tax
- Open the tax settings by clicking the three-dot menu button at the top right
- Select “Yes” under “Are you based in the United States?”
- Select automatic rates and choose whether you want to add Tax on Shipping costs
- Click Save.
Non-US merchants can’t enjoy this feature.
Setting up a Custom Domain
A custom domain name is essential to make your site more professional. It also means you will have more control over analytics tools to track conversion. Volusion will allow you to add a custom domain. However, you must buy it separately and get in touch with the support team. If you search for “domain registration,” you’ll find hundreds of companies selling custom domain names.
Pros of Volusion
Volusion is easy to use even when you don’t have expertise in developing e-commerce sites. It allows you a straightforward shop-building experience; for the most part, you’ll save on the extra cost of hiring a web developer.
Volusion has some of the best inventory integration features for managing store inventory. These include features for displaying product status, tracking stock reorder quantity levels, providing quantity verification, and more.
Multiple Sales Channels
Volusion provides multiple sales channels as a possible solution to putting all of your eggs in one basket. You can leverage its social media integration tools that allow you to sell in multiple locations, including the Facebook store, affiliate programs on eBay and Amazon. This gives your store a broader reach to the market and potential for more sales revenue.
If you’d like a premium template – instead of a free one – the price tag on those can be even as high as $900.
Difficult Customization Options
Despite having high-quality themes. The site customization options are so convoluted that your time would be better spent writing CSS code or hiring a web developer.
Volusion Review: Conclusion
Volusion offers store owners everything they need to establish a successful eCommerce website. It’s scalable and cost-effective compared to other website builders. The platform also has a good user experience, thanks to its faster load time compared to most Shopify and Big commerce sites.
Challenges only arise due to its complexities, especially if you want to leverage more sophisticated marketing tactics or customize your site. Volusion also lacks a blogging tool—a pivotal component to push your products and promote your brand.
Can I Host a Blog on a Volusion Website?
There’s no blogging tool on Volusion, but you can find ways to integrate a blog inside your store.
Is Volusion Better than Shopify?
Even though both platforms have almost the exact pricing, Shopify is less complicated and easier to use. So, in general, Shopify might be a better option most of the time.
Is Dropshipping Viable on Volusion?
Yes! You can find a couple of dropshipping apps in their marketplace. But I recommend checking the products they offer before paying for Volusion.
Are there Additional Costs When Using Volusion?
Volusion doesn’t charge transaction fees if you use your payment gateway. However, you may be charged credit card processing fees from individual compa