BigCommerce vs Volusion – both are solid SAAS ecommerce platforms, aiming to get you selling online without the need to touch any code. The two solutions are very similar but there are key differences as this cmparison will show you. Our overview of both platforms, their pros, cons and costs will help you find the best ecommerce platform for you.
Ecommerce owners looking for a comprehensive tool kit and a platform that can leverage products to a wider audience should look no further than BigCommerce. The powerful shopping cart packs a serious punch – but does it measure up to other eCommerce platforms and is it the best option for your business?
Is BigCommerce SAAS?
Yes, bigCommerce is a fully-hosted SAAS option. You don’t need your own server host to run it.
BigCommerce Setup costs
BigCommerce is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform which means set up costs are lower that eCommerce software that requires a web host. All you will need to pay for is a theme template, and possible development together with the signing on fee for the package of your choice.
New businesses are best advised to start with either the Standard or Plus plans and pay for the entire year so you get a 10% discount. Templates can be grabbed for free and there are other free features such as a handful of shopping feed plugins, such as integration with Google PLA (Google Shopping) that can help you grow without having to shell out setup fees. You can start an online store on BigCommerce for less than £1000, and even less than £100 if you go for a basic template and only pay the monthly sign on fee.
BigCommerce Monthly costs
The pricing packages at BigCommerce may appear slightly higher than its closet competitors, but the company does not charge transactions fees like Shopify or add-ons to boost performance like WooCommerce. Over the long term, monthly running costs are probably less than other options. You will still need to pay the processing fees charged by banks and payment gateways, but that is standard across all ecommerce platforms.
However, there is one slight catch. Once you exceed the annual sales threshold BigCommerce has capped under any one pricing plan, they insist you move up to the next package. In one sense, this gives you more tools to improve your online store, but also means your monthly expenses increase. The steep rise from a Plus account to a Pro account could cause a setback for some businesses.
BigCommerce pricing packages:
|Package||Monthly Fee||Products||Storage||Bandwidth||Revenue threshold|
|Standard||$29.95+/£22.50||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Up to $50,000/|
|Plus||$79.95+/£60||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Up to $150,000/|
|Pro||$249.95+/£188.50||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Up to $1,000,000|
If you’re not sure whether BigCommerce software is the best option for you, customers are offered a 15-day free trial without you having to hand over your credit card details.
BigCommerce Hosting options
BigCommerce host your website as part of your monthly plan. This means that you save on hosting costs and are given access to unlimited storage and bandwidth. They also have excellent security measures to protect the bank details of your customers and back-up your data automatically. If you’re not technically minded, BigCommerce software offers a convenient solution.
BigCommerce Set up skills
The beauty of SaaS platforms is they practically remove the need to have computer skills. Unless you want to develop your BigCommerce theme, you can set up and launch your site within a couple of hours.
BigCommerce Theme availability
BigCommerce has over 100 free templates plus mobile-friendly themes that also include a blog. However, as with all software, the free templates have limitations and your store will be better equipped with a premium template you can customise to suit your brand and business needs. Templates range from $145-$235/£110-£177. However you may also need to factor in further customisation work to get the templates looking exactly how you want them.
BigCommerce Day to day running
Compared with other eCommerce platforms, BigCommerce offers a comprehensive stock of web tools. This will not make the day to day operation of the platform anymore difficult, but it will take you a little longer to fathom.
Having said that, the company has developed simple processes for essential tools. The form to add new products is very well designed and walks you through all the relevant details such as product description, tax class, pricing and shipping details. You can also import CSV product lists which can save time if you have 100s of products in an existing store.
BigCommerce Payment options
BigCommerce integrates with around 60 payment gateways, which is substantially more than any of its competitors.
BigCommerce Product attributes
Together with offering unlimited products, storage and bandwidth, no other eCommerce software gives you the opportunity to boost your marketing as well as BigCommerce. Social media networks and eBay can be integrated into your eCommerce store together with shopping comparison sites Google Shopping, Nextag and Find It Quick plus others that charge a fee.
The powerful keyword search and advanced search tools make it easier for customers to find specific items and the option to request customers register an account enables you to offer exclusive deals and promotions via email.
BigCommerce Typical annual running costs for first year then ongoing years
Annual running costs depend largely depends on the success of your eCommerce store. BigCommerce does not increase the subscription fee on a yearly basis (although they may raise their fees in line with inflation), but if you surpass your annual earnings threshold (see pricing table above), you will be requested to move up to the next package which carries a significantly higher monthly fee.
BigCommerce Customer support options
Customer support lines are open 24/7 and includes phone support, online chat and email. Users also have access to video tutorials and online forums where you can tap into the vast knowledge base of other users.
For business owners lacking in technical know-how, Volusion provides eCommerce software that takes the hassle out of building an online store. With a powerful lineup of built-in tools, reasonably priced hosting plans and excellent customer support, Volusion is ranked as a leader in eCommerce software.
Is Volusion SAAS?
Yes, Volusion is a fully-hosted ecommerce solution. There is no code to download and you don’t need your own server host.
Volusion Setup costs
Volusion allows you to customise your website without needing coding skills, so if you are comfortable with computers, you will probably be able to build your own online store without having to hire a web developer. There is also a wide range of tools built into the dashboard which means you probably won’t have to buy additional plugins from the app store. As a result, Volusion is the most cost-effective eCommerce software there is for business owners that are just starting out.
Set up costs will depend on the pricing plan you choose (see pricing table below) and whether you opt to pay monthly or annually. Volution offer a 10% discount to users that pay for the whole year upfront. In addition to the subscription fee, you will have to purchase an SSL Certificate for $90/£68 and a template starting from $50/£38. Volusion offers a 14-day trial period for free. Set up costs can realistically be as low as $155/£117 for a basic website, but you should budget for at least £500 if you want a premium theme and a more tools in your dashboard.
Volusion Monthly costs
The monthly pricing plan at Volusion is competitive albeit slightly more than other leading eCommerce software solutions. However, the company does not charge transaction fees like Shopify and the setup costs are (potentially) far lower than Magento and WooCommerce.
Volusion Pricing Plan
|Package||Monthly Price||Transaction Fee||Products||Storage Space||Bandwidth|
It’s worth noting that the Pro and Premium packages provide you with advanced tools such as integration with eBay and Amazon. You don’t have to purchase the top packages to sell products on these top sites, but if you do you can manage sales directly through the Volusion dashboard.
Volusion Hosting options
Volusion manages hosting for you, thus saves additional fees for external web hosts. The company also provides an excellent web hosting service that includes server updates, security and maintenance.
Volusion Set-Up Skills
Unlike other eCommerce software, Volusion has built-in CSS and HTML codes which makes it easy for you to build a website without needing to be technically minded. You will also find a small library of easy-to-follow tutorials that show you how to build your web store. You need practically zero skills to set up an eCommerce store in Volusion.
Volusion Theme Availability
There are over 45 themes to choose from in Volusion, 11 of which are free. The cost of templates vary widely and premium themes are very costly. Expect to pay anything from $50/£38 to $250/£180. You will find Volusion designers who are able to customise Volusion themes. Prices vary depending on complexity but you can spend anywhere between £800 and £5,000 for a custom Volusion theme.
Volusion Day to Day Running
One of the principle reasons eCommerce owners are drawn to Volusion is because it is the easiest shopping cart platform to use. The intuitive dashboard is feature rich and easy to navigate. Adding products, images, descriptions and integrating Volusion with social media networks can all be done at the click of a button and built-in SEO functions means you don’t have to concern yourself too much with optimisation. All you need to know for SEO is choosing the right keywords.
Volusion also includes free tools such as inventory management that enable you to keep a check on stock and sales at a glance together with brand loyalty and affiliate management programs. You will also find marketing tools that enable you to create coupons, daily deals and discounts.
Volusion Payment Options
Volusion do not have as many payment gateways as other leading eCommerce web builders although the most common gateways are available including PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net. The company does not charge transactions fees, but there is a processing fee of 2-3% charged by banks or payment gateways.
Volusion Product Attributes (whether unlimited or not)
It’s important to provide as much details about your products as possible for customers. Volusion provides a comprehensive range of fields that enable you to list all the product attributes you need, including details that are sometimes overlooked in standard product descriptions including material and pattern.
Volusion Typical Annual Running Costs for first year then ongoing years
Unless Volution raise their monthly fees in line with inflation, users can expect to pay the same fees year on year. Additional expenses will depend on how much you spend on external services such as web development and marketing, but Volusion provide you with all the tools you need to manage this side of your online store until you start turning a profit. For a basic package you’re looking at £286 ($378) annual Volusion fees.
Volusion Customer Support Options
You shouldn’t have any problems resolving any issues you encounter with the Volusion eCommerce platform. The company provides its customers with 24/7 support via phone, live online chat and email. There are also tutorials and web forums you can turn to if you want to try and resolve problems yourself.
How The Content Works can help
Here at The Content Works, we specialise in Technical Website Audits. We’re here to find the issues on your website that are causing you to lose visitors, see poor conversions rates and ultimately we highlight the issues costing you money. Take a look at our services page to see the technical website audits we offer. Call us on 0207 305 5599 to discuss your situation and we’ll show you how we can add value to your business.