Volusion VS Shopify
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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 design 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 (see our review) is a Canada-based eCommerce solution that specializes in ease of use and elegant web design. Shopify hosts more than 600,000 customers, including the Lakers Store and Black Milk Clothing.
Volusion (see our review) has been around since 1999. In the past two decades, Volusion has grown to power more than 30,000 sites. They also maintain an impressive list of customers, including Tiny House Coffee Roasters and USA Bride. While in the past Volusion has offered two versions of their software, they now only offer V2, which is the new, simpler platform that’s designed to get merchants selling quickly.
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 $9 a month, $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 our review of Shopify Payments before you bank on this payment processor.
All Volusion plans include a full 14-day trial. Volusion’s pricing is similar to Shopify’s. V2 is priced at $25/month, $75/month, or $135/month depending on the number of features you need. V2 provides unlimited bandwidth and products on every plan; however, they also charge fees of 0.5%-2.0% on every transaction.
Overall, Shopify and Volusion’s pricing models are fairly comparable. The main difference is that Volusion’s highest plan is over $100 cheaper than Shopify’s highest plan. So, the winner here is Volusion.
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. Adding products, creating discounts, and publishing new content are all straightforward processes. We give Shopify high marks in ease of use.
Volusion is similarly easy to learn. V2 places a strong focus on usability. Their new dashboard uses colorful icons and simple language to help beginning merchants learn their way around.
V2 does a lot of handholding in their daily operations. For example, when you go to add a discount, you will be presented with a screen that guides you through the decision-making process:
As an experienced user, I found this handholding annoying. However, a new merchant may love the additional assistance.
Volusion is still working on adding functionality to V2, and the UI needs a bit of work (in particular, we’d like to see subcategories nested underneath each category in the UI’s toolbar).
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 the credit is due to their focus on creating a user-friendly experience for first-time retailers. Of the two, we think Shopify provides the best ease of use. Shopify takes the category.
Both Shopify and Volusion have some real selling points. Each cart allows you to load and manage products, complete transactions, and ship products to customers. Shopify and Volusion also offer several other overlapping features, including an abandoned cart tool 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, many 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’s V2 is still a work in progress. V2 does not yet have as many features as Shopify, but there are a few advanced features available. These include storefront instant search, a mobile management app, and a dropshipping app.
Shopify’s skins are some of the most eye-catching, elegant templates in the business. You can choose from 64 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 and HTML/CSS editors. Last year Shopify introduced their Sections themes, which you can edit with a brand new drag-and-drop editor (and I do love powerful drag-and-drop).
Volusion V2, on the other hand, has a much smaller selection of themes. There are only 14 themes available. Fortunately, all of them are free and mobile responsive.
You can edit these themes directly with the CSS. Or, you can use a WYSIWYG editor to add and edit content on your site. Finally, you can use V2’s strong visual editor to quickly change elements of the look and feel or your site, without touching code. V2 has put a lot of work into making this visual editor both easy to use and practical. I think they’ve done a good job of it.
Overall, however, we have to call Shopify the winner. Although V2 is now offering a drag-and-drop editor that is similar to Shopify’s Sections, Shopify offers a better selection of themes that you can edit using that tool.
Integrations & Add-Ons
Shopify offers an enormous number of integrations (1500+), including tons of social media, shipping, marketing, and accounting plug-ins.
Currently, Volusion V2 only integrates with 22 applications. Fortunately, one of those applications is Zapier, which is a service that allows you to connect to more software services. Unfortunately, Zapier comes at a cost. We hope Volusion continues to build out its app marketplace in the future.
In addition, Shopify and Volusion both offer APIs, so you can develop extensions and integrations for yourself.
We’re giving this category to Shopify due to their number of options.
Shopify offers over 100 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.
You should note that Shopify Payments is not a perfect solution. Many customers online complain that their accounts were suddenly canceled or that payments were withheld. Take a look at our review of Shopify Payments to learn more.
Volusion, on the other hand, integrates with far fewer options. V2 connects to just two options: PayPal and Stripe.
Volusion also offers their own credit card processor, Volusion Payments, but it’s only available to users who are grandfathered into Volusion V1 (which is no longer available for new users).
Shopify is our pick for this category as it has a broader set of payment integrations.
Customer Service & Technical Support
Both carts offer a variety of ways to get in touch.
Shopify offers strong customer service options. You’ll be able to get answers to questions via several channels, including live chat, email, and phone support. Online support resources include a wiki and discussion forum. I like Shopify’s helpful blog and Ecommerce University as well.
Volusion also offers 24/7 live support via email, phone, and chat for all plans (with the exception of the Personal plan, which only qualifies for online support). Users give mixed reviews about the quality of customer support, often complaining about long wait times. In our experience, Volusion has been quick to respond to inquiries.
Support is comparable between the two platforms. It’s a tie.
Negative Reviews & 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 dislike that there’s no one-page checkout available in the basic feature set.
Volusion customers reported different complaints. In particular, they dislike V2’s transaction fees. They are also dismayed at Volusion’s “dated” software, meaning that Volusion is missing a few bells and whistles in their feature set. I’ve also seen complaints related to Volusion’s customer service.
It’s difficult to declare one negative review as better than another. It’s a tie.
Positive Reviews & 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 great uptime record and unlimited bandwidth.
Volusion’s users appreciate the fact that the software is bug-free and easy to use. In addition, some customers report positive interactions with support representatives.
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 a good solution for many small businesses. This cart offers features that should meet the needs of most beginning merchants, and its web design tools are continually improving.
If you still can’t decide between Shopify and Volusion, I recommend that you sign up for free trials of both platforms. Or, take a look at our favorite eCommerce solutions for more options.