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Launching a full-featured e-commerce storefront requires the proprietor to make a lot of tough decisions. Enter our Bigcommerce vs Volusion vs Shopify 2014 review! From layout designs to payment processors, there’s far more that goes into a robust web shop than meets the eye. As is the case with most web development projects, the key to getting the most from your e-commerce shop is foreknowledge and planning. Most important of all is matching your particular shop with the right e-commerce software platform. Though the leaders in this space are pretty obvious, making a decision regarding which one out of the top dogs is right for you is always dicey.

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Ecommerce Comparison – Bigcommerce v Volusion v Shopify >>

The Usual Suspects

If you like to craft your own solutions to a problem, there are plenty of e-commerce solutions like Magento that let you do all of the hard work. For those that want a comprehensive tool that works right out of the gate, there are just three major options: Bigcommerce, Volusion and Shopify. Each has its own upsides and drawbacks depending on the scope of your own little outfit. To find the right fit for your business, diving deeper into the bona fides of each is a must if you’d like to avoid a bad outcome.  This ecommerce shopping cart comparison gives you everything you need to know to make the right decision.

Top Features & Selling Points

Bigcommerce

One of the shining lights of e-commerce is without a doubt Bigcommerce. It boasts everything you’ll need to launch a web store in minutes. Any entrepreneur or SMB can immediately add products to their online shop and customize details as well as categories. Bigcommerce also comes with a slew of conversion optimization tools and analytics firepower to keep an eye on customer behavior. In addition, it supports loads of default payment options including PayPal, Google Checkout and Authorize.net. Thanks to 256-bit SSL encryption, it’s as secure as any other e-commerce portal available.

Volusion

Easily the most popular e-commerce software found online, Volusion powers 40,000 sites and has been responsible for over $14 billion in sales since 1999. It comes equipped with a fairly intuitive store builder as well as hundreds of free and paid templates. Shopping cart extras include Color Swatch and vZoom just to name a few. As a result of its robust API, Volusion makes it easy to craft custom solutions to development problems. They guarantee 99.9% uptime thanks to a flexible SaaS back-end architecture and the Akamai CDN as well as superb security due to PCI/CISP-certified servers.

Shopify

The primary appeal of Shopify is its simplicity. Anyone can launch a site in minutes by taking advantage of its slew of available free templates and apps. This fully hosted e-commerce engine allows users to bring their own domain name with them or purchase one during the setup process. Better still, it comes with unparalleled foreign language support, currency conversion capabilities and an instant VAT or sales tax calculator. It accepts all cards by default and can support 70+ additional payment gateways. Lastly, there’s automatic backups, 99.94% uptime and Level 1 PCI-compliant payment processing thanks to 256-bit SSL certificates.

Ease of Installation & Administration

Bigcommerce

As an all-in-one hosted solution, Bigcommerce takes the hassle out of launching an e-commerce storefront. Nearly everything is included such as a domain name, CRM capabilities and email accounts. You can get a store up and running in minutes via the setup wizard. If you need help, there’s a free 30-minute “Success Squad” guided training seminar. As for administration, one can easily create product options and categories, manage inventory and keep an eye on returns. You can even sell digital goods like downloads and tickets as you would with real merchandise.

Volusion

Like most e-commerce solutions, Volusion guides new users through the process of launching a digital shop via a simple quick-start wizard. If you want a custom URL for your store, they make it easy to set one up through Namecheap or Godaddy. While blogging isn’t baked in by default, it’s fairly trivial to tack on a WordPress installation in minutes. Importing product details and managing categories is fairly straightforward. Likewise, configuring payment and shipping providers can be achieved with just a few mouse clicks. Most beginner and intermediate webmasters have little or no problem navigating Volusion’s interface.

Shopify

All you have to do to create a Shopify shop is sign up, follow the installation wizard’s instructions and enjoy the journey. You can take a basic template and tweak the HTML and CSS to your liking quite easily thanks to the clean yet powerful back-end editor. Once you’re ready to add products, you can speed up the process by importing CSV files or using Shopify’s importer app. Slapping on a payment processor or five is similarly trivial. Thanks to responsive themes and an excellent Shopify Mobile app, managing the store from afar is an absolute breeze.

Flexibility & Customization

Bigcommerce

Extensibility is arguably the most appealing reason to opt for Bigcommerce, though it’s not the only one. From web design to plugins, there’s practically no limit to what you can do with a default installation. There are over 100 free templates to choose from that can be installed in seconds. If you want to tweak a template and know a little HTML and CSS, the back-end WYSIWYG editor is incredibly full-featured. QuickBooks and Ordoro integration are just the beginning when it comes to development options. The App Store gives you access to 60 different payment processors and much more.

Volusion

If you know your way around an HTML editor, it’s easy to tweak free Volusion design templates. Alternatively, you can rely on Volusion’s approved design professionals to help you out. When it comes to development, Volusion is much like most other e-commerce storefronts in that it enables third-party functionality via handy plugins. The Volusion App Marketplace will allow you to tack on a variety of payment portals such as Stripe and PayPal in addition to the major credit cards. Volusion Partners makes it easy to seamlessly integrate advanced functionality in short order without a lot of fuss.

Shopify

Flexibility is a central component of Shopify’s wheelhouse. With Shopify, you get access to more than 100 templates via the Theme Store for starters. In addition, you’ve also got 600 apps in the App Store to choose from for every p