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3dcart is a feature-rich eCommerce platform that serves merchants large and small. With a wide range of pricing options and loads of features right out of the box, 3dcart is an excellent option for merchants who are looking for an affordable, fully-hosted selling solution.
Founded in 2001 by Gonzalo Gil, 3dcart currently hosts over 17,000 customers (and more than 23,000 active stores). With an ever expanding pool of themes and partners, it doesn’t seem like 3dcart will be slowing down anytime soon.
Unlike most shopping carts, 3dcart offers nearly every feature at every price point. The smallest merchant can benefit from almost exactly the same software as the largest, without any transaction fees or storage limits. Instead of offering more functionality as an incentive to purchase a higher plan, 3dcart bases its pricing structure on bandwidth usage and the number of visitors a store hosts.
Check out this video for a quick overview of 3dcart.
3dcart has a wide 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 several months at a time and benefit from a slight discount (5% for three months, 10% for six months, and 15% for a full year). Keep in mind that 3dcart does not allow refunds beyond their 30-day Money Back Guarantee, so please make sure that 3dcart is the right platform for your store before you commit for an extended period of time.
Here’s a breakdown of 3dcart’s pricing model.
- 25 products
- 2,000 visits per month
- 5 email accounts
- 1GB bandwidth
- 200 products
- 4,000 visits per month
- 5 email accounts
- 2GB bandwidth
- 1,000 products
- 8,000 visits per month
- 10 email accounts
- 4GB bandwidth
- 10,000 products
- 20,000 visits per month
- Unlimited email accounts
- 10GB bandwidth
- Unlimited products
- 50,000 visits per month
- Unlimited email accounts
- 25GB bandwidth
High Traffic / Premium
- Unlimited products
- Unlimited email accounts
- 60GB bandwidth
High Traffic Plus
- 250GB bandwidth
All plans come with unlimited online storage, free domain registration, Facebook and mobile stores, 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 if you’re only paying ten bucks a month.
You might notice, however, that 3dcart does limit bandwidth usage. The Monthly Visitor Quota is included within these bandwidth guidelines. 3dcart estimates that each visitor uses an average of 5000Kb, and each plan specifies the number of visitors your site can receive (2,000 for Nano and 50,000 for Professional Plus). If you happen to use more bandwidth than your plan specifies, you can expect to pay some bandwidth overage fees at $5/GB.
There is also a separate plan for Enterprise-sized companies. The Enterprise plan includes unlimited bandwidth, a dedicated support team, enhanced scalability, and aggressive security features (like DDoS attack protection from CloudFlare). Enterprise is priced at $999.99/month with a one-time $299 set up fee.
There are other Enterprise-level services available at additional cost: SEO Enterprise, Social Media Ultimate, and myWebmaster. Find out more about 3dcart Enterprise plans and services here.
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 for both small businesses 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 and Software Requirements
None. 3dcart uses SaaS (Software as a Service) technology. You just need a computer, an internet connection, and a reliable web browser.
3dcart comes with loads of features right out of the box, even at its lowest plan. Here are some of the features you get with 3dcart.
Front End Features
- Sell digital and physical products.
- Enable one page checkout to speed conversion.
- Include multiple product images, image zoom, and videos on product pages.
- Allow customers to create Wish Lists and Gift Registries.
- Offer gift certificates, coupons, and discounts.
- Provide waiting lists and back orders for popular products.
- Use robust tax and shipping calculators to provide real time quotes for your customers.
- Let your customers find out where their items are with shipment tracking.
- Use abandoned cart notifications to remind your customers to complete their orders.
- Allow customers to submit questions and reviews on product pages.
- Inform and entertain your customer base (and boost your SEO) with a blog.
- Offer a Rewards Program to foster customer loyalty.
Back End Features
- Control inventory and monitor low stock items.
- Manage your mailing lists using CRM tools.
- Organize products automatically using SmartCategories.
- Optimize your site with lots of SEO tools.
- Take advantage of bulk importing/exporting to migrate platforms.
- Customize your invoices and packing slips and print them easily.
- Sell in-person with a POS App.
- Use 3dcart’s email templates to make your email marketing campaign a little easier.
- Sync with eBay and Amazon to sell across multiple channels and manage it all from 3dcart’s admin.
These are just the highlights of 3dcart’s offerings. Click here to view the full list.
Ease of Use
3dcart has lots of tools to help you start moving product. You can check them out for yourself with 3dcart’s 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 videos 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 need more help, aided onboarding is available, though it costs $249.00 for thirty minutes of assistance. Yikes.
On the other hand, you could just wait for your account manager to give you a call. My phone rang only thirty minutes after I created my account. I’ll admit that I panicked and didn’t answer (phones are scary!), but when I listened to the voicemail, I found that 3dcart only wanted to answer my questions about the platform.
However, I think you should be able to figure out most functions on your own. The dashboard is fairly straight-forward and is similar to the user-friendly models that you find on platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.
The only trouble I had with the admin was getting the little notification bubbles to go away. It takes a few minutes after you complete an action for the notification to disappear.
From the orders section of the admin, you can review and process orders and print pre-generated packing slips and shipping labels.
If you get stuck, you can always use 3dcart’s 24/7 live chat support to work your way out. When I asked a simple question via chat, I received an answer within fifteen minutes.
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 very slight learning curve, 3dcart’s admin should be good to day-to-day use.
3dcart offers over 60 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 premium themes as well, priced up 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 you own look, there are design services available, though they come at a steep 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 storefront’s content without touching any code.
Additionally, there’s a drag and drop editor with which you can make quick adjustments to widgets on your storefront. I think the drag and drop function is pretty cool, though a 3dcart representative told me it’s mostly just flashy. Apparently, once you figure out the editors in the admin, the drag and drop editor isn’t really necessary. Here’s what that drag and drop editor looks like.
Integrations and Add-Ons
3dcart’s App store includes most add-ons that merchants need.There are add-ons for Order Management, Shipping, Security, Social Media, Drop Shipping, Channel Management, Advertisement and more. And they’re all sorted by category in a dropdown bar, which is nice.
You can see all the apps available by clicking the link above, 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 for aren’t already available).
Although 3dcart does not charge any transaction fees, you can expect to pay transaction fees (usually around 2%-3%) to your payment gateway of choice.
Customer Service and 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, Google+, and Instagram.
- 24/7/365 personal support via email, live chat, and phone
- Phone: 1-800-828-6650
While in the past, 3dcart has been criticized for their poor customer support, I am hopeful for the future. 3dcart reports that they have recently restructured their customer support model (as of May 2016): they have rearranged their physical offices so that sales representatives are closer to technical support representatives, and they have changed the way calls are routed. When I contacted 3dcart, my questions were answered promptly and fully. Let us know in the comments below if you’ve noticed any improvement.
Negative Reviews and Complaints
There are a host of negative review online that condemn 3dcart for a variety of reasons (just check the comments section of this article). Here’s what they tend to focus on.
- Poor Customer Service: 3dcart is often blamed for being slow to respond to customer concerns and for providing uninformed responses. They have also been blamed for falsely charging customers for plans or features they did not want to purchase. However, as I’ve said above, 3dcart has recently radically restructured the way they go about customer service. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the best.
- 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.
- Bandwidth Overage Fees: People hate being nickled and dimed. For every GB you use over the assigned limit, you’re charged a $5 fee. Be sure to choose a plan that accurately fits your bandwidth needs and read up on ways to reduce the bandwidth your site uses.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
Within the past couple of months (June and July of 2016), I’ve noticed a sudden shift of popular opinion in regard to 3dcart. To be honest, I’m a little suspicious of all of the recent positive reviews online, especially on Trustpilot. Most of the reviews on this page in particular were posted on the same day, which suggests the influence of the company. To be fair, that does not necessarily mean that the reviews are false. Perhaps the company just asked its satisfied customers to post online; who’s to say?
Regardless, this is what 3dcart customers love.
- Lower Price: 3dcart’s plans are typically priced below those of their most popular competition, Shopify and BigCommerce. Plus, 3dcart doesn’t charge transaction fees (Shopify still does).
- Great Live Chat Support: Reportedly, live chat is an excellent way to contact customer service. 3dcart claims to respond to inquiries on live chat within the hour, and I myself received an answer within fifteen minutes.
- 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 amount of features at every price point. I’ve never seen this many features available at the lowest plan of a SaaS platform. The nearest platform to 3dcart in terms of features is Magento, which is self hosted software that’s typically much more difficult to use.
3dcart is Level 1 PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) Compliant and comes with FraudWatch, which protects against fraudulent transactions.
Every plan includes a free GeoTrust 128-bit SharedSSL. 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 a SSL certificate, starting at $99.00/year. Click here for more SSL certificate options.
3dcart is a pretty good option as far as shopping carts go, though it’s still far from perfect. The plans are reasonably priced, and there are tons of important features already built-in. My only concern has to do with technical support. Customers have been very upset with 3dcart’s technical support for a long time, and this recent improvement is just that: recent. It’s too soon for me to be able to judge how 3dcart will fare now, though I must admit that I am hopeful.
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.