If you are looking for a remotely hosted shopping cart solution then there are several great offers available. Today we will be reviewing one of the most popular solutions, 3dcart. The review will begin with a short company overview followed by an examination of the different features offered, this will then be followed by a look at their pricing as well as support included.
Brief company history
Founded in 1997, 3dcart is a complete and robust ecommerce platform designed to help e-store owners thrive in a competitive market. With hundreds of features built directly into its software, online merchants can effectively open, operate and maintain a successful e-store with relative ease and efficiency. As of 2014, 3dcart powers more than 17,500 global merchants. 3dcart is an Inc. 5000 company as well as a Visa PCI Certified provider. Fully scalable and completely customizable, 3dcart is regarded as one of the top ecommerce solutions.
As mentioned in the introduction, 3dcart offers remotely hosted shopping cart solutions. Due to the fact that everything is hosted on a remote location there isn’t any software that needs to be installed locally. This also means you don’t need to worry about keeping your software updated as 3dcart automatically takes care of that for you.
The next part of this review will take a look at some of the main features by 3dcart. These features include a setup wizard, powerful shipping and payment options, as well as the built-in marketing tools and responsive themes and styles.
The first time you enter the administration area of your online store you are greeted with a setup wizard. As you can see in the image below the purpose of the wizard is to get your store up and running as quickly as possible.
You can either decide to follow the wizard and enter the information required or you can skip through some of the steps and just focus on the things you want to focus on. You can also skip the wizard entirely if you are ready to get to work on your store.
Once you are logged in you will see the dashboard or control panel. From the control panel you can easily access orders, as well as update your store. You can also look at things such as how you are marketing your store, as well as control the different plugins that have been installed.
The control Panel is relatively easy to use, in other words even if you have no prior experience with running an online store you can be up and running within a very short timeframe.
VISA PCI certified
3dcart is listed in Visa’s Global Registry of Service Providers as Certified PCI DDS service providers The PCI compliance is now a requirement from most merchant accounts and it means your online store follows Visa’s regulation for payment account data security.
Sell More™ marketing tools
Another feature of 3dcart is that they offer several marketing tools to help you sell more products. Tools such as the ability to send Newsletters, offer Reward Points, run Daily Deal & Group Deal, add Make-An-Offer, Affiliate Program, and more. The solution also come standard with great ecommerce features like Product Reviews, Gift Wrapping, Wish Lists, Gift Registry, Multiple Ship-to.
Themes and styles
They offer quite an extensive collection of themes that you can quickly apply to your store, these can be found in the themes and styles section of the dashboard. HTML5 table-less and responsive themes are included at no additional cost.
If you feel the free themes offered are not exactly what you are looking for then the Theme Marketplace, where designers can also create and resell their own theme creations for stores, offers more than 80 paid themes. All paid themes come at a cost of $99.
The app offers more than 200 different payment solutions, including Paypal Standard, Paypal Express, and the new Paypal Advanced; Checkout by Amazon, BitCoins, Dwolla, Stripe and many other Credit Card Processors.
They feature Real-Time Shipping Rate quotes from UPS, USPS, FEDEX, Canada Post, and AU Post on all plans. In addition, all merchants can add freight shipping rate services like Echo Freight, FreightQuote SAIA, TNT and more. The app also offers built-in Label Printing for USPS, UPS, FEDEX and Canada Post from the admin interface.
Most research conducted shows that more and more people are conducting their shopping from their mobile devices these include smartphones and tablets. 3dcart offers mCommerce to their customers allowing storeowners to expand their stores to mobile devices. At the same time mCommerce also allows you to access your store manager on the go. You can see new orders as well as interact with your customers. mCommerce comes free when you sign up for packages including the starter package ($35.99) and above.
If you are still a little unsure whether 3dcart is for you or not then the great thing about the company is they offer a 15-day free trial period during which you can test the software and then make your decision. No credit card is required for the trial meaning you can try everything without having to pay a dime.
As you can see in the image above they offer five main pricing plans, and three enterprise solutions for those who need services above and beyond what the regular customer needs. The pricing plans start as low as $19.99 a month for the mini package; this package allows customers to sell up to 100 products in their stores. If you need to sell more products or need more bandwidth then the company offers a starter pack for $35.99, which increases the allowed products to 500. You can also sign up for the Professional, Professional+ or Power Plan these cost between $65.99 and $129.99 depending on your needs.
According to the website their most popular solution is the Professional package costing $65.99, this allows you to sell 5,000 products in your store, it includes $200 marketing dollars as well as several store plugins. One great thing about 3dcart is the fact that unlike some other companies they don’t charge a transaction fee. Other companies might charge somewhere between 1-2% in transaction fees however 3dcart doesn’t charge these.
The biggest flaw I see compared to some competitors is the fact that 3dcart doesn’t offer an unlimited bandwidth instead dividing the bandwidth depending on the plan you sign up for. If you sign up for the smallest package then you only get a mere 2GB bandwidth. At the same time, the bandwidth limits are compensated with unlimited storage for your database, images, templates, and downloadable products; which is commonly limited and used for overage charges from some competitors.
In case you run into a problem you can’t resolve by yourself they offer several different forms of support. The fact that they offer free phone support is really great since support calls can often run for an extended period and quickly become costly for small business owners.
They offer an extensive video section with great tutorials on everything from product management to customer relations. Furthermore they also offer a knowledge base listing all the common FAQs, they also offer a forum where users can communicate with other users. You can also reach them 24/7 via their live chat.
Case studies & Ecommerce University
They’ve also compiled a great list of cases studies where successful 3dcar stores share their stories, Furthermore for those merchants who are new to ecommerce, the 3dcart University makes tons of resources available to get up to speed with running an online business.
3dcart offers all the tools you need to sell your products online. Whether you are just starting out as a new business owner or if you are a seasoned veteran doesn’t matter, they will have something for everyone. What makes it great is the fact that the solution is easy enough for everyone to be able to use it from the get-go, and still offering more advanced options for those who wan to implement their own code. I recommend that you simply sign up for the 15-day free trial and test it out yourself.