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Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform: Volusion For Your Online Business
Volusion is a hosted shopping cart provider, similar to BigCommerce and Shopify, that provides users with the standard features one comes to expect with today’s Ecommerce platforms. When it comes to choosing the right eCommerce platform, Volusion is a great choice for merchants who fall into the beginner to intermediate spectrum, both in terms of budget and technical knowledge. ECommerce platforms are continuously improving the ease of operation by taking away the often difficult tasks of server and shopping cart integration in order for the store owner to focus on what’s important: selling products. Setup Similar to Shopify, Volusion’s setup process is fairly straightforward and user-friendly. The process of choosing themes, creating products, new blog content, and most other actions relevant to the creation of an eCommerce store is very intuitive – even for an absolute beginner. An additional set up option available to Volusion users is to have a design team customize your site for you. Volusion’s design services team has the ability to customize a theme of your choosing or create a new one from scratch. All you need to provide is the images and product content; the rest can be done by the experts at Volusion. When choosing the right eCommerce platform, it is important to consider the various themes being offered. Themes play a major role in attracting consumers. Not only does the right theme draw in new customers, but choosing a theme that works well with your products and is easy to navigate can greatly benefit your online business. Volusion offers many themes to choose from; some are free, but most are paid. Volusion’s theme pricing starts at $180 and can go as high as $2000 for a Premium Pro theme, which gives you access to a product manager, developer, unique homepage customization, site analysis, and an SEO technician. All themes are completely customizable within your editor. It should also be mentioned that, as of now, all of Volusion’s themes are 100% responsive across desktop, mobile, and tablet. Lastly, Volusion requires its users to purchase an SSL certificate, which is a transactional security safeguard. By contrast, BigCommerce and Shopify include an SSL installation with all of their pricing plans. Features While researching your options to choosing the right eCommerce platform, something to keep in mind is the platforms offered features and functionality. Volusion provides all of the necessary functionality to start shipping your products right out of the box. One great feature within Volusion’s pre-existing functionality is the ability to track abandoned carts under the “Orders” tab within the Admin area. This feature gives the business owner the ability to send a friendly email notice to the address on file reminding the shopper of their abandoned item. Many store owners are able to add additional sales to their monthly revenue by simply sending a reminder to a shopper that their item is still in the cart waiting to be fulfilled. In terms of features, or the lack thereof, Volusion does not have built-in blogging functionality. Most eCommerce platforms today, such as Shopify and BigCommerce, have blogging functionality within their platform. A blog section helps to build trust among consumers by communicating knowledge, trust, and additional brand awareness. It also serves as a medium for developing the SEO ‘juice’ of a company. By providing rich content in blog form, you’re increasing the chances of search engines recognizing you and organically promoting your website within its search rankings. In the case of Volusion, you’ll have to link to a third party website. 1DigitalAgency has a detailed overview of that process which you can read here. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Another important consideration to keep in mind while choosing the right eCommerce platform is the SEO functions each platform offers. SEO, or search engine optimization, plays a key role in making sure your website is searchable and ranking high. Without SEO, your website can fall down into the depths of search engines making it extremely difficult to drive new traffic towards your online business. Within Volusion’s platform, you’ll find all the SEO tools required for an eCommerce store, except a blog. By default, the platform generates a sitemap, as well as integration with Google Analytics and Adwords. Keyword research and content optimization are customizable. Volusion hosts an in-house, professional team that can help you with a full SEO audit and necessary implementation, which includes a more technical analysis and customization of your SEO strategy. PPC (pay-per-click) services are also available at an additional cost. Omnichannel In the marketing tab within the dashboard, users will find a very intuitive interface allowing the integration with their store to various sales channels. Users are presented with a wide range of options to integrate their storefront with multiple marketing channels. While omnichannel integration is important in helping business owners with choosing the right eCommerce platform, much of this integration is only available with certain plans. For example, the ability to integrate with Facebook, eBay, and Amazon Marketplace requires a subscription to the Pro plan, which runs at $75 per month. Volusion, however, has done a great job with mobile integration. Not only are themes mobile responsive, but the checkout process has been specifically optimized to be mobile friendly. Both the merchant and customer have a great user experience on any device. Pricing The key difference between Volusion and other eCommerce platforms is the fact that Volusion charges users a set fee on bandwidth usage. Bandwidth usage is capped with each pricing tier, and an additional fee of $7 per gigabyte will be accrued if you go over your plan’s usage limits. Some consider this to be a major drawback in terms of choosing the right platform. This cap on bandwidth is often a deciding factor for larger stores that expect a lot of website traffic. Volusion offers four different pricing plans, with each plan giving users access to their free themes, 24/7 support, and secure checkout. Mini – $15 per month. Includes 1GB of bandwidth, online support, and the ability to add 100 products. Certain social media integrations are not available. Plus – $35 per month. Includes 3GB’s of bandwidth, online and phone support, and the ability to add 1,000 products. Pro – $75 per month. Includes 10GB’s of bandwidth, priority support, and the ability to add 10,000 products. Premium – $135 per month. Includes 35GB’s of bandwidth, priority support along with a dedicated account manager, and unlimited product additions. In addition to the monthly plans, you’ll need to purchase a domain, which can be done through Volusion’s platform. Hosting is included in each plan, as well. If you’re doing research on choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business and you’d like to keep your focus on sales while letting others do the behind-the-scenes work, consider looking into a digital agency that can help you with SEO, web design, and web development so that you can ease the headaches and focus on what the customers really want. Here at 1Digital Agency, we are a Volusion elite expert devoted to helping you make the most out of your online store so that not only do you keep your current customers, but you gain new ones in the process. For more information about our process, check out our website or give us a call at (215) 809-1567. If you’re doing research on choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business and you’d like to keep your focus on sales while letting others do the behind-the-scenes work, consider looking into a digital agency that can help you with SEO, web design, and web development so that you can ease the headaches and focus on what the customers really want. Here at 1Digital Agency, we are a Volusion elite expert devoted to helping you make the most out of your online store so that not only do you keep your current customers, but you gain new ones in the process. For more information about our process, check out our website or give us a call at(215) 809-1567.