Volusion Review – The All in One Shopping Cart You Need?
Volusion is one of the best known hosted eCommerce platforms in the world. Their focus is on making sure that those who want to build an eCommerce site will have everything they could possible need. Uniquely, they work on the operational elements of the store, such as customer and inventory management, and less on marketing.
Volusion is hugely popular, having attracted tons of positive reviews. This is believed to be due to the fact that the program has such a long history. It was created towards the end of the 1990s by Kevin Sproles, who designed websites. He found that many of his clients looked at ways to use their websites to sell things, hence they wanted to have shopping cart software. He then set about creating Volusion, aiming to offer an all in one solution for small to large companies. Founded in 1999, the company now hosts in excess of 40 thousand stores and has over 250 employees.
From day one, the goal has been to create something that is fully comprehensive. As such, it has everything you could possibly need in order to properly manage your ecommerce site.
- It does exactly what is says on the box, which means you can start selling as soon as you have installed it, without having to worry about bugs.
- You don’t have to pay any transaction fees. The only cost is in your bandwidth usage, which is quite unique.
- Support and customer service are excellent, not in the least because you can speak to somebody 24/7.
- It is very easy to use and it won’t take you long to get to grips with it.
- You have to pay quite a lot if you go over your bandwidth limit. Hence, make sure that you choose an option that is right for you.
- The software is a bit behind the times. This means it doesn’t really come with the bells and whistles we have gotten used to.
- Sales representatives are said to be a bit misleading, with many people complaining about “bait-and-switch” tactics.
Volusion has some fantastic features, which is to be expected considering its history. The features are divided into those that are for customers and those that are for vendors.
- It comes with one page checkout, which means customers can buy quickly. This increases conversion rates.
- It allows social media sharing, meaning your customers can share your brand.
- You can add coupon codes, daily deals, and gift cards.
- You will receive emails and reports for abandoned carts, allowing you to remind your customers to make their purchase.
- It allows ratings and reviews, so that people can tell you what they think about your products or services.
- It allows your customers to properly look at your products before they decide to make a purchase.
- You have unlimited options for your products.
- You can pay extra to have company email addresses, which is beneficial if you have multiple employees.
- You can handle payments in a variety of currencies, while at the same time it makes tax calculations for you.
- RMA (Returned Merchandise Authorization) tool, for easy returns.
- Mobile management, as everything, including your dashboard, is mobile responsive.
- Excellent marketing tools through email
- The ability to sell on eBay, Amazon, and Facebook
- Great SEO and marketing tools
Volusion used to have a very poor theme selection. Fortunately, they recently included a new selection of themes, all of which are mobile responsive, which is quite an improvement. Thirteen themes are completely free to use and even the free ones are mobile responsive. When you consider that 30% of all sales made online are made through mobile devices, this is a very important statistic.
Premium themes are also available. These currently cost around $180, which is quite a lot of money, but a huge discount from their previous themes. Some of them could cost as much as $900. By reducing the prices, Volusion has once again become very relevant.
You can also customize your templates using the editor, or by going into the CSS and HTML stylesheets. If you aren’t very familiar with how this works, however, you may struggle a little bit. It does have a WYSIWYG easy editor, but this doesn’t have the best capabilities.
Volusion comes with an app store in which there are currently some 86 different add-ons. This is slightly less than those available in many other stores, but there is almost no duplication and all the apps are of high quality. Some of the most popular ones are the:
- Slack company messenger
- 71 lbs shipping refund
- MailChimp for email marketing
- Zapier, which was an integration service that you may have to pay for. If you do, it really makes up for everything that Volusion lacks.
- Xero Integration for accounting
- Quickbooks integration, also for accounting
- API availability for new connections
Volusion was built specifically to enhance eCommerce facilities. As such, they are now integrated with more than 30 different payment gateways, including:
- PayPal Pro
- First Data
- Chase Paymentech
Of course, you do have to understand what you pay and for what. As stated previously, no transaction fees are charged, but you will still have to fork out around 2.4% in fees, mainly hosting fees.
It does also have Volusion Merchant Services, which can be used by domestic businesses. Here, you will pay a transaction for of 2.15%, as well as a PCI compliance fee of $3.41 per month.
You can try Volusion for free for 14 days without handing over your credit card details. This means you can really try it out at no risk to yourself. If you decide that you like it, then they have four different pricing plans available for you to choose from. Each of these requires a monthly payment and there are no costs for setup or cancellation. Do remember, if you can cancel, to also cancel the range of other fees that you have to pay as part of your Volusion package. Should you decide to stay with Volusion and agree to pay yearly, then you will receive a 10% discount. The plans are:
- Mini at $15 per month. This gives you unlimited storage, no transaction fees, 1GB of bandwidth, 100 products, 24/7 online support, mobile app, free responsive templates, social media tools, the Facebook store, automatic tax rates, and a free slideshow.
- Plus at $35 per month, which gives you all of the above only with 3GB of bandwidth, 1,000 products, plus 24/7 phone support, ratings and reviews, abandoned cart reviews, newsletters, and import/export.
- Pro at $75 per month, which gives you all of the above only with 10GB of bandwidth and 10,000 products, plus 24/7 priority support, phone orders, customer loyalty plan, deal of the day, eBay and Amazon integration, batch order processing, CRM tools, and API access.
- Premium at $135 per month, which gives you all of the above only with 35GB of bandwidth and unlimited products, plus a dedicated account manager.
No matter what your plan is, as you can see, you will not be charged transaction fees. Bandwidth fees, however, are incredibly high if you exceed your allocated amount. Of course, if you use the Volusion payment gateway, these things change a little bit.
Support at Volusion is very good, regardless of your plan. The more you pay for your plan, the better support you receive, however. On Pro and Premium plans, for instance, you actually receive priority support, which means your query will be answered more quickly than that of anyone else. You can telephone the support team, email them, or find a live chat opening through the Volusion website.
Besides these helpdesk functions, there is also an opportunity for you to learn things for yourself. If you are on the Mini plan, you actually have to do this in full. Luckily, there is a huge resource library open and available to anyone on Volusion, including their social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter), video tutorials, webinars, Dev Wiki, and their Knowledge base. Volusion’s customer support is said to be really good. The staff is very knowledgeable and very friendly, meaning no one ever feels like they are asking a dumb question.
Volusion is an excellent option that seems to have accomplished exactly what it has set out to achieve, which is to offer an eCommerce solution that includes everything that matters in an easy to use way. If you are hoping to set up an eCommerce store, then this may just be the go to option for you. Sure, it is a little bit old fashioned, but that is because it has stuck to the basics. For Volusion, being able to properly run a store, managing its inventory and customers, is more important than having a website that is futuristic and offers something new visually.
The themes offered by Volusion are very good, even if there are not many to choose from. Furthermore, it is clear that they are focusing on giving customers what they want, which includes more themes and a reduction in price for the paid ones. Overall, therefore, I 100% recommend Volusion if you were hoping to build an ecommerce website.