In a world where it’s possible (and easy) to build your own online store, you may be wondering which platform to use. Shopify and Volusion are both excellent eCommerce platforms with some big differences.
If your focus heavily surrounds sales, Shopify offers some very advanced sales functionality that you won’t find with Volusion. On the other hand, if you’re a keen marketer who wants to nail analytics and data, Volusion has some pretty neat tools.
Things to consider…
- Which is more affordable?
- Who offers the best tools and features?
- Which platform is easier to use?
- Where can you find the best designs?
Ultimately, the decision is yours. However, in order to make that decision, I’ve signed up for both online store builders to save you the stress of doing so.
Undoubtedly, Shopify is hard to compete with. It’s powerful tools and features mean you can build a professional online store that you can market worldwide. However, it isn’t for everyone. That’s why we’ve put it up against Volusion who offers a different side to the coin that some may appreciate more than Shopify.
I’ve put both eCommerce platforms to the test. Let’s get started with Volusion Vs Shopify (exploring the key differences)…
1. Shopify Vs Volusion: Pros and Cons
I think it’s important to establish each platforms’ pros and cons before we begin. This should give you a good overview of whether Shopify or Volusion offers the right characteristics that you are after.
|✔ Has over 1.2 million users worldwide||✖ Shopify can work out expensive after you add up pricing and apps|
|✔ Shopify’s App store is large and offers lots of variety||✖ If you want to use certain payment gateways there are transaction fees|
|✔ 24/7 customer support||✖ Not able to switch themes without redesigning the whole store|
|✔ Offers excellent analytics and data tools||✖ No ability to sell digital products|
|✔ Has its own mobile app to make changes on the go||✖ Cannot add a blog to your online store|
|✔ There’s plenty of payment gateways to choose from||✖ Could be considered difficult to use or get to grips with|
2. Shopify Vs Volusion: Ease of Use
Both eCommerce builders offer a free trial. I thought it would be best to show you from the start how easy each one is to use. So, let’s start with the sign-up process and go from there!
When signing up for Shopify’s free trial, I was asked for my email address, password, and store name. In comparison, with Volusion I had to enter my name, phone number, and country. On top of this, Volusion had a pre-ticked box to sign up for special offers via text message, which I wasn’t keen on.
On the next step, Shopify asked to capture some information to default as my business address to create my online store. As Volusion didn’t ask any more questions, I’m going to assume for now that the original form capture would be enough. In terms of loading time, Volusion took a lot longer to go to the store.
After clicking next, I was taken straight to the Shopify dashboard. Here I could start adding products immediately and locate all the tools I needed to get started straight away. Volusion took me into the store editor where I could pick different designs from the offset, and start building my store. Both platforms sent through confirmation emails, but I didn’t have to divert from the smooth user journey I was already on, ensuring I could get on with the task at hand.
It was easy to see where to go to look for Shopify themes from the dashboard. After clicking themes, I could choose to customise the existing theme, explore free and premium themes from Shopify, or upload a third-party theme.
Shopify has 8 free themes to choose from and lots of premium themes. The free theme explorer was easy enough to use, opening up a lightbox within the dashboard. However, when I clicked on the theme store, this opened up a separate window where a bunch of themes were thrown in my face to peruse.
In comparison, Volusion’s 11 free themes were visible in the storefront editor straight away. They also have 34 premium themes which aren’t shown in the toolbar to the left. However, when switching themes with Volusion, it took at least 10 seconds for the changes to be visible.
Shopify’s storefront editor is fairly simple to use. On the lefthand panel, there are ‘Sections’ and ‘Theme Settings’. Sections allow you to select individual sections on your site, like the slideshow at the top, collections list, images, etc. Of course, this may differ depending on the theme you’re using and what features it offers.
Theme settings enable you to customise the colours of your chosen theme as well as fonts, social media, favicon, etc. It’s as simple as clicking on a feature and adjusting it using the settings that appear. You can also switch pages by clicking on the bar at the top, as well as viewing on mobile or desktop.
Volusion, on the other hand, was a little more difficult to get to grips with. Their style editor appears to be in a separate place to the customisation itself. You can adjust the theme’s colours and fonts from the style editor, but not much else.
When I finally found the option to customise my site, the functionality seemed very clunky and often wouldn’t appear unless I clicked it multiple times. Although it was nice to have the theme example visible (so I could see what my store could look like), I found myself getting very frustrated.
Adding a product to Shopify was really easy. I was a little dubious about this as I know products can be complicated. However, Shopify offered plenty of options and they were all clearly categorised. You could even preview how your product would look on a search engine listing.
Volusion’s add product page was a little less appealing. Although it wasn’t hard to use, it didn’t have the same flow as Shopify did. All of the options were tucked away amongst multiple sub-menus, which then led to even more menus.
So far we’ve looked at the sign-up process, theme selection, storefront editor, and product options for both Shopify and Volusion. Without a doubt, based on the experience I’ve had, my vote goes to Shopify.
The winner is… Shopify!
- Sign-up was easy
- Theme selection was obvious
- Editing was simple
- Plenty of product options
2. Shopify Vs Volusion: Sales
If you’re looking at building an online store, chances are it’s because you want to sell something. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you would be doing! eCommerce builders can be a little tricky to get to grips with, they’re not the friendliest platforms to use because often the proof is in the pudding (or the sales features in this case).
One platform that lets you sell wherever your customers are—online, in‑person, and everywhere in‑between.
The above quote is from Shopify’s website and it encompasses everything I would have said about Shopify’s sales features. You can pretty much do what you like with Shopify’s platform. In terms of selling, you can integrate your online shop with popular social media platforms, sell in person, or simply add a ‘buy’ button to any website.
Some of the sales features that stand out for me with Shopify are:
- A huge app store with thousands of choices to enhance your store
- Social media integration
- Sell anywhere (online, in person, etc.)
- Wide range of shipping options
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Professional reports
Get it all: a store builder, ecommerce software and a marketing hub, all in one.
Although I have so far found Volusion to be less than inviting when it comes to usability, I feel this is where it really shines. Volusion’s analytic tools are seriously top-notch. For example, you can find out exactly what your customers are searching for. This makes it a lot easier to target your audience and offer your customers what they actually want.
Volusion’s sales features include:
- Mobile app to manage your store from anywhere
- No transaction fees
- Advanced tracking and analytics, including ad campaigns
- Integration with Facebook, eBay, and Amazon
- Newsletter creation
- Easy SEO management
Until now, Volusion hasn’t received the best reception from me. However, it’s powerful sales features are something to be admired. With advanced analytics, tracking and no transaction fees, selling with Volusion seems to be a breeze.
Although Shopify does charge transaction fees, I feel it offers very similar features to Volusion as well as an enormous app store where you can find pretty much anything you need to sell your products online and offline.
The winner is… Shopify!
- Advanced reporting and analytics tools
- Abandoned cart recovery
- A wide range of apps for almost anything
- Social media integration
3. Shopify Vs Volusion: Design
Although we had a brief look into Shopify and Volusion’s themes earlier during the sign-up process, I thought it would be wise to explore this in a little more detail.
eCommerce builders, unfortunately, aren’t very well known for beautiful designs. However, this seems to have changed of later and more of them are competing to show off their creative flair.
Shopify has 8 free themes are 64 premium themes. Their premium themes range between $140 to $180. Themes are categorised based on industry, so you can pretty much find what you’re looking for, for any business.
As you’d expect, all of Shopify’s themes are mobile responsive, so you won’t have to worry about designing a different storefront for mobile users. Because a lot of retailers use Shopify, there’s a handy product feature built within many of their themes called ‘Product Zoom’.
Volusion has 11 free themes are 34 premium themes. Their premium themes are all $180, so it doesn’t matter which one you choose, you’ll pay the same price. Like Shopify, all of Volusion’s themes are mobile responsive.
You can view each theme in demo mode, so you can essentially try before you buy. Volusion’s theme preview shows you all of the features a theme offers, as well as any extras like product image zoom and newsletter sign up.
Both Shopify and Volusion’s themes are mobile responsive. In terms of design, they are both very similar and personally I think they all look great. Volusion has fewer themes to choose from and all-in-all they are more expensive. There are also more third-party websites offering Shopify themes, again offering greater choice.
The winner is… Shopify!
- Beautifully designed themes
- Wide range of industries
- Mobile responsive
- Free and paid options
4. Shopify Vs Volusion: Pricing
Shopify and Volusion both offer three main pricing plans. In fact, they are the same price as each other at $29, $79 and $299 per month. At first glance, these prices may seem high, but it’s worth considering the tools and features we’ve explored so far.
|Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|✔ Ideal for starting a new business
✔ Includes abandoned cart recovery
|✔ Perfect for a growing business
✔ Includes professional reports
|✔ Offers advanced features for scalability
✔ Includes all features and advanced metrics
|$29/mo (£22.43)||$79/mo (£61.11)||$299/mo (£231.29)|
|✔ Great for new businesses with a max of 100 products
✔ Social media integration and no transaction fees
|✔ Ideal for larger businesses with up to 5,000 products
✔ Offers import/export and abandoned cart recovery
|✔ Great for enterprises with no product limitations
✔ Access to third-party gateways and advanced reports
$26.10 (annual discount)
$71.10 (annual discount)
$269.10 (annual discount)
Both platforms offer good value for money, considering the powerful tools and features they offer. Whilst they may not seem affordable against other competitors, they do offer a lot more in the way of selling and analytical data. The only real difference between Shopify and Volusion’s pricing is that Shopify includes an SSL certificate, whereas with Volusion you’ll have to buy that separately.
The winner is… Shopify!
- Competitive pricing
- Includes lots of features and tools
- SSL certificate included for free
- Scalable options
5. Shopify Vs Volusion: Conclusion
Now that we’ve explored both eCommerce builders, it’s time to crown the king. Who will the winner be? Shopify or Volusion. Before we reveal the winner, let’s summarise what we’ve concluded so far.
Shopify is a brilliant option if you’re looking for a lot of powerful sales features. Realistically, you could use Shopify for any kind of business. They offer a wide range of themes to suit most industries, as well as tools to take your store to the next level.
Their interface isn’t as easy as the likes of Wix, however, it is much easier than Volusion. Creating your online store and adding products is simple, once you’ve got the hang of it.
Volusion is a great competitor, offering a lot of payment options and analytical tools that would be ideal for data-driven store owners. However, it definitely lacks in certain areas compared to Shopify.
For example, Volusion doesn’t offer a blog feature, it doesn’t include a free SSL, and I found it much harder to use. In fact, there were times that I felt Volusion wasn’t really usable with themes taking ages to load and functionality simply not working.
All-in-all, there’s one clear winner for me, and that is Shopify.