Volusion vs Shopify
Shopify and Volusion are two of the biggest names in eCommerce, robust SaaS solutions that provide users with web-based platforms on which they can feature, market, and sell their products. Both are easy-to-use shopping carts that are comparable in features and price.
So, how do you choose between the two?
We’re here to help. We’ve compiled relevant information on each option to make an in-depth comparison of the two solutions. In the following article, we’ll compare Shopify and Volusion head-to-head in categories like pricing, features, web design, and customer service. And, at the end of the battle, one eCommerce solution will emerge the victor.
But first, let’s start with a little background information on each shopping cart.
Shopify is a Canada-based eCommerce solution that specializes in ease of use and elegant web design. Shopify hosts more than 325,000 customers, including notable clients like Github and Amnesty International.
Volusion has been around since 1999. In the past two decades, they have grown to power more than 40,000 sites. They also maintain an impressive list of customers, including Element Outfitters and Evutec.
Read on to see how Shopify and Volusion stack up.
Don’t have time to read an entire article? Take a look at our top rated eCommerce solutions for a few quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer support, superb web templates, and easy-to-use software, all for a reasonable price.
Table of Contents
Shopify offers a fully-functional eCommerce solution at a very competitive price. They have plans priced at $29 a month, $79 a month, and $299 a month. Each step up in pricing includes more features and a lower transaction fee. All Shopify plans come with a fully functional 14-day (no credit card required) trial.
Unfortunately, Shopify still charges transaction fees, even after most eCommerce platforms have dropped the practice. Merchants are not fans of these transaction fees. You can have those fees waived if you sign up for Shopify Payments, Shopify’s in-house payment processor for US merchants.
Note: Some merchants report that they are not eligible for Shopify Payments, for various reasons. Read the Shopify Payments Terms of Service before you bank on this payment processor.
Check out more pricing details for Shopify here.
All Volusion plans include a full 14-day trial. Volusion’s pricing is similar to Shopify’s, with options ranging from $15 to $135 per month. Each step up the pricing ladder includes more features. However, while Shopify comes with unlimited bandwidth and products on all plans, you have to pay for a higher plan to get more bandwidth and products with Volusion.
Unlike Shopify, Volusion does not charge transaction fees. They do, however, charge bandwidth overage fees at $7/GB. Be sure to pick a plan that fits your bandwidth usage.
Overall, Shopify and Volusion’s pricing models are fairly comparable. It’s a draw.
Ease of Use
Both Volusion and Shopify offer easy-to-use backends.
Shopify is famous for its clean admin, easy to navigate features, and simple design. When you sign up for your trial of Shopify, you’ll find a dashboard that looks a whole lot like this:
It doesn’t take long at all to learn the basic features.
Volusion is similarly easy to pick up.
All of the features you need are tucked away in categories listed at the top of your backend. Using the “View Live” button, you can quickly preview how all your changes look in your storefront.
Even if I had no experience building stores I’d feel comfortable getting started with either platform. Both contenders are well-established in the market, and most of that credit is due to their focus on creating a user-friendly experience for first-time retailers.
Both Shopify and Volusion have some real selling points and disadvantages. Each cart allows you load and manage products, complete transactions, and ship products to customers. Shopify and Volusion also offer several other overlapping features, including an abandoned checkout list and reporting tools.
Shopify comes a bit lighter out of the box. Advanced features often require add-ons, which can get a bit expensive. However, most merchants will find that Shopify has enough features to meet most of their needs. Some notable bonuses include Shopify’s multilingual capabilities and digital product selling features.
Volusion earns points for its ‘soft add’ feature, which allows customers to place products in a cart without completing a purchase. I’m also a fan of Volusion’s Daily Deals feature and SmartMatch technology, which only displays product combos that are in stock. Plus, Volusion offers one-page checkout, while Shopify does not.
Shopify’s skins are some of the most eye-catching, elegant templates in the business. You can choose from 53 fully mobile responsive options.
Fortunately, those themes aren’t just easy to use. They’re also easy to edit. Shopify provides a handy WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, an easy theme editor, and HTML/CSS editors. Shopify has recently introduced their new Sections themes, which you can edit with a brand new drag-and-drop editor (and I do love powerful drag-and-drop).
Volusion only offers 13 free responsive templates. Volusion’s themes are on par with industry standards when it comes to aesthetics.
You can edit those themes using Volusion’s template editor in the admin or with the available HTML/CSS editors. While Volusion does make an Easy Editor available, it’s fairly limited in its capabilities. In order to make large-scale changes, you’ll have to get into the source code.
Shopify wins this round for its large collection of beautiful themes and for its new drag-and-drop editor.
Integrations and Add-Ons
As you browse, keep in mind Shopify’s limited built-in functionality. Some of the features that Shopify markets as “extras” may already be included in Volusion’s suite of features. Here’s a sneak peek at the Shopify App store:
Even though Volusion has been around for over 16 years, its app marketplace offers relatively few add-ons; there are only 86 add-ons available. While you’ll find common integrations–plug-ins for Quickbooks and MailChimp, for example–there’s still a whole lot of room for improvement.
Shopify offers over 70 payment gateways which let you connect your platform to a wide variety of payment processors. If you choose to use Shopify’s own processor, Shopify Payments, you can have Shopify’s transaction fees waived. You will, however, still have to pay processing fees to Shopify Payments.
Volusion, on the other hand, integrates with over 30 domestic and international gateways. You can check out the full list here.
You can also opt to use Volusion’s credit card processor. Volusion Merchant Services charges 2.15% per transaction and a $3.41/month PCI compliance fee on top of that (read the fine print and you’ll see that only “qualified” transactions apply).
Shopify is our pick for this category as it has a broader set of integrations.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Both carts offer a variety of ways to get in touch.
Shopify offers strong customer service options, including 24/7 phone support. Also, you’ll be able to access answers to questions via several channels with Shopify, including live chat, email, phone support, and online resources, such as a wiki and discussion forum. I like Shopify’s helpful blog and Ecommerce University as well. You can reach out to team members on Facebook and Twitter.
Volusion also offers 24/7 live support via email, phone, or chat for all plans (with the exception of its starter “mini” package, which still qualifies for online support). The company guarantees that you’ll reach a friendly, knowledgeable human being in under five minutes, which I personally found to be true.
Both platforms offer excellent customer support, without charging anything extra. I’m calling it a tie.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
The main beef merchants have with Shopify? Transaction fees! (Remember that if you sign up for Shopify Payments transaction fees are waived, so that negative is a less of a downer than it used to be.) Also, since Shopify is feature-light out of the box, the cost of add-ons can add up. In addition, users miss one-page checkout and real-time shipping on Shopify’s less expensive plans.
Volusion customers reported different complaints. In particular, they dislike Volusion’s bandwidth overage fee, which cost $7 for every GB over monthly bandwidth limits. They are also dismayed at Volusion’s “dated” software. Volusion is still missing a few of the bells and whistles that you can find in many modern eCommerce solutions.
With fewer overall significant negative reports from customers, Shopify gets the win here.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
If you’re doing your own research online, you’ll see that users have plenty of positive feedback for both shopping carts.
Merchants generally love Shopify’s ease of use, killer templates, and strong customer support. Shopify users also like the cart’s mobile integrations, great uptime record, and unlimited bandwidth.
Volusion users like that the cart doesn’t charge any transaction fees, offers a range of resources, and comes with advanced features out-of-the-box. Personally, I found their customer service to be a huge selling point.
In this comparison, it’s difficult to declare one cart definitively better than the other. Both are reasonably priced, full-featured options. But, in the end, we’ve decided that Shopify wins the day. With its focus on usability and aesthetics and a commitment to ongoing improvements, Shopify is a hard platform to beat.
However, that doesn’t make Volusion a bad option. Volusion is certainly a strong competitor, only a few steps behind Shopify in most categories. This cart offers a wide range of features that should meet the needs of most small merchants, and its theme selection is only improving over time.
If you still can’t decide between Shopify and Volusion, I recommend that you sign up for free trials of both platforms. With a competition this close, it often comes down to personal preference.