Volusion Review – What do we think 4 years on?

///Volusion Review – What do we think 4 years on?

Volusion Review – What do we think 4 years on?

The following article is review of our own experiences having used Volusion for both our own online businesses and various client projects over the last 4 years.

Volusion ReviewWhy Volusion?

How did we end up choosing to specialize in Volusion over several other shopping carts on the market?

Well, we also run a couple of our own online stores (originally built using another shopping cart). As these businesses grew, we found that we had outgrown our old shopping cart, and so we spent a long time looking for something better. We had very good search engine results in Google which we wanted to preserve. We had read some horror stories where companies that had moved to a new shopping and suddenly lost all their Google rankings and traffic. We rely heavily on organic listings (free traffic), so this was an important issue for us.

After months of testing several different shopping carts we made a switch to something called Volusion.

To summarize, the results have been as follows:

Volusion Test Server
We were able to build and test a complete online store using the Volusion test server. This means we could test links, images, search filters etc in a test environment. When we were ready to launch all we had to do was update our nameservers to point our domain name to the Volusion server.

There were no issues with missing images or incorrect links etc.

301 Redirects
All our original search engine rankings have been preserved. Volusion has a nice naming convention for Meta Title tags, it also has an easy 301 redirect page. This basically means that you can set up any redirects from old page names to new Volusion page names before the site goes live.

This meant that we had no nasty surprises after we launched the new Volusion store.

Volusion is Server Based
This means no more snapshots and backing up files. All you need is internet access and passwords and you can download orders or update products from anywhere in the world. You can also set up various admin settings so that someone on your office can log in and only process orders, while someone else (in another location), only has permission to update products etc. So if your computers crash, all you need is the web address and your passwords to manage orders and keep your online store ticking over.

Part Numbers & Product Codes
Products can be added as parents and children with correct part numbers. So if you have a T-shirt available in 3 colors and 4 sizes, each of these options can be entered with its own part number (as a child of the main parent). This allows inventory control so that you can hide sizes and colors that are out of stock.

Volusion Search Filters

Volusion Search Filters
You can assign as many categories as you want to any product (Brand, Size, Color, Sex, Age, Height etc), and then you can assign any product into as many categories as you want. This means that people can filter their search based on anything you want.

For example somebody could start by looking at all the motorcycle helmets in a store. Then they can filter by choosing, Brand, Style, Color, Price etc.

See how you can filter types of Safety Vests by Color, Classification, and Style, and Material here:


Volusion Product Categories
It is possible to set up as many categories (hidden or unhidden) as you want (Junior, Sale, Gift Packs etc), and then assign a product to as many as you want (without having to create duplicate products). Simply add a category ID number next to each product (we like using excel and file imports for this).

Volusion Image OptionsProduct Images
Upload a product image of any size, and the Volusion system will automatically create 3 web ready images (section, product, larger popup). It will also create multiple product images without any hassle.

You can also show product choices with more images too. (so people see they are buying blue or red etc).

Product images can also be bulk uploaded to the Volusion Server to save time.

Learn more about adding product images to Volusion.

This pages shows how multiple product images can be assigned to a product


Excel Updates
Almost everything within Volusion can be updated using Excel files (prices, descriptions, quantities etc). To update the quantities all you need to do is upload a file that contains a column of product codes and a column of quantities. Volusion has a very easy Import/Export feature for these types of updates. This makes adding and editing products much faster than using the standard admin facility (one-by-one).

Shipping Rates
Volusion has a whole set of shipping methods and tables that can be used to customize your own shipping rates. Also shipping rates can be estimated in the shopping cart before checking out – so there are no nasty surprises for your customers which might otherwise lead to abandoned shopping carts.

Volusion Tech SupportVolusion Tech Support
During our thorough testing of Volusion, we hounded their tech support people for months and were pleased with the response. Their tech support team usually always answered our questions within a few minutes on live chat 24/7. They also have phone support available. Depending on the time of day, their could sometimes be quite a few people ahead of us in the queue for Live Chat (up to 20), but we would just open up a chat window and continue working for 5 minutes until somebody was ready.

As we got more familiar with the Volusion software and really started to get  our teeth into the customization, we started seeing the limitations of their standard tech support. Depending on who we managed to speak to it would sometimes get a little frustrating.

In their defense, we were asking quite technical questions that the normal user would not be asking. They would also forward our questions to a higher level of support.

So overall we were happy with the level of support that most users would require.

Hosted Ecommerce Solution
The advantage of using a company like Volusion is that they provide the hosting and tech support. This means that you are not dependent on one person/designer to help with any problems. Although we do build long term relationships with our clients, we understand that sometimes a client just needs an answer to a simple question as quickly as possible. It can be reassuring to know that there is another line of support available 24/7 – it just makes good business sense to keep your options open.

 A Low Cost Shopping Cart
Volusion charge a relatively low monthly fee for the quality and level of technology they are providing. They have a tiered pricing structure based on the amount of products you want to sell online. There are mixed reviews if you dig deep enough online. But our own findings from our experience with Volusion have been 99% positive, with no loss in traffic or Google page rankings.

Bandwidth Usage
When you have a large online store with 1000’s of products and 1000’s of images then you should be aware or Volusion bandwidth charges. A large online store with 1000’s of product images and 1000’s of visitors is going to require a large amount of bandwidth. Depending on how much is required, you may find yourself being charged for bandwidth overages.

We fixed this issue by hosting images externally. Drop us an email if you need more information on how this works.

Volusion ExpertsWe Know Volusion
After adding over 20’000 products to our own Volusion stores, we pretty much know the software inside out. Overall we have been happy with the results and have helped several of our existing clients to migrate their own online stores from other shopping carts to Volusion.

For the relatively low monthly cost of Volusion, they offer you access to some very powerful technology, backed up with excellent tech support. Our expertise at ADX Media is that we have spent years customizing and tweaking Volusion stores to get the most out of their technology.

Contact us today to see how our Volusion Design services can help you.

By | 2012-08-17T19:40:25+00:00 August 17th, 2012|Ecommerce, Volusion|0 Comments

About the Author:

ADX Media - Offering Web Design and Online Marketing Services for over 15 years.

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