Features Galore, Right Price, but Subpar Support & Development
March 19, 2014

Features Galore, Right Price, but Subpar Support & Development

Shayna Bane | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

V13 - Platinum Plan

Overall Satisfaction

Volusion is used exclusively by me as our ecommerce solution. We run a few websites using Volusion as our shopping cart provider. We use nearly all of the Order Management, Product Management, Marketing, Design, and Reporting tools they provide.
  • Features. Volusion has a ton of features that we've found with other ecommerce solutions, but never all of them. We're fairly reliant upon a few of the features that we can't find elsewhere.
  • Price. There's no denying it's a very fair price point... given that you don't go over bandwidth limits (we always do).
  • Live Chat. They provide me with a quick way to get a hold of them - which I make FULL use of.
  • Feature implementation. While they have a ton of features, they're often released haphazardly in my opinion. Sometimes it seems like they don't have testers. Typically, I'm unable to use new features until about 6 months after they're released (and over a year after I asked for them) because it takes that long to get the quirks smoothed out well enough for us to use them. It seems that they often don't understand programs that they integrate with well enough to do a proper implementation.
  • Timeliness of features. This can be taken with a grain of salt for many looking to compare. I'm a super-experienced user with many, many needs. We're often limited when it comes to Google (and other platform) beta programs, and even just early adoption because I have to wait for Volusion to catch up. What's tough is that I often NEED them to make a change in order for me to move forward, it's not my own limitation (but that's what you can expect when you use a third party software to run your site rather than your own team of developers).
  • Customer service in regards to live chat. While I LOVE that they have live chat (I'm needy, I constantly need support) - the operators are rude 75% of the time. They come into the conversation assuming I have no idea what I'm talking about and have a 'customer's always wrong' attitude. I'm sure it's frustrating to deal with ecommerce customers who don't know the first thing about websites - but I'm not one of those and I deserve respect. Our conversations nearly always begin with "Clear your cache" and "I don't see the problem" from the operator and end in "Oh, you're right. Well I don't know." from them. I will say I've dealt with one or two who actually know what they're talking about. Live chat is useless when the operators know less about the software than I do.
  • Slow to updates. They are often way behind when it comes to development and code. Example: They use jQuery v 1.4. We're up to 1.10 now and I'm experiencing issues for which the blame has been passed back on to me. I'm keeping up. They should be too. For me personally, the quality of development should come first. THEN worry about all of those features.
  • New live editor. It's seen a lot of scrutiny, which you'll find easily by Googling. My problem is that I don't need a WYSIWYG. I write in html. You have to pass through the WYSIWYG to get to the html editor. This has caused my javascript to get executed, so once I get to the html editor, I have to re-write my script because it's now shown as the execution. That's poor development. They should have an option to disable.
  • Inability to access pages in FTP. If you are someone who needs customization and writes in html, have fun. You can't actually access your product or category pages unless you do it through the content editors. You can absolutely access & edit your template and css files. But if you need a unique header in a product page - say a script to run, you'll have to put it in the template - adding overhead to ALL of your pages. The only workaround is hard-coding pages as "articles," which can make a mess of things.
  • We do a very high volume of sales and have very few problems with order processing, resulting in high levels of customer retention. The shopping cart retention feature has also really helped us keep the customers we already have.
  • The newer improved Paypal integration has also increased business quite a bit and helped convert customers. We're seeing fewer open shopping carts.
  • For me personally, having customer reviews, cart retention, ROI tracking, sales reporting, database import & export tools, not to mention integration with eBay, Paypal, Google Trusted Stores, and Google Shopping all in one place has made my job easier since I don't have to implement any of it myself. I'm freed up to work on planning and review since the execution has been automated for the most part.
While k-eCommerce was very glamorous to us because it integrates with our main workflow, it just didn't have some of the marketing features that are so integral to the way we do business online. The set-up costs were also way too high. Volusion is so affordable and feature heavy, it makes it very difficult for any shopping cart provider to compete. You can find others who are competitively priced and have similar features, but they simply aren't as robust (at least for the way we use it).
I don't see us switching to another shopping cart software any time in the near future. I keep saying it, but cost and features win our business. Volusion continues to deliver the marketing features I need, and while I think their development team, troubleshooting team, and live chat operators could use some work, and I need the software to be more timely overall, we get what we pay for.
My recommendation would be based on the following:

1. How much are you willing to pay?
If your budget is tight, this is probably your solution. Sure, I am constantly frustrated with Volusion's inability to keep up with me, BUT at $200/mo for a ton of features and almost flawless order management, I have to be fair.

2. What features do you need?
Do you need Google Trusted Stores, Google Shopping Integration, eBay Integration, Amazon integration, etc? Or really just order management? If you don't need the bells & whistles, you can probably get away with a cheaper or same-priced platform. If you're a full-fledged web marketer, this could be what you need.

3. Do you need integration with main workflow software?
If you're just ecommerce, this doesn't matter. If you're like us and have offline orders too, this can be a problem. Look into it. Ours doesn't integrate so we've custom-built a solution ourselves (Huge pain - still, worth the money saved). There are other, better solutions out there for businesses that are on & offline, but they're costly.

4. How experienced are you with web development?
I'm assuming not very if you're looking for shopping cart software. If you have enough understanding to do things yourself though, this software could be frustrating. There are definite limitations when it comes to customization, which is likely on purpose. Their support team could be less knowledgeable than you (though they won't admit it), so you'll spend too much of your time dealing with someone who thinks you're the idiot when really, you actually understand how things work far better than they can rationalize. Basically, they get in the way a lot. So if you need to be cutting edge, have access to integrate on your own, have access to all of your design... look for something that is less rigid and lets you do your own thing.