- Single-page checkout
- Intuitive templates
- Numerous features
- Attractive designs
- Minimal knowledge of coding required
- Slow customer support
- Limited options for customization
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In today’s time, almost every merchant chooses to solve his problems with the help of SaaS solutions. With the help of these online selling platforms, you as a merchant get access to set up an online ship which contains features such as web hosting, security, rich features, technical support as well as breath taking 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 however initiated a decade before BigCommerce did 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 alike 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 of these platforms are good options for many merchants who are out there looking for convenient SaaS solutions. However, if you are specific about the features and services you require for your business needs, this complete comparison may just be what you need to make up your mind.
Pricing and Free Trials
Like many SaaS solutions out there, Volusion and BigCommerce offer you subscription models where you pay a monthly fee to avail services that give you access to hosting, software, security as well as support.
BigCommerce offers you a free 15-day long trial where you don’t need to use your credit card, therefore it is risk-free for you. However, if and when you do 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 quantity of products that you list on your store. However, BigCommerce does things differently by basing 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 long free trial. With this too, 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 decide to go another way.
Also Read: Volusion Review
The pricing structure offered by Volusion is slightly more traditional than that of 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, 3 gigabytes of bandwidth and charges you $135 per month.
The only downside to Volusion’s pricing is that it charges you extra for bandwidth overage. You pay $7 per extra gigabyte bandwidth that you use once you have met with your package’s quota. However, when it is the matter of pricing, Volusion is the clear winner.
SaaS platforms offer you a wide variety of ready-made website templates with editors that are easy to understand. When you are in search of a template for your store, you want to ensure that it is attractive, mobile responsive and easy to customize.
A couple years ago, BigCommerce released its Stencil themes. There were 23 in total new themes in various variations and up to 87 different new styles. Some of these themes were free while most of them 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 which means it has less options to choose from now than it did before. There are a total of 13 free themes, 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, it is clear that 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 are loving the Volusion app as it is 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 backend on a smartphone but it is not officially support nor provided customer support for by BigCommerce. It is fair to assume that Volusion wins this round.
Every platform has features that make it stand out from the rest. The only reason this review even 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 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 with a little more depth.
The feature to save abandoned carts allows you to recognize visitors at your store that only add stuff to their carts but leave without purchasing anything. It is useful since with this feature, you can figure out ways to encourage these visitors to make a purchase 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 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 an added $99 a month. The safe bet in the department would be BigCommerce.
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 really depends on the users and their own personal requirements, however, I would definitely suggest to test the trial versions of both to see which one suits you best.
Ease of Use
When it is a matter of user-friendliness, BigCommerce takes the lead by being the easiest to use online stores that you can come across. It works a lot like most contemporary CMS platforms like Squarespace, Shopify and WordPress. With the vertical menu on the left, you get the option to choose what you want to do to your store such as to add a product, view a report, write a blog post or edit a page. Once you have made the changes, you can even view as well as edit the content on the right of the screen.
To put into simpler terms, it is not only easy to use but also intuitive. The same simply cannot be said for what you get with Volusion as it makes something as basic as creating an “about us” HTML page rather complicated.
Simple tasks such as creating and editing pages become complicated with Volusion and can be rather difficult for many users, especially those who are new to creating their websites. Even though the selling and marketing functionality of Volusion are rather good, the process can stop in the start before a user even makes it to that point. The clear winner in this department is BigCommerce yet again.
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 imperative for an online business to generate a buzz as well as 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 option to customize DNS settings. It does so in a manner that makes it look like the blog is a subdomain on your website which is powered by Volusion. But for relatively new users, this can be difficult to accomplish. BigCommerce comes with an in-built blogging tool that is helpful as well as easy to keep updated.
That being said, BigCommerce’s blog feature is rather easy to use. It gives advanced users the option to categorize posts by tagging as well as the option to integrate WordPress as a subdomain website, should you require it. However, the downside with BigCommerce blog tool is that it doesn’t have the option of RSS feed.
With BigCommerce you get 40 payment options. This essentially means that you can link your website with whichever payment method you prefer. BigCommerce does however have a pre-made arrangement with PayPal which means that if you choose this option, you can cut back on some service provider fees.
Volusion gives you 30 payment options as well as an in-house payment option for merchants operating within the United States of America. This one is a tie between both BigCommerce and Volusion.
You get 24 hour Live Agent Support with BigCommerce but from the looks of 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 the customer support, you have to figure out how to solve your problem by browsing through help pages available first which includes videos and text resources all from the community forum of BigCommerce.
Volusion offers you three kinds of customer support, all of which depends on which monthly plan you are on.
These services are not offered round the clock but it is easier to reach customer support through the number evidently mentioned on Volusion’s site as opposed to BigCommerce.
The competition between the two is clearly neck-to-neck but ultimately, it is clear that BigCommerce wins it all. It comes with a diverse template selection, more features, a better customer support as well as much more.
However, this doesn’t mean that Volusion is a bad choice for your needs. If what you are looking for is a SaaS solution that is affordable minus some features, then Volusion should cover all of your needs. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt to give both of these a trial run.