Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020)
Ecommerce Platforms, Comparisons

Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020)

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Christina Dillon

Updated: July 10, 2020

If you’re in the market for an online store builder, you’ve probably encountered Shopify and Volusion.

I was in your shoes not too long ago.

And I have to tell you, I came *this* close to signing up with Volusion. Until I made one important discovery.

After that, I began to see that there were a few things that made Shopify a better all-around ecommerce platform. But that one thing was a deal breaker for me.

So, what was it?

Blogging.

Volusion doesn’t have its blogging built-in blogging platform, and that was  deal-breaker for me with this particular store.

3.9

Ease Of Use

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Design Flexibility

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Sales Features

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Website Features

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Customer Score

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Help and Support

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Value For Money

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Starting at $29/month

try for free

Pros Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 2

  • Built-in instruction
  • Great support
  • User-friendly interface

Cons Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 3

  • Lack of responsive design
  • Lack of blog element

But there’s actually a lot more to the story, and Volusion may end up being better for your store than Shopify.

…even though Shopify is a better choice for most. Because the popular choice isn’t always the best choice for everyone.

So, stick with me while I cover all the pros and cons of each platform. Yes, Shopify definitely has some cons too.

4.7

Top choice

Ease Of Use

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Design Flexibility

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Sales Features

Image Image Image Image Image

Website Features

Image Image Image Image Image

Customer Score

Image Image Image Image Image

Help and Support

Image Image Image Image Image

Value For Money

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Starting at $29/month

try for free Read Review

Pros Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 2

  • Received the highest score for features and customer satisfaction
  • Brilliant inventory system to help you manage your store
  • Sell across multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay

Cons Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 3

  • The only platform to enforce its own transaction fee, unless you use Shopify Payments
  • Content doesn’t automatically reformat when you switch themes
  • Apps can quickly add up as you add extra features to your store

Key Differences Between Shopify and Volusion

If you’ve been in the biz for a while, you’ve definitely heard of Volusion. This ecommerce platform has been around since 1999, which is almost the Stone Age of internet years.

But just because it’s the granddaddy of ecommerce platforms (we’ll call Magento the great-granddaddy) doesn’t mean it’s the best.

I can say that this online store builder has done a good job of keeping up with the changing times. But it’s still not quite as large as newer sites like Shopify.

To illustrate the point:

Volusion powers 30000 stores while Shopify powers more than 600000. That means Shopify is about 20x times more popular than Volusion. (Click to Tweet)

And now, let’s drive that point home with a graph.

The following Google trends graph compares the popularity of Volusion vs Shopify from 2006 through today. Shopify is blue and Volusion is red.

Google Trends Volusion vs Shopify

So, you can see that Volusion isn’t nearly as popular as Shopify. In fact, it was really never a competition after Shopify got off the ground in 2010. For reference, Shopify launched in 2006, so its success was about 4-years in the making.

But there’s something you won’t see on this graph.

And that’s WHY Shopify is so much more popular than Volusion.

But I’m about to tell you.

Overall Features
Design Features
Ease-of-Use
SEO-Friendliness
Pricing Comparison
Overall Rating
Overall Features
Design Features
Ease-of-Use
SEO-Friendliness
Pricing Comparison
Overall Rating
Best all-around eCommerce platform shopify

Shopify Review

4.7/5
Overall Features
Design Features
Ease-of-Use
SEO-Friendliness
Pricing Comparison
Overall Rating
4.75/5
4.75/5
4.5/5
4.5/5
4.5/5
4.7/5
Ecommerce for everyone volusion

Volusion Review

3.9/5
Overall Features
Design Features
Ease-of-Use
SEO-Friendliness
Pricing Comparison
Overall Rating
4.5/5
4/5
4.3/5
4.5/5
4.3/5
3.9/5

There are a few layers to this answer, so let’s start with overall features.

Overall Features

Although Volusion hasn’t seen the same massive growth as Shopify, it has endured two decades in the business. And that’s quite an accomplishment.

Volusion wouldn’t still be around if there wasn’t a market for it.

So, let’s explore what each of these platforms can do and why one might be better than the other.

First, the commonalities. Both ecommerce platforms offer the following:

  • Load and manage unlimited products
  • Complete online transactions
  • Robust shipping options
  • Abandoned cart tool
  • Advanced reporting

Shopify stands out overall with the following:

  • Ability to purchase addons instead of expensive customizations
  • Multilingual capabilities
  • Digital product sales
Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 7

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And Volusion offers some different features that aren’t quite like Shopify’s. These include:

  • Instant storefront search
  • Mobile management app
  • Drop-shipping app
  • Ability to offer gift cards on all plans

Overall, features are only helpful when you need them. So, if Volusion has features you need that Shopify does not, Volusion may be the answer for your store. Start with the 14-day free trial and see how you like it.

Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 8

Volusion 14-day Free Trial

Create your online store with a FREE 14-day trial of our award-winning ecommerce software. Shown to sell 4x more than other hosted shopping carts!

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There’s another important feature that I like to compare with all ecommerce platforms.

And that’s design. So, let’s get to it.

Design Features

If your store doesn’t look professional, you may not convert visitors to customers. So, designis an important part of the sales funnel. (Click to Tweet)

And here’s where it gets interesting…

But let’s get this out of the way first: When it comes to design, Shopify wins again.

They honestly have some of the most beautiful templates in the industry, and they’re all mobile responsive. You can choose from 64+ skins, and 10 of those are free.

Below is a free template, and you see that it’s stunning, and also professional looking:

Free Template Shopify

Shopify also provides a WYSIWYG editor and a drag-and-drop editor that are super easy to use, so you can customize any theme to make it look more original.

And I highly suggest doing so.

On the other hand…

Volusion only offers 15 templates in total.

But there’s some good news…

They’re all free.

This is huge for Volusion because in the past their templates were priced way out of the market. But still, they don’t really have enough options for most ecommerce stores to choose something that looks and feels like their own.

Here’s one of the 15 templates:

Volusion Free Template

Volusion’s templates are also beautiful and professional looking, but there simply aren’t enough to offer a one-of-a-kind look.

Volusion also has a drag-and-drop editor and WSYWIG editor that are easy to use. Shopify’s is just slightly more intuitive and offers more of a selection.

Now that we’ve covered design, how easy is it to sell products on these platforms?

Ease-of-Use

I’ve had a lot of experience with online store building, but when it comes to these comparisons, I find that it’s best if I pretend I’m new to all this.

That’s were ease-of-use really shines.

If you’ve never used an ecommerce platform, will you be able to use Shopify or Volusion without any trouble?

And the answer is yes.

Both platforms are easy to use. And that’s why this one comes out as a tie. Shopify may inch above Volusion in this category for a few minor details, but they are very minor.

When you signup for a Volusion account, what you’re getting is called V2. This is an updated version of their old online store builder. The company launched V2 in 2017, and it has definitely been a good thing.

But with such a new system, we can expect some usability kinks.

For example, there aren’t any subcategories in the admin menu. Take a look at the screenshot below:

Volusion Subcategories

As you can see, there are only categories to the left. You have to go through the motions to get to subcategories.

Another thing that may or may not be off-putting to you about Volusion is that it offers a lot (too much?) of instruction. Even if you don’t need or want the instruction/advice, it’s there and sometimes adds a step into your process.

Here’s an example of a step that seems to be run like a tutorial (you may love this or it may get old fast):

Volusion tutorial

For comparison, here’s the Shopify back-end.

Shopify backend

As you can see, it seems a little more professional and there are subcategories in the left menu bar that make navigation easier.

This one really comes down to personal preference. And if this is all you need to figure out before you get started, there’s really only one way to make the decision.

Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 7

Start your 14-day Free Trial

Try Shopify for free and get more than just an ecommerce solution. Sell anywhere, to anyone, with Shopify's ecommerce platform and point of sale features.

I want Free Trial

SEO-Friendliness

Volusion and Shopify are very similar when it comes to SEO setup. All the basics are there.

But there are a few reasons why Shopify wins this category as well.

I’ve already mentioned how Volusion is running a new version of their online ecommerce platform V2. They haven’t quite hit the two-year mark, and they’re still working out some kinks.

You may notice this –as I have—in some of their SEO features.

They do offer the ability to customize urls. But from my experience, it hasn’t always worked. Whenever I would change a url that I had already created (from a pre-existing drop-ship product), it glitched.

Here’s what I mean by that…

The Volusion admin would save my change, but the new extension led to a 404 error. Not ideal.

This may or may not happen with your store, but it points to the larger issue… that V2 still has some stuff to work out.

Both Volusion and Shopify offer apps that can enhance your SEO efforts, but Shopify’s app store is a bit more advanced with more options. This may be a byproduct of V2 being newer to the market than Shopify.

With all that said, both Shopify and Volusion are great options for SEO-friendly ecommerce platforms. However, Shopify seems to be the more advanced choice.

Things may change in the coming years, but for now, Shopify wins at SEO.

So, you’re probably wondering….

Which is the cheaper option?

Pricing Comparison

If you have any preconceived notions about Volusion’s pricing, let them go right now.

Here’s why…

With the introduction of V2, Volusion’s undesirable pricing structure also went out the window.

For example:

  • Volusion used to charge a 3 percent transaction fee.
  • They also used to charge for bandwidth.
  • Most templates were costly, especially compared with competitors.

Thankfully, both charges fell by the wayside. Because Volusion may not have made it into 2019 with that pricing model.

So, let’s compare the costs of Shopify vs Volusion.

Shopify Pricing & Features
Staff Accounts
Online Store
Products
24/7 support
Sales channels
Manual order creation
Discount codes
Free SSL certificate
Abandoned cart recovery
Gift cards
Professional reports
Advanced report builder
Staff Accounts
Online Store
Products
24/7 support
Sales channels
Manual order creation
Discount codes
Free SSL certificate
Abandoned cart recovery
Gift cards
Professional reports
Advanced report builder
Basic
$29/month
Staff Accounts
Online Store
Products
24/7 support
Sales channels
Manual order creation
Discount codes
Free SSL certificate
Abandoned cart recovery
Gift cards
Professional reports
Advanced report builder
Up to 2
check-9
Unlimited
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
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Shopify
$79/month
Staff Accounts
Online Store
Products
24/7 support
Sales channels
Manual order creation
Discount codes
Free SSL certificate
Abandoned cart recovery
Gift cards
Professional reports
Advanced report builder
Up to 5
check-9
Unlimited
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
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Advanced
$299/month
Staff Accounts
Online Store
Products
24/7 support
Sales channels
Manual order creation
Discount codes
Free SSL certificate
Abandoned cart recovery
Gift cards
Professional reports
Advanced report builder
Up to 15
check-9
Unlimited
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9
check-9

Shopify offers three general website pricing plans, and two specialized plans.

The pricing ranges from $29/mo. to $299/mo. for their basic plans.

All general plans include things like:

  • Your own website
  • Unlimited products
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Exceptional customer service
  • Secure checkout

The second-level plan comes with the ability to offer gift cards and review advanced reporting. And the $288 Advanced pricing plan includes customized reports. Credit card processing fees also vary based on the plan you choose, with the lowest rates attached to the most expensive plan.

This can get a little technical, and choosing the right plan for your business may not be as straightforward as you’re thinking.

If you want a little insider insight along with some examples, check out this post I wrote on Shopify pricing.

And now, let’s take a look at Volusion pricing:

Volusion Feature & Pricing
Unlimited Products
Unlimited storage
Online Support
Secure Checkout
Unlimited Products
Unlimited storage
Online Support
Secure Checkout
Personal
$29/month
Unlimited Products
Unlimited storage
Online Support
Secure Checkout
Professional
$79/month
Unlimited Products
Unlimited storage
Online Support
Secure Checkout
Business
$299/month
Unlimited Products
Unlimited storage
Online Support
Secure Checkout

With Volusion, you get many of the same features for the exact same price as the Shopify plans.

Volusion doesn’t offer anything to rival Shopify’s entry-level plan, Shopify Lite. I wrote an in-depth review of Shopify Lite too, so you may want to give that a quick read. It’s perfect if you don’t need a full online store.

But back to the general pricing plans…

Volusion offers the same things as Shopify, but here’s the difference:

The Volusion Basic Plan does not come with phone support.

Another thing to consider is credit card processing fees.

Shopify Payments offers rates that are competitive in the industry, with the Basic Plan starting at 2.9% + $0.30.

They’re very transparent about their fee structure, which can help you make a decision before you apply to accept Shopify Payments.

On the other hand, there’s nothing transparent about Volusion Payments. They state that transaction rates start as low as 2.15% + $0.30. But you actually have to apply before you find out their rates.

A press release dated December 15, 2017 states:

“Many leading online credit card processors charge, on average, 2.9% of the transaction total plus $0.30 for each charge that is processed through their system. Volusion Payments plans to start its lowest tier of merchants with similar rates, with higher tiers earning improved rates as low at 2.4%.”

Volusion Payments is offered in partnership with Chase and WePay.

So bottom line…

We don’t really know what the rates are. They could be as low as 2.15% + $0.30 or 2.4% plus $0.30 – but we have no idea what sort of volume you need to reach that threshold.

In order to apply for Volusion Payments, you must first have a paid Volusion subscription. So, really, you won’t know what you’re going to pay until you’re already invested.

Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 7

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Try Shopify for free and get more than just an ecommerce solution. Sell anywhere, to anyone, with Shopify's ecommerce platform and point of sale features.

I want Free Trial

For this reason, Shopify pricing is much better (and worlds more transparent) than Volusion pricing.

Volusion vs Shopify Recap: 5 Things You Need to Know

We’ve covered a lot, so I want to recap 5 of the most important things you should know about Shopify vs Volusion.

  1. Both ecommerce platforms are similar in ease-of-use, design and SEO.
  2. Volusion is an older brand, but they recently launched a new version of their platform, V2. As of early 2019, it still seems like they have some kinks to work out.
  3. Although the two platforms are similar, one thing that stands out is blogging. Volusion does not have its own built-in blogging functionality.
  4. Shopify is a lot more popular (powering 600k+ stores vs. 30k+ stores)
  5. The two platforms seem to offer the same pricing, but you can’t access Volusion Payments’ rates until you’ve signed up for a Volusion ecommerce plan.
Volusion vs Shopify: 5 Things You Need to Know (2020) 8

Volusion 14-day Free Trial

Create your online store with a FREE 14-day trial of our award-winning ecommerce software. Shown to sell 4x more than other hosted shopping carts!

I want Free Trial

Frequently Asked Questions

Volusion vs Shopify: Which Ecommerce Software Is Better?

Shopify. Volusion: 3.9/5 Shopify: 4.7/5.

Volusion vs Shopify: Who’s the Winner of this Face-off?

Shopify. “Volusion powers 30,000 stores while shopify powers more than 600,000. That means Shopify is about 20x times more popular than Volusion.” Overall features: Shopify:4.75/5 Volusion 4.5/5.

Volusion Vs Shopify – Which one is better for you?

Overall features: Shopify 4.75/5 Volusion 4.5/5
Design features: Shopify 4.75/5 Volusion 4/5
Ease-of-Use: Shopify 4.5/5 Volusion 4.3/5
SEO-Friendliness Shopify 4.5/5 Volusion 4.5/5
Pricing Comparison: Shopify 4.5/5 Volusion 4.3/5

How do Volusion and Shopify compare?

This depends on what you are looking for. Both offer: load and manage unlimited products, complete online transactions, robust shipping options, abandoned cart tool, advanced reporting. Shopify: ability to purchase add-ons instead of expensive customizations, multilingual capabilities, digital product sales. Volusion: instant store front search, mobile management app, drop-shipping app, ability to offer gift cards on all plans.

Conclusion

At a glance, the decision between Shopify vs Volusion seems difficult.

After all, it almost seems like Volusion modeled its business with the new iteration of V2 after Shopify. It includes many of the same features and the exact same monthly rates.

But although there’s a lot of potential for Volusion…

And it may even be better for someone who is completely new to ecommerce…

The platform seems to have a few things to work out. For one, it could use a built-in blogging platform. Transparent credit card processing rates would also be a plus.

Now, I want to hear from you.

Have you tried both of these platforms? If so, what are your thoughts? Do you agree that Volusion could benefit from some technical improvements?

And if you’ve chosen Volusion over Shopify, I’d love to hear your reasoning. Let’s talk about it!

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Christina Dillon

Christina Dillon is a professional content creator with a passion for ecommerce and digital marketing. And that's exactly what led her to her role with EcommerceChamp. In her free time, you'll probably find Christina working on her Shopify store.

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