With over 200,000 existing customers, Shift4shop is a turnkey e-commerce software that can help you create the online store of your dreams. This feature-rich platform covers everything from creating a website to listing products, managing inventory and orders, marketing and customer management.
You may know Shift4Shop by its original name: 3dcart . However, in 2020, the app was acquired and renamed by Shift4 Payments - in this review, we'll look at how this comprehensive e-commerce solution performs today.
Let's dive in!
Shift4shop Review: Ease of Use
Shift4 Store is explicitly designed with ease of use in mind so that anyone can create and launch their own online store.
Choosing and customizing a theme is easy. An intuitive dashboard makes adding products easy. The neat template editor may be limited to some. However, there are no unnecessary features to complicate the process, and the interface remains streamlined and intuitive, making it very easy for beginners to pick up.
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Shift4shop Review: Pricing
Shift4Shop's pricing meets industry standards and matches competitors such as Shopify . There are three premium plans to choose from:
Basic Shop: For $29.00 per month, you can use all the basic features of Shift4Shop, you can sign up for two staff users, and sell unlimited products.
Plus Store: For $79.00 per month, you also get the full marketing suite and can sign up for five staff users.
Pro Shop: $229.00 per month to unlock ecommerce automation and sign up for up to 15 staff users.
Each plan also comes with:
24/7 Shift4Shop support
Over 100 payment gateways
Integrate with Facebook Shop
You can process an unlimited number of orders
Secure web hosting with unlimited bandwidth
Zero transaction fees
Shift4Shop also offers a free end-to-end e-commerce plan. However, to access it, you must use Shift4 Payments as your payment processor. With this package, you can register an unlimited number of employee users. You also get access to all the features included in the Pro Store plan. The only cost involved is a transaction fee of 2.9% + 30 cents.
Remember: this is the same transaction fee that Shopify charges on the $29 per month plan. So, it's safe to say that this bag is worth the money.
Note: This free plan is only available for US merchants.
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Shift4Shop Review: Features
As we already hinted, Shift4Shop is a turnkey ecommerce platform that handles all the heavy lifting for you. So, unsurprisingly, it offers a wealth of features — all tailored to help you implement a four-step approach to your ecommerce business.
In other words, Shift4Shop provides all the tools you need:
...then nurture new customers
First, Shift4Shop enables you to create and customize your own online store from a range of free and premium themes. Then, with built-in SEO tools and Facebook Shop integration, you can start driving more traffic to your products.
Shift4Shop has all the functional categories you would expect from a leading e-commerce solution. This includes features for customer management, in-depth order and inventory management, and extensive marketing tools. The latter is where the platform really shines, as there's virtually no limit to the types of promotions you can create. You have complete email list flexibility to create customer discounts, gift certificates, loyalty programs, subscriptions, and more.
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Below, we take a deeper look at the functional categories we just touched:
Shift4shop Review: Templates and Design
As an all-in-one turnkey solution, Shift4Shop makes it easy for you to build your e-commerce website in no time - without relying on the help of third-party tools.
Like many of its competitors, you can start the design process with customizable templates. There are over 100 free themes to choose from, catering to the needs of different business types. Generally speaking, these templates are best for ecommerce stores that sell a variety of products, not small businesses with minimal product selection.
Also, while free templates provide a great starting point, they're a bit "the same" - so don't expect any free revolutionary designs. So the template feels like a work in progress. Shift4Shop is still rolling out its customization features for all of its themes, and templates from third-party experts are not yet available.
All Shift4Shop templates are created using the core template engine to ensure mobile-friendly designs, conversion-optimized checkouts, Google AMP-enabled product pages, and more.
After choosing a theme, you can use the color picker to modify its colors and preview your edits in real time. You can also use the flexible drag-and-drop HTML builder to fine-tune your content. This enables you to add content blocks such as text, images, headings, and other page elements.
That said, Shift4Shop's customization is severely limited compared to other website builders. For example, its drag-and-drop builder and template customization are only available for selected themes. Also, customization is limited to primary colors and changing your typography. So while you have access to your site's HTML and CSS markup, designers without coding skills may feel very limited.
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Shift4Shop Review: Order Management
Shift4Shop has powerful order and product management features that provide an accessible overview of your inventory . From one centralized dashboard, you can easily monitor your product journey from start to finish. For example, you can view products that are currently in process, partially completed, shipped, and more. You'll also be notified when you receive a new order, so rest assured you'll never miss a beat.
You can also quickly move selected orders or as a group, and even "return" them, a step in re-editing - the latter comes in handy if the customer asks for a change. You can also add orders manually, which can be helpful, for example, when you're selling over the phone rather than an online store.
The platform also tracks all the details of completed and outstanding orders and enables you to send customer updates automatically. Monitoring unfulfilled orders is especially useful for finding out why customers are abandoning before making a purchase. For example, you can see exactly when a customer declines, whether after adding an item to a cart, selecting a shipping method, and more.
It's also easy to print shipping labels for popular carriers like UPS, FedEx, USPS, and more.
And finally, Ship4Shop clearly recognizes the importance of the subscription model. For example, let's say you sell items that often need refills, such as beverages or toiletries. In this case, Ship4Shop enables you to set up a subscription service that automatically sends recurring orders. This has worked wonders for generating steady income and building long-term customer relationships - a win-win!
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Shift4Shop Review: Returns
If the product doesn't work, the customer will want to return it. Fortunately, this is possible through Shift4Shops' built-in RMA system (Return Material Authorization). This enables you to create selectable choices for customers to define why they want to return. It's also easy to specify different return options for customers to choose from. For example, some may allow refunds. In contrast, other returns may only be eligible for an exchange of the same or a different item.
The RMA system also allows customers to upload documents to show what they think is wrong with the item. This way, you can evaluate the returned context. Then, once you agree to the return, you can send the customer a printable shipping label to return the item.