5 Leading Ecommerce Platforms – Shopify vs Volusion vs Bigcommerce vs Big Cartel vs 3dcart Review 2017

By February 20, 2017 Articles
5 Leading Ecommerce Platforms

5 Leading Ecommerce Platforms: In a marketplace as flooded as the e-commerce arena – it can be really challenging to figure out which of the existing online shopping providers will best attend to your requirements. If you are thinking about launching your own e-store, then it is likely that you have already met with such struggles. At this point – I have reviewed these very popular ecommerce solution providers and now is the moment to see how the various platforms compare to one another: Volusion vs Shopify vs Bigcommerce vs 3dcart versus Big Cartel.

Peradventure you are in a rush, below are some links to our leading ecommerce platforms for you to select from:

Ecommerce Platform Logo Price from (a month) Overall rating
Shopify Shopify $9 10 / 10
Bigcommerce Bigcommerce $29.95 9.5 / 10
Volusion Volusion $15 8 / 10
Big Cartel Big Cartel $0 8.5 / 10
3dcart 3dcart $19.99 8 / 10


Which among these Ecommerce platforms is Most Standard/Popular?

If you have looked for an ecommerce provider to run your online shop – you probably have come across at least a few of these we are contrasting for now. Though their popularity or standard shouldn’t be the ultimate motivating element to make a decision, it’s surely worth discussing – considering when a lot of folks lean to a particular choice/solution, as we believe that it’s for a purpose.

Well mentioned, if you view a contrast on Google trends, Shopify picks the winning cup in terms of what individuals are looking for & how many folks are putting interest in the 5 popular ecommerce providers:


With the 3dcart provider – it has always been at least point – in terms of Google trend reports. It’s exciting to note that Bigcommerce has made a current move – past the previous 2nd place competitor Big Cartel, & we are sure it has to do with several of the alterations Bigcommerce has executed over the last few years.

Let’s peep into some other Google Trends comparison – a much marginally broader one:


What you observe there – is a chart displaying the (interest over time) – for Shopify against 3 open-source behemoth in the e-commerce arena. Shopify in blue! You should take note of the implausible rise to fame that the platform has been undergoing since year 2008. Before then, Magento & WooCommerce were known to run the space, but the games have evolved. The period – June-July 2016 was the moment that Shopify took the leading space – & is now the most popular ecommerce platform in the marketplace.

Whatever Google Trend contrast we peep into, Shopify is keeping its winning feat as the clear leader with respect to popularity. Possibly the Shopify pricing system has something to do with this.

In clearer view, one shouldn’t make a decision based chiefly on popularity, as I would point out why Shopify is a winner & Bigcommerce is slowly uprising.

Some other way to evaluate popularity is to link it with where merchants head to once they abandon a particular ecommerce platform/provider. The motive this is exciting is because it offers you an indicator of which of the providers are keeping up with technologies and have made improvements in attracting more clients. A swift market-share hunt on Shopify reveals that the Shopify firm is gaining most of its clients from folks leaving Big Cartel & Volusion, and then that Shopify is losing several of its clients to Bigcommerce, making it an indicator that Bigcommerce is really head-to-head with Shopify as it offers newer features & marketing advantages.

Shopify Chart


Ease of usage

If you are an online store owner who is equally just a beginner – then there is actually nothing as vital as ease of usage. It doesn’t matter if the ecommerce provider delivers the most outstanding features, once you do not easily comprehend how to utilize them, then it is as good as not being useful.

The one thing that the entire platforms share in comparison is the fact about their dashboards – which is simple to navigate. Additionally, majority of the platforms deliver some kind of a setup wizard that will help guide an end-user thru the creation of his or her first store online. Inventory administration, design functionality & the setup procedure all fit within how the general ease of usage is categorized in this content.


Shopify is quite great here when it comes to easy setup, and has a handy dashboard area for swiftly putting together items/products, customizing site appearance & so much more. This is great since Shopify demands from you – if you plan on migrating from some other platform during the signup stage. The system then offers you a link for importing items/products from your earlier store.

Shopify Dashboard

Putting together or adding a product/item is very simple & clear, with provision of fields for titles, pricing, and descriptions, among others. The reason I feel this is much simpler/easier to utilize than Volusion & other choices – is because it really explains what every field stands for – eliminating all doubt when typing in info.

Shopify Add Products

Try Shopify


We did mention a bit of how easy it is to utilize Volusion above; however it’s worth noting that the platform has a fairly clean product/item creation region. It might not be as cool as Shopify, but it sure does pull the ropes. The big issue is that you require going back in & modifying the layout or design of your store pages as coding skill is almost a sure necessity.

Volusion Add New Product

Try Volusion


The 3dcart product/item setup page is the oldest-looking of the group. Though its module is not confusing; however its junky design makes you assume if they have been updated it in a while.

3dcart delivers awesome tutorials/guide & setup hints to help an end-user do everything from choosing a theme/template to setting up your shipping/delivery options. Its neat wizard is great for newbies.

3dCart Add New Product

Another 3dcart advantage is the drag & drop editor that is not actually the best in the marketplace but helps you click & drag elements – rather than having to modify HTML/CSS code. If you’re a newbie with no experience in design, this is a huge drawback – as you do not need to settle for the preset template designs & it does not need going in there to modify any code for a basic modification.

3DCart Sample Store

Try 3DCart

Big Cartel

Big Cartel delivers the least visually-friendly region for startup – as it isn’t apparent what one should do right when you arrive at the page & for some motives – the text doesn’t truly make an impression that much.

BigCartel Get Started

Big Cartel is lacking in a drag & drop editor as you will locate within 3dcart, however the customization is not the worst on earth. All of your design-elements are positioned to the left area, which is cool – but the tools are a bit weak, & anything more than this needs some coding experience.

BigCartel Live Preview

Try Big Cartel


Next in line to Shopify, is Bigcommerce – which has the cleanest dashboard & clearest guides for getting your online store up within a few seconds. Obviously – its dashboard looks strikingly akin to Shopify – with features for accepting credit cards, customizing your e-store & much more.

BigCommerce Dashboard

There are coding options accessible within Bigcommerce, & the design elements are quite useful – but I would better have a drag & drop editor, which is lacking within the Bigcommerce platform.

BigCommerce Style Editor

Try Big Commerce


For several folks – pricing is an essential element – not only when considering what platform to utilize – but in overall as they go thru life. In my opinion, I feel if you have to invest so much of your time & energy in creating your own online store – then there should be more essential elements than having to save a dollar on price for a platform.

Company Cheapest Middle Most Expensive
Shopify $9 $29 $299
Bigcommerce $29.95 $79.95 $900+ *
Volusion $15 $35 $135
Big Cartel $0 $19.99 $29.99
3dcart $9.99 $35.99 $99.99


As you can observe from the table up – the least costly plan provided within any of the platforms is without doubt provided by Big Cartel. Overall – when viewing Big Cartel pricing – you can find that even their most costly plan cost as that of middle plan with Shopify or the least priced with Bigcommerce.

When you view the least t pricing tier, should you overlook Big Cartel, then you can find that Shopify delivers the least priced plan, while 3dcart comes as 2nd place, then Volusion, & then Bigcommerce.

In my view, what it really comes down to is if you are seeking to market only a few items/products or a vast volume of products/items, as well as what platforms delivers the features you want at considerable pricing.

It’s also worth citing that Shopify is the best for those online stores that look forward to scaling up rapidly – as it offers the functionality to truly manage vast volume of traffic & transform your site into something really great.

Take note that Bigcommerce has made some current modifications with its pricing system – making it hard for businesses to scale up with it. When you begin to hit over $125,000 in sales, Bigcommerce will force you to switch to its Enterprise plan package. From reports as indicated by our readers, this raises your rates to about $900 to $1,500 monthly. It’s still not clear how this will impact businesses that plan on staying in the lesser tiered pricing packages, but one thing is sure and that is customers that exceed some revenue points will not be happy with Bigcommerce. I will place them at the bottom of this listing – if your business will end up with one of the most costly packages.

Well mentioned – if you require a basic, small store, the less costly Shopify or Volusion platforms will do just perfect.


To be frank – design matters a lot and everyone knows that if the design doesn’t look appealing to a visitor – then chances are that they will shop elsewhere. Recall what I mentioned within one of the reviews – that should your web store layout appear terrible even if you sell awesome products, chances are shoppers won’t look at the products.

In case you need a platform that delivers some of the best & professional looking templates/themes, you should genuinely be eyeing for Shopify, as it beats every other platform with respect to superior themes.


Contrasted with Shopify & Bigcommerce, the pack of themes provided by 3dcart or Big Cartel shouldn’t even be discussed in the same line. In fact, Bigcommerce templates/themes are truly remarkable, and as of March 2016, it released about 67 fresh responsive themes/templates going between $145 and $235. These are accessible thru the theme store, & these were developed to inaugurate a more contemporary, fluid user-experience, using cool new marketing elements for classification & diverse sized catalogs.


While 3dcart does provide loads of themes/templates, when you view closer – you will realize most of them are duplicates. And to mention, 3dcart themes aren’t really up to date in looks. In short, one could debate that some of the themes look exactly like they are from the 90s, with layouts that are fixed, strange colors & cluttered interfaces.


On the other hand – Big Cartel only provides a total of 9 templates/themes (as seen below). This is quite undesirable, as distinct branding is a large part of marketing on the web. Additionally, the theme store is only shown in a little area to the left side of where you can alter your website, making it near difficult to see data on each theme/template or even view what the completed products would appear like.


While you might assume that the volume of themes/templates provided by a platform isn’t much a great deal, you need to recall that if your store is lacking in uniqueness, such as having same theme that looks like 100 other stores online, then shoppers or visitors will be fast to attribute such to poor quality management by the e-store owner. Such situation will more likely prompt them to exit your site without even giving you a fair chance.

Apps & Add-ons

If you are seeking for a platform that offers a vast collection of apps & add-ons – then you should really consider Shopify or Bigcommerce, as these deliver over 100 diverse apps & add-ons that can simply be incorporated within your online store. Another choice would be to sign-up with 3cart that also provides access to apps & add-ons, although, it doesn’t deliver as many as Shopify or Bigcommerce.


Some other thing to consider – would be how easy it is to search for the apps & add-ons, bearing in mind you likely own a few items/products that you wish to add to your store. Likely you require an automated email receipt option or an app that helps you create a loyalty program. With Bigcommerce & Shopify – you can filter, search & browse thru categories when you have need for a specific app. The other e-commerce providers either make it really challenging to achieve or the functionality is not provided.


If access to extra apps & add-ons are essential – then I won’t advice signing up with either Big Cartel or Volusion. Volusion offers a total of just one app, while Big Cartel doesn’t offer any apps.

Customer Support

The possibilities are you will require support at some point in your online store venture – as it is essential to be familiar with the diverse support offered by the providers.

Shopify & 3dcart both provide 24/7 support via phone together with chat & email. Bigcommerce provides 24/7 email & chat support, though, their phone support is a bit time limiting.

The one provider that doesn’t seem to go with phone or chat-support is Big Cartel that only provides email support, & what’s more – they only do so between Monday and Friday and from 9AM to 6PM EST.

Shopify Customer Support

Thus if you seek for a provider that delivers awesome client support at all time – you should give Shopify & 3dcart a try.

All of the providers we are discussing have knowledge bases which let you search a topic & find if someone else has tackled & addressed it in the past. In my view – this is one of the best support pointers anyone can get – as it lets you to resolve an issue while likely sitting on the phone and waiting for a customer support rep.

Although these all have the knowledge bases, together with blogs, FAQs & other essential documentation, BigCommerce & Shopify have the most number of users, making them far grander with respect to knowledge base content. Why is this so? The answer is easy; and that’s since more people are discussing them – by default, more queries have been asked & more answers have been posted.

More head to head comparisons

Shopify VS. Magento

Shopify VS. BigCommerce

Shopify VS. Volusion

Shopify VS. Squarespace

Shopify VS. WooCommerce

Final Notes and Remarks

It really doesn’t matter how much contrasts among providers that you read online, as there is only one individual that knows what platform best suits and offers precisely what you need, & that person is you. What this all means – is to choose the ideal platform that will allow you sell the products/items you offer in the best possible ways for both you as an online store owner & for your customers.

Based on my suggestions above, you should feel free to visit any one or all of the links below to find out more of what each platform provides you. I strongly advice beginning with a free trial with at least 2 of the providers – so that you can play around with each & find out which one suits and feels easiest for you.


Ecommerce Platform Logo Price from (a month) Overall rating
Shopify Shopify $9 10 / 10
Bigcommerce Bigcommerce $29.95 9.5 / 10
Volusion Volusion $15 8 / 10
Big Cartel Big Cartel $0 8.5 / 10
3dcart 3dcart $19.99 8 / 10


All said, I feel there are a few elements that you require to take into consideration prior to taking your final decision. To make the decision a bit simpler – I will break this down into few fast paragraphs for each of the platforms.

Shopify – full review here

There is a basic reason why Shopify stays as the leader on the comparison table. Not only does this provider deliver certain amazing features – it offers topnotch themes. I wouldn’t have an issue recommending Shopify to anyone considering to get started in the ecommerce niche.

Bigcommerce – full review here

The dissimilarities between Bigcommerce & Shopify are quite subtle – as there are certain features provided by this platform that Shopify doesn’t provide & vice versa. If you do not mind some learning – then possibly this is the ideal platform for you.

Volusion – full review here

When considering if to utilize Volusion or not to, it certainly boils down to one very basic option. Do you feel relaxed editing HTML/CSS code in order to optimize template? If you find it cool – then Volusion is likely the ideal platform for you, or-else I would really recommend considering Shopify or Bigcommerce.

3dcart – full review here

3dcart does not provide as much features as Shopify or Bigcommerce, though – the platform is quite user-friendly. One issue I do have with 3dcart – is the fact that they deliver a limited volume of original themes/templates, as I did discuss that several of their themes are duplicates.

Big Cartel – full review here

Big Cartel might not deliver some of the best features provided by other competitors; however, as discussed within this content review, it looks like they focus on a different set of clients. If you are considering marketing a few items/products to your shoppers & do not require all the features delivered by other competitors, this will be a cool option to try out.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.

In case you are yet unsure of what provider suits your requirements – then each of them provides you a free trial, & my advice would be to give these a shot before taking your last decision.


An enthusiastic Marketer and eCommerce Professional, I’ve started this project to help others make the best choice when it comes to chose the right eCommerce Platform. Check out my top 10 ecommerce website builders.

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