eCommerce Insiders

3 Popular Ecommerce Platforms: BigCommerce, Shopify, and Volusion

Selling your wares on an eCommerce platform can eliminate most of the headache that surrounds this aspect of your business.

BigCommerce, Shopify, and Volusion aren’t the only platforms available, but they’re three of the best.

Deciding which one to use can be a hassle – it takes hours of research to discover the best and worst points of each.

In this post, I’ve done some of the hard work for you. After all, you’ve got better things to do than fret about what platform you want to use for your storefront.

BigCommerce

A 2009 entrant onto the eCommerce platform scene, this giant is an extremely popular platform, easy to use, and allows you to incorporate a blog into your storefront. The company currently hosts over 50,000 storefronts, and shows significant promise for growth.

Best Feature:

A few of the advantages that BigCommerce has over the competition are the ability to incorporate an SEO-optimized blog into your storefront and to customize the checkout process. Good content draws customers, so the inclusion of a blog is something that could shift your sales from average to amazing – if you create high-quality content. Customizable checkouts mean higher levels of customer trust and a more synchronized brand.

Biggest Complaint:

BigCommerce is a robust platform that delivers well on nearly every metric – from customer support to security and feature add-ons. It isn’t a stellar performer in any category, however. A common complaint is the limited customization – although there are numerous themes and designs available, other options offer more flexibility for a much lower price point.

Shopify

Launched in 2006, Shopify now hosts over 120,000 eCommerce storefronts. The company is dedicated to changing the face of eCommerce with a fun, young approach and international platform options.

Best Features:

Hello, brick and mortar.

If you’re into actual retail stores as well as an online platform, there’s an eCommerce platform for that. Shopify POS is an easy to use system that integrates completely with your online storefront, making your life that much easier.

Customer service goes a long way in eCommerce, too. When a problem arises, you need it addressed quickly. Shopify has a reputation for tackling customer concerns rapidly, and attentively addressing your needs.

Biggest Complaint:

Shopify is the best platform on the market at present, but newcomer BigCommerce is catching up quickly. Shopify’s checkout is one key area that needs some improvement – BigCommerce offers a fully customizable checkout process that is streamlined and keeps the customer inside the sales funnel. Shopify requires customers to leave your store to checkout on the Shopify domain – something you have no control over.

That may not seem like much, but post-checkout client and customer care can make a big difference in the long run. I’m curious to see how and if Shopify adjusts this checkout process, and what BigCommerce does to one-up this eCommerce platform titan.

Volusion

Built in 1999, Volusion is currently hosting 40,000 storefronts with the support of 450 employees, Volusion is making waves in eCommerce. The platform has some kinks to work out, but their age makes it a little unlikely that we’ll see this eCommerce platform shaking up their way of doing business in the near future.

Best Feature:

Inventory! Volusion has the best inventory options available of the three sites discussed in this post. Not only do you have the ability to sell on your own storefront, Volusion integrates your eBay and Amazon.com listings, so that you can easily manage all of your eCommerce presence from one location.

Biggest Complaints:

Getting the most out of the Volusion platform can be difficult if you don’t have a good grasp of HTML and CSS – which kills part of the advantage of using an eCommerce platform instead of building your own website. Customer service for Volusion isn’t the best. In fact, many users complain about the platform’s mediocre client support. You’ll also need to buy separate SSL security certificates on this platform, a necessity for eCommerce and a surprise behind the sticker price for new Volusion users.

Conclusion

All three options discussed in this article come in at a reasonable price point between $75 and $79 monthly for their most popular plans. The features are similar, but each platform has its quirks.

Despite size and reputation, BigCommerce isn’t amazing – although it does offer the added benefit of a blog, and may grow into a much stronger platform in time.

Shopify is the overall top performer, with offline store options, excellent designs and themes, SEO and marketing incorporation, and customer support.

Volusion isn’t great – the platform shows a lot of promise for future years, but needs some significant work – particularly in security and user-friendliness.

From where I’m sitting, the choice is clear. I’m not affiliated with the brand in any way, but I admire Shopify for their high quality, reasonable price, and user-friendly approach. BigCommerce shows a lot of promise, particularly as a result of their blog feature, and their comparatively young age could mean significant improvements are still to come. But I’d say steer clear of Volusion for now – it may grow in to a stronger platform over time, but at present offers less for eCommerce store owners than BigCommerce or Shopify.

 

Christina Boyes

I’m a fan of honest words, clarity, and impact. A copywriter, editor, and translator, I spend my days guzzling coffee like a champ. Once in a while, I do some writing and revising, too. I’m co-owner and copywriting head at Rusmexus Writers, and the brains behind the email and web copy at a handful of eCommerce brands.  Intellectual challenges and chocolate are my fuel. If you know what a seismometer does, care about healthy diets and lifestyle, or are a fan of travel, we should talk.

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