BigCommerce vs 3dcart is a common question as both are SAAS ecommerce platforms fighting for the same customers. There’s not a lot of difference between the two but our overview of both platforms, their pros, cons and costs will help you find the best ecommerce platform for you.

BigCommerce Overview

Ecommerce owners looking for a comprehensive tool kit and a platform that can leverage products to a wider audience should look no further than BigCommerce. The powerful shopping cart packs a serious punch – but does it measure up to other eCommerce platforms and is it the best option for your business?

Is BigCommerce SAAS?

Yes, bigCommerce is a fully-hosted SAAS option. You don’t need your own server host to run it.

BigCommerce Setup costs

BigCommerce is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform which means set up costs are lower that eCommerce software that requires a web host. All you will need to pay for is a theme template, and possible development together with the signing on fee for the package of your choice.

New businesses are best advised to start with either the Standard or Plus plans and pay for the entire year so you get a 10% discount. Templates can be grabbed for free and there are other free features such as a handful of shopping feed plugins, such as integration with Google PLA (Google Shopping) that can help you grow without having to shell out setup fees. You can start an online store on BigCommerce for less than £1000, and even less than £100 if you go for a basic template and only pay the monthly sign on fee.

BigCommerce Monthly costs

The pricing packages at BigCommerce may appear slightly higher than its closet competitors, but the company does not charge transactions fees like Shopify or add-ons to boost performance like WooCommerce. Over the long term, monthly running costs are probably less than other options.  You will still need to pay the processing fees charged by banks and payment gateways, but that is standard across all ecommerce platforms.

However, there is one slight catch. Once you exceed the annual sales threshold BigCommerce has capped under any one pricing plan, they insist you move up to the next package. In one sense, this gives you more tools to improve your online store, but also means your monthly expenses increase. The steep rise from a Plus account to a Pro account could cause a setback for some businesses.

BigCommerce pricing packages:

Package Monthly Fee Products Storage Bandwidth Revenue threshold
Standard $29.95+/£22.50 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Up to $50,000/
Plus $79.95+/£60 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Up to $150,000/
Pro $249.95+/£188.50 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Up to $1,000,000
Enterprise Custom Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

If you’re not sure whether BigCommerce software is the best option for you, customers are offered a 15-day free trial without you having to hand over your credit card details.

BigCommerce Hosting options

BigCommerce host your website as part of your monthly plan. This means that you save on hosting costs and are given access to unlimited storage and bandwidth. They also have excellent security measures to protect the bank details of your customers and back-up your data automatically. If you’re not technically minded, BigCommerce software offers a convenient solution.

BigCommerce Set up skills

The beauty of SaaS platforms is they practically remove the need to have computer skills. Unless you want to develop your BigCommerce theme, you can set up and launch your site within a couple of hours.

BigCommerce Theme availability

BigCommerce has over 100 free templates plus mobile-friendly themes that also include a blog. However, as with all software, the free templates have limitations and your store will be better equipped with a premium template you can customise to suit your brand and business needs. Templates range from $145-$235/£110-£177. However you may also need to factor in further customisation work to get the templates looking exactly how you want them.

BigCommerce Day to day running

Compared with other eCommerce platforms, BigCommerce offers a comprehensive stock of web tools. This will not make the day to day operation of the platform anymore difficult, but it will take you a little longer to fathom.

Having said that, the company has developed simple processes for essential tools. The form to add new products is very well designed and walks you through all the relevant details such as product description, tax class, pricing and shipping details.  You can also import CSV product lists which can save time if you have 100s of products in an existing store.

BigCommerce Payment options

BigCommerce integrates with around 60 payment gateways, which is substantially more than any of its competitors.

BigCommerce Product attributes

Together with offering unlimited products, storage and bandwidth, no other eCommerce software gives you the opportunity to boost your marketing as well as BigCommerce. Social media networks and eBay can be integrated into your eCommerce store together with shopping comparison sites Google Shopping, Nextag and Find It Quick plus others that charge a fee.

The powerful keyword search and advanced search tools make it easier for customers to find specific items and the option to request customers register an account enables you to offer exclusive deals and promotions via email.

BigCommerce Typical annual running costs for first year then ongoing years

Annual running costs depend largely depends on the success of your eCommerce store. BigCommerce does not increase the subscription fee on a yearly basis (although they may raise their fees in line with inflation), but if you surpass your annual earnings threshold (see pricing table above), you will be requested to move up to the next package which carries a significantly higher monthly fee.

BigCommerce Customer support options

Customer support lines are open 24/7 and includes phone support, online chat and email. Users also have access to video tutorials and online forums where you can tap into the vast knowledge base of other users.

 

3dcart Overview

The 3dcart eCommerce software boasts a feature rich toolkit straight out the box and offers merchants of all sizes affordable packages. The fully-hosted shopping cart solution has multiple built-in features and provides online businesses with opportunities to reach a wider audience.

Is 3dcart SAAS?

Yes, 3dcart is fully-hosted by 3dcart.

3dcart Setup Costs

Because 3dcart is a Software as a Service platform everything is included in the price of the plan you opt for. When you sign up, you can be paid monthly, or you could save 10% if you purchase a plan for the entire year.

Set up costs depend on the plan you opt for. Small businesses that are just starting out are advised to opt for the basic plan at a cost of £22 a month ($29) or £237 ($299) for the year if paid in advance. SSL certificates are free of charge on all plans. If you opt for a Pro plan you will pay £173 ($229) per month to access the 3dcart software or £2076 for the year.

If you choose a premium theme from a third party source, expect to pay $99/£75 and upwards for a template. Customising your website to suit your brand will also require a developer which can cost anything from £500 for tweaks and around £2000 for a complete custom makeover.

Enterprise plans cater for businesses with a turnover of £400,000 a year. Costs are negotiable depending on the features you want, but essentially you can get an all-singing all-dancing website for less than most other eCommerce platforms can offer.

3dcart Monthly Costs

3dcart offers a range of price points depending on the size of your business. Considering the eCommerce platforms offers unlimited products, storage and bandwidth together with no transaction fees, 3dcart is one of the most cost-effective shopping carts available.

The only other fees you will have to pay each month in addition to the price points given in the table below are the payment gateway processing fees – but this is standard across practice across the board.

Package   Monthly Price Transaction Fee Products Storage Space Bandwidth
Basic $29/£22 None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Plus $79/£60 None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Pro $229/£173 None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Enterprise Custom None Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

3dcart Hosting Options

3dcart is a web hosted platform so you don’t have to incur additional costs purchasing a third party web hosting plan.

3dcart Set-up Skills

For the most part, the 3dcart user-interface is intuitive and not too dissimilar to WordPress. However, we can’t help but feel the desktop could be more user-friendly at times. There is no explanation for certain fields so you have to look them up in the support documents which is time consuming.

Having said that, there are plenty of support documents in the setup wizard that are useful. Setting up 3dcart is easier if you are technically minded and have some experience of backend software programs like WordPress. Otherwise, you may need to call on the ‘aided onboarding’ team at 3dcart, but that will set you back £302.

3dcart Theme Availability

There are over 50 free theme templates offered by 3dcart. In general, the designs are engaging and provide solutions catered for specific industries. However, free themes are one-dimensional and do not allow much scope for customisation.

If you want to include brand colours, fonts and images, you will need to purchase a premium template and possibly use a web developer. There are 100’s of premium templates available and cost anything from £75 to £150 for a basic theme without customisation. Budget around £50 an hour and 25 hours for a developer to fully customise a theme.

3dcart Day-to-day Running

For non-technical business owners, 3dcart provides an easy-to-use solution and has a powerful range of web tools. Adding products is a simple process and gives you plenty of room to work with.

Built-in social media tools make it easy to share products and promotions on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Blogs, newsletters and email are also built-in features you can use to provide information to your customers and upsell products to subscribers.

3dcart Payment Options

With over 100 payment gateways, 3dcart offers one of the most comprehensive range of payment options for customers. Payment gateways include the big-hitters such as PayPal, Stripe, Square and Authorize.net, all of which carry a 2-3% processing fee.

The only way to avoid processing fees is to adopt 3dcarts built-in gateway as your sole payment option. However, this will require your first-time customers to fill out an additional registration form which may deter customers that already use a trusted payment gateway (for example, Paypal) and have the one-click buy option set up on their computer or mobile device.

3dcart Product Attributes

The product attributes are in two parts. These are called options. There is no limit to the number of options you can add to a product in 3dcart.

3dcart Typical Annual Running Costs for first year then ongoing years

Year on year running costs do not change when you purchase 3dcart eCommerce software. Typical fees for related pricing plans are paid monthly unless you opt for an annual payment at sign up. See the table above.

3dcart Customer Support Options

Of all the eCommerce software solutions, 3dcart has one of the most comprehensive customer support teams. All the pricing plans include 24/7 personal support via email, live chat, social media and phone. In addition, there are video tutorials, a support forum, a knowledge base, webinars and an E-University.

How The Content Works can help

Here at The Content Works, we specialise in Technical Website Audits. We’re here to find the issues on your website that are causing you to lose visitors, see poor conversions rates and ultimately we highlight the issues costing you money. Take a look at our services page to see the technical website audits we offer. Call us on 0207 305 5599 to discuss your situation and we’ll show you how we can add value to your business.

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