Volusion vs Shopify — Which is the Best Online Store Builder?

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Volusion vs Shopify — images of the two logos beside each other.

In this Volusion vs Shopify comparison review, I’m going to put two well-known online store builders head to head.

Read on for a discussion on their pricing, ease-of-use, pros and cons and key features — by the end of this post, you’ll have a much clearer idea about which of these e-commerce platforms is best for your business.

Let’s start with an overview of Shopify and Volusion. What are they exactly?


About Volusion and Shopify

Volusion and Shopify are website building tools that allow you to create an online store.

They work in a similar way, in that they are ‘hosted’ solutions — they run in a web browser and there is no software for you to install on your own computer.

Popular Shopify templates
Popular Shopify templates

This means that you can build and manage your store from anywhere, and on any suitable device — so long as you have an internet connection.

Both are ‘software as a service‘ (SaaS) products — you pay a monthly fee to use them, and this gives you the tools to create and maintain your store, namely templates, a content management system (CMS), hosting, credit card processing and support.

The basic idea behind both tools is that even if you don’t have coding or design skills, you can create an online store easily using them.

Let’s find out how the two products live up to this goal — and how they compare.

First up: a look at pricing.


Pricing

Shopify pricing

Shopify offers 5 pricing plans:

  • Lite: $9 per month

  • Basic Shopify: $29 per month

  • Shopify: $79 per month

  • Advanced Shopify: $299 per month

  • Shopify Plus: pricing varies depending on requirements (but is usually priced at around $2000 per month).

Shopify pricing table highlighting the fees for its three most popular plans. 'Lite' and 'Plus' plans (not displayed in above table) cater for users with more basic and advanced requirements respectively.
Shopify pricing table highlighting the fees for its three most popular plans. ‘Lite’ and ‘Plus’ plans (not displayed in above table) cater for users with more basic and advanced requirements respectively.

A free trial of Shopify is also available, which you can access via this link.

Volusion pricing

With Volusion, there are 4 plans to choose from:

  • Volusion Personal: $29 per month

  • Volusion Professional: $79 per month

  • Volusion Business: $299 per month

  • Volusion Prime: custom pricing, based on requirements

    and turnover

Like Shopify, you can try Volusion free for 14 days.

Volusion pricing table
Volusion pricing

Entry level plans

Shopify can get you selling online cheaper than Volusion via its $9 ‘Lite’ plan — this is $20 cheaper than the $29 Volusion ‘Personal’ plan.

However, this Shopify plan doesn’t allow you to actually set up a fully functional online store but rather allows you to:

  • sell on Facebook

  • sell on existing websites using a Shopify ‘Buy Button’ (this works in a similar way to a Paypal button

    , but with more sophisticated options regarding inventory syncing available)
  • make use of the Shopify point of sale kit (more on that shortly).

The Shopify 'Buy Button'
The Shopify ‘Buy Button’

Volusion’s entry-level plan — ‘Personal’ — by contrast allows you to create a fully-fledged online store for $29 per month.

However, there are key limits to be aware of with this plan, regarding:

  • the revenue you can generate — it’s capped at $50k per year

  • the number of products you can sell — this is capped at 100 items.

By contrast, no sales or product limits apply on any of the Shopify plans (the Shopify Lite plan does however restrict support to email or live chat only).

Transaction fees

In addition to charging you a monthly fee to use their software, some online store solutions take a cut of each of your transactions.

One key advantage of using Volusion over Shopify is the complete lack of transaction fees on any of its plans.

With Shopify, you can only transaction fees on all its plans if you are happy to use Shopify’s own payment processing option, Shopify Payments.

Doing so is a good idea as not only does it let you avoid these fees, but also provides you with access to multicurrency selling (more on this later).

However, the catch is that Shopify Payments is only available to users selling from certain countries, namely:

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Belgium
  • Canada

  • Denmark

  • Germany

  • Hong Kong

  • SAR China

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • The Netherlands

  • New Zealand

  • Singapore

  • Spain

  • Sweden

  • United Kingdom

  • United States of America (not available to US territories except Puerto Rico).

Shopify users based in countries not included on the above list can make use of a wide range of third-party payment processors; but if you use one, transaction fees will apply (2% on ‘Lite’ and ‘Basic’ plans, 1% on ‘Shopify’ and 0.5% on ‘Advanced’).

Key things to watch out for when comparing Volusion and Shopify pricing plans

The key things to look out watch out for when comparing Shopify’s pricing to Volusion’s are the following:

  • Sales limits: Volusion applies $50k, $100k and $500k sale limits on the Personal, Professional and Business plans respectively. By contrast, no sales limits are applied on Shopify plans.

  • Abandoned cart functionality: you can access this important feature on the $29+ Shopify plans — but it’s only available on the $79+ Volusion plans.

  • Point-of-sale features: Shopify includes point-of-sale functionality on all its plans, but Volusion doesn’t offer any at all.


Core features

Shopify and Volusion offer a similar set of key features out of the box, and allow you to:

  • design your store using a range of pre-existing templates

  • create catalogues of products

  • manage your store using a CMS (content management system)

  • optimise your products for search

  • accept online payments via a range of payment gateways

Let’s zoom in on a few key features, and see how they compare against each other.


Templates

Both Shopify and Volusion offer a wide range of templates, all professional in look and feel. They are responsive too, meaning that they will automatically resize themselves to suit the device your store is being viewed on (desktop, mobile, tablet etc.)

In terms of quality, both the Volusion and Shopify themes are of a high quality and I wouldn’t have any particular reservations about using any of the themes I’ve encountered from both companies as a starting point when designing an online store. 

Shopify's free 'Minimal' template ('Vintage' version)
Shopify’s free ‘Minimal’ template (‘Vintage’ version)

What about quantity though?

Free templates from Shopify and Volusion

Volusion offers more choice in the free template department — there are 28 free templates to Shopify’s 9.

However, most of the free Shopify templates come in 2 or 3 variations, so there’s a reasonable number of free options available from Shopify too.

Paid-for templates from Shopify and Volusion

With the launch of the latest version of Volusion, there are only 2 paid-for themes available: ‘Balance’ and ‘Glass.’

By contrast Shopify’s theme store contains 72 paid-for themes, most of which come in a few variants.

Finding the right template

The Shopify theme store is set up in a way which makes it easier to find the right template for your online store: you can browse using a wide range of filters, including price, style, industry and more; by contrast, Volusion doesn’t provide any filters at all.

Overall, when it comes to templates, it’s hard not to conclude that Shopify’s offering is significantly better than the Volusion equivalent.

You can browse the Shopify theme store here, or Volusion’s here.

Example of a Volusion theme

Types of products you can sell

Something that’s really important to consider in the Volusion vs Shopify debate is the types of products you can sell.

With Shopify, you can sell whatever you like — physical products, digital products, subscriptions or services (in the case of some of these you’ll need to add an app to proceedings — but this isn’t particularly complicated).

Shopify digital downloads app
Shopify’s digital downloads app in action. It can be used to deliver a wide range of online goods to customers, including music, video and images.

With Volusion, you’re pretty much restricted to selling physical goods — remarkably, you can’t sell downloadable products. This means that for content or software creators, Shopify will immediately become the better choice.


Payment gateways

Both Shopify and Volusion integrate with various ‘payment gateways’ — third party tools that process credit cards on your behalf.

However, you can use considerably more payment gateways with Shopify — over 100 to just 2 with Volusion (Stripe or Paypal).

Both tools come with an ‘out of the box’ payments solution too: ‘Shopify Payments’ and ‘Volusion Payments’.

Shopify Payments, as mentioned above, can be used by merchants based in 17 countries. Volusion Payments is only available to merchants in one country however — the US.

All this means that when it comes to the payment gateway department, the hands-down winner here is Shopify.

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Apps

Apps allow you to bolt on a lot of additional functionality to an online store, and integrate third party web applications with it. 

Both Volusion and Shopify have app stores, but Shopify users can benefit from a much wider range of apps than Volusion ones: there are 4000+ Shopify apps available that you can integrate with your store, but only around 20 apps for Volusion.

The Shopify App Store
The Shopify App store contains over 4000 apps — Volusion’s contains just a few.

Although Volusion’s apps do cover some of the basics (like Mailchimp and Xero), the reality is that Shopify users will benefit from a significantly larger number of options when it comes to apps.

There is one app that is oddly missing from Shopify however — an official integration with Mailchimp. This is down to a disagreement about data protection / privacy issues.

Now, let’s take a look at apps and integrations.

Key alternatives to Volusion and Shopify — Squarespace and BigCommerce

Volusion and Shopify are two of the best-known e-commerce solutions, but there are alternatives available.

One such product is Squarespace, which comes with more bundled templates than Shopify and Volusion, excellent blogging and gallery features and the ability to host a pay-to-access members’ area.

Shopify has the edge over Squarespace when it comes to general e-commerce features, but Squarespace is the more flexible tool when it comes creating content and laying it out. You can learn more about Squarespace here.

Another tool worth checking out is BigCommerce — which is a much more powerful tool than Volusion, and offers quite a lot of built-in features that you can’t avail of in Shopify without resorting to an app.

You can learn more about BigCommerce here.


Dropshipping in Volusion vs Shopify

Many potential users of Volusion and Shopify will want to know how well it handles dropshipping

Dropshipping is a way of selling products where you don’t keep the actual products in stock. Instead, you take an order, redirect it to a supplier, and they deliver the goods to your customer.

A lot of people are attracted to this way of selling products because you don’t need much capital to start up your business; the down side is that competition in the dropshipping marketplace is fierce, and sourcing products that are made ethically by reliable suppliers can be a challenge.

Dropshipping apps
Shopify’s range of dropshipping apps is much more extensive than Volusion’s.

If dropshipping is what you want to do then — as with much else discussed in this review — you’ll find that the options are considerably more extensive in Shopify.

There are tons of apps available for Shopify to facilitate highly automated dropshipping, but with Volusion, the dropshipping functionality seems limited to sending order notifications to dropshipping suppliers.

The Shopify dropshipping starter kit

If you’re interested in dropshipping, I’d recommend that you take a look at Shopify’s dropshipping starter kit — with this, you get 14 days of free access to Shopify plus lots of bundled resources and tools that show you how to launch a successful dropshipping Shopify store.

You can access the starter kit here.


Point of Sale options

Shopify facilitates Point of Sale (POS) transactions — in other words, you can do business in the real world (selling goods in a retail outlet, pop-up store or event) use these platforms to both accept payment and sync inventory.

You can buy POS hardware directly from Shopify to faciliate point of sale transactions — this includes a barcode scanner, a receipt printer, a till and a label printer. 

All these allow your Shopify store to become more than just an ‘virtual’ entity; it can double up as a tool for running a business in the ‘real’ world too. All your customer and order data is synced with Shopify, so everything to do with sales and inventory is kept neat and tidy. 

You can use POS on any Shopify plan (using an app and a card reader provided by Shopify), but it’s worth noting that if you want to access the full range of POS functionality you will need to purchase a ‘POS Pro’ add-on, which costs a not insignificant $89 per month.

Doing so lets you

  • work with an unlimited number of retail staff
  • facilitate ‘buy online, collect in store’ services
  • facilitate product exchanges
  • provide custom printed receipts
  • define staff roles and permissions
  • attribute sales to particular staff members (i.e., for commission / performance-analysis purposes).
Shopify point-of-sale (POS) hardware.
Shopify point-of-sale (POS) hardware.

POS functionality is not yet available in the latest version of Volusion — although the company’s support team have indicated to me that it’s on the way.

For now though, in the POS department, the clear winner is Shopify.


Multi-currency selling

You tend to get more sales from an online store if you sell in the currency used by your site visitors.

So, if you’re selling in multiple countries, it’s good to be able to let your potential customers choose their own currency (or, better still, to present your products in your site visitors’ currency automatically).

As things stand, Volusion doesn’t let you do any multi-currency selling at all — Shopify does, however.

The built-in Shopify multi-currency functionality doesn’t do auto-conversion however — site visitors have to manually select their currency from a drop-down menu — so some merchants will prefer to make use of a third-party app to handle currency conversions. There are quite a few available — I’ve found Bold’s multi-currency app pretty good on previous projects.

Multi-currency selling in Shopify
Multi-currency selling in Shopify using the ‘Bold’ app.

But the bottom line is: if you need to sell in multiple currencies, then again the better option is Shopify.


Adding a blog to a Volusion or Shopify store

Shopify offers an extremely important feature out of the box that is missing from Volusion: a blogging tool.

You might not immediately think that a blog should be a key part of an online store, but in this day and age of content marketing and inbound marketing, the posting of quality blog content is absolutely essential to increasing traffic to a site (and by extension, to generating product sales).

That said, the Shopify blog is fairly basic — if you want to do advanced post categorisation and tagging, or particularly need an archive of older versions of posts, you might be better off with a third-party blogging platform such as WordPress.

But the majority of merchants will be able to make do perfectly well with a Shopify blog, so for me this gives Shopify yet another edge over Volusion. 

A way to save on Shopify

If you’re interested in using Shopify, the company is currently running a time limited offer that essentially gives you a free month’s service. Here’s how to avail of it:

  1. Start a trial using this link.
  2. When your trial is over, you just pay $1 for your first month. This can amount to quite a saving, especially if you are interested in using one of the higher-tier plans.

Ease-of-use

Both Volusion and Shopify take a similar approach to their interfaces — you see a menu of options on on the left which allows you to access features or content on the right. They are both pretty straightforward to use.

Volusion's drag-and-drop interface
The Volusion interface.

One edge in the interface department that Volusion arguably has over Shopify is its drag-and-drop style editor; this lets you add and move blocks around pages (for most page types, Shopify still makes use of a WYSIWYG editor)

In my view however, overall Shopify has got a more intuitive interface than Volusion — it’s cleaner, more functional and more robust — and when testing these two products against each other, I’ve always found that putting a simple store together tends to be much quicker in Shopify than in Volusion.

The below tutorial video gives a walkthrough of the Shopify interface.


Product options and variants

One area where Volusion has a bit of an edge over Shopify involves product options and variants.

Whereas in Volusion, you can create as many of these as you need, Shopify places a restriction of 3 on product options (i.e., Size, Color, Style etc.) and 100 on product variants (small / medium / large) etc.

Now, this limit can be lifted if you are happy to use an app from Shopify’s app store (there are quite a few available that let you use as many product options and variants as you like).

But this will usually involve an extra cost.


Marketing features

Online store builders are increasingly striving to become ‘all-in-one’ platforms that let you not only sell products online but market them too.

To this end, Shopify recently introduced email marketing features (via its ‘Shopify Email’ feature).

This is currently quite basic, but it does nonetheless allow you to create e-newsletters within the Shopify interface and manage simple email marketing campaigns.

Shopify Email’ - the platform’s new email marketing tool
Shopify Email’ – the platform’s new email marketing tool

It’s cheap too — you can send up to 2,500 emails per month for free using Shopify Email; a fee of just $0.001 applies to every email you send over this limit (meaning that sending an additional 1,000 emails would cost you just $1).

Additionally, Shopify’s app store is packed full of marketing tools that allow you perform a really wide range of marketing tasks — for example, creating affiliate programs, running social media campaigns or hosting contests and competitions.

The older version of Volusion, V1, did provide some functionality in this department (an affiliate program and email marketing of sorts) — but these features are not currently present in the latest version of the platform.

So as things stand, in the marketing features department, it’s a clear win for Shopify.

Now, let’s take a look at search engine optimization.


SEO tools in Volusion vs Shopify

Both Volusion and Shopify allow you to extensively tweak key SEO settings, including page title, URL, alt text, meta descriptions, 301 redirects etc. — all the stuff you’d expect to be able to change without any difficulty in a professional e-commerce solution.

Shopify handles 301 redirects slightly better however, by creating them automatically for you every time you change a URL (or prompting you to do so); in Volusion however it’s a case of going into a redirect management page and doing things manually.

To be fair to Volusion, the latter approach is how most online store builders handle redirects, but Shopify’s approach is better and is safer from an SEO point of view.

AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages format (AMP) is a Google-backed project which aims to speed up the delivery of pages on mobile devices (by stripping out unnecessary code from the pages).

SEO experts believe that AMP can bring some SEO benefits, as faster loading pages are given preference by Google, and people stay longer on faster-loading pages (thus increasing ‘dwell time’, which is also believed to help improve search rankings).

Whilst you can use AMP easily enough in Shopify (through the installation of a third party app), this functionality does not yet seem to be available with Volusion.


Shopify video review

Our Shopify video review shows you the 7 key things to like about the platform, and the 7 things to watch out for.

Full Shopify Review | Free trial of Shopify

GDPR compliance in Shopify and Volusion

Please note: I’m not a lawyer, so this section should not be interpreted as formal legal advice.

With the introduction of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) laws by the EU last year, website owners now have to meet quite a lot of new requirements when it comes to data protection and privacy.

Whilst you can have confidence that Shopify and Volusion are meeting those requirements internally — keeping transactions and data secure etc. — you as a customer will still have to do several things on your store to ensure you’re not in breach of GDPR rules.

Specifically, you’ll need to

  • create a privacy policy, website terms of use document and cookies notice and ensure these are accessible from your site

  • create a cookies banner that allows users to consent to cookies BEFORE they are run, and logs that consent

  • provide a means for users to revoke consent to cookie usage after they’ve run that cookie

Whilst it is easy enough to put together the relevant documentation (either using templates or a lawyer), and display it on your site, it can be hard to meet the requirements around cookie banners and cookie consent.

Yet again, Shopify has an edge here, because there are quite a lot of GDPR apps available in its app store (note: some are considerably better than others!), whereas there don’t seem to be any available for Volusion.


Userbases and history

There are two important ‘due dilligence’ questions to ask yourself when investing in any hosted e-commerce or website building solutions:

  • How many people actually use this product?

  • How long has it been in existence?

The answers to these questions are important, because they let you know how much you can ‘trust’ the solution you’re considering using – for example, a relatively new company with only a few users on their books is more likely to go bust or shut down their service, with serious consequences for your online store.

User figures

In terms of userbases, the stats provided by CMS analytics tool Builtwith give you an idea of how these tools compare in terms of popularity.

Builtwith reports that there are currently around 9,600 websites built with Volusion; this is dwarfed by the 2.6 million Shopify stores in existence.

Company histories

Shopify is a newer kid on the block than Volusion; whereas Volusion has been around since 1999, Shopify opened its doors for business in 2006.

This puts the userbase and sales figures into context: Shopify has grown its business more quickly in a significantly shorter period of time, to the point where its userbase and sales have completely eclipsed the corresponding Volusion figures.

Ultimately you’ll need to draw your own conclusions from these numbers, but for me they point to Shopify being a safer bet than Volusion over the next few years: obviously, a bigger userbase reduces the risk of the company going out of business, taking your store with it (as was the case of Magento Go a few years ago).


Customer support

Volusion offers online support on all plans, but phone support is only available on its $79 ‘Plus’ plan and higher. Shopify’s phone support is available on its $29 ‘Basic’ plan and up.

Unlike with some competing products, it’s easy enough to access Volusion’s phone support team: when logged into your Volusion Dashboard, you simply click the help icon and then a ‘schedule call’ option.

Accessing phone Shopify’s phone support service involves a slightly fiddlier process: you have to search for a solution to your problem and fail to find one before you can access phone support details (as with Volusion, a callback system is in operation).

In addition to phone support, both Volusion and Shopify provide ‘help centers’ that you can use to search for and access support materials.

However, because there are two distinct versions of Volusion currently in circulation — V1 and V2 — it’s easy to end up on the wrong help site, accessing the wrong materials, and getting quite confused.


Volusion vs Shopify: conclusion

Overall, Shopify is the hands-down winner in a Volusion vs Shopify shootout. There are many reasons for this, but if I had to highlight a few key ones I’d mention the following: Shopify provides a much wider range of templates, comes with a point of sale system, facilitates multi-currency selling and has blogging functionality included.

The vast disparity in the size of userbases is also something to think about: personally I’d feel nervous about building a store on a platform like Volusion which, if Builtwith’s statistics are correct, has just 9,600 users.

The only area where I feel Volusion outperforms Shopify in a significant way is where product options / variants are concerned — there’s no hard limit to worry about, whereas Shopify limits options to 3 and variants to 100 (limits which can be removed via an app).

But in general, it’s hard not to conclude that Shopify is the much stronger and better value platform.

To sum up, here are the key reasons why you might use one of these platforms over the other:

Reasons to use Shopify over Volusion

  • You can sell pretty much anything you like with Shopify (digital products, subscriptions, services etc.); Volusion essentially limits you to selling physical products.
  • There are more themes to choose from with Shopify, and its paid-for themes are cheaper than the Volusion equivalents.

  • You can sell in multiple currencies with Shopify.

  • Blogging functionality is built in — this is not the case in Volusion.

  • A much wider selection of payment gateways is available in Shopify.

  • Built in email marketing is included.

  • A significantly wider selection of apps and integrations is available

    for Shopify.
  • Point-of-sale functionality is available on Shopify — but not on Volusion.

  • Shopify’s dropshipping capabilities are much stronger.
  • SEO features are stronger in Shopify.
  • Abandoned cart functionality is available on the $29 Shopify plan; you’ll need to be on a $79+ plan to avail of this important feature with Volusion.

  • You can use AMP easily with Shopify

    ; but not with Volusion.
  • There are no sales limits on any Shopify plans.

  • Shopify has a much larger userbase — which makes it a safer bet for your business (i.e., Shopify is much less likely to go bust, taking your store with it).

Start a free trial of Shopify

Reasons to use Volusion over Shopify

  • There are no transaction fees on any plans, regardless of payment gateway used.

  • There are no product option or variant limits to worry about.

Start a free trial of Volusion


Alternatives to Volusion and Shopify

For me the obvious alternative to either Volusion or Shopify is BigCommerce — it’s got a similar feature set to Shopify, and it some of its features are stronger (for example, its multi-currency selling functionality and its abandoned cart recovery tool). You can check out our BigCommerce review here.

Squarespace is definitely also worth a look — it’s not quite as good as Shopify in the e-commerce department but its interface is really great, and its website building features are stronger. Check out our Squarespace review here or our Shopify vs Squarespace comparison here.

Other solutions you might wish to investigate include Wix, Big Cartel, Jimdo, Magento, WooCommerce and Ecwid (the latter two being good options for WordPress users in particular).

And finally, there’s always existing online marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon. Selling on these platforms is quite different from using a site builder like Volusion or Shopify to host an online store; but thanks to their massive customer bases, it can be a very lucrative option (when done correctly). Check out our Shopify vs Etsy shootout and our Shopify vs Amazon comparison for more information on this way of selling.


Any thoughts on Shopify vs Volusion?

I hope you’ve found our Shopify vs Volusion comparison helpful! If you’ve used either Shopify or Volusion (or both!) in the past, I’d love to hear your thoughts on both — feel free to your add comments or questions below. We read all comments and do our best to reply to any queries you may have.

Comments (35)

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Amy is correct, you are comparing Shopify’s app based platform to our legacy platform, which is not app based. The screenshots you have are from the V1 platform which is for a particular set of clients. You’re are essentially comparing apples to oranges. If you would like to compare apples to apples, you should visit www.volusion.com/?v=2. If you work in an incognito window or if your IP address is pinged with an international address, it would automatically take you the the V1 website (www.volusion.com/?v=1). If you need any help or want to talk further, please feel free to email me @ [email protected] I enjoyed your article and would love to help you discover our app based platform. 🙂

Thanks Krysta – as you suggest above, when signing up to Volusion in the UK (where we are based), you are automatically taken to Version 1 of the platform, without there being any obvious way to switch to Version 2. So for our readership, this review is accurate. I will clarify this however in the review. Am I right in thinking that only US users get access automatically to V1?

Quick update to this thread – the post has now been updated to cover version 2 of Volusion – or ‘Volt’ as it’s otherwise known. Cheers, Chris.

Thanks for your feedback Amy – I’d have to disagree however regarding the statement that our Shopify vs Volusion post is inaccurate. We strive for 100% accuracy and honesty, so if there are any particular points you disagree with please do share here so that we can address them. Many thanks! Chris

Now updated to cover Version 2. That said, anyone outside the US will be asked to sign up to Version 1…

The comments for the comparison between Volusion and Shopify are outdated. Most of the comments are like 5 years old and is quite misleading to visitors and people reading this blog.

I am also wondering if the blog itself is outdated. No, it is not because I checked and it is a comparison for 2018.

Thanks for reading the post Cecil and hope that you found it helpful. Whilst we encourage comments on the posts, we can’t control who comments and when 🙂

I had volusion and always had sales, I went to shopify and my sales have decreased, its almost as if my website doesnt exists. It used to be one of the top ones on the search engine, im not sure if its due to the free shopify ssl certificate vs the volusion paid ssl certificate, but if thats the case I will go back to volusion. I wasnt happy there, but at least I had sales.

Hey Roy! I’m sorry to hear your experience with Volusion was A+ but we would love to fix that. We have made a lot of changes since you commented here, if you want to address any pain points you had with us previously or learn more about us now, email me at [email protected]! 🙂

Volusion sucks. They have the worst customer service and they cannot handle large sales volumes. Their website crashes and you lose sales. We just switched to Shopify because we were tired of the Deny game they play for their terrible product execution.

You give a great balanced opinion in your article, thank you!I absolutely agree that Volusion has a lot of rough spots for people with limited tech knowledge. It was a real torture for me to set up my store and manage products stock 🙁 After switching to Shopify, I breathed a sigh of relief, as it became much easier to run a store thanks to its clear admin panel! Besides, I liked greatly new blogging possibilities, which turned out to be pretty effective, though I now need to spend time blogging, hah. Now I can provide more quality info and got more visitors on my website. If anybody else is willing to get on board of Shopify but feeling anxious about migrating & data transfer, fear not 🙂 I cannot say that I’m a tech savvy person, but platform switch wasn’t a trouble at all thanks to this tool I found on their community forums: https://www.shopping-cart-migration.com/shopping-cart-migration-options/1142-volusion-to-shopify-migrationTheir employees seem to recommend it to people interested in moving to their solution and it worked perfectly well for me too

I’ve been using Volusion for about 18 months, having moved from Sellerdeck to Magento Go… which was killed off a month later. Nice. I wouldn’t recommend it. There are though a couple of points in the article that I’m not sure I agree with, and some points that aren’t mentioned.

I do find the user interface really easy to use to manage the store – but it’s taken a LONG time to get to grips with. It’s not fun when you have 2000+ SKUs and you find that "oh I should’ve done this one extra thing for Google to be happy with it". The onboarding is non-existent and I’d agree the help guides are insufficient.

The biggest issue with Volusion is its lack of integrations. Yes it integrates with Mailchimp. IF you pay extra to someone else. Yes it integrates with Quickbooks… oh wait, no not in the UK. It doesn’t integrate with any really intuitive modern email systems such as Drip. I moved to it because I was told that "oh yeah it integrates with ebay, Amazon, Mailchimp, QB, the lot!" Bull.

The integrations with ebay and Amazon are NOT good. The UK ebay integration was left non-functional for a full year and as others have mentioned, no compensation – and they were still advertising Volusion as integrating fully with ebay and Amazon, when it simply wasn’t true. That has now been fixed, but I still have to go into ebay to manually add some critical things – like offering international shipping, including VAT and other things. The Amazon integration as we speak has randomly stopped working and Volusion appear to be unaware of it and are asking me dumb questions (on a par with "have you got it plugged in?". When it does work, it’s good for products that someone else has already created in Amazon. Not so much for those that they haven’t. And it’s fine as long as you’re happy to use someone else’s existing description of the product. You just add the quantity and price. So it’s fast, but not exactly optimised.

Google Shopping – it SAYS there’s an API. But it isn’t an API. It’s an upload that you do manually each month. (Google were very specific about this when I spent 90 minutes on the phone to them trying to work out why it stopped working). Yes it’s easy, but only if you’re happy to upload everything to Google Shopping under one category and not bother to optimise your bidding structure.

One of my biggest bugbear is Volusion’s treatment of VAT. It doesn’t like it. It’s American and clearly shoehorned into the UK market. You have to work everything out in net pricing at the back end and then (provided you haven’t made any errors – some of which are so obscure that you just wouldn’t know you’d done it) it translates it into VAT-inclusive pricing on the front-end. But UK retailers tend to work in Gross selling prices (ie including VAT). For the ebay / Amazon links it just ignores VAT altogether so you put the gross pricing in, despite the fact that everywhere else you put net pricing. ARGH!

My other major bugbear with Volusion is that, despite what it says in the article about being able to alter html, you really can’t. Yes you can do a bit, but it’s incredibly limited and you don’t get access to most of it. This, I suspect, might be one reason for the limited integrations. No you can’t make loads of changes to it. I tried getting PCA Direct added so that customers didn’t have to input their whole address. It was hell. Ended up paying the one UK-based Volusion developer I could find to do it. He had to do some workarounds and it was messy, not exactly what I wanted but the best that was possible given the amount of the page that he was unable to access or amend. Ultimately it just didn’t play nicely and I had to then get him to undo the code and ditch it (since Volusion wouldn’t and PCA Direct couldn’t). So the cart is a bit clunky, messy and there’s bog all I can do about it to optimise it. Just something as simple as wanting to add a box for customers to tell me where to leave their order if they’re out… nope can’t add a box, you can add a field but it won’t fit the text so it looks rubbish.

The blog thing – oh god yes it is a nightmare to try to do it in Volusion. Doable but hell. So I did work out how to set up a blog. subdomain and run it through Wordpress, which is a doddle. But only because I’ve had so much hell with websites over the past 15 years that I’ve learned a lot! I wouldn’t want to do it from scratch.

Volusion Support. Well I’ve had a LOT of dealings with them and no I don’t rate them. If it’s a straightforward question then yes they’re great. If it isn’t, expect lengthy delays (I’m talking like 10 days – even when you’re on "priority support"), being ignored for weeks on end, and a "we’ve told you 6 months ago that we’re onto it, we don’t give a stuff if it’s losing you money, shut up" attitude. Don’t expect them to be bothered when their sales people have breached god knows how many laws pretending Volusion does things it doesn’t. Don’t expect any compensation when the system doesn’t do its job.

I did do a trial of Shopify recently and didn’t like that much and I hate their pricing policy on principle. Ultimately I will move to Magento but for now am battling on with Volusion. We’ve called a truce and it’s doing its thing (mostly, if you ignore the currently non-working Amazon link that’s actually a pretty big deal for my business).

If you’re going to go for Volusion anyway, accept that it isn’t built for a non-US market, find a techie in your own country that specialises in Volusion development and expect to use them from time to time, and have some experience of e-commerce CMS because I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to go into Volusion cold without any clue what I was doing. It’s been enough of a slog as it is.

Current Volusion User & Future (considering) Shopify User.

Hello everyone,

I do want to mention very honest! Because I do appreciate this article and the honesty of the information. I currently use the Volusion as a online shopping owner and after 10 sales and more than 300 visits from the customers perhaps, Volusion charged me oner 30USD and my monthly fee is currently 35UAD Plan with Volusion. To be honest with all of you even… by swearing to my parents(it seems I am so honest and I do want to spread the words) DO NOT GO TO Volusion. I do want to convince especially NEW COMERS for online business.

Please do not after my experience since August of 2014. I am so disappointed of using Volusion.

Especially the Free Templates Volusion offer are not perfectly responsive either so that customers are not able to read the details of the product on mobile version. It is so annoying for the small business owner since every dollar costing for operations the business.

As I can see there were some issues before with Shopify as well and I hope those issues all fixed by now since the feedback shown over 2 years.

I will keep updating my experience with Shopify as well in the future after I purchase Shopify.

Word of mouth is one of the biggest marketing in this world now and I do hope there will be no more victims like me from Volusion 🙁

I have been using Volusion for the past 6 months and I have yet to go live because I cannot figure this thing out! I"ve done most everything but now I have to change things because 2 seasons have passed and I’m still tinkering with this website! I just wanna be up and running already and selling my clothes! I’ve spent way too much money to not be selling yet! I am relatively intelligent but I want to use my brains on marketing and building my business rather than learning code! That’s just not my specialty. Later on I may hire a developer but for now I want to sell clothes ASAP! Thanks for the article. I’m currently checking out Shopify and Squarespace.

I’m in the process of setting up a beer selling business called The Beer Spot. We will be selling on site with a POS system and through eCommerce. Shopify was recommended as the eCommerce platform with another POS product that syncs with Shopify i.e. one database for both platforms. Unfortunately shopify cant handle buying items e.g. 50 Litre Kegs of beer and selling in smaller (

Hullo! I think the best thing to do for that pretty detailed query is to chat to Shopify support – https://docs.shopify.com/support – I think they’d be a little better placed to help than me. Hope okay! 🙂

Though Volusion faithfully served me for over two years now, I’m planning to switch to Shopify currently. I dunno whether it’s a good idea or not, but the feedback about Shopify is pretty inspiring whilst my personal Volusion experience lately, to put it mildly, could be better. Does anyone know any easy and not too expensive way to perform migration? I’ve heard Cart2Cart is good. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

I am currently using Volusion but as I have no experience with HTML/CSS it is driving me crazy & I am not getting anywhere just spending too much time working it out when I just want to spend time on marketing so now seriously considering Spotify even though I spent hundreds on a premium template which only the top ones are mobile friendly ! If you don’t have any IT knowledge then don’t choose Volusion. I am heading off to trial Spotify!

When it comes to customer support, volusion is awesome. But I agree that, to start off with volusion you need to be a bit of techie as it doesn’t provide you any wizard. Their staff is friendly with 24/7 support. And yes, they don’t charge me fee per transaction.

Ease of use and set-up swung us to Shopify. Although there are a few ‘nasty’ bugs here and there ease of use did it for us. And let’s be honest, the commission plan of Shopify disappears once your business is that large that you can upgrade to the commission free contract.

Volusion is an absolute NIGHTMARE. Their customer service is horrible. I actually had Malware on my server. After installing one of those ridiculously priced templates my sales plummeted. I BEGGED their management team to help me as their front line support simply could not figure out the problem. After several months, someone finally realized/admitted that there had been malware on the server that had all but shut down my shopping cart functionality. They barely offered any compensation for the hassle, annoyance, and lost business. I’m building a Woo Commerce site via Wordpress now and can’t WAIT to dumb Volusion. Every company makes mistakes and has draw backs, but Volusion takes virtually zero effort to handle upset customers. Horrible company with horrible service.

I’m using Volusion right now and about to switch to Big Commerce. Two main reasons:1) What the review says about "throwing you in the deep end" with alot of stuff for novices is absolutely on target. My son and I have spent numerous hours trying to figure out how to move things around and customize.2) I’m wanting to link to my Quickbooks POS and Finance software and they only integrate simple products, nothing with options (which I have). No separate SKU # is assigned. I thought when I bought it that it would all integrate nicely with ECC tool and it doesn’t! Lost alot of time and money on a template. From what I’ve read, Shopify is the same way.

I run one of the largest Shopify stores in the world and have been on their platform for 3+ years. Key things that you should know about Shopify:Shopify recently forced their users to change to incomplete (BETA) software (Shopify 2). Users had NO recourse, NO options and essentially paid to BETA test Shopify’s new software.For 3 months Shopify 2 could not save the price, sku, description and inventory correctly. (Customers were able to buy items below my cost.)Shopify 2 still can not duplicate a product correctly.Without notice Shopify developers will remove critical functionality to your store, leaving you with NO recourse and NO options.

I am currently in an email exchange with Tobias Lutke, (CEO of Shopify) regarding their business practices, but it is apparent, Shopify staff does NOT respect, nor honestly communicate with their users. They have lied to their users many times about features, problems and functionality. I have countless emails, screenshots and videos I had to create before their support would even acknowledge (and admit) that the problems existed. Just look at their forums, user comments on their Facebook page and especially their pricing page. Their actual transaction fees are hidden, unless you happen to use your mouse to hover over the (purposely misleading) 0% transaction fee statement. This is a good indication of the business ethics Shopify practices.

I am a developer and I am going to switch off of Volusion. For one, it still builds its sites using tables (hello 90’s) and it is not very SEO friendly. It has a horrible URL structure, and some weird quirks, like not letting you export SEO friendly URL’s. It has an out of date version of jQuery hard coded into the site, which limits what functionality you can add to the site, and while it does allow for some moderate customization. It is nowhere near as flexible as Shopify. I’m not sure if I will go with Shopify, have to do some more research on the checkout process / sub-nav menu’s, but Volusion is definitely past it’s prime.

Rob, I already have a site on Shopify, David’s Delicious Chocolates, and it has yet to get to the profitable stage after 2 yrs. but I have been giving thought to opening another store on Shopify to sell Teas, Coffees and wines.But looking at existing websites selling the same things I think I should have a web designer this time if I can afford one. I’m operating solely on my Social Security.You can reach me at [email protected] if you have any interest.Dave Lambert

Thanks so much for this very insightful article. My take away is to give Volusion a try as I am currently test driving Shopify and it only makes good business sense to try both. I went with the shopify trial initial because I have heard nothing but great reviews. Thus far I am overly impressed with every aspect of the Shopify solution including those you mention above. I’m opening a brick and mortar boutique in two months and I’m working to get the online store up in running as soon as possible. The last thing I need right now is a solution that would require google searches or the additional cost of a IT tech to build and/or assist me with putting together this solution. That said, if there is some other benefit to getting Volusion over Shopify, I’d like to explore it.

Thanks again for assisting me (one of many thankful small business owners) with this aspect of my business.

Given that it’s impossible (yes, literally, as far as I know) to customise the product display page on Volusion, I’m not a fan!

I have tried both and without previous web development skills have chosen to stick with Volusion. I need users to be able to customise choices and Shopify is just far too basic an interface to be able to manage this. I also find that except for the premium template costs which are certainly higher with Volusion, adding features to your store on Shopify can get very costly, whereas a little searching on Google or by using the Volusion manual, you can actually add the features yourself with basic HTML/CSS. If you know nothing about technology and want something that is almost ready out of the box use Shopify, but if you have a little time and are relatively intelligent, my pick would be Volusion.

I like Volusion …………. Superb

Now we are approved partners of Volusion web store experts.Just check out for more detail : http://www.expertvillagemedia.com/volusion-store-designer

I think Volusion is better than Shopify , now I’m using volusion online services. it’s bestVolusion web store experts provides best customization and maintenance services. that’s very useful for our Expert Village Media e commerce development and WordPress development company also we are approved partners of Volusion store experts .

ThanksRubyE commerce Developer

I’m currently using Shopify, and honestly – I’m ready to switch. It all works great, but the customer has to enter their card details before they can see the total including postage! I can’t find any other site which does this and this is driving me crazy. I’m very happy with Shopify generally – it’s very easy to use and my SEO is good – but I’m definitely looking for a solution which has one-page checkout (which Shopify don’t have any plans to implement at the minute – I’ve checked.)

Thanks for this super article! It’s really helped me gain a lot of ground in terms of which site does what. I’m new to web building but not new to business so the first thing I noticed about Volusion is the crazy code that, as you said, says ‘hi developer’. It freaked me out and there I was trying to rework my business plan and budget to throw in someone who could help me set it all up. Initially I had gone with shopify a few days earlier (I’m testing them both) and found that the ‘activate store’ button was somewhat confusing for me and where could I just preview my store before activating it? Man I was on the verge of pulling my hair out (and you’re probably shaking your head right about now) so I decided to switch over to Volusion to give it a try. As you can tell, I have no patients but I am eager to learn. So after reading your article I came to a realization that perhaps I should have given Shopify a little more attention because the blog function sold me. With the business I’ll be running – I’ll need to blog everyday. So I want to congratulate you on swaying this very stubborn thing I call my mind. I’m headed to shopify!