Shopping Carts

Volusion may be right for somebody - not for me

I had a lengthy, detailed article in progress on how I had expertly customized the Volusion shopping cart interface for a client. Volusion had been recommended to me as a great e-commerce solution by more than one source.

That article has been rendered mute because the statement on their site "Customize any text & graphics on your site" is simply not true. You cannot "customize any" element on the site. You can change the style, but not position of most text and graphics within reason. You may not swap text for an image.

As a result, the client and I decided to cancel the Volusion account and resurrect our search for another vendor.

We were originally very excited about using the Volusion system, which is a hosted application, after reviewing dozens of other free and commercial packages. They had all the features we needed, they had the right price, they made the merchant account and SSL easy, and they offered (we felt) the level of customization we needed. The lack of ability to customize elements of the product and checkout pages were the deal breaker.

In retrospect I'm not sure there were additional questions we could have asked that would have signaled us that this was going to be the case. When I discovered I couldn't reposition elements inside the page, I couldn't swap text for images, when my only default shipping options in the drop down were "UPS" or "more options…", when I didn't have source files on the FTP for the detail and cart pages (which were clearly shown in the screencast on their website), I addressed those concerns with the support team. I was informed, over the course of numerous exchanges with which I won't bore you, that I couldn't access those features and customize those elements via CSS, HTML or otherwise. All I could do was style some text and swap some images.

If you don't care much what your cart looks like, if you don't care that their UPS partnership takes priority over their clients and client's users, if you don't care that their customer support team's favorite words are "no" and they will be shocked by your requests, then Volusion is the vendor for you. Volusion is not the vendor for me.

p.s. We have chosen another vendor and are in the latter stages of customization and configuration. Once it's up and running I'll fill you in on those details. You can be sure that our questions were much more suspicious and direct during this round of selection.


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