If you’re starting an ecommerce business, you’ll need a software platform that can accommodate your specific needs—not only allowing you to create an online store but also providing you with additional features that will help you manage your operations. With all of the ecommerce solutions on the market, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from, including popular platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, to more niche offerings like Sellfy.
For an all-in-one platform that offers impressive functionality at a competitive cost, you might consider 3dcart. Founded in 1997, 3dcart is a U.S.-based ecommerce platform that currently services over 22,000 merchants around the world. Is 3dcart the right solution for your business? We’re here to help you find out. In this 3dcart review, we’ll explain the basics of this ecommerce platform, answering the question “What is 3dcart?” and discussing both features and pricing. We’ll also break down the possible benefits and drawbacks of the software and offer top alternatives—so that you have all the information you need to decide which solution is best for your ecommerce business.
3dcart is a cloud-based ecommerce software that gives you the ability to build and launch an online store, sell your products, accept payments, and fulfill customer orders. As an all-inclusive platform, 3dcart offers over 200 built-in features, from SEO optimization to abandoned cart recovery tools to drop-shipping support.
Like many ecommerce solutions, 3dcart has four different core service plans, each with an increasing amount of functionality at progressively higher price points. All of the 3dcart plans, however, provide you with secure web hosting to create your online store. You can also choose from over 50 mobile-ready themes, and you have the ability to register your own domain. Additionally, 3dcart plans all include unlimited bandwidth, a built-in blog, shopping cart, a Facebook store, and API access.
Moreover, each 3dcart plan has no transaction fees and allows you to process unlimited orders, choose from over 100 payment providers, and utilize 24/7 tech support. On the whole, 3dcart provides the functionality and tools you need to sell online, all in one place.
Now that we’ve gone through an overview of what the 3dcart ecommerce software can do, let’s dive deeper into the robust feature set this platform offers.
With 3dcart, you can choose from over 100 different mobile-functional themes, including 50 free themes, to create your ecommerce website. After you’ve picked a theme, your entire store can be customized to your business using standard HTML/CSS coding. You can edit templates right in your browser or use FTP to download templates as needed.
Additionally, you can use the 3dcart content management system to add an unlimited number of pages, all of which can be modified and updated as you see fit. Moreover, you can utilize the built-in blog to add article pages to your online store as well.
3dcart includes secure, PCI-compliant web hosting for your ecommerce website and allows you to choose a unique domain name, which they register and renew for your annually, at no additional cost. If you already own a domain from another business website and want to transfer it, 3dcart can do that as well. In addition, 3dcart offers unlimited bandwidth, email hosting, and disk space, monthly software upgrades, daily backups, an included SSL certificate, and FTP access to files. Furthermore, 3dcart gives you the ability to create multiple staff users with role-based security.
Although 3dcart does not offer their own payment processing service, they give you the ability to accept payments online with over 100 payment gateway integration options. 3dcart works with top processing providers like Stripe, Square, Authorize.Net, Fattmerchant, and more. Additionally, 3dcart includes other payment-related capabilities with their service, like the ability to integrate with PayPal, offer Visa Checkout, Masterpass, Apple Pay, Google Pay, financing and pay later options, as well as accept Bitcoin and keep customer cards on file for future purchases.
With 3dcart’s shopping cart, your customers can shop for and add products to their cart and complete checkout quickly and easily. You can optimize your checkout page, utilizing single page or multi-page checkout flows. You can show your customers real time shipping rates, different payment options, as well as taxes based on your location.
3dcart also provides additional shopping cart tools like abandoned cart recovery, customer wish lists, gift registry, and saved carts, as well as a “multiple ship to” option. Moreover, if you already have a website on another platform and want to simply add a shopping cart, 3dcart allows you to do so. 3dcart has established connections for WordPress, PayPal, Google, Amazon, and Square, but you can connect to any website by creating a subdomain and linking it to your 3dcart storefront.
You can easily add, edit, and manage all of your ecommerce products using the 3dcart interface. 3dcart gives you the ability to add an unlimited number of products and organize them with categories, SmartCategories, options, and variations. You also can include video, as well as multiple product images, which are displayed with built-in zoom capabilities.
In addition, 3dcart allows you to upsell and cross-sell your products, offer discounts, sell digital products, and create waiting lists. You also can enable product questions and answers, customer reviews, detailed product reports, as well as handle inventory purchase orders.
Example of a website built with 3dcart. Source: 3dcart
Once customers have completed checkout within your online store, you can manage and fulfill their orders using 3dcart’s built-in tools. You can process orders quickly by printing single or multiple orders with one click, printing shipping labels, marking orders as shipped, and connecting with major shipping providers. You also can utilize the 3dcart drop-shipping support, process returns, and even accept phone orders.
Furthermore, 3dcart gives your customers the ability to create accounts, which you can then use to segment them into customer groups with customized pricing and promotions. Moreover, you can communicate with and manage your customers with 3dcart’s included CRM tool.
3dcart includes a number of specific features to help you promote and grow your online business. All 3dcart stores are wholly optimized for SEO and include advanced SEO tools like a sitemap builder, 301 redirector, custom file names, and more. 3dcart also gives you the ability to connect to Google Analytics, as well as view additional store statistics right from their dashboard.
Additionally, you can use 3dcart to create email marketing campaigns, offer promotions, coupons, and gift cards, as well as develop both affiliate and reward programs. You can also integrate your 3dcart store with a variety of social networks and utilize free credits to advertise your business online using platforms like Facebook, Amazon, and Bing.
In addition to social network integration capabilities, 3dcart also gives you the ability to integrate with other business tools using their app store. The 3dcart app store includes free and paid add-ons in over 21 different categories, including well-known products like Mailchimp, Shipstation, QuickBooks, Xero, Avalara, and more. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, 3dcart allows you to choose from over 100 payment integration options. Moreover, 3dcart gives you the opportunity to connect your online store to various other sales channels, like eBay, Amazon, Google shopping, Shopzilla, Facebook Shop, Walmart, and Square point of sale.
To assist their customers, 3dcart offers 24/7/365 U.S.-based customer support via ticketing system, phone, or live chat. The 3dcart website also includes self-service resources like a knowledge base, HTML guide, user manual, video tutorials, and their ecommerce university. Furthermore, you can access the 3dcart expert database to find designers, marketers, developers, and photographers who you can hire for more personalized, hands-on support.
3dcart’s ecommerce university homepage. Source: 3dcart
As we previously mentioned, 3dcart offers four different core plans on a monthly subscription basis—the Startup Store, Basic Store, Plus Store, and Pro Store. The plan you choose will dictate the specific 3dcart features you receive, with each plan level increasing in price as well as platform functionality.
The Startup Store, the first plan 3dcart offers, costs $19 per month. You can receive a 10% discount on this price—or the monthly price of any plan—however, if your purchase 12 prepaid months of a 3dcart subscription. The Startup Store includes the following features:
The second plan 3dcart offers, the Basic Store, costs $29 per month. This plan includes all of the functionality of the Startup plan, as well as:
The next plan, the Plus Store, costs $79 per month and offers all of the features of the first two plans, in addition to:
The Pro Store plan, at $229 per month, is the final core service offering from 3dcart and includes all of the capabilities of the previous plans, plus:
If your business’s sales volume exceeds $1 million in 12 months, you can qualify for the 3dcart enterprise solution. 3dcart offers their enterprise service starting at $499 per month, with additional features, like advanced shipping modules, product management, and automation to accommodate high volume merchants.
3dcart does not charge setup, transaction, or PCI-compliance fees. You also can sign up for a free 15 day trial of 3dcart, no credit card required. Although 3dcart does not charge a cancellation fee and you can cancel your account at any time, they do not offer refunds on their service—therefore, if you paid a yearly subscription and cancel after six months, you will not receive any money back for the six months you’re not using.
In addition to the monthly subscription cost of 3dcart’s service, you’ll also have to pay for payment processing. As we mentioned, 3dcart does not offer their own processing solution, so you’ll need to choose a third-party provider to work with. You can integrate with any of the processor add-ons that 3dcart offers without paying additional transaction or integration fees. The only credit card processing fees that you’ll incur, therefore, will come directly from your payment processor.
Moreover, 3dcart partners with particular providers to offer discounted credit card processing rates for each of their four core plans. To be eligible for these rates, however, you have to be a U.S.-based company, a new 3dcart client, and submit an application (and be approved) for an account with the third-party partner. The discounted rates for all 3dcart plans start at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction—for the Plus and Pro plans, the rates can drop as low as 2.7% and 2.5%, respectively.
Considering everything we’ve discussed thus far, there are certainly benefits to choosing 3dcart as your ecommerce platform. Here are a few worth noting:
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of the 3dcart ecommerce software is the robust feature set. 3dcart includes an impressive amount of functionality without requiring the highest plan level or relying solely on integrations. Even the most basic 3dcart plan offers capabilities you don’t always receive with other platforms, like single page checkout, a built-in blog, product and customer reviews, digital downloads, and more. Additionally, if you do require functionality that isn’t included with 3dcart, you can utilize a variety of free and paid add-ons from the 3dcart app store.
Another notable benefit of 3dcart is the platform’s flexibility. Not only does 3dcart’s expansive feature set give you flexibility with the way you use the platform, but you also receive flexibility in your design, payment processing, and selling options. First, 3dcart gives you the ability to choose from multiple unique themes, all of which can be customized to your specifications. Moreover, 3dcart provides over 100 payment processor integrations, giving you the flexibility to compare prices and choose from top providers, or use the provider you currently work with. Finally, in addition to your 3dcart online store, you can use the 3dcart platform to sell in a variety of different ways, including using popular selling channels like Facebook, Amazon, and eBay.
With a starting price of $19 per month and no additional transaction, compliance, or other fees, 3dcart certainly offers their service at a competitive price. Although some of the more advanced features, like email marketing newsletters and abandoned cart recovery, require the higher level plans, both the Startup and Basic plans offer great functionality at an affordable cost.
Furthermore, since you can choose from a number of top credit card processing companies, you have the ability to shop around and find the provider that can give you the best rates. Moreover, 3dcart does not charge an extra fee for payment processing integration and in fact, offers discounted credit card rates for qualified customers with certain third-party providers.
Although there are benefits to the 3dcart software, there are also drawbacks worth considering. Here are a few:
Even though 3dcart offers a variety of themes that are all customizable, their free themes are limited—and as a whole, the theme designs don’t seem as modern and clean as competitors like Shopify. Additionally, whereas many ecommerce platforms implement simple drag-and-drop builders to appeal to a wide consumer base, 3dcart’s themes require HTML or CSS editing. Although this is a common and perhaps less complex coding language than others out there, this editing style could still be a barrier to entry for many business owners.
Although we can’t say that 3dcart is the most difficult ecommerce platform to use, we also can’t say it’s the easiest. Along the lines we just discussed about difficult editing, it seems that the 3dcart interface as a whole could be more intuitive and less complex. As we’ll discuss in greater detail shortly, many 3dcart customers find the platform difficult to navigate. This being said, although 3dcart’s immense functionality can be a benefit, in this way it can also be a drawback—if you don’t actually need all of these features, the platform can seem overwhelming and it can be difficult to find the tools you do need.
We’ve listed price as a benefit and a drawback because although 3dcart offers affordable plans and impressive payment processing options, there are ways the cost of this platform could quickly add up. First, as we mentioned briefly earlier, if you require specific advanced functionality, like loyalty programs, abandoned cart tools, or customer groups, you’ll need to select, at a minimum, the $79 Plus Store plan. Additionally, even though 3dcart gives you a great opportunity to build your store for free (other than the monthly cost, of course), costs can easily rise if you choose a premium theme or need any paid integrations.
What do 3dcart customers have to say about this ecommerce solution? Generally, it seems that 3dcart reviews on the internet are average, with reviews that skew both positively and negatively, as well as those that are mixed. On the whole, however, it seems that are some common threads between these various 3dcart reviews.
In terms of positive 3dcart reviews, customers often mention the platform’s diverse features, customization abilities, and payment processing options. Moreover, reviewers like the built-in SEO products, as well as the frequent software updates 3dcart makes. On the other hand, negative 3dcart reviews say that the platform is unintuitive and can be difficult to navigate. Additionally, these reviewers feel that you have to do a lot of the setup work yourself and there are limited options for free themes.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these 3dcart reviews is what reviewers have to say about their customer support. Customers seem to have very strong opinions on 3dcart’s customer service, either saying that it’s extremely helpful and accessible, or, conversely, that it’s inadequate and difficult. Overall, however, even with the variety of 3dcart reviews that are out there, it seems that customers are generally satisfied with this service.
Before deciding whether 3dcart is the right solution for your online store, you’ll want to explore top competitors to determine if another service better fulfills your business’s needs. Here are two alternatives worth considering:
If you’re interested in much of what 3dcart has to offer, with a few concerns, you might consider Shopify. In fact, when you compare 3dcart vs. Shopify, you’ll see that the platforms are incredibly similar, with a few key differences. Like 3dcart, Shopify offers four different plans, as well as an enterprise solution. The plans include much of the same features and are priced almost identically to 3dcart. Where Shopify stands out, then, is in their design and usability.
Shopify is known as one of the most user-friendly ecommerce platforms, allowing you to customize and launch your store quickly and easily. Unlike 3dcart, Shopify uses a drag-and-drop editor, giving you the ability to modify your store without any coding. Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, Shopify’s themes look more modern and clean in comparison to 3dcart’s offerings.
Moreover, Shopify offers their own payment processing solution, a free mobile app, and perhaps one of the most robust app stores in the industry. This being said, if you’re looking for some of intuitiveness and usability that 3dcart is missing, Shopify is a great alternative.
Like Shopify, BigCommerce is actually very similar to 3dcart, however, this platform also has some differences that make it a worthy alternative. On the whole, BigCommerce, like 3dcart is an all-inclusive platform with multiple, competitively priced plans to choose from. However, BigCommerce offers a few features in all of their plans that you can only get with the higher level 3dcart plans like unlimited staff accounts and eBay and Amazon integration.
Additionally, although like 3dcart, BigCommerce offers discounted payment processing, the discounted rates they offer go even lower than those 3dcart offers. Moreover, as with Shopify, an important difference between BigCommerce and 3dcart is store building. BigCommerce utilizes a storefront editor, allowing you to customize your store without code. Plus, BigCommerce is known for the user-friendliness of their platform—with some BigCommerce vs. Shopify comparisons suggesting that BigCommerce is even more intuitive. Therefore, if you’re looking for similar functionality and pricing to 3dcart with more approachability, you’ll certainly want to look into BigCommerce.
At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can decide which ecommerce solution is right for your business. This being said, however, if you’re looking for an all-in-one platform with a reasonable cost and impressive functionality, 3dcart is a great option. Moreover, if you’re particularly interested in payment processing options, advanced tools, and scalability, there’s no doubt that 3dcart can meet those needs.
On the other hand, if you’re just starting your ecommerce business and are looking for the quickest and easiest way to create your store, especially without coding, you may want to explore a 3dcart alternative. Although 3dcart may not be as user-friendly and intuitive as competitors, it still seems that most businesses would be able to find success from this platform. Ultimately, if you’re still undecided on which solution will best serve your business, we’d recommend signing up for free trials of your top contenders, if offered. Testing out different platforms for yourself can give you a better sense of how each would work for your online store.
Randa Kriss is a senior staff writer at Fundera.
At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. Randa has written hundreds of reviews across a wide swath of business topics including ecommerce, merchant services, accounting, credit cards, bank accounts, loan products, and payroll and human resources solutions.