|Volusion standout features|
|Best for||SMBs or companies planning to scale|
|Promotion||14-day free trial|
What Are the Pros and Cons of Volusion?
Volusion is simple to use and comes with many features, making it a good choice for entrepreneurs just starting with online selling. Rightly, it positions itself as a platform specially created for SMBs.
See the advantages and disadvantages of this e-commerce platform.
Pros of Volusion
- Customizable and responsive themes: I especially like the professionally done designs that can be changed any time you wish, and Volusion automatically repopulates your website content even if you change the template. The 11 free and 34 paid templates are easy to customize with the drag-and-drop editor. Most industry-specific themes come with well-defined features and will save you a lot of time you might otherwise spend on design.
- Unlimited product options and variants: One Volusion feature I think deserves a shoutout is the scope to create as many product options (e.g. size, color, style) and variants (e.g. small, medium, large) as your business requires.
- In-house design and marketing services: While these may not be free, any internal service that contributes to a business’s growth will always get my vote. It beats scouting around for help or getting it from a third party that might be unfamiliar with the platform.
- Easy and quick product export/import: This is especially beneficial if you sell through multiple channels. You can make Volusion your base of operations and run your other stores from there.
- App integration: Through its Zapier integration, Volusion allows you the freedom to integrate 1,000+ apps to its online storefront. By making third-party app integration easy, the SaaS platform almost makes up for the features it otherwise lacks. You can add as many functionalities to your storefront as you wish, from payment gateways to customer relationship management (CRM).
Cons of Volusion
- Complicated store builder: While you don’t need coding knowledge to build an e-commerce storefront on Volusion, the website builder is complicated and not intuitive at all. Editing and customizing your store is a chore, even if you are seasoned at this.
- Physical goods only: It may seem a bit ironic, but you cannot sell digital products if your e-commerce site is built on Volusion.
- Limitations on revenue and products: The basic plan caps the number of products you can sell at only 100 and the Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) at only $50,000 per year.
- Complex point of sale (POS) transactions: POS allows you to sell your merchandise and accept payments even in a brick-and-mortar store. Volusion does offer this feature, though it’s not very intuitive — the setup is a long process, and payments require a scanner or QR code.
- No built-in blogging feature: Volusion does let you blog about your business or products. At a time when most other e-commerce platforms are deploying blogging features to ramp up their marketing efforts, this is a big letdown.
- Image SEO needs improvement: There’s no denying that Volusion’s SEO support is great. But you cannot add alt text for images or customize image SEO. And since this has the potential to impact the overall performance of your shopfront, it is something that needs improvement.
E-commerce website design
With 11 free and 34 paid themes (priced at $180 per theme on average) created by professional e-commerce designers, online storefronts made on the Volusion platform are easy to customize. Designed to boost conversion rates, these templates produce eye-catching, clean, and clear results on high-resolution displays. Irrespective of whether a shopper browses from a mobile device, tablet, laptop, or desktop, the responsive themes adapt to their view.
I tried to customize my chosen layout to showcase the uniqueness of my brand on each page of my website using text testimonials, videos, image galleries, and other content blocks. The consistent concept design on multiple pages made them unified despite my customizations. Volusion’s what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editor made it easy for me to do this.
If you have several product lines, you can also design category pages with various product category tools. There, you may add subcategories, edit product display characteristics, upload images, and even manage SEO. Multiple navigation styles break the monotony and add excitement to viewing.
If you’re well-versed in coding, you can also try using the platform’s HTML and CSS editor to customize your site on your own. But you cannot change the fonts because of Volusion’s sitewide global settings. And you only have two variants to play around with.
Moreover, Volusion’s cross-browser compatibility function allows you to work on both current and older browsers. Plus, its extension capabilities enable the integration of plug-ins like live chat and reviews.
Here are other features I recommend adding for an enhanced customer experience:
- Social sharing
- Infinite scroll
- Product image zoom
- Category display toggle
- Black-to-Top button
- Blog (Volusion currently does not have this function)
Product catalog creation
One of Volusion’s most unique features is its shoppable catalog, which you can create without any programming, coding, or development background.
What I like most about this catalog functionality is that I can assign many photos, detailed text descriptions, availability notifications, social sharing, and reviews to each of the products I uploaded. It’s also easy to edit listings even while the product pages are already live.
For your customers’ convenience, advanced search tools enable quick and easy product picks. Plus, they can drag items directly into the order form and preview their selection during checkout prior to payment.
Inventory management is where Volusion shines. While its inventory capabilities are a little simpler than some of its competitors, it’s a huge step up from what you’ll find with regular online stores on Shopify, WooCommerce, and/or BigCommerce.
If you’re just starting out and don’t need to keep an item in stock indefinitely, Volusion is probably all you need. The software comes with tools to create listings, manage inventory levels, and adjust pricing based on customer demand. You can even set your own shipping rates by distance.
It was easy for me to set up warehouse locations, as well as stock items to each place and calculate shipping rates from them. And I viewed stats like product status, stock reorder quantity levels, and quantity verification right on my inventory dashboard.
Smart inventory streamlining is possible through the automatic purchase order creation function that replenishes your stock every time you sell an item.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, Volusion makes it easy to start accepting online payments with its integrations and tools.
One of Volusion’s strengths is payment gateway integration; you can process payments using your preferred processor, including PayPal and Stripe. Volusion also has two built-in payment gateways — EDI transactions and Volusion Payments, its in-house online credit card processing solution. Both offer merchants 14-day free trials with no setup fee.
Its in-house credit card processing solution is Volusion’s preferred payment gateway for multiple reasons. These include the lowest guaranteed rates, hassle-free setup quickly, and a dedicated support team.
You are free to use any of the payment gateways listed on the platform, but bear in mind that merchants who do not use Volusion payments are charged maintenance fees.
While these charges are the lowest in the industry, they vary according to the plan you have subscribed to. The fees are 1.25% for Personal Plan merchants, 0.65% for Professional Plan merchants, 0.35% for Business Plan merchants, and custom for Prime plan merchants.
I recommend using Volusion Payments not only because you can save on transaction fees but also for its competitive rates. The platform’s security protocols are excellent as well, and you get the bonus of a dedicated team of experts.
Unfortunately, this payment processing system is available only to U.S.-based merchants and can be disappointing to sellers in other countries.
Nevertheless, the company offers another feature that makes the buying process a fast and effortless experience for your customers. Premium Checkout has a straightforward, linear checkout process with a clean design to encourage customers to move from cart to checkout quickly and easily.
According to the platform, merchants who have opted for the Premium Checkout experience are already seeing many benefits, including:
- Frictionless checkout
- Lesser abandoned carts
- Improved conversion rates
- Increased customer loyalty
Premium Checkout also accepts multiple payment methods, including debit/credit cards, Amazon Pay, PayPal, money orders, checks by mail, electronic checks, cash on delivery, and wire transfers. It is also mobile-friendly and allows for guest checkout, which means your customers don’t need to create an account to purchase your products.
International sellers should also take advantage of the Volusion tools that show prices in shoppers’ native currency.
Sales and marketing support
Volusion offers an extensive suite of tools to support merchants’ sales and marketing activities. These include analytics and performance reports, customizable layouts, shopping feeds, category-specific marketing pages, and promotional banners. You can also utilize social media integration so your accounts are constantly updated with the latest information.
I discovered that with Volusion, you can make your pages, products, and categories more search-engine-friendly by maintaining their information in just one place. For example, the sitemap allows search engines to scan your store and website indexing, thus boosting your ranking on search results and increasing the potential of more people visiting your shop.
One more thing you can do on your Volusion website is to make a custom editable robots.txt file. This will allow search engines to access different layers of your site, strengthening your SEO further.
Volusion also lets you add custom HTML tags and edit global meta tags for improved SEO performance.
Managing abandoned carts
Volusion generates reports on shoppers with abandoned and live carts. You could use this information to send reminders, increasing your chances of converting them into buyers. This data can also be used to analyze what sells, what doesn’t, and why your customers abandon their carts to help you take more strategic decisions.
Coupons and discounts
I created these directly on the platform. They are fully customizable in start time, the duration of the offer, and the dollar amount off. Making the code public is an effective tactic to encourage customers to visit your site to get the code.
Using Volusion’s handy tools, I easily generated new gift certificates. It also allows you to efficiently manage existing ones and accept both at checkout.
This functionality comes via a Zapier integration with Gift-Up, though.
Instead of limiting customers’ view to what’s immediately in front of them, you can display other products they might also need. This is a creative way of increasing items bought in a single purchase. Established e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon use this to their benefit but most e-commerce service providers lack this feature.
It’s also an opportunity to introduce your product line to first-time buyers.
With its extensive customer review management tools, Volusion helps you feature customer testimonials in attractive layouts.
Social media campaigns
I believe one of the most beneficial features of Volusion is the automatic connection of your social accounts to your website, which eliminates a few steps you would otherwise do, like using a third-party app such as HootSuite. You may still need to resort to a third-party app for further help, but Volusion does a better job than its immediate competitors. Also, you can manage social marketing campaigns directly on the admin board.
Volusion’s well-integrated newsletter service gives you a better option to engage with your customers via email. It’s also an excellent tool for building your email list, creating a loyalty program, and increasing subscriptions.
In-house marketing services
For an extra fee, you can hire skilled professionals from Grow With Studio, Volusion’s design and marketing agency to take care of your social media marketing, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, shopping feeds, and SEO. If you don’t have the time to spare or are new to any of these, this feature comes in handy.
Volusion provides best-in-class security to ensure a safe shopping experience. The company is PCI compliant, is listed as a Visa-approved provider, and offers two-factor authentication.
I especially like that SSL encryption is on every page. It ensures your information is safe from cybercriminals and guarded against unauthorized access, with 256-bit encryption to protect credit card data. All data stored on Volusion is encrypted so your customers’ and your company’s sensitive information stay safe from cyberattacks and data breaches — this feature gets a nod from Google as well.
An SSL certificate is a must-have tool for every e-commerce company that receives online payments. Additionally, customers are reassured when they visit a secure website, which increases conversions. And if you plan to use the QuickBooks Web Connector for your accounting, an SSL certificate will be required.
Additionally, Volusion employs an industry-leading Fraud Protection Team which reviews orders 24/7 to identify any suspicious activity. The team works with merchants and customers alike on any necessary changes needed to maintain a safe environment.
Yet some aspects of Volusion’s security could still be improved. For example, while all customer information is encrypted and secure, these must be input on a separate page (versus directly in checkout).
Despite these shortcomings, Volusion is one of the safest e-commerce platforms available.
Below are the available Volusion customer support channels based on the subscription plans.
- Chat for all plans: This is accessible through the Merchant Center dashboard, which means you need to be logged in to connect, but it’s open 24/7 with English- and Spanish-speaking reps.
- Email for all plans: Ideally, you can expect a response to your email within 24 hours and you are assured of 24/7 support. However, it can take longer if your issue is complicated. Volusion’s emails are available in both English and Spanish.
- Phone for select plans: Direct phone calls are reserved for Business and Prime members, and only from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST. Professional plan holders may schedule them through the Merchant Center dashboard.
- Help center: Many questions are answered here, and it’s available all day, every day. This self-service knowledge base offers over 200 articles on a variety of topics from shipping rates and inventory management to managing social media pages. But I did notice some broken links and a few out-of-date resources.
The Volusion platform also includes a library of video tutorials covering all aspects of getting started and using its software.
Compare Volusion Alternatives
Volusion is an excellent choice for building an e-commerce website, but is it the best? I examined its competitors extensively by testing their respective services and researching their features.
This is how Volusion stacks up against the industry’s leading e-commerce platforms:
Frequently Asked Questions About Volusion
Is Volusion safe?
Is Volusion a content management system (CMS)?
How much does Volusion cost?
Can you move data from your old store to Volusion?
Does Volusion offer a free trial?
Are the Volusion templates mobile-friendly?
Can you accept debit cards on the Volusion platform?
Are you allowed to run multiple websites from one account?
What is something interesting about Volusion?
How I Rated Volusion
I test e-commerce providers based on the following factors:
- Value: What do you get for each plan — and does it hit that sweet spot of cost ratio to features?
- Ease of use: Is it simple to use the platform with intuitive tools, familiar interfaces, and supportive tutorials or tours?
- Features: Does the platform offer tools that support your business, including marketing integrations, plug-ins, reporting, and management? How effective are the features?
- Security: Which measures does the platform take to protect your business? Does it offer Payment card industry (PCI) compliance and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates?
- Support and improvements: How well does the platform help when you need it? And will it continue to grow with your needs?
Learn more about our review methodology.