Bigcommerce is really not much of a comparison with Volusion shopping cart. They’ve gone to great lengths to market their cart with online buzz as being better, however, if you dig in, Bigcommerce doesn’t even come close. I’m writing this article because someone, maybe their PR team, has flooded the internet with this supposedly ‘better’ shopping cart.
If you have a small business and your own inventory, yes, it just might work for you with the built in SEO. I opened a test account and quickly realized how much is missing from the Bigcommerce features. As always, every cart has it’s pros and cons. There’s too much missing from Bigcommerce for me to spend all the time writing it up. I could barely get past the first section- customers.
To be fair, Bigcommerce does have some of these fields. The difference is Volusion has a single screen where you can record all your customer information and notes. The image below is only a portion of that screen:
Big commerce customer screen:
What else is missing in Bigcommerce?
– NO option to drop ship.
– NO place to list your vendors ( since no drop shipping, they probably saw no reason to have this along with warehouses and receiving inventory from the PO’s)
– NO place to issue purchase orders. I guess they assume everyone is using an offline program. Bigcommerce does have low level inventory alert option.
Less critical missing items:
– no affiliate program built in
– the forum has tons of unanswered questions. In Volusion’s forum, most will have replies same day, if not minutes or hours.
– I didn’t see a way to enable free shipping over a certain dollar amount
– I think it’s more cumbersome to add and modify products. Bigc uses many tabs, Volusion uses a long page. I think it’s easier and more intuitive to get around Volusion admin than BigC. With BigC, you click on product name in admin and it takes you to the live page. You have to click on a teeny EDIT text in the far right of your screen to get to edit it. In Volusion the linked text to edit is on the left where you naturally have your mouse.
What does bigcommerce and Interspire do better?
Much easier to create the design you want, including easy to modify templates.
Statistics- Which products are selling best? Who are the best customers. This is simple with Bigcommerce, but not readily available with Volusion. Maybe you can see if you use custom options, but again, not easily.
– built in banner program for the store
– SEO tools. Volusion has good SEO set up, but Bigc has more.
The product page layout is far better right out of the box, including reviews.
In addition to the usual, Volusion has recurring billing and users can easily change their payment method. Merchants can easily collect more money right on the order page if the order is modified later (with customer permission and card details). Either site has the same needs to accept payments for an online store.
Bigcommerce states “We expect to have our compliance this coming May 2010”.
“Harper says BigCommerce’s main competitor is Yahoo Inc.’s Yahoo Merchant Solutions, also known as Yahoo Store, an e-commerce platform popular among small or start up e-retailers. He predicts that his company will grow from 3,000 to 13,000 clients by the end of the year and that they’ll mostly be e-retailers with fewer than 20 employees. He expects about 25% will have switched from a competitor.”
I could go on. Bigcommerce is a big solution for small niche companies. It does have some great features. But you need to know what’s missing before you start. Does it really have what your business needs. And check for PCI Compliance.