Entrepreneurs hoping to grow their small businesses into something sustainable and successful know exactly how important choosing the right technological platforms can be. Selecting an Ecommerce platform to build an online store is one of the most important such decisions.
Volusion is a name that enters the conversation in any comparison of the leading Ecommerce site builders. It prides itself on helping small and medium-sized businesses reach their goals. The Ecommerce site builder has helped more than 180,000 entrepreneurs build their online stores and some $26 billion of sales have been made on these Volusion stores.
Volusion itself started out as a small business and we thought it might be inspiring to hear from the company's CTO, Bardia Dejban, about how Volusion began, and what accounts for its success. Dejban founded his first web design company at the age of 17 and has directly helped launch over 150 software products for companies such as Alibaba, Thomson Reuters, eHarmony, Intuit, and IAC. He also founded the multi-million dollar creative agency Lolay and started the data-driven workforce science/analytics company Codalytics prior to joining Volusion.
Here is our Q&A with Dejban about the origins and operations of the thriving Ecommerce platform.
1. How did the company start? Where did the idea come from?
“Volusion founder Kevin Sproles was 16 years old in 1999, when he started helping clients build stores online. Doing everything from sales to support to product design, Kevin knew what needed to happen to be able to help more people, and soon the first version of Volusion was created.”
2. What were the struggles that had to be overcome to reach success?
“Some of the biggest hurdles when starting out were entrepreneurial persistence, and getting folks comfortable with the idea that online software could replicate the work of an agency. Eighteen years later, we’ve helped thousands of customers realize they can build a professional online store quickly and easily.”
3. What sets your company apart from others offering similar services? Why should users choose you?
“Volusion is the only Ecommerce platform specifically focused on small businesses. Our merchants generate more revenue than those selling with the competition, and our Secure Checkout feature is free for all plans—a perk not offered by Shopify. Additionally, our all-in-one tech that features everything you need to get selling (no pesky add-ons!), which makes it easy to become an Ecommerce success.”
4. What does a typical work day look like for you?
“I like to talk to at least one customer a day and get their feedback on the product. Additionally, there’s usually a daily 1:1 meeting with Volusion leaders to attend, and I always have a running to-do list that I try to chip away at.”
5. What do you think has allowed you to achieve your personal success?
“Being a perpetual learner has gotten me to where I am today. You can’t assume to know the answer to everything all the time; keeping that mentality means I’m always absorbing new knowledge.”
6. What advice do you have for people looking to achieve results with your service?
“Be open to customer feedback: your customers will drive what they want and how they want it. You should also test ideas often with them, before spending a lot of time going down the wrong path.”
7. Which customer stories have touched you the most / made you proud?
“There isn’t just one: we have so many great stories! Some founders work for a cause (autism, etc.), while others are able to support their families and employees with the businesses they have started.”
8. What does the future hold for your industry? Are there developments or innovations we should expect to see in the near future?
“There are two schools of thought about the future of Ecommerce. One claims that there won’t be drastic innovation, other than from Amazon and large tech companies. The other believes that one company can break barriers with innovations that help small businesses succeed. We are on the latter side, and our renewed focus on SMB (small businesses account for over 50% of all US sales!) helps us focus best on that segment.”
To learn more about the best Ecommerce platforms and how to start your own online store today, check out our expert review of Volusion and the other reviews of leading Ecommerce site builders.