For first-time entrepreneurs, a major challenge is the selection of an ecommerce platform that they can use as the cornerstone of a long-time business plan. The problem is that there are a lot of ecommerce platforms, each advertising itself as the best platform for business.
This makes the process of choosing the right platform very difficult for newbies. In fact, the more they read, the more they get confused.
To help out such users, I have decided to validate the claims of these ecommerce platforms in our Ecommerce Faceoff series. In this installment, I will compare Woocommerce and 3DCart.
What do First-timers need from an Ecommerce Platform?
First-timers generally have little idea about the functions and capabilities of ecommerce platforms are?. This contributes to the failure of their ecommerce ventures.
Essentially, newbies must assess the following major areas of ecommerce platforms in order to find the one the best suits their needs.
Scalability is an important requirement for ecommerce stores simply because of the rapid expansion of the business. However, scalability often comes at a price that first-timers often see as an additional expense. Thus, a platform that offers scalability with minimum or no cost is ideal for such users. In this regard, WooCommerce allows easy scaling depending on the type of hosting that powers the store.
The Cost of Using the Platform
A major problem with most ecommerce platforms is the charges that they levy when the sales or inventory go beyond a preset threshold. Users often perceive this as a limitation on the growth of the business.
Ease of Use
Many ecommerce users are not tech savvy enough to tackle the daily requirements of managing the platform. Before choosing a platform, users should ensure that they get the support of the community and the official support team.
Ecommerce platforms (particularly Magento and WooCommerce) provide complete flexibility in the design and development of the store. This option is often not available for the hosted ecommerce platforms.
WooCommerce vs 3DCart: What’s Special?
Let’s discuss the features of the two ecommerce platforms, and how they benefit ecommerce projects.
- Completely free
- Total flexibility in design and customization
- Easy to migrate to a new host
- Platform level protection
- Simple to scale
- Has a thriving community
- Pre-built ecommerce templates
- Process and marketing add-ons make it easy to scale
- Over 160 payment gateways
- Multiple tiers of growth
- Conversion tools to increase sales
- 24/7 customer support
WooCommerce vs 3DCart: Who is the popular kid?
It seems that both WooCommerce and 3DCart platforms offer some amazing features for starting an ecommerce store. Let’s dig a little deeper in the popularity of the two platforms by running Google trends check.
As the above graph shows, WooCommerce is quite popular, as indicated by the search volume numbers. In contrast, the trend chart below shows how 3DCart’s growth fluctuates but more or less, remains stagnant with a lower search volume in comparison with WooCommerce.
Analyzing the Benchmarks
My benchmarks in this series stem from the common problems that ecommerce users face on a regular basis. Let’s analyze the table below to see comparisons of WooCommerce and 3DCart, based on their benchmarks.
|Ownership & Hosting||⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐|
|Community & Support||⭐⭐⭐||⭐⭐⭐|
Owning the Platform
Cost of ownership of the platform is the first (and often the only) decision made by the ecommerce users.
- Woocommerce is a standalone platform that provides complete control to the user
- Adding/removing product listings is easy, thanks to the simple interface
- WooCommerce is self-hosted, and users can host their stores on the ecommerce hosting provider of their choice
- 3DCart provides the hosting for your ecommerce store
- Customers own the rights to their content
- You can host on 3DCart or your own hosting provider
Security and Privacy
In this age where online thrCost-Effectiveness the security of the ecommerce stores is the paramount business requirement.
- WooCommerce provides security plugins that store owners can add to their websites
- Owners can also add Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate for improved security. It is available for free at Cloudways
- WooCommerce makes it easier for ecommerce owners to mark product data and information private
- Except for some web hosting loopholes, WooCommerce stores aren’t easy to hack
- The checkout process is always secure
- Additional SSL can be added for the remainder of the site
- 3DCart is PCI compliant
Design and Usability
Design and usability have a direct impact on the user experience of the store. This translates directly into revenues for the store.
- Websites hosted on WooCommerce are simple, appealing, and easy to manage
- It allows flexibility to the store owners to customize the themes as per their need
- It also offers page design plugins to improve the UX further
- Simple admin panel allows for the easy store creation and navigation
- Over 70 pre-built website templates available to populate the store
- Many add ons enhance store aesthetics and function
- All templates are customizable
Scaling and Growth
Ecommerce store owners aspire to grow and scale their business. The platform should be able to grow with the business.
- With WooCommerce, ecommerce store owners can scale websites at will. There are no restrictions on the number of product listings or orders processed
- Owners can integrate payment models of their choice by installing various plugins
- Hundreds of free and paid add ons to help you scale any ecommerce store
- Integrates with all of the top ecommerce applications for easier payment, shipping, and accounting processes
- Multiple growth tiers from a single user to enterprise level
The cost of doing business is a continuous worry for ecommerce store owners.
- WooCommerce is free. You can set up a store with just a few clicks
- It also offers multiple free plugins that can help improve your business’ growth
- 3DCart is a paid platform
- Plans start at $19 a month, which includes hosting
- No transaction fees
Right-out-of-the-box, no platform is the right match for the ecommerce stores’ design and strategy.
- Whether you want to change themes, modify, or alter them completely, WooCommerce makes all of this possible.
- Because WooCommerce is a self-hosted platform, ecommerce store owners can customize it in any way they want.
- All themes are customizable
- Offers customization services if you’re not willing to do it yourself
- 3DCart is willing to create specific apps and processes for your store for a fee if they don’t already exist in the extensive app store
Community & Support
In case of issues, store owners need reliable support from both the community and the official support team.
- In case of trouble, WooCommerce users can get help from a huge community of designers, developers, bloggers, and video content creators.
- 3DCart offers 24/7 customer support, all U.S. based and completed in house
- Extensive knowledge base available for problem-solving
WooCommerce vs 3DCart: The Drawbacks
No platform is a one-size-fits-all solution for ecommerce stores. In many cases, stores owners should try to evaluate the pros and cons of the platforms to ensure that the platform is the right for their business objectives.
- Manually updating WooCommerce websites is time-consuming
- Premium plugins are costly
- Adding functionality to the platform requires PHP development skills
- Requires ongoing maintenance
- Paid ecommerce platform
- Add-ons can take time to learn
- Some add ons are paid
After analyzing both platforms, I believe WooCommerce is a better choice for first-time entrepreneurs aspiring to start an online business with the aim of long-term growth. In comparison, 3DCart is costlier and doesn’t provide as much flexibility in design and customization as a new user expects or requires to launch the business.
Don’t think these two ecommerce platforms are for you? Read our review on Magento vs BigCartel and make an informed decision.
Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments below.
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