Bottom line: Volusion is among the oldest Software as a service (SaaS)-based e-commerce solutions and stands out for its incredible selling features. One thing I like the most about this cloud-based platform is its effortless inventory and order management.
Who should choose Volusion? Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) planning to expand online, nationally, or globally.
What we like about 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).
What fell flat
- 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.
If Volusion doesn’t hit the mark for you, check out our featured ecommerce platforms below:
Volusion’s Editorial Review
Volusion may not be the most affordable on the market, but it comes with an extensive e-commerce suite that lets small and large businesses operate on one platform. Its enhancement tools and robust support also allow you to grow your store features when necessary.
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.
“Volusion is a powerful e-commerce platform that focuses on providing nuanced backend features to help manage inventory, orders, and marketing. However, it’s a pricey solution, and there may be better alternatives to Volusion, such as BigCommerce for customization, Shift4Shop for affordability, or Wix for ease of use.”Amy Nichol Smith, Digital.com e-commerce and marketing expert
Plans and Pricing
Pricing isn’t Volusion’s strong suit. Its cheapest plan starts at $35 per month whereas BigCommerce is priced at $29.95 and Shopify at $29. Both have better features, usability, and scalability, but Volusion offers a 14-day free trial period and you do not need to add any payment details.
Compare Volusion plan types:
Personal $35 per month
- Good for: New users
Professional $79 per month
- Good for: Small businesses, international sellers
Business $299 per month
- Good for: Small businesses, international sellers, major brands
Prime based on gross merchandise volume
- Good for: Small businesses, international sellers, major brands, businesses with $400,000+ GMV annually
All plans come with an online store, unlimited bandwidth, free themes, site editing tools, drag-and-drop tools, and social media integrations.
Volusion is a shopping cart software specially developed for SMBs. A one-stop-shop e-commerce solution, it comes with the following:
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.
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)
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.
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.
- Create listings
- Manage inventory levels
- Adjust pricing based on customer demand
- Set shipping rates by distance
- Set up warehouse locations
- Stock items
And I viewed stats like:
- Product status
- Stock reorder quantity levels
- Quantity verification
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.
Volusion has some of the lowest charges in the industry. The fees are:
- Personal Plan merchants: 1.25%
- Professional Plan merchants: 0.65%
- Business Plan merchants: 0.35%
- Prime plan merchants: Custom
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:
- Debit/credit cards
- Amazon Pay
- Money orders
- Checks by mail
- Electronic checks
- Cash on delivery
- 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.
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.
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.
Volusion offers multiple channels to contact its support team, but your access depends on the plan you are on.
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.
While Volusion is among the good platforms out there, it does lose some points for not being consistent with its improvements. The updates over the past few years are few and far between.
- Simplify the purchase process with Volusion Premium Checkout, released sometime in February 2021: Volusion upgraded its checkout process with Premium Checkout, which boosts conversions and reduces abandoned carts by removing friction at checkout. The process is made seamless through a simple yet professional mobile-friendly interface, multiple payment options, no account creation required, and payment integrations. Customers can also purchase gift cards, apply promo codes, and earn rewards points.
- Effective March 2022, Volusion sellers can now add address verification to checkout: In partnership with Smarty, Volusion enables its sellers to add international address verification during their customers’ checkout process. This helps you avoid entering incorrect addresses when verifying accounts and placing orders. It also ensures packages will be delivered to the right doorstep and on time.
- PayPal Express is now integrated into the Volusion payment methods: In addition to credit cards, debit cards, and country-specific payment methods, Volusion sellers can also offer PayPal Express to their customers at no extra cost. They simply need to activate it in their account. The globally trusted and preferred brand will help boost conversions, especially with its Pay Later and PayPal Credit features.
- Automated tax compliance with Avara Integration, effective July 2021: All Volusion merchants can add Avalara’s AvaTax app to their storefronts to ensure their businesses are compliant with both local and federal tax laws.
- A modernized platform Via Volusion V2/VOLT from 2021: The latest version of Volusion focuses on helping SMBs through a significantly improved Element, the platform’s proprietary technology, to facilitate faster business growth.
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:
Pricing + Basic Plan Features
Frequently Asked Questions About Volusion
Is Volusion safe?
The company has taken every necessary step to ensure the safety of its clients and their customers. If you are a business owner, you can be assured that your e-commerce store comes with SSL certificates, no matter your plan. Volusion is also included in VISA’s list of PCI-certified companies, which guarantees security in credit card transactions.
Is Volusion a content management system (CMS)?
Volusion is a CMS, but that’s only one of its functions. It’s a SaaS product because you pay a regular fee to use the platform. Aside from offering a CMS, Volusion also provides hosting of your e-commerce store, digital payment processing, online inventory management, and technical support.
How much does Volusion cost?
The lowest-priced Volusion plan (Personal) is $35 per month, followed by $79 per month (Professional), and $299 (Business). If you have a large business with more than $400,000 in annual revenue, it would be wise to try the Prime plan. Its monthly subscription is based on your GMV, or the total amount of payments your store processes using Volusion’s payment methods.
Can you move data from your old store to Volusion?
You can, but only if your current service provider can export it in .CSV file, the only format Volusion accepts. Note you might need to do that in batches unless you purchase a Business Plan where you can transfer large quantities in one go.
Does Volusion offer a free trial?
Yes — it offers a 14-day free trial without asking for your credit card information.
Are the Volusion templates mobile-friendly?
Volusion’s designs are responsive to any digital device, be it a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Regardless of the template you choose, it will automatically adjust to a device’s screen.
Can you accept debit cards on the Volusion platform?
Absolutely. Though Volusion’s payment processing is mainly for credit cards, it also accepts debit cards.
Are you allowed to run multiple websites from one account?
Unfortunately, you can’t, and that regulation is beyond Volusion’s control. Credit card processing is government-regulated, and one of the rules is to limit one website per merchant.
What is something interesting about Volusion?
President Obama used Volusion as the platform for his website during the presidential campaign.
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.