3dcart vs. Shopify

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

Matthew Taylor

Matthew Taylor

Last updated 2o July 2020


3dcart

4.4  Stackupp rating

Pricing from

$19

Free Plan?

No


Best for

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

Shopify

4.8  Stackupp rating

Pricing from

$29

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

Small and medium-sized retailers that need a fully-hosted solution that’s easy to customize.

3dcart or Shopify: Which is best?

Can't decide between 3dcart and Shopify?

Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of 3dcart and Shopify. 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 Shopify right for you?

With over one million users, Shopify is one of the most popular hosted ecommerce platforms on the market.

Shopify has gained a reputation for being extremely beginner-friendly, allowing retailers with no coding or development experience to build and manage a professional store with unlimited products.

If you’re looking for a solution that’s ready-to-go, easy to set up, and isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg, then Shopify could be the way to go.

Notably, Shopify offers features as part of its basic package, like multi-channel selling, that are often only available on higher-level plans on competing platforms.

Advantages

  • Fully hosted platform that’s easy to set up and manage.
  • Well-designed templates.
  • Extensive feature set on all plans.

Drawbacks

  • Difficult to make backend code changes.
  • Extra costs for using third-party payment gateways (instead of Shopify payments).
  • Reports not available on the lowest-priced plan.

Use Shopify if you’re just getting started or are transitioning your small or medium-sized store to a new ecommerce platform.

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 Shopify 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 Shopify to use?

Rated 5/5 for Ease of Use

Ease of use is one of the areas where Shopify really shines. All users have access to a website builder and intuitive content management system. Adding products is a doddle. And all orders are managed from an automatable fulfillment dashboard (which connects with popular fulfillment solutions). SEO and mobile responsiveness are both taken care of.

What Shopify customers are saying...

“I have built two websites using Shopify and it was a great experience. They have someone available all the time if you run into problems. I’m not a web designer and I was able to figure it out without any lengthy tutorials.”
“I've had a great experience with this platform and I highly recommend it!”
“I honestly don't know why there are so many bad reviews about Shopify. It is an absolutely amazing platform with an even better support team. I think people need to stop being so negative as there is nothing more you can ask from them.”

Design

Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do 3dcart and Shopify 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 Shopify's themes?

Rated 4/5 for Design

There’s no doubt that Shopify offers some of the most beautifully-designed templates on the market. There are over seventy templates to choose from. The downside, however, is that most themes cost around $180. At the time of writing, Shopify offers eight free themes.

The design features in the website builder are intuitive and suitable for people with no coding background. Making tweaks to colors, buttons, images etc. is a doddle. What’s more, it’s possible to make straightforward CSS and HTML additions.

The main difficulty arises when it comes to making “deeper” backend changes. Accessing and amending the Shopify backend requires specialized knowledge which many retailers don’t have.

Shopify Examples

  • Haus London
    Haus London
Item 1 of 3

How much do they cost?

Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if 3dcart or Shopify 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 Shopify cost?

Rated 5/5 for Pricing

Shopify offers great value for money. The basic package comes with a fantastic array of features, including unlimited product listings, 24/7 support, discount codes, and abandoned cart email automation. There are no set-up fees, and you can take advantage of a 14-day free trial. You’ll also get a discount when you pay for an annual plan.

The main downside to Shopify is that you’ll be charged additional fees for using any payment gateway other than Shopify Payments. While Shopify allows for a range of gateway integrations (including popular services like Paypal), it’s important to account for these extra charges before signing up.

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 Shopify'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 Shopify support?

Rated 5/5 for Help and Support

All Shopify plans come with 24/7 email, phone, and live chat support. Customer reviews are generally favorable when describing the quality of support. 24/7 email support is also offered in a variety of other languages. Shopify has one of the most active communities of users, and the forums are an excellent place to ask for help.

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.

Shopify: Our Verdict

Shopify is a model ecommerce platform - a fully-hosted, feature-rich retail solution at a reasonable price. Among the standout points are the intuitive site builder and content management system, the quality of the templates, and the complete package of features included even in the basic package.

A highly active online community, along with 24/7 support, makes it an ideal option for small and medium-sized stores that don’t have the resources to manage everything themselves.

It’s also notable that Shopify includes omnichannel selling (for social media and Amazon), discount codes, and a free SSL certificate as part of its value proposition. Retailers also have access to shipping discounts when using Spotify Shipping.

Here are two points before wrapping up. If you’re thinking of giving Shopify a test-drive, be careful to check the costs of using third-party gateways. Also, ensure you’re able to make backend changes if that’s something you need to do.

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