Volusion Review | 10 Key Things You Should Know

Last updated on November 6, 2016
Volusion review

Volusion Review Highlights

Comprehensive e-commerce tools (with almost 80 Apps if you need more tools).

24/7 support (phone, online chat, email) – reachable any time.

No transaction fees at all – so you can keep all your profits.

Volusion review

Rating

Powering
40,000+ Stores

Starting from
$15.00/month

14 Days Trial
Yes

Review by
Last Updated on November 6, 2016

There are plenty of other Volusion reviews available on the internet nowadays, and that’s not surprising at all.

Volusion is one of the larger e-commerce online store builders that allow you to start selling your products without being a technical nerd at all.

After all, who has time to learn all that technical knowledge when you really ought to be focused on growing your business instead!

Volusion, like other capable e-commerce online store builders, allows you to do just this – focus on selling – without getting bogged down with dealing with your servers or worrying about how to connect your shopping cart to your website.

Volusion currently powers over 40,000 online stores and has enabled its users to sell over $17 billion over the past 15 years. So we know these guys are not “one hit wonders” and are here to stay.

volusion review - store and sales

Having said that, in our view, there are pros and cons to Volusion (just like any other online store builders out there), and we’ll discuss those in detail in this review.

If you are curious what other good e-commerce online store builders are available to you, click here to see our comparison chart.

VOLUSION REVIEW – TOP 3 PROS AND CONS

  1. Comprehensive Ecommerce Tools – Volusion gives you a very comprehensive set of tools so you can build a very capable online store. All these tools are included in their monthly plans, and the higher the plan you subscribe to, the more tools you have access to. You can set up hundreds of products, receive 24/7 support, templates, mobile ecommerce, social media tools, automatic tax rates, eBay / Amazon integrations, Deal of the Day, Customer Loyalty Plan, newsletters, etc.
  2. 24/7 Live Support – Volusion makes it easy for you to get help when you need to. They offer 24/7 support via phone, online chat, and email. Their existing support pages are quite comprehensive already, offering both text and video tutorials. But if you need a bit more handholding, you can connect with a live person get help. The last thing you want is for your store to run into problems in the middle of the night and can’t find any help.
  3. No Transaction Fees – While some other online store builders charge you a transaction fee for their lower plans, Volusion does not charge you any fees per transaction so you get to keep all your profits. Note that you will still need to pay a payment processing fee (which is charged by your payment processor), but Volusion doesn’t charge you any fees. However, I’d also like to point out that you do have a bandwidth limit that you cannot exceed, and if you do, you’ll have to purchase more bandwidth. I believe is one of the trade-off’s of no transaction fees (more about this under the “Cons” section).

  1. Bandwidth Limit (unknown charges!) – Although Volusion doesn’t charge you a transaction fee, they do limit you with their bandwidth restrictions. What’s bandwidth? Simplistically, when someone (a person, a search engine bot, just anything visiting your site) visits your website, it takes resources from Volusion to power your website to display content (text, images, etc) to your visitor – that sucks up bandwidth. So the more visitors you have, the more bandwidth they will use up. If they visit more pages, that also uses up your bandwidth as it takes more resources to load your pages. Further, if you have a lot of product pictures, that also uses up your bandwidth a lot faster. If you have a large download file, that uses up bandwidth too! Once you exceed your available bandwidth, you’ll have to start paying Volusion to “buy” more “power” to keep your store up and running. What’s confusing is that they don’t tell you how much you have to pay for additional bandwidth. So I think they can do a better job with being more transparent here. I think this is why other top ecommerce builders (such as Shopify) charge transaction fees so that they give you unlimited bandwidth (they will waive the transaction fee for higher plans). It’s quite unpleasant to get a bill from Volusion about bandwidth overages, and you can’t quite verify how they came up with the number (it’s like exceeding your mobile data plan – it’s almost impossible to verify their calculations). At least with Shopify, you can actually compute the transaction fee (the fee % x your sales). If you expect to get a lot of traffic, watch out for bandwidth overage charges!
  2. SSL Certificate – With other online store providers (such as Shopify, Bigcommerce), your monthly fee includes the use of an SSL certificate. SSL certificate protects the privacy of your customers when they are inserting confidential information when they are in your checkout cart. If the checkout page is not protected, online shoppers are savvy enough to leave. With Volusion, you have to pay for your own SSL certificate which can range from $90 to $1,000 per year. The basic certificate is $90, and if you want more powerful protect, it starts to get pricey. I’m not sure why they don’t include this in their monthly plans, but it’s definitely something Shopify or Bigcommerce is better at.
  3. No Blogging Function – Content marketing nowadays is absolutely crucial if you want to grow your online store. This means that you have to consistently provide valuable content to your target market in order to build trust and interest with your company. If your prospective customers don’t find you helpful, and therefore the trust is not there, it’s going to be hard sell. One of the best ways to provide valuable content and build trust is through a blog. You can write interesting articles to gain interest from your prospective customers, and if they find it helpful, they’ll start to trust you (much easier to sell to people who know & like you). Volusion does not have a built in blogging function which is a big drawback if you want to grow an audience. You have to build your blog elsewhere (as in a separate website), then connect it to your Volusion store. So your blog and your store will not be integrated.

VOLUSION IS IDEAL FOR….

Volusion is ideal for you if you want to build an ecommerce website, but you don’t have time or the technical skills to mess around with codes and integration of tools.

They provide all the tools to help you add products, market your business, charge your customers, manage your inventory, shipping etc. You don’t have to know any codes to do all this.

Volusion caters to a broad range of industries, such as apparel, beauty & health, food & beverages, jewelry, automotive, electronics, etc. Pretty much anything you can sell online.

volusion reviews - ideal for industries

They have dedicated templates that you can use across different industries, so you can choose from them which will help you get your store launched without worrying as much about design (more on templates below).

EASE OF USE

As mentioned, Volusion enables non-techie people to be able to build a very capable online store. So if you’re deathly afraid of programming or anything technological related, or if you’re just way too busy growing your business (and living your life), then Volusion can be helpful here.

Inserting products, managing your inventory, uploading images, etc, all without having to touch any codes.

Volusion review - ease of use

However, if ease of us is really important to you, you should take a look at Shopify which in our view is the best online store builder available today.

Nevertheless, Volusion is a good store builder as they do all the “heavy lifting” work for you with their software, so you can focus on other parts of your business.

Try Volusion (Free 14-Day Trial)

TEMPLATE DESIGN OPTIONS

Volusion currently has 359 ecommerce focused templates for you to select from. So you have a very broad range of choices that can be helpful no matter which industry you are in.

Some of their templates are also mobile responsive so it helps you optimize your customers’ shopping experiences across desktop, tablet and smartphones.

Volusion review - themes

Some of the templates are free, and some are paid. For paid templates, they can range from $50 per template all the way up to $895 per template, which is quite expensive!

They currently have 82 free templates and 277 paid templates. Of the paid templates, 79 of them are $895 per template. They also only have 23 mobile responsive templates.

In our view, premium templates from Shopify are a lot more attractive looking and they range from free to $180 per template, which is much more reasonable than Volusion’s template offerings.

Also, Shopify has about 160 mobile responsive store designs (versus only 23 for Volusion) for optimal shopping experiences across different viewing devices, which is a lot more than Volusion.

So while Volusion does give you hundreds of design options, if design and mobile friendly shopping experiences are priorities for you, then Shopify will give you a better experience.

VOLUSION APP STORE – GIVE YOUR STORE A FEATURES BOOST

Volusion has an App Marketplace that gives you an additional 80 apps to bolt on to your store.

Most of these tools are not built by Volusion, but are built by other software tools provider, so you can think of these tools as extensions to what is already provided by Volusion. Also, because the Apps are built by other dedicated tools provider, they are specialized tools to help you expand your store.

These Apps range from integrating your accounting software, email / newsletter software, customer support tools, marketing, shipping, fulfillment, inventory management, etc.

Volusion Review - app store

So while Volusion does provide some of these tools, if you want to get even more specialized tools, these Apps can be helpful.

Some of the Apps are free, and some are paid, depending on the Apps’ provider.

These Apps are also built to integrate seamlessly to your Volusion store, so you don’t have to worry about the technicalities of adding them to your store.

If you want even more Apps options, check out Shopify and Bigcommerce’s app market. In fact, Shopify has over 1,000 Apps to you to choose from.

Try Volusion (Free 14-Day Trial)

MOBILE E-COMMERCE

Shopping with mobile devices is a growing trend. People are embracing it and so should you!

As such, it’s important to ensure that your online store is mobile friendly. The easiest way is to get a mobile responsive template so that you know your visitors’ experiences are optimized.

However, as mentioned above, Volusion only has a small selection of mobile responsive templates (Shopify has a lot more options). For the other non-responsive templates, you have to create a separate mobile-friendly version of your store, which can be time consuming. That’s why getting a responsive template can save you time here.

Volusion also allows you to manage your store with their Mobile App. It’s free for you to download and you can get sales data, process orders, ship products with this app. This allows you to be able to run your store even when you are not in front of your computer.

volusion Review - mobile app

SUPPORT / TUTORIALS / COMMUNITY RESOURCES

Volusion Customer Support

Volusion offers 24/7 customer support for you. You can contact them through the phone, live chat on their website or through email.

Volusion reviews - support

Volusion Tutorial Resources

Volusion also has a comprehensive knowledgebase, which comes with video tutorials whenever you have questions. Screenshots in their help articles also helps guide you along the way.

If you can’t find a solution for your problem, you can always reach out to a live person through the phone, live chat or email.

Volusion Community Forum

Volusion doesn’t have a forum where you can ask questions and interact with other users. I think it’s a bit of a drawback as a forum is a good place for other users (business owners) to exchange business questions and suggestions.

Having said that, you can only rely on Volusion’s support staff to answer questions directly related to Volusion. If you have any other questions about online businesses, there isn’t a forum to facilitate this.

Try Volusion (Free 14-Day Trial)

HOSTING, SECURITY AND BACKUP OPTIONS

As mentioned in the “Pros and Cons” section above, Volusion limits your bandwidth usage and this can be problematic if you have a lot of visitors, a lot of webpages and if you use a lot of high quality product graphics which uses bandwidth.

If you exceed your bandwidth allowance, you will have to purchase more bandwidth to ensure your store remains up and running.

The problem is two-fold:

1) Volusion doesn’t publicly disclose how much they charge for extra bandwidth

2) It’s almost impossible for you to precisely calculate how much bandwidth you used since there are many factors impacting bandwidth usage

So in my view, transparency is a bit “foggy”.

I do prefer Shopify’s model in that they charge you a transaction fee for each sale you make (this transaction fee is waived for higher plans), but at least you know and can re-calculate how much this transaction fee is (whereas you can’t with Volusion – you just have to pay the bill).

With Shopify, you can have 10 million visitors and your store won’t be interrupted at all.

Volusion review - CDN hosting

Just like other online store builders, Volusion manages the entire hosting process for you so you don’t have to worry about knowing how to do this yourself.

They’ll ensure that all the servers are up to date, and that your store is up and running at all times. This way, you can focus on growing your business instead of the tedious technical work to keep your store online.

As for security, as mentioned in the “Pros and Cons” section above, you have to purchase your own SSL certificate either through Volusion or other vendors. This is an additional $90 fee per year (versus other ecommerce builders such as Shopify and Bigcommerce, who include the SSL certificate as part of the plans so you don’t have to pay extra).

PRICING – IS IT WORTH THE INVESTMENT?

Volusion offers you 4 monthly plans: Mini / Plus / Pro / Premium.

As you move up on the plans, you get more ecommerce tools to build out your store. Also, you get to upload more products, and you get more bandwidth to power your store.

volusion review - pricing plans

If you sign up to their annual plan, you get 10% off the monthly fees.

Volusion offers you a 14 trial period, so you can test out their platform for free before committing to a paid monthly plan.

Once you get to the Pro or Premium plan, you get some really advanced tools such as eBay or Amazon integration. So if you sell products on either one of those platforms, you can manage your eBay or Amazon product listings all through Volusion. This will save you a lot of time instead of managing them separately.

You also get “Deal of the Day” and “Customer Loyalty Plan” with the Pro and Premium plans. Those are quite helpful in driving more sales as a lot of consumers like daily deals (who doesn’t like a good deal?) and the loyalty plan can promote brand loyalty.

So just with those 2 features, if used properly, you can potentially earn more money in return than the incremental monthly fee you pay Volusion to upgrade your plans.

VOLUSION REVIEW – CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION

Based on this Volusion review, I think Volusion is a pretty good ecommerce store builder. They give you all the tools you need to build a functional store, without you having to worry about programming or any complicated technical tasks.

They have a lot of design templates for a broad range of industries, and an App Market so if you can extend your store’s functionality.

Their 24/7 live support is also very helpful when you have questions in the middle of the night (phone, live chat and email support are all included).

However, the biggest drawback in my view is the bandwidth limitations and that you never know how much more you have to pay if you exceed your bandwidth limits. That to me is quite worrying. Other online store builders such as Shopify give you unlimited bandwidth so you don’t have to worry about paying anything extra.

Also, the fact that you need to purchase your own SSL Certificate to ensure that your customers’ confidential information is protected is a bit odd. Other online store builders include this as part of their monthly plans. I think Volusion should wrap this into their plans as well instead of asking you to buy it separately.

Lastly, they really need to consider integrating a blogging function into their platform. It’s quite standard nowadays for ecommerce stores to have a blog where they can promote their services, brand, products, and also provide valuable industry related knowledge to build trust.

All in all, while Volusion isn’t perfect, but who is? They’re a decent e-commerce store builder and hopefully they’ll address some of these points to make them even better. In my view, Shopify is still a much better online store platform at the moment.

Try Volusion (Free 14-Day Trial)

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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17 Responses to Volusion Review | 10 Key Things You Should Know

  1. Ayaz A. September 26, 2016 at 1:38 AM #

    I am a professional web developer. I have been using almost all ecommerce platforms. According to my opinion Volusion is the worst nightmare for developers and site admins. It is very very restrictive.

    There are no good tools for bulk data migration if you want to switch to Volusion. It CSV spreadsheets tool for import and export data is full of problems. It does not read product pictures from URLs. Rather you have to upload them via FTP. And the pictures need to be renamed and sized in strict rules. So if you have 500 products and each having 4 pictures. Get ready to rename and resize 200 pictures before uploading them.

    I you want to assign your product categories you cannot do this via spreadsheets because it consolidates all category numbers in a single column and excel distorts those numbers because of being very long integer. You cannot assign categories in bulk.

    If your products has variations god help you. It has so complicated procedure to import variations that I ended up creating them manually putting the idea of CSV aside.

    I would never recommend any client to use this platform.

    Also I would not suggest any other platforms here because my sincere advise would look like I am marketing for some other companies putting down Volusion.

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong September 26, 2016 at 1:23 PM #

      Hi Ayaz,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Have you considered Shopify or BigCommerce?

      What are your experiences with them?

      Jeremy

  2. ktb April 27, 2016 at 6:30 PM #

    SCAM ALERT – Stay away from this bait-and-switch company that’s riddled with hidden fees! Basically everything on the Volusion website and everything the sales people tell you is inaccurate and intentionally misleading. Absolutely do NOT sign up for their Merchant Account – it looks like a feature of their monthly plan but it isn’t! You’re actually signing up for a 3-YEAR contract that’s at least $33.50 per month, with a $99 cancellation fee! The term is not in the contract anywhere, it’s on a separate page on their website that you will never find until you get the contract. Who reads contract terms, especially when they link to additional terms? No one, and that’s what they’re counting on. Don’t pay them for a website that looks like garbage to start with, and definitely stay away from any contracts with them. They will intentionally mislead you – even if you ask questions about their services, the sales reps know how to avoid giving direct answers.

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong April 28, 2016 at 7:25 PM #

      Sorry to hear about your experiences, KTB. If you’re interested in testing out other ecommerce builders, here is a comparison chart that you might find helpful.

      Good luck!

      Jeremy

    • Clint May 3, 2016 at 1:58 PM #

      Oh it is bogus man have been hitting me over the past month $500 2 $600 and hidden fees joke and then they use a third-party for merchant processing that you don’t even use when you any launch the site yet joke salute joke

  3. CHris March 15, 2016 at 10:28 AM #

    We’ve been a long time customer of Volusion. As many have stated, their support is slow and more often then not, rude and unhelpful. I just got off the phone with “Josh” from Priority Support. We had an urgent issue and the ticket was a day old with no response. He told me to expect two more and is there anything else I can help you with?

    THAT is the Volusion I know. It’s so frustrating, and we pay 4 digits/month for insults and a stale platform that hasn’t changed in 5 years.

    We’ve been playing with Shopify – simply amazing in comparison. We have thousands of products so it’s taking some time to move.

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong March 15, 2016 at 8:09 PM #

      Hey Chris,

      Thanks for sharing your candid feedback with us and our readers. Sorry to hear about your experiences with Volusion and 5 years with the same platform is quite a long time.

      I completely understand that switching ecommerce platforms is a huge undertaking, so I do wish you all the luck with that! It sounds like you’re switching over to Shopify – they’re great!

      Take a look at our discussion about Shopify here (just in case you haven’t yet).

      Jeremy

  4. Suzanne F February 24, 2016 at 11:47 AM #

    I currently use Volusion, but cannot recommend it at all. They are over priced and do not stand behind their products.
    I have constant issues and the general response time, even though I pay for “Priority Support”, is two days. Then the response is a half way answer to what I needed, requiring me to wait another two days for a second response.
    Too many features do not work properly on the mobile sites, making them almost worthless.

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong February 25, 2016 at 7:48 PM #

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, and sorry to hear about the issues you’ve encountered.

      Have you considered other top tier online store builders, such as Shopify or Bigcommerce? Take a look at this ecommerce builder comparison chart here if you’re interested.

      Jeremy

  5. JANE November 12, 2015 at 2:39 PM #

    The WORST platform ever used!!! paid $$$$$ get nothing updated. DIFFICULT TO close the account. Plus they charge $$$ FEEs to close it!! their templates are OLD OLD OLD!!! Their busienss model is OLD OLD OLD

    We left!! and was told we need to pay for early termination-which means, they blame on the clients for leaving early when they can’t resolve their own issues!!

    this company is going downhill!!!

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong November 15, 2015 at 6:27 PM #

      Hi Jane,

      Sorry to hear about your experiences with Volusion.

      Take a look at this comparison chart here, where we’ve outlined and scored different ecommerce platforms against one another. I’d actually suggest taking a closer look (and perhaps free trials) at Shopify or Bigcommerce.

      Good luck!

      Jeremy

  6. Becky Eveland October 2, 2015 at 10:48 AM #

    Thank you Jeremy, for your help in choosing an ecommerce provider. I thought I had settled on Volusion…..then realized that the Canadian Dollar is so poor, that my monthly costs are bad and undependable, So I began to look for a Canadian company that would do their monthly billing in Canadian $ and read that Shopify was Canadian….so I decided to switch. Their first billing of 79$ US was 123 CDN WOW thats over 50% exchange+fees. I called and yes their owner is canadian bbut all billing is ddone in US.
    So now I am searching for a Canadian Ecommerce company that bills in CDN$
    DO YOU KNOW OF ONE? THANKS VERY MUCH AND BEST REGARDS,

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong October 2, 2015 at 3:23 PM #

      Hi Becky,

      The conversion / exchange rate is determined by your credit card provider, and not by Shopify. To Shopfiy, they are only collecting US$79 per month (according to the plan you picked). So for some odd reason, your credit card provider is converting that to C$123. You might want to inquire as to why that is the case?

      I’m not aware of other comparable ecommerce platform in Canada that charges in C$. Sorry about that!

      Jeremy

  7. Cindy September 24, 2015 at 9:35 AM #

    That’s too bad they don’t offer a blogging function. I just spent the morning doing a trial of both Shopify and Volusion. I like Volusion better, it feels more intuitive. I like how I can toggle between the back end and storefront easily. If I have a question I just pull up the chat screen to ask. I can’t do that in Shopify. If I want to add a category, easy in Volusion. In Shopify – is that what they call a collection? I’m not sure.

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong September 25, 2015 at 6:26 PM #

      Hey Cindy,

      Shopify actually has live chat support as well. Just go to their support page and you can either live chat with them, or phone or email them.

      And you can build a blog with their platform (which is almost a “must have” when it comes to ecommerce websites).

      Jeremy

      • Ron November 22, 2015 at 12:19 AM #

        We started a business this year that caters to bicyclists but our experience with Volusion was a complete disaster. We chose Volusion, who convinced us to upgrade to the premium service since we would probably need the most access to support as we got started. Some of the support people were great. Some were an utter waste of time because they made me wait for hours on the phone while they read through the self-help FAQs on their own website to learn how to answer my questions. The most important problem had to do with credit card purchases. No credit card transactions actually went through for the products we shipped all Summer! Paypal transactions were going through and we didn’t identify that the missing funds were all specific to credit cards until it was too late. Turns out, there is one more mouse click on a tiny link that says “apply,” which you must click to get paid. The web page where we process orders allows us to complete these orders and print shipping labels, with no indication that we will never be paid. Not even a little explanatory “what’s this” link next to the all important link we needed to click. Seems a little lax, considering that the whole website, our whole business and everything we do with Volusion revolves around that mouse click.

        At one point, I got curious about that link and started searching their help resources. I found volumes of info, including some cool videos, but nothing that specifically explained that link.

        We only get a 7-day window of authorization to complete those transactions so we can’t get paid. Volusion seems helpless to do anything about it. They also don’t seem to understand there is any issue with the order processing page.

        Now they are advising us to contact all of our customers around the world and ask them if they are willing to let us charge them again. So far, not one of our customers has responded to our request to run their credit cards a second time. Big surprise! Would you? It makes us sound like we’re running a scam. Apparently we won’t be paid for over 50% of our sales. It’s probably going to be our one and only year in business. We wasted lots of 18hr days and investment of everything we own.

        • Jeremy Wong
          Jeremy Wong November 23, 2015 at 1:20 PM #

          Wow… I’m REALLY sorry to hear about that, Ron. That’s a complete disaster!

          I’ve always tried to steer people to consider other options, together with Volusion. Other ecommerce builders such as Shopify and Bigcommerce are excellent platforms.

          Jeremy