With e-commerce growing at an incredible rate and becoming increasingly vital to modern-day businesses, hosted shopping cart solutions play a major role for online vendors and their customers. The two largest and most popular e-commerce platforms, BigCommerce and Volusion, offer a wide range of features as well as highly-rated customer support, and are well matched in many areas. But which one is right for your business?
Both Volusion and BigCommerce allow you freedom over your Title, Keywords and Descriptions fields. However, Volusion’s SEO makes use of unwieldy Product IDs and query strings and the interface is more difficult to work with. Meanwhile, BigCommerce gains plus points for offering neat URLs which generate the page from the product name, interspersed with underscores, and will only produce strange results if you employ punctuation. As an added bonus, it integrates nicely with Google Website Optimizer, giving you smart and responsive testing, analysis and feedback on your site.
The beauty of e-commerce shopping cart services is that, using only basic coding, users can quickly and easily create a store with a decent interface without having to put in hours of programming. If you have enlisted a designer who will handle customization for you, you will not need to make use of the ecommerce design templates offered by both Volusion and BigCommerce. However, if you require a template for your ecommerce website, BigCommerce should be your first choice for your shopping cart service. The templates offered by Volusion are out-dated, unattractive and sometimes bizarre, with poor optimization and badly designed toolkits which make them challenging to work with. While the templates are free and therefore attractive to businesses with a low budget, they are generally not fit for purpose. For BigCommerce web design is one of the service’s strengths. The service offers the option of contacting one of its many promoted design affiliates and getting a quote for your specific requirements, or to make use of the free, pre-packaged templates. BigCommerce templates show that the service has invested significant time and resources into creating clean, usable and attractive templates which can be customized in a matter of minutes. BigCommerce offers more templates than Volusion, with some truly eye-catching and vibrant designs that will enhance any site. BigCommerce also offers an intuitive drag-and-drop interface which enables you to move the important shopping cart elements using only the mouse.
Third-Party Integration and Additional Features
Both services offer users extensive online support areas for integrating the shopping cart with third-party software. Both offer electronic and downloadable products and gift certificates. BigCommerce also offers social media toolbars for quick integration with websites such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as easy integration of YouTube videos. Furthermore, in the next release BigCommerce will offer drop shipping, support for iPhone and iPad, integration with MailChimp and eBay, and multiple warehouse, making it the clear winner here.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Some clients report that, having tried both services, Volusion offer a slightly more extensive range of customer support options, including free live support via phone, instant chat or email, 24/7. Volusion is the more well-established of the two, and has built up a vast library of tutorials, FAQs and user videos to guide you through the process. However, BigCommerce also provide round-the-clock support through a number of channels.
While Volusion and BigCommerce are both excellent services that are well matched in many aspects, BigCommerce has the edge on its competitor thanks to a more user-friendly interface, better design templates and a greater range of features.