Volusion is one of the bigger ecommerce software providers in the world. The company currently powers over 30,000 online stores with a reported 185 million orders and $26 billion worth of goods sold.
The company was founded in 2000, and continues to thrive thanks to its ultra easy to use interface and that unlike other ecommerce software providers, Volusion does not charge transaction fees (the merchants keeps 100 percent from each transaction).
There are a number of reasons why Volusion is highly regarded among business owners with perhaps the primary reason being that Volusion does not charge transaction fees. Unlike Shopify, which is arguably the most well known ecommerce software on the market, you do not see a percentage of each transaction disappear to the web provider. All profits remain with you!
Volusion also features excellent customer service (more on that, below) if you need any direction or assistance regarding the launch of your ecommerce website. However, with their easy to use interface and nearly 80 apps to serve as ecommerce tools, you will likely have very little trouble getting the website off the ground.
In terms of pricing, Volusion is very competitive with the best ecommerce software on the market and is largely the reason it remains so popular after almost two decades of operation. It takes the legwork out of getting web hosting as well as building an ecommerce website from scratch.
Both web hosting and web building is offered through Volusion and at a price that won’t be considered a “risky investment” for your business, big or small. It also is not all that difficult to create a website from scratch as a number of free and paid web templates are available from Volusion. From there it is just a matter of filling in content and pricing inventory.
There was a time period where in order to have a quality, professional looking website you needed to be a web programmer or engineer. Oh, how the times have changed.
Ecommerce software realizes that business owners already have enough on their plate, and many small business owners are just making ends meet so there is no wiggle room in a budget to hire an expensive web development team. Ecommerce software takes all the confusion out of web building as it is no longer mandatory to understand HTML, SEO optimization and other “big” technical terms.
Volusion features 11 free themes and 38 premium, or paid themes/templates. The templates are designed to automatically give you a presentation of the website with customizable features to edit the color theme or add images, such as a business logo. Volusion also caters to mobile friendly options since so many customers shop through their smartphones or tablets these days.
The paid templates are moderately priced and vary from around $160 to $180. All of Volusion’s four plans, as well as templates include complimentary web hosting offered directly through Volusion.
Volusion has hosted and created websites for a number of different industries so do not fret if your products are a special niche or seem too exotic to succeed on the web. Volusion has worked with businesses that sell everything from apparel and beauty, food and health, jewelry and electronics, automobile and home improvement.
While Volusion does have reliable web hosting, they receive a grade in deduction because of the limitations they place on bandwidth as well as not providing their own SSL certificate. Limited bandwidth can slow down the overall performance of the website and SSL certificates are necessary for web security as they encrypt the website and protect customers’ sensitive data (name, address, credit card information, etc).
Volusion features a variety of great ecommerce management tools and apps (the number of available apps increases based on plan and price). Among the highlights:
- Dashboard is easy to use with ability to oversee everything regarding the website and performance of the online store
- Insert products and manage inventory with a click of a button
- Upload images and make the pre-built templates 100 percent unique to your own business
- Track inventory, process orders, monitor shipping and fulfillment
- Market and promote your business with advanced software such as email and newsletters
- Integrate your own accounting software into Volusion
- Provide your own top notch customer service experience with numerous customer support tools and apps
In the past few years, like many other quality ecommerce software providers, Volusion has adapted to the growing trend of mobile devices being used for online purchases. The mobile interface is much different than interacting with an online merchant through a traditional computer.
Thankfully, Volusion has adapted and you do not need to be technologically savvy to cater your merchant experience to this new demographic. Again, no advance coding is necessary. Volusion provides the legwork and actually prides itself on being a “mobile first” ecommerce platform.
While some merchants are hesitant to go with Volusion due to their bandwidth limitations, and expensive charges once your website exceeds that bandwidth, they have adapted by providing a personalized, fixed-fee pricing model that enables the merchant to cap the bandwidth in order to prevent overage charges.
The one counter-intuitive feature of Volusion is that while it prides itself on being very merchant friendly, their bandwidth allowance and lack of SSL certificates make it more complicated than it should be for the client. Your typical merchant shouldn’t have to worry about the number of graphics or surplus of visitors because of bandwidth overages. This is where Volusion gets it wrong.
Volusion provides four different plans to select from, and start at $29 p/ month which is very reasonable aside from the lack of an SSL certificate. Additionally, if you agree to annual terms, you will save 10 percent off the monthly rate. Volusion also features a 14-day trial period for new users.
Volusion has quality, 24/7 support for its merchants. You can contact Volusion via phone, live chat or email. Their response time and ability to provide helpful information is usually very clear and of high quality.
- No transaction fees means that aside from investing in a web hosting and website builder plan, the remainder of the profits go back to you. The no transaction fee is far superior to other ecommerce software providers, however you will still have to pay a payment processing fee.
- Several helpful ecommerce tools and apps to assist with the day to day operations of your online store. All of Volusion’s ecommerce tools are provided free of charge with their monthly plans.
- Sell hundreds of products with minimal day to day involvement on your part. The “mobile first” interface also caters to potential customers that are browsing your products online either through a smartphone or tablet.
- Volusion has bandwidth limitations. Unlike other comparable ecommerce software providers that feature unlimited bandwidth, the limitations will slow down the speed and overall performance of the website.
- Inadequate security unless you purchase your own SSL certificate (which runs at least another $100). Having a SSL certificate is very important for security measures, and Volusion should do their part by including it in the membership.
Overall, Volusion is a quality ecommerce software provider though not the best. The monthly bandwidth allowance is absurd and should be bumped up to unlimited bandwidth if they truly want to compete with Shopify and BigCommerce.