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Ecommerce Platforms Comparison: Part 3 of 4

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. There are huge number of differences between these two platforms that customers should really know about. Third up is Volusion and Magento.  Part 3 out of 4.

This is a series of comparing competitor carts Volusion and Magento.

Themes and Design

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

Magento: Magento offers a large number of themes. They offer over 27,000 different themes, however only offer 278 themes for free.   Price: $14-$229

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

Ecommerce Functions

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

Magento:  The eCommerce functions are pretty much the same. Magento requires the user to provide their own hosting, install and setup before starting a store. Magento is known for being hard to setup and is not for the Non-Tech People. Because you are responsible for hosting the site and loading speed could be a problem if you load too many apps for your eCommerce on your store.

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.

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.

Magento: Magento offers pretty good 24/7 customer support for those customers on the Enterprise level. The website offers free chat support of any questions

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.

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.

Magento: Magento has a marketplace that has over 5,000 applications that you can use on your website. Remember that Magento is an open source software so there is a large selection of applications because of the community that is surrounding Magento.

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.

Credibility

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

Magento: Magento opened its doors in 2008, and has reached over 4 million different downloads.  The community edition management platform is the most widely acclaimed in open source software.

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

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.

Magento:  Magento does not offer a pricing structure on their website. They only provide this information via inquiry. According to a representative the reason is that Magento does custom work for websites and caters to their customers’ eCommerce needs.  They are also an open source software program so they offer free downloads of the platform, but other costs end up adding up.

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.

Conclusions

The bottom-line is that each platform is different in terms of usability and the way the user setups each store. These platforms are different in terms of what type of user is able to use each platform. 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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