Volusion and Shopify are two of the leading Ecommerce platforms on the market. If you’re an online seller, choosing an Ecommerce platform is one of the most important business decisions you’ll need to make. Your website acts as a storefront. Your website can be your first impression. In most cases, your website lays the foundation for the success of your business. We understand just how important an Ecommerce platform can be to your business. Our goal is to help you break down the basics so you can make an informed decision that will make you feel good.
Let’s start from the beginning. What exactly is Ecommerce? Electronic Commerce is more commonly known as Ecommerce and refers to transactions made over the internet. Anytime goods or services are bought online, they’re done via Ecommerce. As you can imagine, online sales include a large variety of scenarios. To make it easier to clarify, they have been broken down into separate categories. Business to Business (B2B): selling a good or service from one business to another Example: A manufacturer sells cups to a restaurant Business to Consumer (B2C): selling a good or service from a business to a consumer Example: You purchase a birthday present for your child from a boutique Consumer to Consumer (C2C): selling a good or service from consumer to consumer Example: You sell a Halloween costume on eBay Consumer to Business (C2B): selling a good or service from consumer to business Example: An Instagram influencer is paid to promote beauty products
When Ecommerce first came about, it was hard to imagine just how far it would take us. In today’s world, you can buy just about anything online - from digital downloads, handmade trinkets, and hard-to-find vintage memorabilia that you otherwise might not be able to find. A little fun fact is, the first-ever “secure online transaction” or Ecommerce purchase was made on August 11th, 1994. A guy named Phil Brandenberger of Philadelphia bought a compact disk by Sting via Net Market Company, which was at the time a new venture said to be a shopping mall in cyberspace. Today, top Ecommerce platforms include Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, to name a few. Even established retailers such as Walmart have seen a huge growth in numbers since incorporating Ecommerce into their business model. It’s incredible to see how Ecommerce has revolutionized business practices in just a relatively short amount of time. We have recently seen a major transformation in how products and services are brought to consumers, and things aren’t slowing down anytime soon!
There are many things to consider when searching for an online platform. To make things easier, consider your main decision factors before you begin. Will you be drop shipping or selling digital products? Do you need a custom site, or will you be using a template? How much time can you commit, or will you be outsourcing? Next, you should look for important details that are key to your business. The setup process is going to look very different depending on your industry. Don’t waste your time comparing advanced features you won’t need anyway. Some of the components may be extremely important to your business, while others aren’t needed at all. Just about all of the top Ecommerce platforms provide mobile-ready sites and SEO tools, but if you’re looking for features such as coupons/rewards, site search, or blogging, you’ll want to look into who does those best. With so many products and services to be sold online, there are just as many Ecommerce platforms to help business owners achieve their goals. Today we will focus on Volusion and Shopify, but there are a number of well-performing platforms available.
Let’s first take a look at how Volusion and Shopify are similar, so you can see what to expect from both platforms, no matter which one you decide. They both offer a 14 day free trial with no cancelation fees. Their pricing models are very similar, with free templates as well as paid versions. Unlimited bandwidth across the board is a huge plus, and 24/7 customer support is invaluable when learning a new platform. The free trial with each platform is super convenient and stress-free, but you don’t want to get too involved with a platform before you make a commitment. You should only need a day or two to poke around and see if you feel comfortable with their interface. Don’t forget to cancel any other trials you’ve signed up for once you make your decision.
The pricing is pretty much the same between the two except Volusion recently added an additional pricing option . They both offer a tiered pricing model to suit your needs, but Volusion offers a 10% discount for prepaying every three months, whereas Shopify offers the same 10% discount for prepaying annually and 20% for prepaying biennially. Volusion
As you can see, their pricing models are pretty similar. There were two things that stood out to us about their pricing; you only get phone support with Volusion from the professional level on up (otherwise online support only), and Shopify has no limitations for the volume of sales your business can do at any of their price levels.
Although these two platforms are pretty similar, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. The first thing to consider is your projected gross revenue and if you can get a better deal from Shopify with their unlimited packages. With Volusion, each pricing plan has a cap on how much you can make, so you’ll need to upgrade as you grow. Shopify has no limitations on business revenue for any of its pricing plans. The next major decision should be how you plan to accept payments . Volusion provides its own native gateway, offers no transaction fees, and has a built-in feature to collect recurring payments. Shopify offers no transaction fees when using the Shopify payments feature only. If you are using an external payment provider, there will be additional transaction fees that vary according to the payment plan you’re on. Volusion has been around a little longer and is known to be a solid platform, but Shopify surpasses them with extra bells and whistles. Shopify comes with a much larger app store and social media channel integration. They make it easy to offer promos, discounts, and reward programs. Unlike Volusion, Shopify offers a built-in blog feature and is known to be a little more user-friendly with its simple design. Volusion is appealing for tech-savvy business owners who are data-driven because of its excellent analytics tools. Users are particularly keen on the search term analysis feature that allows you to see what customers are searching for. If you are looking for subscription ecommerce, Volusion has a built-in feature for recurring payments.
The biggest takeaway is to be clear on what you need from an Ecommerce platform. Once you know what your needs are, it’s that much easier to see which platform will perform the best. Don’t waste your time looking into features you’ll never use anyway. Will you need a blog on your site? Does your company issue recurring payments? How much gross revenue do you expect to do in the first year? If your business is subscription-based, the recurring payments feature with Volusion will certainly be handy. Alternatively, if you’re planning to have a blog on your website, Shopify will probably be your best bet. If you’re still struggling to make a decision, I will take advantage of the free trial with each platform to play around with and see which one makes you feel more comfortable. At the end of the day, if it has all the tools you need, and you find it user-friendly, it should be a winner! Sources: https://www.nytimes.com/1994/08/12/business/attention-shoppers-internet-is-open.html https://www.businessinsider.com/walmart-growth-changes-end-of-decade-2009-2019-12 https://www.volusion.com/pricing https://www.shopify.com/pricing