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BigCommerce vs Shopify vs Volusion – A Detailed Review

bigcommerce vs shopify vs volusionEven experienced web developers will readily admit that implementing even a fairly basic e-commerce platform can quickly become a complicated nightmare. Shopping cart solutions like Magento and Prestashop can take quite a bit of time to set up and configure. Oftentimes, it makes a lot more sense to opt for an all-in-one e-commerce platform when putting together an online shop. Comprehensive hosted e-commerce services take a lot of the headache out of the equation, which is why they’re so popular with both amateur developers and professionals alike.

Update – a 2013 Version is Available here: Volusion vs Shopify vs BigCommerce

Choosing a Hosted E-commerce Provider

While there are dozens of solid shopping cart systems available online, the market is dominated by three highly respected programs. These are Shopify, Volusion and BigCommerce, each of which brings quite a bit to the table in terms of functionality and value. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the right program for your specific situation will depend on a number of factors. The following in-depth analysis should make the decision a little easier. We’ve take the trouble of ranking various aspects of each platform on a scale of 1 to 5 to indicate overall quality.

Primary Feature Overview

 

Shopify

In many ways, Shopify is kind of like the WordPress of hosted e-commerce installations. It’s both feature-rich and incredibly easy to use, allowing users to quickly configure their online shop as they see fit. Shopify’s versatile drag-and-drop functionality allows for hassle-free configuration of product pages and collections. It can also be used to publish articles and blog posts, making it a full-fledged CMS as well as a shopping cart. Shopify supports payment processing via PayPal, Google Checkout and every major credit cart by default. Thanks to its solid foundation built on the excellent Ruby on Rails framework, it’s responsive, stable and secure all at the same time.

Shopify also makes branding and promotion fairly painless, thanks to its robust SEO tools. Featuring keyword tag suggestion utilities, the expected XML Sitemap engine and a whole lot more, it’s quite adept at getting your online shop found quickly. Additionally, Shopify boasts automated backups, a stellar Content Delivery Network and 128-bit SSL encryption. Regardless of how expansive or complicated your online store happens to be, you won’t have to worry about the integrity of your data with Shopify. Most importantly, Shopify doesn’t rest on its laurels and is constantly rolling out new features like Free Shipping coupons that continue to improve the platform as a whole.
Score: 4

Volusion

Volusion ReviewsAs with the other web-based e-commerce platforms detailed here, Volusion abstracts away the back-end code and makes site administration about as easy as can be. Written in ASP.NET, Volusion is a Windows-based e-commerce system that’s simultaneously powerful and user-friendly. Its one-page checkout format is the stuff of legends. Much like Shopify, Volusion handles all the annoying SSL security details and payment processing for you. It’s 100% PCI compliant, features unlimited product listings and is backed by a hardy CDN running on the Akamai network that ensures reliable shopping cart performance under any circumstances.

Volusion places an emphasis on presentation, delivering a superlative end user experience that leads to higher conversions than many competing shopping cart platforms. Thanks to the vZoom image resizing feature, potential customers who are browsing your inventory can get a closer look at your products. It also boasts built-in product comparison for easier shopping and decision making. Volusion comes equipped with intelligent inventory tracking via their SmartMatch technology. Other significant bonuses include advanced analytics and ROI tracking as well as affiliate program management tools. Furthermore, layouts are optimized by default for mobile devices, and Volusion includes plenty of SEO tools for achieving high SERPs rankings.
Score: 4

BigCommerce

BigCommerce ReviewsWritten in PHP, BigCommerce should prove to be quite easy to use for those who are familiar with the LAMP stack. Users can edit HTML and CSS on the fly to change the look of their online store. Additionally, BigCommerce gives clients nearly 100 different layout templates to choose from. The included drag and drop functionality makes the design process uncomplicated and seamless, and their live demo page is a terrific source of design inspiration. BigCommerce automatically creates product photo galleries and allows administrators to automate email marketing. Furthermore, comprehensive mobile support allows your shop to render perfectly on iPad tablets and Android phones.

As its name implies, BigCommerce takes a “batteries included” approach to shopping cart design and implementation. It can handle everything from drop shipping with Ordoro to inventory and warehouse tracking thanks to Shipwire integration. The platform saves Abandoned Cart information in the event that a customer doesn’t finish a transaction, which helps to substantially increase conversions and sales. With support for multiple currencies and numerous payment options, BigCommerce is a truly global shopping cart platform. The impressive default SEO capabilities of BigCommerce make website optimization truly effortless.
Score: 5

Ease of Installation & Setup

 

Shopify

When it comes to ease of installation, it’s hard to argue that Shopify is anything other than the most ridiculously simple service to set up. Even the most novice of webmasters can have a shop up and running in under 15 minutes. Once you launch the installation wizard, you’re greeted with a quick seven-step tutorial that gives you a rundown of the basics as well as tips on how to customize your site to your liking. As a hosted, cloud-based cart, you don’t have to worry about setting up SSL certificates, hosting the installation yourself or dealing with back-end code and databases.
Score: 5

Volusion

In the setup and configuration department, Volusion is every bit as intuitive and easy to use as Shopify. To get started, just select a domain name, check out the free 14-day trial, select a service plan and go through the self-guided installation process. Volusion takes care of all the details for you, making the installation process about as painless as can be. Obviously, tuning the platform to exactly suit your needs will take a bit of time and research via Volusion’s superb documentation. However, getting a basic online storefront going only takes a few minutes.
Score: 5

BigCommerce

Not every e-commerce platform can be all things to all people. BigCommerce has a lot going for it, but it’s not quite as foolproof for beginners when it comes to setup and installation. That’s not to say that it’s really difficult to work with. Regardless, it’s not quite as intuitive as Volusion or Shopify. However, anyone can work through the process in a relatively short period of time if they follow the instructions found within BigCommerce’s documentation and online support forums. Whether you’re a web development pro or merely a beginner, BigCommerce is pretty easy to figure out.
Score: 4

Extensibility & Configuration

 

Shopify

While the basic, default capabilities of Shopify are impressive, the available extensions that can be installed are even better. Shopify features a large App Store where users can purchase and install extra modules for added functionality. Everything from printing out FedEx shipping labels to product upselling can be accomplished with the App Store’s numerous offerings. Alternatively, web developers can utilize the full-featured Shopify API to roll their own extensions for any functionality required.
Score: 4

Volusion

Practically every hosted e-commerce shopping cart comes equipped with an app store of some sort for extending the basic functionality of the platform. Volusion gives users the ability to tack on extra features via the Volusion Exchange. In addition, store owners can integrate features from Volusion’s many e-commerce partners quickly and easily without having to shell out a fortune on plugins. Everything from QuickBooks import and export support to Grasshopper VoIP service can be installed with the click of a button.
Score: 4

BigCommerce

Much like its primary rivals, BigCommerce offers an incredibly diverse lineup of third-party plugins and modules. At present, there are over 110 extensions available that deliver Facebook integration via SocialShop 2, analytics from VisiStat and email marketing from Direct Mail Manager. Regardless of your own unique shopping cart requirements, BigCommerce provides a modular way to achieve your goals. For those who like to get their hands dirty and craft their own apps and plugins, the developer API of BigCommerce provides all the tools you’ll need.
Score: 5

Marketing, Branding & SEO

 

Shopify

Promoting your website is the toughest part of any successful e-commerce project. Shopify takes most of the headache out of the equation by providing novice webmasters with all of the SEO tools they’ll need. The Shopify CMS is tuned for effective SEO right off the bat, so webmasters don’t have to sweat the small stuff like meta tags and on-page optimization tweaks. It also provides built-in Google Analytics integration, $100 worth of Google AdWords credit and capable default email marketing tools.
Score: 5

Volusion

When it comes to marketing and SEO, Volusion boasts many of the same search engine optimization tools found in Shopify and BigCommerce. Volusion also features the ability to publish newsletters, incorporate customer feedback into listings and offer a Deal of the Day to boot. The Social Store feature allows webmasters to harness the power of Facebook for pumping up sales. One major perk of Volusion is the ability to embed Youtube videos into product pages, which assists customers in making buying decisions.
Score: 5

BigCommerce

For SEO specialists, BigCommerce is a godsend when it comes to tuning an e-commerce storefront for the best possible SERPs rankings. Webmasters can choose from a number of different URL formats, manage “no follow” attributes to avoid duplicate content and intelligently generate meta tags. In addition, BigCommerce makes email marketing dead simple thanks to its superb iContact integration as well as its Mailchimp support. BigCommerce also increases sales conversions with its Abandoned Cart Saver system and its wide array of payment options.
Score: 5

Pricing & Fees

 

Shopify

In the world of e-commerce shopping carts, convenience will ultimately cost you. Shopify can be a bit uneconomical if you’re in a low-margin industry or don’t process a large volume of transactions. Pricing and commissions are Shopify’s only real weak point. They offer four pricing plans: Basic, Professional, Business and Unlimited. The Basic plan is $29 per month and delivers 100 SKUs along with 1 GB of storage space. Unfortunately, it also charges 2.0% transaction fees. At the other end of the spectrum, the unlimited plan is $179 per month but provides unlimited everything and 0% transaction fees. Every plan comes with unlimited bandwidth, which is a definite plus.
Score: 4

Volusion

Volusion boasts the best prices of any hosted shopping cart on the market at the moment. They offer five distinct plans ranging from the entry-level Steel package to the top of the line Platinum package. Steel begins at $19 per month and delivers 1 GB of transfer bandwidth, 100 SKUs, 0% transaction fees and zero startup fees. Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum plans run $39, $59, $99 and $149 per month, and each plan ratchets up the included bandwidth and stock-keeping units incrementally. The best value can be had with the Gold plan, which includes 15 GB of bandwidth and 5,000 SKUs.
Score: 5

BigCommerce

As far as pricing is concerned, BigCommerce falls somewhere between Volusion and Shopify in terms of costs. They offer five price plans, starting with the Bronze package at $24.95 per month ranging up to the Diamond plan at $299.95 per month. BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction or setup fees for any of their plans, and each comes with complimentary Google AdWords advertising dollars to get you started. You’ll need to select at least the $79.95 per month Gold plan to get access to certain features like the Abandoned Cart Saver. Ultimately, BigCommerce provides excellent value regardless of your expected sales volume.
Score: 4

Technical Support and Assistance

 

Shopify

Even if you’re an old hand at developing websites, it still helps to have some technical support handy if you come across a stumbling block. Shopify provides excellent support via thorough online documentation, toll-free assistance numbers and the Shopify Experts program. In a nutshell, Shopify Experts is a comprehensive directory of designers, marketers, developers and other e-commerce gurus who can be hired to assist you in achieving the perfect online storefront. In addition, Shopify has some of the best community forums of any hosted shopping cart platform out there.
Score: 4

Volusion

Volusion ReviewsWhile Shopify and BigCommerce both have solid support programs, Volusion boasts the best overall support possible thanks to their 24/7 Live Chat services. Furthermore, Volusion hosts a bevy of videos and tutorials to assist you in building your store and troubleshooting any snags you run into. Clients can also open up a support ticket for minor issues that don’t require immediate attention. The combination of round the clock live support and extensive documentation make Volusion the most full-featured e-commerce program available when it comes to customer service.
Score: 5

BigCommerce

All in all, BigCommerce delivers excellent support for the most part if you need help troubleshooting your e-commerce shop. Their documentation is fairly thorough, and users can get Live Chat assistance 24 hours a day during the business week. On weekends, Live Chat is available between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM Central Time on Saturdays and 9 AM and 2 PM Central Time on Sundays. Users can also contact a toll-free technical support line during daytime hours or submit a support ticket for immediate help from BigCommerce’s helpful staff.
Score: 4

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Obviously, the right hosted e-commerce platform for your online business will depend heavily on a number of different factors. It’s tough to give catchall advice on which system to choose that will be widely applicable to every scenario. However, some basic generalizations can be made based on the above information. If you’re looking for simplicity over total features, the best choice is Shopify. If you’d like to find a happy medium between customization and ease of use, Volusion is a solid option. If you want to save money on fees and don’t mind a bit of extra legwork, BigCommerce is probably the best choice.

The Verdict

Picking the best hosted shopping cart CMS for your project is just the beginning. Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll need to leverage the built-in features of your chosen platform to make your shop a success and perhaps engage a marketing firm. Fortunately, each of the aforementioned e-commerce systems boasts plenty of documentation and support to help you ensure that your store eventually thrives. These hosted e-commerce platforms are the best of the best, and it’s difficult to go wrong regardless of which one you eventually select. With the right hosted e-commerce system, your vision can be achieved with the minimum of pain and frustration.

We’d love to hear your comments. What did we miss? What platform is your favorite and why? Which platform do you want us to do a deep dive into? Let us know by posting below!
 BigCommerce Reviews

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Tracy

    Thank you for the excellent comparison! It had all the information I was looking for and saved me a ton of research time!

  • Jason Corgiat

    Your welcome, Tracy! That was our goal, for sure.

  • John Mayer Edmund

    great review. thanks!!

  • CEO at BabyJamas

    Hello – great comparison of the three major cloud based ecommerce platforms. As a founder of a company (focusing on baby products), i’m curious to hear your opinion on the following: 
     
    1 – How do these three (Volusion, Shopify, BigCommerce) compare to products from the large software vendors like IBM W and Oracle ATG for ecommerce? 
     
     
     
    2- What arent all three on Gartner’s magic quadrant for ecommerce (I know Volusion is but Shopify and BigCommerce are not). 
     
     
     
    Thanks! 
     

  • Jason Corgiat

    @John – Thank you! 
    @CEO – A comparison between these products and ecommerce solutions like ATG wouldn’t be fair since they concentrate on totally different industries. IBM and ATG offer enterprise solutions for fortune 500 companies who’s needs are very different than those of a small/medium company. In regards to the Gartner’s magic quadrant, I’m not sure what it takes to get reviewed there. You may simply want to ask a BigCommerce or Shopify rep about that. I know they monitor this post so maybe they can post an answer for you here soon. Thanks for reading!

  • Erika @ BigCommerce

    @ CEO – I know that Volusion was on Gartner’s report for 2010, but unfortunately, we do not have access to the full Gartner report to understand their processes.

  • dan

    volusion sucks. we’re leaving. you will regret volusion if you ever try them.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason

    @Dan – Some more context would be helpful. Simply stating something “sucks” really isn’t helpful. Would you be willing to share more of your experience and why you decided to leave Volusion? Also, what are you leaving Volusion for?

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Ruben

    Hi,  
     
    I’m trying to find out which e-commerce solution offers better integration with Facebook.  
     
    Any insight would be highly appreciated!

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason

    @Ruben – BigCommerce offers a very nice Facebook integration that allows you to easily sell products on Facebook. You can check out the functionality using a free trial – http://bit.ly/MDv7sL

  • d

    Volusion is sucking more and more the more we need it. Random downtime and slowness is KILLING US! Also, the page customization SUCKS!! Yes, you can get a shiny template if you want no customization, but even our experienced developers cuss at volusion every day for missing BASIC web developement strategies like: DON”T USE TABLE FOR PAGE LAYOUT, PUT AN ID TAG ON IMPORTANT ITEMS (so you can use CSS/JS on them)… the product display pages are so incredibly limiting, it’s driving me to look elswhere for a better solution. We average sales of about 1 mill a year (no, it’s not all profit, don’t go thinking I”m rich and can afford an enterprise solucion) Also, Volusions bandwith charges are ASTRONOMICAL!! I’ve had $1,000 a month bills from them… because of API hits to our shipping integration with Shiprush… ALso, option management is non existant. We live and die by the options people add to the main product they are buying. Volusion has two ways of dealing whith tracking this: Shitty and None-At-All. The ‘Inventory Control Grid’ is a sick nightmarish joke. We have one product with 20 color combination options and the Inventory Conrtol Grid created almost 200 new products!! And, they did not even match accurately… It was a product management and packaging/shipping nightmare. Your mileage may vary.

  • Nick

    Really useful, thanks. 
     
     
     
    Quick question.  
     
    We have a situation where we need to create a single shopping cart for multiple websites. Most of these already have the search and design functionality set up and are currently using their own payment gateways to process the payments. 
     
    We’d like to build a new centralised functionality in a custom solution, but in the meantime (as an interim solution) be able to pass selection parameters from each of these websites via an API and directly populate the shopping cart from an external inventory. This means we don’t have to redevelop 7 or 8 websites at the same time. 
     
     
     
    Is it possible to use the shopping cart on its own for any of the three products, without having to set up your inventory in the system? Just the checkout and payment gateway?

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason

    Hi Nick, 
     
    That’s a great question and one we’ve had to solve ourselves recently. A client of ours wanted to manage multiple online stores from a single source of inventory and one admin to manage all the orders. While all 3 above have API’s that would allow for some custom programming, none seemed ideal for the situation. In this particular instance, we actually went with ASP DotNet Storefront. They have a multistore platform that works like this out of the box. http://www.aspdotnetstorefront.com/p-227-aspdotnetstorefront-msx-multistore.aspx

  • Nick

    Yup, the reason I have this issue is I’m doing work for a University with lots of different Faculties all doing their own thing! 
     
    Thanks for the feedback, and thanks again for the article. I’ll have a look at ASPDotNet StoreFront, although we definitely want an interim, not permanent solution. 
     
    Separately I’m also looking for an engine that executes purchase only when a minimum number of purchasers is reached. I think I may need to develop that one myself!

  • Michael

    Good review. However, it does not address a very important topic – inventory syncing with brick-and-mortar shops’ POS systems. I’ve searched high and low for a truly automatic inventory syncing solution and yet to find one. To be more precise, I am looking for a solution that will deplete my inventory on the fly when I sell something on the web and vice versa. If you know of a good solution, please do tell. It will be a bonus if any of the big 3 reviewed above provide such integration.

    • Ed

      Hey Michael and Jason, what a question. Bricks & Mortar inventory and shopcart sales being able to sync together. I have looked everywhere to find a POS, shopping cart and platform to work in harmony.. no such luck. We have MYOB, though linking inventory (sales) to a cart is very difficult. I’m looking at changing to Retail express in-conjunction with shopify (web developer) cannot recommend how to do it, unless spend mega bucks ie magento.
      Any help suggestion would be great. Its a fashion shop, one store, about to launch into on-line. Like to get it right first time

      Ed

      • http://www.leapgo.com Jason Corgiat

        Hi Ed,

        There are solutions like MerchantOS out there, but the best solutions are always home grown like you said. Usually we use an open source platform like Magento to get access to the source code but really it can be done with any cart that offers an API. It’s a matter of getting the fields matched up and the 2 systems talking to each other. It’s less expensive to do a 1-way data “export” from the online to the business system, but a true sync would allow changes from either platform to get passed through to the other. (i.e. change order status or add a tracking number in the business system and the online account is updated.) It’s not cheap, though, and usually comes down to how much add’l revenue that efficiency is going to generate.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason Corgiat

    @Michael – We’ve done this by leveraging BigCommerce’s API and integrating with a business system software used to run the retail/B&M. This has worked well in the past. Some other enterprise solutions have a business management suite that integrates everything. One we’ve worked with in the past is netsuite and is very comprehensive. Obviously, you will get a price tag that comes along with it but it makes sense if you have the right type of business and can leverage the suite. Hope this helps!

  • Brian

    To be honest with you these three platforms are very powerful. 
     
    We convert PSD’s to Shopify, Bigcommerce.  
     
    If you do not have the right developers for that you will be in a nightmare also. 
     
    Good luck to everyone and pick the right platform!

  • Rainer

    I have 2 questions, what about payment integration for these companies? Do they only accept certain companies like PayPal or can you include your own? The second is if your website is based off your own choice like http://www.company.com or http://www.company.volusion.com? Thanks.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason Corgiat

    @Rainer – All of the companies above accept paypal and google checkout as well as using a traditional merchant account with a gateway like authorize.net. Also, when you get started each company will give you a temporary URL like yoursite.theirdomain.com. However, each provider has tools and instructions in the back end for you to be able to have your store live on your domain. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Lloyd H

    Great review – – very helpful!! 
     
    I am a complete novice in the process of setting up an ecommerce website for on-line sales of one product. I have the product manufactured for me and I will be using a fulfillment center to fill my orders. So far I have tried Chase Instant Storefront, Big Commerce, 1&1, and Shopify. I terminated the contract with Chase (joint venture between Chase Paymentech and Miva Merchant)because modifying the template to suit my needs required HTML code knowledge which I don’t have. Miva’s design team would have done this for me but the cost, although reasonable, was more than I wanted to bear. Big Commerce looks to have everything I need, but again I couldn’t handle the site design process. I am working on Shopify now and I am optimistic that I will be able to design the site myself with some help from tech support. 1&1 has the best, easiest, most intuitive, most straight forward design process by far. BUT, their tech support is dismal (I had to explain to them what a packing list is). Also 1&1’s starter package can’t print packing lists and shipping labels (seems like a pretty basic requirement to me!! To get this function requires upgrade to their more expensive packages. This omission is not made clear in their price sheet. 
     
    So, for now I think I will press on with Shopify. Big Commerce is coming out with a new design process, and I think I will try them again when it is available. 
     
    Any comments about 1&1? 
     
    Thanks again for a great review.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason Corgiat

    @Lloyd – Thank you for the comments. Yes, doing designs without html knowledge seems to be a common “pitch” from ecommerce and website build providers. However, no matter what system you’re using it seems like it’s easier said than done. My whole web career started back in 1999 with a Yahoo store and no knowledge of html. I had to teach myself through tutorials how to do certain things so I know what you’re going through. Did you try working with BigCommerce support? Usually they are very helpful and go beyond what you’d consider “normal” support. In regards to the 1&1, we didn’t review them because we didn’t feel they were one of the “big 3″. I’ve also heard similar stories about their support. A word of advice, don’t press on too far with a cart that you will eventually replace. In the world of hosted ecommerce solutions, the more work you do, the harder it is to make a change. I don’t know exactly what you’re selling but if it’s a single product you might want to check out something that focuses more on a content management platform with ecommerce built in, like http://leapgo.publishpath.com. You can do a 3 page website with ecommerce at no charge. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck! My entire career and ultimately the LeapGo business was built by me taking the first steps as an ecommerce newbie!

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ J Armely

    With BigCommerce, I got a lot of visitor and pages viewers more than 700 visitor in a 3 weeks new store. But non conversion. To be more expecific $ 0.00 in sale. And the worst is that no one know WHY? 
    What a shame. I’m planning to close and open on somewhere out like Volusion. Any help? 
    Thanks a lot

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason Corgiat

    @J Armely – Usually the platform itself isn’t to blame for lack of sales. This could be many other issues and switching to another provider probably won’t yield different results. We’d love to take a look at your site and do a conversion optimization audit. We’d also take a look at your analytics software (or install one if you don’t have any) to check where traffic is breaking down. Let us know if you’d like our help!

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Dean

    Volusion support is non existent from my experience. Volusion put more effort in to taking my money and trying to justifying it than they did in providing an e-commerce solution. After I cancelled my account Volusion continued to debit my account.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Nulagh

    I am living through a nightmare with Volusion. 
    They have deleted over 600 products from our website — refuse to acknowledge their responsibility – no help from them — an offer of one months free rental!  
    Lost business – having to employ extra staff to take stock as we have no idea what is missing. 
    Finding some items that did remain have had the categories removed. 
    I find Volusion staff not qualified to answer questions or deal with this crisis. Got a mail back from one of my tickets – telling me to have a great day! 
    The stress is incredible – we had to employ an IT expert to speak to Volusion to get them to listen – after that they offered the one month free rental to pacify us! 
    Anyone who can give advise or tell us how to deal with this company — please let us know

  • LEX

    Thank you for your reviews. I have been researching the big three and there is a lot on conflicting information on the web. I began my research with the intent of perusing Volusion. Now, leaning towards Shopity but not quite sure if either of the big three is the right move for me. My web designer is about 90% completed with my site but I don’t like the cart that is installed. It’s basically Paypal driven. It takes the customer away from my sight to Paypal and I do not want that to happen…My initial products are books (2). The line will be expanded to include other items including t-shirts but will never reach 100 items/products. I just need to be able to add a cart to my existing site that has great marketing tools, is compatible with QuickBooks, has live order tracking, allows mobile access and is extremely secure. Being able to sell on Facebook is a welcomed lagniappe but not a deal breaker. Also, I have my own merchant account and want to use my current host. Maybe I need software in a box?

    • Colleen

      Hello Lex, let me know what you decide to do. I too will only have 4 products to start as well – prints plus low margins so i cant afford too much to start. I too am most concerned with backend intergration loke quickbooks cmcwag at yahoo.com

  • sara

    You didn’t address security issues. How does one access the administrator’s panel from the backend? Is it as easy as typing the admin to the path of your store? Is it also by entering the username “admin” as your login? Then, the only thing left is the password to crack. 
     
    One of the ecommerce systems above above has zero security re: admin login.

  • Nix

    Thanks for the great review. I have been searching review for both Bigcommerce and Volusion as I plan to switch platform to either one of this. 
     
    My initial solution will be Bigcommerce, but too bad the very basic Abandon Cart features only available to gold plan or above. It is a very basic features which we like to see it in all plan, as we plan to subscribe to the silver plan. 
     

  • William

    Were all the “Big 3″ a DIY for content and products? Do any of them offer to copy your existing website content? We are looking at different options… We have a website but it doesn’t work as well in real life as they promised.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason Corgiat

    Looks like I have some catching up to do! 
    @Dean and @Nulagh – It certainly seems that since we launched any comparison articles that included Volusion, there are an alarming amount of complaints about the support of the platform and billing problems. I’m sorry to hear that and I guess it’s something all others should consider when selecting a platform. 
     
    @LEX – Paypal has options that you don’t have to force people to go through their site. If you want to stay with the flexibility of something custom built, you developer should be able to assist you in setting up paypal properly so that the paypal website is never involved. Let us know if you need any assistance. 
     
    @Sara – In all of the cases, you can change your admin username information. The location of the login is usually the same.  
     
    @Nix – You’re welcome! I guess with BigCommerce you’d have to decide whether or not the abandon cart saver will profityou more than $40/month. If so, it justifies the additional cost. I have to agree, though. I much prefer a model that gives access to all features on every plan. 
     
    @William – Content migration is a big part of almost every project we do. We have several methods that we’ve developed over the years, but unfortunately none of these providers offer an automated option. The only software I’ve seen that pulls in your existing content is Adobe Sitecatalyst. 
     
    Thank you everyone for your comments! Keep them coming!

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Vance Lawson

    Hello Jason, I invite you to add CoreCommerce to your comparison reviews. We believe that we stack up very well with features and capabilities and provide a better price-Value combination with legendary unparalleled service. Happy to speak with you or your readers and welcome a review. Try out our new set up wizard… you will love it.  
    Kind Regards

  • Trevor

    Hi All, 
     
    Firstly thanks to Jason and the team for an honest review it has helped however I am still stuck… 
     
    There seems to be a lot of negative vibe on volusion so it was either bigcommerce or shopify for me, then i was put off my shopify charging more fees for transactions which i think wrong, then I read the corecommerce guy chip in and no further forward…. 
     
    I have been building basic affiliate sites for a while but no expert and my first attempt at wordpress with shopperpress seemed so buggy and not ideal so I kinda thought wordpress on my own server is a waste of time…. 
     
    Any further comments on bigcommerce v corecommerce as shopify is out of the window now with their extra charges… 
     
    If the guy from corecommerce is around…Why your platform compared to bigcommerce? Thanks.

  • Jason Corgiat

    @Vance – We’d love to check out CC closer and publish some reviews. Can you please get in contact with us so we can arrange a demo? 
     
    @Trevor – Your welcome for the review! Thanks for reading and commenting! We don’t have any solid data or opinions to provide on CoreCommerce. Hopefully that will change if Vance can let us check it out more. If you want to check out BigCommerce, and I suggest you do we are more than happy to set up a free trail for you or anyone else interested. Just ask! I’ll be sure to let you know if we plan to publish a piece in CoreCommerce.

  • kimberly

    Jason, thanks so much for this review, very interesting. I am a small business owner who has had to teach myself web design over the years, which means that I have made every frustrating mistake possible, but still managed to build a successful site eventually. I have tried many carts, but the most successful traffic-wise has been yahoo e-commerce. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s a good thing I don’t give up easily…it is definitely not a user-friendly, novice solution. I had to hire help to implement several things I needed. I just built a shopify site a few months ago…and love the ease and flow of shopify. It is more expensive, but easier to manage. The traffic hasn’t been there as much, but there are many factors to that, and I am working on it. I would recommend shopify but warn small business owners that web design is not “easy” to do yourself. My recommendation would be to build as much of it yourself as possible, get your content up, create good descriptions, etc, then hire someone reliable to help you with the technical details if needed.

  • ramesh

    bigcommerce is the best in all. 
    best integration with facebook and others. 
    Not that great in seo

  • J

    Hi Jason, great comparison, and thank you for your time doing it and answering questions. After reading your notes, I was convinced Volusion was the way to go. I’ve also read both positive and negative things about their set-up and customer support. Does anyone have more concrete evidence about why Volusion is worth using or worth avoiding? I’m a bit worried some reviewers might be making negative remarks because they work for a competitor… any more thoughts on Volusion?

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason Corgiat

    @kimberly – Thank you SO much for chiming in! We love hearing stories from people like yourself, especially since your beginning sounded almost word-for-word the same as mine 12 years ago….Yahoo store and all! You’re exactly right about learning as much as you can. We encourage that so much which is why we put out so many blog articles and whitepapers that include reviews, how-to’s etc. Even if you don’t have the time for it and plan to hire staff or an agency, knowing the basics of what they’re doing for you makes you a much better boss/client. Good luck and thanks for the inspirational feedback! It’s folks like you that inspired our upcoming series – “Client Spotlight” where we do a full story on one of our clients, their story, challenges, accomplishments, learnings, etc.  

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason Corgiat

    @ramesh – Thanks for your comment. The only thing I’d have to disagree with you on is that BigCommerce isn’t great on SEO. I think BigCommerce has everything you need to rank well. Anyone having any trouble rankings with BigCommerce or any ecmmerce platform should get in touch with us for a free SEO audit & recommendation. 

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Jason Corgiat

    @J – Thank you for your comments! Good point about the negative comments. While I doubt they were posted by a competitor because of the detail and passion behind the comments, it could just be a sign that Volusion has a larger market share. I do know through a client of ours that Volusion is putting quite a bit into their infrastructure and working to constantly upgrade the platform. Volusion has been around a long time and is one of the leaders, so I’m sure there are plenty of folks happy with the platform.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/bigcommerce-vs-shopify-vs-volusion-a-detailed-review/ Evan

    Jason- Great comparison review of all BigCommerce, Shopify and Volusion. We currently only integrate with Shopify, but I can tell you that all of our customers LOVE Shopify!  
     
    BigCommerce seems to be gaining a lot of popularity these days, so they are definitely worth checking out. Volusion on the other hand, seems to struggle with their support.  
     
    I would recommend checking out 3dcart as well. Another solid option in the ecommerce space.  
     
    Anyway, that’s been our experience so far.

    • http://www.leapgo.com Jason Corgiat

      Hi Evan,

      We’re putting together a 3dcart review and were wondering if you’d like to chime in, either with a quote or a paragraph or two of your experiences? Contact us if you’d like to be considered, thanks!

  • Hank

    Terrible review.  
     
    Volusion is known for its high bandwidth fees and unreliable service. 
     
    It is also known for its extremely poor SEO and SERP rankings. 
     

  • http://www.abellagifts.com Janet

    I am a business owner and I build my website on Prestashop. It’s too much work and I don’t like it. I am looking into BigCommerce. But I hear too many complaints from another review on bad customer support, and 16 complaints to Better Business Bureau about BigCommerce. I almost sign up with them. But I am not sure now. I just try Shopify and do not like their theme – template. It’s difficult to managed. Still searching…

  • Richard

    Hi Jason, Thanks forthe review. I’m desperatly trying to decide on a ecommerce host for my store. BigCommerce seems to be coming out ontop. Why anyone would use Shopify with there transaction fee is beyond me. I find that unbelievable, either charge a monthly fee or a transaction fee but not both!!  
     
    My issue with Bigcommerce is that i am based in the UK. Therefore i am not sure this is suitable for me? and do they support such merchants as sagepay? Any help would be much appreciated. Really struggling here.

    • http://www.leapgo.com Jason Corgiat

      Hi Richard,

      BigCommerce does support Sage Pay and has also worked quite well for UK based shops. Their shipping and tax calculation should work fine for you as well. For a full list of supported payment gateways check out http://www.bigcommerce.com/payments. Thanks!

  • Richard

    Also has anyone ever tried http://www.ekmpowershop.com

  • Maria

    Very informative article and blog. New to the world of e-commerce setup and evaluating all options prior to launching.  
     
    Have also read about a platform by the name of “nexternal”. It advertises as integrating many if the modules others charge for. Requested a price quote yesterday. Will evaluate vis a vis the info you graciously and professionally highlighted. 
     
    Thank you

    • Michelle Murphy

      My question – do any of them allow your shopping cart to be in a choice of languages?

  • ali

    Hi 
     
    Do I need software web developers in order to use any one of these e commerce solutions? 
     
    What if a business owner does not know any development?

  • dale

    We have narrowed it down to shopify (unlimited package) and Volusion (gold package). Our concerns are the support reviews and versatility in the shopping cart. We will have 1 product with several options of plans. Like a company that sells the computer, and the price varies depends on which internet package they pick and it requires signing a contract. Which option would work for us better.

  • Galina

    Thanks for the review. It is always helpful to compare the options to feel the difference. I can also add one more source which was interesting for me in terms of Volusion and Shopify comparison  
    http://www.shopping-cart-migration.com/useful-articles/49-volusion/5381-volusion-vs-shopify-how-to-choose-a-hosted-platform-

  • JR

    I suspect thousands of aspiring and current entrepeneurs will benefit from this fantastic comparative review. 
     
    This type of journalism is what makes our country so great !!!

  • Dione

    I hear sooo many bad things about volusion. I have yet to see or hear of any “happy customers” has ANYONE had a positive experience with them?

    • http://www.leapgo.com Jason Corgiat

      Hi Dione,

      Unfortunately this post has seen quite a few complaints about Volusion. We do know of several successful stores on the platform, including http://www.timelesswroughtiron.com but must say, we don’t hear near the praises for Volusion as we do BigCommerce and Shopify. The other thing that bothers us is the few times we’ve reached out via social media to all 3 companies we’ve never gotten a response from Volusion.

    • syed

      You are right..i used it for some time…it isnt good at all

  • Mark

    Like Richard, I’m planning a UK based launch. My preference at the moment is Shopify but I’m unsure which of the platforms is really best for the UK? For instance, from what I’ve seen many of the apps available in Shopify only present information in $ dollars and not £ stirling. Does anyone (including Richard) have any experience of using these platforms in the UK and have a view from that perspective?

    Also, I like the fact that Shopify can link with Fulfillment by Amazon. Do the others have that functionality too? And is Amazon Webstore a platform option? It seems to have less functionality for managing the business/financials.

    Thanks

  • http://www.spicyspirit.com Elle

    Thanks for the post. Usually for reviews, what people want to know the most is the benefits versus drawbacks. I’d like to see more information on the disadvantages of each platform. Thanks.

    • http://www.leapgo.com Jason Corgiat

      Hi Elle,

      I understand why you’d want to see that but it might be a struggle to produce such an article. First, we hate being negative and second, I feel like an article like that would be mostly opinion and personal preference. What I find a disadvantage you may not agree with or find applicable. My best advice to you is to make a list of things that are important to you and simply start a trial with all 3 carts. Keep documentation on your trial experiences and at the end you should be able to make a solid decision based on what’s important to you and not anyone else. Hope that helps! Keep the comments coming!

      • janet

        how can you give an honest review if you hate being negative?

        • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

          Hey Janet,
          What I mean was we didn’t want to produce an article just bashing something or being solely from a negative perspective. We have no problem pointing out what’s better or worse in comparisons.

        • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

          Hi @5994ea5d602b7ff10216868665e666bd:disqus and @3bcffb60b5837cf1c04495c0a9230993:disqus Just thought you’d like to know thatin our 2013 review of these platforms we included a “Weaknesses & Drawbacks” section just for you guys :) Enjoy! – http://www.leapgo.com/volusion-vs-bigcommerce-vs-shopify-a-detailed-review-for-2013/

  • Terry

    Like many others that have commented, Thank you for this great conversation and review of options. We are a small manufacturer that has been using a third party provider to present our products on the internet and we have decided to bring that in house. Our expertise is very limited. After reading through all of the posts we checked out CoreCommerce. It appears to offer everything we ‘think’ we are looking for. Have you had a chance to review this Jason or has anyone had experience working with them and are there drawbacks that I’m not seeing?
    Thanks again for making this conversation possible!

    • http://www.leapgo.com Jason Corgiat

      Hi Terry,

      Thanks for your comment! We are currently working on a 3dcart review but will add CoreCommerce to the lineup. Expect to see that within the next few weeks!

  • Dave V.

    Jason,
    I just signed up for Volusion with the Gold package and bought the SSL. I am a beginner when it comes to custom CSS and HTML. I am only going to be selling a max of 30 products and really want more of a website and then a page or category with my “add to cart” products. It seems that the FREE templates are not very easy to customize unless you know how to code well. When you buy one of there more expensive templates like the $695 ones, those allow you to be able to customize your site a ton more. Am I correct on this? And do you think I should spend the $700 or pick a FREE one and pay a web designer to customize the site how I want it? I have built websites on WordPress with a CyberChimps theme which was very very easy but was not Ecommerce. Thank You!

    • http://www.leapgo.com Jason Corgiat

      I would give a free template a shot. I’ve seen some sites starting with this templates do quite well, especially if you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves and work on the site yourself. You’ll learn a lot about the Volusion platform and what it takes to customize a template which will make you a much more educated, savvy buyer should the time come to purchase professional customization.

  • Andrew Uhacz

    Volusion has been my favorite since day one. Too bad they’ve had some outages. I heard they just invested 10 million on a new server so hopefully they don’t have any more outages. I pay $99 a month and make 100 times my investment per month.

    • http://www.leapgo.com Jason Corgiat

      That’s great to hear about your success, Andrew! Do you have any tips or words of wisdom for our readers on how o best utilize Volusion?

    • John

      I would not recommend Volusion. Their support sucks, the staff and owners have wrong attitudes and can kick you out for any reason. The cart loses dataa and has many problems that are never addressed. I had Volusion for several years and am glad to be free of it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/RodrigoRamos000 Rodrigo Ramos

        What you have now John?

    • Weezie

      What are you selling to make such a profit? I would like to know just how you do it. I have a store with BigCommerce and have not sold anything. Thanks

  • Volusion Ex

    There is a mistake in the article. The Volusion shopping cart does not run on the Akamai network. The Volusion shopping cart runs on the Volusion servers and has a lot of problems and downtime. It often cannot take payments. We gave up. We switched to BigCommerce and have no problems now.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

    Just a quick update to all, our 3dCart vs Volusion article is in development and will be published soon! I’ll post an update with link here as soon as it’s posted. Let us know if there are any other Ecommerce platforms you want reviewed and/or compared!

  • http://matter2energy.wordpress.com/ Maury Markowitz

    Wow, Jason, thank you so much for this comparison. It’s a wonderful way to get started on the big picture, saving my comparisons for the specific sort of features I need.

    Speaking of that… is there a forum or similar where I might discuss some of those specific-to-my-needs issues with users of these platforms?

  • Michael

    Fantastic ! just what i was looking for – Jason can you suggest a MULTI VENDOR kind of shopping cart and also any 3rd party app you have come across which can sync inventory from POS online thanx

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Michael ,

      I personally haven’t worked with many situations that called for a multi-vendor ecommerce solution (vs a multi-store solution like Magento and ASP DotNet Storefront offer). However, I do know that one of the carts that have been around quite a while, http://www.x-cart.com supports a multivendor (i.e. online mall) type solution. I’ve heard recently about http://www.amberpos.com/point-of-sale/ecommerce-integration/ that integrated with BigCommerce, but cannot speak to the quality or reliability as I’ve not been involved personally with an integration. Depending on the cart you’re working with, as long as you can pull/push information using an API there is most likely a solution the vendor could recommend or options for companies (like us) to code something custom. If you let me know what your current setup is I can ask around internally and probably provide some better direction. Do you have a POS software you’re sticking with or an ecommerce provider you’re leaning towards or just looking for the best integration possible, without a preference at this point?

  • KarlP

    I gotta say that I 100% disagree on Volusion’s support. I switched in September and have had extremely slow response to all support requests. Reports are not working and I get nothing but crickets from my support request. It is so horrible that I am considering switching based solely on their support. But then you say the other support is worse. Not sure how that’s possible, but it’s scary.

  • Guest

    So every one of them gets 4 or 5 stars in every category, and they all deserve breathless praise worthy of a press release?

    Thanks for giving us three names, at least, I guess. I’ll have to go find a review that’s a bit less sycophantic and picks a winner.

  • orson

    Personally I think the % based transaction fees on all but the top tier plan from Shopify are highway robbery. What are you getting from the HUGE excess cost of Shopify that justifies all that extra expense? The only realistic way to offset that extra cost is to leverage Dwolla as I believe of the three Shopify is the only platform that you can utilize Dwolla payments with. But if you go with Shopify hoping to leverage Dwolla and your customers opt to just use another payment option your SOL.

  • Robert Sneed

    Does any have a solid ROI

  • JH147

    Don’t use Volusion…they failed our business and did not honor any requests or respond on time….they will NEVER get our business!!!!!

    • John

      A friend of mine got kicked out of Volusion for constructive criticism. The Volusion gave his store 24 hours to leave and that was insufficient as he needed at least 2 months, so he had to give away his unofficial Volusion yahoo group i exchange to 2 months!! Never make a HUGE MISTAKE by going with Volusion.

  • Leslie in Dallas

    Hi Jason, I am just beginning to research how to develop and manage an on-line store. Your article is so informative as well full much I need to learn. Out of curiosity, I looked at your company’s webpage. I am sure that this question will display my total ignorance— what is the difference between these 3 shopping cart systems and what your company provides? It seemed to me that your company can do all and more.
    Trying to see who’s on first,
    Leslie

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Leslie in Dallas and thank you for the compliments! Here’s the best way I can explain it –

      Think of the ecommerce world as a race. Each website trying to “win” or at least go as fast as possible. You’re the driver and software like BigCommerce, Volusion & Shopify are the “cars”. Literally the vehicles that you need to get into the race. The problem is, you’re entering the race with a stock automobile. (Think heading into a NASCAR race with a brand new stock Dodge Charger ; there’s nothing wrong with the car but it will be very tough to compete against the higher performance cars.) That’s where companies like LeapGo come in. We’re your partner in business….your pit crew. We’ll customize, streamline and upgrade your website (car) through customized design (much better than the default templates) and make it a profitable high performance machine through inbound marketing like search engine optimization & social media marketing. We’re also there throughout the race, constantly making improvements and offering guidance to give you the best advantages over your fellow racers. Hopefully that analogy sheds some light on the difference between a software provider like the 3 above and a web design & marketing agency like LeapGo. We’re always happy to answer any more of your questions either here or by phone. My direct ext is 754 should you ever need to speak with me directly. Thanks again and best of luck to you in the race! Let us know if you need a good pit crew :)

      • Eliyahu_ben_Yehoshua7

        Hi Jason, i have two questions that requires your expertise. Have you heard anything positive about shopping cart elite in terms of how well their ecommerce platform is? Everything i am ready online about it seems very scripted. Also, with big commerce, is the platform similar to magneto in which the program is open to various alterations and pepping up or are limits imposed as to what can be altered? thanks.

        • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

          @Eliyahu_ben_Yehoshua7:disqus Thanks for stopping by! Unfortunately I cannot provide any input on shopping cart elite as I’ve never used it in the past. I’ll ask around the office tomorrow and if anyone has any feedback I’ll post an update. In regards to your question about the BigCommerce platform – it’s one of the things we love the most about BigCommerce. Traditionally you really had to choose between the lesser of two evils: Do I want ultimate flexibility but put all the future updates, security patches, etc on my company’s shoulders (self hosted solution aka Magento) OR not have to worry about all the maintenance stuff but get stuck inside a vanilla box that I can’t do anything with (hosted solution AKA Volusion/Shopify/BigCommerce). Well BigCommerce has done quite a good job of providing the benefits of both by allowing access to some pretty deep source files while still keeping it a hosted solution so you have ongoing support, upgrades and security. We’ve done some pretty cool things with all 3 platforms but BigCommerce seems to come out ahead when we have the need to get nose deep in the code. Hope that helps!

      • shabz

        Great response!

        • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

          Thanks! :)

  • Tony Leone

    I moved our store from Miva Merchant (God help anyone still on that platform) to Volusion a year ago and I can’t wait to leave the platform. On no less than 3 occasions they updated the software breaking our store. For example, customers stopped being able to checkout until I disabled the one page checkout (!!!). This type of problem hasn’t happened for the past 6 months but the outages have been adding up. And the outages are typically so widespread that calling or emailing support is useless so all you can do is wait for them to figure it out.

    I wonder how many customers Shopify has lost out on because of their silly transaction fees. I could understand the fees if they were subsidizing some type of merchant account for you, but they are charging a fee and giving you absolutely nothing in return.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Tony Leone. I remember working with Miva :) They used to be on the cutting edge at one time! It’s sad to hear about your experiences with Volusion, and frankly, it echos what many others have said here. It just goes to show that there’s a lot more than features that make up the selection of an ecommerce software provider. The whole idea of a “hosted solution” is that it’s supposed to take the burden of IT (upgrades, security, etc) off the table. As for Shopify, I understand the dislike of the fees, especially if they are not doing anything to increase your sales. However, the way they justify it is on http://www.shopify.com/blog/3031442-about-shopifys-transaction-fees. The end of the article simply states –

      “Simply put, a transaction fee incentivizes us at Shopify to help you sell more products. Every store that gets created is assigned a “Shopify Guru.” This Guru’s job is to help answer any questions you may have, tell you about how to best use Shopify, and to help your store be successful. Unlike other ecommerce platforms, Shopify doen’t just set you up with a website and a shopping cart and forget about you. Your Guru sticks around and helps you out, giving you marketing advice, sharing tricks they’ve heard from other stores, and so on.

      Remember: Once your store becomes successful, you can easily upgrade to a higher end Shopify plan that doesn’t include transaction fees.”

      Hopefully that sheds some light on the justification of the transaction fees. Whether or not it translates into more sales than another platform is obviously debatable.

      • Tony Leone

        “Simply put, a transaction fee incentivizes us at Shopify to help you sell more products.”

        I read that and was actually insulted by it. I would think the fact that I am already a paying customer is enough to incentivize you to create a product capable of converting. Why should we have to reward our SAAS provider for the fruits of my labor. For 2012 we grossed $1.1m through my Volusion store in only 1,700 invoices so I don’t need much in the way of bandwidth and storage space or processing power. So there is little reason to justify $179 a month to avoid their transaction fees. We already give enough to Amex and the other credit card companies and their “double and triple” points cards.

        • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

          Totally makes sense and it sounds like it’s definitely not the partner model for you guys. Regarding the credit card processing, we were going through the same thing for years up until recently. As you can imagine our processing statements can have some pretty high ticket items going through and since we deal with businesses, the fees are usually pushed through as “non-qualified” at a much higher rate. The saving grace came from a company called BrainTree. https://www.braintreepayments.com/ (Not an affiliate link). Through them we process all 4 card types at a fixed rate, no variables for corporate cards, no penalties or “non-qualified” rates to worry about. As you can imagine it saved us a ton in processing fees. All the best!

          • http://www.facebook.com/SouthernSunTanz Julie McClellan

            BrainTree is an excellent resource! Thank you

          • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

            No problem! Thanks for dropping by!

          • http://officialbuziness.com/ Nick Sparagis

            Hi Jason, if you wrote a separate post on merchant processing, I’d read it ;)

            We use Intuit’s provider and can’t really tell if it’s competitive or not.

          • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

            Hi Nick,

            Thanks for the comments :) Merchant processing is definitely a big, and widely debated subject. Maybe an article like “How to Choose The Perfect Merchant Account For Your Business” is in order? :). The Intuit merchant account is “competitive” and assuming you’re using it for the integrations with Quickbooks then you’ve probably got just what you need.

        • Bill

          Hi Tony,

          Another way to look at is this: that $179/month equates to 0.2% of your sales. If the cart platform works well for you, this is a very minor expense for you.

      • http://officialbuziness.com/ Nick Sparagis

        I guess I’m confused why people are so salty about the transactional fees. So you pay the $179/month? That’s less than $2,200 per year. That does not seem like a lot of money, if you’re able to do business and make money. You also get a dedicated support person. Maybe I’m missing something?

  • Steve

    I have 15 years of development experience under my belt and am *very* familiar with the lamp stack. It does nothing for me when trying to customize a client’s site using BigCommerce. The structure is a mess and there is not a single line of php code that I can edit. My experience with their support left something to be desired. On their website they state “We don’t work hard, we work smart. Our offices are empty by 6:00″. It shows.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Steve,
      We usually find BigCommerce the easiest platform to work with because of the access to the source files and structure of include files and snippets. It definitely took some getting used to though. As for support, we’ve always had a good experience. Was your experience isolated to one rep/issue or does it span multiple people and multiple problems? We find that sometimes our more technical questions cannot be answered by the first person we get on the phone, which is to be expected. However, whenever we ask for a tech or developer we are accommodated with either a direct transfer or a call back later in the day. If you haven’t tried asking for someone like that, maybe it would get you a better resource for assistance. It’s rare we hear complaints about BigCommerce support so I’d love to hear more about your experiences for the benefit of our readers. Also when you say the structure is a mess, can you point out some comparisons or examples? It would be great info for everyone. Thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/RodrigoRamos000 Rodrigo Ramos

      Well, I’ve tried the Free Trial and got disappointed. I don’t think the scructure is a mess but not all that you want to change is changable. They get very limited sometimes. For example, the quantity of Popular Brands shown on left column it’s NOT customizable. Warning: certain questions to support causes stuttering.

      • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

        Hi @facebook-599876780:disqus
        There is definitely a loss in customization freedom when going with any hosted platform. Since you don’t have access to source code, there are certain things you just cannot do. It sounds like you’re the type of guy that would like an open source, self-hosted solution like Magento. As for the support, I’d imagine your experience allows you to ask questions that the normal tech support rep probably doesn’t get every day. For higher level questions it’s always best to ask for a rep that can speak your language and just work with them as often as possible. We have a few favorites for higher level questions because we can’t expect people that normally answer questions like “how do I add more pictures to my products” to answer a question like “what’s the proper query to pull the on-site search data from the API to integrate with an in-house analytics program”.

  • Rab Simpson

    I’ve got a client on Volusion and while for the most part there’s been very few issues, I do find that their hard-coded HTML is absolutely crap (we’re talking pre-1999 style font tags etc) and there’s no way as an administrator to change any of it. I can change the code contained within various ‘articles’ along with the primary header and footer code, but the hard-coded stuff is exactly that, built directly into their functionality. I pointed it out to them and have heard nothing in response. It’s a bloody joke.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Working with Volusions coding can be tricky for sure. The worst part is there is really no warning that if you customize a little too deeply, the next update they role out can break your website.

  • Karl

    I was interested in a ecommerce site that I could use for wholesalers and direct retail customers. In other words, I want my wholesale accounts to be able to login and see the wholesale prices. These of course need to remain hidden to direct retail buyers. Can any of these sites do that ?
    thanks for the help.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hello Karl ,

      We’ve done that exact scenario several times using BigCommerce. It’s called “group-based pricing”. You can create seperate pricing, products and even completely different categories available to each group. Then you can set the wholesale categories to only be shown to wholesale members with approved accounts once logged in. Here is more information about that feature – https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/1542/How+do+I+create+group-based+(e.g.+wholesale)+pricing+rules%3F

  • Debbie

    Hi Jason,

    I have also been looking into an on-line store, came across your article and found it very informative. I am also looking ino an Amazon store, I know the traffic that Amazon gets, they charge I believe 7% comission with a store. They also have a fulfillment center, you send your products to them, they process the sale, pack and ship to the customer. I guess my question is, It seems expensive to pay them 7%, but with the traffic thet get, would it not be worth it? What do you think would be the pros and cons of this. Thank you, Debbie

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Debbie,

      If you are going to take advantage of the fulfillment center, it’s definitely something to look into. If you can afford 7% coming off the top and still stay ultra competitive with your pricing it could be a great option for you. You can still get your products onto amazon using product feeds if you decide against an amazon store. Personally, I don’t know many merchants that can take a 7% hit, plus the 2-3% merchant account fee and still price their products competitively.

  • Michelle Murphy

    Do any of these shopping carts allow a choice of 2 languages?

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      While I know a few make claims of “creating a store in any language” I don’t think any offer the default text prewritten in other languages. You’d have to do that yourself using the admin area and editting the text in all the template files.

  • Sarah

    Hi Jason, I currently have a shop through Wix.com. I am constantly getting feedback that the webpage won’t load or there is an error on the page. In talking to Wix they claim they don’t know why that’s happening, blah blah blah. My question, being almost completely ignorant of website building and language is this: My current site is an HTML5 and I’ve heard it’s just not compatible with certain browsers. I’ve tried to access my site through all types of computers and browsers. I’ve accessed it 50% of the time. If I switch my site to Shopify will I encounter the same issues since it will still be an HTML5 site? I can’t afford for slow loading time, errors on page, etc. Can you help me before I make another bad decision? Thanks!

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hello Sarah

      Load time and page errors can be because of so many different things, it’s tough to say whether migrating your cart will change everything. By default, you should not experience any issues but it’s usually when template customization, add-ins and widgets are implemented is when problems can arise. It could simply be a bad line of code that’s causing errors now, and if fixed, maybe your problems will go away. Before making the decision to switch (assuming you’re happy with everything else but the load issues) I’d do 2 things:

      1) Implement google webmaster tools and check the “Health” section after a day or so.

      2) If you can afford it, have a company or webmaster do a compliance and usability audit (that’s what we call it) to check for common issues that might be causing the problems. We normally do this for around $200 and provide a complete report of our recommendations.

      If you’re leaning towards changing carts anyway, it might not be worth it to launch this investigation. Regardless, either way you go I’d recommend setting up Google Webmaster tools to monitor the site. Hope that helps!

  • Mary in Seattle

    Jason, We are a small company reviewing these three and attempting to compare them. So your article is spot on with the information. One of the issues we keep running into is we wanted to use Quickbooks for mac. All of them have issues with that. Do you have a suggestion? Or possible another Mac based. accounting system. Anyone???

    • rantnraven

      I’ve been using Account Edge by Acclivity (MYOB) since 1992 on my mac computers. Easy to use and expand as needed. At $299 for a single use license, it does more than Lawson modular accounting at $100,000 + per module (at least that’s when I did a comparison several years ago.) Better than Quickbooks, Peachtree, Great Plains…. You should be able to extract data from any of the e-commerce products (free or fee) and integrate it with Account Edge Pro.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi @8fb9f0ca2b0768bcce9e31aa1f52d0d7:disqus did @rantnraven:disqus’s comment help any? Unfortunately I don’t have any personal experience to share on that one.

  • countrygirl

    Volusion prevents a store from growing exponentially. I get lot’s of traffic and lots of spiders crawling my site. I get charged $800-1200 each month from Volusions bandwidth fee’s! I’m switching to Big Commerce now. fed up!

    • John

      Volusion does not want yu to succeed. They want your money and they want the stores remain small and failing. That is their PLAN!

    • RepeatPo

      Did you do the switch? I’d like to find out more. Would you mind reaching out to me? I am in the same boat.

  • Website Design

    When it comes to online shopping carts and ecommerce content management systems, you have a lot of options to consider: BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, 3D Cart…the list goes on. All of these platforms will allow you to set up an online store, but not all of them offer the same benefits in terms of usability, stability, customization and value.

  • Joal

    Hi, I found this article in my search to figure out which e-commerce store to go with. I’ve looked at your 3 and also Godaddy Quick Shopping Cart. Do you have a review for Godaddy? From what I’ve read Shopify, Volusion, and Big Commerce are all better than Godaddy, but Godaddy is priced better. With their pricing you get more space and pay less. But if I need to pay more for better service then I’m willing to do so. I know you can’t flat out tell me which is best for me, but maybe you can give a suggestion. I run a small art gallery and we are looking to take our gallery online. So we’ll be selling the artwork of all of our artists that we represent. Which one of these stores do you think would be best for an online gallery?

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi @disqus_fgriMscRRN:disqus
      In my personal opinion Godaddy hosted products in general perform poorly and I haven’t heard good things about their support in many years. For your needs I would say that BigCommerce or Shopify would be where I’d start. Take a test drive of each and see what feels more comfortable & easiest to manage for you. If you need a custom design or marketing for any of these platforms please don’t hesitate to contact us! Thanks for stopping by and all the best!

      • Joal

        Thanks. I’ll give them a go and hopefully see success.

        • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

          Hi @disqus_fgriMscRRN:disqus,

          Just curious as to how things are going. Did you make any progress? Do you have a favorite yet?

  • Juanita

    One thing that Volusion doesn’t do well or at all… – they say that they can process GST for Australian users, but in fact their calculation is wrong. I unfortunately found this out the hard way after signing up, and Volusion, despite their claims of “out of this world service” refused a refund. I would suggest Australians looking for a solution avoid Volusion until they can rectify this problem

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      That’s sad to hear and hopefully they only knocked you for the month you cancelled in. Maybe an Aussie based solution like http://www.ashop.com.au/ that @facebook-599876780:disqus mentioned would offer proper calculations? I’ve never used them but would imagine that a company based in Australia must have it right.

  • http://twitter.com/viktor_kis Viktor Kis

    Thank you for this detailed comparison, valuable resource. I run a volusion store and although I’m happy with the richness of built in features I miss being able to tweak the back end sometimes (pretty often when it comes to conversion optimization)…

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      What are your thoughts on their updates and support? It seems the common theme here is that people aren’t happy with the support, it would be nice to hear if you’ve had a different experience or not. Thanks!

  • Andres

    Hi Jason, thanks for your article. Maybe you could shed some light on this, as it has been difficult for us to find the answer on either Volusion, shopify and bigcommerce sites…. We want to start a business selling US products in South American countries. We often hear that credit card transactions are not accepted from any of these countries and we are also unsure of what dropshipping alternative we can rely on and tie with one of these platforms. Could you suggest and shed some light on this? (btw: we really hope Bigcommerce does this, or its apps/partners)…THANKS!!

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi @ae54264a7725c65b2cd2e425eab6052f:disqus, I can’t shed much light on the subject of merchant accounts. I know each merchant account provider will have certain criteria on what will trigger their fraud algorithms and either deny or hold a transaction. The best thing to do is to have the discussion with a merchant account provider and find out exactly what pieces of information you must collect during checkout. On the drop shipping deal, I know BigCommerce currently has a fair amount of features specific to drop shipper needs on their roadmap for this year. In the mean time, the plugin Ordoro might be just what you need. More info here – https://support.bigcommerce.com/questions/1240/How+do+I+drop+ship+orders+using+Ordoro%3F. All the best!

    • http://websitecash.net/ Scott McKirahan

      The shopping cart you choose will not have any bearing on this. The best chance of you getting this set up is to visit the U.S. and set up a bank account and a LLC. You can do the LLC remotely from a foreign country but Patriot Act laws require bank accounts to be set up in person. Or, if you have someone you REALLY trust in the U.S. (and vice versa) they could set one up that you could use.

      If you don’t have a U.S. LLC and usually a U.S. bank account, most U.S. companies will not dropship products for you. You will have to purchase in bulk and either use a fulfilment house to pack and ship orders for you or you will have to ship them yourself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RodrigoRamos000 Rodrigo Ramos

    Does anybody (or you Jason) here uses Ashop Commerce? I just did the Free trial and they did really well, but I don’t want to start with them without having any real options on it. Thanks.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hey Rodrigo,

      Personally I’ve never used them. Looks like an Aussie based operation with some pretty decent options. Hopefully someone else can chime in. If not I might check out a site like http://www.quora.com where you can ask for people’s opinions.

  • Wild Abandonment

    That does not seem to be an actual verdict. “…and it’s difficult to go wrong regardless of which one you eventually select.” is what some people would call a cop-out or you are not as familiar with the systems as you report. If you are a small business, then this would be best, if you are a med, then this would be best, if larger, then… see, not too difficult.

  • Bill Bodge

    I’ve been a customer with Volusion for 5 years and just had another site designed by them. When they had finished designing the site I found the search box function did not work as expected. I asked them to enlarge the dropdown category menu and get rid of the search box. They said they could do it for another $300.00. Mind you this is a couple of days after approving the design. They say you have a 14 days to make changes, but that does not apply to coding apparently.
    I asked to speak with a manager, considering I’ve been a customer for 5 years and just paid for them a few thousand to design the site. I was told by the design rep that he did not have a manager. I asked how he knew that they could not cut me a break on the design costs since it was a simply change.
    I’ve liked Volusion over the years. I’m planning on starting a third site. This has made me mad enough to consider changing to another eccomerce platform. They might be losing touch. You tell me how to contact anyone there in a meaningful position.

    Bill Bodge
    Owner
    Cardinalville.com
    CollegiateDiplomaFraming.com

  • http://www.multiinfotech.com/seo-services.html seo services

    If your website contains an error, off for a period of time, or if you need some updates, see how long it will take to complete. If you must wait for your online business, which was chosen for several weeks or months to complete a simple job, and may affect its sales.

  • Bill Webb

    I was with Volusion for about 4 years my sales grew and things were going well then the banwidth charges started and became out of site. I switched to Shopify which is a real challenge when your moving 4,000 products. I have now been with Shopify for 6 months. My sales so far this year are almost half what they were one year ago same period. I have paid for SEO people to work on my site, I have talked to Shopify support. I use my own domain name and when you type it in without the “shopify name you get the “This site can’t be trusted” popup. Shopify support tells me this can not be fixed and I think it is the reason for my lost sales. I am in the process of looking for a new cart – moving is almost as bad as moving to a new house so I want to get somewhere ans stay.

    • RepeatPo

      I too have enjoyed Volusioin but the band width charges are killing me. Almost afraid to grow more as the charges will be way out of hand. We found some IP’s were sucking the BW and there was no way Volusion could prevent this from happening. Anyone have any suggestions how to handle this. This is why I am looking at ecommerce, but not sold on Shopify.

      • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

        If you’re planning on migrating, we could probably assist. I also recommend checking out http://www.shopping-cart-migration.com/. I’ve heard good things about them.

  • Stacie

    Hi Jason, thanks for the wealth of information. My head is still spinning. I have no idea who to switch to.

    Currently we use cartkeeper, as our shopping cart. It’s so easy to edit our site using this company they use a WYSWIG Editor. We are looking for a company that has it’s own payment gateway, ease of updating type, products and offer special features like soft add to cart. We currently are MAC based. Do you know if we will have problems?

    I have been leaning towards Volusion but now, I think i just tripped! I have been reading some reviews below about bandwidth charges. Is there an easy way to sum up bandwidth charges? Our site is not open yet maybe that’s why I never knew about bandwidth charges. Thanks for any help!

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Stacie and thanks for stopping by! Yes, Volusion has gotten poor feedback because of their support and bandwidth charges. The thing about the bandwidth charges is that they usually won’t affect you, until your store starts getting a lot of traffic. Problem is, by that time many people are built pretty deep into the platform and a migration at that time is a ton of work and there’s a lot at risk (search engine rankings, dropped conv rate, etc) with a migration. Have you tried the BigCommerce trial at all? All of their plans include unlimited bandwidth. It might be worth checking out. If you do use Volusion, there are some ways to save on bandwidth such as leveraging the Akamai network to host your images. Also if you plan to have additional documentation such as pdf’s etc you can host those offsite as well. Hope that helps! Feel free to give us a call if you need to have a more in depth conversation about planning for the future. PS – Our 2013 version of this review is getting posted tomorrow! Be sure to come back and check it out!

  • StellaMae

    Jason,

    For a website that is only selling a small amount of items (8-10 juice blends) for delivery, not shipping, would it make more sense for me to use PayPal as the payment option?
    I feel like my needs are much simpler than the sophisticated offerings of the shopping cart softwares you reviewed in the article.
    (I do need to make sure that customers are local for delivery purposes and I am putting a ‘minimum # of juices per order’ as a requirement for free delivery.
    It seems like if I go with a more elaborate shopping cart set up, I will end up jumping through hoops to try to dumb it down to meet my needs.
    Do you think that is the case with how I have described my ecommerce needs?
    thanks for this article, It is written in a very understandable way.
    Stella

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Stella.

      Thanks for stopping by! In my opinion, even though you may be a smaller operation it still makes sense to try and keep the ecommerce experience as “normal” as possible. Having a consistent shopping cart/checkout experience as any of these software offer is still a good idea. Most “features” can either be ignored or turned off completely but thinking further down the road, it might be nice to have some advanced functionality, integrations with accounting systems, customer rewards programs, etc. The last thing you want to do is get into a system that’s ok now, but lacking features you need next year.

      In regards to the paypal option I’m all for it. As long as it’s integrated cleanly and the checkout process is easy it’s a great way to accept payments without the contracts and minimum fees of many merchant accounts.

      Thanks again for your question and if you haven’t already seen it, be sure to check out the newest version of this article at http://www.leapgo.com/volusion-vs-bigcommerce-vs-shopify-a-detailed-review-for-2013/

  • Serdar

    Hi Jason,

    Many thanks for the great comparison. Which solution do you think is the best when it comes to mobile integration? Any of these solutions mobile ready?

    We are planning to launch our online store soon to sell furniture and home goods. When I search on Google by using keywords we are planning to use, both of our competitors appear on the first page and they both use Yahoo Ecommerce solution. Do you think this is a coincidence or does it have anything to do with Yahoo Ecommerce solution?

    Thanks in advance

    Serdar

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Serdar,

      I think that any of these solutions will serve you well with mobile, particularly Volusion and BigCommerce. My only complaint (which can be fixed with a bit of tweaking) is they have a tendency to deliver mobile versions even to tablet users. I don’t like getting the slimmed down version when I’m on a tablet so we usually tweak the settings to deliver the mobile experience based on screen resolution instead of platform (like android, etc). Without knowing the 2 competitors and your keywords, I’d have to say it’s a coincidence. However, if the two main competitors are both using that platform maybe it’s because it has certain features or functionality they both enjoy. If you haven’t already you might want to dive into that a bit deeper. Good luck and all the best! Do let us know if you’d like to learn more about our design customization services for any of the platforms metnioned.

  • Mags in Baltimore

    My business partner and I did enormous research on the right system to use for our web shop, and ultimately decided on volusion. There isn’t a day that goes by there I don’t high praise the system. We operate in a unique way, we vend at events and we also have ournwebshop, with the same merchandise. Our biggest problem was finding a solution that would enable us to pull merchandise off the website as it sold at a live event. Volusion has a phone order feature where we can set up a shopping cart at each event and check out with an instore pick up etc and it pulls our inventory off the website in live time. I cannot tell you how critically important this feature is for us.

    The reporting is exactly what we need, the ease of use is there and the system itself is just so easy to use. However anytime we have needed help, we can get it. Their tutorials are helpful as are their employees. We spent a month picking apart several solutions and I am glad that we chose volusion. I can’t speak highly enough of this.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi @d802680d298f1dc97322592a24875ccb:disqus,

      Thank you very much for chiming in! It’s great to hear you’re enjoying Volusion and I appreciate you giving everyone the details on the specific features you’re using. All the best!

  • D

    Bigcommerce and Shopify are the ONLY products out of literally hundreds we tested that were able to pull off MFG variant SKU tables. Think anything based on 2 or more options. This is because of their rules or conditions systems respectively.

    All other carts are a mimic of features of these two. Theme is the tip of the iceburg if your solution cant reference nor sell a modern product. You would be foolish to spend time looking anywhere else – including the $600,000 Hybris style systems of the world. Save yourself headache and benchmark these 2 first.

    FYI bigcommerce DESTROYS shopify when you start to add in things like springsearch and really custom JS. The beauty of the HTML/CSS theme structure is that it works. The non-beauty of shopify is that you will have to wait for their eingine to play catchup/workaround to achieve similar standards based code functionality.

    Funny how all reviews concentrate on basic stuff that basically ALL carts have. Focus on the niche and different. Amen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/merinda.lyons.1 Merinda Lyons

    how can we check on which platform a online store is i.e shopify, magenta, e comm or volusion

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Other than checking the footer for a link, there’s not many good ways. You could always just ask :)

  • http://www.magentodevelopments.com/ magento development company

    Difference between bigcommerce vs volusion.
    1. BigCommerce
    •15 day free trial demo store
    •NO transaction fees
    •NO bandwidth fees
    •5 plans ranging from $24.95-$299.95 a month
    2 Volusion
    •14 day free trial
    •NO transaction fees
    •Hidden bandwidth fees that are hard to find on their website
    •5 plans ranging from $15-$195 a month

    • http://www.expertvillagemedia.com/ Ruby USA

      Great comparison between Bigcommerce and Volusion .

      Thanks for sharing

      Ruby
      Web Designer
      Expert Village Media

  • kcwholdings

    I use Volusion, Shopify & Bigcommerce for my ecommerce portfolio. The easiest to use is Volusion for me. Pretty disappointed in my experience with Bigcommerce for two reasons – NO DROP SHIP functionality & if a customer orders a lot of items, there is no way to put in multiple tracking numbers for that order.

    So the customer receives only one tracking number and expects one package and when 1 package comes with items missing they get mad at us thinking that we missed something in our packages… I thought they were better than that – I went with bigcommerce for our latest products due to all of the positive reviews… I DISAGREE now.

  • Kristen Petri

    Your article was great and helped me make my decision, however, I would like others starting out to know about my experiences with BigCommerce.

    I am new to e-commerce and after a lot of research I went with Big Commerce. There were numerous problems starting up, including being given incorrect information about what I could and couldn’t do with the store (given wrong information to a specific question about urls we could use—this caused us to change the url of our store with assistance from BigC techs). Despite this we decided to go ahead with Big Commerce.

    Several months later after a prolonged illness and trouble with our product manufacturer, we decided to close the store while we searched for another product (always intending to use Big Commerce in the future). It was at this time that I realized we had been charged twice each month! When we changed urls (because of the wrong information they gave us and with their assistance), somehow a second store was opened that we were unaware of. I NEVER at anytime agreed to open a second store and have my credit card billed. I should have noticed the billings, but being and small
    business and with being in and out of the hospital, I got quite behind.

    BigCommerce flatly refused to refund the costs for the second store even though it was obvious it was never used. Even getting a response from them was difficult! I tried to speak to managers (who didn’t answer their phones) etc., but nothing helped!

    Basically, I would not suggest this to anyone starting their first e-commerce business and trying to learn the process. Incorrect information is given, accounts are open without your knowledge and approval, and the customer service
    response is difficult to get and not helpful.

  • Jay

    Right now i’m using Jigoshop and it sucks BIGTIME. I think the folks at jigowatt are crooks and enjoy taking peoples money and offering them no help. So I thought I had found a ecom solution with shopify BUT it seems shopify is not being very upfront about how you have to pay double transaction fees. One transaction fee to paypal and one transaction fee to shopify?! If my customer chooses to pay using paypal then why would I pay shopify a transaction fee? I thought i had found a solution with shopify but it appears I have only found another greedy eCommerce company.

    • Edward

      Well, Paypal is providing you a service, and Shopify is providing you a service. Is it mind-bending that each provider would charge you?

      • http://websitecash.net/ Scott McKirahan

        Really? They ARE charging people a monthly fee for their cart. The main reason I would NEVER use Shopify is the 7 day delay from the time an order is placed until it is deposited into my bank account. That’s outrageous! My payment processor takes two days and charges nearly a full percentage point less than the Shopify payment processor. That may be no big deal for sites selling $5 and $10 items, but when you are selling several items per day that cost $1,000s and have to pay the manufacturer before they are drop shipped, waiting 7 days for your money isn’t very doable – especially when you are paying an extra $10 or more for the credit card processing for each order. That extra percentage point can add up to hundreds of extra dollars you are paying each month for the privilege of not having to set up payment processing one time with an outside processing company.

        The other main hangup I had is that there can only be 100 variants for a product with Shopify. That sounds like a lot but it isn’t when you have five colors, five sizes and five styles. 5 x 5 x 5 = 125, so you better cut out a style, color or size if you want to stay at the 100 variant limit (or pay extra for a module that will let you have more than that). Oh, and don’t have more than three variants of a product; Shopify doesn’t allow it! Yeah, you could start breaking things up into separate products but that is not only inconvenient for customers, but it it a duplicate content nightmare!

        I’ve tried all 3 carts (and nearly a dozen more) and they all have their share of weaknesses. All depending what your individual needs are, one of the three may shine above the rest. For the needs of every eCommerce site I have ever set up, BigCommerce comes the closest to being perfect, though. The only way you can know for sure is to give each of them a test spin!

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Jay,

      Totally understandable that you don’t agree with Shopify’s rate schedule. It’s not for everyone. However, just to clarify for everyone else I don’t think they are being misleading about their rates or percentages. It’s posted right on the pricing page as a line item http://www.shopify.com/pricing.

  • raje

    hi,
    Thanks for helpful review. I have a question of the search features. I am planning a webstore with large number of goods. Which has the best and varied filtering and sorting features on search results? E.g filter for free shippings, price between certain ranges and sort price up and price down, display grid or list style etc. Thanks.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi @c625f44498af23b38db31ece722e097b:disqus thanks for your question. Any one of the platforms above has a “decent” internal search tool. However, if you want to really take internal search to another level with advanced sorting, drill down features, etc it’s best to use a 3rd party tool. I’ve worked with large brands and sites that expect a high level of performance from their site search and the 2 tools that usually come up are Adobe Search & Promote (enterprise level) and SLI Systems. I’ve seen SLI systems implemented in a BigCommerce store very nicely. In face, the navigation and search were powered by this system to take a very robust catalog and make it easy to browse for the user with all sorts of options. Hope that helps!

  • Danseuse

    Big thanks for writing this article. It really helps~ And reading other people’s comments are indeed helpful too! Thanks everyone :)

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Sure thing! Hope you found the info you needed!

  • Dale

    Jason, you are right on shopify’s easy of setup. I found setting up all our products and pages to be a snap. But ONE BIG ISSUE with this hosted service; I ran into a brick wall when following Shopify’s instructions to setup PayPal for processing. After days of working with both Shopify and PayPal I was told they don’t support certain offerings of PayPal. This I understand but their instructions actually say they do and how to set it up. I ended up paying for a service on PayPal I cannot use because they cannot get the interface to work. Secondly I do not like the self promoting check out page with Shopify’s name in the URL. I am not sure how the BigCommerce or Volusion handle the check out page but when I discussed with Shopify tech support about this they told me it had to be that way because of the SSL certificate. I could live with that but unless you buy the PayPal Pro plan you cannot use the embedded page they have for customers to use on their store. Bottom line is Shopify has not coded the interface correctly or at all for the PayPal Advantage using any of the option A,B or C (where C is an iFrame setup of some kind that Shopify support says they cannot handle) C is the embedded option that allows a customer of your store to feel they are staying on your site when checking out. Paypal only charges $5/month for this plan and you get all credit cards, paypal express and the ability at events to use PayPals card swiper. Nice plan to have for most store owners. I am close to leaving a great store that I have running on Shopify (works great on browsers, iPads, and iPhones) because the payment process integrity is anything but integrated or easy. I had a real problem with the last level 2 support directions. I was told to follow the same instructions on Shopify’s site telling you how to set it up from square one again. It has been over a month and still no fix. They suggest I upgrade to expensive Paypal Pro or use another provider. Seriously, I asked them, you suggest I do not use the largest, most trusted payment processing service in the world right now! They did not like my tone in my email with this statement and I have had no response now for a week from support. When I call in it is as if I have been black balled. If this is the way they operate in Canada then I don’t want to do business with them any further. Word to the wise: Everything Shopify advertises they cannot do yet! I gave them a month before being so frustrated that I searched and got your comparisons. I think at this point I will check out the Volusion trial. I have tried MegentoGo and found it to be way to involved. Your comparison of these top 3 was just what I needed. Thank you!

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Dale,

      Sorry to hear you’re having such an issue with the Paypal integration and Shopify. I can tell you that all 3 of the above will put you on a 3rd party URL provided by the company for checkouts if you don’t have your own SSL certificate. It’s standard practice for them to remain compliant with security regulations. (They either have to provide a “shared SSL” cert or have you use your own, not allow an unsecure checkout.) I’m suprised by the lack of integration with paypal on Shopify’s part because we’ve implemented quite a few of these ourselves. Too bad you’re not getting a straight answer. Good luck on your trials and if you need any design customization in the future please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks again for stopping by!

    • cindy

      I was searching to see if anyone was having problems with BigCommerce. We have a site on it and it seems like customers are sometimes having problems placing orders. I just have a nagging feeling that we are losing business dues to difficulties they are having. We just put out a sale and there were at least four complaints, two coming from prior past customers who have successfully ordered (minimizing user error probability). Complaints like “the order site
      says
      please wait,I would like to get an order thru,” “Trying
      to place order & can’t proceed thru checkout?,”trouble
      with checkout, could not register as guest or as new customer,”On order placement had
      trouble when paying with PayPal it said “loading please wait” for a long time
      & order never processed?,” “but the web often insists me to check the delivery/mailing address, quote ; “Something wrong with mailing address” . Oh great, just got this one. “I guess
      you don’t want my business.You have no phone where I can talk to
      human being. Gee what a novel idea!!When I try to place an order your
      site won’t process it. I will buy my chlorella elsewhere.
      Don’t need this aggravation. TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST.” help! BG said nothing was wrong when I contacted them last night… :( I really think we are losing business and I don’t know what to do. It sounds like BC is highly regarded on this forum, so I really don’t know what to do now.

      ps we are also using Stripe now along w/ paypal and that seems to work great. We used to use PayPal, not only for PayPal payments, but also for CC payments – and that confused the heck out of people. When w/ switched to Stripe for CC payments, I thought my check out worries were gone. But this is worse. Also I can watch customers through Lexity or Clicky and I see a lot of “express checkout” pages, and “shopping cart” pages that they are on that don’t translate into orders…

  • Richie

    THANKS for this really GREAT info!
    Has anyone tried to downsize their ecommerce service? The reason I ask is Big Commerce is willing to assist set up/transfer of my store, and I’m really am enjoying them agreeing to everything I’ve asked for so far. However I have under 10 products. So will i be able to go from Platinum pkg ($149/mo.) to the Silver pkg ($39.95/mo) after my store is set up and running smoothly?

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Richie,

      I’m quite sure you can change your plan up or down at any time but you’ll want to double check with BigCommerce support. :)

  • Lin

    Hi Jason,

    Have you heard of Bangalla (Lucrazon)? I am also a beginner here at e-commerce. I’ve found your site through a deep research trying to find a best provider for natural organic products e-commerce. Your article is so informative and Ive actually tried out BigCommerce but trial already ended and still don’t feel quite comfy yet with them.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi Lin,

      Never heard of that one, sorry. If you’re thinking BigCommerce might work but you just need more time, we usually request a trial extension. Let us know if you need any help or would like a referral to a resource at BigCommerce that could help you figure out if it would work for you or not.

  • Will

    I have a difficult time in using any Magento partners that know anything about e commerce.If you are already doing between $2-5M a year on Magento and need to transfer to a fresh Saas platform,which of the 3 mentioned is the best when dealing with multiple simple products per configurable products.Also need to bulk import products into site.which platform contents to Microsoft. RMS to sync inventory and sales

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi WIll,

      Sounds like your project is a big one. Without a deep understanding of your products and motivation for changing platforms I definitely wouldn’t want to make a recommendation. Your best bet is to reach out the the shopping cart vendors themselves and explain your situation. That will not only give you some critical information, but also a general sense of how well they understand your situation. Going to a hosted platform like any of the 3 mentioned is a big decision and making sure they are going to be a good partner for you is even more important than the software itself. Best of luck to you!

  • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

    Hi Brandon,

    We’ve worked with godatafeed a bunch of times to both implement and optimize product feeds. Maybe they can help?

  • Mark M

    Hi, I am looking at developing a new online shop. I would like to hear from anyone has tried ekmpowershop or if anyone has a recommendation on that, volusion, Bigcommerce and Shopify? The most important things to me are optimisation ready and functionality?

  • Adam Goyer

    I’m looking for something that will integrate with a Tigerpaw Inventory Database – any suggestions?

  • NotAFan

    Hi, all. While I agree the ease of use is pretty darn good with Volusion, their free templates are just plain ugly. Every time I land on a Volusion site I know right away. They could really use a tune up.

  • Craig B

    I am a former eBay seller and am looking for an easy platform with good traffic to sell iPhone repair parts cases etc. some used ipodetcwhy is the best bang for my buck.

    • Craig

      Should have read what is the best bang for 100 listings or lest. I mostly ship through us mail

  • sonia

    Volusion employees are liars. Do NOT trust them!

  • http://www.ydeveloper.com/e-smart-ecommerce-suite.html Ydeveloper

    The comparison is between three big giant in ecommerce website development platform provider. We would recommend Yahoo store, which is different than all these platforms as it has ability to customize as per your requirement.

    • Chris

      Yahoo still has eCommerce??? ha

  • http://www.expertvillagemedia.com/volusion-store-designer/ Volusion Store Designer

    Great article for online web stores .
    Now we are approved partners of Volusion web store experts.

    Thanks
    Expert Village Media

  • http://www.expertvillagemedia.com/ Ruby

    I think Volusion web store is best and they provides perfect features for online web stores.
    Volusion web store experts provides best customization and maintenance services and it’s very useful for e commerce development company .
    We are also approved partners of Volusion web store expert.

    Thanks
    Expert Village Media

  • http://www.expertvillagemedia.com/volusion-store-designer/ Volusion Store Designer

    Volusion is best ……………… Now We are approved partners of Volusion Web store experts.

    Regard
    Ruby
    Expert Village Media

  • Mark Jay

    I’m having trouble with Volusion. I have been getting bandwidth charges more than double the $19pm plan charge. They have updated their plan structure and it would only disadvantage me if I upgraded. I believe this is the way they make their money because I can never control going over my bandwidth. I feel Im getting ripped off every month and I cant do anything about it. I have talked to them about it but they cant do anything for me.

    This is a big thing to consider when signing up to a platform. I would go with a platform that doesn’t charge for bandwidth because you can’t prove how much bandwidth your site uses.
    THe Volusion design templates are way over priced as well.

    Is there any advice to my problem???

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi @disqus_ePHfJMUWAp:disqus ,

      Depending on what you’re getting dinged for overages each month, it might make sense to check out something like http://bandwidthdiet.com/.

    • Mark Jay

      I have sorted the issue out now. I have hosted all of my images on another server that cost me $2 per month, and changed all the image paths to the new server domain. I have past my first month and I only used 16MB compared to 3GB per month, I don’t think I will have this problem again.

      Any one using Volusion should do this ASAP!

  • Lång Kuk

    Great article but I’m seriously wonder why none of these offers an easy way to implement multiple languages?

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Great question and one we’ve asked ourselves. It goes to show you one of the main differences between a hosted solution like one of the above vs a self-hosted solution like Magento Community or Enterprise. Just because a feature or function is important to you, doesn’t mean it’s going to make the development roadmap on a hosted solution.

  • Josh H.

    It should be worth noting…Big Commerce outsources their hosting.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Good point, as do many SaaS providers. Don’t confuse a software developer/provider with a web host. They are very different. I feel that BigCOmmerce leveraging Softlayer, an IBM company is a huge benefit. Building and maintaining a data center takes millions of dollars and Softlayer is quite the operation. (http://www.softlayer.com/) This allows BigCommerce offer the features listed on http://www.bigcommerce.com/features/hosting/ without the millions of overhead that would be passed onto the customer.

  • http://www.expertvillagemedia.com/ Ruby

    I liked Volusion platform for perfect eCommerce facilities and ease to understand .

    Regards
    Ruby
    Expert Village Media

  • snh6th

    Hi Jason, Thanks for the extremely helpful article. I have a digital product that I’d like to sell online with monthly recurring payments of $9.95. No shipping, just one product. Can you tell me if I should use an ecommerce provider – or can I manage with a Paypal widget on my WordPress site? thanks.

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Hi There! If you have a wordpress site, and you like it, I’d highly recommend WooCommerce. It’s a wordpress plugin that provides all the functionality you could ever want. Also, it offers tons of modules so you can really build out the functionality you need, without loading your site with features you don’t. ww.woocommerce.com. Hope that helps!

      • snh6th

        Great, thanks Jason. I’ll check them out. So to clarify- I can accept subscription payments with only a standard business Paypal account and WooCommerce. No need right now for me to use an e-commerce platform?

  • Jason

    I am confused- Shopify charges up to 2.9 percent per transaction, but volusion has no transaction fees? is that right, or do they hide them?

    • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

      Nope, you are correct about that. They are just two different pricing models.

  • Kathy

    Hi Folks,
    Is there anyone out there that knows anything about the import process of a product file for volusion?? Every time I call them I’m on hold for a very long time :( I have tried to figure this out on my own, but I really think I need to hire someone to help!! Any suggestions folks?
    Thanks,
    Kathy

  • Jamie Jacobsen

    Volusion salespeople will tell you anything to get you signed up. Totally lied to my company about the technical capabilities of their system. We already purchased a design package which they now say (after chasing them for over 2 weeks without any response) that they won’t refund it. Great customer service until you sign up for a plan and then you can never get hold of anyone.

  • Emily powell

    Am Emily Powell from Canada I never believed in spell casters until my life fell apart when my lover of 4 years decided to call it quit. I was so devastated that i had an accident that left me bedridden. After 7 months of emotional pain and languish, a friend of mine introduced me to a certain spell caster, this was after I have been scammed by various fake spell caster. I was introduced to DR ONIHA ( A Spell Caster). In less than 12 hrs i saw wonders, my Lover came back to me and my life got back just like a completed puzzle… am so happy.. Dr ONIHA have all kinds of spells from pregnancy to love,from employment to visa lottery winning. He has spell to stop divorce,spell to make someone look attractive and others. here’s his contact for serious minded people only, it might be of help….onihaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com. wow Dr.ONIHA…thanks am so grateful as you saved my life.

    ..

  • http://www.geminicomputersinc.com/ abhishek

    This is the QuickBooks POS System with which inventory tracking in my store
    has become a lot simple. It has great functionality and its user interface is a
    lot simple and easy to use. I have a lot of non-technical employees. But they
    are operating it very easily.

  • hassan

    if you want to list in bulk with variations, dont go for bigcommerce

  • hassan

    image have to be inserted manually in volusion

  • jacob

    If you have employees watch out. Volusion does not limit access for refunds. If they can process a transaction via credit card, they can refund it. A disgruntled employee could refund thousands and thousands of dollars to random customers for Months after the sale has taken place. Too much liability if you are not doing it all yourself. They should include permissions to charge and refund cards separately so some rogue employee does not create a mess refunding people at random.

  • radable

    Shopify like WordPress? Sorry, that would stand if you were trying to explan the concept of e-shop to someone.

    I’d say Shopify is more like “iPhone” > pay for the solid basic, pretty, easy design(s), and then you buy extras for features.

    BigCommerce, while as easy to set up, is a little closer to “Android” philosohpy – you get a lot more out-of-the box, but need to set it up to utlitze it properly. And actually has a more friendly theme customizer.

    And WooCommerce is actually made for *Wordpress*, if you want to mention the blogging platform ;*-)

    No experience with Volusion.

  • http://www.leapgo.com/ Jason Corgiat

    The worst part about any merchant account is all the variables in the rates you pay. Even if you meet all the criteria, you might still get nailed with a “non-qualified” transaction just for taking a “corporate credit card” or a card with certain rewards points. (Nice to know that the credit card companies aren’t actually funding their rewards program, they’re just passing on that cost to the merchants, isn’t it?) The best thing we’ve found so far is a company called Brain Tree. We process all 4 card types at one solid rate with no mid-qual or non-qual penalties to worry about. I don’t know how they do it but I’m hoping it starts a revolution in the industry. Check them out here – https://www.braintreepayments.com/

  • Nick Sparagis

    Yeah, the non-qualified or “mystery” rates are deceiving. Braintree’s pricing looks really good relative to the other guys. Definitely the right solution for non-swipe transactions.

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