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Ecommerce Platforms Comparison: Part 1 of 4

With so many shopping cart options out there and saturation of the market that customers are quite often confused on what shopping cart is better for their company. There many features that you can base your decision on, and each different platform allows you to focus your company in different directions. This is a series of comparing competitor carts. First up is Volusion and Shopify. Part 1 of 4.

Volusion vs. Shopify

Volusion vs Shopify is not as straightforward as some people may think, due to the fact that each website has an extraordinary amount of information to offer. There are six main differences that should be focused on when comparing these two shopping cart platform: Themes and Design, Ecommerce Functions, Support, Applications, Credibility, and Pricing.


Themes and Design

Ecommerce website templates for design are one of the most important aspects to build a site that seems credible to shoppers.

Shopify: Shopify offers many different ecommerce templates and themes that are modern and professional looking. What is unique at Shopify is that they hire professionals to design the different themes for stores that actually work. Furthermore, all of their themes are mobile responsive so your users are able to purchase off a mobile device or tablet and the design will look great. Price: $1-$180

Volusion: Volusion offers about 360 different themes that are from a broad range of different industries. Currently they offer 82 free themes and 277 themes that are paid. Furthermore, of all of the themes that they offer only 23 themes are mobile responsive. Price: $1-$895

Winner: Shopify


Ecommerce Functions

Both platforms offer different product variations, image sizes, discount engines, management, shipping, tracking orders, and payment systems. However, there are slight differences.

Shopify: The major ecommerce function that Shopify can be critiqued on is the transaction fee per purchase on your site. The transaction fee’s range from 2.4%-2.9% plus a credit card charge of $0.30 per transaction. That maybe upsetting to think about that your eCommerce platform makes money from your sales, but it is for a good reason. They offer you an unlimited bandwidth to fuel the power for your website. Remember that if your site is not loading quick enough customers will leave.

Volusion: Volusion does not charge their customers any transaction fees when a customer makes a purchase on your site. However, in contrast they do charge for bandwidth and depending on the bandwidth that you plan on using you sign up for different levels of subscriptions. It is challenging to forecast bandwidth for a company new to ecommerce, furthermore it is unclear how much more it will costs if you want to up your bandwidth plan.

It’s a TIE


Support

Entrepreneurs who are just starting out on their eCommerce business will potentially be working many late hours and need to have 24-hour customer support. Nothing is more annoying than being stuck on a problem that you can’t solve right on the spot.

Shopify: Shopify offers strong customer support. They have email, chat, and phone support 24/7. Furthermore, they have a forum where other Shopify users in a community could potentially help you solve your problems.

Volusion: Volusion also offers great customer service that offers 24/7 support via email, chat, and phone support. The only difference is they do not offer a forum for users to interact with one another.

Winner: Shopify


Applications

Apps are more advanced tools that can help you build your eCommerce business, and are developed to extend the functionality for your online store. These are important to make your store unique. Apps can help you automate a lot of tasks that perform certain functions on your website like a marketing tool or accounting software.

Shopify: Shopify has an insane number of apps to use, in fact they have 1,500 apps for you to choose from. Although, not all of the applications are free because they are created by independent services. However, all of the applications are free to integrate into your store.

Volusion: On the other hand, Volusion features currently has only 80 applications for you to integrate into your store. They do offer an application for every single need you may though covering a wide variety of functions. They offer a hybrid of free and paid applications.

Winner: Shopify with 1,500 Apps!


Credibility

In terms of credibility, etailers want their website to have a server that is reliable for their customers to depend on.

Shopify: Shopify opened its doors in 2006, and is currently serving 500,000 plus customers. It is clear that the customers are paying to power their online store. Shopify’s stores are also trending more on Google.

Volusion: Volusion opened its doors in 1999, and is currently serving 40,000 plus customers. Furthermore, their stores have a downward swing on Google.

Winner: Shopify!


Pricing

Let’s be real the pricing sometimes determines whether or not you want to get a particular ecommerce platform. Creating ecommerce websites can sometimes become a costly venture.

Shopify: Shopify pricing has a pretty affordable plan structure starting at $29, $79 and $299 for the advanced plan. Remember that they still charge a transaction fee for each purchase that customer makes that is anywhere from 2.4% at the advanced plan and 2.9% at the lowest plan, plus $.30 for each credit card transaction.

Volusion: Volusion pricing has pretty staggered plan prices, and starts off at $15, $35, $75, and $135 for the advanced plan. If you purchase in a bulk plan you get 10% off. Remember that Volusion has limited bandwidth for their stores so you will have to purchase more bandwidth if and when you need it.

Winner: TIE


Conclusions

Based on the analysis above Shopify seems to be the winner under these 6 different qualifications. However, there are so many more features that we could compare in order to determine a clear winner. The bottom-line is that each platform is different in terms of usability and navigation so you may just like a platform more than you like another’s functionality. The only way to truly know if you will like an ecommerce platform is by registering and testing things out.

Wiebke Reile

Wiebke Reile

Wiebke Reile has been social media strategist for the last eight years in the Internet Industry. She has also professionally worked in the film and television industry as a documentary film editor in New York City. Currently, she is a researcher for the University of Hawaii and pursuing her doctorate degree; focusing her research towards online political social movements.

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