Volusion ecommerce vs. Shopify ecommerce

With all the online shopping done today, it is important for merchants to have a professional, elegant and completely running storefront.  I have thoroughly analyzed and reviewed shopping cart ecommerce software to find the best ones. There are dozens of shopping carts available in the market, but Shopify and Volusion ecommerce sets themselves apart form others with their wide set of features, easy-to-use functionalities and affordability. Let’s dig in deep on both of them.
Shopify is an ecommerce service that aims small online retailers to get a store up quickly and start shipping as soon as possible. It provides all the basic features needed for a small retailer while still being very easy to use. Shopify is more than a shopping cart – it is a hosting solution as well. Being a hosted solution, Shopify takes care of all installation and upgrading system. Shopify’s hosting infrastructure is reliable and fast, and it gives you an additional option to host your own store with your own domain name. All other issues such as bandwidth and security are addressed in the software package, so all you need to take care of is the online store.
Shopify offers a bulk of upload facilities. The product form is easy to use and you can upload multiple pictures per product using the bulk loader. Apart from this, you can create products of different variation in size and weight. Product can be divided into categories as well as tagged. Shopify also have many design templates that can be sued as it is or modified if desired. One other advantage is that Shopify is affordable, and thus makes it one of the popular choices to buy.
Volusion is all-in-one shopping cart solution, which gives you 24/7 live support, variety of professional templates, free live software upgrades, security alerts, step-by-step training videos and many other functionalities. With Volusion, you can create features like wish list, or email item information to a friend or even post customer reviews.
Volusion offers a long list of features that are user-friendly and help simplify the shopping experience of a user. Volusion offers comprehensive ecommerce solution as it gives you the ability to take phone orders from merchandises and issue credit cards from the store panels. It has great SEO features to enhance store’s online presence. You can now create HTML pages, use keywords in titles and generate a site map automatically. Volusion is also integrated with a lot of social networking websites and news sources.
Shopify and Volusion both offer reliable and dependable shopping cart systems with template designs, report functionalities and all the basic functionalities that satisfy the needs of a users. They aren’t costly, and yet, easy to use. My favorite is definitely Shopify at this point in time.

Yahoo Commerce vs. BigCommerce – Feel the Difference

As Internet marketing is growing, you can see a boom of marketing products online. Various eCommerce and eBusiness products are available on the Internet like Yahoo Commerce and BigCommerce and you often get puzzled as to which one to choose from them. To decide one, you have to know the difference between them. Read on to see which one suits you.
Yahoo Commerce provides its customers features such as online payment processing, enhanced shopping carts and well-organized catalog management. All the functions are bundled into current Web business hosting which offers other related functions such as publishing tools and domain name registration. Yahoo Commerce has a range of design templates and uses third-party software such as Adobe Dreamweaver and HTML editing tools. It helps create friendly search engine pages and optimize your pages in search ranking.
BigCommerce, on other hand, has proved beyond expectations. It has a world class company and support team and is one of the most user-friendly shopping carts. The software is design is flexible as it allows you to simply drag and drop items to your desired template. BigCommerce is compatible with any company you name it: be it MasterCard, Visa, FedEx, PayPal etc. The software is also compatible with internet browsers so that customer experiences no problem while using any of the browsers. Its online checkout system includes many shopping carts. For efficient usability, it has a complete and an optimized product catalog. If you want to know all the review information of ecommerce solutions click on the link to read my complete analysis.
BigCommerce also offers important features for people with an interest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques as it has 100% SEO optimized HTML. BigCommerce enhances your search engine visibility and has easy, one page check out process with a powerful backend store and search optimized internal navigation store.
The internet is expanding rapidly. People are continuously looking for an e-commerce store that can set them up straight. With so many e-commerce solutions available, it is tough to decide which one to choose. BigCommerce with its spectacular features makes online shopping easier for you. With a comprehensive package offered and customized store, BigCommerce is the right choice for you.

Shopify or Magento: Choosing the Best

In the realm of Ecommerce, it is getting tougher to decide which carrier should host your online store. Two currently popular names used in the emerging Ecommerce market are Shopify and Magento. Both these companies have a lot to offer, but it all really depends on what your Ecommerce needs are. Continue reading this post to find out basic information on both systems or read my full review of the top 4 ecommerce shopping carts or simply visit my favorite, BigCommerce.

Shopify Magento Comparison
Shopify Magento Comparison

If you are a novice in the Ecommerce industry and are looking for a light-weight set up to get you started off, then Shopify would suit your needs. This is because the front-end of Shopify is quite easy to use and does not take a lot of time getting used to. Magento on the other hand is an open-source Ecommerce platform, which means more versatility and flexibility for the end user. However, if you are an amateur at Ecommerce, then you will want to steer clear of Magento because you need to have proficient knowledge of CSS templates to have a visually pleasing website. Being complicating is not necessarily a bad thing because with all the options Magento offers, it’s worth being on a steep learning curve. If you are willing to spend lots of time on documentation, but also like to customize everything, then Magento is a good option. Just know what you are doing because modification can take days instead of hours if you don’t.

In terms of pricing, both Shopify and Magento are neck to neck. They offer similar packages at almost the same price. This makes the decision a tough one. The only catch to Shopify is that they charge a 2% fee on every transaction you make if you are on their basic plan. If you select any other plan besides the basic one, then you are charged 1% of every transaction you make. Magento on the other hand, does not have any hidden fees to keep your ecommerce active.

In eventuality, one can’t say that one is better than the other. It really depends on what you require as an online store owner. If you are relatively new, have few products, or don’t need a lot of customization for your store, then Shopify is right for you. On the other hand, if you have been in this business for a while, carry a large range of products, and need to customize all aspects of your online store, then Magento is more likely to please you.

Zen Cart vs. Magento vs. Volusion – A Quick Glance

There are dozens of shopping carts and ecommerce solutions available on the internet and at times, it becomes difficult to choose one of them. It’s a jungle and many may look similar from the outside. So before deciding on one, lets have a quick preview and explore their main features.

Read my full review of all major shopping carts or just visit my current favorite BigCommerce.

Zen Cart is a free online software that helps you maintain a professional and robust shopping cart. It supports numerous add-ons which are publicly available to download from website. Zen Cart offers you a wide range of products as well as many templates and customized theme. You can easily install them and change your color scheme and layout. Apart from that, Zen Cart allows you to create special and featured products in bulk and manage your stock levels.
Magneto offers a flexible and comprehensive ecommerce platform which provides powerful marketing tools, catalog management single administration panel to control multiple websites and stores. You now only have one background to manage multiple websites – it can’t get easier than this. Other features that Magneto offers include layered navigation, free shipping options, friendly search engine URLs, APIs for integration with third party, as well as Content Management System to maintain informational pages.
Volusion is a powerful and versatile all-in-one shopping cart solution which means you don’t have to spend extra money while you are integrating other functionalities. One enhanced feature of Volusion is an automated confirmation email that sends you an email when a purchase is made. Buyers expect this instantaneous feature of email confirmation and if it does not reside on your website, it might lower the confidence of your customer. Volusion also has another feature called Integrate Easy Editor which allows you to create WebPages easily and lets you choose your desired theme and template.

Los Angeles Surfing Instructor Review: Sergio

Today I had a great day surfing in Santa Monica with Tara thanks to my expert instructor.  I went out with Sergio Penaloza from Los Angeles Personal Surfing Lessons and he did an excellent job of working with us to show us how everything works.  Sergio looks a little strange in the picture on his home page, but he’s a really cool & friendly guy.  Tara was afraid of the ocean, sharks, surfboards and everything else but he did a good job reassuring her and making it fun.  She even stood up on the surfboard and cruised in to the beach!

If you are in L.A. and want to try surfing with Sergio you can call him on his cell at 415-810-6581.

2010 Ecommerce Shopping Cart Software Review

Shopping Cart Solutions Review
Shopping Cart Solutions Review

Update: For those of you wanting to skip all the analysis & shopping cart reviews & ecommerce platform comparisons, the bottom line is that I recommend BigCommerce for building your next business. Shopify is the runner up. Also please note that there is a video of ecommerce shopping cart reviews at the bottom of the article.

As a professional web designer, I have had to test many different ecommerce shopping cart software systems.  I have read every shopping cart review online myself and am unsatisfied with their mostly lazy and inexperienced opinions, so I set out to create the thorough analysis that I wish I had been able to find. I have 11 years of experience building websites and run my own SEO & Adwords company.  I also have several  major ecommerce stores I personally own including one selling Digital Gauges. I have personally built and worked on sites on many ecommerce platforms including: BigCommerce (my current favorite), goEmerchant, Volusion, Fortune3, Yahoo Merchant, CoreCommerce, Zen-cart, Shopify, Godaddy Quick Shopping Cart, ProStores, 3DCart, Magento, nopCommerce, WordPress, VentureCommerce, Coresense, FirstData, IBM Ecommerce, LiteCommerce, and X-Cart.

My comprehensive ecommerce shopping cart software review for 2010 will only focus on the FOUR BEST systems (Bigcommerce, Magento, Shopify & Volusion) currently available.  The other shopping carts such as Godaddy Quick Shopping Cart, Yahoo Merchant and X-Cart are pretty crappy.  At the end of this review, I will give a paragraph summary of each shopping cart and why I don’t think it’s worth your time at this point.

Now that the introductions are over, on to the good stuff! Underneath of the chart of the best shopping carts, I have explained what each of the features are and why they are important and how the different shopping carts compare.

Ecommerce Shopping Cart Review
Ecommerce Shopping Cart Review

Overall Rating- The overall rating is my assessment of the quality of the entire system and how well it will work for most online businesses trying to boost their sales revenues.  Bigcommerce is the best shopping cart as of the writing of this review (July 27 2010) because it offers the most comprehensive package.  Bigcommerce allows you to have some major marketing firepower out of the box and is easy to use and setup for even newbies who can’t code a lick.

 

BigCommerce Review

Lowest Price- Lowest price refers to the entry level package price for the software system.  Magento has a free limited free version, but their first paid package starts out at a ridiculous $3,000 per year.  Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion all have the same price for an entry level package at $24/month.

Charge Revenue %- BE VERY CAREFUL HERE- Shopify charges 2% of all your revenues ON TOP of your regular payment gateway charges.  This is one of my biggest knocks on shopify and if you have a successful store they will suck your profits dry like a vampire.  BigCommerce is very straightforward- no percentage fees on top of your $24/month.

Setup fee- Volusion and Magento both charge setup fees.  Why pay a setup fee when you can use BigCommerce or Shopify without having to pay any extra ridiculous fees?

 

Ecommerce Shopping Platform: Increase Visitors

Quick & Easy Checkout- Vitally important for increasing your conversion rates, quick and easy checkout means that your customers have the simplest possible path to placing an order on your site.  Each page or step you add to this process means that you will lose many customers.  I have done extensive A/B testing on this (as has Amazon.com) that underscores this point.

Custom Titles- Being able to alter your title tag is very important for shopping cart search engine optimization (SEO).  As a seasoned SEO pro, my biggest problem with BigCommerce is that they tie your title tag to your URL.  So if I make a title tag that says “Super Duper Product”, my URL must be http://www.example.com/super-duper-product.  Not good. None of the other shopping carts give you an easy way to do this out of the box either though.

Custom URLs- Another important factor for ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO) is being able to write your own custom URLs.  No shopping cart gives you an easy default way to do this and they all require hacking into their systems to get this right.  WordPress however has done an excellent job of allowing you to customize your URL as you please.

 

Top link is Title Tag, middle two lines are meta description text

Custom Meta Description- Your meta description is the two lines of text that appear under the blue link in Google search results.  Not only is a good meta description important for ecommerce shopping cart search engine optimization, but it is like a mini-advertisement to get people to click on your link and get more visitors.  Customizing your meta descriptions will help you get more traffic to your website.

Google Analytics integration- If you are running any kind of business online it is vital to have good, reliable metrics for tracking your success.  Google Analytics is the leading website metrics tool and provides incredibly detailed and important reports.  Best of all- IT’S FREE! 🙂

 

Boost Ecommerce Conversion Rates with Website Optimizer

Website Optimizer integration- Only BigCommerce and Shopify give you out of the box integration with Google Website Optimizer.  Using Google Website Optimizer is key to testing out whether changing one element of your page or another increases or decreases total sales.  Every good ecommerce shopping cart platform in 2010 should have this as a core piece of functionality but sadly most don’t.

Free Phone Support- I promise you that no matter how experienced of a programmer you are, you will eventually run into a roadblock you can’t solve all alone.  At this point you will need to call your shopping cart’s phone support hotline and it is vital that you be able to quickly reach a friendly expert who can help you resolve the problems you are facing.

Good Community Support- Like having free phone support, having a strong community of fellow shopping cart owners is key to resolving small day to day problems.  Every time you run into a question, you will probably Google search it and if you are using BigCommerce or Shopify you should be able quickly find an answer due to their large and active communities.

Photo Zoom- People like to see the physical products you sell up close.  Unfortunately we can’t allow our customers to actually handle our product so we need to provide high quality images and allow our customers to zoom in close to observe the details.  Volusion and BigCommerce both offer good photo zooms for your products.

Easily Add Products- The most common task an ecommerce shop owner will face is adding, editing and deleting products.  Being able to do so easily and quickly is vital to leaving you enough time to manage your business.

Web designer required?- KEY QUESTION FOR NOOBS- If you aren’t a great HTML/CSS/PHP programmer can you still build a site without having to hire an expert?  With both Shopify & BigCommerce you can easily work on your website without knowing a lick of code.  Most other shopping cart systems (Magento, Volusion, Godaddy, Yahoo Merchants Shopping Cart, Zen-Cart, X-Cart), even ones that purportedly do allow beginners to build a site, do require you to know some code in order to accomplish basic functions.

 

SEO for Ecommerce Shopping Carts

SEO Rating- As a search engine optimization freak, I have optimized hundreds of websites and driven them more traffic.  If you know anything about online marketing, you also realize that SEO is the key to making your online shopping cart work.  I used my knowledge of keyword research, on page SEO optimization, link building, duplicate content analysis, title tags, meta descriptions, page titles and everything else to assign each shopping cart an accurate SEO rating.

Conversion Rating- Conversion rating is a number that I have assigned to each shopping cart software platform to reflect how many of your visitors it will help turn into customers.  For instance, if you have 100 visitors and 4 people buy your widget, you have a 4% conversion rate.  There is no use in driving huge waves of traffic through SEO without having excellent conversion rates on your website.  BigCommerce offers the best tools for getting a better conversion rate out of the box including their top-selling products widget and their sweet & easy one step checkout process.

Facebook Integration- BigCommerce is the only shopping cart currently out in 2010 that allows you to easily sell your products on Facebook.

Ebay Integration- Once again, BigCommerce is the only shopping cart that allows you to easily push your entire inventory to Ebay with the click of a button.  The more channels you can sell your products through, the more money you will make.

Automated Returns System- Handling returns is a fundamental part of any retail store.  Unfortunately most ecommerce shopping cart systems don’t allow you to easily and automatically handle customer returns.  Volusion and BigCommerce both make their returns management systems a core part of their system.

Good Default Themes- Unless you are a rockstar graphic designer, you’d probably like good default themes that you can use on your store with only a little customization to make it reflect your brand.  Every shopping cart allows you to use default themes, but Shopify and BigCommerce stand out above the rest for having the best default themes.

Quickbooks Integration- Most small businesses use Quickbooks to handle their accounting and taxes, so having an easy & quick to set up integration with Quickbooks is very important for a fully functional ecommerce software solution.  BigCommerce, Magento and Volusion all allow easy integration with Quickbooks.

WYSIWYG Editor- A WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) editor is an easy backend that allows you to visually format (underline, bold, bullets, etc) your pages.  Basically a WYSIWYG editor offers the same functionality as Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages application.  Every modern shopping cart script allows you to easily edit your pages with a WYSIWYG editor.

Blog Integration- Publishing lots of content and blog posts is a good way to gain a following on your website for your product.  Good search engine optimization also requires posting lots of keyword-optimized content on your ecommerce application.  BigCommerce offers pretty good default blog setup.  I think the best way to run a blog on any of these shopping carts though is to put a blog on WordPress and point a subdomain’s DNS at it.

Affiliate Conversion Tracking- Many shopping cart script owners run affiliate marketing programs.  Affiliate marketing is where you allow other website owners to make money off of pointing links to your site.  Each time a visitor from their site buys one of your products, you would pay them a sales commission.  In effect, these affiliate marketers are much like a traditional salesperson sitting in your brick & mortar store… only they are now digital.

Uptime- The worst nightmare of anyone who wants to setup an online shopping cart application is that the application will crash and the website won’t work.  If sales are your lifeblood, uptime is your bones that support your body.  Shopify has had several major instances of downtime that has cost their customers untold amounts of money in lost sales.  BigCommerce has been extremely reliable in it’s uptime.

 

Ecommerce Gift Cards

Gift Cards- A gift card and discount code system will expand your sales capacities.  If someone wants to give someone a gift from your store, but they aren’t sure which specific product their gift receiver would most want, then they will buy a gift card from you.  Discount codes are another important system for helping you advertise. A good discount code system will enable you to publish an ad that says “Click here to save $10 on your next product purchase” and then be able to track it and only give one discount per customer.  BigCommerce once again wins out in this category, though Shopify, Volusion, Magento, X-Cart, and nopCommerce are close runners-up.

Payment Gateway Integration- If you can’t take credit cards through your website you will lose many customers.  Most people prefer to pay with credit cards and if you require people to mail you checks I promise you won’t make any sales.  Even having only Paypal to take payments will hurt you conversion rates.  Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, Volusion, Yahoo Merchants, Godaddy, X-Cart, nopCommerce, ZenCart, and almost every other internet ecommerce shopping cart script gives you the ability to take 3rd party payment gateway payments if you wish.

Paypal Integration- Every one of the four big shopping cart solutions reviewed here allows Paypal integration.  You have options to use Paypal Payments Standard, Paypal Express, or Paypal Pro on all of them.

Google Checkout Integration- Not all website ecommerce platforms allow you to have Google Checkout integrated- neither Volusion nor Magento make it very easy though it can be done by a skilled shopping cart owner.

Bestselling Product Widget- I mention BigCommerce’s bestselling products widget here specifically because it is such a nice feature.  You are able to show on your sidebar of your website the top 5 bestselling products so that visitors can easily see what other people are buying.  Displaying this bestselling products feature increased the conversion rates on my Digital Auto Gauges website by more than 40%.

HTML Sitemaps (auto)- HTML sitemaps allow both your customers and search engine robots to find all of your content.  An HTML sitemap should be thorough and should list every single product on your ecommerce shopping cart platform.

XML Sitemaps (auto)- XML sitemaps are important for search engine optimization and allow search engine spiders to easily find all the content on your shopping cart website so that they can display it in their results.

Watch my best shopping cart solution review video below:

Below I have repeated my chart from above in HTML instead of an image for your reference:

Features Needed BigCommerce Shopify Volusion Magento
Overall Rating (10= Best) 9 7 5 4
Lowest Price $24/month $24/month $24/month $3k/ year or free w/ no support
Charge Revenue % NO YES- 2 % NO NO
Setup fee NO NO YES- $49 YES
Quick & easy checkout Yes Yes No No
Custom Titles Linked to URLs No No No
Custom URLs Linked to titles No No No
Custom Meta Description Yes No No No
Google Analytics integration Yes Yes Yes Yes
Website optimizer integration Yes Yes No No
Free Phone Support Yes Yes Yes No
Good community support Ok Yes No Yes
Photo zoom Yes No Yes No
Easily add products Yes Yes No No
Web designer req’d? No No Yes Yes
SEO Rating (10 high) 8 4 5 5
Conversion rating (10 high) 10 9 4 7
Facebook Integration Yes No No No
Ebay integration Yes No No No
Automated returns system Yes No Yes No
Good default themes Yes No Yes Yes
Quickbooks integration Yes No Yes Yes
WYSIWYG Editor Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blog integration Yes Limited No No
Affiliate conversion tracking Yes No Yes No
Uptime Great Ok ok N/a
Gift cards Yes Yes Yes Yes
Payment gateway integration Yes Yes Yes Yes
Paypal integration Yes Yes Yes Yes
Google Checkout integration Yes Yes No No
Bestselling product widget Yes No No No
HTML sitemaps (auto) Yes Yes Yes No
XML Sitemaps (auto) Yes Yes Yes No

The Bottom Line: BigCommerce is the best shopping cart platform on the market in 2010.

Joshua Tree National Park Vacation Visit

Tara and I visited Joshua Tree National Park on vacation Saturday & Sunday.  The trip was tons of fun, and since we went on July 24th it was extremely hot (113 degrees!).  Joshua Tree National Park is located east of of Los Angles, just past Palm Springs.  The Joshua tree is named by the Mormons after Joshua from the Bible because the trees have their limbs uplifted almost as if towards God. Below is a Google map of the location of the park:

View Larger Map

I uploaded the pictures in reverse, so I will start at the end of my trip. Below you can Tara driving a stick shift for the first time as I taught her. She picked it up extremely quickly and did well.  She drove us from the bottom of Joshua Tree National Park on down to the Salton Sea.

Tara driving a stick shift

Below is a video I made of all the dead fish floating up on the banks of the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea was created in 1905 when the Colorado River changed course and put its entire volume into a desert basin for two years before engineers redirected it. Since then it has been growing 1% saltier every year as it is fed by salty creeks. It is saltier than seawater now. A century ago, 40-50 fish species lived and thrived in the Salton Sea but now it is only inhabited by the hardy Tilapia and they are dying off fast too.

Another video of the Salton Sea:

A tank on display out front of the General Patton Museum.  Yes, there is a General Patton Museum.  Awesome.

General Patton Museum

Militarized version of the duck driving tourists around in Seattle.

Militarized version of the duck

General Patton and I endure the heat.

General Patton

Tara & Patton

General Patton

Cactus in the middle of a giant patch.  Fall on one of these and you will regret it.

Cactus

The cactus patch.

cactus patch

The famed Joshua Tree.

 famed Joshua Tree

49 Palms Oasis.  Tara and I hiked in here in the morning through blazing heat.  Saw lots of lizards and hawks hunting lizards.  Had a big fight about whether ultralights are a reasonable form of transportation.

I made a video below at the actual 49 Palms Oasis. The 49 Palms Oasis consisted of a bunch of palm trees, stagnant water and interesting insects & birds (including quail and Roadrunners).

49 Palms Oasis

The desert sun scorching us.

desert sun

Almost looks like Mars- lots of rocks and hills.

desert sun

Another vicious cactus.

vicious cactus

Tara and I in our sun protecting hats we bought for $6.99 apiece at Ross before we left.

sun protecting hats

Tara doing yoga on a picnic table in the morning.  It was only 8:30 am but already 85 degrees out.

 Tara doing yoga

The rocks next to the spot we camped.  Looked like fun climbing if only it wasn’t so hot that you just wanted to lay in their shade.

rocks

Driving into Joshua Tree National Park.

Driving

Handsome

Handsome

Our camping spot seen from above.  We brought excellent food (havarti cheese to dip into whole grain mustard, organic blueberries and strawberries, pita bread with hummus and also spinach & parmeson artichoke dip).  For drink we had Gibsons (Bombay Sapphire gin with cocktail onions served in Arrowhead plastic bottles with the tops cut off).  Good times.  Also had a full moon and a fire though it was still 90 at nighttime.

Joshua tree national park camping spot

Volusion vs. Magento vs. BigCommerce – Choose the Best!

A simple Google on the internet for “shopping carts” endows you with thousands of results. But this is where the future of online marketing resides. Shopping carts provide you with relevant information and reviews that enhance your online business. Having a product to sell is one important part, while getting an online store is another vital issue. With the best shopping carts available online, it is difficult to decide on any one of them. Before reaching any conclusion, it is better to have a comprehensive look at its features and review it. So here is a review of all the software applications and the features that each of them provide to its users. See the complete SEO shopping cart review here.

Volusion

Volusion is a versatile and highly refined SEO optimized shopping cart solution. They have a dedicated team which combines the client’s requests and their own innovation to form an ecommerce solution. Volusion offers some decent features to its users and mostly targets newcomers. Volusion offers data protection and allows different payment types. It gives many search engine optimization capabilities and offers many SEO friendly URLs. In fact, it is truly search-engine optimized and even if you use paid advertising, it still provides a steady stream of traffic to your website.

Volusion is an all-in-one shopping cart solution i.e. on purchasing Volusion, you don’t need to spend money for integrating its other functionalities. Volusion users can use an unlimited number of photographs for a product and zoom in on one product. You can group products into categories and sub-categories and link product with more than one category.

One of the important features of Volusion is its administration panel. It is web-based i.e. you can entirely manage it online. It automatically sends confirmation e-mail when a purchase is made which is peace of mind for both vendors and customers. Volusion also has a feature called Integrate Easy Editor with which you can create pages easily and quickly. Volusion is not just a shopping cart, but it helps you retain customers as it allows them to create their own loyalty points programs. Offering customers loyalty point enhances the visitor’s loyalty and increases motivation as they gain some points with every purchase they make.

Magento

Magento is an open source and full-featured shopping cart. Its features are comprehensive: coupons, multiple checkouts, various shipping options etc. It is completely scalable and has an extensive network support with it. Magento offers a variety of features to its users. You can control multiple websites and stores from a single panel. The Web services allow APIs to integrate with third party tools such as FedEx and Visa. Integrated with Google analytics, you can view a variety of reports like sales report, tags report, coupon usage report, tax report, low stock report and best viewed products report.

On the marketing side, Magento offers flexible coupons, free shipping options and various bundled product options. You can view or compare recent items. Magento lets you create a call centre in which you can create new customer, select an existing customer, view shopping cart, edit your list and assign prices for the products. You can have RSS feed and email notifications for your new orders. Its inventory management manages backordered items and minimum and maximum quantities.

Magneto is integrated with various services like Amazon Payments, PayPal gateways, Authorize.net and Google checkout. You can save your shopping carts with an expiration time and order multiple shipments in one order. Magneto also offers flat rate shipping on an item and product as well as table rates for a number of items, weight and destination. Its 100% SEO feature offers friendly URLs, which lets you perfectly control the URLs. It gives auto-generated site map display and popular search terms page.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is an easy to setup, SEO optimized and free shopping cart application. It is different from other shopping carts as it recognized the number one shopping cart solution. With a range of marketing tools, it generates traffic and grows your business. Every step from signing up to promoting your store is simple and easy to understand. Its standout features include SEO optimization tools, availability of as many as up to 25 reports, integration with social media websites and no transaction fees.

BigCommerce offers a collection of features to manage your store and increase sales. Website building is just as simple as a walk in the park. You can select from a variety of templates which are adaptable. You can create your own design or choose one from Design wizard. Once design is finalized, you simply drag and drop to customize the store’s layout.

As far as marketing tools are concerned, BigCommerce offers Google Website Optimizer and Yahoo Search Marketing. The combination of both allows you to create and export ads on both search engines. Also, you don’t have to worry about returning the product, as there is already an automated return system. It is customizable and you can enable or disable the returns whenever you want. You can offer return options such as replacement, refund or store credit.

With BigCommerce, you can display an unlimited number of photos in product gallery and see both thumbnail and larger versions of the photos. Plus, you can upload pictures, share and specify the location of photos on the internet. Using SuperZoom, you can zoom in photos which provides clear image of the product you are buying. When selling a product, you have the option of selling product based on weight, image and price. The Automatic Inventory Control works efficiently as it tracks products based on per-product or per-option level. The inventory level keeps on reducing as you continue buying the product, and when the inventory level hits zero, it shows that the product is unavailable for purchase.

Outcome

With a variety of shopping carts available and having done a comprehensive review of all of them, BigCommerce standouts amongst them all. None of them falls close to it. BigCommerce is one of the easiest and fastest shopping online solutions. When comparing to similar services, it outranks others in all aspects. It saves your time as it is easy to set-up and has a friendly user-interface which gives you a professional look in few minutes. You can concentrate more on marketing and your customers, rather than spending time doing technical work.