Bandwidth Evaluation – 3D Cart vs Volusion

Most e-commerce platform reviews are awful – they’re based on subjective criteria like customer service and ease of use. I’ve been wanting to do some comparisons and reviews on e-commerce platforms for a while now, but I didn’t know where to start – until I got these stats on a large e-commerce store transitioned from Volusion to 3D Cart just over a month ago.

Writing is exhausting enough already, and I do a lot of it every day. When I consider the possibility of my reviews getting pretty lengthy, and that not many people would read them, I’m not left with too much motivation.

For these reasons, I am pleased to present these very brief, objective, and real statistics on a client’s transition from Volusion to 3D Cart.

bandwidth-report

Volusion: October 2012 – 1.10 million pageviews

$499.00 – Volusion Semi-Dedicated-Premium
Included Bandwidth: 75 GB
Bandwidth Overage Fee: $4.00 per GB
Bandwidth Use: 196 GB
Overage: 120 GB
Overage Fee: $482.40
AWS CloudFront Use: 35 GB
$499.00 plus $482.40 overage = $981.40

3D Cart: November 2012 – 1.21 million pageviews

$499.99 – 3D Cart Dual Dedicated
Included Bandwidth: 200 GB
Bandwidth Overage Fee: $5.00 per GB
Bandwidth Use: 122 GB
Overage: 0 GB
Overage Fee: $000.00
AWS CloudFront Use: 20 GB
$499.00 plus $000.00 overage = $499.00

Evaluation

Note that with Volusion in October the store had less pageviews and more content served from the cloud, but used more bandwidth. How can that be?

Code

More specifically – we have 100,000 more pageviews on 3D Cart, but less about 38% less bandwidth use. Looks like a typo, right? It’s not.

I attribute this to Volusion’s code-heavy software core that has remained largely unchanged since the inception of its most modern iteration – Volusion V5 – about 8 years ago. Actually, “unchanged” may not be the correct term; “Not modernized” may be more accurate. The software has changed, but the core of the platform hasn’t seen much progress in my opinion. 3D Cart’s platform is coded more tightly with less superfluous clutter, and utilizes templates that aren’t based on tables inside tables inside tables like Volusion.

Price

Take a second and third look at the comparison above. Go ahead. The numbers don’t lie – that’s nearly $500 in savings found each and every month by switching to 3D Cart. Think about what an extra $500 a month can do for your small business. You could pocket it, sure, but you could also use it to purchase a nice Mailchimp e-mail campaign, pay for hands-off shipping automation, buy a high-end product review management package, set up your own cloud CDN, and STILL have a couple hundred dollars a month left over to enhance your online presence even further.

Why the disparity?

I dislike bandwidth overage fees, but right now they’re a necessary evil in the industry. I understand that every cart provider can’t offer an unlimited bandwidth option like Shopify, but I really, really dislike bandwidth overage fees like Volusion’s that – in my eyes – seem unnecessarily high. It almost feels like Volusion is keeping their bandwidth offerings low so that their customers can continue to pay large and consistent monthly overage fees – the same tactic that wireless phone companies used to rake in overage fees so many years ago. Maybe that’s how the Volusion Marketing Machine is funded.

Global averages for response time – this company’s response time dropped by half a second overnight after switching from Volusion to 3D Cart.

Meanwhile, I continue to be pleased with the service, speed, reliability, and features of 3D Cart. Even if you’re strictly focused on money and the abovementioned qualities are of no concern to you, 3D Cart is very clearly the winning solution when compared to Volusion. The numbers don’t lie and the savings might make a significant impact in the success of your small business.

If you’re interested in learning more about either of these platforms, or about how you can utilize cloud services to control bandwidth use, get a hold of me through my contact page.

About Dean Peckenpaugh

Dean offers small business consulting services at DeanP, LLC - specializing in e-commerce and operations. Visit the contact page to request a consultation.