Volusion vs Shopify | 6 Key Differences You Should Know

Last updated on June 22, 2018

shopify vs volusion ecommerceThe comparison of Volusion vs Shopify is not as straightforward for most people, especially when there is an overwhelming amount of information when you log on to both their websites.

Both Volusion and Shopify have their own pros and cons, and the frustrating thing is that it’s almost impossible for you to know which one is “perfect” for you.

Even when you go to a clothing store, it’s challenging to know which pants are a better fit without first trying on a few pairs – and you’ve probably tried on a lot of pants throughout your life already.

So in my view, it would be premature to say one ecommerce store builder is better than the other without first testing both out.

In this article, we’ll try to highlight some of the more important aspects of your decision-making process when you are choosing between Shopify and Volusion.

But at the end of the day, it’s not a bad idea to sign up for a trial account with both of them so you can get a good feel of which one better suits the needs of your business.

It’s well worth investing a few hours logging in and testing a few things out if you’re serious about your business.

You can also see our full reviews on Shopify and Volusion here.

So let’s get going on what we view as important things to consider in this Volusion vs Shopify review.

We feel that the following 6 features (plus conclusion) are some of the more important considerations when we evaluate an ecommerce builder:

Click on the following to see the specific sections regarding Volusion vs Shopify:

1.VOLUSION VS SHOPIFY – THEMES / DESIGNS


Here’s the thing. Design is really important.

You can get the best ecommerce tools available today but if your online store doesn’t look good, if the design isn’t professional, it won’t inspire trust. And if it doesn’t inspire trust and credibility, you’ll have a really hard time convincing someone to buy from you.

Your store design is one of the best marketing tools you can have. It’s just human nature as we’re drawn to better-looking things. It’s natural for all of us to give the benefit of the doubt to professional looking websites – and that’s how your prospective customers will likely act when they see your ecommerce store.

Shopify Themes

Shopify’s themes are very modern, professional and updated. They look great and can help give the impression to your prospective customers that your business is trustworthy – at least enough confidence that they are more likely to stay and look around (instead of hitting the “back” button and going elsewhere).

What we really like about Shopify is that they hire professional designers to build design themes.

Most of their themes are built by designers who are up-to-date on ecommerce store designs that actually work well today.

Volusion vs Shopify - shopify themes

Their themes are also mobile responsive so your store will look great across mobile phones and tablets. This is quite important as more and more consumers are purchasing products with their mobile devices.

Shopify themes range from free to $180 per theme. Overall, it’s really not a huge investment if you are serious about growing your business. And you can rest assured that even at $180, you’re getting some of the freshest design you can find online today.

You can also start off when the free themes first, and eventually purchase and upgrade your design if you want to.

Have a look at Shopify’s themes and you’ll see what we’re talking about. They’re elegant, professional and can add credibility to your store.

Volusion Themes

Volusion provides 49 themes for you, having revamped their designs and design options in late 2016. Previously the selection were ok and not too bad looking, but the relaunched themes have been designed by professionals with ecommerce stores in mind and are much more eye-catching – which is great to see. They have different themes for a range of industries so it’s easier for you to find one that suits your business.

There is a mix of free and paid themes – 11 are free and 38 are paid, costing $180 each, so about the same as Shopify – this is a good improvement to see because Volusion’s old theme choices were very expensive compared to Shopify. Now the playing field is more level, so you can focus purely on which design catches your eye the most!!

volusion vs shopify themes design

Volusion have also taken steps to ensure that 100% of their themes are mobile-responsive, so that your ecommerce store looks great anytime, anywhere and on any device. It’s worth remembering though, that while all of Volusion’s themes are responsive, that’s still only a choice of 49 designs to work with whereas Shopify gives you a much bigger choice.

A nice touch is that Volusion also offer the chance to talk with an in-house ecommerce consultant about which themes and design options would best suit your store. It’s a nice offer of hand-holding if you need it, but isn’t available on every plan though.

Summary

As mentioned, design is very important as it is the first impression that you can make for your prospective customers.

We feel that Shopify gives you a bigger choice of attractive design themes than Volusion to help you build a nice looking ecommerce shop.

Both platforms offer themes that are designed by professional designers, so whoever you choose, you’re getting designs that are fresh and effective in today’s competitive world of ecommerce.

Shopify offers way more designs and themes than Volusion, which can be really handy if you’re new to ecommerce and aren’t too sure exactly how your website should look. I’d rather be spoilt for choice than pick my favourite from a limited selection.

Further, Shopify has almost twice as many mobile responsive designs for you to choose from. Shopping with mobile phones is one of the faster-growing trends nowadays for consumers. So it’s important for you to keep that in mind when picking designs, and Volusion has made good in-roads to support this, Shopify still gives you way more choice here.

Prices for themes are pretty even at around $160-180 for Shopify designs and a flat $180 for Volusion. So they are pretty even here, which frees you up to focus on picking a theme that attracts you with no need to worry if it’s going to be outside your budget.

So we feel that Shopify really outshines Volusion here.

2.VOLUSION VS SHOPIFY – ecommerce TOOLS


Giving you the tools to run a successful ecommerce store is important and we think that both Shopify and Volusion provides you with all the basics here.

The ability to list your products with different product variations and images, discount engines, management of inventory, shipping, tracking orders, setting up payment gateways, etc. All these are provided by both ecommerce builders.

So we’d like to raise a couple of bigger issues that we feel you should be aware of here.

Shopify

Shopify charges you a transaction fee, ranging from 2%, 1% all the way down to 0.5%, depending on which plan you subscribe to.

A transaction fee is charged whenever you sell a product. So if you are using Shopify’s middle plan (the “Shopify” plan), you will need to pay 10 cents for every $10 you sell. So if you sell $10,000 in products, Shopify will charge you $100.

Now, it’s natural for you to cry “foul” that Shopify is taking your profits. I get it, everybody wants to keep all their profits, right?

But there’s good reason for this.

Shopify gives you unlimited bandwidth to run your store.

Think of “bandwidth” as the “fuel” that is required to power your website. Bandwidth is used whenever visitors (or search engine bots) visit your website. The more pages your visitors visit, the more bandwidth is required to keep your site online. Also, if you have a lot of product pictures, that uses up a lot of bandwidth to as it takes “fuel” to load these pictures.

So if you have 10 million people flooding your website, that eats up a ton of bandwidth. But with Shopify, your webstore will be online and work just fine.

Volusion

Volusion, in contrast, does not charge you any transaction fees so you get to keep all your profits.

However, they only give you limited bandwidth, which in our view can be problematic.

The higher the plan you subscribe to, the more bandwidth you get – ranging from 1GB to 35GB.

Volusion have introduced a fixed-fee option too, which can help minimize overage charges without necessarily needing to upgrade to a more expensive plan.

This does give you the option of choosing the billing model that works best for you – however, you have to actively contact Volusion in order to get a fixed-fee plan and the costs are personalized, so we have no way of saying here just how much it will cost you or how much bandwidth you’ll get!

This lack of transparency on fixed-fee pricing is a little odd, especially when Shopify lays everything out on the table for you. Unlimited bandwidth is standard with most paid ecommerce plans, so the fact Volusion don’t offer this is a real drawback.

volusion vs shopify plans pricing

So what happens when you run out of bandwidth? You’ll have to buy more from Volusion for $7.00 per additional GB you use. This isn’t a huge figure, but still – the fact you may have to pay additional charges if your data gets eaten up from traffic increases or from stocking more products, then it does sort of feel like your success is being penalized

Thankfully, Volusion do at least help you track your bandwidth usage with their Smarter Stats tool, which could prevent overage charges. But again, when everyone else provides unlimited bandwidth it’s not a consideration you should have to worry about in the current ecommerce market!

So let’s say you subscribed to their Plus Plan and you get 3GB in bandwidth. Now, bandwidth is impacted by a lot of different factors, from the number of visitors you get, to how frequently search engines crawl / index your website, to how many pages your visitors visit, to how much content and how many images you have on your pages, etc.

So if Volusion tells you used up 4.5 GB for that month, you’re going to have to pay up for the extra 1.5 GB.

Surprisingly, you didn’t used to be able to track your bandwidth usage with Volusion, but their new Smarter Stats tool does make it easier to keep on top of how close you’re coming to your limit.

But as I’ve said before – this shouldn’t be a consideration you need worry about at all, yet with Volusion it is.

Summary

This is one of the main reasons we think that Shopify charges a small transaction fee every time you make a sale – so that it gives them the resources to power your store with unlimited bandwidth.

We prefer Shopify’s offer because not only is it extremely transparent and you know exactly what you’re paying each month, but you also know how much bandwidth you can use – an unlimited amount (within the fair use policy, naturally!) – which means you can worry about your business, rather than worrying about data usage each month.

To be fair, Volusion have introduced new tracking tools so you can stay on top of bandwidth usage and hopefully avoid overage charges – even if it is just $7.00 for each additional GB. This is helpful, but doesn’t get rid of the feeling that you need to be looking over your shoulder each month in order to avoid extra costs.

They do also offer fixed-fee plans to help users avoid overage charges, but these are bespoke plans that you need to contact Volusion for – this isn’t really ideal.

So, despite the fact you can now better track your bandwidth usage with Volusion, the fact you need to track it at all means that we still prefer Shopify’s model much more.

Lastly, if you use Shopify’s own payment processor (called “Shopify Payments” – click here to see our review on it), they’ll waive all transaction fees even if you are subscribed to their lower plans.

3.VOLUSION VS SHOPIFY – SUPPORT


Running a business is tough enough. Imagine if you run into website / technology issues, getting timely support is so important, especially for online stores as it’s “online” 24/7.

So having a good support team from an ecommerce builder should be an important consideration for you.

Shopify Support

Shopify has one of the best support systems amongst website builders.

You can reach them 24/7 through the phone, live chat or email.

shopify vs volusion - shopify support

They also have a forum where you can post questions and other Shopify users can interact with you by exchanging tips. So if you have any business related questions, you can also post them here and interact with other entrepreneurs. It’s a great support system here.

Volusion Support

Volusion also provides you with 24/7 support.

You can receive support via the phone, online live chat and also email. For added convenience, you can even arrange a callback at a specific time.

volusion help customer support

However, Volusion doesn’t have a forum where you can interact with other users.

Summary

Both Shopify and Volusion give you different ways to get hold of their support team, including phone support, email and live chat.

Having tested the live chat options on both websites, I found Shopify slightly more responsive but still not immediate. I waited a few minutes for Shopify to get back to me, while had to wait longer on Volusion – fortunately not as long as the ‘typically replies in a few hours’ that the chat box informed me I would have to wait.

Both online store builders offer 24/7 customer support services, which is fast approaching the bare minimum level of service for ecommerce online store builders!

4.VOLUSION VS SHOPIFY – APPS


As discussed above, both Volusion and Shopify give you the basic building blocks to build a good ecommerce shop. But what if you want more advanced tools?

This is where Apps come in. They are tools that are built by other developers, “tweaked” to become fully compatible with either Volusion or Shopify, to allow you to “extend” the functionality of your webstore.

For instance, if you want a more powerful newsletter creator, product fulfillment service, integration of your store with your accounting software, marketing tools, customer service tools,

Apps can automate a lot of these tasks for you.

The great thing is that both Volusion and Shopify make these tools to be fully compatible with their platform so to add them to your store is as simple as a click. No need to hire a programmer to help you write code to make them compatible with your store.

Shopify

Shopify currently has over 1,500 Apps for you to choose from.

That’s a lot of Apps.

volusion vs Shopify - shopify app store

Not all of them are free as a lot of them are created by independent service providers so there is a fee to integrate those Apps into your store.

But in our view, it’s well worth the investment if it allows you to grow your business and automate a lot of the mundane tasks (such as automatically sending your accounting data to your accounting software).

Volusion

Volusion currently only has 60 Apps for you to choose from. That’s a lot less than the 1,500+ Apps that Shopify has.

Even though Volusion has fewer Apps, they’ve made a real effort in recent times to integrate a lot of functionality into their builder – which means you shouldn’t necessarily need as many apps. This covers things like marketing, customer support, email newsletter creator, and accounting among others.

This can be handy if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your site, but for newcomers it can be a little overwhelming and bamboozling figuring out where to start.

volusion review app store

Volusion offers a decent selection of apps – not as many as Shopify, but enough key integrations to kick start your store.

Similar to Shopify, some of the Apps are free, and some are paid.

Summary

Shopify definitely gives you a lot more choices here, with over 1,500 Apps for you to choose from. This just goes to show how much more advanced Shopify’s App Store is.

Perhaps this is an indication of popularity, and that other tool providers are more willing to work with Shopify to integrate their services into Shopify’s platform.

On the other hand, Volusion has tried to incorporate as many tools and features as possible into its platform. This can be very handy and save you time browsing for just the right app. It also means you get some good out-the-box functionality, that might require an app on Shopify.

However, apps tend to be made by specialist third parties and so it’s worth considering whether the in-editor tool is as powerful or useful to you as a dedicated app might be.

5.VOLUSION VS SHOPIFY – CREDIBILITY OF BUILDER


The credibility of a service provider is important. And so we feel that it’s helpful to consider the credibility of Volusion and Shopify in this discussion.

Both are good e-store builders, so we’ve selected a few different criteria to evaluate the credibility differences between them.

1) Paying Customers:

  • Volusion: 30,000+
  • Shopify: 500,000+
volusion review - stats

Volusion Users

shopify users stats

Shopify Users

It’s pretty clear that more merchants are paying Shopify to power their online stores. Consider that the pricing differences between them are not that significant, this suggests that Shopify is more popular than Volusion.

Considering that Volusion has been in business since 1999, and Shopify only started in 2006. This means that Volusion has a huge head start ahead of Shopify (7 years in total) and Shopify still has 10 times more paying customers than Volusion.

Shopify’s popularity trend has also been trending up much faster than Volusion based on Google Trends. In fact, Volusion’s popularity rating based on Google Trend has been trending down since 2013:

Volusion vs Shopify - google trends

Click to see the latest version of this trending chart

Another interesting analysis is that if you divide the total sales volume that each platform has helped its customers generate ($26 billion for Volusion and $40 billion for Shopify), by the number of customers / merchants, this suggests that the average Volusion user has sold $600,000 in products, and the average Shopify user has sold $80,000 in products.

The gap here is pretty incredible and we’re not placing a whole lot of weight into this analysis. It’s just hard to believe that on average a Volusion merchant sells over $600,000 in products.

We’re guessing that there are probably few mega stores that are skewing the data. It’s just an interesting way of looking at data, and is not an indication of how much you will sell with your webstore!

2) Support Level:

  • Volusion: 24/7 support across all communication channels.
  • Shopify: 24/7 support across all communication channels.

Both online store builders offer 24/7 support – right on par with each other when it comes to accessibility.

3) Quality & Quantity of Themes:

  • Volusion:49 (all themes are mobile responsive for a better experience and prices range between free or $180)
  • Shopify: 170+ (all themes are mobile responsive to give your visitors a better experience, and prices range from free up to $180)

We think that Shopify is the winner here. Not only do they have more mobile responsive designs, their designs in our view are more updated and professional than the ones from Volusion, and this also takes into account Volusion’s newly revamped and relaunched range of designs.

4) Free Trial Period:

  • Volusion: 14-days
  • Shopify: 14-days

Not a difference here.

Summary

Based on the analysis of some statistics from Volusion and Shopify, this suggests that Shopify is much more popular (mainly due to a much larger group of paying customers).

However, this does not automatically mean that you would like Shopify more than Volusion as your needs for your business may be different from others users.

Our metrics are simply guiding points for you to think about when you are stuck on choosing between one of these online store builders.

Since Volusion and Shopify both have 14-day free trial periods, you should consider taking up the free trial period and invest a few hours in testing them out yourself, to see which one you prefer working with.

6.VOLUSION VS SHOPIFY – PRICING


When it comes to choosing between products or services, it’s really easy to pick the cheaper option. Most of us are just conditioned to behave that way.

However, when it comes to investing in an ecommerce builder to build and grow your business, you want to make sure that you are arriving at your decision based on the builder that gives your business the best chance of succeeding, instead of picking the one that’s “cheaper”.

Making the wrong decision can cost you a lot down the road. You may need to migrate to a new store builder and that’s going to cost you money and time.

You should focus on “value” and what you get for what you pay, instead of rejecting a price plan because it is higher than its competitors.

Shopify Pricing

Shopify start its plans at a monthly price of $29 for their “Basic Shopify” plan and progresses up to $79 for the “Shopify” plan, and $299 for the “Advanced Shopify” plan.

Shopify is often criticized that they charge a 0.5% – 2% transaction fee for their plans (Basic Shopify 2% / Shopify 1% / Advanced Shopify 0.5%). But as discussed above, you get unlimited bandwidth to power your store, and you can accurately calculate how much the transaction fees are at the end of each month.

However, if you use Shopify Payments to manage your payment processing, all transaction fees will be waived. Click here to see what it is and our review.

Volusion vs Shopify - shopify pricing

Note that there is still a credit card charge ranging from 2.4% + 30 cents per transaction if you have the “Advanced Shopify” plan, to $2.9% + 30 cents per transaction if you use the “Basic Shopify” plan. This credit card fee would have to be paid regardless of which online store builder you use (including Volusion), as it is a credit card fee that credit card companies charge, and there is no getting around it in the world of selling products online.

As discussed, one thing you should appreciate about Shopify is that they are very transparent in their fee structures, and this includes making it clear how much apps cost in the app store, which could be considered a hidden cost! A lot of other large online shop builders are well known for charging hidden fees, so you get a big surprising bill that you can’t calculate at the end of the month.

With Shopify, you can actually calculate how much you owe them based on the agreed upon monthly plan, and also based on how much sales you’ve made (which you know).

Remember that you are not only investing to access to their store building tools, the monthly plans also come with 24/7 support.

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

 

Volusion Pricing

Volusion monthly fees range from $15 per month (Mini Plan) to $35 per month (Plus Plan) to $75 per month (Pro Plan) to $135 per month (Premium Plan). As you progress up the plans, you get more tools and bandwidth available to you.

If you purchase an entire year worth of service, you can get a bulk discount of 10%.

volusion review pricing plans

As mentioned above, although Volusion does not charge you a transaction fee for each transaction, they limit your bandwidth and so if you run out of bandwidth, you will have to purchase more from them.

Volusion do provide a tracker in their dashboard for you to keep an eye on your bandwidth. However, considering all the ways bandwidth can get gobbled up and the fact that all its major competitors provide unlimited broadband, Volusion could be doing a lot more for its customers.

Understanding your ecommerce bandwidth consumption

A quick example might help you to understand how bandwidth is eaten up and why having a monthly cap isn’t a great idea:

  • A product image should be less than 70kb and ideally between 30-50kb to balance image quality against site-speed (large file sizes take longer to load and eat up more bandwidth).
  • If you have 3 product images per product page, that’s about 150kb in images alone. You’ll also have some product copy which might add another 10-20kb to the page.
  • This makes each product page about 170kb in size.
  • Now let’s say on average a shopper might look at 4 products per visit, so that’s: 4 x 170kb = 680kb of bandwidth per user, per visit.
  • There is 1,000,000kb in a GB, so each month on Volusion’s cheapest plan your website could handle 1,470 customers a month (or 47 customers per day) who do nothing but look at 4 products before leaving without buying anything.
  • If we add product purchasing into the mix, then the number of shoppers per 1GB of bandwidth will shrink significantly due to the additional steps each customer has to take in order to finalize his or her basket, enter card details, pay and confirm.
  • These sums also don’t take into account visitors who look at more than 4 products, search engines indexing your site, or even any back-end admin you have to do on your Volusion dashboard.

As you can see from the above, bandwidth can be eaten up by a lot of factors and while one million kilobytes (aka a GB) might sound like a lot, it really doesn’t go as far as you might think.

Imagine if you have a busy trading month and have a big spike in customers, breaking 10,000 customers. Going by the above, you’d need almost 7GB of bandwidth, which leaves you needing to pay $7.00 per additional GB, or an extra $42.00 on top of your existing monthly fees. Not ideal at all!

Sure, Volusion have built a lot more functions into their editor so you could save some money by not paying for extra apps to realize these functions (as you might need to on Shopify), but these don’t in-editor tools don’t quite match the quality of specialized apps you can find in the marketplace.

Summary

At the end of the day, the price points of Volusion and Shopify are not massively different, especially for the lower plans.

When your store starts to grow, you should try to decide based on the value you are getting from each one of them, and which one is more likely to help you and your business succeed.

Don’t choose Volusion vs Shopify purely based on price as that’s short term thinking. Consider our discussions throughout this page to make your decision.

We do suggest that you sign up for free trials for both Shopify and Volusion and invest a few hours in testing each one. That’s the most effective way to make an informed decision on which one is best for your business.

7.CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

Picking the right ecommerce store builder for your business is not a simple decision. There are so many factors to take into consideration, and we hope that our discussion here has been helpful in providing you with some insights into our thoughts when it comes to Volusion vs Shopify.

Although Volusion gives you a lot of in-built functions and don’t charge you any transaction fees, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a better online store builder for you.

Shopify’s themes are much more polished and professional, and they have a lot more mobile responsive designs for you to choose from.

Also, they give you unlimited bandwidth to power your store, and so you won’t get billed an extra if you exceed your bandwidth limit (as is the case with all of Volusion’s public plans).

Yes, the transaction fee is a bit of a pain in the butt, but our argument is that at least you know exactly what you’re going to be paying, and you can audit the fee by taking your store sales and multiple that with the transaction fee percentage. Further, if you use Shopify Payments, or if you upgrade your plan, the transaction fee will be zero.

Shopify also has 16 times more paying customers than Volusion, and they are a much younger company than Volusion. So that just shows how much faster Shopify is growing, and perhaps there are good reasons for that.

Our suggestion is for you to sign up for free trial accounts with both ecommerce builders to see which one suits your needs better.

Both have different user interfaces, and so you may like one over the other. Investing a few hours with each builder is a wise investment if you’re serious about growing your business.

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Jeremy

About Jeremy

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

About Jeremy

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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40 Responses to Volusion vs Shopify | 6 Key Differences You Should Know

  1. #

    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…

    • Fred Isaac
      #

      Hi Brian, sorry to hear you’ve had bit of an issue with Shopify. How did Volusion handle it differently?

  2. #

    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.

    • 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 ReviewShopify Review

      Hope that helps!

      Charlie

  3. #

    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.

    • 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

    • #

      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

      • 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

  4. #

    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!

    • 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

  5. #

    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.

    • 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

  6. #

    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.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Thanks for your feedback Patricia. Best of luck with Shopify!

      Jeremy

  7. #

    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.

    • 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

  8. #

    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!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Thanks for your feedback Amy. Glad you found our discussions here helpful!

      Jeremy

  9. #

    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.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Good point Kang. One should ensure that a suitable payment processor can be used with your business.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Jeremy

  10. #

    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.

    • 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

  11. #

    Thanks very much for sharing this article, i was hard to decide which one to choose before, thank you…

    • Jeremy
      #

      You’re very welcome Jessica. Glad you found our discussions here helpful!

      Jeremy

    • #

      which one did you choose?

  12. #

    Jeremy,

    Thanks for sharing all this info in such a great personable voice. (Connie, I should probably thank you for that influence. SMILE) It inspired trust and that’s hard to convey in this world of 1’s and 0’s. Shucks I even understand bandwidth now! lol

    This is a great article that conveyed the message with clarity and the happy balance of technical data vs. common sense. You readers are now primed to make an informed decision.

    Keep up the great work you two!

    Tracy

    • Jeremy
      #

      Thank Tracy! Glad we can be helpful here.

      Best of luck in your ecommerce store!

      Jeremy & Connie

  13. #

    Talking the truth, I’ve put really big expectations on Volusion. However, the restrictions I’ve met using it showed me it wasn’t the brightest idea of mine : )

    It’s a good thing I’ve managed to perform a flawless migration to Shopify recently (used cart2cart if anyone is interested). Honestly, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Shopify is a mere treasure chest for a merchant like me. And it’s only getting better!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Shaun,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with both Volusion and Shopify!

      Jeremy

    • #

      what is your website Shaun?

  14. #

    wonderful article Jeremy ,
    thanks dude.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Thanks so much! Glad you found it useful.

  15. #

    I just switched from Volusion to Shopify. When I started my business almost 18 months ago I was looking for the cheapest option. But now that we’ve grown a ton, the unlimited bandwidth that Shopify offers was appealing as well as the easy and affordable upgrade to Shopify Plus as we continue to grow. I was also very surprised to see how cheap the themes were on Shopify and the abundance of apps that you could choose from to enhance your site! I’m so happy I switched!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Jenelle,

      Glad that the switch to Shopify worked out well for your business! The unlimited bandwidth is really critical, especially when your business starts to grow – I can’t emphasize that enough and I’m glad you’re also reinforcing this point!

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

      Jeremy

      • #

        Hi Jeremy,
        I saw your post on this article -wondering what your website is? We are currently with volusion and thinking of making the change..interested to see if you are still happy with the move and did it hurt you in terms of SEO?

  16. #

    I have also used both hosting websites – after a sales person from the UK phoned me (Im based in Hong Kong) to sell me on Volusion. I was impressed that they made the effort of contacting me (as that type of customer service is unheard of in HK) so I went with Volusion, and the sales person informing me that its compatible with HK.

    Turns out its NOT – After two months of stress after stress and trying to get the payment gateway working – not even functioning with PayPal, I gave up. This is after I bought a SSL certificate and a new theme!

    What a waste of money – and they charged my Credit card even after I cancelled more than three weeks ago.

    Switched to Shopify – and compared to Volusion, Shopify is a wonderful sweet sweet dream. I love it, and the SSL certificate is already included. You can even change the font style, which you cant really do in Volusion. I even tried in HTML, and the delay from change to it showing is instant. Even under ‘product description’ the bullet points are wonky.
    AND No problem with my payment gateway with Shopify!!

    Volusion, in short can suck it. Shopify will save your sanity!!!

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Corne,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us.

      Really good to hear that you are having a great experience with Shopify. They really have a great team and their platform is very solid.

      Jeremy

    • #

      Volusion requires somes coding knowledge to edit their theme. Of course, there is no much you can edit, but definitely you can change font style. Anyway, you have to edit your css file to change the style instead of html file.

      • #

        Hi Jeremy. I was intrigued to find out some information about shopify so I went to their live chart. I was 91 in the que. Hmmmm….they need to hire more people. It says there is a two hour wait.

        • Tom Watts
          #

          Hi Myra,

          Two hours does sound a bit frustrating, perhaps you were a bit unlucky and logged on during the busiest period of their day. Still, at least the chat option is there if and when you need it (and I assure you, it’s not always a 2 hour wait!).

          Shopify has recently had some big investment so hopefully we’ll see more support staff available in the near future.

          Thanks for reading
          – Tom