While building an online store from scratch can be a daunting task, ecommerce website builders like Volusion help make the process easier. Established in 1999, Volusion is a fully-hosted ecommerce website builder that powers over 30,000 sites.
In this Volusion review, we will go over the good and the bad of the platform to help you decide if it’s one of the best website builders, and one of the best ecommerce website builders, for your needs.
Volusion: Plans and pricing
While you won’t get a free plan on Volusion, you can sign up for a 14-day trial to test the platform out. After that, choose from four plans depending on your sales volume per year.
A Personal plan aimed at smaller businesses, with less than 100 products and a maximum sales volume of $50,000 a year, costs $29 a month. This plan supports one staff account and basic features like secure checkout, social media integrations, and built-in SEO Tools.
For access to five staff accounts and advanced features like abandoned cart reports and a ratings and review function, users can opt for a Professional plan ($79 a month), which allows you to sell up to 5,000 products and have a maximum sales volume of $100,000 a year.
One tier up, the Business plan ($299 a month) unlocks features like Amazon and eBay Integrations, advanced analytics, third-party shipping calculation rates, and more. You’ll be allowed to sell an unlimited number of products, and create up to 15 staff accounts. This plan is suitable for owners of larger online stores with a maximum sales volume of $500,000 a year.
For businesses with an annual sales volume exceeding $500,000, Volusion offers a Prime plan, with no limits placed on the number of staff accounts and products you can have. How much you pay will depend on your annual sales volume.
Volusion does not charge any transaction fees on sales, but if your growing business exceeds the yearly sales cap on a given plan, you will need to upgrade to the next pricing plan. Users without an existing domain will also have to purchase one before connecting it to Volusion.
We’ll break down some of Volusion’s key features here. To personalize your store, Volusion offers 11 free themes and 34 premium themes ($180 each). All themes are mobile responsive, and designed by professionals who specialize in ecommerce.
Users with coding skills can work with Volusion’s CSS editor to fully customize the design and functionality of their online store. Those without coding knowledge can still use Volusion’s Easy Editor tool and Style Editor to make changes to the layout, colors, and fonts used in each theme.
Volusion’s inventory management tools allow you to generate custom barcodes for each product. You’ll also be able to view your stock level, create low stock alarms, and manage returns. To showcase your products, you can create attractive product pages with images, videos, and product details.
In addition to credit card payments, Volusion supports wire transfers and payments from Amazon, Google Wallet, PayPal, and Stripe. Volusion also allows you to sell and ship internationally with useful tools like a real-time tax rate calculator and configurable shipping options.
On Volusion’s marketplace, you’ll find 78 (68 paid, 10 free) apps that integrate seamlessly with Volusion. With apps dedicated to accounting, payment processing, customer management, social media management, and more, you can easily extend the functionality of your store. Some popular apps include Zapier, PayPal, and MailChimp.
Volusion: Interface and in use
Volusion’s backend editor is pretty easy to use. On the left, you’ll find options that allow you to choose a theme, and add elements such as your brand logo, product names, images, and item descriptions. On the drag-and-drop editor, you can easily move elements around and see how your site will look as you edit it.
Volusion also has a well-designed mobile app that allows you to access the backend editor, check and manage your inventory, and upload images right from your phone.
Professional, Business, and Prime plan subscribers enjoy 24/7 phone support. Prime plan users are granted additional VIP support, which includes access to a private Slack channel with Volusion’s experts. You will also have a dedicated account manager who you can contact (weekdays, 8am to 6pm CST) if you face any issues.
Personal plan subscribers will have to make do with online-only support via the platform’s Help Center. That isn’t too bad: the Help Center features over 200 articles that guide you through processes like getting started and designing your site.
Fully PCI-certified, Volusion is deemed capable of safely processing credit card data. The platform uses AES-256 encryption for sensitive data at rest, and TLS 1.2 to ensure that data in transit gets transmitted securely. In addition, all plans include a free SSL certificate to keep user data and connections secure.
Alternatives to Volusion
Volusion goes up against multiple strong competitors in the ecommerce website builder market. Shopify, for example, is a hugely popular option with features like discount codes, gift cards, and POS integrations that allow you to bring your virtual business to life.
The platform impressively features over 4,200 apps and 70 premium and free themes. Shopify doesn’t place a limit on how many products you can list. However, you’ll be charged transaction fees in addition to a monthly fee that ranges from $29 to $299 a month.
Users who are turned away by Volusion’s tiered customer support model will like Squarespace, which provides all users with live chat support (weekdays, 4am to 8pm EST) and 24/7 email support. Squarespace is affordable too—the cheapest plan costs $12 a month, and comes with a free custom domain, unlimited bandwidth and storage, SSL security, and more.
Volusion: Final verdict
Volusion’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor makes site-building easy for beginners. While its selection of themes and third-party apps are adequate, users who are looking to be spoilt for choice will be left disappointed.
That said, with no transaction fee and a flexible pricing plan that scales with your business, Volusion is great for businesses of all sizes.
Further reading on website builders and web hosting
New to site building? See what our 10 tips to follow are when you build a website for the first time, and our guides to the best ecommerce website builders and the best small business website builders should you have a specialist site in mind. If you're an old hand at it, you may want to consider the best web hosting services.