Volusion Review 2013 – Nutshell
It is not surprising why Volusion is one of the most popular solutions around. The solution is so simple to use and it’s loaded with useful features which makes it good value for money. Sure, it’s not perfect. But no solution is. There were a couple of glitches during my week long journey with it but nothing major. This solution would fit the needs of small/medium sized business nicely.
O, Yeah! Easy-to-use interface, useful dashboard, useful features like Deal Of The Day, decent looking free templates, paid templates are reasonably priced, Fraud Score, Priority Support for upper tier plans.
O, No! Some of the features and tools doesn’t always work the way they should. High overage charges. Up to $25/month PCI Security Fee.
TEDN Overall Volusion Review 2013 Score: 7.75/10
Pricing & Features
Volusion offers 5 price levels for it’s ecommerce solution which range from $15/month to $195/month to suit different budgets.
They state that their best value plan is the Gold plan which cost $125/month. When you purchase any of their plans, they’ll send you a free copy of ‘Ecommerce for Dummies, Volusion Special Edition.’ That’s a very nice touch. I wonder if an eBook or a link to a website would be more appropriate in this day and age.
Feature wise, you get everything the solution has to offer from the Gold plan onwards. Features like Mobile Store, Facebook Store and Aborted Cart Reports, which are now standard on many other carts, are available here as well.
UPDATE: Volusion recently announced that they were passing on the PCI Security Fee to their merchants. This fee can be as high as $25/month (taxable) depending on the level of service the store is on. This fee is to help offset the huge amount they are spending monthly to ensure they can maintain their high security standards.
The dashboard displays graphs that displays sample data until merchants make their first sale. What’s good about it is the use of graphs to deliver information which makes it very easy to digest.
One gripe I have with all the solutions reviewed on this blog is that the data offered is limited and thus, does not help merchants improve their sales. There is so much data that can be acquired on site that would benefit merchants. A couple of solutions have stated that they will be improving this aspect of their dashboards this year, so we’ll see what transpires.
There are also lots of tutorial videos on how to build, manage and expand your store to help with store setup.
Hot Feature 1: Deal Of the Day. This feature allows you to easily create a dedicated page for your best discounts.
Hot Feature 2: Volusion has something called Fraud Score which identifies behavior associated with fraudulent orders before processing them. The feature isn’t free but it may well be worth the cost.
Frown Alert! The ‘More Info/Help’ buttons (the green ones with the question mark) on the Deal Of The Day Settings pop-up page don’t work.
Setting up store is fairly simple and is a standard affair. The layout and colors used makes the interface easy on the eyes. Volusion has done a good job at removing all the clunk from the process of setting up a store so newbies would not find it overwhelming.
There are loads of ecommerce templates to choose from and you can narrow them down by price, colors, category and industry. Some are free but the really nice ones can set you back as much as $995. To me this is a fair price as template designs can cost a few grand. Comparatively, InstanteStore’s custom template designs cost just a shade under $400 while those from BigCommerce cost anywhere from $500 to $5000.
If you’re on a super tight budget, you can get really cheap designs from 3rd party providers which are not listed on a solution’s site but you should not expect much from $25 a pop.
Frown Alert! The template search filter does not always work. A search for Apparel related templates ended with zero results. But if you check the Apparel check box lower down on the page, you get a selection of templates which would befit a store selling apparels.
There are a number of ways for get 24/7 support from Volusion, depending on what plan you select. The Gold Plan onwards gets your Priority Support. For the most part, support is pretty adequate. If the support you need is not urgent, the ticket system should suffice. My tickets were answered within 24 hours so no complaints there.
However, there have been complaints about Volusion support tickets going unanswered for days. There’s even a YouTube video from a disgruntled longtime Volusion merchant who suggests the company calls its support LOS – Lack Of Support. That said, he didn’t sound too angry and I think he did it to get Volusion’s attention as his Customer ID and Ticket IDs could be seen clearly.
Generally speaking, it’s mostly positive talk about Volusion ecommerce on social networks and forums. They get the same complaints as other ecommerce solutions providers do, which does not make it okay, mind you. They were also mentioned on a couple of ‘consumer complaint’ sites, again, just like a couple of their competitors.
However, a quick background check revealed the sneaky modus operandi of such sites which target bigger companies and charge a fee to get a company of their list. Some of the ‘comments’ on these sites seem to have been posted by fake people.
Update: Volusion seemed to have edited their Facebook and Twitter accounts. So you’ll only see good things there now. No more complaints about server downtime, bad customer support and other Volusion problems. I’m hoping it’s not because complaints about Volusion have been over flowing, what with the PCI security fee being passed on to merchants and the recent price increase in their subscription plans. Well, so much for being open and transparent. Fortunately, you can read more comments about Volusion here.
Volusion Review – End Say
Volusion has done a very good job with it’s software. But as with all ecommerce software, it’s best you take it for a spin before you sign up for a plan and see if it suits you.
Volusion offers a 14-day free trial. For people with day jobs, that might not be sufficient. You could try asking for an extension if you need it. I did the same with a competitor of theirs and they happily obliged; gave me 10 extra days, they did.
Volusion is a popular ecommerce software service provider. The company was founded by Kevin Sproles in 1999 and has offices in Austin and London. Among the famous names that utilize the companies ecommerce solution are National Geographic, 3M and Nalgene.
Thumbs Up! Volusion powers over 450 non-profit stores as part of it’s Giving Back initiative.
View a 2 minute Volusion vs Shopify review video here.