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BigCommerce vs Volusion vs Shopify

Updated on October 14, 2016
BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion
BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion

Bigcommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion - The Best Ecommerce Solutions?

Choosing the right ecommerce software can be one of the most difficult decisions you make. Why? Because there are tons of choices, but which one is the best? As an experienced web developer and ecommerce specialist, BigCommerce, Shopify, and Volusion are the top three hosted cart solutions. All three of these solutions are packed with tons of features, tools, and a solid support system. And best of all, their plan packages are affordable. But which one is the best? This BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion comparison review will tell you the answer you are dying to know.

Please stay away from free open-source platforms as they do not deliver as they advertise. First, you need to be familiar with coding and HTML to get one of those sites up and running. Second, your website will be similar to others using the software and Google will not like that very much. Lastly, all these open-source platforms have international developers.

I used OpenCart and was banned from Google Advertising because apparently my website looked international and I was advertising in the United States market; which was completely ridiculous. I then found about 10 other websites that are very similar to mine.

Do yourself a favor, and go with one of the platforms I review below.

**A no obligation free trial is available with each cart on the bottom of this article**


BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion – Which One is the Best Choice?

Do not get me wrong, they are all incredible shopping carts; however, Shopify is the best choice for an online store. Here is how we rank them and why:

  1. Shopify – We have bumped Shopify back to the first spot due to the fact that you can waive transaction fees on all of their plans. Their plans start at $14 per month and allow you to list up to 25 products. You would end up paying $29 per month if you wanted 100 products. Although, all of their plans have unlimited bandwidth. In order to waive transaction fees, you have to use their credit card merchant account (It’s a free merchant account).
  2. BigCommerce – The best overall features and tools needed to run a smooth online store. BigCommerce plan packages start at $34.95 per month and give you the eligibility to save 10% on annual membership – that’s a decent discount. Unfortunately, they charge transaction fees on their Silver package.
  3. Volusion – Their shopping cart has not been receiving useful updates and is falling behind from the two above. However, Volusion is still among the top three hosted shopping carts because of its versatile features and simple store creation. Volusion plans start at $15 per month for up to 100 products and 1 GB of bandwidth. They do not have transaction fees but there are overage fees if you go over your monthly bandwidth limit. Obviously, the bigger the plan is, the more bandwidth you receive.

We will include a full plan comparison further down in this comparison review.

Plan Packages [Winner: Shopify]

Shopify Plan Packages [14-day free trail is available]

Unlike BigCommerce, Shopify limits such features as real-time shipping, discount engine, and support to lower priced plans. They offer unlimited bandwidth and allow you to waive transaction fees. To waive transaction fees, store owners MUST use Shopify’s credit card processing service which has no service fees. Otherwise, their transaction fees range from 0-2% depending on the plan you select.

  • Starter Plan – This plan is ideal for store owners that have a very small inventory and do not need to edit their themes. The Starter Plan costs $14 per month for 25 products, 1 GB of storage, and chat/email support. This plan does not allow you to have coupons, real-time shipping, phone support, nor editing your template. If you do not use their credit card processing service, you will be charged 2% per transaction.
  • Basic Plan – The Basic Plan costs $29 per month for unlimited products, 1 GB of storage, and access to their discount code engine. This plan does not give you access to features such as abandoned cart recovery, real-time carrier shipping, nor professional store reports. Their Basic Plan is perfect for store owners that want to have some wiggle room for expansion as you have unlimited products but only 1 GB of storage. As with the above plan, you are charged a flat-rate of 2% per transaction if you do not use their credit card processing service.
  • Professional Plan – If you have a bigger inventory and do not need more than 5 GB of storage, I would go with this plan. Their Professional Plan costs $79 per month for unlimited products, 5 GB of storage, discount code engine, professional store reports, and the ability to recover abandoned carts. However, you cannot have real-time carrier shipping rates. If you do not use their credit card processing service, you are charged a flat-rate of 1% per transaction.
  • Unlimited Plan – This plan costs $179 per month for unlimited bandwidth and products. Unlike the above plans, their Unlimited Plan does not limit you to any of the features. This plan does not have any transaction fees, regardless of how you process transactions.

Q: What is the best Shopify package? – The Unlimited Plan is their best overall plan as you have unlimited everything and you do not have to worry about being charged any transaction fees. I would also want to know that I can process payments through the service of my choice and not what Shopify wants.

BigCommerce Plan Packages [Each plan offers an easy to set up 15-day free trail]

All plans are equipped with the same features including no bandwidth fees. First time BigCommerce users are eligible for a $100 Google AdWords credit. Once the free trial ends, you are able to upgrade or downgrade between one of their five plans.

  • Silver Plan – This plan gives you some wiggle room as your store grows. Their Silver Plan costs $34.95 per month for unlimited products and 5 GB of storage space. Has a 2% per transaction fee.
  • Gold Plan – The Gold Plan is the best choice for medium-sized store owners. This plan costs $79.95 per month for unlimited products, unlimited storage space, and the ability to use their Abandoned-Cart Saver tool, which can recover lost sales.
  • Platinum Plan – We strongly believe that this is their best overall package as you have no restrictions on the amount of products listed. The Platinum Plan costs $199.95 per month for unlimited products, unlimited storage space, and access to Abandoned-Cart Saver.

Q: What is the best BigCommerce package? – As mentioned above, the Platinum Plan is their best deal as it comes with unlimited products and bandwidth. The plan also comes with Abandoned-Cart Saver. However, this plan might not be a good idea if you have a smaller inventory.

Volusion Plan Packages [14-day free trail is available]

When it comes to plan selection, Volusion has got you covered. Like Shopify, Volusion limits certain features across its plans, especially the lowered priced ones. So, you might be losing key features if you go with one of their cheaper plans. They do not charge store owners any transaction fees; however, all plans come with limited bandwidth. Each one of their plans will state how much monthly bandwidth you have, but they will not tell you that there are overage fees for going over the monthly bandwidth limit.

  • Mini Plan – Their Mini Plan costs $15 per month for 100 products, 1 GB of bandwidth, email support and a mobile store. This plan has extremely low bandwidth and is not meant to withstand a store with traffic for that many products. Key features such as product reviews, newsletters, and deal of the day are not included.
  • Bronze Plan – This plan costs $35 per month for 1,000 products, 2 GB of bandwidth, mobile store, phone support, newsletters, and product reviews. As with the above plan, you are given extremely limited bandwidth. Their Bronze Plan limits key features such as phone orders, my rewards, and deal of the day.
  • Silver Plan – Their Silver Plan costs $65 per month for 2,500 products, 5 GB of bandwidth, mobile store, phone support, newsletters, product reviews, newsletters, and phone orders. This plan limits features like my rewards and deal of the day. If you have a limited budget and cannot go with a more expensive plan, I would strongly recommend this one as you have a decent bandwidth limit of 5 GB.
  • Gold Plan – This plan costs $125 per month for 10,000 products, 25 GB of bandwidth, priority support, and gives you access to all of their features.
  • Platinum – Their Platinum Plan costs $195 per month for unlimited products, 40 GB of bandwidth, priority support, and gives you full access to all of their features.

Q: What is the best Volusion plan? – In terms of overall value, their Gold Plan is the best plan available. They give you a very high product limit, priority support, and a decent bandwidth limit.

*As of September 2013, Volusion charges bandwidth overage fees of $7 per GB.

BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion – Primary Feature Comparison [Winner: BigCommerce]

In terms of features, BigCommerce, Shopify, and Volusion have tons to offer. All three perform very well and give you access to key features including discounts, gift certificates, single-page checkout, product reviews and ratings, free templates, product options, and more. Each shopping cart has an app store for additional features. However, both Shopify and Volusion limit key features on their lower priced plans.

Ease of Installation and Setup [Winner: Shopify]

Overall, all three hosted shopping carts are easy to install and setup. However, Shopify is probably the easiest shopping cart to install, setup, and launch your online store. All these carts provide you with several basic steps to complete before launching your store. Additionally, if you run into problems, there are tons of tutorials and guides to help in the creation of stores on either one of these platforms.

Marketing and SEO Tools [Winner: All Three]

Marketing and SEO tools are very important to ecommerce store owners as that is they are the most effective way of bringing traffic to your website. BigCommerce, Shopify, and Volusion give you all the marketing and SEO tools that you need to run a good advertised store. From a Facebook store to coupons, all three platforms have ways of promoting your store. However, BigCommerce goes the extra mile and automatically creates feeds to popular comparison shopping sites such as Google Shopping, Shopzilla, and BizRate. Volusion tries to separate itself from the rest by offering MyRewards, which are very popular in today’s market. On the other hand, Shopify has a fully integrated blog that is great for SEO.

All three shopping carts give you a wide range of SEO tools and the ability to control titles, descriptions, and meta tags. Additionally, your store will rank naturally pretty well on search engines.

Additional Features via the App Store [Winners: BigCommerce & Shopify]

Having an app store increases your chances of having all of the features you are looking for in a hosted shopping cart. App stores are a great way to get additional free and premium features. BigCommerce and Shopify have a larger app store than Volusion. App stores on these shopping carts carries integrations with popular services and features.

Technical Support and Assistance [All Three]

Technical support is an important aspect of any business. With BigCommerce, Shopify, and Volusion, you can expect professional support via phone, chat, and email. They all have a knowledge base consisting of tutorials and guides. There have been reports that Volusion lacks great customer support; this is not true at all. Volusion has a similar customer service focus as BigCommerce and Volusion.

Which shopping cart is the best in 2013?

See results

BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion – Conclusion

After a close comparison of the best three shopping carts, Shopify is the top shopping cart for creating an online store. It does not have any bandwidth or transaction fees (if you use the Stripe credit card processing service).

We will always have tons of options when looking for hosted shopping carts. Some of these hosted shopping carts are good while others lack important features. Shopify continues to be the best hosted ecommerce software as it is the most overall value in terms of price, features, and design. Bigcommerce and Volusion are good Shopify alternatives.

Shopify is probably the easiest shopping cart to set up, while Volusion has plenty of features to guide you in building your dream store.

If you want to build a shopping cart using the best ecommerce platform, be sure to go with one of these shopping carts.

How do you feel about BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion? Which one do you think is the best? Why?

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    • profile image

      Ben 4 years ago

      Great article!

      Don't know about Volusion - never tried it by myself but I was working a lot with both Shopify and BigCommerce for the last year. I was actually a newbie only a year ago and first option I discovered for my business idea was Shopify. And it was brilliant: easy to use, no installation, small transaction fee and great templates. I literally started webstore in one week. But as time passed I realized importance of SEO and other marketing stuff. So, I started searching something more feature-rich and not much more complicated. And I found Bigcommerce - tried their trial and thought that it is exactly that I was searching for. I moved my catalog from Shopify (with this one http://www.shopping-cart-migration.com). And now quite happy with Bigcommerce. So, what am I trying to say is that Shopify is perfect for beginner while Bigcommerce will require some experience but will give you a lot more features.

    • profile image

      Andy 4 years ago

      I've been using Volusion for a few weeks... and realized that they are NOT mobile friendly. They can optimize your store, but your shopping cart and checkout is a desktop version!!

      what the heck?! That's not mobile friendly.

    • reviewraters profile image
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      reviewraters 4 years ago

      Yeah, Volusion is not good anymore. I recommend you take a look at BigCommerce or Shopify - both are amazing platforms.

    • profile image

      MARIA MADALENA DA SILVA 4 years ago

      I sign for trial with all of them. Volusion charges a lot of bandwith fees if u pass the limit, and is more hard to config and I think is more expensive for what they give (for me more because I'm in UK and they charge in pounds plus VAT. Shopify I didn't like but appear to be more easy to config. I like more BigCommerce, its not too easy to config, but have everything I look for at this moment.

      I have yet in Prestashop, with a server hosting paid by month. But will have to change of server because its getting more visits everyday. I made the site by myself. Can anybody said if like or not http://www.beautycolor.co.uk

      Thanks

    • reviewraters profile image
      Author

      reviewraters 4 years ago

      @Maria,

      I took a look at your store and it looks pretty decent in both desktop and mobile version.

      A shopping cart like BigCommerce would be perfect for your type of store and would not cost you a lot per month. Their plans start at $24.95 per month with discounts if you prepay for a lengthier amount of time.

      If you do not have much design experience, Shopify would probably be a good option for you as its one of the easiest carts to set up. Although, it might cost you a bit more due to their pesky transaction fees. Their plans start at $14 per month but this plan does not allow you to edit their themes. You would have to go with the $29 per month plan and you would be able to edit the themes.

      I do web design and setup, so if you need help with any of the three shopping carts, let me know as I might be able to help you.

    • profile image

      Brandon 3 years ago

      Nice overview. This is actually a really difficult decision for most ecommerce startups and it takes a lot of time and effort to find the right fit. I tested Magento, Shopify, Volusion, Joomla + Virtuemart, and others before settling on BigCommerce.

      BigCommerce has a few really big gaping holes like not having custom order statuses and having page blocking script references... but overall they have a large feature set, reliable / customizable platform, and very user friendly admin panel.

      Running a self hosted open source platform is a NIGHTMARE even for a web developer like myself. Being responsible for installing security updates and then patching 3rd party extensions that broke every time or weren't compatible with each other was a pain. I was glad to move to a hosted platform where I could focus on building my business instead of fixing the site.

      One of the worst things about BigCommerce was their template selection. It used to be very outdated. We spent about a year with a marketing firm and quite a bit of $ doing a custom theme for our BigCommerce site http://www.lensfactory.com

      Right after we finished, BigCommerce launched some beautiful new themes for free. Oh well.

      Anyway, the advice in this article is spot on. Hosted platforms are the way to go for small, medium, and even some larger businesses. Making core changes to an ecommerce platform is a bad idea without serious dedicated development resources in house... so hosting your own open source site rarely makes sense unless developers are on staff.

    • reviewraters profile image
      Author

      reviewraters 3 years ago

      Hi Brandon,

      Thank you for your comment and adding some important points about the shopping carts. Generally, no shopping cart is perfect and all have some advantages and disadvantages about their software, as stated in http://ecommercesoftwarereviews.net.

      Looking at your site, I see that it is perfect for the niche you are targeting. However, it would be ideal if you incorporated some sort of an affiliate program into the site to bring new potential sales.

      Again, thank you for commenting and happy holidays!

    • profile image

      Reviews by Admir 2 years ago

      Bigcommerce, Shopify, and Volusion are the top three hosted shopping cart platforms. Each shopping cart is geared toward a different online store.

      I find Bigcommerce to be best shopping cart due to more "out of the box" features and the ability to withstand all of the store growth in the future.

      Check out my Bigcommerce Vs Shopify Vs Volusion comparison here: http://reviewsbyadmir.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-v...

    • reviewraters profile image
      Author

      reviewraters 2 years ago

      Here is an updated Bigcommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion 2015 comparison:

      http://rijalda.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volus...

    • profile image

      Cassie Wilson 2 years ago

      Yes, I am trying to figure out which would be the best host for my website.

      www.shallowcreekbit.com

    • reviewraters profile image
      Author

      reviewraters 2 years ago

      Cassie,

      I would go with Bigcommerce. To start a free trial, go here: http://rijalda.com/go/bigcommerce.php

    • profile image

      Ankush Mahajan 16 months ago

      Hi, great comparison post @reviewraters. If I have to go from above 3, I will go with Shopify. Also have you reviewed the Yo!Kart, its been emerging ecommerce platform and have features of both hosted and open source platforms

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