Product Name: 3dcart
Price: $19.99 – $199.99 monthly
Free Trial: Yes
Guided Tour: Yes
The overall experience with 3dcart was okay. Nothing that I would say is terrible but nothing that I felt made it great either. It’s a working solution for anyone who needs to sell products online.
3dcart offers support 24/7, abandoned cart recovery and flexible pricing options. They have some great features but none of them are intuitive. There’s a learning curve with 3dcart that will likely take a lot of time to overcome. As storefronts go, 3dcart is a good option but not one I would personally choose to build my website.
What I liked
Building a storefront can be very difficult. 3dcart offers a lot of very thorough training within their knowledge base. Most of the training in the knowledge base is text but there’s 100’s of videos too.
In addition to the videos, 3dcart offers a guided demo that walks new customers through each part of the building process. This type of support doesn't end after you make your purchase either. They also offer technical support 24/7.
The fatal mistake made by so many new online stores is the lack of content.
Content is an important part of any online business. The fact that 3dcart offers a built-in blog is reassuring.
Another important part of any website is the ‘look and feel.’ Setting up a storefront that looks like a hundred others will only chase your customers away.
3dcart offers customization options for design on the frontend as well as the backend. On the backend, you’re allowed full HTML access to create your storefront any way you like.
The problem with backend customization is that it doesn't always turn out the way you planned on the frontend. For that reason, 3dcart offers a frontend editor that allows you to ‘tweak’ any customizations you've made behind the scenes.
Of course no store (online or off) can survive without some form of marketing. 3dcart seems to understand this a little better than many of their competitors. By offering SEO, social media and email solutions they've allowed users to manage their own marketing.
What I didn't Like
While 3dcart offers a lot of options, many of them weren't all that great.
For example, the builder itself felt toyish. This isn't to say the technology is bad, it's just not what I'd recommend to build a website, especially a storefront website.
Load times were terrible, which makes editing any part of your storefront a much longer process than it needs to be. This can add hours, maybe even days to the time it takes to build your store.
If you decide to use 3dcart’s hosting your customers will experience these load times. Most customers will not wait to make a purchase, they’ll just leave your site.
Another time consuming task is the product uploading and editing. You will need to import products, product categories, vendors and all other product information listed separately in CSV sheets. This is a tedious process that could take days for most medium sized businesses.
Although I liked the fact that 3dcart offers training videos, there were just too many. The massive amount of videos was intimidating and overwhelming. For every-single-thing you can do, there is at least 3 to 10 videos explaining it.
The videos are categorized into a handful of sections but they aren't tagged within the categories. Because of that, it would be impossible to find an answer to most problems without searching for hours.
The monthly fee is based on the number of products your store sells, as well as the bandwidth the store uses. Okay fair enough, until you realize the more visitors you get, the more bandwidth you use. Take a minute to fully understand that.
The more visitors you get to your store, the more money you will pay.
When you're a beginner, you don't need to be fined for exceeding your goals. You need a place that will let you grow as much as possible.
What Makes Them Different
You can get up and running at the advertised price with 3dcart. Many popular storefront builders smother you with add-ons you didn’t realize you would need until after you’ve signed up. Things like email newsletters, customer relationship management software and more are all part of the monthly cost.
They also offer free transactions, meaning your customers can purchase from your store without 3dcart taking a percentage of purchase. As you can imagine, transaction fees could add up quickly if 3dcart charged for this.
3dcart has a lot of ways to optimize your store, which is important for gaining free traffic.
This is where their built-in blog comes in handy yet again.
To gain free organic traffic from search engines like Google, you need fresh content. This is hard to do without a blog, so 3dcart gets some brownie points here.
In addition to the blog, they've added the ability to optimize images for social media as well as for search engines. Storefront images are shared often – and often they are distorted when shared. The ability to share perfect images on social media is paramount for online stores.
Who is 3dcart for?
3dcart is for brick and mortar businesses who want to sell physical products online with marketing, accounting and customer relations handled from within the same software. If you own a business with multiple products 3dcart might be a good solution for you.
This ecommerce platform didn't score too well, but there are other amazing ones out there that I've reviewed. My favorites so far are Big Commerce (92/100), Shopify (91/100), and Volusion (90/100). They all have different features, so check them out and see which one fits your goals best.
3dcart VS Affiliate Marketing
The most important difference between 3dcart and affiliate marketing is the product. In both cases you can sell physical products. However with 3dcart you must have your own products.
In affiliate marketing you can sell anything, whether it’s your product or not. If you see something cool online, you can start selling it through affiliate marketing almost immediately. You don’t have to store, ship, or touch the product. Ever.
The price for 3dcart, even at its most expensive sounds fairly appealing. That is of course, until you factor in all the time it takes to…
- Create your own product
- Store it
- Weigh it
- Ship it
- Handle damages
- Handle complaints
- Manage refunds
- Battle theft
- Manage discounts
- Manage inflation
- Manage customers
- Hire good help
- Pay overtime
- Pay employee taxes
I can go on and on here.
The truth is, an ecommerce solution like 3dcart is great…if you already own a business that has products. If you don’t, then the cost of 3dcart and the time it takes to learn how to use it is the least of your problems. You’re still at least 12 months (and thousands of dollars) from shipping your first order. And that’s if all goes well.
E Commerce is a brutally tough industry with millions of competitors. Everyone who has ever painted a smiley face on a coffee mug wants to open an online store and sell it. Many of them do not have capital, the skill or the time it takes to be successful in e commerce. And unlike the restaurant business, ecommerce business fail within the first 3 or 4 months.
If you really want to build a profitable business online then think about the first rule of business.
Cut costs, cut overhead and avoid risk.
With affiliate marketing you have almost no over head. You can buy a $10 domain and even host for free with some companies. The only missing ingredient is learning how to do it. Start your training at Wealthy Affiliate for free. Get two free websites, and build the foundation of a virtual business with the help of experts that want to see you succeed. It's where I got my start, which is why I recommend it all the time.