Comparison: Shopify vs Volusion vs Magento vs BigCommerce
As a business owner, you have a host of options to choose from when it comes to e-commerce platforms. It’s of great significance that you can sell products on a platform that is suitable for your unique business needs.
While searching for the right solution, you will probably come across four big names in the e-commerce world: Shopify, Volusion, Magento, and BigCommerce.
We would like to give you a detailed comparison among these four well-known platforms in today’s article. We will compare Shopify vs Volusion vs Magento vs BigCommerce in terms of main features, pricing, themes and designs, apps and add-ons, SEO, ease of use, customer support, and pros and cons.
And now let’s get started!
Before diving deeper into our Shopify vs Volusion vs Magento vs BigCommerce comparison, let’s have a brief overview of these four platforms.
Established in 2006, Shopify has become one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the world. As of 2021, Shopify has more than 800,000 online stores, offices around the globe, $63 billion worth of sales and over 3,000 employees.
Shopify is an all-inclusive e-commerce platform that allows you to set up your online store, add products, make transactions, manage orders, etc.
You have three main pricing plans on Shopify, along with their Starter and Plus options. You also have a 3-day free trial of Shopify with no credit card required. In general, Shopify is well-known for its extensive feature set, wide range of integration solutions, and sheer ease of use.
Volusion was founded in Austin, Texas in 1999. Being a fully cloud-based e-commerce platform, this all-in-one solution currently serves over 30,000 business owners and has processed more than 185 million orders for customers.
Similar to Shopify, Volusion allows you to easily open an online store, accept payments, manage orders, integrate with other software, and more.
Volusion has four standard pricing plans along with its enterprise solution, called “Prime”. You are also offered a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.
Initially released in 2008, Magento is considered one of the best e-commerce platforms today. It is PHP-based and provides almost all the features needed to grow an online business ranging from setting up, managing products, catalogs, orders to marketing, customer support.
Magento Opensource, formerly known as Magento Community, is the free version of Magento that can be downloaded, customized, and self-hosted. Meanwhile, Magento Commerce is a premium version of Magento Opensource that includes cloud-hosting as part of the subscription fee. In this article, we will focus more on Magento Opensource.
With Magento Commerce, you need to purchase your web hosting, security licenses and, more importantly, have the technical knowledge to manage your online business.
Founded in 2009 in Austin, Texas, BigCommerce is a ‘hosted’ and a SaaS e-commerce solution. The platform offers numerous features, including a drag-and-drop page builder, professional reporting, search engine optimization, web hosting, and more.
There are four monthly pricing plans on BigCommerce: Standard, Plus, Pro, and Enterprise. Additionally, you can try BigCommerce out for free, thanks to its 15-day free trial.
Also, being an all-in-one e-commerce software, BigCommerce has claimed to serve more than 90,000 online stores in 65 countries (2021).
Comparison: Main features
|Unlimited orders, products, file storage, bandwidth||Unlimited bandwidth||Different payment methods: credit cards, PayPal, Authorize.net, Google Checkout, checks, money orders, support of external payment modules like Cybersource, ePay, eWAY and many more.||Unlimited products, orders, file storage, and bandwidth|
|24/7 customer support||24/7 customer support via chat, phone, and priority support||Shipping to multiple addresses, flat rating shipping, supports UPS, UPS XML (account rates), FedEx (account rates), USPS and DHL.||24/7 live chat support|
|Mobile commerce ready||Visual website builder||One-page checkout, SSL support, checkout without having an account.||Point of sale|
|Use your own domain name||Unlimited orders and file storage||Numerous marketing promotions and tools – coupons, discounts, and different promotion options.||Visual store builder|
|Point of sale||Point of sale||Fully customizable design, using templates.||Migrate your store and import products|
|Free SSL certificate||API access and batch order processing||Magento marketplace for additional customizations.||Accept payments via PayPal powered by Braintree, Stripe, Apple Pay, Pay with Amazon and many more|
|You can accept credit cards via 100 payment gateways||Accept credit cards||Regular framework improvements.||Manage orders and inventory|
|Automatic carrier shipping rates||Accept payments via Stripe, PayPal, Amazon||Detailed analytics and reporting with the script integrated with Google Analytics||Sell via Facebook, Pinterest, eBay, Amazon and Square POS|
|Automatic taxes||Sell from 100 to unlimited products||Customer Service via customers’ accounts, Contact Us form, comprehensive order tracking and history, customizable order emails.||Multiple marketing features|
|Drag-and-drop e-commerce website builder||Import/ export products||Responsive structure (available on the iPhone, iPad, Android).||API|
|Full blogging platform||Newsletters||Multiple languages and currencies supported||Multi-layered hosting security and DDOS protection|
|Multiple languages supported||Abandoned cart reports and checkout recovery||Search Engine Optimization – 100% Search Engine Friendly, Google SiteMap support.||Level 1 PCI-compliant hosting|
|Dropshipping||Handle shipping rates||HTTPS available|
|Search engine optimized||Built-in SEO and all-in-one SEO tools||Boost return visits with email marketing|
|Product reviews||Ratings and reviews||SEO features|
|Social media integration and support selling on Facebook||Social media selling tools|
|Inventory management||Ebay and Amazon integration|
|Digital products||Phone orders and CRM|
|Product variations||Dedicated account manager|
|Level-1 PCI compliant|
|No transaction fees when using Shopify Payments|
Shopify offers a monthly subscription basis, with three main subscription plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify, and two additional options: Shopify Starter and Shopify Plus.
The three main Shopify plans all offer your online store, blog, unlimited products, 24/7 customer support, SSL certificate, abandoned cart recovery, and the option to connect to Shopify Payments and Shopify POS, though the individual functionality can vary depending on your package.
Here are three core pricing plans with their additional fees that you should take into account:
- Basic Shopify: $39 per month
- Two staff accounts
- Shipping discounts up to 64%
- Shopify Payments online credit card rates: 2.9% plus $0.30
- Shopify Payments in-person credit card rates: 2.7%
- Additional transaction fees for using third-party processor: 2.0%
- Shopify: $105 per month
- Five staff accounts
- Shipping discounts up to 72%
- Shopify Payments online credit card rates: 2.6% plus $0.30
- Shopify Payments in-person credit card rates: 2.5%
- Additional transaction fees for using third-party processor: 1.0%
- Advanced Shopify: $399 per month
- 15 staff accounts
- Shipping discounts up to 74%
- Shopify Payments online credit card rates: 2.4% plus $0.30
- Shopify Payments in-person credit card rates: 2.4%
- Additional transaction fees for using third-party processor: 0.5%
The Shopify Starter plan is just $5 a month, but it does not allow you to build an online store; instead, it will enable you to sell on Facebook or add products to an existing website or blog.
Shopify Plus, in contrast, is Shopify’s enterprise option for bigger companies and high-volume retailers, and you need to contact Shopify directly to know the exact pricing.
It’s also worth noting that if you do not use Shopify Payments, but use a third-party payment processor, you will have to pay Shopify an extra processing fee in addition to the fees charged by the third-party vendor. Furthermore, if you choose to buy a Shopify plan on an annual or biennial basis rather than month-to-month, you can save 10% or 20%, respectively.
Volusion’s pricing is very similar to Shopify’s. Volusion offers four core monthly bases: Personal, Professional, Business, and Prime. The specific cost of Prime, the enterprise solution, can only be revealed by contacting Volusion directly. However, the thing that tells Volusion and Shopify apart is that each Volusion’s plan has a yearly threshold on the number of online sales you can make.
Basically, all of the plans on Volusion include your online store, unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth, an SSL certificate, no transaction fees, dropshipping integration, and online customer support.
Here are the rundown of Volusion’s pricing:
- Personal: $29 per month ($26.10 per month if paid annually)
- Up to $50,000 in annual sales
- Standard shipping rates
- Credit card processing rates starting at 2.15% plus $0.30 with Volusion Payments
- Up to 100 products
- Professional: $79 per month ($71.10 per month if paid annually)
- Up to $100,000 in annual sales
- Competitive shipping rates
- Credit card processing rates starting at 2.15% plus $0.30 with Volusion Payments
- Up to 5,000 products
- Business: $299 per month ($269.10 per month if paid annually)
- Up to $500.000 in annual sales
- Premium shipping rates
- Credit card processing rates starting at 2.15% plus $0.30 with Volusion Payments
- Unlimited number of products
- Up to $100 per month in Volusion quick wins credits In addition, you must pay the credit card processing costs associated with the provider if you’re using a payment provider other than Volusion Payments, but unlike Shopify, Volusion would not charge you the extra cost per transaction rate.
Magento’s pricing is essentially different from Volusion and Shopify. You can download the Magento software for free, however, you need to pay a wide range of costs to run an online business on Magento.
The first cost you need to take into account is for web hosting and a domain name to be launched for your online store. Besides, you might also have to pay for a theme, security licenses, any extensions, and apps from the Magento marketplace.
Nonetheless, you will have to pay the most expensive cost with Magento for hiring a developer. Magento cannot be utilized with limited technical knowledge like Volusion and Shopify. You will have to ask for help from a developer to help you set up, customize, and run your online business.
Apart from the open-source solution, Magento also offers one cloud-platform option, Magento Commerce. However, the specific cost of Magento Commerce is not available on the website, and you have to contact them for detailed information. Some third-party hosting providers do mention the cost but it comes with their dedicated version of Magento commerce hosting.
There are three main pricing plans available with BigCommerce: Standard ($29.95/ month), Plus ($79.95/ month), Pro ($299.95/ month), along with the Enterprise plan for huge companies. The Enterprise cost is based on your request and it is unfixed, therefore, you need to contact BigCommerce directly for further information.
Like Volusion, BigCommerce’s pricing is affected by your revenue tiers. Each BigCommerce all provide a certain number of company sizes, but online purchases every year are limited. If you exceed this cap, you have to upgrade to the next plan.
The online sales cap per year for Standard, Plus, Pro are up to $50.000, $180.000, $400.000 respectively. When a BigCommerce company reaches $400,000 in sales volume over 12 months, the monthly charge is set to accommodate more growth and BigCommerce demands your store to upgrade to the Enterprise option.
Regardless of the plan you choose, your shop will have a fully responsive site, one-page checkout, digital wallets, basic SEO tools, and robust analytics. One of BigCommerce’s key benefits is that there are no processing fees. If you choose to pay yearly rather than monthly, you can get a 10% discount.
Comparison: Themes and designs
Shopify: Themes and designs
Shopify provides 9 free themes and 66 paid themes at the time of writing. The cost of paid themes range from $100 to $180. Each of these templates comes in two or three different styles, giving you a good number of templates to choose from.
The number of templates on offer might be smaller compared to other e-commerce platforms, but they are all very professional-looking and fully responsive. Each theme also has its unique sets of features and abilities described in detail on the website.
One thing special about Shopify themes is that you can browse through a list of stores using the same theme, which helps you understand what the theme looks like in reality.
Shopify also provides user reviews for each theme to see what other merchants think of the theme and make your own decision.
In case you are not satisfied with templates available on Shopify and wish to create a unique theme for your business, you can develop our own template using the theme code and support materials.
Volusion: Themes and designs
Currently, Volusion offers 11 free e-commerce themes and 34 premium themes, which all cost $180. Volusion has gone through a huge transformation when it has removed lots of old free themes of bad quality. Now it has focused more on quality than quantity.
The designs of Volusion are, as we have said, far more advanced and modern than they used to be, making it quite competitive to other e-commerce platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify in design.
All themes have features like homepage slideshows, page builders, social sharing, newsletter signup forms and infinite scroll. You can easily edit themes by using a drag and drop editor.
Here are two examples of Volusion themes. As you can see, the free theme looks just as modern and professional as the paid theme.
Magento: Themes and designs
Magento does not sell or give away any templates, but the custom design tools are impressive if you know about coding.
Check out the Magento Marketplace . It features well-designed solutions from other design firms. Some of the themes on this page are free, but most of them cost you quite a lot of money to purchase.
Besides, you can find templates at ThemeForest . Themes here are cheaper than that of Magento Marketplace, which cost from $60 to $100. You can also see user reviews and ratings about these themes to guide your decisions.
One noticeable drawback of Magento themes is that it requires knowledge and experience with PHP and some other programming languages. For business owners without any experience, they would be perplexed as to how to use it and configure it to the full extent.
Fortunately, simpler drag-and-drop options are available from companies with their own built-in theme editor. This makes it easier for beginners without much coding knowledge to adjust content types on a page. However, this solution often requires you to download an extra extension, which can be troublesome for some users.
All in all, you can purchase an extension or plugin to have access to new customization tools, or purchase a third-party theme generator or theme tool, or create a custom theme from scratch. But one way or another, you need to have some coding knowledge to design/ customize on Magento.
BigCommerce: Themes and designs
BigCommerce offers 12 free themes and around 150 paid themes and each of them also has different styles. They are all fully responsive and mobile-friendly.
BigCommerce free themes are rather modern and competent, however, some of them are very similar to each other. This results in BigCommerce not providing as many theme solutions as Shopify and Volusion.
Regarding premium themes, they are at a relatively reasonable price, ranging from $150 to $300. Nonetheless, a few paid themes are quite similar to each other too. Therefore, the range of themes on BigCommerce should be extended.
The typeface also needs more improvement since it typically offers only 3-4 fonts which is much smaller compared to that of Shopify and Volusion. You can add fonts via coding, but this can be problematic for some users.
Comparison: Apps and add-ons
Shopify: Apps and add-ons
Shopify app store offers many apps (over 4,000) from free to paid ones. These apps either add more features to your store or enable it to interact with other software (like Xero or Zendesk).
As you can tell, Shopify store has an advantage in its wide range of options. However, it can also lead to cases where obtaining the features you need (for example, AMP, more product options, custom fields, or a drag-and-drop page builder) necessitates the installation of a paid-for program. As a result, you end up paying more money on apps than you intend to.
Some notable Shopify apps include data capture apps, accounting apps, abandoned cart saver apps, multi-currency selling apps, advanced reporting apps. Xero, Freshbooks, and Zendesk are some of the most common third-party applications that are powered through integrations.
Volusion: Apps and add-ons
Volusion has an app store, but it is brand new and unfinished. There are around 80 applications available, and the majority can integrate with other services. In contrast, the app stores for Shopify and BigCommerce are so diversified.
Suppose you don’t have a lot of experience with APIs. In that case, you can always use one of Volusion’s pre-built integrations with big merchants, including Paypal Express Checkout, eBay, Google Merchant Center, Amazon.
Magento: Apps and add-ons
Magento provides users with a massive number of apps and add-ons. There are over 3,800 extensions in various categories, including accounting and finance, content and customizations, customer support, marketing, payments and security, reporting and analytics, sales, themes.
Here you can find both free and paid plugins for your store, however, the price is relatively expensive ranging from $40 to $10.000.
BigCommerce: Apps and add-ons
The official name of BigCommerce app store is “Ecommerce Apps Marketplace”. It offers a wide range of integrations and add-ons that let you add many great additional features to your BigCommerce store.
There are approximately 880 apps available now for BigCommerce divided into various categories such as accounting and tax, catalog and order management, shipping and fulfillment, merchandising, site tools, sales channels, and CRM and customer service.
The price is quite reasonable and you can find many well-known apps here like Mailchimp, Zendesk, Xero, and Salesforce. One key app on BigCommerce that Shopify does not provide is an official integration for MailChimp, which is an indispensable all-in-one marketing platform aiming to drive sales.
If you have an incredible store but cannot be found on the Internet by your clients, you will be very upset with your sales figures. That’s why you need to compare the four platforms in terms of SEO (search engine optimization).
Shopify’s SEO feature is generally strong. You can easily change page titles, meta description, add headings or alt text. You can also add 301 redirects in a very easy fashion to let search engines know when a page location has changed.
A CDN (content delivery network) on Shopify helps to speed up content delivery, resulting in preferential ranking in search results.
You can display all your products and pages in the application in the format AMP (faster, stripped-down version of your contents), bringing an edge for your store’s mobile search results.
Advanced SEO is integrated straight into the shop with all price tiers. You can easily win snippet displays thanks to SEO optimization, where prospective shoppers can see things like star ratings, product pricing, and stock status straight from the search engine data.
Similar to Shopify and BigCommerce, you can sell your products from your own customized Facebook store easily. This ensures that consumers can access and order the products without ever leaving Facebook while scrolling through their news feeds.
Besides, unlike several other tools, Volusion creates sitemaps for users automatically, making it easy for search engines to scan your site.
SEO is automatically set up on Magento, unless you want to go in and change things yourself. All versions of Magento contain mobile optimization and standard SEO tools. These include automatic Google sitemap generation, full control of URLs with URL rewrites, etc.
You can also boost the SEO performance of your site with Magento by focusing more on meta keywords, meta descriptions, or rich snippets.
BigCommerce generally has strong SEO features such as SSL certificate, SEO-friendly URL structure, mobile-friendliness, and microdata. You can edit BigCommerce page titles, meta descriptions, and headers easily.
You can also create and change product-specific URLs without any troubles and create short URLs considered to be better from an SEO standpoint.
Comparison: Ease of use
Shopify: Ease of use
Shopify’s tidy, straightforward, and easy interface makes setting up a store so easy even for complete beginners.
Right after signing up, you will see a user-friendly dashboard, and you will be guided through all of the major measures involved in configuring and making your shop available to customers.
In short, Shopify is one of the most user-friendly eCommerce platforms available, particularly for businesses who are just getting started with eCommerce.
Volusion: Ease of use
Volusion offers a free 14-day trial to all users. All you need to do to sign up for a Volusion store is to provide some contact information, no your credit card required.
While browsing through the software, you will see that Volusion has basic features that are very easy to use. It is easy to add a product, set shipping preferences, and make adjustments on Volusion.
Volusion, however, can be inconvenient at times when locating advanced features. Since the toolbar on the left side of the screen does not extend into nesting subcategories, you will have to swipe through several pages to reach a particular feature.
Magento: Ease of use
Magento is definitely not easy to use if you are a beginner of web development. It, thus, should not be your option if you are looking for a user-friendly e-commerce platform.
Developers might find the Magento interface very logical because it has a simple and quick self-hosting configuration. Things like customers, products, promotions, sales, and reports are all centralized on the navigational menu.
Since Magento is installed locally, you’ll need to set up FTP and transfer Magento Archive to your hosted system. If you don’t have enough technical experience, the installation process can be very difficult.
Magento 2.3.1 released in March 2019, had the biggest update of the page builder content editing tool. It helps to decrease the amount of code needed and makes your content management simpler.
Magento’s creators are pouring more and more work into bringing more ease of use for its users. However, it is still considered a “Expert-level” platform and is not as user-friendly as other eCommerce sites.
BigCommerce: Ease of use
BigCommerce has all the features required to give you a good start. BigCommerce is not too complicated to use, but it is also not for ones without any technological knowledge.
You will be provided with tutorials when you first arrive in BigCommerce’s dashboard. You can, for instance, add products, customize delivery options, and control tax rates.
BigCommerce is now using the Stencil framework, which is only suitable for advanced developers. Therefore, you have to hire a developer or find it extremely challenging to adjust the theme engine.
BigCommerce has provided the new page builder that assists non-techies in the customization process. You can then easily drag and drop text blocks, videos, banners, buttons, etc.
However, you might still have difficulty with the technical terms used on Page Builder. Therefore, BigCommerce is not for people who lack computer literacy.
Comparison: Customer support
Shopify: Customer support
Shopify provides help via various channels:
- 24/7 phone support
- Social media support
- 24/7 live chat support
- Community forum
- Email support
- Help center
- Video tutorials
- Advanced specialist support
The Shopify Help Center is a wealth of knowledge, and if you need more detailed answers to questions, you can contact Shopify directly.
The Shopify Plus plan includes advanced specialist support as well as your own personal support agent. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get excellent coverage; even the cheapest pricing package has 24/7 support.
Volusion: Customer support
Volusion offers 24/7 customer support to users of all plans. However, the higher your plan level is, the more support you receive.
Here are the support options available on Volusion:
- Schedule a phone call with Volusion from your admin panel, which can last for a maximum of 45 minutes.
- Live chat to solve your problems within a few minutes.
- In-software help
- Help Center: There are two Help Centers - Help Center for Volusion V1 and other for Volusion V2. Some articles here are quite outdated.
- Quick Wins at flat-rate pricing, around $100-$400.
- Video Tutorials
- Training from a dedicated success team and a traffic growth consultant.
- Social media
Magento: Customer support
Customer support is virtually non-existent for Magento, as it is with most open-source eCommerce solutions. Magento Open Source merchants do not have access to live chat, phone, or email support. Unless you sign up for the Magento Commerce Cloud account, you’re on your own if a problem arises.
Magento, fortunately, has an international blog, a knowledge base, and a website where you can seek assistance from other merchants.
However, it is worth noticing that figuring out which resources to use is also difficult since you can easily mistake Magento Commerce for Magento 1 or Magento 2.
BigCommerce: Customer support
- A series of support emails and resources to assist you with the onboarding process when you sign up for a BigCommerce free trial.
- 24/7 phone, live chat, and email support
- Video tutorials
- BigCommerce Support Center
- BigCommerce University
- Onboarding consultant and prioritized phone calls
Comparison: Pros and Cons
We have given you lots of information in this article about four major e-commerce platforms so now we would like to sum up by listing the main pros and cons when using each platform.
Shopify: Pros and cons
|Very user-friendly for both novice and experienced retailers.||Transaction fees when using third-party payment processors.|
|The function set as a whole, as well as integration solutions.||Some functions are reliant on integrations.|
|A mobile app that allows you to access your shop on the go.||Customization options are limited.|
|Shopify Payments are built-in.|
|24/7 customer support available in multiple ways.|
Volusion: Pros and cons
|It’s easy to set up and use.||In comparison to Shopify, BigCommerce and Magento, there are fewer themes, integration options, and features for Volusion.|
|Multiple payment plans and a wide range of features.||While less advanced than Shopify, the pricing options are almost similar.|
|Volusion has low transfer costs, and there are no extra transaction fees for using third-party credit card processing.||There isn’t a mobile app for managing your business on the go.|
|Each plan has annual revenue caps.|
Magento: Pros and cons
|Downloading is completely free.||Require developer’s assistance, not suitable for beginners.|
|With a lot of features, it’s very customizable.||Exact cost is unfixed and depends on a variety of unpredictable factors.|
|Magento community and documentation provide a wealth of online resources.||There is no smartphone app for shop management on the move.|
|The Magento marketplace has a hefty price tag on extensions.|
BigCommerce: Pros and cons
|The feature set on BigCommerce’s entry-level plans is very comprehensive.||Annual online sales are limited, and if you surpass them, you’ll have to move to a more costly monthly plan.|
|BigCommerce offers certain advanced features that most websites charge a premium for at a significantly cheaper cost.||The free themes are frequently too similar to one another.|
|BigCommerce does not charge processing fees, even if you use a third-party payment gateway.||There are no delivery discounts available on either plans.|
|It has a drag-and-drop page builder|
Final verdict: Which one is best for your online store?
It is worth emphasizing that the best e-commerce platform for your company is one that meets your ultimate requirements and budget. On the basis of everything we have covered in our comparison Shopify vs Volusion vs Magento vs BigCommerce, it is clear that any of these four applications will serve your business well.
However, Volusion and Shopify seem to be the perfect solution for business owners looking for a user-friendly responsive interface to easily and quickly sell online. With Magento, this platform is best for company owners who require scalability and a high level of customization to take good care of development resources. On the other hand, BigCommerce is known for being the best fit for medium-sized and large companies. The platform also fits well for small businesses, but it is not the best solution, since if you exceed its sales cap it will cost a lot.
With all of this in mind, if you’re still unsure about which solution is best for your business, you could sign up for a 3-day free trial of Shopify, Volusion, or a 15-day free trial of BigCommerce. To get a better idea of what using Magento is like, you can download the software for free and explore the developer documentation available on the Magento website.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading and see you in the next post.