Volusion have 5 packages. £79 + VAT per month is their ‘Best Value’. Their pricing seems to be a little similar to that of Shopify… Lets dig deeper and see if £79 + VAT per month is ‘Best Value’ for you.

3rd-Awards

Mini – £9 + VAT per month Bronze – £19 + VAT per month Silver – £39 + VAT per month Gold  – £79 + VAT per month Platinum – £119 + VAT per month
  • 100 Products Limit
  • 1GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • 1000 Products Limit
  • 2GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Newsletter
  • 2500 Products Limit
  • 5GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Newsletter
  • Phone Orders
  • Import/Export Facility
  • CRM
  • 10000 Products Limit
  • 25GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Newsletter
  • Phone Orders
  • Import/Export Facility
  • CRM
  • Deal of the Day
  • MyRewards
  • API Access
  • Amazon Integration New
  • eBay Integration
  • Batch Order Processing
  • Unlimited Products
  • 40GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Newsletter
  • Phone Orders
  • Import/Export Facility
  • CRM
  • Deal of the Day
  • MyRewards
  • API Access
  • Amazon Integration New
  • eBay Integration
  • Batch Order Processing
  • Account Manager

Volusion advertise (correct as of 3rd Sept 2013)

They offer 5 packages and on paper (or website) this makes them look like they have something for everyone. Similar to other platforms they have a ‘Best Value’ package.

Before I begin writing this review, I would like to point one thing out. All transactional (ecommerce) websites require an SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer) that will provide security to your shoppers by encrypting the data that is transferred, such as credit card details. All the above packages do NOT include this.

You will have to add a minimum of £59 – £745 per year to the advertised prices above before your shop goes live (information correct as of 3rd Sept 2013)

Mini – £9 + VAT per month

  • 100 Products Limit
  • 1GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools

The above package, in most instances will not be a viable solution, it’s very limited on products and no other features to shout about. Anyone that chooses this package, could be upgrading in no time, why?

a) Well, 100 products is not a huge number to have on an ecommerce website.

b) 1GB File storage is not a huge amount, however it should be substantial for only 100 products.

Bronze – £19 + VAT per month

  • 1000 Products Limit
  • 2GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Newsletter

This package is priced roughly the same as ekmPowershop’s full product offering and Shopify’s second cheapest option. Whilst it does seem to beat Shopify’s similar priced package, it does not come close to ekmPowershop’s one price for all package.

a) 1000 Products Limit – could well be enough for new start-ups

b) 2GB Data Transfer – you could easily be wanting an upgrade, especially if you do not have any idea how to optimize images

c) £0.00 Transaction Fees – just what you need

d) mCommerce Enabled – pretty much standard across platforms

e) Social Media Tools – again this is a standard feature across many platforms

f) Abandoned Cart Reports – nice feature

g) Ratings & Reviews – nice feature

h) Newsletter – limited to the amount of sends before you have to pay

Whilst the above package might appear to be good value, you may well be left wishing you had chosen another package or even another provider.

Silver – £39 + VAT per month

  • 2500 Products Limit
  • 5GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Newsletter
  • Phone Orders
  • Import/Export Facility
  • CRM

£39 +VAT per month package – and 1 question I want you to ask yourself. What am I getting for an additional £20.00 per month? Well if you look closely at the below you will see that its not much, however for new start-ups it is probably just good enough, however you will be paying almost £20 more for far less features that ekmPowershop have on offer.

a) 2500 Products Limit – for a new start up this should be suffice

b) 5GB Data Transfer – for a new start up this should be suffice

c) £0.00 Transaction Fees – just what you need

d) mCommerce Enabled – most credible platforms on the market are offering these as standard

e) Social Media Tools – most credible platforms on the market are offering these as standard

f) Abandoned Cart Reports – nice feature

g) Ratings & Reviews – nice feature

h) Newsletter – limited to the amount of sends before you have to pay

i) Phone Orders – again adding this to a package to help sell it, is a little cheeky – why? well most payment gateways offer the facility to take orders over the phone! you simply login to your account and use the virtual terminal.

j) Import/Export Facility – standard on most platforms

k) CRM – offering this to help promote a package is in my opinion is purely to make customers think they are getting something extra. All ecommerce platforms run a CRM

Breakdown of additional features from that of the £19.00 + Vat per month option is:

  1. 1500 products more
  2. 2.5GB additional data transfer
  3. CRM?
  4. Phone Orders?
  5. Import/Export Facility

Does this justify a £20.00 per month increase from their bronze package? I will let you decide for your self.

Gold  – £79 + VAT per month – (Advertised as Best Value)

Advertised as the ‘Best Value’ product. Whilst on paper it seems to be a good package with all the ‘ticks’ along side the features you will be provided with, I cannot help but think that at £79 + VAT per month, and at almost £60 per month more than one of its closest competitors, then why is this package the ‘Best Value’? when a fundamental SSL certificate is not included!

  • 10000 Products Limit
  • 25GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Newsletter
  • Phone Orders
  • Import/Export Facility
  • CRM
  • Deal of the Day
  • MyRewards
  • API Access
  • Amazon Integration New
  • eBay Integration
  • Batch Order Processing

The above is of course my personal view and I may sound over critical and brutal in my assessment, however, If I were reading a review, I would expect nothing less.  For a company offering ecommerce solutions, and NOT including a service that is essential to its customers such as SSL licensing FREE of charge, has left me lost for words.

Again, ask yourself this 1 question… are the additional features listed below:

  • Deal of the Day
  • MyRewards
  • API Access
  • Amazon Integration New
  • eBay Integration
  • Batch Order Processing

a) worth paying £40 per month more that the Silver package?

b) worth paying £26 more than Shopify’s  ‘Most Popular’ package

c) worth almost £60 more than ekmPowershop’s £24.99 package, which includes the same and more features?

I will answer this one for you:

a) NO

b) NO

c) NO

Platinum – £119 + VAT per month – SSL not included

Volusion’s most expensive package and similar to Shopify’s most expensive package.

  • Unlimited Products
  • 40GB Data Transfer
  • £0.00 Transaction Fees
  • mCommerce Enabled
  • Social Media Tools
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Newsletter
  • Phone Orders
  • Import/Export Facility
  • CRM
  • Deal of the Day
  • MyRewards
  • API Access
  • Amazon Integration New
  • eBay Integration
  • Batch Order Processing
  • Account Manager

Whilst I am not going into great detail about this package, I think you can make your own judgements on the cost v features. I cannot see and valid reason why this package is £40 per month more than the ‘Gold’ package they have in offer. Especially when you see that the below is the only difference between the two. Additionally and like all the packages on offer you will need to add anywhere from £59 – £745 per year for an SSL certificate. I would expect at least one of Volusion’s packages would come with SSL included, and that package would be the ‘Platinum’.

  • Unlimited Products
  • 40GB Data Transfer
  • Account Manager

Templates/Themes

Volusion’s templates are probably the most outdated I have seen in a long while, they have the odd 1 or 2 that look nice but the overall quality is just not there. Volusion definitely need to step up work on developing new and exciting templates.

Usability

Volusion is not as straightforward as Shopify and ekmPowershop’s platform. It is quite clumsy and scattered, for a new user it could be seen to be a little complex, and it will take you a while to master. Once you do, like most things, it serves it’s purpose.

App/Features Add-ons

Volusion – did not find any plugins or features during my trial period. I am therefore making assumptions that for their ‘Platinum’ package you get everything you see in the admin, and when you subscribe to one of the other packages, this is when certain functions are disabled.

Summary – Overall Score 5 out of 10

Volusion do have a decent platform; however when you compare their similar priced packages against the competition then you soon realise that the competition is far superior.

You may also by now, be wondering why Volusion has won 3rd place – well in all honesty, there are no other products on the market that come close to ekmPowershop, Shopify and Volusion, not for the ease of use and value for money. Yes I have been critical of Volusion and their packages, but based on the competition, I have to be. Whilst Volusion are some way behind ekmPowershop and almost on par with Shopify they do need to look at their price point and product offering. And 3rd place isnt too bad from the 10’s of other ecommerce software packages.