Shopify vs Volusion
Shopify vs Volusion
We review Shopify vs Volusion, should you consider one or the other one? Who wins in this comparison. We look at every feature, the good points and the bad ones…
Selecting the right shopping cart for your business or for creating and operating your own web store can spell the difference between chaos and comfort, profit and loss for your business, especially if you are just a small business owner with limited resources and budget that you just can’t afford to risk or gamble.
In this guide, we’ll compare two of the most popular e-commerce platform on the market; Shopify VS Volusion. Both shopping carts are web-based that allow you to create and maintain an online shop or a store. Shopify claims to have more than 175,000 customers and counting, with known businesses including Github and Amnesty International on their client roster. Volusion, on the other hand, has more than 40,000 sites in its arsenal and maintains a huge list of customers, including National Geographic UK and Nalgene. (so both of them are for sure impressive)
Both shopping carts are relatively easy-to-use and are a good choice for small or medium-sized businesses. They also each has their own PROS and CONS. In this review, we will highlight essential details and distinctions between the programs.
Read on to see how Shopify and Volusion stack up against each other.
When choosing between products or services, it’s always easy to pick the cheaper provider. Most of us are just conditioned to behave this way.
However, when investing in an e-commerce builder to grow your brand or business, you’d want to make sure that your decision is based on an e-commerce builder that can give your business the best chance of succeeding, instead of picking the cheaper option.
A wrong decision can cost you a lot down the road. So, with this in mind, you must focus on “value” and what you get for what you pay, instead of rejecting a price plan because it is higher compared to its competitors.
Shopify plans start at a monthly price of $29, and this is for their “Basic Shopify” plan. progresses up to $79 for the “Shopify” plan, and $299 for the “Advanced Shopify” plan.
Shopify is often criticized because they charge a transaction fee for their plan offerings (Basic Shopify 2% / Shopify 1% / Advanced Shopify 0.5%). But then again, you’ll get unlimited bandwidth to power your store, and you can accurately calculate how much the transaction fees are at the end of each month. You can get away with transaction fees, if you will use Shopify Payments to manage your payment processing – all transaction fees will be waived.
Note: There’s still a credit card charge ranging from 2.4% + 30 cents per transaction if you are an “Advanced Shopify” plan subscriber, to $2.9% + 30 cents per transaction if you are on the “Basic Shopify” plan. The credit card fee would have to be paid regardless of which shopping cart you use (including Volusion), as it is a credit card fee that banks charge, and there is no getting around with it in the World of selling products or services online.
Shopify is very transparent in their fee structures. Its competitors are well known for charging hidden fees, so you get a big surprising bill every month that you can’t even calculate or can’t figure out where they came from.
With Shopify, rest assured that you can calculate how much you owe them based on your monthly plan subscription. Also, you will be made aware of how much sales you’ve made/
*Shopify Plus (Enterprise Level Users) is highly recommended if you’re in the big leagues and your online store generates up to 6 to 7 figures in sales per year.
Volusion monthly fees range from $15/month “Mini Plan” to $35/ month “Plus Plan” to $75/month “Pro Plan” to $135/month “Premium Plan”. As you progress up the plans, you get more bandwidth and features available to you.
If you paid for a year worth of service, you can get a discount of 10%.
As you can see in the image above although Volusion doesn’t charge users a transaction fee for each transaction, they limit your bandwidth. Meaning, if you run out of bandwidth, you will have to purchase more from them.
Moreover, it’s somewhat impossible for you to accurately calculate how much bandwidth you’ve used, so in a way you just have to pay up when Volusion tells you that you have exceeded your limit.
The price point of Shopify and Volusion are not massively different, especially for their mid-range plans.
When your online store starts to grow, you should base your decision more on the value that you are getting from each one of them, and which one is more likely to help you succeed.
Don’t choose based on the price alone. Consider all the information and the discussions though out this article to make your decision.
We do suggest that you try both Shopify and Volusion. Invest a couple of hours in testing each platform and that’s only when you can make a sound decision on which one is best for your business.
Ease of Use
Once you accept that there is a learning curve, both platforms are easy to pick up. Shopify and Volusion both have reasonable onboarding assistance through Knowledgebase articles, on-screen walkthroughs, and of course, videos.
You’ll like Volusion’s one-page checkout, Facebook &Twitter integrations, and quick access to customer support. But while Volusion is feature packed with 24/7 phone, chat, and email support, new users may have to commit time and effort to learn the ropes or to get the hang of using it. But as for the day to day operation of using both platforms, they’re on equal footing.
Even if I had no experience building or making an online store, I’d feel comfortable getting started with either of the platforms. Both are well-established in the market, and most of that credit is due to the brands’ focus on creating a (UX) user-friendly experience for first-time users.
Shopify and Volusion are both fairly powerful and easy to use shopping cart platforms. Both come with a clean user interface that is well-designed and thought-off, making it as easy for any user to set up an online store in minimum time.
Having said that, it should be noted that Shopify, has a wizard mode feature that provides novice users assistance in setting up their stores very easily while Volusion does not have this feature.
So let’s get going on what we view as one of the most important things to consider in this Volusion vs Shopify comparison review – the key features.
Online store functionality – both Shopify and Volusion offer basic store functionalities that are easy to setup, use, and maintain. According to most users, Shopify is somewhat easier to use as compared to Volusion, including the author of this comparison review.
Calculation of shipping charges – both shopping carts allow flexible and powerful options in calculating the shipping charges which is one of the most important aspects of selling physical goods via an e-commerce storefront.
Inventory management – All Shopify plans allow users an unlimited number of products to be added to and sold via your online store, while Volution has a tiered structure, it just offers unlimited products only on their top-of-the-line plan ($135 per month).
Coupons and discount codes – Shopify is a bit of an underdog in this department because it does not offer this feature on their Lite plan, although it is available for all other plans. All plans at Volusion allow discount code creations and calculation functionalities.
Payment gateways – Shopify has an edge here because it has support for 70 payment gateways while Volusion is at a disadvantage with support for only 30 plus gateways only.
Themes and Templates – both Shopify and Volusion have a large collection of themes and templates to give your store a look and feel to suit your needs and taste. While the number of free themes provided by Shopify is smaller compared to that of Volusion, those free Shopify themes are generally more contemporary as compared to the themes being offered by Volusion. Both offers paid/premium themes starting at the same price of $80.
Web design wise, both platforms offer a good number of responsive templates, free as well as paid.
Apps and Add-ons – with over 100 apps and add-ons that are available for Shopify, rest assured that you can enhance and expand the functionality of your online store in many ways. Volusion, again, is at a disadvantage here, because it only comes with e-commerce platforms.
Multi-lingual capabilities – Shopify does not have full multi-lingual capabilities directly. For you to create fully multi-lingual stores, you can use third-party/paid apps that are available for Shopify. Another option is to custom code your theme/templates. On the one hand, Volusion is at an advantage in this category because it comes with more inbuilt multi-lingual support. On the other hand, Volusion has a disadvantage in that the custom coding capabilities as it is not available under a simple mode but only under the advanced – meaning you’d need high HTML/CSS coding skill levels.
Customization capabilities – both Shopify and Volusion offer robust customization capabilities, via an advanced interface which allows users to edit the raw HTML/CSS code directly – giving you total control over the design and the look-and-feel of your web store. However, as I mentioned above, Shopify has a slight advantage here because it provides a simple, menu-driven method, to change the basic attributes of your web store such as fonts, colors etc. very easily while with Volusion, for you to customize your theme, you need to edit raw HTML/CSS – something that requires coding skills.
Blogging functionality – Both e-commerce platforms offer inbuilt blogging functionalities.
Shopify has been updated recently and has totally redone its backend to make it provide a helpful live theme editor that gives you the ability to easily customize themes and templates. Shopify’s skins are eye-catching, and the elegant templates make Shopify hard to beat in the design department. But the real deciding factor here is that it offers 130+ responsive templates, which ensure that your web store will look its best from any device. Volusion on the other hand only offers 25 responsive templates.
Even though Volusion offers users a good number of themes, its skins are generally generic. Shopify’s offerings are way better in terms of font usage, page flow, and overall design. You’ll also need to find a file editor to access raw code in Volusion and Shopify, but overall Volusion’s backend style editor is less flexible and intuitive than Shopify.
Shopify integrates with more than 70 payment gateways including all the major players. Shopify also works with a wide variety of processors. In-house processor Shopify Payments was launched way back in August of 2013. Starter plans come with a 2.9% + 30¢ fee per transaction, and with Shopify and Advanced Shopify customers qualifying for reduced rates (2.6% + 30¢, and 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction, respectively.) If you sign up for Shopify Payments, these transaction fees are waived.
Volusion also integrates with several domestic and international payment gateways. You can check out the full list here.
You may also opt for Volusion’s credit card processor, but I honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it. Volusion Merchant Services charges users 2.15% per transaction (read the fine print and you’ll see that only “qualified” transactions apply) and a $3.41/month PCI compliance fee on top of that fee. You’ll also need to buy your own SSL certificate, which costs a minimum of $89 per year. If you want one from other providers, you’ll have to pay extra.
Honestly, I have never directly completed a sale using Shopify Payments, its fee structure reads as cleaner and a lot easier to understand – it seems that they are not hiding anything. And with a broader set of integrations than Volusion, Shopify is our pick as the e-commerce platform with stronger payment processing integrations.
Customer Service and Technical Support
While both shopping carts offer a variety of ways to get in touch with their users or customers, the kudos go to Volusion because they offer 24/7 live support via email, phone, as well as chat for all their plan offerings with the exception of its starter “mini” package, which still qualifies for online support.
Volusion also guarantees that you’ll get a hold of a friendly, knowledgeable customer support being in under 5 minutes, which I personally found to be true.
Shopify also provides customer service support, including 24/7 phone support. Also, you’ll be able to access Q & As via several channels with Shopify, including live chat, email, phone support, and online resources, such as a Wiki and Forum. I also like the Shopify’s blog and Ecommerce University. You can reach out to other team members on Facebook and Twitter as well. Even though Volusion has indefinitely suspended its user forum site, in my opinion, it’s all day (and night) access via email, chat, and phone make Volusion the better option.
Reviews, Complaints, and Testimonials
I guess we discussed this already in our Shopify VS Bigcommerce comparison review. The main beef merchants have with Shopify is the transaction fees. Just to remind you, if you sign up for Shopify Payments, transaction fees are waived, so this negative is a less of a downer than it used to be. Moreover, since Shopify is a bit feature-light right off the bat, the cost of add-ons and extras can add up. Also, users miss one-page checkout, as well as real-time shipping for Shopify’s starter plans.
Volusion users reported different common complaints, including $7 overage charges for every 1 GB over monthly bandwidth limits, blasé free templates, and limited support for newbies getting a shop started for the very first time. With fewer overall significant negative reports from users, Shopify gets the win here.
If you’re doing your own research online for Shopify VS Volusion, you’ll find out that users have plenty of positive feedback for both e-commerce platforms. Users generally love Shopify’s ease of use, themes & templates, and strong technical support. Shopify users also like the mobile integrations, good uptime record, and the free bandwidth, of course.
While some users had a bit more to complain about Volusion, much of that feedback was out of date. Lots of users are quick to sing its praises today. Volusion users like that the fact that it doesn’t charge any transaction fees, wide range of resources, and the out-of-the-box features like Daily Deals integrations and a CRM tool. For me, I found Volusion’s customer service to be a huge selling factor for them, and a recent push to develop their previous “issues” gives me some significant peace of mind.
Picking the right e-commerce store for your online business is not a simple decision. There are so many things to take into consideration, and we hope that this guide has been helpful in providing you with some insights into our thoughts when it comes to Shopify VS Volusion. This matchup has been a solid competition. Our final decision is a very difficult one, but we have to hand it to Shopify on the mere fact that it edged out a lead in more categories. It is not because we found any serious issues with Volusion. Both shopping carts have earned reputations as being some of the most reliable web-based carts on the market today. But at the end of the day, Shopify’s recent improvements, lack of overage fees, and responsive templates make it hard to beat.
Though we give the victor’s crown to Shopify in this comparison review, Volusion is still a well-regarded shopping cart with many years of experience and a large number of satisfied users who testify to its value. I recommend that you take free trials of both of these e-commerce platforms (Shopify and Volusion), for you to see which is the right fit for your store. With a competition this close, it really comes down to personal preference.