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The Ultimate E-commerce Software Comparison

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There is a huge proliferation of e-commerce software (over 400 e-commerce solutions). Therefore it is hard to make the right choice.

To make the choice even harder many of these suppliers of e-commerce software offer multiple packages with different features and prices.

We thought that can be made easier! EcommerceIncome tested a great number of these e-commerce software packages on their ease of use and features. Six of the best tested SaaS solutions were compared on the basis of their features, price and integrations. For each provider we chose the package with the best value for the starting e-commerce entrepreneur.

The e-commerce software comparison

How to use this comparison: It is hard to indicate “YES” or “NO” for every feature. Take for example the search feature: all software includes a search feature but the search results vary per provider. For that reason we recommend to choose 2 providers, register a free trial with them and test the features that you find most important.

 = Not available.           = Available + Free.         € XX = Available + Paid.         Last update: 27-02-2015.

 

General

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Monthly fee $ 29,95 € 49,- $ 29,- $ 29,95 $ 35,99 $ 35,-
Transaction Fees 1.5 % 0 % 2 % 0 % 0 % 0 %
Free Trial
Contract period Monthly 1 year Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly
Discount for annual plans 10% N/A 10% 8% 15% 10%/
Discount for bi-annual plans N/A N/A 20% 17% N/A N/A
Number of products Unlimited 250 Unlimited Unlimited 1000 1000
Storage 5GB Unlimited 1GB 1 GB Unlimited Unlimited
Traffic Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 2 GB 4 GB 3 GB
Domainname via software
External Domain name
Email addresses 2 Unlimited forwarding to own addresses 2 multiple
Sales statistics
Add extra online stores
Online software (SAAS)

Security

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Standard SSL-connection  (to be purchased)  (to be purchased)  (to be purchased)
Own SSL-connection
Daily back-up
Make back-ups yourself

Accounting

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Print off PDF invoices
QuickBooks  app available   starting at 9$/mo 15$/mo. 15$/mo.
Export administration XML/CSV/XLS

Google

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Analytics
Google Adwords
Google Shopping

Affiliate marketing

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Own affiliate programme Many apps available (130 marketing apps, which includes affiliate marketing and referral apps)  (iDevAffiliate)
BCA Affiliate Tracker From 14.99/mo
Affilinet
Daisycon
TradeTracker
Webgains
Zanox (M4N)

Referrals by customers

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Refferify From 4.99/mo
Referral Candy From 15$/mo From 15$/mo From 15$/mo From 15$/mo

Email marketing

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Own newsletter programme  (Mailchimp integrated)  (Mailchimp integrated)
Campaign Monitor Third-party Integration possible €4,95 App available
MailChimp €4,95 App available; first 2000 subscriptions free 10$/mo.

Comparison Sites

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Make own feeds
Datafeedwatch app 29$/mo 29$/mo 29$/mo 29$/mo 29$/mo
Retailtower app
Product feeds by Yahoo app 9$/mo 9$/mo
Beezup app From 59.99€
Bizrate/Shopzilla/Beso
Nextag
PriceGrabber
Shopping.com/MySimon
Amazon
Ebay 15$/mo
Beslist
Ciao
FashionChick
Google Shopping
Kelkoo
LeGuide
Shopmania
Twenga

When you have the option “make own feeds” you can in principle always link your online store with most if not all comparison sites named above. Another option is an app like Retailtower or Datafeedwatch (check whether they include the comparison sites you will use).

Customer Service

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Own chat 15$/mo
CoBrowser HTML Snippets
Zopim App – from free to $ HTML Snippets App – from 0-20$/mo
ROBIN App from 5$/mo
Zendesk App – from 20$/year App 1-195$/mo
LivePerson
Olark 17$/operator

Social media

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Facebook Like products
Twitter Tweet products
Google +1 products
Facebook store
Facebook store
including check-out on Facebook

Reviews

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Own reviews
eKomi
Kiyoh
Trustpilot
Yotpo

Doing Business Abroad

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Multiple languages
Czech
Danish
German
English
French
Greek
Hungarian
Italian
Norwegian
Polish
Portugese
Romanian
Russian
Spanish
Swedish
Turkish
Show Payment methods per country
B2B VAT configurations *
Modify Currency **

* Payment of VAT can be transferred for foreign companies. Prices can also be shown without VAT.

** Prices in EUR are automatically showed with the current value in the country’s currency.

Shopping Cart

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
1 page check-out Possible
Allow checking out as guest
Persistent Shopping Cart Session
Abandoned Cart Recovery (sending automated emails) Paid apps available

SEO

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Friendly urls
Meta description per product
Modify meta title per product
Change URL yourself
Configure URL redirects *

* When you don’t sell a product anymore but the page is still high in Google you can redirect the visitor and the PageRank to another page.

Handy extra features

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
API (application programming interface:make your own links/interface)
APP Store
Theme Store
Blog
Richsnippets
Coupon Codes
Shopping Cart Discount
Gift Cards
Free product as a gift
Add gift wrap
Customer Account
Age Check
Favicon
Search feature
Youtube
Configure minimum transaction value
Related products App, per use App, from 9.99$
Related products in shopping cart App, per use App, from 9.99$ Paid App
Bulk discounts for products App, from 16.99$
Complies with EU Cookie law (out of the box)
Update SMS to administrator App – 0-10$ / per use
Update SMS to customers App from 25$/mo App – 0-10$ / per use

Export

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Packing slips PDF
Stock XML/CSV/XLS
Products XML/CSV/XLS

Lay-out

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
Standard lay-outs
Number of standard lay-outs 44 + 50 58 30 100+ 429
Of which free standard lay-outs 16 7 11 30 50+ 76
Modify lay-out via CSS
Modify lay-out via Editor
Full own lay-out
Automatic mobile lay-out (Some of the paid premium templates are)

Support

BigCommerce
Silver
SEOshop
Medium
Shopify
Entrepreneur
Pinnacle Cart
Start Up
3d Cart
Starter
Volusion
Plus
24/7 Email
24/7 Phone


  Popularity doesn’t tell everything, but it does say a lot. Shopify is by far the most popular SaaS solution around. Bigcommerce took over from Volusion as a second. Other carts, such as 3d cart, Pinnacle cart and SEOshop (which is a good solution for the European market) don’t even come close to Volusion and Bigcommerce. Still, they have their advantages which made us include them.  

In terms of popularity this graph may show that open-source solutions such as Magento and Woocommerce are ahead of SaaS solutions. We recommend SaaS for the starting e-commerce entrepreneur (and also for the advanced e-commerce entrepreneur seeking to set up his/her online store quickly!). Moreover, open source is hard to compare as it can be fully adapted (and it doesn’t have anything “standard” or “out-of-the-box”.)

Conclusion EcommerceIncome

It is a close call with Shopify winning and Bigcommerce a close second

SEOshop is not in the same league as Shopify and BigCommerce, as the company behind it is much smaller. It has distinct advantages, however, and is our preferred e-commerce solution for Europe.

Shopify is the most popular platform. This is for a reason and comes with advantages such as unrivaled support and documentation from both the Shopify team and third-party experts (a lot of third-party apps). The themes are excellent and there are many designers who can help you modify or even create your own theme. On the design side Shopify beats BigCommerce.

BigCommerce is more complete out of the box, and you will find that there are less apps you have to pay extra for. BigCommerce is developing rapidly. For now we would still name Shopify the overall winner and BigCommerce the runner-up.

Forget our opinion. Again, all six are top-class both with regards to features and possibilities. In short, excellent e-commerce software! I recommend you to pick two or three you like most so far, and register for a free trial to see what works best for you. Click on the logos below to go to the Ecommerce Software websites.

Also read our in-depth reviews on all six SaaS e-commerce solutions compared here, as well as our reviews of a couple open source platforms, here.

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