Top 5 Ecommerce Platforms and Solutions: Shopify vs Volusion vs Bigcommerce vs Big Cartel vs 3dcart (March 2018)

In a market as saturated as the e-commerce platform market, it can be very difficult to figure out which shopping cart software best meets your needs. If you are considering starting your own store, then chances are you have already run into this struggle at some point. So far I have covered most popular ecommerce platform reviews as individual offers and created this comparison chart, then ranked all platforms after their SEO effectiveness, but now it's time to see how the different platforms compare to each other: Shopify, Bigcommerce, 3dcart, Volusion and Big Cartel.

 In case you're in a hurry, here are some links to our top ecommerce platforms for you to choose from: 
Ecommerce PlatformLogoPrice from (a month)Overall rating
ShopifyShopify$910 / 10
BigcommerceBigcommerce$29.959.5 / 10
Volusion$158 / 10
Big CartelBig Cartel$08.5 / 10
3dcart3dcart$298 / 10

Which of These Ecommerce Solutions is Most Popular?

If you've searched for a platform to run your ecommerce store, you've no doubt stumbled upon at least a few of the names we're comparing today. Although popularity isn't exactly the best motivating factor to make a decision that will affect your future business life, it's certainly worth talking about, considering that when large groups of people lean to a certain solution, we like to hope that it's for a reason.

That said, if you take a look at a comparison on Google trends, Shopify is the clear winner in terms of what people are searching and how many people are showing interest in the five popular consumer solutions:

Ecommerce Platform Reviews - google trends

The 3dcart platform is and has always been, at the bottom in terms of trending on Google. It's interesting to point out that Bigcommerce has made a recent surge past the previous second place contender Big Cartel, and we're certain it has to do with many of the changes Bigcommerce has implemented over the past few years.

However, it's hard to see what's happening with the other platforms when Shopify is in the mix. Therefore, I removed the Shopify comparison to only look at Bigcommerce, Volusion, BigCartel, and 3dcart. As you can see, BigCartel has been experiencing a downward trend over the past five years. At one point it was a far more popular search term.

Bigcommerce is the only one that seems to have a slight upward trend, but there's a sharp drop recently, most likely due to the drastic pricing changes made by the company.

Volusion doesn't look bad, but the trend has been going downward. Finally, 3dcart is in the last place, but it has remained pretty consistent over the years.

Ecommerce Platform Reviews - Trends without Shopify

Let's also have a look at another Google Trends comparison – a slightly broader one:


Ecommerce Platform Reviews Shopify interest over time

What you see there is a chart presenting the “interest over time” for Shopify against three open source behemoths in the eCommerce space. Shopify in blue. Please notice the incredible rise to power that the platform has been experiencing since 2008. Magento and WooCommerce used to run the place, but the tides have turned. June/July 2016 was the month when Shopify took the leader's place, and it's now the most popular eCommerce platform out there.

No matter which Google Trends comparison we look at, Shopify is becoming the clear winner in terms of popularity. Perhaps the Shopify pricing has something to do with this.

Although you shouldn't make a decision based primarily on popularity, I would argue there's a reason Shopify is king and Bigcommerce is slowly on the rise (although that seems to be changing in the recent months).

Another way to analyze popularity is to tie it in with where customers are going when they leave a certain ecommerce platform. The reason this is interesting is because it gives you an indicator of which of the companies have kept up with technologies and made improvements to bring in additional customers. A quick market share search on Shopify shows that the Shopify company is gaining most of its customers from Bigcommerce, BigCartel, and Volusion, but Shopify is losing most of its customers to Wix Stores, an indicator that many customers enjoy how easy the new Wix Stores interface is (along with the pricing). Bigcommerce is still stealing some customers from Shopify, but it used to be the number one place that people would go after Shopify. We assume it's because of the Bigcommerce pricing.

Ecommerce Platform Reviews - losing and gaining customers


Finally, you might find it interesting to view the popularity of each ecommerce platform based on location. For example, 3dcart only seems to get interest from people in the United States, while Shopify has search results from all over the world. Here's a glance into what regions search for and utilize each platform:

  • Shopify – Strong interest in Canada and Australia. Medium interest in the United States, the UK, Ireland and parts of Africa. Mild interest in the rest of Europe, Mexico, Russia, India, Pakistan, and parts of South America.
  • Bigcommerce – Strong interest in Australia. Medium interest in the US and Canada. Mild interest in the UK and India.
  • Volusion – Strong interest in the US and Canada. Medium interest in Australia and the UK. Mild interest in India.
  • BigCartel – Strong interest in the US, UK, and Australia. Medium interest in Canada. Mild interest in the rest of Europe and Mexico.
  • 3dcart – Strong interest in the US, but nowhere else.

Ecommerce Platform Reviews: Ease of use

If you are a novice online store owner, then there is really nothing as important as ease of use. It doesn't matter if the platform offers the most amazing features; if you don't understand how to use them, then they might as well not even be there.

One thing that all of the platforms have in common is the fact that their dashboards are all very easy to navigate. Furthermore, most of the platforms offer some sort of a setup wizard that will guide you through the creation of your first store. Inventory management, design functionality and the setup process all tie into how the overall ease of use is classified in this article.


Shopify has it all in terms of an easy setup, with a handy dashboard area for quickly adding products, customizing the look of your site and more. It's cool because Shopify asks you if you plan on moving from another platform during the signup process. The system then provides a link for importing products from your previous store. In the next screenshot, you can see that Shopify is helping me move from a Magento store.
Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.14.27 PM
Adding a product is clear and easy, with fields for titles, descriptions, price and more. The reason I think this is easier to use than Volusion and the other options is because it explains what each field is used for, removing all doubt when typing in information.

» Try Shopify «



We talked a little bit about ease of use with Volusion above, but it's worth noting that the company has a fairly clean product creation area. It might not be as pretty as Shopify, but it does the trick. The big problem is when you need to go back in and change the layout or design of your pages since coding knowledge is almost a requirement.

» Try Volusion «


The 3dcart product setup page used to look old and outdated, but that's changed in the recent year. The modern product creation center looks more akin to WordPress or Shopify nowadays, and you get tons of features packed into this area. Some beginners might find it a little intimidating with all the features, but the learning curve shouldn't take long to overcome.

3dcart also offers wonderful tutorials and setup steps to help you do everything from picking a template to setting up your shipping options. The clean wizard is ideal for beginners.

A 3dcart benefit is the visual editor, which is not exactly the best on the market (no drag and drop functionality,) but it helps you click and edit components instead of having to modify CSS or HTML code. If you're a beginner without any design experience, this is a huge advantage, since you don't have to settle for the preset template designs, and it doesn't require you to go in there and modify any code for a simple adjustment.

However, the visual composer is basically a frontend view of your website, then you can click on the areas that let you edit something. Like with the screenshot below you'd be able to click on the “Customize this Carousel” button, then it would bring you to the backend customization page. There's also the ability to adjust HTML and CSS if that's your style.

» Try 3dcart «


Big Cartel

Big Cartel offers the least visually-friendly startup area, since it's not apparent what you should do right when you land on the page, and for some reason, the text doesn't really stand out that much.
Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.26.25 PM
Big Cartel lacks a drag and drop editor, but the customization isn't the worst thing in the world. All of your design elements are situated to the left, which is fine, but the tools are a little weak, and anything further than that requires coding knowledge.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.28.00 PM

» Try Big Cartel «



Next to Shopify, Bigcommerce has the cleanest dashboard and clearest directions for getting your site built within a few minutes. In fact, the dashboard looks surprisingly similar to Shopify, with modules for accepting credit cards, customizing your store and more.
Coding options are available in Bigcommerce, and the design features are quite handy, but I'd still rather have a drag and drop editor, which has not made its way to the Bigcommerce platform yet.

» Try Bigcommerce «


Ecommerce Platform Reviews: Pricing

For many people, pricing is the most important factor, not only when deciding which ecommerce platform to use, but in general, as they go through life. Personally, I feel if you are going to be investing a lot of your time and energy into creating your own online retail space, then there should be more important factors than saving $1 on the price of the platform.

Pricing Comparison (per month):
CompanyCheapestMiddleMost Expensive
Bigcommerce$29.95$79.95$900+ *
Big Cartel$0$19.99$29.99
* According to reports from readers.

As you can see in the table above, the cheapest plan offered on any of the platforms is without competition offered on Big Cartel, this package doesn't cost a single dime. In general, when looking at the pricing of Big Cartel you can see that even their most expensive plan costs as much as the middle plan with Shopify or the cheapest with Bigcommerce.

When you look at the cheapest pricing tier, if you ignore Big Cartel, then you can see that Shopify offers the cheapest plan, then Volusion, then 3dcart, then Bigcommerce.

For me, what it really comes down to is whether you are looking to sell just a few products or a large number of products, as well as which platforms offer the features you want for a reasonable price.

It's also worth mentioning Shopify is best for those stores that plan on scaling up quick, since it provides the functionality to really handle large amounts of traffic and turn your site into something special.

Be warned that Bigcommerce has made some recent changes to its pricing structure, making it difficult for companies to scale up with the system. If you start to make more than $125,000 in revenue, Bigcommerce pretty much forces you to switch to an Enterprise plan.

According to our reports from readers, this spikes your rates up to around $900 to $1,500 per month. It's still unclear how this will affect those businesses who plan on remaining in the lower tiered pricing plans, but one thing is certain: Customers that surpass certain revenue points are not happy with Bigcommerce. We would put them on the bottom of our list if your company will end up with one of the most expensive plans.

That said, if you need a simple, small store, the cheaper Shopify or Volusion solutions work just fine.


Ecommerce Platform Reviews: Templates

Let's be honest: design matters, everyone knows if the design doesn't appeal to the visitor then chances are they will take their shopping elsewhere. Remember what I said in one of the reviews, if the layout of your store looks horrible then even if your product is amazing, chances are people won't pay attention to your products.

If you are looking for a platform that offers some of the most professional looking themes, then you should really be looking into Shopify, the truth is there is no platform that offers better themes than Shopify.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.31.41 PM

Compared to Shopify and Bigcommerce, the collection of themes offered by 3dcart or Big Cartel shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. In fact, Bigcommerce themes are pretty remarkable, and as of May 2017, Bigcommerce has 7 free themes and about 84 paid themes ranging from $145 to $235. You can find them in the theme store. They were developed to establish a more modern, fluid user experience, utilizing cool new merchandising features for categorization and differently sized catalogs.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.32.39 PM

While 3dcart does offer lots of modern themes, they're not exactly what you would call creative. That said, they all work wonderfully for large stores. I like to consider these types of themes like what you would see from Best Buy. 3dcart offers beautiful product galleries and they get right to the point of selling to customers. In the past, we talked about how the 3dcart themes looked outdated, but that's not the case anymore. Both free and premium themes can be found. The premium themes typically go for around $200.

In the past, we talked about how the 3dcart themes looked outdated, but that's not the case anymore. Both free and premium themes can be found. The premium themes typically go for around $200.

Big Cartel on the other hand only offers a grand total of nine themes (seen below). This is unacceptable since unique branding is a huge part of selling online. However, you can search for Big Cartel themes through Google to find some pretty darn nice solutions from third-party sellers.

It works kind of like WordPress where you buy the themes separate the platform. It's not the easiest way to go about finding themes, but it gives you more options.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.33.46 PM

While you might think that the number of themes offered by a platform isn't such a big deal. You need to remember that if your store lacks originality, such as having the same theme as 50 other stores, then customers are quick to attribute this to poor quality management from the store owner.

This is much more likely to make them leave your site without even giving you a fair shot.


Ecommerce Platform Reviews: Apps and Add-ons

If you are looking for a platform that offers a large selection of apps and add-ons then you should really go with Shopify or Bigcommerce, both companies offer more than 100 different apps and add-ons that can easily be integrated into your store.

Another solution would be to sign up with 3cart who also offers access to apps and add-ons, however, they do not offer as many as Shopify or Bigcommerce.

Another thing to keep in mind is how easy it is to search for the apps and add-ons, considering you probably have a few items in mind that you want to add to your store. Maybe you need an automated email receipt solution or an app that helps you build a loyalty program.

With Shopify and Bigcommerce you can search, filter and browse through categories when in need of a certain app. The other ecommerce solutions either make it super hard to do so, or you don't have the functionality at all.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.34.44 PM

If access to additional apps and add-ons are important then I don't recommend signing up with either Volusion or Big Cartel. The first company offers a grand total of one app, while the latter doesn't offer any apps at all.


Ecommerce Platform Reviews: Customer Support

Chances are you will need support at some point in your ecommerce career, it is therefore important to be familiar with the different support offers from the companies.

Shopify and 3dcart both offer 24/7 support through phone as well as chat and email. Bigcommerce offers 24/7 email and chat support, however, their phone support comes with time constraints.

The one company who doesn't seem to offer phone or chat support would be Big Cartel who only offers email support, and what's more they only offer it Monday – Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.35.30 PM

So if you are looking for a company that offers great customer support any time of the day, then you really should give Shopify and 3dcart a try.

All of the solutions we're talking about have knowledge bases, which basically let you search a topic and see if someone else has talked about it and addressed it in the past. In my opinion, this is one of the best support areas you can find, since it allows you to resolve a problem while maybe sitting on the phone waiting for a support rep.

Even though they all have these knowledge bases, along with blogs, FAQs and other documentation, Shopify and BigCommerce have the most users, making them far superior in terms of knowledge base content. Why is this the case? Simple. Since more people are discussing the systems, by default, more questions have been asked and more answers have been posted.

Ecommerce Platform Reviews: More head to head comparisons

Volusion vs Shopify

Magento vs Volusion

Volusion vs Magento

Shopify vs Magento

Shopify vs Volusion

Shopify vs Bigcommerce

Bigcommerce vs Shopify

Concluding Remarks

It really doesn't matter how many comparison articles you read, there is only one person who knows which platform offers exactly what you need, and that person is you. What it all boils down to is which platform will allow you to sell the products you offer in the best manner for both you as a store owner and for your clients.

Based on the recommendations you read above, feel free to click on one, or all of the links below to discover what each platform offers you. I highly recommend starting a free trial with at least two of the solutions so that you can play around with them and see which one feels easiest for you.

Ecommerce PlatformLogoPrice from (a month)Overall rating
ShopifyShopify$910 / 10
BigcommerceBigcommerce$29.959.5 / 10
VolusionVolusion$158 / 10
Big CartelBig Cartel$08.5 / 10
3dcart3dcart$298 / 10
With that being said however, I think there are a few factors you need to take into consideration before making your final decision. In order to make the decision a little easier I will break this conclusion down into quick paragraphs about each of the platforms.

Shopify (full review here)

There is a reason why Shopify is at the top of the comparison chart. Not only does the company offer some amazing features, but the themes they offer are also top notch. I wouldn't have a problem recommending this platform to anyone looking to get started in the ecommerce industry.

Bigcommerce (full review here)

The differences between Bigcommerce and Shopify are rather subtle, there are some features offered by this platform that Shopify doesn't offer and vice versa. If you don't mind a bit of a learning curve then perhaps this offer is the right platform for you. The main downside is that Bigcommerce has shifted its pricing structure, and many of its users have complained about significant cost increases. It seems to mainly be happening to Pro and Enterprise users, so you're good if you have a more basic plan.

Volusion (full review here)

When deciding whether to use Volusion or not, it really comes down to one very simple decision. Do you feel comfortable editing the HTML and CSS code in order to optimize your template? If this isn't a problem, then Volusion might be the right platform for you, otherwise I would really suggest looking at Shopify or Bigcommerce.

3dcart (full review here)

The 3dcart platform is very user-friendly. One problem I do have with this company however is the fact that they offer a limited number of original themes, as I mentioned earlier many of their themes are duplicates. That said, the platform has been restructed recently, and it looks and feels more like Shopify. Not only that, but the built-in features seem to surpass that of Shopify, without having to go get additional apps.

Big Cartel (full review here)

Big Cartel might not offer some of the features provided by their competitors, however, as I mentioned in the review, it feels as if they are catering towards a different set of customers. If you are looking to sell a few products to your clients and do not need all the features offered by competitors, then I would really consider giving Big Cartel a try.

If you are still uncertain about which platforms best fits your needs, then every company offers a free trial, and my suggestion is that you give these a shot before making your final decision. You can also read the individual reviews for each and for a more visual way of comparing them I suggest taking a look at my top 10 comparison chart.

Can you help me to create a shop using Shopify / Magento / WooCommerce / etc?

Yes I do work with experts in each of these shopping carts. Please fill out this form to make sure I will be able recommend you the right people to work with.


Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.

106 Responses

  1. I think something is wrong with this Shopify Pricing: $9 dollars. For me the Basic Plan is $29 or Do you have some promotion code? Thank you!

  2. Hello,

    I am an owner of the Vrinsoft in Melbourne Australia, and I have been developing e-commerce website, so my question is my client asking me a platform that has good speed to build an eommrce website, so please give me advice which will best in the comparison of speed.

    1. Hi Jay,

      We haven’t got the chance to do a comparative speed test on the platforms listed here, so I can’t say which one is the absolute best. What I can say is that speed shouldn’t be a problem for any of them.

      Bogdan – Editor at

  3. Hi,

    Loved your review. We are trying to setup an online shop for customised goods. What will happen is our customer needs to upload a photo, then through a software (which we haven’t developed yet) the photo will be edited (resized, color changed, etc.) and be displayed to the customer within seconds, then we they approve, the order will be finalised. My question is, do you know if any of these platforms will support such a customized-external plug-in? Thanks.

  4. Hi,
    I am going to launch a single product business. Which platform is the best?
    I am thinking of a wix website with buy button from shopify. Is it weird?

  5. I think shopify is better than others. I want to learn magento also. How can I learn magento ? Can anyone help me ?

  6. Thanks for all the work. We are an independent wholesale auto parts store that would like to get back into e-commerce. We hired someone to set up our site and they used woocommerce on wordpress. This site has generated 0 yeas ZERO sales in 18 months. We are looking at Shopify, Bigcommerce and volution. We have approx. 1200 different parts, and are novices with CSS and HTML, but we don’t want that to keep us from picking the best site for our needs. We are trying supplement our current business and grow. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Geoff,

      Starting with the cheapest plan, both Shopify and BigCommerce have no limits when it comes to number of products, file storage and bandwidth. Volusion is a bit behind, limiting the number of products and your bandwith depending on the plan you choose.

      I would recommend choosing between Shopify and BigCommerce, here are our full reviews:


      Bogdan – Editor at

      1. How long has it been since you evaluated these eCommerce platforms?
        It just seems that more recently I have noticed sites who use Shopify seem to have a lot more problems.. error messages that never seem to be resolved, etc.
        I am trying to select a new platform for my website and have pretty much crossed Shopify off my list due to all the troublesome sites I have encountered.
        I was using 3dCart.. but they do not treat their customers well at all. Considering BigCommerce if I can find a template that suits me.

  7. Hi Catalin
    This post is so helpful especially for people who know nothing about programming, and making website like me. I have fashion biz company, and joined alibaba for 2 years, but since they increase their price, I can’t afford it any longer. I am looking for e-commerce platform that suitable for my biz. Yea I also thinking about my shopify, but is it possible to join myshopify if I am going to sell as wholesaler – OEM service?

    this is really nice post! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Hey,
    Thanks for the post!! We are using Tictail for long time. It is working good till. Any suggestions for us.


  9. Hi,

    I was wondering if you could elaborate on some industry standards that us “newbies” are not familiar with. such as:
    1. Is there companies that have stock, and drop ship the product for us , so all we have to do is get the “click” sales, and the other distributor, or whatever send s the product. (much like amazon fulfillment, but using there own stock) – if these types of products do exist, what are they called? what is the terminology? I dont know how to look for options of businesses with that type of structure (vs having my own inventory, and no drop ship). – can you elaborate on this terminology, and what its commonly refereed to? is there a site that lists these types of vendors/distributors/ suppliers?

    2. If I choose to own all of my inventory, and warehouse the stock, and ship it out on my own, what software can help take the clicked order, and print out an invoice automatically, so I can ship it out with ease, much like amazon would i suppose.

    3. What other common knowledge basic differences are there? can you throw up a basic education in eCommerce options, and the step=>step process entailed? I think this would help immensely!

    Thank you,


  10. Guys, good review overall. However, I noticed a bit of a “bias” toward Shopify and was wondering whether that bias is purely driven by the advantages of that platform as you see it, or by other factors. No, I am not saying some of the information was incorrect, but at times the features were not fully highlighted to be compared fairly.
    For example: looking at the quick comparison table above, I would assume that Shopify is offering much better pricing plans compared to let’s say BigCommerce (starting from $9 for Shopify, and $29 for BigCommerce). In reality though, both Shopify and BigCommerce offer the store hosting plans starting from $29 (Shopify’s basic plan of $9 does not give you a storefront, only the “Buy” button, that you can integrate on your own site).
    Also, I found little info about important store functionality such as multi-channel support, price tiering etc. At least when it comes to these two features, I can see BigCommerce winning over Shopify:
    Tiered pricing allows you to set different price points / discounts to specific user groups (say regular customers vs distributors), or offer volume or event driven pricing changes. BigCommerce has this feature integrated with their plans, whereas Shopify relies on 3rd party plugins for that functionality, and at additional monthly fees.
    Multi-channel support (cross-sell the items from your storefront on ebay, Amazon, Facebook, etc) – comes integrated with BigCommerce at no additional cost, and is missing from the Shopify feature list. I talked to Shopify support and was told that while Amazon integration is coming soon, ebay has not been even announced yet.
    Disclaimer: I do not represent any of the above e-commerce companies, I am merely comparing the platforms to identify the one that is most optimal for my future store. At this moment, I am on the fence between Shopify and BigCommerce. Just thought a more fair overview of features would benefit us all.

    1. I am on the fence as well…I tried shopifys trial but not bigcommerce yet. I agree that the review seems a little one sided toward shopify

  11. Thanks for this incredibly useful and insightful resource for those of us interested in entering the world of e-commerce.
    I just wanted to note that at time of writing there appears to be an error in the URL linking to your Bigcommerce review; the link in the text: Bigcommerce (full review here) is to
    I believe the correct link is:

  12. Great article but do you have an updated version? I have a 3dcart store and they now offer an updated admin panel which looks similar to shopify and bigcommerce. Additionally their theme store has many new themes and I don’t believe they offer those old designs mentioned in the article. I would suggest doing a more recent article or updating the information if you have reviewed the platforms since the time you published this. Great job with the comparisons none the less.

    1. Hi Johnson,

      Thanks for letting us know, will make the modifications as soon as possible!

      Bogdan – Editor at

  13. Great article, I recommend to all mys clients the Shopify Platform, due to your flexibility, with the API you can extend and add new features.

  14. Bigcommerce and Shopify are great options for ecommerce website development. As a developer I worked on 4 of the above mentioned platforms I feel using Bigcommerce is very easy and reliable for ecommerce development.

  15. Hi,
    I got a problem in defining/finding keywords for the platform I’m looking for, can you help me?
    I once had a ‘micropayment’ platform selling one-time private accesses to specific urls, and I’m looking for something like that again.
    Meaning I built a page containing php/sql stuff, and the product on platform was selling the access to that page, securing it by generating a unique random code, verified then “burnt” upon arrival at said page (through a back-script from platform I had to include in the page’s code).
    This way, it ensured, well, one-time access to a private url, that I could use for various purposes after that.
    Is there still a platform doing that kind of stuff (potentially with paypal linkage). With generated codes or not, I don’t mind, I just need to sell secured access to private page somehow, even complicated ? What would be the keywords to look for such platforms ?
    Thanks a lot

  16. Hi, how does Shopify compare with Wix? Is there any particular reason as to why you did not include Wix for comparison in this article? Thanks.

  17. I Found interesting to read comparison of different ecommerce store,when it comes to ecommerce store fees, we have to renew monthly or annually,Please solve my doubts,

    1. Hi there, most of the services have a monthly fee but most of them offer a discount if you pay for a whole year in advance. Cheers!

  18. Hi,

    And thanks for your post. It was a very interesting comparison. I live in Japan and we don’t have very good platforms like the west for online sales. I’m pretty new to all the options that everyone is talking about. My big question if it sounds foolish, sorry, but which one do customers tend to gravitate to online the most? Who gets the most activity when it comes to customers finding what they are looking for? That is the big question I have with these platforms that I can’t seem to get answered. Yes, each site is its own and seo’s etc… But what do customers seem to be tapping into?

  19. Hi Catalin,
    So between Godaddy and shopify, which one would you say to go for. (sorry, I know Godaddy is not mentioned on here but i just wanted to know your thoughts)
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Angleica, Shopify and GoDaddy are two completely different products: Shopify is a complete ecommerce solution that allows you to set up an online store and GoDaddy is an Internet domain registrar and web hosting company. Hope this helps!

      1. Hi Bogdan,
        Thank you for this. Yes, i do know. Got my domain from Godaddy and was looking to start an online store. Noticed Godaddy have a product similar to ecommerce if not the same (called online store) and since I’m not entirely sure, I was looking to weigh it against that of shopify to see which one is better in terms of features and what it offers.
        Do you know of this product at all?
        Attached the link:
        Thanks a lot.

        1. Hi Angelica, I did a research and I would definitely recommend choosing Shopify. The templates available are more appealing, customization is much easier, there are more pricing plans, not to mention all the apps and extentions available in the Shopify App Store. You can check out our Shopify review for more info. Best.

          1. Hi Bogdan,
            thank you, for taking the time to answer. You’ve been very helpful 🙂
            I am leaning towards Shopify now, most of their themes are pretty clean looking at the demos.

  20. Is there any any SEO or traffic benefit for using any of the above stores as compared to own ecommerce store? I Know the SEO. I have my self-hosted store
    Opening another store on any of the above mentioned can benefit me further? I always wondered, if I should head to shopify and create a store over there. But then I think of how it draws traffic. Is it like Amazon, eBay etc or like own store that requires SEO?

  21. Enjoyed the overview of top platforms. Have had good success at Go Daddy. But I now want to develop different content new stores but not use Godaddy.
    It seems we should learn Word Press and Shopify. is excellent source of information.

  22. Good afternoon,
    First, thanks for the post, which is extremely useful and interesting.
    Second, I wanted to ask for help, because I want to create an online store and have some questions.
    I would like to have my own domain and I know that it is possible to buy it through the many e-commerce platforms that exist (eg. Shopiffy or big cartel). But I have heard that it is best to buy through platforms such as godaddy. What is your opinion and what is the difference?
    These sites to create online stores (eg Shopify) function as hosting right? In this case no need to buy the hosting, in another right site?
    I apologize for the issues, but would like to know a little more about domains and hosting and understand what the best alternative for me.

    Thank you


    1. Hi Marisa,

      You can purchase a domain name within Shopify, this will make administration and renewal easier since you have access to all settings from a single admin account. With BigCartel you’ll have to purchase your domain from a third-party service like GoDaddy or

      Hope this helps,

  23. Great post Catalin,
    But I should agree with some of the commenters above – Magento should probably be added to the list. Especially now, when there are plenty of tools that allow even non-techies to fully experience the platform. For example, Zoey is based on Magento and can be run/ managed by someone, who’s not a developer or a certified specialist.

  24. I used to sell through both Big Cartel and Magento and find BC more user friendly. It only lacks good reporting. I’m not very good with Google Analytics, would appreciate something easier where I could also control over my other channels, i.e. Facebook and Twitter. Is there anything like Compass but more complex?

  25. Anyone heard about DuckSell? I’m done with those crazy platforms, I want to sell directly on my website.

    1. for those who only need a simple business with limited options the Prestashop is indeed ok within its limits. Personally i think woocommerce, and shopify are perhaps the second choice to ecwid, but having been testing all the above platforms for some years now, i can say that for me at least, Ecwid is the only Option with the Power i need to run my online businesses. Shopify comes second but is much more expensive, and less mobile ready. It is also not yet ready for mobile and semantic seo, but Ecwid is at the forefront of new cutting edge web technologies, and constantly expanding its scope and ability to absorb all future technologies, api’s and so on..
      Prestashop is however not even 10% of the power-tool Ecwid is when it comes to seo, marketing, adding products to other marketplaces (Ebay, Amazon, wix, weebly, Faceboook, Blogger, WordPress)

  26. Prestashop is easy for beginners as well (IMHO) – not much of a learning curve for novices. There are plenty of online learning resources available and it has an active online community (for helping novices and experts alike). Other major pluses are that, it’s free (open source), facilitates the use of many modern looking templates and is supported by many hosting companies like Godaddy, Hostgator, etc.

  27. I currently use Ecwid and am considering switching to Shopify. The one thing I find hard, mostly because I am limited in my computer knowledge, is getting my products indexed on Google. Hoping that maybe the SEO with Shopify is better or at least easier! Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Emily,

      Yup Shopify is most certainly the easiest to use platform of the ones I’ve reviewed over the years. That includes managing the on-site aspects of SEO.

      Best of luck!

    2. Hello Emily!
      Wendy from Ecwid is here. We are sorry to learn that you faced difficulties with SEO in your Ecwid store.
      In general, Google can index Ecwid stores and you do not need programming skills to get your store indexed. For more details, refer to this post on our forums:
      Please, post here the link to your Ecwid store and I will inspect it. I will reach out to you via email shortly. Thank you!

    3. To Emily Elllingwood
      i have tried all the choices mentiuoned in this blog, and Ecwid is the only one that gets my products listed in google
      I use various methods because i own 5 Ecwid stores, and i can tell you, Shopify does not have half the power, and will end up twice as expensive.
      Ecwid is like a youtube embed code, and i have my store inserted into well over 30 websites
      The SEO is fantastic and much better than Shopify
      Most of my competitors use shopify and zen cart and magento, and they all dont come anywhere near me on first page.
      I would seriously reconsider changing from Ecwid to Shopify, or any other platform.
      If the SEo isnt working for you in Ecwid, then it is not Ecwid that is doing the wrong thing, its You (no offence intended). If you do the wrong thing with Ecwid, then Shopify won’t be any different
      The best way to seo anything is to make a single blog post or page about it and insert the product into the post
      but the store itself does get indexed, if it is inserted into an seo friendly page

  28. Really good article! I would add in that on Bigcommerce, the pro plan ($199.95) scales up to 1 million in revenue – so it’s entirely viable to put off a bump to a higher pricing plan. Phone support on Bigcommerce is also 24/7 save for the few times when they need to do a company meeting.

  29. I have read that WooCommerce is perfect for beginners. WordPress is so easy to use and WooCommerce is simply an extension of that. Customizing your site through WordPress is really simple due to the number of plugins available. Plus, WooCommerce has tutorial videos to help with the set up. But Magento’s interface is also really easy to use and it comes with tutorial videos and documentation. It has a full installation wizard too. However, Magento’s difficulty is increased when you want to start adding extensions to your site. In this instance, you might want to think about hiring a Magento-specialist developer.
    Please advise if you are familiar with both what to choose for small business – Magento or Woo-Commerce platform and why???

    1. If you are already familiar with WP, yeah it’s quite easy to use, but if you’re just starting out using a CMS, jumping straight to WooCommerce, the learning curve is a lot higher than using a native ecommerce solution like Shopify.

      Between WP and Magento, in terms of how easy it is to work with in the long term, I would go with WP + WooCommerce.

      Best of luck John!

  30. Any thoughts on Soldsie or Spreesy which treats social media accounts as a sales channel? It seems risky to have a third-party take email address comments to send an invoice, though it’s convenient.

  31. Shopify has a lot of ongoing charges that are NOT obvious at first glance. For starters they charge 1.4% + 30c on all credit cards and this is in addition to the usual bank credit card charges. If your store trades $500,000 per year which is not that high you will pay $7000 per year and that’s not including the 30c per transaction fee.

    To make matter worse they offer no way to charge extra for certain payment methods like amex or paypal and if you put shopify as a POS system instore you will be charged a fee on EVERY transaction even if your customers pay cash. Shopify does mention their fees clearly but they don’t mention that these credit card fee’s DO NOT replace the bank charges. So you need to pay credit card fees twice, once to your bank and once to shopify.

    Im not saying shopify is a bad product, they offer a very good product which is fine for small businesses with low turn over or people with no computer skills but for me these costs are not sustainable in a very competitive market. My suggestion is go with a platform like Prestashop. Its more expensive upfront but has no ongoing costs.

  32. I am glad you mentioned the dramatic increase in cost for higher revenue stores on BigCommerce. I am one of the long-time BigCommerce customers who is now leaving for Shopify because of the pricing increase. As far as I can tell, BigCommerce has nothing over Shopify in terms of service that would justify spending four times as much per month. There are some annoying switching costs in terms of time, effort, and template purchase, but it seems well worth it to me. And Shopify has some features (buy now on Pinterest, etc) that people have been asking for at BigCommerce for months and months to no avail. Anyway, we’ll see how it goes, but so far I’m pleased with what Shopify has to offer me in comparison to BigCommerce.

  33. Glad I ran across this article. Familiar with a couple of them, although we use woocommerce for WordPress was thinking about trying Shopify or BigCommerce for a potential new client. All the comments are extremely helpful in deciding, Thanks so much for sharing!

  34. I found this article because I am looking for a better platform. We have been on BigCommerce for nearly 4 years now. In general it is a decent platform but it has MANY flaws. As we have grown, these flaws are becoming more and more apparent.

    Most frustrating has been the CONTINUED promises without any being achieved in the shipping module.

    Frankly I have found Bigcommerce to have become increasingly ARROGANT!!! They more or less forced us off GOOD credit card processors in favor of their “favorite” because they cut a deal with them. That CC processor being WORLDPAY. Worse, they did so by embedding Worldpay personnel at BigCommerce and sent out information that was misleading, and made it look like the old processor was not going to be supported. Very sleazy.

    Having gone to the recommended CC processor Worldpay…it has been nothing short of HELLISH…they are HORRIBLE and its as if you are dealing with a “mickey mouse” company.

    We’ve been so peeved by that, that we’ve been wanting to leave ever since, but as you all would understand, moving to another platform or CC processor is not exactly an easy task for a small business.

    However… I was given notice that BC is changing policies and was given 60 days notice that my monthly fee is rising nearly 250%

    That is the LAST STRAW!!!!

    Too many bugs, too many flaws, TOO MANY PROMISES and they have become TOO ARROGANT and have forgotten about their customers who put them where they are.

    So long BigCommerce!

  35. If customer service is at all important to you, then I would stay away from 3DCart. I have been working on a issue with them since October 2015 and it is still broken. It is very important for me to be able to import my orders into my accounting system. They often don’t even respond to inquiries. My boss which has been with them for many years says the support has always been terrible.

    1. Same here. And if there’s one thing that’s a deal breaker for me, it’s a bad support system. Nothing is more frustrating than when you have an issue and no one replies to your ticket! It’s not like I expect an instantaneous response, but I think a response within 24 hours should be more or less mandatory.

  36. Thank you for your time and efforts here!!! I do have a question to ask which it will be essential for my selection.
    Are there any eCommerce platforms aimed at dynamic database/live feed from supplier that you recommend for larger quantities of products (1000+)?

  37. Hi Catalin,

    Great summary of the differences, pros & cons of the various platform. It has been very helpful to me while I have been researching the various hosted platforms!

    One question though. How did you compile (or where did you get) the info for where Shopify is gaining clients from/ losing them to?

    Thanks again!


  38. I’ve been using volusion for the past 6 months and I feel like I’m getting nowhere. Thanks for the article. I think its finally time to give shopify a try. I need something much more user friendly. I just wanna sell my clothes. I’m not an IT expert and I don’t want to waste time trying to be one.

  39. Thanks for this great post. I think nowadays most of people 1st choice is Magento or Shopify Platform.
    Both are user-friendly & SEO friendly platfrom

  40. Thanks for this comparison! Its useful to see the statistic and read about the usability before committing to a platform!

  41. We prefer to use Magento for our clients for several reasons, let us list some of the reasons:

    a. Magento platform is an effective e-commerce platform for customized websites.
    b. Lots of templates available and easy to modify.
    c. Several easy to use plugins available.
    d. From the conversion rate optimization point of view can be customized as per testing results. (as a conversion optimization specialist we tests before we implement)
    and many more.

    Overall, thank you for sharing such a wonderful comparative analysis for different eCommerce platforms.

  42. Great and timely article. I have been with 3D cart for about 3 years and am beginning the search for a more mature company. I will be checking the companies mentions. Thanks!

  43. Hey there,

    Wow, that’s a nice analysis. Perhaps, it’s the most detailed one. Helped a lot. I think, I should expand my business to all the mentioned platforms though.


  44. Hi!

    Thanks for this article.
    I have a question – how important do you think the 24/7 customer support is?

    I am and have been using Tictail for about 1,5 years and I really love their community and their webshop solutions. They go kind of big on their community feeling – with meet ups, blogs, pop up shops etc. You should really look in to it and consider writing about them too:)

    Thanks for a good article!

    1. Hi there, thanks for pointing that out, will definitely add Tictail to our site.

      Re: your question I think support is crucial but you should test everything not listen to advice from ppl who don’t know anything about your business 🙂

  45. Magento Community Edition is a great way to get started but is generally aimed at larger retailers who need more flexibility with their code.

  46. In my opinion Magento is one of the best and noticeable CMS for developing an eCommerce website. Magneto is essentially an open-source (only community edition) PHP and MySQL based feature enriched platform. It has a wide range of template system and can empower your website with an impressive range of functionalities. The primary benefit with Magento is its flexibility that let you have complete control on your e-business. The extreme scalability of Magento further ensures that, as per your business growth you can create additional resources in your Ecommerce site.

  47. I think it is better to have something like shopify thats ready to go dealing with html and css is not easy and requires time so it is better to go with shopify and bigcommerce

  48. I am also suggested Magento is the best platform for E commerce. Some reasons why magento?

    Magento Does Not Penalize You For Growing Bigger
    Easy To Integrate Third Party Apps
    Freedom To Choose Hosting Service
    Modular And Customizable
    Fast. Really Fast.
    Built For SEO

    1. I think you misunderstood the idea of this post.
      He was comparing platform ready to go, not custom solutions you need to build yourself to get it running.

      To archieve what you described in Magento you have to hire some company to:
      Install, to start using.
      Upgrade, if you get bigger.
      Pay: to migrate between hosting services
      Get advanced knowledge to customize.
      Backup, etc.

  49. We have been trying for several days to import an excel spreadsheet into Shopify and with 5 different support members we are no further ahead. The gurus that provide 24/7 support are simply other shop-owners taking calls from home to uphold the 24/7 but most with limited or no knowledge. ( I knew more after 1 day of reading the material online than 4 of 5 gurus I connected with.. to give you an idea) So if you go with Shopify – be prepared to figure things out on your own…

  50. Why would you not include Magento on this list? It’s hard to take the comparison seriously without it including the leading e-commerce solution.

    1. Hi Gizamo, Magento is a very powerful ecommerce CMS, but we’re only discussing ecommerce platforms that can be used by anyone to build an online store. As you know, Magento is aimed at experienced developers, and Magento Go will shut down in a few months. For the full list of reviewed platforms please check out my comparison chart:

      1. what do you mean magento will shutdown? Magento already lunched Magento2 in 2015. And Magento will stop support for Magento1 in 2018. And ofcourse he will stop support because if he will not stop support for Magento1 Most poeple will stay with Magento1

          1. Hi Bogdan, I have a question that I’d like to contact you directly about. I’ve tried using the contact page instructions, but haven’t receive a response. Is there a good contact address for you? Thanks in advance for your help. 🙂

    2. People who want to get their shop up and running fast don’t have time to learn a technology and deal with it’s headaches. I know Drupal but after fighting with it to build a decent store for months, I was able to very quickly build a shop in Shopify. How quickly? 4 days. Yes, including beautiful theme, products, variants, discount prices, inventory etc.

    3. Second that, there is no excuse to dismiss the nr1 used eCommerce solution Magento Community to even Magento Enterprise. Even with the difficulty (which is not difficult at all to setup plus enterprise…), you cant just go past something like that in a blog called top6 ecommerce platforms on a website. Unless there is a personal reason…

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