Bigcommerce and Volusion are two of the leading shopping cart solutions online. They both offer a wide range of features and are both solid choices in their own right, but there are differences. Through this quick overview you’ll understand the main service points on which Volusion and Bigcommerce differ.
Volusion’s ‘mini’ plan is slightly cheaper at just $15 per month whereas Bigcommerce’s low-cost ‘bronze’ plan will set you back $24.95. However, this quoted fee needs to be considered against the extras and the features attached to the payment plan you choose.
For instance, Bigcommerce includes eBay integration as standard while Volusion only makes this option available to the more advanced plans. Conversely, Bigcommerce is a little stingier when it comes to storage space and you’ll pay a premium for unlimited file transfers.
Bigcommerce has a distinct advantage when it comes to bandwidth. You’ll get Unlimited with each and every plan, whereas Volusion has limits of 1GB to 40GB – your exact allocation depends on your chosen plan. In addition, you will have to pay an additional $7 per GB if you go over your limit.
So when does bandwidth really come into play? It essentially boils down to traffic + file size = overall bandwidth used. If you plan to implement a design-driven website with loads of images (and hopefully a lot of traffic to go with it), you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of bandwidth to keep your site running.
Store Look and Feel
When it comes to your store theme, you can’t really go wrong with either option. Both services offer strong design that looks the part – both Volusion and Bigcommerce allow you to choose from around 100 free themes. You can then customize them as necessary.
However, Volusion does have a paid theme section that offers a little bit of extra ‘oomph’. You can get a theme that really stands out from your competition this way, though it’s worth mentioning some can be pricey.
Despite being the older of the two, Volusion’s administration backend doesn’t seem as slick and intuitive as Bigcommerce. It doesn’t quite have the same level of user-friendliness, nor does it have an admin app for your mobile or tablet. However, it does have a mobile site but it’s still a little limited.
Overall, however, both are relatively straightforward to use and once you’re in the swing of things you shouldn’t really notice much of a difference. Just keep in mind that Bigcommerce may get you up and running a bit more quickly.
Troubleshooting and Tutorials
In this aspect, Volusion may just about edge it. The company has been around longer, which means it has dealt with countless questions from customers. This has resulted in a vast tutorial and video library that gives you a complete run-down of how to manage your store from top to bottom.
Bigcommerce does offer extensive tutorials as well, covering the main aspects of store creation. However, it may not be as easy to find answers to the smaller questions. To its credit, Bigcommerce is constantly adding to its tutorial section.
If you’re looking for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week customer support then Volusion is your best bet. Bigcommerce offers solid support as well, but they’re not always available. While they’re around at all hours during the week, weekend hours are limited. Keep that in mind, especially if you’re in a different time zone.
Marketing and SEO
Ranking organically in the search engines is extremely important, and both Volusion and Bigcommerce place a strong emphasis on allowing customers to tweak their shops to become more Google-friendly.
In terms of email marketing, however, Bigcommerce loses out. Volusion allows you to send email newsletters directly from the admin area -something that Bigcommerce doesn’t offer. On the other hand, Bigcommerce does have the ability to export your email list for use with external providers such as MailChimp.
Before deciding on either Bigcommerce or Volusion, consider your immediate needs as well as long-term ambitions. For example, you may not need certain apps right this minute, but they may become relevant next year. Bandwidth may not be important for a new ecommerce store, but once your traffic overflows it suddenly becomes an expensive side issue. That’s why it’s important to think about where your business is likely to be in the next few years and make a decision based both on current requirements and scalability.
You can contact one of our experienced account managers at 1DigitalAgency if you have more questions and need help with direction. Call or e-mail us anytime to discuss.
- Dan Kogan
- January 11, 2014