Volusion vs. Bigcommerce — Product Import

Have you noticed that most Bigcommerce and Volusion websites have hundreds and hundreds of products within their store? Certainly creating each product one by one would take a life time, so how do they do it? Both Volusion and Bigcommerce has the option to import excel sheets in a .csv format. There has been arguments about which ecommerce import is easier and more efficient. I personally think Volusion has a better system than Bigcommerce. Below I’ve provided basic but important topics that you must notice before decided for yourself which import you like the best.

Product sheet headers
The first thing I would like to discuss is Product sheet headers because I feel that the product sheet headers are an important part in the product import process. When using Bigcommerce your able to have anything in those headers and still be able to import, the problem with this is that if you have any amount of headers you need to confirm that either Bigcommerce or you has placed them in the appropriate field in the second step. If there fields are not in the correct place your import may error and cause problems. Volusion on the other hand has unique id’s for each table, this doesn’t just help with the import, it helps with organization within your sheet.

Multiple .csv import sheets and tables
Bigcommerce uses two sheets, one for sku’s the other for everything else involving products. The down fall to system is there is no way to import product options, the only thing that is product related while importing is what option set is assigned to each product, this means if you have 100 products with different options it will take you a life time of preparation. Volusion has multiple tables that you can import into, each table has its own sheet and unique id’s that goes with it. This breaks the data up keeping everything clean and organized. The only downfall to volusions product import is that it all of the sheets could be overwhelming for a new user jumping into this with no knowledge what so ever.

Importing product images and thumbnails
Both Bigcommerce and Volusion have there own way to import product images and thumbnails using a style sheet. The only difference is that Bigcommerce does there import within the same sheet as there product sheet where as Volusion uses a program called Volusion thumbnail Generator. For Bigcommerce when you import the sheet, it is expecting that the maximum sized images are within an ‘import’ folder within the FTP. For Volusion you are using a separate excel sheet for the generator to read then when the process is completed you drop the generated thumbnails in Volusions FTP, and Volusion does the rest. Volusions thumbnail generator works great and keeps all your images neat and easy to change if you need to.

Options
Options are one of the most important features within an Ecommerce store and the ability to create options using a table rather than importing each option manually saved you a lot of time and money. With Volusion they have multiple options list that connect to each other using IDs. This can get confusing for the first time but I highly recommend looking into this if you are still doing your options the old fashion way, I believe it takes a lot less time than creating your options manually. Bigcommerce allows you to create options within the same sheet that you created your products. In order to do this, each option is its own line on the excel sheet, with the Item Type set to SKU. Bigcommerce then allows you to add rules to these options which give you the availability to add or subtract weight or price when the option is selected on the product page.

Now that you have some basic knowledge on the import stye for these two stores you will have to decided for yourself, Volusion or Bigcommerce.