3dcart vs. Amazon FBA

Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how 3dcart and Amazon FBA stack up.

Matthew Taylor
Mark Hammersley

Matthew Taylor and Mark Hammersley

Last updated 2o July 2020


3dcart

4.4  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

$ 19.00 / month

Free Plan?

Trial


Best for

3dcart is one of the “big boys” of hosted ecommerce platforms, catering to businesses of all sizes.

Amazon FBA

3.4  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

$ 0.99 / month

Free Plan?

No


Best for

online sellers with limited product ranges. It is also a good option for retailers with established stores that want to take advantage of Amazon’s significant reach.

3dcart or Amazon FBA: Which is best?

Can't decide between 3dcart and Amazon FBA?

Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of 3dcart and Amazon FBA. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, design, support and value for money.

Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.

Is 3dcart right for you?

3dcart is a widely-used and fully-hosted ecommerce platform that comes with an extensive set of features.

Like Shopify, 3dcart offers packages for retailers of all sizes. Smaller online sellers can take advantage of a site-builder and straightforward management dashboard. Larger retailers, on the other hand, can choose from a comprehensive premium plan or several enterprise options (for stores turning over millions of dollars).

For retailers that want to start on a smaller plan but are expecting to scale, 3dcart will be particularly attractive.

On the negative side, absolute beginners may benefit from a more intuitive, streamlined platform like Weebly or Squarespace. The themes aren’t the most visually-pleasing that we’ve seen, either.

Advantages

  • Wide range of plans for retailers of all sizes.
  • Extensive feature set, especially on the “Plus” and “Pro” plans.
  • Excellent 24/7 customer support options.

Drawbacks

  • There are a few “hidden” costs.
  • Understanding the central management dashboard takes a little time.
  • The free themes aren’t particularly visually attractive.

Use if you’re a large retailer looking for a fully-hosted solution with a wide feature set, extensive customizability, and excellent customer support. Equally, smaller retailers that are expecting to scale should consider 3dcart.

Is Amazon FBA right for you?

Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is Amazon’s in-house fulfillment service for sellers. Instead of taking care of the storage and delivery of products themselves, sellers who opt for Amazon FBA can use Amazon’s warehouses and logistics networks. This can significantly reduce financial and administrative burdens.

It’s important to recognize that Amazon FBA is an additional service for Amazon sellers. It will only meet your needs if you already intend to sell products on Amazon. It is not a self-contained ecommerce solution that will allow you to list a wide array of different items and keep all the revenue from sales. What’s more, Amazon takes a significant cut of the final purchase price. You will also have to compete with other sellers in the marketplace.

With all that in mind, it’s essential to weigh up the benefits associated with access to the world’s single largest retail market with the cons of hefty fees, limited control, and high levels of competition.

Generally speaking, small retailers that don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing an entire ecommerce store (and all the technical, marketing, and logistical tasks this involves) will find a lot to like in Amazon FBA. Equally, retailers with established stores that want to bring their best products to a broader market should consider Amazon FBA.

Finally, keep in mind that running a successful business on Amazon FBA requires a unique skill-set. It’s a different ballgame to running a “traditional” ecommerce store, and this should be accounted for. You will need to familiarize yourself with topics like competitor research, keyword analysis, product page optimization, results page optimization, and so on.

Advantages

  • Access to one of the largest retail markets in the world.
  • Limited logistical and administrative burden.
  • No need to run your own ecommerce store.

Drawbacks

  • High listing and fulfillment fees.
  • Lack of control over design of product pages.
  • Relatively high startup costs for initial order.

you are a small independent retailer who doesn’t want to run their own store and handle complex back-end logistical tasks. Amazon will do a lot of the hard work for you while providing access to a large retail marketplace.

Ease of Use

Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.

Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.

We take a look at how simple the 3dcart and Amazon FBA platforms are to run.

How easy is 3dcart to use?

Rated 4/5 for Ease of Use

3dcart offers a site-builder and collection of ready-made themes for beginners, along with an advanced editor for developers. Setting up a store for the first time is a straightforward process.

Because 3dcart has a huge array of features, the interface can feel a little overwhelming at first. And it doesn’t boast the same level of intuitiveness as some other platforms.

That said, once users are familiar with the various features, store-management becomes easy. Extensive video and written tutorials are also provided.

What 3dcart customers are saying...

I like it. At first it was a bit over whelming. I am self taught, so just had to figure things out my self.
I would never use another shopping cart software. I started using them in 2010. They have always been light years ahead of the others.
I like 3Dcart. I have been using them for about 10 years.

How easy is Amazon FBA to use?

Rated 4.5/5 for Ease of Use

Amazon FBA is managed through “Seller Central”, an online dashboard that all Amazon merchants use to manage their inventory, product listings, storefronts, and analytics.

The interface is very user-friendly, and you can add and configure products quickly. There is a substantial amount of help documentation online through the “Seller Central” portal and Amazon also offers an “Amazon Seller App” for mobile devices. All in all, it’s a very good option for beginners, along with retailers who have limited technical expertise.

Configuring fulfillment options is also a straightforward, linear process and is completed within the “Seller Central” area once products have been added to a catalog.

Finally, you can manage your own independent store, which will show all your Amazon listings, via the “Stores” tab.

What Amazon FBA customers are saying...

"This website is good for beginners who want to earn."
"This platform is the most solid on the web to sell products online."
"They have never failed to pay me and they have been supportive when deviant customers have tried to steal from me."
Amazon FBA is our winner for ease of use

Design

Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do 3dcart and Amazon FBA templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.

How good are 3dcart's themes?

Rated 4/5 for Design

Generally speaking, 3dcart excels when it comes to design flexibility. Developers and designers that are seeking a solution that balances a high level of customizability with the benefits of a fully-hosted plan should definitely consider this platform.

Retailers will little design experience will also benefit from a solid website builder that allows them to make changes to their site’s look-and-feel and layout options. The one downside is that the free templates are a little lacking in terms of visual appeal.

Experienced developers can take advantage of the theme editor. A REST API is available for the creation of apps to add extra functionality to 3dcart’s existing feature-set.

3dcart Examples

  • Steeda
    Steeda
Item 1 of 3

How good are Amazon FBA's themes?

Rated 2.5/5 for Design

Amazon doesn’t offer much in the way of design freedom. Sellers can only customize specific product page elements, such as the title and description, images, and in-depth “body copy”. The layout and overall page design cannot be altered.

Once they have registered their brand, sellers can also open their own Amazon storefront, which affords a greater (albeit still limited) level of design flexibility.

If you’re looking for complete control over your store, you will likely find that a self-managed ecommerce solution like Shopify or WooCommerce better fits your needs.

Amazon FBA Examples

  • Rogaine
    Rogaine
Item 1 of 3
3dcart is our winner for design

How much do they cost?

Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if 3dcart or Amazon FBA offers better value for money.

How much does 3dcart cost?

Rated 4.5/5 for Pricing

3dcart is very competitive when it comes to pricing. The lowest-priced “Startup” plan, which has everything you need to run an online store (unlike some other ecommerce platforms where the entry-level plans have limited feature-sets), costs $19/month. There are no extra transaction fees on any of the packages. New users can also sample the software with a 15-day free trial.

The top “Pro” plan, which is suitable for stores making up to $1 million in sales per year, and comes with omnichannel sales, 24/7 support, and unlimited bandwidth and product listings, costs $229/month. There are significant discounts for a yearly subscription across all plans. 3dcart is also one of the few ecommerce platforms to publicly show it’s enterprise options, which begin at $499.99 a month for stores making up to $5 million a year.

How much does Amazon FBA cost?

Rated 3.5/5 for Pricing

“Value for money” is a slightly mixed bag when it comes to Amazon FBA. It’s important to stress that all serious Amazon FBA sellers will have to purchase a subscription to an Amazon Seller account. There are two plans available. The “Individual” plan is free, but a charge of $0.99 per item sold is collected. The “Professional” plan is $39.99 per month.

On the surface, these figures don’t seem significant. It’s when you get down to the nitty-gritty of item fees that a more precise picture starts to emerge. FBA sellers have to account for several charges: a referral fee (which can be up to 15% of the item sale price, a storage fee), storage costs, and a fulfillment fee. All of these can quickly add up, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the fine print and do all your calculations to ensure you can make a sustainable profit.

3dcart is our winner for cost

Help and Support

If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does 3dcart's and Amazon FBA's support measure up?

How good is 3dcart support?

Rated 5/5 for Help and Support

3dcart offers one of the best support packages on the market. All plans include live chat and help tickets. All but the lowest-priced option also offer 24/7 phone support. Customer reports regarding the quality of support are very positive.

Furthermore, users have access to extensive documentation and an active community of fellow retailers and developers.

How good is Amazon FBA support?

Rated 3/5 for Help and Support

Amazon provides support to sellers through online tickets and has published extensive online documentation and training for new users. There is also an active community forum where it’s possible to get answers to questions.

While the support options are reasonable, we would like to have seen phone and email support in conjunction with the options already on offer.

3dcart is our winner for support

The Bottom Line

The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.

3dcart: Our Verdict

Overall, we were very impressed with 3dcart. Pricing is competitive, the feature-set is comprehensive, and there are plans to suit every type of online outlet, from small boutiques to international enterprise-level stores.

Features include support for multiple staff accounts, omnichannel sales, advertising automation, unlimited products and bandwidth, access to hundreds of payment processors, and more. Beginners can take advantage of a robust site-builder. And more experienced developers will find it easy to make deeper backend changes via the code editor or through the use of the REST API.

With all of that in mind, there are a small handful of downsides. Costs for apps can run into hundreds of dollars per month, there’s no support for multiple languages, and the quality of themes isn’t as high as some other providers. Smaller retailers that aren’t expecting to grow significantly might also prefer a more streamlined solution.

Our advice? If you’re looking for a powerful hosted solution that won’t break the bank, give 3dcart a whirl and see how the features work for you.

Amazon FBA: Our Verdict

The FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) program has done a lot to open up Amazon’s sizable marketplace to new sellers and streamline the often-complex process of storing items and fulfilling purchases.

If you are starting out in the ecommerce space, and find the prospect of running an independent store daunting, then Amazon is a viable option. Equally, if you already have an established online presence and want to reach new customers, selling your top-performing products through Amazon is also worth considering.

Just keep in mind that running a profitable Amazon FBA business is different from running your own online store. It requires a unique skill-set and the ability to evaluate competition and find gaps in the market.

Overall, we found 3dcart to be the better ecommerce platform.

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