In this detailed comparison review of Shopify vs BigCommerce vs Volusion, we will tell you which ecommerce software platform is best for building an online store.
The ecommerce builder industry is dominated by Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion, and at first glance, the three online store builders may look very similar. The moment you sign up and start configuring your store, you will quickly notice the major differences between the platforms, and possibly even get an idea of what kind of user the platform was designed for.
In short, Shopify is the best option for users that want a simple online store builder, but do not mind sacrificing some ecommerce features. BigCommerce is ideal for users that need advanced ecommerce features and lots of room to grow, but do not mind paying more for growth. Lastly, Volusion is the online store builder that offers a little of both platforms.
Shopify vs BigCommerce vs Volusion Comparison
Below, you will find a simple comparison of Shopify vs BigCommerce vs Volusion that you can see if you do not have the time to read this comparison to its entirety. It includes the cost of each platform, the amount of stores that each platform hosts, and the most relevant ecommerce features.
|Platform||Price||Active Stores||Ecommerce Features|
|Shopify||$29||500,000||Simple store setup|
Large app store
Strong point of sale system
Free ecommerce themes
|BigCommerce||$29.95||100,000||Strong, built-in ecommerce features|
No transaction fees
Abandoned cart saver
Unlimited traffic to store
|Volusion||$25||40,000||Built-in recurring billing option|
Host unlimited files
Unlimited product options
Unlimited creation of staff accounts
9 Key Differences to Consider
These are the nine differences between Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion. You should consider these factors when you are ready to make a final decision.
1. Volusion is Cheaper Than Shopify and Bigcommerce
While it is never a good idea to base your decision on pricing alone, it should be something that is taken into consideration because you want to go with an online store builder that you can afford now, and in the long run.
Volusion’s plans start at $25 a month with unlimited products, bandwidth, and file storage. Shopify costs $29 a month, but you do not get unlimited file storage. Lastly, BigCommerce costs $29.95 a month for similar unlimited features as Volusion.
It is important to note that Shopify and Volusion charge transaction fees, which may impact the overall value of both platforms. We will discuss transaction fees in the next section below.
2. Shopify and Volusion Charge Transaction Fees
One key advantage of using BigCommerce is the fact of not having to pay transaction fees. Of course, you can waive transaction fees with Shopify by simply using Shopify Payments to process payments. But, you would have to give up accepting payments via external payment processing services (e.g. PayPal, Authorize.net, etc.).
If you elect to accept payments via external methods, Shopify will charge you transaction fees for every payment that you process on your store. The current transaction fee rates are 2.0% for the Basic Shopify plan ($29 a month), 1.0% for the Shopify plan ($79 a month), and 0.5% for the Advanced Shopify plan ($299 a month).
You do not have the option to waive transaction fees on Volusion. The current transaction fee rates are 2.0% for the Personal plan ($25 a month), 1.0% for the Professional plan ($75 a month), and 0.5% for the Business plan ($135 a month).
In most cases, this is not an issue for most businesses as most accept credit card payments anyways and it really not does matter which service you use. However, PayPal is still a dominant payment processing service that thousands of customers prefer to use.
3. BigCommerce Plans Have a Sales Limitation
This is, by far, the biggest drawback of using BigCommerce for your online store. The amount of sales you can have is determined by the plan that you are on. You can sell $50,000 with the Standard plan ($29.95 a month), $150,000 with the Plus plan ($79.95 a month), and $400,000 with the Pro plan ($249.95 a month). The sales limits are calculated on a trailing 12-month basis. If you go over the sales volume in any given year, you will need to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
With Shopify and Volusion, your store can have unlimited sales and revenue.
4. BigCommerce and Volusion Offer Unlimited Staff Accounts
All BigCommerce and Volusion plans give you the option to create and assign unlimited staff accounts for your employees or distributors. You can control what each account can access across both platforms. With Shopify, you can only create up to 15 staff accounts, and it all depends on the plan that you are on.
5. Shopify Has a Large App Store
Out of all the available online store builders, Shopify has the largest external ecommerce app store that you can visit to add more functionality to your store. Some of these apps are completely free to use, while some are premium and charge a fee. By visiting the Shopify app store, you can install different apps to streamline your marketing, accounting, sales, shipping, and other aspects of your business.
BigCommerce and Volusion both offer their own app store, but it is much smaller in terms of selection.
6. Volusion Has Recurring Billing
Volusion is part of a small number of online store builders that offer built-in recurring billing, which you can use to sell subscription-based products and services. Recurring billing is included with every Volusion plan, and can be found under the orders tab in your admin dashboard. There are no additional fees to use recurring billing on Volusion.
For BigCommerce, you have to install the Paywhirl app to use recurring billing. Paywhirl offers a free account and multiple premium plans that you can sign up for.
7. Shopify is Easy to Use
The reason that 500,000 stores are built with Shopify is because the platform is easy to use. You do not have to be a designer or coding expert to build a Shopify store. In addition, Shopify is probably the fastest way to get your store up and running. Whether you are an inexperienced user starting your first store or an experienced designer, Shopify will most likely be able to suit your needs.
8. BigCommerce Features
Out of the three platforms in this comparison, BigCommerce comes packed with the most relevant ecommerce features that are already built-in the platform. This means that you get access to the features needed to build, run, and manage an online store without making frequent visits to the app store. For instance, BigCommerce offers a point of sale system, multiple marketplace sales channels, Google Shopping integration, Google trusted stores, customer segmentation, real-time shipping rates, and the famous abandoned cart saver.
While Shopify and Volusion both offer similar ecommerce features, you will most likely need to upgrade to a more expensive plan or visit the app store to activate such features.
9. Shopify Crushes in Popularity
Out of the platforms here, Shopify is the most popular online store builder. Shopify hosts over 500,000 online stores while BigCommerce hosts 100,000 and Volusion hosts 40,000. It should also be noted that Shopify was first available in 2004, and is actively traded on the stock market. This tells us one thing; Shopify is dominating the industry of online store builders and is one platform that is here to stay for the long term.
There is no “one shoe fits all” kind of platform here, and the online store builder that you decide to use is up to you. Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion are the platforms that everyone should try first.
Whether you go with our most recommend online store builder (Shopify) or the online store builder that we ranked third in this comparison (Volusion), you will get the tools you need to run and manage an online store.
And, if you are still unsure of which online store builder to use, you can try them all for free.