3dcart is a powerful and feature-rich platform that lets you build an e-commerce store all on your own, and then have it launched for the world to see.
They power more than 23,000 stores operating globally and give you access to every e-commerce feature you might need. Simply speaking, with 3dcart, you can construct a working online store from start to finish all on your own.
3dcart is a hosted solution. This means that you don’t have to install any software or take care of any server-related issues yourself. You can just focus on managing your store and adding new products.
Who’s 3dcart best suited for?
3dcart delivers a very interesting offering among the competition. Mainly due to two things:
- They give you an easy-to-use e-commerce platform that doesn’t require any development or site building skills.
- At the same time, they also offer you an optimized and advanced structure that’s capable of handling hundreds of products.
What this means is that 3dcart is a great solution for online stores that expect to grow fast (or are growing fast already), and want to work with a platform that scales well and can handle whatever a number of customers and sales.
Features in 3dcart
Front End Features
- Sell Digital: Sell downloadable products along with physical products.
- Checkout Options: 3dcart lets you enable one-page or three-page checkout to speed conversion.
- Bring Your Products To Life: Include multiple product images, image zoom, and videos on product pages.
- Gift Options: Allow customers to create Wish Lists and Gift Registries.
- Create Promotions: Offer gift certificates, coupons, and discounts.
- Out Of Stock Options: Provide waiting lists for popular products.
- Automatic Calculators: Use robust tax and shipping calculators to provide real-time quotes for your customers.
- Abandoned Cart Saver: Use abandoned cart notifications to remind your customers to complete their orders.
- Encourage Customer Engagement: Allow customers to submit questions and reviews on product pages.
- Built-In Blog: Inform and entertain your customer base (and boost your SEO) with a blog.
- Rewards Program: Offer a Rewards Program to foster customer loyalty.
- Inventory Management: Control inventory and monitor low stock items.
- SmartCategories: Easily showcase your sale items with their own category.
- SEO: Optimize your site with lots of SEO tools.
- Bulk Import / Export: Take advantage of bulk importing and exporting to migrate platforms and make bulk edits.
- Order Management: Process orders quickly.
- POS: Sell in-person with 3dcart POS.
- Email Marketing: Use 3dcart’s email templates to make your email marketing campaign a little easier.
- Multichannel Selling: Sync with eBay and Amazon to sell across multiple channels and manage it all from 3dcart’s admin.
New Free Bonus in 2019
- 2 extra months on any plan
- Premium theme ($199 value)
- RapidSSL Certificate /1 yr. ($99 value)
- 29% off FedEx shipping rates
- 2 FREE months ShipStation Software
- 2 FREE months of Avalara Tax Solution
- $10,000 in FREE payment processing from Square
- $500 Expert Design & Marketing Services Voucher
These are just the highlights of 3dcart’s offerings, but you should check out the full list on the company’s website.
3dcart offers over 90 free themes, all of which are mobile responsive. The free themes are…okay. They aren’t ugly, but they’re certainly missing the “wow factor” other eCommerce platforms offer.
There are a few dozen premium themes as well, priced from $99 to $199, though I don’t see much of a difference between the free and premium themes. You can either purchase a premium theme individually, or you can pay $249/year for unlimited access to every premium theme available (which, by the way, I don’t recommend, because you probably shouldn’t be changing the look of your site all that often). Here’s an example of a premium theme:
If you’d prefer to build your own look, there are design services available, although they come at a price.
On the other hand, if you’re bold enough to customize on your own, you can take advantage of 3dcart’s theme editors. There are HTML and CSS editors as well as a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, which allows you to make changes to your store language without touching any code.
In the past, 3dcart also offered a drag and drop editor that you could use to make quick adjustments to widgets on your storefront. 3dcart has since disabled this editor as it was causing some trouble, but you can submit a web ticket to have it added back in. This editor only works with older HTML5 themes, and you still will need to use HTML and CSS editors for some changes. You should keep in mind that once you figure out the editors in the admin, the drag and drop editor isn’t really necessary.
Integrations & Add-Ons
3dcart’s App store includes most add-ons merchants need. There are add-ons for order management, shipping, security, social media, dropshipping, channel management, advertisement and more. They’re all sorted by category in a drop down bar, which is nice.
You can see all the apps available on 3dcart’s site, but here are a few that you might recognize.
- Quickbooks: Accounting Software
- Constant Contact: Automated Email Marketing
- Shipwire: Order Fulfillment Service
- Facebook Connect: Social Media Integration
- Avalara Tax: Real-Time Tax Calculator
- TaxCloud: Sales Tax Management
3dcart also provides a RESTful API, so your developers can build custom connections (if the apps you need aren’t already available).
3dcart integrates with over 100 payment gateways, including:
- Sage Pay
Although 3dcart does not charge any transaction fees, you can expect to pay processing fees (usually around 2%-3%) to your payment gateway of choice.
Customer Service & Technical Support
3dcart provides customer support through several avenues. All plans include the following:
- Support Tickets
- Knowledge Base
- Video Tutorials
- Support Forum
- Social Media: You can contact 3dcart on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- 3dcart Answers
- 24/7/365 personal support via email, live chat, and phone
My experiences with customer support have been a mixed bag. During my trial, I tested 3dcart’s three routes of personalized support: phone, live chat, and web ticket.
Phone support worked well for me. When I called in with my questions, I waited on hold for ten minutes before speaking with a representative who patiently answered my questions. Ten minutes is on par with the industry average. Similarly, the question I submitted via web ticket was answered in an appropriate amount of time, just a few hours.
I was most disappointed with the response time 3dcart provides through live chat. When I tried to reach someone through live chat, I had to wait two hours for a response. To me, this isn’t “live” chat. Live chat suggests that a representative will be there within 15 minutes and will stay online with me to work through my question. What 3dcart calls live chat is more like another way to submit support tickets.
My advice: Call in if you want to discuss an issue with back and forth communication. Submit web tickets for everything else.
3dcart Review: Pricing
3dcart offers 4 main models of pricing:
3dcart has a range of pricing options which allow the platform to work for many different businesses.
Because all plans are billed on a month-to-month basis, 3dcart does not require you to sign any contracts. However, if you decide to stay with 3dcart, you can purchase a year-long plan and receive a 10% discount. Keep in mind that 3dcart does not allow refunds, so please make sure that 3dcart is the right platform for your store before you commit for an extended period of time.
All regular plans (excluding the lighter, Startup Plan) come with unlimited products and bandwidth, free domain registration, and API connectivity, along with 24/7 phone support. Although most eCommerce solutions only offer phone support at higher subscription levels, with 3dcart you can talk with a real human being even on the lowest plan.
You can take a look at 3dcart’s pricing page or view my breakdown of 3dcart’s pricing model:
Startup Plan — $19/Month
- 1 Staff User
- All The Features Of The Basic Plan
- 100 Products
- Sell Up To $10K/Year
Basic — $29/Month
- 2 Staff Users
- All Essential Features, Including:
- Unlimited Products
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Real-Time Shipping
- Shipping Labels
- Facebook Store
- Built-in Blog
- Single Page Checkout
- Product Reviews
- Digital Downloads
- Tax Calculations & Reporting
- API Access
- eBay & Amazon Integrations
- And More
Plus — $79/Month
- 5 Staff Users
- All Above Features Plus:
- Customer Groups
- Product Comparison
- Email Marketing Newsletters
- Abandoned Cart Saver
- Daily Deals
- Group Deals
Pro — $229/Month
- 15 Staff Users
- All Above Features Plus:
- Autoresponder Campaigns
- Automation Rules
- Gift Registry
- Product Q&A
- Reward Points
- Priority Support
Enterprise — Pricing Negotiable
- Unlimited Staff Users
- For those Selling over $400K/year
- All Above Features Plus:
- Dedicated Support
- Unlimited Disk Space
- Unlimited Email Hosting
There are also discounts available for charities and non-profits.
The online store designs in 3dcart
There are quite a lot of designs to choose from in 3dcart. The list really is massive and offers a nice variety of styles and colors. You will surely find something that suits your brand there.
Additionally, for every design, you can go into the editing mode, and fine tune everything to match your expectations 100%.
However, 3dcart’s is not the most user-friendly interface, and while it is feature-rich, it does have its learning curve.
On the front-end side, the store pages are really clear and easy to follow for the visitor – something that should have a positive impact on your conversions and sales.
Managing products in your 3dcart store
3dcart gives you a sample shop setup and data when you sign up for a free trial. That way, you have something to work with, and can get to know the platform and its traits. You can browse through those example products, or add your own right away.
That being said, the screen where you add new products looks a bit intimidating at first. You might spend a while there before you figure out all the ins and outs of it.
At the end of the day, the occasional complexity of 3dcart looks to me like a direct result of the platform’s impressive range of features. It simply requires a certain number of settings panels and steps in order to make all this manageable.
When it comes to online payments, 3dcart really stands out by letting you use literally every payment method in existence:
Specific Business Size
Because 3dcart is offered at varying price points and comes with lots of features right out of the box, 3dcart fits businesses across the board. I would recommend 3dcart to both small and larger enterprises.
Web-Hosted Or Licensed
Web-hosted. 3dcart is based in the cloud, so you don’t have to worry about managing your servers or updating your software.
Hardware & Software Requirements
None. 3dcart uses SaaS (Software as a Service) technology. You just need a computer, an internet connection, and a reliable web browser.
Ease Of Use
3dcart has lots of tools to help you start moving product. You can check them out for yourself with the no-risk 15-Day Free Trial.
When you sign up, you’ll receive a welcome email that lists your user login and password as well as your site’s URL. The email also includes links to several video tutorials.
Upon logging in to your admin, you’ll be presented with a setup wizard that includes videos and tips at each turn.
If you run into trouble, you can also just wait for your account manager to give you a call. My phone rang only thirty minutes after I created my account.
However, I think you should be able to figure out most functions on your own. The dashboard is fairly straightforward and is similar to the user-friendly models you find on platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.
Adding a product is a two-step process. First, you’ll be asked to enter basic product information…
Once you save that information, you’ll have access to a second product page, which lets you add more detailed information. There, you can adjust shipping and inventory information and write SEO tags.
Discounts follow a similar two-step model. You can find your discount generator located under the “Marketing > Promotion Manager” tab in your admin.
You’ll first enter basic promotion information. Then you’ll create a name for your promotion and select a range of dates during which that promotion will be active.
After you save that page, you can access 3dcart’s more detailed discount settings. I am thoroughly impressed with the available discount features. You can apply your promotions to specific categories. Or, you can create a discount that applies to a full order if a specific product is in the basket. There are lots of discount options available.
During my trial, I also took a look at 3dcart’s order management features. Using order management, you can fulfill orders more quickly and simply. From the orders section of the admin, you can review and process orders and print pre-generated packing slips and invoices.
If you get stuck, you can always use 3dcart’s 24/7 live chat support to work your way out. You should note that while 3dcart calls this support feature “live chat,” I have frequently had to wait several hours for a response to my questions.
Overall, I would give 3dcart’s ease of use a solid four out of five stars. There were a couple confusing functions, but after a slight learning curve, 3dcart’s admin should be good for day-to-day use.
Reviews of 3dcart are fairly well balanced. I have seen about as many positive reviews as negative. Here are a few things 3dcart customers love about the software:
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
- Low Price: 3dcart’s plans are priced competitively with Shopify and BigCommerce. Plus, 3dcart doesn’t charge transaction fees (Shopify still does).
- Good Customer Support: Some customers report that customer support is helpful and responsive.
- Easy To Use: The admin is relatively intuitive. And, if you don’t get it right away, there are lots of resources available to give you a hand.
- Out Of The Box Features: 3dcart comes with an uncommon number of features at every price point. I rarely see this many features available at the lowest plan of a SaaS platform.
- Unlimited Product Storage Options: Whether you’re running a tiny store with a handful of products, or a massive online catalog with hundreds of products, your product storage options are unlimited with 3dcart. This makes it the ideal platform for achieving scale, beneficial for businesses experiencing strong growth.
- Wide Range of Payment Gateways Supported: 3dcart integrates seamlessly with a wide range of different payment gateways, providing your buyers with a good deal of flexibility when it’s time to check out. Avoid putting potential customers off, with as many payment options as possible so you can cover all the bases.
- Strong Chat and Phone Support: When setting up your e-commerce store on a platform of your choosing, there are few things more frustrating than a lack of support when you need it. With reliable instant chat support available, or someone on the other end of the phone where IM doesn’t cut it, you can rest assured knowing you are well supported if you choose 3dcart.p your e-commerce store on a platform of your choosing, there are few things more frustrating than a lack of support when you need it. With reliable instant chat support available, or someone on the other end of the phone where IM doesn’t cut it, you can rest assured knowing you are well supported if you choose 3dcart.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
- Bland Templates: While 3dcart’s themes aren’t bad, they aren’t particularly good-looking either. In order to make a truly stunning storefront, you’re going to have to invest in some customization. I have seen a few positive reviews recently countering this point. Some users like the variety of template options 3dcart provide and they like the ability to smoothly switch between themes.
- Add-Ons Are Expensive: If you need to access a feature that 3dcart does not include in their software, you’ll have to spring for an add-on. Integrations and extensions can be expensive, and the cost of multiple add-ons can quickly add up.
As you research 3dcart, you may notice a few comments about bandwidth overage fees. You should know that these complaints are no longer relevant as they refer to 3dcart’s previous pricing model.
3dcart is Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) Compliant.
Every plan includes a free shared 256-bit SSL. However, in order to benefit from that free SSL certificate, you must use 3dcart’s specific checkout domain: [your domain].3dcartstores.com. Otherwise, you can purchase an SSL certificate, starting at $99.00/year.
3dcart is a good option as far as shopping carts go. The plans are reasonably priced, and there are tons of important features already built-in. My primary concern has to do with technical support. I’ve seen enough complaints about delayed and unresolved web tickets to be a little wary. Nevertheless, I think 3dcart still a strong contender for merchants looking for a robust, usable platform.
I recommend first and foremost that you try out the software yourself before you make any decisions. It takes only a few seconds to sign up, and there are no commitments required. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a demo is worth a million. Give it a go.