Shift4Shop, previously known as 3D Cart, is an e-commerce store-building platform. It comes loaded with tons of good inbuilt features, however, it leaves little room for creativity; more on this later.
The platform is good but comes with a steep learning curve which may disappoint a lot of beginners. It has loads of payment options, making up for some of its many cons. But is this a good platform for you? This Shift4Shop review will help you find out.
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Shift4Shop, formerly known as 3D Cart, was founded by Gonzalez Gill in 1997. The platform hosts more than 17,000 stores selling a wide range of items. It limits certain aspects of features but improves SEO capabilities, which helps sellers find their store on Google.
It offers more than 200 payment options, over 200 different feature sets, and many good themes. Having so many features and payment options is good, but is it the right platform for you? We have thoroughly tested the platform, and here are our two cents:
Shift4Shop: Pros and Cons
|Free plan||Not beginner friendly|
|SEO Prompt to help with online presence||Expensive paid plans|
|Feature-rich e-commerce solution||Limited customizability|
|Multi-channel selling||Not-so-flexible themes|
|Unlimited Product Listing|
Shift4Shop: Ease of Use
There is a 15 days trial after that, you have to subscribe to one of their plans starting at $29.99/month. You can also get their end-to-end subscription, all you have to do is process $500 through their Shift4 payment gateway.
Getting started is simple. Sign up to receive the store URL and login/password in a welcome email. Once set up, you’re redirected to your store dashboard, which is relatively simple and has a quick video tutorial to get you started. You can also contact support from the dashboard; we felt it is really convenient.
However, when you truly begin the store setup process, such as changing the color scheme, typography, and catalog appearance, you realize it takes work to maintain consistency throughout the store website. The tutorial is interesting, but the drag-and-drop builder lacks the flair of Wix or Squarespace.
We couldn’t find any option to change the Hero section from the drag-drop section and were only allowed to add a few elements like text, spaces, buttons, photos, etc.
Not everything is bad, though. If you are okay with the theme and layout, you can do some good work in the product categories. You can sort products in each category, create subcategories and even clone or duplicate the whole parent category. Even adding the product is extremely easy.
The navigation menu on the left side of your dashboard is a gem. Every option can be seen with a click and is another click away from editing. For example, when you click customers, you can see the customer list and manage customer groups.
The marketing section allows you to create store promotions, use SEO tools, create newsletters and even use Shopping engine plugins to index your store. Facebook ads also can be created from the dashboard.
The promotion feature for Shift4Shop used to be pretty bad, but they have revamped it. Now you can run promotions with a few clicks with even more customization options like which category to include, which items to include, the percentage of discounts, and so on. We give ⭐⭐⭐⭐ to Shift4Shop for ease of use.
Shift4Shop: Design and Flexibility
We counted 111 free themes, to be exact, covering almost every industry. However, if you want to create a DIY or custom store, you’ll have to create the theme or template yourself.
The best part about Shift4Shop themes is that when you change to other themes, your content gets reformatted, adjusting to the theme’s layout; this is a feature we haven’t seen on many platforms.
But when you select a theme or change a theme, check everything because not all the templates have the same features.
It is tough to show your creativity and customization on Shift4Shop without using third-party apps. So in terms of complete design flexibility, Shift4Shop won’t blow you away. Competitors like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly still lead ahead. That said, if you want help with designing your store, you can check out Shift4Shop experts. They charge a small fee but they will get the job done for you.
Due to so many limitations and a steep learning curve, Shift4Shop only earned ⭐⭐⭐ for its design and flexibility.
Shift4Shop: Tools and Features
If you’re disappointed with Shift4Shop for not being attractive or flexible, think again. Well, it may not be flexible, but it is feature-rich.
Shift4Shop offers API integration, and access to over 1000 third-party apps with the help of Zapier. You can still use the apps and API to build your dream store even if you’re on the most basic plan. Some of the apps include Hubspot and Zendesk.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When it comes to SEO, Shift4Shop is no slouch. It offers straightforward and useful prompts and tools to optimize your store. Unlike on Etsy or Big Cartel, you can actually see all the options and change things accordingly. If you forget anything, a pop-up feature reminds you to complete certain steps to make your store rank higher on search and shopping engines.
There is almost every feature that you won’t feel like missing anything if you know basic SEO. You can:
- Submit your sitemap to Google and Bing.
- Check sitemaps for different pages.
- Enable the AMP setting to make your store load faster.
- Create and manage redirects.
- Use Google Analytics and Tag Manager, and much more.
Shift4Shop’s one of the major drawback is the lack of a mobile app for on-the-go editing and selling. But if you want to access your Shift4Shop dashboard on a mobile, you can open the website in the browser and do almost everything.
We must say, this wasn’t convenient, but the responsiveness of the website on mobile made some tasks doable. You definitely wouldn’t want to edit the template on the phone.
This is a downer, given that many of Shift4Shop’s competitors offer mobile apps to make running a store easier. So if on-the-go-selling is one of your preferences, Shift4SHhp will disappoint you.
Payment and Charges
Payment is yet another department where Shift4Shop excels. It offers almost every major or known payment processor including PayPal, Pay Later, Apple Pay, Venmo, and many more. Even crypto payments can be used. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that Shift4Shop leaves every competitor in the dust when it comes to payment options.
You can also calculate shipping charges and taxes on the product inventory page. The shipping costs are customizable, and you can opt for UPS, FedX, DHL, and more services.
You can also integrate one of many apps for other options like address verification. By doing this, you’ll make your selling and shipping process much easier while lessening the worries of Paypal transactions.
On top of that, Shift4Shop doesn’t charge any transaction fee on any of their plans to help boos sellers’ growth. However, payment processing charges will incur on credit cards.
Abandoned Cart Email
Shift4Shop also offers abandoned cart functionality. So when a buyer leaves with items in their cart, you can use the Abandoned Cart email notification to notify the buyers about the items in the cart.
This feature is super important given that almost 70% of users abandon their online shopping cart. This simple step can help boost sales.
All these features along with other many make Shift4Shop a really good option and the reason why we rated ⭐⭐⭐⭐ for the tools and features this platform provides. If only they had a fully dedicated mobile app, it would’ve gotten 100% ratings in this segment.
Unlike many other e-commerce building platforms, Shift4Shop doesn’t have different tiered plans. In fact, the End-to-end Shift4Shop can be used free forever if you can process $500 worth of payment through the Shift4 payment processor every month. Otherwise, the plans are:
Basic: Starting at $29/month, you enjoy unlimited listings, and total control over your inventory, the only caveat being you can sell up to $100,000 worth of items in a year.
Plus: Everything from the basic plan with additional Q&A, Customer group segmentation, product comparison and a sales cap of $250k a year.
Pro: Every feature you get in free end-to-end enterprise-grade plan, you will get in pro, which includes, automatic shipping, delivery notification and sales cap of $1 million each year.
Shift4Shop won’t let you compromise on anything. You can sell unlimited products, use a custom domain, get 1000GB of storage, and more. If you can find a way around the limited customizations, Shift4Shop is an absolute value for money. With the value Shift4Shop offers, it gives competitors a hard time, hence, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for value for money.
Shift4Shop: Customer Support
Shift4Shop offers more than enough ways to contact the support team. You can call, chat, email, or contact them on their social media profiles. The contact team is available 24/7 throughout the year.
We found that the quickest way to reach customer representatives is via phone calls, as emails and support tickets take time. We heard several sellers say that the chat features often leave them in the queue waiting for hours. However, we connected to a chat staff within 10 minutes of our testing.
What made this whole customer support thing better was accessibility. You can chat or access contact information right from your dashboard. Even the help guides or tutorials can be accessed from the dashboard. Overall, Shift4Shop has one of the finest customer support, worth getting ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
The Bottom Line: Is Shift4Shop Good For You?
Shift4Shop is an interesting choice. On the one hand, it doesn’t have much to offer regarding design. On the other hand, it offers many good features and deals that seem too good to be true. But we tested the platform and didn’t have to pay to access any features since everything is free.
Many marketing tools, payment options, and great customer support make Shift4Shop a good com platform. However, if you haven’t had any previous experience with other e-commerce builders, you might have to spend some time learning and getting used to it. And once you do, you’ll know how easy everything is, from listing products to creating promotions to SEO and more. With ⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars, it definitely is worth a try.