What does Volusion’s recent bankruptcy announcement mean for users of their platform?
On July 27th, 2020, Volusion filed for Chapter 11 and officially entered the reorganizing and restructuring phase. The bankruptcy filing was the aftermath of a major data breach scandal from back in September 2019. Hackers attacked Volusion and stole credit card and customer information from their eCommerce, web hosting, and support platform. They also managed to upload malware onto Volusion’s Google Cloud infrastructure which siphoned payment data from customers during checkout. Approximately $1.6 million dollars was stolen along with 239,000 credit card numbers. Over 6,000 Volusion merchant accounts were compromised in the attack. The loss of merchant trust, income, and market share due to the attack ultimately led to their fall from grace and subsequent bankruptcy filing.
However, Volusion boldly and defiantly announced that the company would still continue to operate as normal in spite of their Chapter 11 status.
This begs the question: Would you still trust your business, your website, your customer’s trust and all of your vital data and assets with an eCommerce service provider that was so incapable of protecting itself against cyberattack that it actually bankrupted them?
What is Volusion?
Volusion was formed in 1999 by a then-16 year-old Kevin Sproles as an eCommerce consultation and web design firm. As one of the first eCommerce pioneers, Volusion then expanded into an all-in-one eCommerce solution that featured web hosting and commercial services in addition to design work. Volusion saw continued growth and success from 2002 to 2010. 2010 saw both the departure of founder Kevin Sproles and the launch of their Mozu cloud-based platform. However, Mozu failed to make a serious impact in the eCommerce industry and after continuous year-after-year losses, it was eventually sold off to Kibo Commerce in October 2016. Sproles also returned to Volusion to redirect the company back into profitability but by this point, the damage was already done and Volusion had surrendered their market share to the new industry leaders such as Shopify and BigCommerce.
Like Yahoo, Volusion was one of the first major eCommerce companies outside of Amazon and eBay. As such, their platform was created with the earliest eCommerce methods and practices in mind. Conversely, much like Yahoo themselves, Volusion also failed to keep up with the times and neglected to evolve while other up-and-coming providers took advantage of the latest eCommerce trends and Internet technology innovations. Thus, decimating Volusion’s once-solid positioning and market share within the eCommerce industry. But while droves of online businesses and merchants who were previously using Volusion’s platform have left for greener pastures with other, more modern providers like BigCommerce, Shopify, and Magento, there still exists a sizable portion of users who continue to employ Volusion and many new users weighing their options with Volusion as a viable candidate.
According to TrustRadius, Volusion scores a 5.1 out of 10 on their user index. The general consensus among users is that Volusion is an easy and inexpensive way to get your foot in the door for online side gigs and small eCommerce companies but totally inadequate for large-scale enterprise level corporations (this very same comment was made about Yahoo). Users praise Volusion for their low entry fee, easy startup, and basic interface for novice users that does not require advanced backend knowledge in order to navigate. They also cite Volusion’s extensive API, templates, and product inventory systems as high positives. These reasons might just be good enough for the green startup or the individual with a little personal shop to make some extra cash on the side but users who are looking to grow their companies and aspire towards greater success criticize Volusion for their lack of innovation, slow updates, inability to handle large-scale enterprise level businesses, poor SEO capabilities, difficult integration, and unreliable security.
- Affordable; low startup cost and subscription pricing
- Easy interface for novices and inexperienced users
- Robust API
- Fast and simple way to get started in eCommerce
- Outdated and unsophisticated platform
- Unsecure (capped off by a bankruptcy-causing data breach in 2019)
- Tiered pricing gets considerably more expensive than their competitors
- Very slow to update
- Unstable platform, lengthy downtime is problematic
- SEO unfriendly, including the use of AngularJS website rendering
- Low flexibility for customization
- Extremely limited developer community
- Developer support is extremely rare and very hard to come by
- Mobile sites using responsive design are of poor quality
- Integration, when possible, is difficult
- Targeted for small businesses by design; insufficient for enterprise level
Time to Move On
When Kevin Sproles returned to Volusion in 2016, his goal was to stop the hemorrhaging caused by Mozu and restore the company back to profitability. He intended to do this by going back to Volusion’s roots as a small-time eCommerce service for small businesses, side jobs, and private gigs. Unfortunately, this mindset has caused Volusion to pigeonhole themselves into ONLY dealing with startups and small businesses exclusively. That means larger companies, those with a full-scale national customer base, and businesses at the major enterprise level are essentially left to look elsewhere for an eCommerce solution because Volusion is inadequately equipped to handle anything larger than a small business or private side gig.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, is a major eCommerce provider that can accommodate any size of online business. Fresh startups, as well as established full-scale enterprise-level corporations use BigCommerce to power their websites and online marketplaces. Since the brand’s inception in 2009, BigCommerce has grown into an eCommerce powerhouse, rivaling even Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. There are currently over 90,000 live websites on the BigCommerce platform with new ones being launched every day. More online retailers trust BigCommerce over other platforms and providers because BigCommerce actually listens to their users and addresses their concerns and requests. This ensures that the BigCommerce SaaS platform stays fresh, modern, and up-to-date, whereas Volusion, Yahoo, and others have sunk into irrelevance due to their own reluctance to evolve with Internet trends and technology.
If you’re interested in migrating your old Volusion website to a modern, secure, and stable platform, here are a few reasons to consider going with BigCommerce:
- Modern, user-friendly interface
- Greater functionality and standard out-of-the-box features than most competitors
- Fully-customizable templates and themes
- Vast app and add-on integration options from industry leading business systems
- Constant internal upgrading with automatic software updates
- Fast server response time
- Comprehensive product and inventory management tools
- Unlimited listings
- Solid SEO and marketing features
- Strong community of users and 3rd party developers
- Available 24/7 customer support
- Easy access to supplemental product training materials
- Multi-tier pricing system
- Designed for businesses of all sizes
- Unlimited potential for business growth
- Initial startup cost is a little higher than Volusion and other providers but not by much
- Advanced programming knowledge is needed for full customization
- Limited availability of free themes, free apps, free add-ons, etc.
- Brand recognition is lower than Volusion… but BigCommerce is quickly catching up!
Give Your Website the Diztinct Advantage
Online business owners are faced with tough decisions when it comes time to migrate their websites, but it’s a crucial and necessary step towards continued success in Internet retail. Fortunately, Diztinct is here to help you make the right choices for your website and your business. At Diztinct, we are eCommerce experts with over 15 years of experience in custom website design, development, and engineering as well as website migration services. We have the technical know-how and expertise to protect your website’s critical internal information, SEO standings, and keyword rankings. Plus, we are certified BigCommerce Design Partners and have been working with the platform for over a decade. We work closely with BigCommerce to ensure that your website takes full advantage of BigCommerce’s sales and marketing power, as well as keep you immediately up-to-date with their latest features and software and security updates.
Your BigCommerce-powered website or marketplace will attract more visits, convert more customers, sell more product, and earn more income. There’s no better time than the present to give your website the Diztinct advantage and migrate over to BigCommerce’s modern, secure, and stable platform.