Volusion Shopping Cart Software for Small Business: A Review

Volusion Shopping Cart Software for Small Business: A Review

For many small business owners, the race is and has been on to create a sophisticated, solid e-commerce storefront.  Volusion offers an award-winning shopping cart that powers storefronts all over the internet.

The reason I call building an online store “a race” is that Volusion knows that small business owners are, well, very busy. So they make the setup process easy and fast to get a template store up and running.

You can then customize that store to make it look and feel like your existing site. Or you can let their software power your site completely.

Volusion Review

I tested the free 14-day trial for this review. Immediately after starting the trial I received an email giving me tips and ideas to help me on the shopping cart path. The next day I received a phone call from Megan, my very own “personal ecommerce consultant” who promised to answer any and all questions and help me get my storefront completed.

Volusion is thorough. And you have to give any company credit when they trademark their support division with a unique name. It’s “Out of this World Support.”

Here is the sample store that I created for Small Business Trends in just a few clicks.  It is clearly just a fake store at first. But again, you quickly move through the sign-up process to a working storefront.

Behind this pretty storefront is a heavy-duty administrative dashboard that allows customization for just about every aspect of an online store.

It covers everything from the design and marketing, to where you enter your products, to how much they cost. You can manage tax levels, shipping details and a host of other moving parts that you don’t think about until you start selling online.

You can see here that they offer standard navigation items to what most small business owners would find important and want to see in one glance. It is easy to get to:  Orders, Reports, Inventory, Marketing, Customers, Design, and Settings.

What I Liked About Volusion

  • No transaction fees on the sales of your products by Volusion. That’s a money saver – something we can all appreciate.
  • Fraud Score – this is a new product they launched to protect the merchant (you) from credit card fraud.  Worth considering as you shop for a new shopping cart.  You can see the Fraud Score column in the administrative dashboard above which is showing current orders that need to be approved.
  • Terrific training videos.  Remember, in addition to an entire library of topics to help you build a store, there is the personal ecommerce consultant.  I had to call mine and say thanks, but I’m just a reviewer.

What Volusion Could Improve

  • The initial setup is easy, but once that was complete additional customization felt like it would take a programmer.  That’s beyond my skills and that of many small business owners.  It isn’t drag-and-drop and that was a downside.
  • The admin menu was hard to use sometimes if you didn’t scroll exactly into the right place.  Small point, to be sure.

Overall, Volusion offers one of the top shopping cart software solutions on the market.  They have many big brand name customers like Disney and the UK division of National Geographic, plus others you’ll know and trust. They provide many of the tools you need to start, enhance, or expand an online storefront.

You can try it for free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Image: Shutterstock


TJ McCue TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.

12 Reactions
  1. Martin Lindeskog

    TJ: Do you get help with the user interface too? I recently listened to a presentation by a company called inUse and they showed the “usability” of a site and the shopping experience.

    Could you give a list of similar services?

    • My favorite is the AutomatedSetup cart, they install the website on your hosting, so you are free to redesign it as you want and there is no monthly payments. They also offer auto update of inventory, i think, that’s why their name is AutomatedSetup.

  2. I looked into Volusion but was scared off by negative customer reports on customer service. When I went back to take a second look, all shopping cart solutions get terrible customer service reviews.

    I wonder if this has more to do with small business owners trying to jump on the bandwagon without knowing much about website technology, and thus getting frustrated, or if it has to do with the solutions themselves.

    My take is we are a long way from having a truly easy-to-use shopping cart solution. Businesses, especially small businesses, are cobbled (lovingly) together with whatever tools the owner can get for cheap or free, so integrating all that information (product info, financial info, invoicing, etc.) and being able to utilize it meaningfully has been the area greatest innovation in these solutions recently.


  3. Ex-Volusion User

    I was a former Volusion customer, and let me just tell you to STAY AWAY. This review is completely unbiased and in no way shape or form a reflection of the people there. BUT THE .ASP is nightmare – and because of the back end, you are pretty much FORCED to hire their “premium” design services that they outsource to HORRIBLE developers and designers. Customer support is top notch because NOTHING IS INTUITIVE. And we’re CODERS. It’s not even the actual interface that gets you. If you take a little bit of time to learn the lay of the land it’s ok. THE PROBLEM IS THEIR PREMIUM SERVICES which you’re basically going to HAVE to buy into in order to get your front end to look the way you want. FYI they double charged me for an SSL certificate.


    Trust… Volusion is not for anyone selling less than 10,000 products. And even if Volusion were a decent company and their design dept was partially attentive without “cut copy paste” mentality… you’d still want to stay away from Volusion anyways.

    I suggest Shopify

  4. I moved back to volusion about three months ago. I had switched a while back to another provider but found that they didn’t have all of the marketing tools I needed like newsletter marketing discounts and coupons. Plus they didn’t offer support 24 x 7. Volusion has all of this and more. The grass isn’t always grenner. I love volusion and plan to grow my business with them for years to come

  5. Volusion rules. I opened my store a couple of months ago and i could not be happier. I am not that web savvy but i found the interface very intuitive and easy to use, also they had an onboarding coach reach out to me within days of my purchase to help me get my site up and running.

    They also have a really good blog that has given me some really good advice to help me sell more online. They also just released some cool new social features and i cant wait to see what else they offer down the road.

    Thanks Volusion

  6. Very bad customer service. I called them to find out more about the service and all they did was try to close me. The sales rep kept saying “buy it now and 20% off” but refused to answer my questions, they just wanted to close me.

  7. Volusion has come a long way now in 2013. It has kept all the features that had made them a popular choice ever since 1999 to the present day. Even bandwidth charges, which many Volusion store owners have experienced can be lessened with services like bandwidthdiet.com or Amazon S3. Features like SEO, abandoned cart reports, and no-cost transactions make Volusion a viable option for business owners.

  8. I have been developing websites since 1995 and found Volusion to be the WORST site builder/cart program/company I have ever dealt with and I’ve dealt with many. The ftp would never work and requests for help got me a VERY CONDESCENDING reply many days after being submitted. I finally recommended to my client that we scrap this crappy company and start from scratch which too exactly two days to complete whereas we had been “messing” with Volusion for many weeks and still super frustrated.

    Don’t do business with these people.