Table of Contents
- 1 Volusion: Best for advanced performance
- 2 Introduction: What is Volusion eCommerce?
- 3 Overview: Our Volusion review could be the solution to your eCommerce needs.
- 4 Ease of use:
- 5 Features and Flexibility:
- 6 eCommerce tools:
- 7 SEO and Mobility:
- 8 Support and Resources:
- 9 Volusion Pricing:
- 10 Volusion review; Conclusion and Recommendation:
Volusion: Best for advanced performance
- Best hosted solution fit for those leaning towards data rather than design
- Analytical tools: Excellent analytical tools allow you to manage and scale your online business with ease
- Ecommerce features: Volusion is built for stores that have an online as well as offline presence and the Volusion ecommerce features really are one of their strengths
- Support: Solid investment in support means you have access via phone, chat, email, and a ticketing system
- No Digital Product Sales: You cannot sell digital products using the Volusion store platform
- Built-in Volusion Blog: There is no built-in blog available on this platform which is a real shame for the many who rely on one to increase visibility. Blog integration is possible but is an added demand
- SSL Certificates: Security demands that SSL certification should be in place. This is securely offered by Volusion, but unlike competitors this comes at an extra cost
Introduction: What is Volusion eCommerce?
Welcome to our Volusion review. It is a long-standing member of the hosted eCommerce platform arena and was first introduced in 1999. Where it differs is in its ease of use and set-up, features offered and analytical abilities. We certainly will not forget to mention pricing either!
Overview: Our Volusion review could be the solution to your eCommerce needs.
There are many online retailers who prefer a hosted solution to meet their selling needs and opting for a Volusion website solution certainly offers this.
Using the power of a Volusion store will give you a full toolkit that majors on the operational side of any ecommerce business you run. Our Volusion review certainly sees it as a platform that leans towards operational features such as: Inventory and Customer management rather than marketing led features.
Ease of use:
In our Volusion review we found a relatively easy to use interface but is not the easiest platform on which to set-up your online store presence.
Navigation is extremely straightforward and there are some very good support videos available on the dashboard. The most important steps needed to build your Volusion store and Volusion blog are clearly highlighted in the main area.
But getting to grips with the abundance of choices and the fact that your editing is split between 2 sections can take some getting used to. You have the ‘back-end’ that you as the administrator have visibility of, and the ‘front-end’ – i.e. your storefront and face to customers. To navigate between these two sections means constant movement between them without any shortcuts.
Those Volusion store owners who persevere will eventually get to grips with Volusion use, but it will take time and patience due to the overly complicated nature of use. In conclusion this makes the Volusion store attractive to the more experienced online store retailers.
Features and Flexibility:
The popularity of using the Volusion ecommerce platform for your online store has a lot to do with the number of features that are directly built into the dashboard.
Our Volusion review will touch on just a few of these shortly, but for online businesses the wealth of built-in features means there is no need to be constantly purchasing paid for Volusion apps.
Out of the box:
The comprehensive ‘out of the box’ features that come with a Volusion store offer everything required to get your store up and running. Here are just a few highlights that can be taken advantage of immediately:
- Establishment of a rewards program
- Affiliates goods and services
- Purchase order tracking
- Inventory management
- Advance shipping options
- Currency tools that enable you to sell across the globe
- Customer review options
- Ease of integration with sites such as Facebook
- Live & Abandoned cart features *Manual emails need to be sent as follow up. This is not automated
Themes and Templates:
There are 11 free themes and 34 premium ‘paid-for’ themes priced at the same rate: $180 – So, for budgeting purposes, those businesses looking at purchasing a premium theme will know exactly what they are paying regardless of which premium theme they choose.
3rdparty Apps market:
Volusion store want you to customise and expand your store through the use of 3rdparty apps. Through their ‘Zapier’ feature the company supports in excess of 1,000 Volusion apps. These cover a very broad spectrum meaning you should find exactly what you are looking for.
The Volusion eCommerce platform is fully hosted this means that Volusion website support look after all of your hosting needs. They offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, but it is important to note that you must have and pay for an annual SSL certificate. This is obviously good for security reasons but other similar platforms do include it in the annual subscription package.
Again, as the service is fully hosted, backups are the responsibility of Volusion website support tech teams. This relieves the task of taking your own backups.
Anyone who already has an online shop and is looking to migrate to a Volusion store can be assured of assistance from the Volusion technical team.
The Volusion ecommerce tools available for use offer a strong suite of functions.
Inventory & Analytical tools:
These are the real strength of Volusion and outmatch others in the hosted online selling sector
Rich content editor:
Easy to use, intuitive, allows changes to be made on the fly. There is no backend coding required
A variety of navigational styles are designed to help users browse with ease
Advanced search tools:
These allow visitors to quickly and easily locate items
The option to customise your product pages by adding such things as sub-categories and uploading images is yours. This recently introduced feature allows you to fully merchandise products through multiple photos, videos and specific item details
Volusion store owners can easily highlight products and current discounts directly onto their home page
Use of the CSS editor function allows Volusion website owners to take their site design to another level
Ease of order process. A particular positive is the fact that this feature allows Volusion website owners to process orders by telephone
Gateway & Payment processing:
A wide choice of payment methods. Volusion eCommerce offers payment via credit cards, cash, wire payment, Amazon Pay, PayPal, Stripe, e-cheques and money orders
A PCI-certified checkout process offers peace of mind for you and your customers
When it comes to dispatching goods you have functions that allow shipping types to be chosen, signature required, special discount offers, flat shipping options and the ability to set overall shipping rates
Customised product display:
Provide your visitors with reviews, social sharing options, availability notifications and recent history feature.
SEO and Mobility:
As mentioned in the ‘cons’ of our Volusion review article there is a mobile version of your site for those who access via mobile devices but this is actually a built-in site, not a responsive version of your website Dependent upon device, visitors get a difference experience when accessing your mobile presence. Volusion are working on this to come into line with a responsive version of online stores.
As for SEO functions the Volusion ecommerce platform is ASP-based. This relates to the programming framework the Volusion website software is built on.
The reason for mentioning this is that anyone with SEO experience knows that ASP is generally very ‘website’ unfriendly for SEO. However, this is not the case for a Volusion website and they have worked hard to mitigate SEO issues. Yes, there are certain SEO risks which need avoiding – particularly duplicate homepages and HTTPS redirects not properly implemented, but as an overall experience this platform offers a fairly robust SEO feature-set including such things as easy meta implementation thanks to built-in fields, content boxes on category pages, canonicalization options and XML sitemaps making it technically solid ‘out of the box’.
An Important SEO consideration:
An important point to consider here is for those with little SEO experience or those who prefer to focus on what they do best; promoting their business. If you fall into this category then you should seek assistance from a professional SEO Digital Marketing company. The money invested in such a move will be more than made up for in the exposure benefits your brand receives and the time saved trying to optimise your SEO needs. Also it is important to consider SEO is more than what any website builder can fully provide such as off page link building.
Support and Resources:
The Volusion website support structure has recently upped its game. Customer service is available via phone, chat, email and an effective ticketing system.
Levels vary dependent upon the pricing plan you take. A fair bit of investment has gone into expanding their knowledge base, chat software and international support.
Let’s get the free trial offer understood first before getting into the 3 mainstream flavours of Volusion pricing.
There is a free 14-day trial which this Volusion review strongly recommends you take advantage of. It will allow you to thoroughly test the platform and establish whether it is right for your brand and business style.
In terms of paid subscriptions. Volusion pricing has been recently modified. Their pricing plans (including Version 2) of the platform now offer 3 easy to understand plans.
We will explain each in brief followed by a link to the Volusion pricing page that gives extensive detail of what you get from each pricing tier:
This is your starter plan and is designed for smaller retailers and caps sales at $50,000 per year. There is also a ceiling on product upload of only 1 staff account and 100 products.
Although this is the entry level plan it will suit those just entering the ecommerce selling world because the 100-product allowance should be more than sufficient. It is also a good fit for those who sell a small number of unique products.
This is the only one of the 3 subscription plans mentioned where you do not get telephone support.
The second pricing plan is their Professional Plan and is targeted at Volusion website store owners selling up to $100,000 of goods per annum. Again, no transaction fees and unlimited bandwidth. The big jump is in the number of products that can be listed; up to a maximum of 5,000. Another addition is the ability to establish up to 5 staff accounts and thus allowing for delegation of responsibility and specific access levels.
This plan is seen as a good fit for small businesses who are already seeing online sales, and who want to up their game through the use of advanced features such as the importation of product data and the product ratings function.
The third will be the high-end pricing plan with a cap for online sales with the business plan at $500,000 per annum (excluding phone orders). Once again, (and as you should expect!) no transaction fees and unlimited bandwidth.
This plan will suit mid to large size enterprises that have a healthy marketing budget in place. It will also afford those companies with design expertise an advantage due to the API access available. Such access makes it possible to change those pre-designed Volusion website templates for ones you specifically want.
This is available for the largest of online eCommerce stores with Sales need to be in excess of $500,000 per annum. Monthly/Annual Volusion pricing subscription is dependent upon your needs and volume and those interested in this plan should discuss directly with the Volusion sales team.
Our link to the Volusion pricing page allows for;
- 10% discount available for annual subscription (we have reflected this in above pricing)
- No transaction fees across any plan
- Credit card fees set at 2.15%
- Free 14-day trial
Here is the link to the official Volusion pricing page which gives full ‘tick-box’ options of what you get for your money.
Volusion review; Conclusion and Recommendation:
So, our Volusion eCommerce conclusion;
Deciding upon whether the Volusion ecommerce platform is a good fit for your specific business style and operation will depend on how well our Volusion review comments fit into your style of operation and business plans.
What is it best used for?
One thing is for sure, those looking for an all-inclusive ecommerce platform offering everything required to begin, run and grow their online shop at a pace which suits should find the Volusion website functionality a tidy fit.
Volusion eCommerce is in the same category as other big hitters in this arena. The Volusion store attractive to the more experienced online store retailers and it excels with features offered and analytical abilities. Pricing compared to its direct full eCommerce rivals also shows more value.
Volusion Store Alternatives:
While there will undoubtedly be interest in a Volusion store, those who are still unsure as to whether this will fit their immediate and future needs, it is recommended that you also review other eCommerce platforms to achieve a comprehensive understanding of what is out there.
We owe it to the readers of our Volusion review; we must point out that there are other eCommerce platform Solutions available depending on your needs. Comparing to a Volusion Store, if looking for smaller to take a look at Shopify. Then if looking for a bigger store build, to take a comparison look at BigCommerce. These can be considered stronger than Volusion eCommerce when looking for a more flexible e-commerce platform from which to sell an so should be checked with their free trials too.
It must be remembered that for those looking to get a ‘feel’ for the Volusion eCommerce platform and the power it offers should take full advantage of the company’s free 14-day trial.
That’s all for now:
Thanks for reading our Volusion review and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of review and comparison articles. You may be interested in our related website builder, eCommerce platform review and comparison articles below;
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