Volusion vs Shopify | Key Differences You Should Know

volusion vs shopifyIf you’ve been looking to build yourself an online store, chances are you’ll have come across both Shopify and Volusion.

Both Shopify and Volusion are dedicated ecommerce platforms, but there are still some major differences between them. For one, Shopify has much more advanced sales features than Volusion, whereas Volusion’s strengths lie in its analytics and data tools. Volusion is much harder to get to grips with than Shopify.

When it comes to choosing between these two ecommerce website builders, there’s a lot to consider: who provides the best tools? Who offers the deepest customer insights? And who charges the least?

Well, you’ll be glad to hear we’ve saved you the headache, comparing the two builders in all the key areas.

Shopify is the strongest ecommerce website builder on the market. It has the most comprehensive set of sales tools, features, and third party integrations, and really helps your business flourish.

While Shopify is the best overall, it is, of course, not for everyone. It may not have the right inbuilt features for your store, or it may not suit your taste or budget. Whatever the reason, there are other options.

Volusion is another ecommerce-specific website builder, providing lots of payment options while focusing on analytics and customer insights. Yes, these two features are great, but the builder lacks in other departments.

We’ve researched and tested each builder, and even got people just like you to test them too. So without further ado, let’s see the results of Shopify vs Volusion…

You can also see our full reviews on Shopify and Volusion here.
Best all-around ecommerce platform

4.7 out of 5

Top Choice
Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3.5 out of 5 stars

3.9 out of 5

Ease Of Use

3 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

2.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4 out of 5 stars

Shopify or Volusion: Head to head

We test and analyze every platform we review, and that’s how we calculate each star rating. The scores below are based purely on our in-depth research.

Scores Out Of Five Shopify Volusion
Ease of Use 4 2.8
Design 3.7 3.4
Sales Features 4.7 4.4
Customer Support 4.1 3.8
Pricing 4.5 3.7

As you can see, Shopify consistently scored higher than Volusion. From our research, it’s clear that Shopify is much easier to use than Volusion, scoring 4 out of 5 stars. However, Shopify and Volusion scored very similarly for both design and sales features, with Shopify just staying ahead of Volusion.

Shopify and Volusion: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Shopify
  • Best all-round ecommerce builder
  • Large app store
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Monthly costs add up with Apps
  • Transaction fees for other payment gateways
  • Need to reformat site when switching themes
Volusion
  • Lots of payment gateways
  • Great analytics tools
  • Mobile app
  • Cannot sell digital products
  • No blog feature
  • Lacks a ‘niche’

Which is easiest to use?

So each builder has some useful selling tools. But are they easy to use? Well, with the help of our research and user testing, we have the answers.

In short, Shopify is much easier to use than Volusion. Why is that? It really comes down to simplicity. Shopify does the basics well, with simple editing tools and an easily visible ‘undo’ button.

When talking about Shopify’s ease of use, one user commented:

I was pleasantly surprised. I can definitely see why people opt for this builder.

On the other hand, Volusion tries to do too much. The editing interface is split between the storefront (what your customers see) and the backend. This means you’re constantly clicking from one to the other, and they don’t provide any keyboard shortcuts.

It came second last in our ‘ease of use’ testing, scoring just 2.8 out of 5.

Our users felt the same way, with one person saying:

There is just an utter lack of clarity over how to do things. It was so overly complicated.

Shopify vs Volusion – Ease of Use: The Verdict

From this, it’s pretty clear that Shopify is much easier to use than Volusion. It keeps the editing interface really simple, with lots of visual cues and a clearly labeled ‘undo’ button. On the other hand, Volusion is just too tricky to navigate, with no obvious cues or simple navigation menu.

 

Which has the best sales features?

As we mentioned, Volusion is tricky to use, particularly when trying to design your website. But, its power lies in its features. Can it match our top rated ecommerce builder, Shopify, for sales tools? Let’s find out…

Firstly, Volusion has some superb analytics tools. We particularly love the search term analysis, letting you see what customers are actually looking for on Google.This is really useful because, by knowing what people want, you can tailor your website and get found online more easily.

While it lacks some useful additional features – there’s no blogging feature, and it’s tricky to customize your site – it does provide a mobile app, which lets you manage your store on the go. What’s more, there are no transaction fees to worry about.

Overall, Volusion is for data-loving business owners who aren’t too fussed about design.

While Volusion does away with transaction fees altogether, Shopify will charge you  if you don’t use its own payment gateway, Shopify Payments. Yes, there are 100+ other payment methods to choose from, but it’s still something to think about.

Shopify pulls through, however, with its massive app store and social media channel integration. This means you can improve your site’s performance with a range of shipping and marketing apps, and sell across 10 social media channels.

In a nutshell, Shopify is for any online store looking to scale easily.

Shopify vs Volusion – Sales Features: The Verdict

Shopify has the most comprehensive selection of sales features on the market. That being said, Volusion comes close, particularly with its excellent analytics tools. However, Shopify just has too much in its locker, especially when you consider its large app store and multiple sales channels.

You can read more about Shopify Payments here.

Visit Volusion’s app market here.

Which has the better design?

Ecommerce-specific website builders have recently upped their design game. They’ve realized that, like brick-and-mortar stores, a messy shop keeps customers away.

So, both builders have some nice-looking themes – but what about the finer details?

In terms of numbers, Shopify offers 10 free themes and 50+ premium options costing $140-180. Each template is mobile responsive, so they look good on any screen size, and they’re suitable for almost any type of business (although the platform doesn’t provide DIY or art industry themes).

shopify themes
Shopify has a large choice of mobile responsive themes to suit almost every industry

Volusion has 11 free templates, but only 34 paid options, costing $180 each. So, they’re largely more expensive, and you have less choice than Shopify. You also can’t manage your site from your smartphone, so it has less design flexibility, too.

However, all of Volusion’s themes are mobile responsive. And like Shopify, every theme offers industry-specific features which it believes will help your site’s performance. Our research found it has themes to suit most industries, too, apart from ‘art’ and ‘toys, books and education’.

volusion themes
Each premium template on Volusion costs $180, making it easier to manage your budget

Shopify vs Volusion – Design: The Verdict

Not only does Shopify provide more premium templates than Volusion, but they cost less on average, too. Both brands have made their themes mobile responsive, but Shopify’s come with a useful ‘product zoom’ function, and you can make edits on the move with their mobile editor.

 

Want to know more? Discover the 7 best ecommerce platforms here.

Or check out the best ecommerce software.

Which has the better customer support?

When using any technology in life, you’re bound to have a few questions along the way. Well, you may not be surprised to hear Volusion and Shopify have thought of this, with both offering great customer support.

Shopify provides 24/7 phone and live chat help, as well as email and social media support. It doesn’t stop there, though: as part of their Plus Level price plan, you get your own dedicated support agent. They really go the extra mile.

In the other corner, Volusion offers phone support, but only from 7am-10pm CST. They don’t provide email help either, but they do use direct phone contact to offer a more personal experience.

Shopify vs Volusion – Customer Support: The Verdict

Offering 24/7 support via phone and live chat, Shopify has the best customer help. While Volusion likes to directly call each customer for a personal experience, it cannot match Shopify’s dedicated support agent service, which is available on the Plus Level price plan.

Pricing plans

Like most business owners, you’re probably thinking about costs. Can you afford to build an online store while juggling invoices and contracts? Never fear – there are Shopify and Volusion price plans to to suit all budgets.

Shopify’s price plans are as follows:

  • Basic Shopify ($29 p/m)
  • Shopify ($79 p/m)
  • Advanced Shopify ($299 p/m)

If that seems too expensive, you can save some cash by signing up to yearly plan. If you do this, the monthly prices come down to $26.10, $71.10, and $269.10, respectively.

Volusion’s monthly price plans are as follows:

  • Mini ($15)
  • Plus ($35)
  • Pro ($75)
  • Premium ($135)
  • Business ($299)

Like Shopify, you can do it cheaper if you sign up to a year, bringing the cost of the Mini plan down to just $13 per month. However, this price does not include an SSL fraud protection certificate, which costs an extra $88-99 (and comes free with most other website builders).

In our testing, Volusion’s price plans averaged as the most expensive. However, it does come with loads of excellent, inbuilt features, offering great customization. On the other hand, Shopify is slightly cheaper, but you’ll need to add more third party apps.

They also both offer 14-day free trials, so you can test each one for yourself before committing.

Shopify vs Volusion – Price Plans: The Verdict

Volusion has five price plans ranging from $15-299 per month, while Shopify has three premium options from $29-299 per month. They both offer good value for money with their strong selling tools, but Volusion will require you to purchase an SSL certificate separately. These cost $89-99, making Shopify the cheaper option.

 

Shopify Plus (Enterprise Level Users) If your business generates 6 to 7 figures in sales per year, this is how Shopify Plus can help you grow even more.

Conclusion: Which is better Shopify or Volusion?

So we’ve pitched these two website builders against each other. But who is the ecommerce champ? We’ll reveal all after having a quick summary of how these ecommecre platforms compare.

Shopify is the best all-round ecommerce platform on the market. It has all the tools your store will need to succeed and grow, while Volusion is more focused on data and insights. Although this is useful, Volusion fails to provide the same in-depth service that Shopify delivers.

With this in mind, which brand is best suited to which kind of user?

Shopify is the most comprehensive ecommerce website builder on the market today. It comes with loads of features and a large app store to personalize your website, making it suitable for any business owner looking to scale quickly and easily.

Volusion sits in the middle of the park. It has some great payment options, and inbuilt selling tools, but it has no blog feature and it’s more expensive on average.

The analytics tools, however, are very impressive. This makes Volusion a possible option for data-driven business owners who love customer insights.

Volusion certainly has benefits, from its data tools, to being less reliant on apps than Shopify. However, it fell down due to its poor ease of use and lack of customer support. Compared to Shopify, which provides a better package for less money, Volusion isn’t the best choice out there.

Overall, Shopify is the winner. It just packs too much of a heavy punch for Volusion, with its multiple sales channels, large app store, and 24/7 customer support.

Verdict: Shopify

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About Dan Barraclough

Dan Barraclough

I used to think website design was just for professionals. Because maybe like you, I have no coding or design experience. But, with the help of our expert researchers (and after testing every website builder myself), I can confidently guide you through on how to get the most out of each one.

40 comments

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  • Avatar
    Brian Cahill
    Another major thing that wasn’t covered, Volusion is a company that doesn’t force it’s shop owners into extreme terms-of-use. I wanted to start a store that sells gun accessories and Volusion didn’t throw me away like Shopify did. Shopify’s terms are arbitrary and commerce can and is often shut down without proper notice or recourse. Also, guns are legal, and gun accessories are too...
    1 reply
    • Fred Isaac
      Fred Isaac
      Hi Brian, sorry to hear you've had bit of an issue with Shopify. How did Volusion handle it differently?
  • Avatar
    Tony
    it would have been nice to get an actual comparison on the products themselves in terms of how easy or complicated it is to set up a store manage items, manage inventory, get product categorized and sorted, but all this report contains is a comparison of numbers that everyone can review by visiting the two company's websites. Because what good does it do you if a store is a few dollars a month cheaper on fees, if the interface is so complicated that it takes you hours more to set up and manage your store, products and orders every week? You lose more money that way then what the few percent of fees would cost you on monthly charges.
    1 reply
    • charlie Carmichael
      charlie Carmichael
      Hi Tony, Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you haven't found what you were looking for. This article simply highlights the differences between Volusion and Shopify to save you time jumping from site to site. If you're after information on how easy they are to use, check out our comprehensive reviews that I've attached below: Volusion Review - Shopify Review Hope that helps! Charlie
  • Avatar
    joe
    I suggest you read reviews on shopify's credit card history; so not look good, I have transactions on hold with no dispute and all they can say is our business department is taking a look at something.
    2 replies
    • Avatar
      Karmel
      This is a huge reason Im making the switch. With 5 years perfect history and huge yearly sales, one bad month of chargebacks (really only1%) but they say thats a lot, they canceled their payment processing with us , switched us to stripe who then canceled with us because of shopify payments. In 99% of the chargebacks we were in the right, providing all tracking info and proof of shipment... what does shopify do ..nothing. They don't even look into the evidence and mostly side with the customer. Not only that we get charged a chargeback fee! In my experience shopify is horrible for the sellers and reading the reviews online I know we are not the only store experiencing this. We cannot wait to switch to volition
      1 reply
      • Jeremy
        Jeremy
        Hey Karmel, Sorry to hear about your experience and thanks for joining the discussion and letting our readers know about your situation. I've read a lot of comments online about chargeback issues with Shopify, but I am not sure if they come out any worse than any other major eccommerce site - it seems chargebacks are just an unfortunate part of business life - and in this case, a source of major frustration! Considering that you've had 5 wonderful years with Shopify, switching ecommerce builders just based on one bad month might be slightly hasty? Maybe it's worth giving Shopify a benefit of a doubt by checking with the payment processor as to why there are chargebacks? - Jeremy
    • Tom Watts
      Tom Watts
      Hey joe, Normally in situations like this your Shopify account holder will receive an email with more information as to the issues. If you're still having any trouble with transactions, have you contacted the Shopify support team through the Shopify forums? Just search for 'account on hold' and I'm sure you'll find what you need. The support team in the forums are very responsive and happy to engage with users about issues such as yours. - Tom
  • Avatar
    Nigel Hayes
    Excellent article. I moved from an old osCommerce platform to Shopify last July 2015. Most of my business is retail based and has been so for 32 years, but the ecommerce side is growing fast. We initially moved over 15k SKUs which was a challenge. Currently we manage ~ 10k SKUs on line and an additional 5k SKUs in-store. Most of these are one of a kind items. So the system is being updated daily…almost non stop. As a non tec person I can honestly say that the Shopify platform has been and still is excellent. We put it under a lot of pressure and it stands up – every day. The Gurus (support) are really outstanding and have been there when needed. As your article states, the Shopify choice of Apps is very good. Without some of them, it would be difficult to manage the business efficiently. But so as not to sound too much of a Shopify supporter, there is one issue which is a nuisance; Specifically I cannot offer a basic Promo such as ‘Free Shipping for orders over say $100 for a category e.g. Jewellery in Canada (or any single country). Nope the system does not allow this most basic simply powerful promotion. So come on Shopify, get your act together. You have a great platform…just listen to your customer needs a bit more!
    1 reply
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy
      Hi Nigel, Thanks for sharing your experiences with Shopify with us. Glad that they are working out great for you! I do agree with your assessment. While Shopify does a fantastic job and takes care of say 90% of all your ecommerce needs, there's that 10% remaining bit that can be improved upon. Have you considered consulting with a Shopify Expert (they are also Shopify gurus but they don't work for Shopify) to see if they have any advice? Perhaps it's something that can be custom built into your store? Jeremy
  • Avatar
    CEOgolfshop
    I agree with your overall review, summary and recommendations. What I dislike about Shopify, and others like it, is their price structure: 2.9% + $.30 is effectively 3.2% on a $100 sale, which is high for larger stores. Plus, it's a Paypal model- fees are netted from every sale, making reconciliation more challenging. If you choose an external payment gateway, it's additional fees of 2%, 1% or 0.5% for Basic, Professional, and Unlimited plans, respectively. I'd rather pay a $5 or $10 more per month in bandwidth vs pay that price structure. For very small businesses, it's a lot of bang for the buck.
    1 reply
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy
      Thanks for adding to this discussion. Payment processing fees are always a bit of a popular topic when it comes to choosing an ecommerce builder. Payment processing fees is sadly a reality for all merchants. Even when one goes to the local grocery store and swipes a credit card, the grocery store will need to pay a couple of percent in fees. I do agree with you that if you are not using Shopify Payments, then fees can add up rather quickly as you'll have to pay Shopify transaction fees and payment processing fees. At the end of the day, how much fees a merchant has to pay depends on how much volume he/she expects to transact, and also depends on the price points of the products. But beyond transaction fees (which is an important point to consider), users should also take a step back and look at the overall platform to see which one works best for them (such as taking into consideration reputation, user support, ecommerce tools, flexibility, design, etc). Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us! Jeremy
  • Avatar
    Patricia Frazier
    Thank you for your excellent article, Jeremy. As a result of reading it I feel confident wth my decision to choose Shopify. I had been having trouble with this as my instructor prefers Volusion.
    1 reply
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy
      Thanks for your feedback Patricia. Best of luck with Shopify! Jeremy
  • Avatar
    EVE
    You can check how much bandwidth used up from the "stats" from your volusion account. Then you will get surprise even admin managing the backend, also consume bandwidth. Product review reminder also eat up lots of bandwidth as well. not to mention you will find up the search engine is adding 1 product in the cart when they crawl, which ends up eat 1GB bandwidth. Volusion design is definitely sucks, their coding like in 90s. Their so called responsive design is not really responsive. Everything is within table and table, there is no clear class define. No wonder design Volsuion theme is considered a nightmare to web designer. Shopify is good, just that they takes too much from your profit.
    1 reply
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy
      Hi Eve, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'd definitely agree that billing based on bandwidth just isn't working well nowadays for hosted ecommerce builders (online store builders that provide hosting services as part of their packages). That's why Shopify has embraced the unlimited bandwidth, transparent monthly charge type of approach. But as you pointed out correctly, to compensate for this, Shopify does charge a transaction fee for its lower plans. But it's not necessarily a bad thing as you only pay if you make a sale. If a bunch of visitors come to your website, you won't have to pay for those traffic due to usage of bandwidth from the visits. As you grow your business, you can opt to upgrade to a higher Shopify plan, which removes the transaction costs. Jeremy
  • Avatar
    Amy
    This is so helpful, thanks so much. I've been with Moonfruit here in the UK for over a year and it SUCKS! I've been researching what to move to for weeks and getting buried in reviews and specs. I keep coming back to Shopify and Volusion and this article has helped me understand WHY the extra ££ you pay for Shopify through trans fees makes the difference. Thank you!
    1 reply
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy
      Thanks for your feedback Amy. Glad you found our discussions here helpful! Jeremy
  • Avatar
    Kang
    The other main consideration is how you will process the payments for your Shopify or Volusion site. Either platform has to support a gateway with a processor that will allow transactions for your Merchant Category Code (MCC). The MCC is the way that processors classify merchants according to an established risk profile. I know that some high-risk merchants have issues wth this e.g. E-cigarettes. Before chosing a platform and developing your site, be sure to think from the end and make sure that you have this covered. This may require contacting various processors one on one or searching forums for answers. As mentioned, Shopify has a decent user forum that can be very useful.
    1 reply
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy
      Good point Kang. One should ensure that a suitable payment processor can be used with your business. Thanks for commenting! Jeremy
  • Avatar
    James
    Great review. I am in the research phase of starting up my wife's jewelry business. So, this comparison is perfect. One thing about the sales comparison I think you are missing is this. The sales number is total sales to date. Meaning, since inception of Volusion and Shopify. And the number of acitve stores is the current stores on that exact date. So you cannot use that measure. The only way you can compare the sales figures would be to divide the total sales to date by the number of years in business. This would give you the sales per year for active stores during the year. I hope that made sense. Once again, great review.
    1 reply
    • Jeremy
      Jeremy
      Hi James, Thanks for your comment and feedback. I agree with you. While it is not completely accurate to compare the total number of stores since both ecommerce builders have different starting points, it's just a point of reference. Even if you took the total number of stores and divided by the number of years each platform have been in business, it still doesn't give you the state of growth of each platform. For instance, Volusion disclosed that they have 40,000 stores. But what if the majority of those stores came from a few years ago, and the past 12 months had minimal new stores? So a simple division between the number of stores and the number of years, while is an interesting reference point, could potentially be misleading. So it's challenging to know the current growth state of each company without having all the data at hand, especially with Volusion since they are a private company. But I know that Shopify has been growing at a very fast pace over the past few years. Thanks for commenting and I think you have a very good point. Just another reference point to help folks get a feel of each online store builder! Jeremy