Here is my 3dcart review that you can read for free. Read it to its entirety so that you can determine if their online store builder suits your ecommerce needs. I will keep it as detailed as possible and will include both the good (pros) and the bad (cons) about their platform. Lastly, I will keep this review updated to reflect the latest changes.
In theory, you want a perfect ecommerce platform that is capable of helping you create a professional online store to sell and market your products. A lot of online store builders offer all sorts of ecommerce tools and functions – and things can get confusing.
With all of that in mind, whether you are looking to create a store from scratch or expand your existing business, 3dcart is a strong candidate for ecommerce.
What is 3dcart?
3dcart is a complete all-in-one hosted ecommerce platform and online store builder. The platform is a complete, all-in-one solution that offers simple functions to control store marketing, inventory management, etc. As mentioned above, it is a hosted solution, which means that they take care of all the technical details and manage the web hosting for you.
At the time of this 3dcart review, over 23,000 are using 3dcart for ecommerce. The low store count is due to the fact that the platform is not a major known player in the ecommerce world.
For a monthly fee (see pricing / plans below), you will be able to create an online store and sell products online without any ecommerce experience. Experienced ecommerce users will enjoy the endless platform possibilities. 3dcart is flexible enough to host even the largest online stores. If I had to narrow the platform down to a specific type of store, I would say that 3dcart is best for stores that have a strong focus on marketing.
Here is what others are saying about 3dcart:
Ease of use
After you sign up for the free trial and log into your admin backend, you are greeted by an easy to follow setup wizard for your online store. The wizard guides you through several steps to configure your store. You also have the option to skip this step and work on the setup process at your own pace.
From the admin backend, you can complete a lot of the administrative tasks such as adding inventory, fulfilling orders, customizing your store, etc. The customer frontend is clean and user-friendly, and your customers will be able to browse and purchase products with ease.
The new checkout experience offers a single page checkout that is optimized for increasing conversions. Customers will be able to checkout as guests, with a registered account, or using their Facebook account.
Even with the latest update to the admin panel, I still found the interface cluttered and certain features are difficult to find. A lot of other users complained that they face difficulties finding common features when navigating through the admin interface.
3dcart templates and design
By having an elegant and user-friendly store design, you will build trust and creditability with your customers. This will increase sales and improve overall conversion rates.
3dcart offers you 68 free and conversion optimized themes that are responsive and ready for mobile commerce. You can instantly add any of the themes to your store.
In addition to their free themes, 3dcart offers 42 premium themes, ranging from $129 to $199. While this sounds pricey, just remember that it is a one-time investment and you will be able to use the theme for as long as you want.
You will have complete control over the design of your store. 3dcart uses standard HTML / CSS code in its templates, so you will be able to edit templates as you see fit. Every page has a corresponding template that you can edit to your liking.
For basic design changes, 3dcart offers a simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor which allows you to edit, change, and add content to your web pages without having the knowledge of HTML.
You also have the option to download template files and work on them offline, which is an advantage if you plan on hiring a developer to design your store. From the store settings page, you also have the option to upload a custom logo for your store.
SEO and marketing
If you are creating an online store, the most important task is to optimize your store for search engines. If done properly, this will provide your store with free organic traffic. 3dcart offers integrated search engine optimization (SEO) features.
The entire store is fully optimized – from your homepage to content pages. All pages have search engine friendly URLs right from the beginning. For example, your product pages will include the product name in the URL. You also have the option to change it to whatever you want. Furthermore, the platform offers Google Analytics integration and sitemap builder for search engines. Other advanced SEO features offered include canonical URLs, 301 redirects, and dynamic Meta tags.
In addition, 3dcart offers built-in marketing features / tools to help you run promotions on your store. For instance, you can send targeted email campaigns to keep your customers informed of upcoming sales / promotions or offer coupons to entice your customers to shop again.
Furthermore, you can easily add daily deals, activate the in-house rewards program, and allow your customers to post product reviews. Lastly, you can set up abandoned cart emails to remind your customers to come back to your store and complete the checkout process.
In terms of marketing, I feel that 3dcart offers the most features right out of the box. Having all of the features mentioned above will help expose your store to potential shoppers for free. A lot of other online store builders lack the above features.
Whether you sell a handful number of products or thousands of different products, you need a streamlined process of controlling your inventory. Without inventory management, your store is at risk of having to cancel orders and disappoint your customers.
3dcart offers many different ways of tracking / dealing with inventory. For instance, you can set available inventory levels when creating individual product pages and you can create stock alerts that will send you a notification once your inventory level falls at or below a certain level. You can also edit basic inventory levels in bulk.
Furthermore, you can mark your products out of stock, on a waiting list, or on back order with a respective custom message for each.
No matter what part in the world you plan on selling to, 3dcart will have a payment processing service that you can use to accept payments.
Their platform is pre-integrated with over 100 payment processing services that you can use for your online store. Each payment solution offers a seamless integration with 3dcart – this means that you simply install / set up the payment gateway and you are ready to start accepting payments on your store.
The best part is you will have your money deposited into your bank account within 48 hours with most of the offered payment solutions. Some popular payment processing services that you can use include Pay with Amazon, Visa Checkout, Skrill, Stripe, and PayPal.
3dcart does not offer an external app store. Their platform offers different modules that are already pre-integrated into the software. If you need to use on of their modules, you need to activate it and set it up before being able to use it. Some modules are completely free while others have a monthly or one-time fee.
While 3dcart offers a lot of different “out of the box” ecommerce features, I feel that their modules section is a huge disappointment. For instance, I need to have an option to extend the functionality of my store and without an external app store, it does not seem like it is possible.
No online store builder is complete without the proper mobile functions / features. A recent study showed that there is an increase in the number of shoppers that use a mobile device every time they shop online. This will increase even more as new technology is released.
Thankfully, 3dcart offers mobile ecommerce features. A lot of their ecommerce themes are responsive and will automatically adjust to the correct mobile / tablet size. This will result in a pleasant shopping experience for your customers, which will have a positive impact on sales / conversions.
In addition, all checkout pages are optimized for mobile / tablet devices so your customers can complete their orders with ease. This results in fewer abandoned orders. All mobile ecommerce features are automatically set up for you right from the beginning.
Hosting for your store
As mentioned earlier in this 3dcart review, 3dcart is a hosted ecommerce solution – this means that web hosting is included with every plan. In addition, 3dcart offers a free custom domain name for your store – and they pay it for you every year.
Their hosting is managed, secure, and optimized for ecommerce. In addition, they offer Level 1 PCI hosting for your store. Their web hosting servers are monitored 24/7 and offer an uptime guarantee of 99.94%. Since 3dcart manages the entire hosting process, you will have time to focus on other parts of your business.
Is my 3dcart store secure?
3dcart is a secure platform right out of the box, but if you plan on processing credit card payments on your store, you will need an SSL certificate to further encrypt the data and abide by the regulations in your country. Thankfully, 3dcart offers a 256 bit SSL certificate for free. This certificate helps protect all of the information that is transmitted through your store.
Backup and export options for your store
3dcart offers free daily data backups for all of your store files in the event that you accidentally delete or overwrite something. In addition, 3dcart offers free instant platform updates, FTP access to your store files, and IP blocking features. Furthermore, you can import / export products, categories, images, etc.
Support and resources
3dcart offers you 24/7 support on the phone, live chat, and email. They also offer a comprehensive knowledge base that you can access on your own. In addition, there is an “Ecommerce University” and an active ecommerce blog where you can read tutorials on configuring your 3dcart store and running an ecommerce business. Lastly, they offer a community forum where you will be able to get help from other 3dcart members.
After reaching out to their support team on multiple occasions, I can truly say that their team is competent and ready to help you with any ecommerce questions. I am impressed by their support structure and response times. The company has a smaller customer base and that is why they are able to provide a very responsive technical support department – this is an advantage of using an online store builder that has a smaller customer base.
3dcart offers four different regular monthly plans (the cheapest costing $9.99 a month and the most expensive costing $99.99 a month), three high traffic plans (ranging from $129.99 to $499.99 a month), and an Enterprise solution (custom pricing based on business needs) for large stores.
Their cheapest Nano plan comes with a rather restricted offer of allowing you to add ten products to your store at a time and use 1 GB of bandwidth every month. Unless you sign up for the Professional Plus plan costing $99.99 a month or one of the high traffic plans, your products will be limited.
All of their plans offer limited bandwidth levels. So in theory, if you go over your bandwidth limit by 10 GB in a single month, you will be charged an extra $50 for that month. Upgrading to a larger plan is an alternative to paying extra for bandwidth fees.
One thing that I do like about 3dcart is the fact that they do not charge transaction fees, no matter which plan you sign up for and regardless of the payment processing service you use.
There is a 15% discount that is applied to all annual plans. In addition, 3dcart offers a 15-day free trial that you can use to try their platform and determine if it is something that you can use for your business. A credit card is not needed for the free trial, so you can easily walk away without any financial loss to you.
Pros of using 3dcart for ecommerce
- The platform offers over 100 conversion optimized and mobile ready themes that you can use for your online store.
- 3dcart does not charge transaction fees which lets you keep more profits. As mentioned above, you are free to sign up for any plan and use any payment processing service without having to worry about transaction fees.
- 3dcart offers an easy to follow user guide for migrating an existing store from another shopping cart solution.
- Over 100 ready-to-use payment solutions.
- Flawless point of sale integration that offers you the option to combine your physical store and your online store into a single business compared to managing the two venues separately.
Cons of using 3dcart for ecommerce
- All plans offer limited bandwidth which may be a drawback to stores with high traffic levels.
- Bugs / clutter in the admin panel that makes certain ecommerce features difficult to find.
- Limited app / module selection, no external app store.
- Hosting only 23,000 online stores means that 3dcart is not an ecommerce platform that appeals to a lot of stores.
Tips on reducing bandwidth usage
As mentioned above, 3dcart does not offer unlimited bandwidth on any of the plans. After running stores with different traffic levels, this is what works best for reducing bandwidth usage on your store:
- Use .gif and.jpg image files and try to keep your image sizes smaller.
- Minimize the amount of downloadable content on your website and consider using content delivery network (CDN).
- Avoid the frequent usage of the product import / export tool as these files can be quite large.
3dcart Review – Conclusion and recommendation
In conclusion, I feel that 3dcart is a strong ecommerce platform to help you create an online shop to sell your products. Specifically, I am impressed with three unique things:
- Point of sale – if you have a physical store and need to connect it to your online store, 3dcart offers a point of sale system that is already integrated into their platform.
- No transaction fees – 3dcart does not charge any transaction fees which is always a plus.
- Store transfer – if you already have an online store and need to transfer it to 3dcart, their easy to follow guide will help you migrate your store.
In order to have a successful online store, you need a reputable online store builder that is capable of supporting your business needs. So if you need an ecommerce platform that is easy to use but flexible enough for even the most complex store, 3dcart should be on your list of online store builders to try.
3dcart offers a 15-day free trial that you can use to try the platform on your own. As mentioned above, if you feel that it is not the right solution for your ecommerce store, you can walk away without any financial loss to you.
What do you think about using 3dcart for ecommerce? Feel free to share your experience by posting a comment in the comments section below, which is dedicated to 3dcart reviews / assistance.