Last Updated on Nov 9, 2021

Shift4Shop Review – 2021

  • Ease of use with top-notch functionality
  • Dozens of mobile-friendly, customizable templates
  • Feature-rich platform designed for e-commerce businesses

Shift4Shop is made with busy entrepreneurs in mind. Its focus is eCommerce, so it comes with a myriad of ready-to-use customer marketing tools, an efficient order management system, and an intuitive website builder. With Shift4Shop, it’s easy to set up a beautiful website with little time or expense. They offer additional help such as goals, strategies, and other resources, like SEO tools for users who wish to understand search engine optimization more thoroughly. 

Pros:

  • Ease of use with top-notch functionality
  • Optional ability to edit HTML and CSS yourself
  • Dozens of mobile-friendly, customizable templates
  • Feature-rich platform designed for ecommerce businesses

Cons:

  • Difficulty integrating third party apps + surprise fees associated
  • SSL certificates have been known to be faulty
  • Order System is a bit old fashioned for 2021

Shift4Shop is a website-building platform that prides itself on the turnkey experience they provide for each of its users. With so many remarkable, premade features included in their plans, they are able to provide users with all the tools they need to craft an aesthetically pleasing website with very little time and effort.

In business successfully for over twenty-one years, they boast, “Our clients mean everything to us, and our entire team remains committed to doing whatever it takes to help our merchants prosper in eCommerce. Your continued success is what drives us forward, and we will continue to innovate and expand our solution in an effort to help every Shift4Shop client realize their entrepreneurial dreams.”

They use eCommerce software to help their users’ websites reach visitors, engage shoppers, convert sales, and nurture customers. Over 22k merchants benefit from their offerings and strategies since they’ve been in business.

Ecommerce platform with mobile-friendly, customizable templates 

Shift4Shop’s free themes are built on their revolutionary core template engine, an eCommerce website framework that automatically benefits your website in several ways. Over 100 themes are currently available, with more being added every day. If you do know some HTML code and would like the chance to use it, their themes and customization tools actually all allow you to alter the code at will so you can make the site your own in whatever way you wish.

Free “all-inclusive” plan

While Shift4Shop does have paid plans, their free plan is always highlighted on their site as if they recommend it above the paid plan, and they claim that it is all-inclusive.

This free plan comes with unlimited staff users, products, and bandwidth, as well as 24-hour support, SEO and marketing tools, and no revenue cap. They will even migrate your current eCommerce store to their platform completely free of charge.

Fast and convenient payments processing

Shift4Shop has many payment gateways, allowing customers to make payments with credit cards. It integrates with other payment processing options, like PayPal and Stripe. 

They also adhere to PCI card information protection standards for the security of your customers’ information. Advanced fraud protection features are built into packages as well so both you and your customers can confidently use your site with no security worries.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant security with advanced tokenization keeps customer transaction information safe from hackers.

Built-in advanced fraud protection such as requiring the CVV2 on the back of credit cards to be entered at checkout helps prevent fraudulent charges.

Shift4Shop provides all its users with a free SSL certificate for additional security for them and for their customers.

Shift4Shop’s pricing plan is a little unusual. Their first three plans are priced more expensively than many of their competitors, like Shopify or BigCommerce, with relatively few differences between them. They all come with a free first month. 

Additionally, it is listed at the far right side of the set of plans where normally the most expensive plan goes, and it is highlighted as if they want you to choose the free plan, though it is possible to click on and sign up for any of the other three plans.

It is unclear whether taking a fee out of all of your customer payments just like Paypal would make the free plan worth it. They do charge the industry standard of 2.9% + $0.30. If there are more catches, they are buried in the fine print.

Here’s a breakdown of the plans:

  • All the Essential Features: $29.00/month, 2 staff users, 24/7 phone support, no additional transaction fees, unlimited products.
  • Complete Marketing Suite: $79.00/month, 5 staff users, cart saver, newsletters, multichannel, no additional transaction fees, unlimited products. 
  • eCommerce Automation: $299.00/month, 15 staff users, automation rules, real-time shipping, autoresponders, no additional transaction fees, unlimited products.
  • End-to-End eCommerce: Free, unlimited staff users, all features, no limits, powered by Shift4Shop.

What kind of customer support can users expect?

All of Ship4shop’s plans come with 24-hour phone support. This is better than many other website builders who only afford the luxury of phone support to users of their most expensive package. There is also a knowledge base that has tutorials and videos to assist users with creating their websites.

What is the Shift4 Marketplace?

For merchants processing their payments with Shift4, Shift4 Payments offers a POS Marketplace with a wide range of certified third-party apps and plugins that seamlessly integrate with the following Marketplace-certified POS platforms: HBR, CirroTouch, Duet, POSitouch, Future POS, Restaurant Manager, and Harbortouch Hospitality. In an “integrate once” fashion to the Marketplace cloud-based API, third-party apps will enjoy access to thousands of merchants using these POS platforms.

Can all merchants that are using one of the Shift4 POS platforms access the Shift4 Marketplace?

No. Only providers processing their payments with Shift4 have access to the Shift4 Marketplace.

What is the cost of Marketplace to merchants?

There is no cost to the merchant to access the Shift4 Marketplace. In fact, Shift4 has negotiated meaningful discounts with their Marketplace partners so their merchants can utilize the most popular third-party apps at a lower cost.

Can merchants not using a Marketplace-certified POS platform (as listed above) access the Marketplace integrations if they are processing their payments with Shift4?

No. That is not a capability of the system at this time.

Can an ISV that has a restaurant POS platform that is certified to process payments with Shift4 become Marketplace certified?

They are currently working on a program to facilitate this. This program is an extension of the SkyTab pay-at-the-table integration program that is already in place. In addition to Marketplace-certification, this program also opens the door for SkyTab order-at-the-table, SkyTab “Online,” and Shift4’s QR ordering integration. There will be further announcements on this topic when they get closer to launch.

Can plans be customized by adding a particular feature or more users?

Yes, they can customize any of their plans to fit your needs. Contact their sales team at [email protected] to find out more about add-ons and specific features.

Can a storefront be switched from another platform?

Yes. Shift4Shop is glad to help you switch over to continue growing your small business. They have special incentives for switching and can assist with the products and design migration. Schedule a call with a migration specialist.

What integrations, payments, and apps are supported?

Shift4Shop is set up automatically to take credit cards via Shift4. Alternate payment methods like PayPal are also available. For email marketing, social media, and other tools, they have built-in integrations with MailChimp, AWeber, Google, Facebook, Houzz, and more. For a full list of integrations, visit their App Store.

Can an account be cancelled at any time?

Yes. You can easily cancel your account from your control panel if you decide Shift4Shop is not the best solution for your startup. But they do not offer refunds on their services.

Can a plan be changed after signing up?

Yes. Shift4Shop’s amazing eCommerce solution is designed to grow as your business grows. So if you want to switch your current package at any time, you can.

As you grow, you might choose to take advantage of additional features too, like inventory management or setting up a gift registry function.

Do they offer any discounts on plans?

Yes, they offer a 10% discount on prepaid 12-month plans. Additional reseller discounts, student discounts, school & PTA discounts, and Non-profit discounts are available.

How can a user get a unique domain name?

Shift4Shop offers free domain name registration with all of its eCommerce plans. If you already have a domain or want to use a subdomain, their support team can help point your existing domain to your new Shift4Shop store.

Will a site store be PCI compliant, safe, and secure?

Your store’s data is completely safe. Shift4Shop is a fully-hosted, VISA PCI Certified eCommerce solution with a 99.99% uptime guarantee. More hosting information is available, so not even a natural disaster can compromise your business.

Is a separated web host or website needed?

You can use your Shift4Shop online store with any existing website, but if you don’t have one, then you can run your entire website, online store, blog, and more directly from Shift4Shop.

How does a Shift4Shop plan grow with a business?

If you’re on their free End-to-End eCommerce plan, no upgrades are needed, as the infrastructure and resources on this plan automatically accommodate increases in traffic. If you are using one of the paid plans, you will be automatically upgraded to the next plan once your trailing twelve-month sales volume reaches the maximum online sales supported by your plan.

Can a user upgrade from the PRO Plan to Shift4Shop Enterprise?

Once your trailing twelve-month sales volume exceeds $1,000,000, you qualify to upgrade to their Enterprise solution. This is calculated by adding up the sales volume you’ve processed over the last twelve months in USD; or if you have not yet been with Shift4Shop for twelve months, your sales volume processed over your existing time with Shift4Shop prorated to 12 months. This gives you the infrastructure needed to keep growing your business.

Why does a site logo look distorted?

Several of their themes use CSS styling to have the store logo display at a certain aspect ratio. In some cases, and depending on the dimensions of your logo, this CSS styling may result in your logo appearing distorted or smaller than expected.

If you are well versed in CSS editing, you can typically edit the theme’s default CSS file to accommodate your logo.

Alternatively, you can review the default CSS logo style and edit your logo to accommodate the default styling. Either method would give you ways to control the display of the store’s logo if the styling is changing its look.

Also, in the event that you are not familiar with CSS editing, you can try out Shift4Shop’s MyWebmaster services for the CSS edits.

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