BigCommerce vs Volusion

BigCommerce vs Volusion

The Good

  • Single-page checkout
  • Intuitive templates
  • Numerous features
  • Attractive designs
  • Minimal knowledge of coding required

The Bad

  • Slow customer support
  • Limited options for customization

The Good

  • Ease of use
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Single-page checkout
  • Competitive prices

The Bad

  • Limited features
  • No 24-hour customer support

Nowadays, almost every merchant chooses to solve his problems with the help of SaaS solutions. With the use of these online selling platforms, you as a merchant get access to set up an online shop that contains features such as web hosting, security, rich features, technical support as well as breathtaking design templates to keep your visitor’s attention long enough for them to buy something from you.

BigCommerce is a big fish in the market. It was founded in 2009 by Eddi Machaalani and Mitchel Harper. Since then, the platform has grown to over 150 countries with more than 95,000 stores and $3 billion in transactions.

Volusion was initiated a decade before BigCommerce when Kevin Sproles decided that the world was ready for an all-inclusive, easy-to-use software. Volusion has made life easier for small and big merchants as it is currently under the use of more than 40,000 merchants.

Both Volusion and BigCommerce are known for their round-the-clock customer service. Both platforms are good options for many merchants looking for convenient SaaS solutions. However, if you are specific about the features and benefits you require for your business, this complete comparison may be what you need to make up your mind.

Pricing and Free Trials

Pricing and Free Trials

Like many SaaS solutions, Volusion and BigCommerce offer subscription models where you pay a monthly fee to avail yourself of services that give you access to hosting, software, security, and support.

BigCommerce offers you a free 15-day trial where you don’t need to use your credit card. Therefore it is risk-free for you. However, if you decide to retain the platform’s services long-term, you can purchase a plan that suits you best. You will be subject to no setup or cancellation charges.

Most SaaS solution prices are based on the number of products you list in your store. However, BigCommerce does things differently by establishing its pricing model on the annual sales of a merchant. Following are the benefits of this model.

  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited products
  • Unlimited bandwidth

The cheapest plan that BigCommerce has is its Standard package for merchants who earn up to $50K annually and are charged $29.95 per month. BigCommerce’s Pro package is slightly more expensive as it charges merchants $49.95 monthly, but seeing as how it is meant for merchants who earn more than $150K annually, it is pretty justified on its own.

Volusion too offers a 14-day extended free trial. With this, you won’t need to give out your credit card information. You will only enter it when you decide to purchase a plan and will not be charged any setup or cancellation fee should you choose to go another way.

The pricing structure offered by Volusion is slightly more traditional than BigCommerce as it offers four packages. The cheapest packed Mini costs merchants $15 monthly with 1 gigabyte of bandwidth with the ability to showcase 100 products. Volusion’s Premium package, however, gives you unlimited products and 3 gigabytes of bandwidth and charges you $135 per month.

Volusion’s pricing is the only downside: it charges you extra for bandwidth overage. You pay $7 per additional gigabyte of bandwidth that you use once you have met your package’s quota. However, when it is a matter of pricing, Volusion is the clear winner.

Design Templates

Design Templates

SaaS platforms offer you a wide variety of ready-made website templates with editors that are easy to understand. When you search for a template for your store, you want to ensure that it is attractive, mobile responsive, and easy to customize.

A couple of years ago, BigCommerce released its Stencil themes. There were 23 total new themes in various variations and up to 87 different unique styles. Some of these themes were free, while most were prices as high as $145 to $195. All of these themes are mobile responsive.

  • Easy editor
  • No coding knowledge required
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • HTML/CSS editors

Volusion has revamped its themes recently, meaning it has fewer options to choose from now than before. There are a total of 13 free articles, though not all of them are mobile responsive. Volusion’s premium themes start at $180 for you to purchase. You can even edit these themes much like you can edit BigCommerce’s. However, BigCommerce takes the ball in this particular department.

Mobile Storefronts and Smartphone Apps

This is where both BigCommerce and Volusion provide you with a tablet and mobile-friendly interface for your store with the help of responsive templates.

Volusion gives you both Android and iOS apps so that you can manage your store from any remote location. The iOS app hasn’t received any user ratings yet, but Android users love the Volusion app, rated 4 out of 5 stars on the AppStore.

BigCommerce used to give you apps to manage your store, but they are no longer on the store for download. But it has been made evident by this company itself that its control panel may be inaccessible to some Android users. It can be accessed via the backend on a smartphone, but it is not officially supported nor provided customer support by BigCommerce. It is fair to assume that Volusion wins this round.

Features

Every platform has features that make it stand out from the rest. The only reason this review exists is to help you pick out, with the help of features offered, which platform is best for your business.

Both BigCommerce and Volusion come packed with features that are more or less the same. However, the main differences are based on the availability of particular features.

Features you can find in BigCommerce are listed as follows.

  • Customer support groups
  • Built-in blog
  • Bulk import and export
  • Product reviews
  • One page checkouts
  • Native integrations with eBay and Amazon
  • Abandoned cart saver at a higher price
  • Filtered search

Volusion’s features are listed as follows.

  • Abandoned cart reports and emails
  • Product reviews and ratings
  • One page checkouts
  • Facebook, Amazon, and eBay integrations
  • Unlimited product options

BigCommerce wins this round, but let us delve into it more deeply.

Abandoned Carts

The feature to save abandoned carts allows you to recognize visitors at your store that only add stuff to their coaches but leave without purchasing anything. It is helpful since, with this feature, you can figure out ways to encourage these visitors to buy with discount codes.

This feature is available with both BigCommerce and Volusion. However, Volusion offers it to you at a cheaper rate than BigCommerce does. With Volusion, you can get this feature at $35, whereas you need to pay over $75.95 with BigCommerce to avail of this feature.

But the higher price also means that you get many add-ons with BigCommerce, such as what you would like to happen upon someone abandoning their cart, such as sending them pre-written automatic emails reminding the visitors to make a purchase. Volusion does not have this option, but you can add automated responders such as Autoresponder Max at $99 a month. The safe bet in the department would be BigCommerce.

eBay and Amazon Integration with BigCommerce and Volusion

eBay and Amazon Integration with BigCommerce and Volusion

With BigCommerce and Volusion both, you get the option to integrate with eBay and Amazon; however, BigCommerce offers you this service at a much cheaper rate than Volusion. With BigCommerce, you can integrate with the $29.95 plan, but with Volusion, you get to do this only with a $75 Pro plan. The winner depends on the users and their requirements; however, I suggest testing both trial versions to see which suits you best.

Ease of Use

BigCommerce takes the lead by being the easiest-to-use online store you can come across when it is a matter of user-friendliness. It works like most contemporary CMS platforms like Squarespace, Shopify, and WordPress. With the vertical menu on the left, you can choose what you want to do to your store, such as add a product, view a report, write a blog post, or edit a page. Once you have made the changes, you can consider and edit the content on the right of the screen.

To put it into simpler terms, it is not only easy to use but also intuitive. The same cannot be said for what you get with Volusion, as it makes something as simple as creating an “about us” HTML page rather complicated.

Simple tasks such as creating and editing pages become complicated with Volusion and can be difficult for many users, especially those new to building their websites. Even though the selling and marketing functionality of Volusion is rather good, the process can stop at the start before a user even makes it to that point. The clear winner in this department is BigCommerce yet again.

Blogging

Blogging

Volusion doesn’t have blogging as an option, which is something BigCommerce does have. In the time of marketing, where creating original blog content is critical for an online business to generate buzz and website traffic, this can be a turn-off.

Volusion does, however, give you the option to integrate third-party blogs such as WordPress, as well as the opportunity to customize DNS settings. It does so in a manner that makes it look like the blog is a subdomain on your website, which Volusion powers. But for relatively new users, this cannot be easy to accomplish. BigCommerce comes with an in-built blogging tool that is helpful and easy to keep updated.

That being said, BigCommerce’s blog feature is relatively easy to use. It allows advanced users to categorize posts by tagging and integrating WordPress as a subdomain website, should you require it. However, the downside of the BigCommerce blog tool is that it doesn’t have the option of an RSS feed.

Payment Processing

With BigCommerce, you get 40 payment options. This means you can link your website with whichever payment method you prefer. BigCommerce has a pre-made arrangement with PayPal, which means you can cut back on some service provider fees if you choose this option.

Volusion gives you 30 payment options and an in-house payment option for merchants in the United States of America. This one is a tie between both BigCommerce and Volusion.

Customer Service

You get 24-hour Live Agent Support with BigCommerce, but from the information available on its site, it is unclear what channels are covered with this facility. Another downside that I noticed was that before you reach customer support, you have to figure out how to solve your problem by browsing through available help pages, including videos and text resources from the community forum of BigCommerce.

Volusion offers you three kinds of customer support, depending on your monthly plan.

  1. Online
  2. Phone
  3. Priority

These services are not offered round the clock, but it is easier to reach customer support through the number mentioned on Volusion’s site than BigCommerce.

Final Verdict

The competition between the two is neck-to-neck, but ultimately, it is clear that BigCommerce wins it all. It has a diverse template selection, more features, better customer support, and more.

However, this doesn’t mean Volusion is the wrong choice for your needs. If you want an affordable SaaS solution minus some features, then Volusion should cover all of your needs. Either way, giving both of these a trial run wouldn’t hurt.

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Syed Humza Hussain is an IT student completing his degree in computer studies; He is working at CriticInfo as a Publishing Manager.

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