Technology should make our lives easier
• An affordable, complete package
• Can easily fit into existing website
• Good product display features
• Social networking integration
• Fewer ready-made templates
Looking to add a storefront to your existing website? Or do you want a standalone ecommerce solution? 3DCart gives you all you need to build and maintain your online store, collect orders and add features.
The 3DCart solution is pitched to fit quickly and easily into your existing web design, with no HTML programming required. You could also build and manage a standalone store with the software. With a host of built-in features you can have a store up and running quickly. We looked at the 3DCart features to see what you get for your money.
Payment for the 3DCart software is on a month-by-month basis and there are no contracts to sign. The monthly plans range from the Nano – we think this is good for a no-fills small start-up – which costs $9.99 a month and gives you 25 items for selling, through the Mini Plan ($19.99 per month for 100 products) and Gold Plan ($49.99 for 1,000 products), to the Professional Plus Plan which allows you unlimited items on sale ($99.99 per month.) There’s a 15-day free trial of the software for a non- credit card sign up.
Many small businesses and entrepreneurs will want to start with a pre-made template in order to get their store on the web quickly and easily. 3DCart offers over 50 template combinations (not as many actual template choices as other software – you actually get around 30 which can be adapted to make over 50 different designs). The software’s Quick Edit Bar allows you to make what-you-see-is-what-you-get, drag-and-drop, changes to the basic design and you can add extra pages and categories. For shop owners who want more control over the final design, all aspects of the site are customizable using HTML and CSS, and through Dreamweaver. Full FTP access is granted to all websites.
The software allows you a range of options when it comes to displaying your products. We like the image galleries with zoom feature and enlargement options, as well as the automatic thumbnail generator. Edit images using the image editor which gives you options to improve the exposure and colors and to correct red-eye. Organizing is simple with automatically categorized content such as newly released items, sale goods, or free shipping.
For added product exposure, slot YouTube videos into your store. You can also take advantage of the Product Review feature, wish lists, eDownloads and a file upload feature that allows customers to personalize products like T-shirts or mugs.
Inventory management – You can simply manage your customer orders with a few clicks, seeing data and status of purchases. Use the automatic email system that alerts your customers that their order is on the way, and the automatic tax calculation feature to define how much tax is added to a particular customer’s order. The system is integrated with QuickBooks for easy inventory updates.
Your customers can also take advantage of some useful features such as the multi-ship button to individually send the same gift to many different addresses, and the system that puts customers on a waiting list if the product is out of stock.
Payments – The 3DCart store system is integrated with all the usual payment methods including Google Checkout, PayPal, Plug n Pay and Authorize.net.
You can’t forget about SEO when you are building your store. SEO is one of the ways in which you will actually get customers to find your shop and your products. 3DCart has a decent search engine friendly make-up, and you can also work with SEO tools to change important aspects such as titles, meta-tags, categories and page names. You also get automatically generated HTML URLs which are beneficial when your pages are being searched by Google etc. Also automatically generated are the Product Index and the Category Index, to help the search engines find you more easily.
You can update your Twitter, blog or Facebook page direct from the admin area of the 3DCart store, or set up a Facebook store to sell items direct. If you don’t have a blog, integrate it into your new store. 3DCart has a newsletter manager in order to group-send emails to customers, for free. The usual features are also offered such as gift certificates, discounts, and product reviews to attract buyers.
Use the range of tools to plan and manage your business activities, and integrate with Google Analytics to track your visitors, your buyers and your referrals. Keep a track on which items are selling well, and how monthly and daily sales pan out. We think the range of reporting options is good in the 3DCart package and you can see it all from the admin area, which is convenient. If you want more detail you can narrow your focus on where you need the information.
For mobile browsing, 3DCart offers mCommerce; store templates for mobiles.
Add Like buttons to your store so people can share your content with their friends.
The 3DCart system is PCI-certified and transactions are secure and free from hacker activity. The developers state that uptime is 99 percent and the multiple data centers ensure your store is open more often than not. You can also retrieve information from the daily data backups, if you mistakenly delete a file. The software is automatically updated several times a year with no additional installations required, making the product easy to keep up to date.
Like most ecommerce software solutions, 3DCart is easy to use. You control all the workings of the store through the internet-connected dashboard and all the design and administration is done without any programming or without downloading multiple programs. We found the system to be user-friendly and good for beginners.
The technical support team is based in the United States and can be reached by telephone 24 hours a day. You can also get help with custom design and advanced programming solutions, for a fee, from 3DCart’s programmers and developers. The website also offers answers to frequently asked questions.
If you are looking for the complete package at an affordable price then you won’t go wrong with 3DCart. This ecommerce solution is easy to use but still filled with useful features.
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