Volusion is an eCommerce platform that’s been around since 1999 and, since then, has developed two versions of its platform; V1 and V2. Merchants that are already using V1 can stay on it or switch to V2, but all new users are now forced to use the Volusion V2 platform (which is designed to help people sell as quickly as possible, as easily as possible). Some Volusion users have grown dissatisfied with the platform’s lack of features and outdated functionality, also feeling disappointed with the new V2 platform that has been criticizes as being “limited” or “over-simplified.”
3dcart is an affordable alternative to Volusion, accepting many store owners who have switched due to missing features combined with Volusion plan's high service costs. For many merchants, simply entertaining the thought of having to migrate their entire store over to a new platform sounds like a nightmare. But, store owners don’t have to worry about losing data, store downtime, or wasting time and money because migrating from Volusion to 3dcart is actually an easy process. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll explain how it’s done.
Start your process by signing up for your 3dcart account, which immediately begins with a 15-day free trial. There’s no credit card required during the trial period, so you have time to familiarize yourself with the 3dcart platform and dashboard before you make a migration commitment. If you find that you’re stuck and need help understanding any feature, you can contact 3dcart’s support team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (even on holidays).
While every 3dcart account has instant access to a 15-day free trial, it’s important to think about and on which plan you need; we recommend doing this before you begin the migration process. Each plan is priced affordably for several types of businesses, so take a look at the features included in each 3dcart plan to decide which is right for you. If you find that the plan you chose isn’t the right fit, don’t worry; there’s no contracts involved, so you can change your plan at any time.
In an effort to guide you through 3dcart’s plans and help you decide on the best one for you, let’s compare them to the Volusion plan you’re already used to.
If you were on Volusion’s Personal Plan ($29/month), you can keep your budget the same by choosing 3dcart’s Basic plan, which costs $29/month as well. But, you might actually end up saving some money if you choose this route, because you’ll also get a wide variety of features included with your plan that may have cost extra (or simply weren’t available) with Volusion. On top of that, 3dcart’s Basic Plan supports up to $100,000 online sales per year, which is twice the cap that Volusion’s Personal Plan gives its customers.
However, if you were on the Personal Plan because it was their least expensive option and your store is relatively small, then you may be able to save money by switching to 3dcart’s Startup plan, which costs $19/month. You won’t lose any features that you had on your previous Volusion plan either; in fact, you’ll gain some.
If you were on Volusion’s Professional Plan ($79/month), you’ll find that 3dcart’s Plus Plan is the most similar in price, costing $79/month as well. You won’t lose any functionality with this switch, and you’ll be happy to find that you actually have more. For example, rather than having access to just abandoned cart reports, you’ll be able to utilize abandoned cart savers that are actionable solutions. Alternatively, you can save $50 every month and have the same yearly online sales cap by switching to 3dcart’s Basic Plan.
Tip: The next two steps describe how to export and import your products and store data into your new store, so if you’d rather do this process manually or if you have a small number of products, you can go ahead and skip these steps and simply add products to your store via the 3dcart dashboard.
In order to move your products, order history, and other store data from your Volusion store to your new 3dcart store, you’ll have to export this data into CSV (comma-separated value) files. Every eCommerce platform is different, even in the way they handle CSV file organization, so you may need to make some minor edits to your exported file before you can import it. To make this process easier, you can download a sample CSV from your 3dcart account dashboard.
Before you import all of your product data, you’ll need to move all of the image files from your original site. To do this, you’ll have to use FTP (file transfer protocol) to transfer them. When uploading via FTP, you’ll be putting your assets in web/assets/images/, which is where 3dcart’s platform holds images in your store’s files. You can read more about using FTP in this 3dcart Knowledgebase article.
Once your product images have been imported, you can import your CSV files. You’ll upload CSV files for products, customer lists, inventory counts, and variants separately into your 3dcart store; be sure to upload your products file first, because files like the variants CSV depend on it being uploaded.
If you created custom content pages on your Volusion store, such as “Policies,” “About Us,” or “Contact Us” pages, then you can easily recreate them in your new 3dcart store. While there is no direct importing of these content pages into your store, like how you imported your product information, the process of adding these pages is made simple and straightforward thanks to 3dcart’s Online Store Builder and text editor. You can simply copy and paste the old store’s page content into your new pages, and easily make formatting modifications as necessary. Since Volusion doesn’t offer any type of built-in blog feature, then you won’t have to worry about transferring blog posts to your new 3dcart store. If you did have a blog that was hosted on a third-party service and linked to your Volusion store, then hold tight as we cover redirects in step 9. Of course, you can also copy your blog posts over to 3dcart’s built-in blog feature and backdate all of the blog posts to their previous upload dates.
With your products and content pages uploaded into your 3dcart store, you’ll have a much easier time deciding on a store theme because you’ll have a more accurate idea of how the final product will look. There’s no way to directly transfer your exact Volusion themes to your new store, but our wide selection of themes in varying designs can help you to achieve a look that’s reminiscent of your old one with additional improvements. Similar to Volusion’s editor, you can make major aesthetic changes to your theme’s design in the 3dcart Store Editor, or you can make more specific customizations by editing your store’s HTML and CSS.
If you have a hard time nailing down the exact look you want from our selection of themes, you can also work with our Design Team to create a design that matches the look and feel of your original store as much as possible. But, we recommend starting with a pre-built theme first, so be sure to check out our full selection in the 3dcart Theme Store.
If you’re coming from Volusion, you’re probably used to paying for and enabling separate apps for basic shipping features, like FedEx returns and real-time shipping. With 3dcart, these features are built-in, so you can set up this functionality straight from your dashboard.
You might also be used to an extremely limited selection of payment processors with Volusion. After switching to 3dcart, you’ll also have access to over 100 payment processing options so you can accept payments from anyone, regardless of method or location. (You can even accept unique methods like Bitcoin or payment financing). If you were using Volusion Payments to accept credit cards on your store, you’ll have to set up a new payment method through 3dcart because Volusion Payments can’t be used outside of their platform. However, you can still use Stripe, PayPal and Authorize.net, since those are just a few of the processors that 3dcart supports.
Once you’ve set up shipping and payments, you can easily configure your tax settings in 3dcart’s built-in tax manager. These features will enable your store to automatically calculate the proper tax for all customers, regardless of location.
Rather than charging you for each new email like Volusion, 3dcart includes a set number of emails as part of each plan without paying extra; the number of emails you get varies depending on the plan you choose. These emails are customizable “[email protected]” addresses, which can be connected to an email client like Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook to easily check. You can also access your 3dcart email by using the SmarterMail web interface.
Now that your store is completely set up, it’s time to point your domain name to your online store’s new 3dcart home. To do this, you’ll need to access your domain registrar account and make the DNS changes there so that your domain can be pointed at your 3dcart store. Volusion’s app store includes three domain name registrars, which are Domain.com, Namecheap, and Hover; if you used one of these to register your domain, you’ll log into your account there to make the change. Keep in mind that DNS changes don’t go through automatically, so it may take up to 48 hours for the change to be reflected (thought it often happens much quicker).
Next, you’ll need to create redirects for all of your old Volusion links, which can be done by using 3dcart’s built-in 301 redirect setup. By setting up these redirects, visitors who navigate to your old URLs won’t be met with broken links; instead, they’ll automatically be sent to pages on your new store. Like we mentioned previously, you’ll also have to redirect your blog if you had one on your Volusion store; this Knowledge base article will help guide you through the 301 redirecting process.
After completing these final steps, that means your store is ready to launch. Congratulations on making the switch to your new and improved 3dcart store!
If that’s the case, feel free to contact 3dcart for a free Migration Consultation, where our experts will discuss migrating your store on your behalf. Or, if you’re a new 3dcart customer, contact the 3dcart Sales department to receive a coupon for a free Volusion data migration done by our expert team.