This article will take you through the best hosted and self-hosted ecommerce solutions for building an online store.
Trying to choose the best ecommerce software so you can sell online? You’ve come to the right place.
In an online world filled with stylish shops and stores, your business needs the best ecommerce software it can get. Choosing the right software for you will help make a real impression – and lots of money too.
After all, US shoppers spent over $453 billion online in 2019 – a massive 16% increase compared to 2020.
To grab a piece of that pie, you need an ecommerce solution.
What are ecommerce solutions? An ecommerce solution is specialized software which helps you sell online. You don’t need any tech skills because it’s designed to give you all the tools you need. There are hosted and self-hosted versions depending on your store’s needs.
There’s just one tiny problem, though – how do you pick the best ecommerce software for you?
There are lots of ecommerce solutions out there, and all of them promise to make building an online store a walk in the park. Even less helpfully, they also seem to offer similar tools and features.
That’s why our experts carry out research into every ecommerce platform and builder we review. We take an in-depth look at features, pricing, design, customer support, and more. We get regular people to test out each and every one to give real insight into ease of use and customer satisfaction.
We’ve done the research, and we’ve got the results – so if you’re thinking of creating your own online store and are looking for the best ecommerce software to use, this article is for you.
We’ll show you the best hosted ecommerce software:
3dcart is an ecommerce website builder, founded in 1997 by Gonzalo Gill. Today, it’s used by over 17,500 people selling everything from superfoods to supercar parts. In terms of features, it has many, and it does well on the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) front.
So, as a business owner, you’re probably busy shopping around for the best ecommerce website builder for your online store. In a nutshell, 3dcart has:
- 200+ built-in features
- 90 free templates
- Over 160 supported payment gateways
Like I have said earlier, 3dcart currently powers more than 17,500 global merchants, and support is free and available 24/7/365. 3dcart has everything you need to create an online store and succeed in today’s competitive e-commerce market.
Easy To Get Started
Try 3dCart for free for 15 days, no credit card is required. 3dcart’s cheapest e-commerce software plan is 19.00 per month. 3dcart doesn’t pressurize you for payments. And after signing up, you will receive a welcome email with the important bits like your site’s URL, a trial login and password.
Fact About Ecommerce Software
One of the biggest challenges of establishing an online store is choosing an e-commerce system. With so many shopping carts to pick from, it can be daunting to make up your mind. However, if you want to narrow down your list to the very best, then 3dcart is certainly worth your consideration.
Whether you intend to sell digital products or tangible goods, 3dcart offers all the features you need to build and run an online store. But how does it stack up against other similar e-commerce programs on the market?
In terms of features 3dcart proves its worth. Even at the cheapest price plan, there are plenty of decent tools to play with. Also, it has a powerful API (Application Programming Interface).
Having partnered with Zapier, the easiest automated tool for connecting apps, 3dcart gives you access to over 1000 applications to streamline your business. These include Xero, Zendesk, Hubspot, and Infusionsoft and loads more.
So let’s take a look at what else this website builder has inside its cart.
Payment, Shipping and Transactions
This is where 3dcart does well. It offers over 160 payment options – more than any ecommerce builder on the market. Better yet, they have integrated the payment methods into your store, so you don’t need to code a thing.
Shipping costs are customizable within the product inventory page. As are the actual methods – you can go with providers such as UPS, Fedex, DHL and more.
On top of that, 3dcart offers a number of app integrations including Address Verification and ShippingEasy. These make the whole process easier by removing the added stress of PayPal payments. So, 3dcart delivers here.
Within every 3dcart price plan, there are no transaction fees. They are committed to every user’s success, and therefore don’t penalize customers for growing their business. However, as usual, credit card charges will be made as per the payment gateway.
3dcart’s SEO prompts are useful and original. What they do, unlike any other builder, is make SEO functions visible throughout the site, like when adding products. Moreover, pop-ups will remind you to fill in some SEO stuff to make your page rank higher on search engines.
Overall, they have made a tricky topic easily manageable.
A recent study found 75.6% of customers forget to checkout online – bad news for ecommerce stores. But don’t worry, 3dcart knows this. Their abandoned cart notifications allow you to email customers who didn’t finish their purchase (but left an email address!)
All in all, 3dcart has some decent features. Especially with their Zapier integration letting you personalize your online store with 1000+ apps.
3dcart offers 91 free templates – the most of any ecommerce platform. And they cover every industry, apart from DIY. So, if you need to create a template for your tools, you’ll really need to do it yourself.
A selling point is that you can change templates and it will reformat your content automatically. Something you can’t even do on Wix.
How do they look? Most themes are sleek and designed on-brand. But in some cases there are design issues, such as navigation menus not scrolling down with you.
You also need to be careful when selecting a theme, because they all support different features. Some offer a quick view, while some remove product reviews.
So, getting creative without apps is hard with 3dcart. This goes for all ecommerce builders. They excel on the management tools, sacrificing creative capabilities.
24/7 support is available 365 days a year. Based in the USA, the customer support team can be reached via phone, email, or live chat. Phone is the quickest solution solver, with the live chat vulnerable to hour-long response waiting times. Also, despite the 24-hour promise, it sometimes appears they are not available at certain times.
Don’t have time to phone? Submitting a web ticket is quick and easy. You can also reach them on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Within the site itself lie some key nuggets of information, however these can be hard to dig up. The question mark help button is tricky to locate. Hint: check the bottom left corner.
3dcart offers four monthly pricing plans, as well as a 15 day Free Trial. These are:
- Startup Store ($19 p/m)
- Basic Store ($29 p/m
- Plus Store ($79 p/m)
- Pro Store ($229 p/m)
The Plus Store plan is the most popular, but you could save money with a Basic Store plan. Our research found there is not much to separate each plan, even though the prices vary significantly. Also, the add ons do get expensive, so it will cost more than you initially think.
Moreover, every plan includes generous features. You’ll get no transaction fees, a Facebook Store and unlimited orders with all of them, so you might be better off choosing a cheaper plan.
However, the Startup Plan is the only option without unlimited products. It’s capped at 100.
But, 3dcart is, on average, cheaper than Shopify and BigCommerce. So it’s a good option for those who want some powerful management tools and a lower cost. Ideal for small, yet ambitious online stores.
Is 3dcart any good? To determine whether any e-commerce solution is worth the investment, it’s always wise to weigh its pros and cons. With that in mind, here’s a quick outline of the benefits and drawbacks to expect from 3dcart.
- Comprehensive customer support.
- Low priced plans with unlimited storage capacity.
- Secure checkout with 256-bit SSL encryption.
- PCI DSS certified e-commerce solution.
- Extensive payment gateways.
- Well-rounded marketing tools.
- One page checkout.
- 15-day free trial with no credit card commitment.
- The admin section is slightly clunky although it becomes easier to use once you’re familiar with it.
- Another complaint was about repetitive templates. While 3dcart claims to offer over 100 free templates, some of the designs are just duplicated with minor color tweaks.
- Unlike other e-commerce solutions, 3dcart has bandwidth restrictions based on the type of plan you choose.
3dcart offers a wide variety of pricing tiers designed to cater to different types of online stores. The basic feature set is complete and even rivals the likes of Shopify, BigCommerce, and CoreCommerce.
Overall, this is not a bad shopping cart and it probably strikes the best balance between functionality and affordability. So, unless you require massive bandwidth to host your online store, 3dcart will more than likely meet your needs.
Yakub Abdulazeez, Is a blogger and Internet marketer with over 5 years of experience in online business. I’m also a licensed and practising medical doctor.
My aim with this blog is to help as many as I can to realize their dreams of setting up successful online businesses and make more money.