Are you planning to open an online store but don't know how to get started? There are two options open to you: either develop a site on your own, assuming that you’re fluent in web programming or sign up for an ecommerce platform and have it online in just a few minutes. For the latter, however, you will need a rock-solid platform with a variety of features to choose from – ranging from design customization to marketing tools – for staying in contact with your customers. The good news is that both BigCommerce and Volusion pack a wide variety of tools that will help users kick-start their online business.
|Free Versions||Free Versions||Free Versions|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery|
|Unlimited File Storage|
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|Free Trial||15 days||14 days|
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Be it a small business or a larger enterprise, BigCommerce has the right tools for running an online store, increasing sales, and expanding into new channels. Although it only has seven free themes for users on a budget to choose from, it gives access to every section of the service to allow store owners to create a unique look to their online storefront. BigCommerce supports both digital and physical products, you just need to make the necessary adjustments in the very detailed product description.
This means the sky is the limit when it comes to which product to sell, from magazines or software subscriptions to tickets or physical products. The same goes for accepting payments, as BigCommerce supports a wide variety of payment gateways that users can add with a single click. If you intend to use recurring payments, then you need to install the right app from BigCommerce's app marketplace, but that's the only hassle involved.
Add to this customer support available through all channels and a network of professionals ready to remove the roadblocks that store owners may face, and BigCommerce becomes a truly versatile service available in a frustration-free package at a starting price of $29.95 per month. But before you commit to a subscription, the 15-day free trial is enough to help you make a decision.
A user-friendly interface is the biggest help whenever you get started with a new service. It saves so much time and nerves to have on-screen guidance, and in the case of Volusion it makes customizing a theme and setting up a fancy storefront is a hassle-free process. Austin-based Volusion's service pretty much matches BigCommerce in versatility, although it doesn't provide the same wide variety of services that its competitor does. The reason could be in the company’s choice of customers: where Volusion's pack of services is designed for small and medium businesses, BigCommerce has its eyes firmly set on the enterprise market.
Volusion customers can select one of the 11 free themes or pick a premium theme priced at $180 and start uploading products. The catch is that when you register for a Volusion account, by default it will limit your sales to physical products. It is possible to sell downloadable products through the Volusion platform, but that requires the knowledge of a simple trick or possibly a chat with a customer service agent. The problem lies in the changes that Volusion has made in the past, resulting in two types of services being available, categorized as V1 and V2. By default, new customers use the V2 version, which doesn't allow downloadable products. Volusion is priced at $29 per month, and you can enjoy a 14-day trial before committing to a subscription.
In the end it all comes down to what you are looking for in a software-as-a-service ecommerce platform. Both Volusion and BigCommerce provide access to a wide range of tools to begin selling online and will plug you into a network of professionals ready to help if you come to a halt for some reason. Sometimes less is better, and in that sense Volusion's easy-to-use interface and drag-and-drop features will guide nicely you through the setup process. BigCommerce, on the other hand, provides more options for detailing a product on the store, and that might be important for you. Price isn't the differentiating factor in this case, rather usability and the range of services that you are looking for as the store grows.
Best Ecommerce Platforms of 2020