November 9, 2016
Volusion was founded in 1999, during the initial eCommerce boom. But even with a great head start over competing platforms, Volusion has not seen the market share that industry leaders like Magento and Shopify have. In fact, Volusion is losing market share day by day to competitors.
We discussed this trend recently with a group of eCommerce site owners at a tradeshow. More and more eCommerce site owners are unhappy with Volusion. Why? Here are the 4 basic reasons why online stores are leaving Volusion.
eCommerce sites on Volusion are hosted and managed by Volusion itself. The site owners pay for the bandwidth they use. Though this seems to make it easier for an eCommerce site owner to not worry about server and hosting, it is not what actually happens in real life.
Volusion has had server downtimes and hosting problems in the past. Moreover, successful sites end up paying more for their success, as their bandwidth usage increases with more traffic.
Comparatively, Magento offers better options for eCommerce sites. For merchants who prefer managed hosting, Magento Enterprise offers a Cloud Edition. For others, Magento can be hosted with Magento certified providers who are optimized for Magento and provide excellent services to the users. The stability provided by Magento cannot be overstated – For an eCommerce merchant, site uptime and performance are two major concerns.
Plans for Volusion start at $15/month. This might look like a tremendous value for the money invested when compared to starting prices for other competitors. But, as discussed above, Volusion charges site owners for bandwidth used.
Compared to other metrics (Like overall sales, storage space used, number of products etc.) bandwidth is harder to track for site owners. Thus, for a merchant with a site on Volusion, it is almost impossible to gauge how much the cost will be month to month for the site. Also, with more success you will end up paying more. More traffic to your site because you did great marketing? Congrats! Now you get to pay Volusion more. Customers spend more time on your site because you have awesome products? Super! But be prepared to open your wallet to Volusion.
With Magento, especially the Community Edition, site owners know exactly how much they pay monthly. They can choose convenient hosting plans from the various hosting providers and host the site on the servers themselves. If you have a plan that covers bandwidth, you will not be wary of being successful with Magento!
Though it seems like a huge upfront cost, Magento Enterprise is a tremendous value for the money. Owners get various perks and support from Magento to optimize and improve sales on their site. Magento Enterprise provides apps for mobiles and tablets and provides the additional peace of mind of stable costs.
With Volusion, you end up paying more for apps, excess bandwidth, missed sales due to server outages and transaction fees. Factor in the other points in this article and Magento does seem to be the clearest choice for an eCommerce merchant.
When you build an eCommerce store, one of the major goals is to brand the site as uniquely as possible. With competitors all over the internet, you do not want your site to look like a cheap knockoff of someone else’s site. Thus, responsive, easily customizable and modern templates are a necessity for an eCommerce platform. In this regard, Volusion does not provide the value for money expected by site owners.
The layout provided by Volusion for new owners does enable them to get a site up quickly. But the same quickness also means that the site is rather basic and lacks branding elements required to standout. With the multitude of options present in the Magento store, developers and designers have their pick of the best designs available. The openness of Magento also enables more contributions from the developer community, thus enabling richer and better options for the merchant and the end user.
In regards to SEO, Magento scores again as it provides more in depth SEO features and options. The options provided by Volusion are basic in comparison. Further, Volusion does not have the same amount of extensions that Magento has, extensions that help with better SEO, product reviews and site development.
When it comes to add-ons, Magento beats Volusion with its sheer number of extensions and highly open and customizable themes. Magento is an open platform, meaning that developers can contribute their own modules and features. This is further enabled by Magento’s support for APIs to connect other tools to the platform. You can integrate your email newsletters in MailChimp with your customer database, enable multiple payment options, setup fraud prevention, abandoned cart emails, etc. just by installing and enabling modules from the Magento Connect Marketplace.
Volusion might make it simple for you to get a responsive eCommerce site out the door, but if you have a site which is growing fast, with ideas of scaling in the future, Magento is the best option.
Magento is continuously adding features and reinventing the eCommerce space. With the extensive developer community that supports the platform, along with the extensions that help you integrate almost any third party service you can think of, are huge positives. Volusion is more closed as a platform, hindering scaling and API support.
Are you dissatisfied with Volusion? If you are ready to move on to a more wallet and future friendly platform, contact our expert Magento Developers at The Commerce Shop today!