It’s happening — you’re taking on an ecommerce project! You’ve put a lot of hard work into creating (or sourcing) the perfect product, and you want to make sure you’re selling it on the perfect website. Thankfully, there are plenty of different platforms that make building an ecommerce website easy for non-developers, and most of them offer free trials so you can try before you sign up.
Below, we compare features in Volusion, Squarespace, Shopify, and BigCommerce to help you find the best ecommerce platform for your new business.
Pricing: Volusion has four different pricing options, starting at $15/month to sell up to 100 products. SSL certificates are sold separately.
Themes: Volusion’s themes are all responsive and professionally designed. Choose from 11 free options and 38 premium options ($180 each), each available to demo. You can customize a theme yourself, or pay one of the company’s experts to tweak the design to meet your needs.
Payment Processing: If you’re in the U.S., you can apply for Volusion Payments, an all-in-one payment processing solution built into the platform. If you’re in another country, you can integrate your store with a third-party payment gateway like Beanstream or Stripe.
Integrations: The Volusion marketplace provides 60+ integrations and services (mostly paid) to add functionality to your online store, including drop shipping, email marketing, fulfillment, and more.
Cool Features: Social media management tools that let you post directly from your store admin; marketing advisors you can call to get advice on SEO, advertising, conversion rates, and more.
Pricing: Squarespace offers a few ecommerce options — you can either start a personal or business website and add ecommerce functionality, or go straight to a commerce (online store) plan, which starts at $34/month billed annually. While the price is higher than other platforms, commerce plans include a free custom domain, label printing via ShipStation, SSL certificates, and much more.
Themes: Squarespace prides itself on good design, and all of its 80+ templates are free, responsive, and customizable. If the choices seem overwhelming, you can browse templates by industry, demo them in your store, and save favorites to go back to.
Payment Processing: After setting up your online store, you can easily connect to a payment processor like Stripe or PayPal. If you’re on a Squarespace commerce plan, the platform won’t charge you any transaction fees (but payment processing fees from Stripe or Paypal will still apply).
Integrations: Unlike most platforms, Squarespace doesn’t have an app marketplace where you can add or purchase integrations. Instead, your subscription includes several integrations built into the platform, including Google Analytics, Apple Pay, and more.
Cool Features: Free Typekit and Google fonts, template switching (allows you to install multiple templates for a single website), and an integrated Adobe Image Editor.
Pricing: Plans start at $29/month to sell unlimited products; the two higher pricing tiers include features like professional reports and lower credit card processing fees. While more expensive than other options, Shopify plans include SSL certificates and several other features.
Themes: Shopify offers 10 free themes and 50 paid themes ($140 to $180). You can filter by layout style and the number of products you’re selling, and see other stores that are using a particular theme.
Payment Processing: Powered by Stripe, Shopify Payments lets you accept credit cards without a third-party payment gateway and no transaction fees (credit card fees still apply). It’s available to sellers in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. You can also integrate a number of other payment gateways, but transaction fees will apply.
Integrations: Shopify’s app store lets you add free and paid features, services, and plugins to your store; apps cover everything from product sourcing to customer service.
Cool Features: Ecommerce university provides a wealth of how-to information about selling online; Shopify POS lets you sell in a physical store or pop-up setting.
Pricing: The standard plan is $29.95/month, with two more tiers and an enterprise option. All plans grant you unlimited products and staff accounts, plus dedicated SSL for security.
Themes: While BigCommerce only offers 7 free themes, it has plenty of paid theme options ($145-$235), and you can filter designs by industry and layout.
Payment Processing: BigCommerce supports integration with nine payment gateways; it also offers a competitive per-transaction fee with PayPal.
Integrations: The BigCommerce app store lets you add the functionality you want to your store. Integrations include ShipStation, MailChimp, QuickBooks, and more.
Cool Features: Partner Services helps you get paid ecommerce help from certified experts, and a Channel Manager dashboard makes it easier to sell products through third-party channels like Facebook.
Choosing an ecommerce platform can be overwhelming, so take the time to think about what features are most important to you and sign up for free trials to test ease of use. Then get to the fun part — making your first sale and brainstorming new ways to bring in customers!