Volusion Makes E-Commerce Easy

Yup, we’ve got ourselves another ReviewMe request. John’s off eating some live lobster again, so I’m back to give my thoughts, this time on a company called Volusion.

Whereas sites like John Chow dot Com are content-driven, there are countless others out there that have taken the e-commerce route, selling tangible (and intangible) products to their valued customers. I’m sure many of you have purchased something online at some point.

Thing is, most people getting into that kind of business are focused on offering great products and don’t really want to spend their time figuring out how to design a website, how to setup an online shopping cart, and how to deal with that SSL security stuff. That’s where Volusion steps in. Volusion is a complete on-demand e-commerce solution. They do the hosting, they do the designing, they can even do the search engine optimization for you. And because it’s completely online, there are no downloads to concern yourself with.

Site Design

Considering that one of Volusion’s vital products is web design, it should come as little surprise that their site is incredibly easy to navigate. The sidebar on the left gives you quick access to their free 14-day trial, free live chat, and a write-up on their one-page checkout, the last of which they say is the “fastest checkout on the web.” On the top, you’ll find a series of tabs so that you can access the one that best fits your needs. The blog offers helpful pointers to grow your business too.

Volusion ECommerce Solutions

There’s tons of content here with ample explanations and descriptions of each of Volusion’s various products. And if you’re still unsure about anything in particular, they have 24/7 live chat so that you can get in contact with a customer service rep and ask away. This same feature can very easily be integrated into your own Volusion-powered e-commerce site.

No HTML knowledge? No problem

Not everyone is a techie. In fact, most people aren’t, and that could be what is deterring them from expanding their brick-and-mortar business into the realm of the World Wide Web. Volusion aims to change that. When you sign up with them, all you do is pick a free template (or purchase a custom one that’ll be ready in “less than 5-7 business days”), load up your inventory, and your store is live. Almost instantly.

From the administrative dashboard, you can have an “at-a-glance” peek at your online store, from a list of your currently top selling products and categories to which orders need to be sent out, customer requests, and so forth. Using the admin login, additional accounts can be set up for your employees, customizing their access as you see fit. They can then arrange their dashboard however they like so that they can get their part of the job done. It all seems so easy, so seamless. Maybe even a caveman can do it.

Pricing

Ah, here’s the bit that most people would be interested in. They’ve got pricing structures set up for their web design, security, and search engine optimization, but the core product is the setting up and hosting of that online store. It seems that how much they charge varies largely with how many items you want to have in your store. The Steel package gives you 20 items whereas the Platinum package is unlimited. Bigger plans also offer greater bandwidth and more free Google Adwords credit, an added bonus.

volusion-price.JPG

One Stop Shopping

It all fits together. You want to build an online store so that you can sell your wares not only to local customers, but also clear across the nation and maybe even the world. You want your potential clients to have as clean and easy a time buying your stuff as possible, but you don’t know the first thing about e-commerce or you can’t be bothered to do the coding yourself. Volusion truly is a one-stop shop for getting your online store going, and while it may sound somewhat expensive from a lowly blogger’s point of view, it’s still certainly cheaper than having to pay the rent and expenses associated with a physical store.


35 thoughts on “Volusion Makes E-Commerce Easy”

  1. You sure have been getting the reviews! It is going to be a great month for John!

    1. Well, looks like it’s Michael who’s ‘feeling the heat’ instead! Look how busy he is with the reviews!

  2. Good stuff. It is interesting the possibility to have 14 free day trial.

  3. Jack says:

    March is definitely going to beat February in earnings. I am predicting that right now.

    1. I agree. Yet, I wonder if the review articles right now are still part of the backlog for Feb.

      1. jez says:

        Good point, but I doubt it, payments for ReviewMe clear a few days after you post, so John wong get paid for this until later in the week, unless he has negotiated better terms on that too.

        At this rate he’ll be selling reviewMe a years subscription on his blog ❗ ❗

        1. jez says:

          Better still, he could comission a reviewMe plug in for WP and run the whole shooting match from within his blog 🙂

          I wonder where he ranks amongst the top reviewers in terms of income for reviewMe?

          1. Jonix says:

            How much do we get from the review? We could get a part from the review, because if we don’t read the review, the review is useless.

            Ok, just kidding :mrgreen: (or not…)

    2. jez says:

      Im not, a lot of reviews would have come in due to the half price offer on review me.

      Personally I think it will be around $8000, but we will have to wait and see.

      1. Jonix says:

        $8000, $10000, or more, who knows…
        Jez, and you, how much do you’ll make?

        1. jez says:

          Off my blogs, just enough to keep the store cupboard of a very small monkey stocked with peanuts :mrgreen:

          Unfortunately I have to go to work for the rest of it 🙄

        2. jez says:

          Off blogs, barely enough to keep the store cupboard of a very small monkey stocked with peanuts :mrgreen:

          Unfortunately I have work for the rest of it 🙄

          1. Jonix says:

            for now…i see good value in your blogs. if you continue the good work, i’m sure that you’ll succeed

  4. Corey says:

    I can say from first hand experience that Volusion is great! I use it personally for 2 sites, a .com and a .ca one.

    While I do agree with the “no html knowledge, no problem”…Im starting to notice ALOT of sites with the same ol free templates that volusion offers…and getting a custom one from them can be quite pricey…SO in this case having html/graphic knowledge is a plus!

    And for us Canucks..If you plan on accepting CreditCards directly, not through paypal (cause they stink!)..youll have to get a “merchant account”, which right now in canada there seems to only be one “decent” one and thats moneris.com/.ca. I tried to get a merchant account through volusion and that was a NO GO for a canadian unless you had an “american presence” ie. a bank account in the US. no thanks!

    Id share what my site is…but thats spam! and I

    1. Ryan says:

      Corey, have you tried using PayPal’s web payments pro? Does Volusion help you integrate that with their service?

      1. jez says:

        I would have thought they have proper payment gateways integrated, if so why would you want to use PayPal, it is the worst possible option for E-Commerce.

        It really puts users off, is expensive, not a good plan IMO

      2. jez says:

        Missed this, it somes it up pretty well:

        “And for us Canucks..If you plan on accepting CreditCards directly, not through paypal (cause they stink!)..”

        Do it properly, forget PayPal ❗

      3. Corey says:

        Volusion does not help you. Its all in the “admin panel” you can choose paypal pro, enter your info.
        But like many say, if youre operating a “real” store, you arent taking paypal..

    2. jez says:

      Im not a fan of these services, there are some very good free (open source) E-Commerce solutions.

      You can get these deployed quite cheaply, some hosts include them in teir hosting.

      Buy a template or pay someone to design one for you and you have your own store, Normal hosting costs etc.

      If you use an E-Commerce builder like this then you are locked in. If you ever decide to leave them you have to start again from scratch.

      1. Corey says:

        yes indeedy, Lots of good opensource solutions (osCommerce!), But for mom and pop or someone who isnt a computer whiz, opensource wont help them much. Volusion will be good for those who have 0 knowledge of hosting,domains, html, buying/selling on the web,etc,etc.

        But dang, for those of us that DO know that stuff…OsCommerce has so many features its awesome!… I just dont have the time for it…so i use volusion and so far so good!

        1. jez says:

          Have a look at VirtueMart, its an E-Commerce plug in for Joomla!

          OsCommerce has a lot of contributions which is its strength, but as VirtueMart is a Joomla! plug in, it allow you to build a real website with E-Commerce functionality, you can plug a blog into it too…

          Have a look at the live stores built with VirtueMart, youll see that most are a cut above osComm.

          Regarding Moms & Pops n Techies, pay someone to do it, youll get the money back in 12 months (compared to renting a site builder) Start off with something modest and enhance it over time…

    3. jez says:

      What is the domain of your site, would be interested to have a look at it…

  5. I took a look at the trial version and it’s pretty nice. My only complaint is the use of underscores (_) in the folder names. Since Key_Word is one word and Key-Word is two words, I would prefer the latter.

    Of course, considering that is the only complaint I can find by looking through the demo, they are definitely on the right track.

    1. Ashish Mohta says:

      I agree with you on that.Its affected in google search for sure.

  6. Ashish Mohta says:

    I don’t see a hug difference.There are lot of sites that are providing this kind of solution.People will go for more customization and they will be charged for that sure.If they can goive an optimal templates that fits some category of business or any other it will be benefited,.

  7. I know the people who run an online toy store (www.bongoworld.com) and they use Volusion and have been pretty happy with it, especially the analytics it provides the vendor.

    1. jez says:

      Hmm, not far off an out of the box open source package which would work out cheaper, that said, all that really matters is whether it makes money….

  8. Jeff Kee says:

    Wow I actually found this review to be useful.. although I’m a PHP coder – my shopping carts are mostly custom-coded, or i prefer to anyways.

    I have more control over it at the end. I don’t enjoy using OS Commerce so much..

    1. jez says:

      Its ok, not a lot of messing around, and the more you mess around the harder upgrading becomes. Also it is reputed to have more security issues than Zen Cart, as Ive already mentioned, you should take a look at VirtueMart

    1. jez says:

      Maybe someone submitted it on their behalf, its a while since I signed up for ReviewMe but I dont remember there being any authentication that the site is yours, perhaps the initial mail address had to be at the domain, a while back now….

  9. Tom says:

    We’ve been using Volusion for about 6 months now and we’re really happy with it. Although it’s a little hard to work with because it’s written in ASP it’s still the best hosted solution you can find these days. We were complete ecommerce newbies when we started, but with the easy to use admin section and responsive tech-support we’ve gotten the hang of it quite nicely. If you want to garner more trust with your customers I would suggest swinging for the Verisign SSL certificate (rather than the Volusion one) too as it’s a little extra but it’s one of those all important trust-seals that people will recognize and trust.

    You can see how we’ve implemented it here 😀

    1. How did you get it to work with dashes (-) instead of underscores (_)?

      1. Tom says:

        Hy Jeremy, hop over to our contact page and drop us a message with a little more info and I’d be happy to help answer your question 🙂

  10. If I was going to launch an e-commerce site I would probably go with volusion.

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