Creating an online store from scratch can be a daunting task. There are a lot of platforms available out there which take care of all the legwork if you want to create a webstore. 3dcart is one such platform. It provides the user with an easy way to create and manage an online shop. The platform not only helps you list your products on the internet, but it also helps to make sure that your store ranks higher in search engine results.
- There are plenty of free and paid themes.
- Easy to customize design and layout.
- Product management includes a lot of auxiliary options.
- Multiple payment options available.
- Customer management features come in handy.
- SEO tools help increase store’s visibility.
- Plenty of marketing tools
- May take some time to lean and master.
There are a lot of reasons why online stores are getting more and more popular, whereas physical stores are getting obsolete in case of a lot of products.
An e-commerce website brings the world to you while lying in the comfort of your couch. On the other hand, it is you who needs to get up and go all the way up to the physical store only to find out that what you’ve been looking for is not available there.
Online stores give the user so many options that it can get a bit overwhelming for the buyer at times. A physical store can only have so many options for the user.
The advantages of an online store outweigh the demerits most of the times. Things such as the ability to look and feel the product for real are some of the things that you will have to sacrifice if you are shopping online. But it trumps in rest of the cases.
And it is not just the physical products, you can always showcase digital products on a webstore as well.
By now, you must’ve already guessed how much of big-deal these online stores are. In this review, we will discuss 3dcart. It is an e-commerce platform which allows users to create full-fledged online stores without the need to write a single line of code.
3dcart markets itself not just as an e-commerce platform, but the one which helps the user deal with this puzzle called SEO.
A lot of websites, including online stores, rely on search engine traffic to get more visitors. A good ranking in a search engine result can have a significant impact on user visits and revenue.
Since 3dcart proposes to help the store rank better on the search engine results page, we will keep a close eye on how it goes about the process.
The review will contain everything related to how the tool helps one create and manage a store, and we will also keep a close eye on the SEO side of things.
Starting with the basics
Let us begin with the first things that one would do on 3dcart to get the store started. One of the first things you need to decide about the store is how it will appear.
3dcart comes with a variety of themes. You will find some of them for free, and then the platform offers some premium themes, as well. The theme collection provides a lot of variations in terms of designs and layouts.
It is highly likely that you will find something which goes well with your reference. Most of the themes are responsive and work well for desktop and mobile devices. But issues can occur every now and then.
3dcart is not one of those drag-and-drop website builders, which are budding up in the website builder and webstore builder niche.
There is no denying the fact that it is easy to set up and customize an online store if you have a drag-and-drop editor. You can have things the way you want and have complete freedom over each and every design aspect.
But these kinds of platforms fail to perform well when you start scaling up. 3dcart is more like WordPress for online stores. If you have some experience of managing a WordPress website, then it will not take you long to get an idea of the ins and outs of this tool.
Coming back to the templates, you may have to make a few changes here and there in the settings section when you switch from one theme to another. It will ensure that your online store works well across all the platforms.
3dcart allows the user to edit or customize themes and templates in more than one way. The different methods of changing the design require different levels of knowledge and expertise, as well.
If you don’t have knowledge of HTML and want to make some superficial changes to the store, then you can go for the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) mode. It allows the user to change formatting, fonts, colors, and a few other things. You can even add or remove some of the elements under the WYSIWYG mode.
It comes with a formatting bar at the top, and you can easily use it to apply the changes you want. Other than WYSIWYG mode, you can go directly for HTML.
However, one should go with HTML mode only when they have enough expertise in the area. Otherwise, the move can backfire very badly. One can always create backups of the original settings and themes to restore things to normalcy in case something goes wrong.
3dcart is not one of those platforms that you can master right from the get-go even if you are a beginner. It does require one to have some knowledge and expertise before they can function with complete freedom.
Apart from WYSIWYG mode and HTML way, you can always try to make changes the usual way. There are provisions for modifications by going into general and design settings of the account. You will find fields for name of the store, logo, caption, and a lot more.
There are plenty of themes for one to choose from in the beginning, and then there are variety of ways to customize those themes, as well. Irrespective of whether you have access to premium templates or not, you will have loads of design options for the store.
Once you have taken care of theme and other aesthetic features of the store, you would want to move on to the next most important section, the products.
The way products are listed on the store has everything to do with what theme you have picked and how you have customized it. The ‘products’ section on the side panel will let you only add, modify, and remove products from the store.
There are other things to do as well, but let us first discuss what kind of options are there to manage the products.
Adding a new product to the store is a straightforward task. The ‘add product’ comes with all the necessary fields, and all you need to do is fill them with appropriate entries.
The usual entries are the name of the product, description, images, price, dimensions, etc. Along with these details, they allow you to add unique identification number for the product, a manufacturer’s part number if applicable, and so on.
Since 3dcart deals with both digital and physical products, you can specify this detail about the product while adding it in the store. Apart from physical and digital products, 3dcart lets one list out gift certificates on the shop, as well.
If you are going to list out a lot of products in your cart, which is highly likely going to be the case, then it makes a lot of sense to sort the product into various categories. This makes it easy for both the seller and the buyer.
3dcart allows one to create categories as you add products into it. If you are one of those highly organized, super-efficient people, then you can go ahead and create product categories beforehand, as well.
There are specific sections for pricing and inventory. If you want, you can take care of the stock from the platform only. It will once again be beneficial for both buyers as well as the seller.
Buyer will act promptly if she knows that the product is about to go out of stock, and the seller will not have to use some other tool to know when to replenish the stocks.
If you have variations of the product in the form of color, design, shape, etc. then you can mention all of them in the options tab.
Adding each product manually can be a tedious and overwhelming task, especially when the store is huge, and there are too many products to handle. In such cases, one can import CSV data. You can have appropriate columns in the CSV files, and it can reduce the legwork significantly.
3dcart provides more options in the product categorization tab then what you would’ve expected. You can create sub-categories, manage display product settings, take care of SEO, manage permissions, modify page content, and so much more.
The product categories page goes through a lot of details. You can even consider it the first glimpse of some of the ways using which 3dcart manages to push stores up on search engine rankings.
3dcart allows you to create special kind of categories called SmartCategories. The platform automatically puts products into these categories based on the properties of the product.
It helps promote the product and to get more sales. For instance, if you have some products on sale on your store, then you can put all those products under one umbrella using SmartCategories, and making it easier for the user to find all the products which are currently on sale.
It is not just the items of sale, SmartCategories will help you put together products which come with no delivery charge, which have been recently launched or if the products have got some other common characteristics of your preference.
There is no promotion technique better than word of mouth. Most online shoppers rely on user reviews to know how good the product is.
3dcart allows the user to add and manage review section of the product. Reviews help increase user engagement and are good for SEO too. If majority of the reviews are positive, then it will obviously affect the sale positively.
When it comes to the review section, it is not as if anyone can come and put out their opinion on the store, irrespective of the fact that they have brought the product or not. 3dcart allows one to implement various moderation techniques.
You can have only the registered and verified buyers have the ability to add a review, you can limit the number of reviews on each page, you can enable CAPTCHA for review, allow/disallow images along with the review, and so much more.
The section can help you have some significant growth in sales and traffic on the store. You can even apply a rating system to let visitors decide if the available review was helpful or not.
If you have a particular product which is quite popular among buyers and keeps getting out of stock, then you can use the platform’s Waiting list feature to allows users to register for the product.
The feature can also work well for products which are not yet launched but highly anticipated. Users can register for the product, and once it is available, all of them will get notified.
The waiting list provision ends up helping both the seller as well as the buyer.
3dcart provides enough product management options that you will not feel like missing out on any capability related to product management.
Shopping cart and order management
It is not just the online store which affects sales, but what happens after the user chooses a product also matters a lot. Things such as the lengthiness of the checkout process, the available payment options, etc. affect the overall user experience and ultimately affect sales, as well.
As a seller, you need to make it as easy and convenient as possible for the buyer to make a purchase. 3dcart helps you in this case by providing you a range of payment and checkout related options.
Let us first have a look at the available payment methods. 3dcart allows the user to set up both online as well as offline payment methods.
You can either choose ‘Money Order’ or ‘No Payment Necessary’ when looking for offline payment methods. While the money order option will let you accept payment offline, the no payment necessary can come in handy when the cart value is zero. It will save the user from the unnecessary hassle of choosing payment gateway or anything else.
For online payment methods, there are options to set up credit card payments and various payment gateways. The payment gateway options include PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.
The user can apply as many of these payment methods as possible to make it easier for the user to make payments.
The transactions are protected by advanced encryption at all times, thus making it safe for both the seller and the buyer to exchange payments. The platform also allows the user to set up the minimum and the maximum payable amount for each payment gateway.
If you are selling the product to people from all around the world or in a very large region, then you may need some assistance to take care of tax rates. 3dcart allows the user to add tax rates for different regions and zip codes manually, but that can quickly become a difficult task to handle.
There can be too much information to process, and tax rates don’t remain the same at all times. In such a case, you can take help of third-party solutions to take care of tax rates.
Gift certificates are getting increasingly common in web stores. It can be a tough task to read someone’s mind as to what that person would like to have for the gift. And gift certificates make it easier for people around the world to save themselves from the embarrassment of not knowing what the other person wants.
You can have gift certificates of your 3dcart store with details such as amount, expiration date, etc.
If we move onto the shipping settings, there are still plenty of options. You can choose between various shipping methods, decide the parameter for charging for shipping, choose an appropriate carrier service, etc.
For shipping methods, there are free shipping, flat rate shipping, and custom shipping options. You can decide the price based on size of the package, weight of the box, destination, etc.
The custom shipping method will automatically calculate the appropriate shipment value for you. Choosing one of the available carrier services can make the job easier. You can focus on managing the store while the professionals can deal with the delivery of objects.
There can be various nuances associated with shipping apart from how and who will deliver the things. 3dcart is well-equipped to deal with the nuances. You can go into the shipment settings sections and deal with everything around it.
You can include and exclude countries from your shipping list depending on how much it makes sense to deliver the product in a region. It also helps prevent any confusion in the later stages of the purchasing process.
When it comes to checkouts, you get to decide how long or short the process is going to be. One can make this decision based on various merits, such as the knowledge of user demographics, trends, etc.
You can have a 3-step checkout process where the buyer is redirected through three webpages before making the payment, or you can put if all in on a single page in just one step.
There are merits and demerits of both these methods. A three-step process would seem much more straightforward but lengthy, whereas one-step process may seem complicated to some buyers.
The good thing is that 3dcard provides you the option to have things the way you want. Optimizing the checkout process can help you reduce cart abandonment instances and get more sales.
If you want to keep the checkout process short, you can cut down on some of the information that you collect from the user. No one likes to fill in a lot of personal information while making online purchases anyway.
You can even trim down or increase the notifications that the buyer gets at every stage of the process until the product is delivered.
We feel there are enough options at the user’s disposal to make sure there are no hiccups along the way if someone likes one of the products and decides to go for it.
Taking care of your customers can help you get just as much more sales as it would do to take care of the quality of the product or service.
Identifying the right customers and providing them something of value can be a mutually beneficial condition for the merchant and the buyer. A happy customer will only bring in more customers and make more purchases. Those who can master the art of customer management set themselves on the right path.
3dcart provides you enough avenues to take care of customers. There is a section dedicated to it where you can manage customer lists, groups, and a lot of other things.
There can be various ways using which you can develop customer lists. It can be based on previous purchases, waiting list, some lead generation campaign, etc. They allow the user to import customer data manually, as well.
These lists can have all kinds of information about users, and you can add as many fields to it as you want. Based on all this information, you can create customer groups and treat each group according to its unique attribute.
You can identify the more frequent buyers and provide them with special discounts. If you have some loyalty or reward program going on your store, you can use that information to provide offers.
Similarly, you can identify users who need just a little bit of nudge and add them to your marketing campaign to make them a customer, as well.
You can even identify personal preferences of users and keep them updated about the discounts in their preferred section. You can integrate 3dcart with email automation and CRM software. It would allow you to use customer lists on these tools and help you get more sales.
Affiliates marketing is also on the rise these days. It makes sense to reward someone if they help in spreading good word about the product. The platform allows you to manage affiliates along with customers. You can make sure there are no improper payments and also monitor how much the affiliate program is helping your sales.
There is also a gift registry section. It helps buyers share desired products with friends and family. As a seller, you can use this section to get a clue of what other products can be useful for the buyer or what offers should be catered to him.
We like the fact 3dcart provided a section dedicated specifically to customers. A lot of webstores forget to bring the audience into the equation and spend way too much time on other aspects.
A well-balanced campaign would always focus on the needs and behavior of customers, and this section allows the user to do exactly that.
SEO management & marketing
No matter how unique your online store idea may seem to you, it is highly likely that there are already some stores present on the internet based on that idea.
It does not mean that your idea is not good enough, but it highlights the fact that the internet is a crowded place in that respect. No matter what you decide to sell on your store, there would be others doing it too. And even if you have something unique to offer, the question is how a regular buyer will come to know about your product.
One of the best ways to get more people and customers to your store is to make it easily visible on search engines, and it would require some search engine optimization.
As we mentioned earlier, 3dcart proclaims to be the best e-commerce platform for SEO. They try to help the user to make the store rank well on the search engine in all ways possible.
Everything right from the homepage to product gallery is optimized for search engines on this platform. They help the user take care of almost everything that can affect the store’s search engine rankings.
You can not only manage all the SEO related facets of the site, but you can do it with tremendous ease. SEO is not just about mentioning the title of the page and adding meta description for it. It covers everything ranging from the website and page URL to how long it takes the website to load.
3dcart deals with both external and internal SEO factors. It means you can manage your URLs, heading, image ALT text, meta descriptions blogs, sitemap, etc., while the platform will take care of website speed, page responsiveness, AMP, etc.
If we get into the details of the various things which come under the scope of search engine optimization, then it might take us more than one article to explain all of it. However, let us skim through some of them and try to understand how exactly does 3dcart helps with SEO.
It matters a lot how well the search engine can interpret the content of your website and relate it with all the stuff that people look for on search engines. Since there are so many avenues to shop for products, users generally search for the item using a search engine instead of directly entering the URL of any webstore.
This makes the job easier, as well as tougher for the sellers. Some of the things you can do to ensure that search engines know what is on your website is to have appropriate titles, search-friendly navigation structure, accurate meta description, XML sitemap, properly used robot.txt files, 301 redirects wherever necessary, and so on.
3dcart allows the user to take care of all these things without breaking a sweat.
Search engines factor other things also when they try to decide which website is a more appropriate response to the query made by the netizen. It makes them consider the factor of how easy or difficult it is for the user to access the content of the webstore.
So, if you have a website which takes too long to load up on the browser, or if it is not optimized well enough for mobile devices, then the search engine might put your website below the ones which work seamlessly well across devices and platforms.
Thankfully, all the themes on 3dcart have been created keeping that thing in mind. One should not come across a lot of issues when it comes to the loading speed of store pages.
Backlinks and content play a huge role when it comes to the search engine determining the quality of content on the website. Blogs are a great way to get some quality backlinks and maintain a constant stream of quality content on the website.
3dcart stores come with the provision for blogs, and it can help you get backlinks and push the site higher on search engine results ranking.
We like the fact that the platform pays so much attention to SEO. After all, almost everything is guided by the traffic on the website, and going for better organic traffic is always a good plan.
Even if you have got the best product there is to offer, you need to find a way to let people know about it. Promotion or marketing is one of the essentials of any successful business.
One needs to reach out to customers and tell them about the product or service. 3dcart has got its users covered when it comes to implementing the marketing techniques for the webstore.
They offer all the possible tools a seller can use to get more users to buy the products. The most natural way for shops to get more customers into purchasing products is offer discounts. Getting a product for cheaper price is as good as a reason it can be for one to buy a product.
The promotion manager lets you deal with the various kinds of promotional offers and discounts that you offer on your store. It can be a flat discount, discount on buying more, coupon, and so on. The interface makes it simple to manage all the offers and discounts you are availing in one place.
Discounts do a good-enough job of bringing in more traffic and sales, but they affect profit percentages as well, and therefore, not ideal for long terms. The next best way is to establish a communication channel with the customer, and email is the best way to do it.
You can set up autoresponders and newsletters to stay connected with customers. Autoresponders are a convenient way to send out specific messages based on user actions. You can set up automation rules which may involve steps like putting the user in a mailing list or sending out emails based on their actions.
The feature can be a lifesaver when you have got too much traffic to handle. Autoresponders can be set up so that they send out email and newsletters at a specific time. You can send out birthday wishes, coupons on holidays, and do a lot more with them.
There is a separate section for newsletters altogether, and we all know how a business is supposed to use newsletters to get more traffic and sales.
The email automation tool of 3dcart comes with most of the possible automations one may need. It won’t get as advanced as creating complex workflows involving conditional logic, but you will be able to take care of most of the email marketing tasks.
The platform comes with a marketing checklist with tasks listed under three different experience levels; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. It can help one stay on track for sure and can be a roadmap for those who are not much aware of what do under marketing.
Reports and analytics
No matter how much you hate it, at the end of the day, it’s a number’s game. There is no way around it. One of the essential steps of winning this numbers game is first to know the numbers. The reports section on this platform pulls in stats and data from each and every corner of the store for you to analyze it.
There are multiple sections under the reports tab, and you can be very specific about what you want to know or monitor.
The first section is business, and it means business. This section will let you know how much profit you have been making for each order, each day, each month, etc.
There is a part where you can see how the various categories are performing. It allows you to cut down on what’s not doing so well or maybe find ways to make it do well.
The next section is for customer stats. It shows which customers have placed orders, and you can also see the performance of various customer groups, as well. It also shows how many new customers or leads you got through campaigns.
The inventory section gives you a report on the status of availability of various products and puts out alerts in case you are about to run out of something.
The marketing reports will tell you about the performance of marketing campaigns. 3dcart allows the user to undertake a lot of campaigns. And this is where you will get to know how well they are doing.
It shows newsletter signups, sales from promotions, sales from referrals, sales from promo codes, and so on. The most exciting part about this section is that you get to see the keyword inputs from buyers. It can help you know what is it that they want and improve the titles of the products as well.
Next in line is the payments and shipping section. It breaks down sales into the different methods that customers used to pay for products. It can help you find out what is the most preferred way of payment, and tackle subsequent strategies keeping that in mind.
The products report gives you an insight into product performance for individual products. You will get to know which ones have been doing well, how many of them are being sold on a monthly or daily basis, keep an eye on products by an individual distributor and so on.
The sales section focusses on the revenue instead of the number of products you have been selling. You can have a look at it from various perspectives such as region, time, manufacturer, customer, etc.
It is needless to mention that 3dcart’s reports section is as comprehensive and as detailed as it can get. It leaves nothing to guessing and provides you all the information that you may need to manage the business efficiently.
Building and managing a successful online store is no joke. There is so much to manage and take care of that it can be a daunting task for anyone. 3dcart makes all these tasks a lot more manageable and provides an ecosystem conducive to building an efficient webstore.
They turned out to be thorough right from the beginning. There were plenty of themes on offer and the customization options made things a lot more flexible.
Managing the regular tasks on a store such as the listing of products, taking care of inventory, managing shipments, etc. are a walk in the park on this platform. You can have a seamless workflow experience while working on the platform.
One of the highlights was the SEO management section. There were provisions for taking care of internal SEO features such as image ALT text, meta description, titles, URLs, etc. and then took care of external ones such as page speed, optimization, etc.
Email marketing and promotion would also not be a big deal on 3dcart. The email automation and promotion sections seemed capable enough of handling most of the tasks that the user throws at them.
Finally, the reports section allows you to keep a close eye on everything that happens around the store.
3dcart brings in everything that one may ask from an e-commerce platform. It is definitely among the better choices if you are planning to build an online store on one such platform.