Customer Support & Onboarding
Customer support is one of the toughest things to look at when reviewing a company. Only a company really knows its internal culture and how it treats customer service. Any comments or ratings that you see only will trend to the extremes (ie, either naively positive or absurdly negative).
To try to figure out how a company views customer service, I try to look at things like availability, number of channels, and how they solve the “onboarding” problem (ie, do they solve potential issues before they become problems).
Volusion offers support via phone, email, chat, ticket system, etc 24/7. In my experience, they’ve been awesome and very responsive. They seem to have invested quite a bit in international phone lines, their knowledgebase and chat software.
Their customer service doesn’t stand out above BigCommerce or Shopify. But – most importantly – the 24/7 customer service is a huge pro vs. hosting and piecing together your own ecommerce site where you don’t have any dedicated customer service. It’s sort of like owning a physical store in a mall with 24/7 plumbing on call vs. a store you build, own & operate that might get flooded if you burst a pipe. And since Volusion is helping with their platform – they are more likely to be able to solve the root issue.
This point actually segues nicely into the next pro of using website editor – speed & security.
Speed and Security
If you are building your own store on your own hosting account (ie with WordPress & WooCommerce), 2 of the most challenging issues will be making your site fast and making it bulletproof secure.
Like I mentioned in both my Shopify and BigCommerce review, speed is extremely important in ecommerce. Customers simply have no patience waiting for a page to load. Study after study points to the fact that conversion rates plummet when you get into the 4ish second page load time.
It’s so important that Google actually built it into their organic search algorithm. And getting speed right on a website with lots of graphics and a large database (as all ecommerce stores have) can be tricky if you don’t know where or how to look. By using Volusion as an ecommerce platform, your store is hosted on their servers which are specifically optimized to run your site quickly.
Security is also a related issue to speed since it’s something that is fundamental to running a modern ecommerce store. You cannot accept credit cards unless your site is secure. There are plenty of ways to outsource the security to PayPal, or any number of providers but to accept and process cards on your site with your merchant account – you have to have a secure setup.
Volusion allows simple 3rd party payments integration and bundles in the costs of SSL certificates regardless.
Volusion gives you more control over your security and checkout while making it easy to implement and giving support to ensure your security is always set correctly.
When you are first setting up your store on any platform, it can be frustrating to figure out exactly where everything is. Plenty of platforms & CMS’s have their own lingo and unique layout.
Volusion isn’t an exception to this, but they do have a bias towards an intuitive interface, thoughtful navigation and easy setup. The backend design has been recently updated. The actual user interface is solid and easy enough for beginners to use, but with enough options for mid to large size ecommerce operations.