Did you know that 80% of Americans now shop online at least once a month?
It should come as no surprise to anyone then that e-commerce is expected to continue its upward growth of 23% over the course of the next year.
As e-commerce becomes a more viable (and welcome) solution for businesses, e-commerce website solution companies like Volusion are going to start taking a front seat in the web hosting wars. In addition to offering store building tools e-commerce companies need, they also offer a built-in web hosting solution so businesses no longer need to rely on various providers to power their websites.
A Brief Overview of Volusion
There isn’t really a lot of information available about Volusion in terms of their history as a company. Their website remains pretty sparse on those details, which makes sense considering their dedication to the customer.
Here is what we do know:
- They’ve been in business for over 15 years.
- They have over 200 employees working for them.
- There are over 40,000 online stores powered by the Volusion website solution, of which, those stores have generated $24 billion in sales.
- Those stats alone are pretty impressive. When you take a closer look into their website solution offering, though, you’ll see why Volusion is such a well-trusted brand.
- The Volusion e-Commerce Web Hosting Solution
- Volusion is not your typical store builder software provider.
- Why? Well, because it’s clear from their offering that they “get” their audience.
- They know what e-commerce stores need in order to run well, to effectively attract their audience, and to manage it all with the greatest of ease.
- When you sign up with Volusion, you’re not just getting a store builder tool.
- Web hosting and shopping cart software are also included.
- The only two pieces really missing from here are domain services and SSL certificates. Domain services are currently not offered by Volusion (though they are easy enough to procure elsewhere).
- Volusion does, however, offer SSL certificates at a discounted price.
Now, let’s shine a spotlight on the strengths of Volusion’s e-commerce web hosting solution:
- All-in-one web hosting, store builder, and shopping cart solution.
- Websites hosted by Volusion’s U.S.-based, best-in-class server infrastructure.
- Hosting is PCI/CISP certified, incredibly important for any company heavily involved in the handling of customer credit card and other payment information.
- 99.9% uptime guarantee.
- Servers powered by Akamai CDN to ensure that websites run at top speed regardless of where customers try to access it from around the world.
The Volusion e-Commerce Store Builder Solution
Since Volusion’s target audience is clearly the e-commerce company, I think it’s important to quickly explore their store builder solution since it’s such a fantastically convenient add-on to have alongside your hosting. The one thing to note here is that, while the store builder does come with web hosting, there are a number of features not included.
So, before purchasing any plans with Volusion, be sure you know which features you actually get and which you’ll have to purchase separately. I’ll do my best to break them out here.
Store Builder Included Features:
- Easy-to-use store builder software
- Inventory monitoring
- Ratings and review integration
- Image and video functionality
- Deals and discounts
- Email integration
- Store Builder Premium (Paid) Features:
- Customizable and responsive website themes (some are free, but most are paid)
- Website design services
- Pay-per-click integration
- Comparison shopping engine feeds
- Social media sharing tools
- Credit card processing
- Live chat software
- Pricing, Support, and Other Notes
In terms of pricing, Volusion offers four standard pricing plans based on how many products and bandwidth their customers need. Pricing starts at $15 a month, but can be reduced by 10% if an annual plan or multiple stores are purchased.
The best thing about this is the ease in scaling.
So, let’s say you sign on with Volusion when your store is brand new, but then have an explosion of growth that requires more product and bandwidth coverage. You can stay on with Volusion as your company grows and work your way up through their pricing tiers as your needs change. In addition, Volusion recognizes that e-commerce companies are not always the ones building their own websites.
That’s why they also offer reseller hosting services—a fantastic option for developers and other freelance website builders who specialize in e-commerce clientele. For these plans, customers receive 35% off monthly hosting when they purchase in bulk. One thing to note here is that Volusion is very strict about monitoring bandwidth and product usage (which they should be).
Because of this, they’ve outlined a number of caveats in their Terms of Service regarding additional charges if customers should go above and beyond what they signed up for. This shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for anyone interested in Volusion’s services, it simply means you should pay attention to the tiny print so you’re not surprised by any overage fees you may receive down the line.
Many companies who try to offer web hosting in addition to other website solutions tend to run into that issue of being a jack of all trades, but master of none.
That doesn’t appear to be the case as Volusion offers both a high-end web hosting solution and feature-rich store builder solution that simplify and ease the experience of building a high-functioning e-commerce website.