Low Pricing (weighted 11%)
9 USD/ month + 2.9% + 30¢ credit card fees
Unlimited products, no online store, Shopify Buy button, manual order creation, discount codes.
29 USD/ month + 2.9% + 30¢ credit card fees
Unlimited products, online store, website and blog, Pinterest Buyable Pins, discount codes.
79 USD/ month + 2.6% + 30¢ credit card fees
Unlimited products, online store, Facebook, Pinterest, website and blog, gift cards, professional reports, abandoned cart recovery.
299 USD/ month + 2.4% + 30¢ credit card fees
Unlimited products, online store, Facebook, Pinterest, website and blog, gift cards, professional reports, abandoned cart recovery, advanced report builder, real-time carrier shipping.
No transaction fees for all plans, 14 day free trial, unlimited storage for all plans, point of sale and retail package included, along with 24/7 support, fraud analysis and manual order creation and discount codes.
15 USD/ month
100 products, mobile app, tax rates, 1GB bandwidth, social media tools, responsive templates.
35 USD/ month
1000 products, everything that comes in the previous plan, phone support, newsletters, ratings and reviews, abandoned cart reports, importing and exporting, 3GB bandwidth,
75 USD/ month
10,000 products, 10 GB bandwidth, everything in the previous plans, priority support, Amazon and eBay integration, API access, customer relationship management tools.
135 USD/ month
Unlimited products, 35 GB bandwidth, everything from the previous plans, dedicated account manager.
Save about 10% per month when opting for a yearly payment plan, 14 day fee trial, unlimited storage and no transaction fees for all plans, online support, social media tools, Facebook store, mobile commerce, automatic tax rates.
Design (weighted 11%)
Shopify offers 21 free themes and about 116 to buy from its theme store. The themes are some of the best on the market, with clean and modern looks. It doesn't take much to customize them without knowing how to custom code, but if you'd like to get more advanced, CSS/HTML areas are easily accessible. It is a clear winner against Volusion in the design arena, but the one downside is you don't get access to an FTP client.
As of this comparison, its has 28 free themes and 88 paid matches. This is rather close to the offerings you can find at Shopify, however the designs aren't nearly as modern and sophisticated. However, the themes are acceptable. Volusion themes are much more difficult to customize. The source code is available, but it's not exactly friendly for beginners to go in and start dragging and dropping or modifying elements quickly. However, an FTP client is included with the package, which is not even an option with Shopify. Overall, some of the paid themes are really nice, but the settings for adapting and customizing those themes are lacking.
Frontend Features (weighted 11%)
To start, it has has mobile responsive layouts. It also provides an elegant checkout system and minimalist shops for customers to move through the process quickly. Depending on your plan, you receive direct Facebook and Pinterest integration, a Shopify Buy button and a simple point of sale, which would be considered a frontend feature if you run a brick and mortar shop.
A website and blog are included, as long as you don't go with the cheapest plan. Along with gift cards, real-time carrier shipping and discount codes, the frontend is reliable, but not too cluttered. Keep in mind that it doesn't have a very comprehensive custom profile, but you can expand on that.
The websites are all responsive, making the frontend a little easier to navigate. Mobile commerce is also included for selling on an app. Social media tools and automatic tax rates generate interaction and easy checkouts. Volusion tends to have more frontend features built-in, whereas Shopify is more bare-bones, but it has more app solutions to fill in the blanks.
For example, newsletters and a ratings and reviews system comes along, while most Shopify merchants look towards apps for these features. Along with a customer loyalty program, eBay integration and Amazon integration, the frontend features are more plentiful, but far less flexible.
Backend Features (weighted 11%)
This is one of the biggest differences between the two platforms, since the Shopify backend is built for both beginners and advanced users, while Volusion is complex and even frustrating for advanced users. It keeps the customization options to a minimum, but you can open up more advanced features if needed.
The dashboard looks like WordPress, and it's broken down into tabs and links to walk through a step by step process. Some of the settings you can change include taxes, notifications, your checkout, payments and general settings. If you'd like to change site files, they are available through the dashboard, and the product upload area is as simple as it gets. For example, a product page provides areas to include inventory details, gift cards, collections, images and more. Manage SEO, shipping, tags and pricing as well.
The backend has improved over the years, as it now offers a clean dashboard with several steps that show you exactly how to setup your store. You start with watching videos, then move onto tasks like choosing a template, uploading a logo and adding products. Order analytics are shown on the backend, and you can even see several charts for things like trends, top products and top categories.
The primary dashboard menu includes tabs for areas such as orders, marketing, customers, inventory, design and reports. In terms of modifying your site design from the backend, Volusion struggles to compete, since the source code is confusing and organized poorly. The area to add a product is the simplest of all the pages, since it provides a clean interface for adding images, descriptions, titles, codes, prices and more. One could argue that the product backend is more powerful, since it has everything from recurring pricing to pricing levels and vendors to stock.
Marketing (weighted 11%)
If you're looking for quality SEO, Shopify has just about everything you need. From title tags to meta descriptions, most of these SEO areas are editable. Image files come with customizable alt tags and file names, and you don't have to worry about the search engines getting contacted with changes, since Shopify does that for you. Prevent duplicate content with canonical URL tags.
Shopify loses by a landslide when it comes to built-in social media tools. Although you can sell products through Facebook and Pinterest, it lacks much support for quick social buttons and things like eBay and Amazon integration. However, this gives you the freedom to get creative and choose your own app for those solutions.
It's not the quickest setup, but email newsletter functionality is available. You basically create a standard page and state that you are collecting email addresses. Integrate with solutions like MailChimp to bring in the emails and to send out messages later. If the built-in newsletter feature is too rudimentary, you can install one of the many email apps.
Built-in promotion options
Tons of promotion tools are offered through the Shopify app store, so that's always an option. However, depending on your plan, you can get built-in access to promotional tools like gift cards and discount codes. Volusion has more right out of the box, but it struggles when you really want to start using apps, since their app store is rather weak.
Support of other selling channels
You can also sell through the Google Merchant Center, but similar to Volusion, it takes a bit of experience. Shopify lets you sell on Facebook, but the eBay and Amazon selling areas on Volusion are not included. However, an app installation can generally solve that.
SEO is built right in, but it doesn't have quite as many options as Shopify. If you navigate to a product page you'll receive a few fields such as product URL text, photo alt tag, meta tag title, meta tag description and meta tag keywords. In actuality, both platforms are on the same level with SEO, but Shopify's settings are easier to locate.
The primary social integrations are Facebook, Amazon and eBay. You can also quickly place sharing buttons on your site for people to like, pin or tweet about your products. Connect your store directly to Facebook or Twitter for instant announcements and promotions. You can even manage YouTube videos quite well. Most everything discussed about social media is not included unless you look for an app.
Newsletter support is much better with Volusion compared to Shopify, since the entire system is built into the backend. Build and test your newsletters without having to open up a separate program, and track ROI to see how effective it is. Segment users based on interests and make a professional form to collect emails that go right into your database.
Built-in promotion options
The best part of the Volusion promotions is the daily deals tool, which turns part of your site into a Groupon-style engine. You can also offer discount coupons, customer loyalty plans and batch order processing to encourage people to buy more.
Support of other selling channels
You have the ability to setup the Google Merchant Center integration, but it's not just a simple one click solution. Volusion also provides support for selling on Amazon, eBay and Facebook.
Statistics (weighted 11%)
The health of your online store is in good hands, since it provides several statistic areas for seeing gross sales based on product titles, variants and referrers. The payment stats are included as well, with information on what methods and channels people are using to buy from you. Overall, Shopify has more in-depth, complex statistical information, but it may seem a little intimidating for beginners, whereas Volusion has more of a snapshot.
The primary place to look at stats is the main dashboard, which offers a snapshot of how your store is performing. For example, you can see a timetable graph of how much your store is selling. The top 5 products and categories are placed into graphs as well, and you can quickly view trends for orders, sales and customer spending. More advanced reports are also available, leaning more into what is offered. These reports outline ROI tracking, affiliate stats, search terms and general site health reports.
Hosting & Security (weighted 11%)
All plans offer hosting, and each of these plans come with domain names and a wonderful CDN for serving up pages in an instant. The hosting is completed through ServerCentral Hosting, which is an enterprise level solution. Not to mention, Shopify is Level 1 PCI Compliant, keeping your customer and company information safe.
The hosting platform is PCI Certified for some quality security, and it provides affordable 128-bit encryption SSL certificates, but Shopify offers this for free. The uptime guarantee is solid, and it works on a powerful CDN to ensure your site remains fast and responsive. Domain name registration is also available when you pay for your plan.
Extensibility (weighted 11%)
The app store (http://apps.shopify.com) has far more options for extending how your store works. It's a little unfair to compare the Volusion app store with this, since Shopify has been known to dominate the app market for years. Choose from marketing, sales and social media apps, and delve into shipping, inventory and customer service selections. It's much faster and easier to install the apps. Most of them require one or two clicks.
Volusion has about 76 add-ons in their app store (http://apps.volusion.com). The shop is still in the beta stages, so it's not as seamless as the Shopify integration process. For example, most of the apps need to be downloaded as a zip file on your computer and uploaded onto the interface. This isn't nearly as quick, and the selection isn't as strong. However, you can find solutions such as UPS shipping, customer referral programs and email marketing tools. They aren't as mainstream as Shopify apps, but they do the trick.
Support (weighted 11%)
Shopify is a 24/7 support company, using its blog and knowledge base as the hub for customer learning. It stands out from Volusion in the support realm since it has a course called Ecommerce University. The course is filled with eBooks and videos for learning everything about ecommerce. Other than that, you get live chat, email, phone and forum support.
The support page is filled with goodies, such as a knowledge base, videos and a contact form. The support reps that you talk to on the phone are knowledgeable and lively. The company provides webinars and a blog for your own use, and the support is provided 24/7 through live chat, phone and email.