Shopify is a well-known name in ecommerce. It’s a top-ranked ecommerce platform that offers complete solutions. It may even be considered the market leader for quite some time.
We may have found a viable competitor to the ecommerce giant, however, with the growth of all-in-one platforms like Shift4Shop.
Shopify and Shift4Shop offer a variety of ecommerce features that allow merchants to sell online and grow their business. Both Shopify and Shift4Shop have a lot to offer, including extensive product options, marketing tools and SEO tools, customer management features and many other things.
We’ll be comparing both platforms in this review to see if Shopify has finally met Shift4Shop. Let’s get started…
Shift4Shop vs Shopify Background Info
Let’s begin by giving some background information about these providers and the services they provide.
Shopify and Shift4Shop both offer turnkey ecommerce software. This means you don’t have to purchase anything else in order to sell online. These SaaS’s make it easy to set up an ecommerce store. Select your favorite theme and customize it to suit your needs. Then upload your first products.
Shopify was founded in 2006 and has grown to be one of the most well-known ecommerce platforms. It is one of the most prominent online tech and sales companies in the world and is known for its scalability as well as its wide range of sales features.
Shift4Shop has been in business for over 21 years, but you may not be able to recognize it by its current name. It was originally 3Dcart. In 2020, however, Shift4Payments purchased the eCommerce solution. The platform has seen a few improvements and is now ready to move on from its old reputation. Shift4Shop, a Shopify competitor, offers similar features, pricing and add-ons.
Both companies offer enterprise-level solutions as well as POS functionality.
Shift4Shop and Shopify: The Pros and Cons
You need to understand the pros and cons of each platform before you can make a decision about which one is right for you. Each tool has them.
- Shopify has a wide range of features for managing your store and sales.
- You have a variety of pricing options to suit your budget.
- There are hundreds of third-party themes and apps available. This allows for a lot of flexibility in design and functionality.
- Shopify offers high-quality support 24 hours a day
- A vibrant community of thousands of active users makes it possible to create a website.
- Shopify can be used alongside a wide range of sales channels including Amazon and social media. This is a great way to start multi-channel selling.
- A integrated blogging engine is available, as well as a basic CRM.
- It is not necessary to have any coding skills.
- Shopify’s mobile app allows you to manage and sell from anywhere.
- There is no free plan.
- You still need to pay transaction fees even though the Shopify plan costs $29 per month.
- It can take some time to get used to Shopify’s many features.
- Third-party apps will likely continue to be used to enhance the functionality of your store. This can increase the cost significantly. Shopify does not offer a loyalty program, affiliate marketing, real-time tracking of shipping, or any other type of customer service. Plugins are a good way to get these features.
- There are only ten themes that you can choose from.
- To create an online shop, you don’t have to be a programmer.
- A wide variety of marketing, sales and store management tools are available.
- A built-in blog engine and CRM are available.
- You can find plugins in the app store to enhance your online shop’s functionality.
- Technical support is available to you 24 hours a day.
- You can choose from over 100 themes
- Shift4Payments allows US merchants to build and manage their own stores free of charge
- Shift4Shop’s free plan offers a wide range of features straight out of the box. The base features of Shift4Shop are more comprehensive than Shopify’s paid plans.
- From the beginning, you get features like loyalty reward programmes, wholesale customization, B2B, and wholesale customization, email marketing and affiliate programs, as well as gift registries.
- Excellent SEO optimization
Cons of Shift4Shop
- Template designs can only be modified in a limited way.
- Shift4Shop was formerly known under 3Dcart. It is still very new and is undergoing many changes.
- Some apps will be used to expand the functionality of your store, increasing the overall cost.
- International vendors are not eligible for Shift4Shop’s free plan
- Shift4Shop’s online community may not be as active as Shopify.
- There is no mobile app.
The Basic Features
We just mentioned that Shift4Shop as well as Shopify have a variety of similar features. Let’s take a quick look at what you can expect on both platforms.
Online store functionality
Shopify and Shift4Shop allow you to create online stores by using templates. You can sell unlimited products and create product variations.
Both tools track inventory and notify you when orders are placed. Notifications will be sent when stock runs low and you can create automated rules to order from suppliers. Shopify also allows you to manage inventory from multiple locations. Shopify is the better option for managing brick-and-mortar stores in addition to online sales, as this feature is included in its price.
Calculate shipping charges
Both platforms allow you to calculate shipping rates and print shipping labels. Shopify and Shift4Shop both work with America’s top carriers.
Coupons and Discount Codes
You can create discounts for customers, offer special deals, sell gift cards and bundle products on both platforms.
Apps and add-ons
Shopify and Shift4Shop both offer extensive app stores. Shopify is slightly ahead of the pack because app developers tend to give Shopify priority. Shift4Shop is not in the same league at the time this article was written.
Shift4Shop allows you to translate your homepage in another language. Shopify, on the other hand, allows you to create multilingual checkout pages for more than 50 languages. Unfortunately, neither Shopify nor Shopify offer multilingual site capabilities (unless you use a third-party extension).
Shopify and Shift4Shop allow you to select a template and then customize it with their theme editor. The website editors are easy to use and do not require any programming. Both platforms allow you to access your site’s HTML/CSS code to make advanced edits.
Shopify and Shift4Shop allow you to optimize your eCommerce website in order to increase SEO. You can edit meta tags and product descriptions headlines, as well as allow Google product reviews. Both providers will automatically create a sitemap for you store.
Additionally, Shift4Shop’s product pages can be used directly from the box to support Google-AMP. Shopify will require you to install and use a plugin to achieve similar results. Shift4Shop allows you to modify URL structures in any way you like. Shopify, however, is not as flexible.
Shopify and Shift4Shop both offer a variety of analytics and reporting tools. These tools highlight the best products, and vice versa, show you where your business is at its best. Shift4Shop, for example, tracks where customers are dropping off during the order process.
Both platforms can also be integrated with Google Analytics to provide additional insights on your website. Both platforms allow you to view and generate reports through intuitive dashboards.
Shopify and Shift4Shop both have built-in blogging modules that allow for SEO optimization to improve search engine visibility. Both platforms allow you to organize your blog posts into article types, and readers can leave comments.
Extra Marketing Features
Shift4Shop offers integrated affiliate marketing, loyalty reward programs, gift registry, and the ability for customers to create their own rules.
Shopify will require you to use a third-party application to unlock these features.
Both platforms provide basic email marketing functionality as well as a CRM that allows you to segment and track customers.
Without considering their budget, no merchant will settle on an eCommerce platform. Let’s compare Shift4Shop to Shopify when it comes price/value.
Shopify is generally regarded as an affordable eCommerce platform due to the number of features it offers.
The “Buy Button” is the cheapest way to interact with Shopify. This button costs $9 per month and allows for sales through existing websites and social media. You can’t set up your own online shop or use the Shopify online sales tools.
You will need to subscribe at least to the Basic Shopify package to build your storefront. You’ll receive:
- Two accounts for staff
- Support available 24/7
- Unlimited products can be sold
- Discount codes can be created and used
- Manual orders can be created.
- An SSL certificate
You’ll also pay a 2.9% + 30c transaction fee for every customer who purchases with a credit or debit card. You’ll also be charged an additional 2% if you don’t use Shopify payments.
Upgrade to Shopify for $79 per Month You can unlock five staff accounts, and your card transaction fees will be reduced to 2.6% (plus a 1% fee if you don’t use Shopify Payments). You can also access standard reports and customize international pricing.
Advanced Shopify is available for $299 per month. It suits businesses that want to scale up their operations. This plan also includes 15 employees accounts, which further lowers transaction fees. You can also determine individual product prices for different regions and countries.
Shopify Plus is a great way for larger enterprises to scale up their business. Get a customized quote for an Enterprise-grade solution from Shopify Plus.
Shift4Shop offers similar affordable prices and might even be cheaper than Shopify. Shift4Shop, like Shopify, offers three premium plans that are suitable for small- to medium-sized businesses.
All plans include 24/7 support, unlimited and secure hosting, unlimited product sales, and more than 100 templates. Shift4Shop does not charge transaction fees for any of its packages.
We have listed each premium plan below:
- Basic: $29 per month. Register two employees and get access to all the essential features of Shift4Shop.
- Plus: $79 per month. You can register five employees and gain access to Shift4Shop’s entire marketing suite. You can also segment customers and benefit from additional product information options.
- Pro: $229 per month. You can now add eCommerce automation features to your account and a total 15 staff accounts. You can also add waiting lists, back-in stock alerts, autoresponder campaign, preorders and advanced site search to your account.
Shift4Shop offers a second advantage to US merchants. You can use Shift4’s only payment processing system to get the complete eCommerce solution, called the Pro plan.
You can build your online store, sell your products and manage your inventory without paying a monthly fee. You’ll only pay a 2.9% and 30 cent transaction fee.
Do you sound familiar?
It’s the same transaction fees you would pay for the Basic Shopify plan, plus $29 per month.
This Shift4Shop free option is not available to sellers located outside the US. This is something you should keep in mind as you make your final decision.
It’s easy to use
First, neither platform requires that you have any programming skills. Both platforms are very easy to understand. Shopify and Shift4Shop have different ways of describing the features included in their software.
Shopify, for example, offers a simple but robust service that allows you to grow your business using apps purchased from the store. Shift4Shop offers a similar service, but has more features. Shift4Shop is sometimes a bit overwhelming to use.
But ease of use is not always the best option. Shopify’s built-in payment processor Shift4Shop will allow you to take advantage of features that Shopify offers only to its highest-paying customers. We believe the extra features are well worth the learning curve.
Shopify’s online selling capabilities are a key part of its value proposition. They don’t disappoint. Shopify allows you to sell unlimited physical and digital products. Shopify also comes with everything you need to create attractive product pages, product variations and discounts, as well as offers and other features.
Your customers can also create accounts and can be grouped together. You can set shipping rates that are flexible, calculate taxes automatically, and even offer free shipping when necessary. You can also launch abandoned cart recovery programs and display your checkout in more than 50 languages.
Shopify offers powerful SEO features that will ensure your products are more visible on search engines.
Shift4Shop is a match for Shopify in the majority of these features. Both providers offer powerful product organization features. You can also insert multiple images or videos to product pages. Both allow you to sell subscriptions and import or export product lists easily. Both allow you to sell via Facebook. You can also create discount codes and gift cards to create unique offers.
Shift4Shop actually goes a bit further in certain areas. One is that you can combine special offers and promotions. Shopify allows only one product to be included in an offer. You can also sell your products with a pay-as-much-as-you-want option. Shift4Shop also allows you to offer incentives to customers by creating customer groups.
You can also set minimum order values and exempt non-profit sales. Shift4Shop assigns loyalty scores to your customers so that you can track loyal customers and offer them special discounts.
Shopify’s mobile sales are a strong area. Shopify offers a mobile app that allows you to manage your store and order while on the move. This is something Shift4Shop has yet to offer.
Your brand must stand out among thousands of other ecommerce businesses online.
Shopify and Shift4Shop both offer website customization with a full-featured website builder.
You first choose a theme to define the look and feel for your shop. You can then customize your template using the drag-and-drop interface of the theme editor.
Shopify gives you ten themes for free. There are hundreds of premium themes available for a one-time charge, usually starting at $140-$180. Shopify’s themes are modern and stylish, and can be used in a variety of niches. You may need to upgrade to a premium theme if you want something more specific. Premium themes have additional customization options.
Shift4Shop offers 110 themes for free. However, most of the themes are more suitable for large businesses that offer a broad range of products. They aren’t so great for small businesses that have a narrow selection. There are fewer templates to choose from, but they can be difficult to identify.
It is also worth noting that although futureShift4Shop plans for third-party themes to be offered, this was not available at the time of writing.
Shift4Shop lets you change the colors and typography in your theme. You can make changes in real time and see them immediately. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to insert your logo, add content blocks, and customize the layout. The theme editor for Shift4Shop is limited to certain themes. This makes customization difficult. Shopify’s intuitive editor, however, is compatible with all of its themes. It allows you to do all the same things as Shift4Shop’s editor and more.
Support for Customers
Shopify and Shift4Shop offer 24/7 support for all premium plans. Their support team can be reached via email, chat or phone. You can also access extensive online knowledge bases that contain hundreds of articles about how to use both platforms.
Shopify is more active than Shift4Shop, so you can always turn to your peers to get help. Additionally, the articles available online are more comprehensive than those on Shift4Shop.
Integrations and Extensions
Shift4Shop, Shopify and other services offer many of the same features as their counterparts. However, there are times when you will need to reach out to third parties. This is especially true for those who need in-depth warehouse management services, email marketing, or accounting services.
Both providers have an app store, as we’ve said before. Shopify allows you to browse more than 500 app extensions created by third-party or in-house teams. You can get better SEO and marketing tools, loyalty reward programs, integration with CRMs, real-time tracking of shipping, and more!
Shift4Shop has more features. It relies less on extensions. This is a good thing, as its app store doesn’t have nearly as many. Shopify is often the first to be added by third-party developers, which leaves Shift4Shop behind. Shift4Shop, a relatively new service is still building relationships and expanding its network.
Both providers are integrated with big hitters like:
- Facebook Pixel
- Google Analytics
- The Facebook Store
Payment Processing and Point of Sale
Both Shopify as well as Shift4Shop have POS systems that allow you to connect both brick-and-mortar stores and online shops. This allows for greater flexibility than other eCommerce solutions.
Let’s start with payment processing.
It’s obvious that there are many benefits to choosing Shopify or Shift4Shop as your preferred payment processor. Shopify Payments will not charge additional transaction fees in addition to your monthly subscription fee. Shift4Shop allows you to access all of their eCommerce solutions for free by choosing their payment processor. Only a transaction fee will be charged for your sales.
These platforms can also access over 100 payment providers such as Stripe, Paypal, Google and Apple Pay. They can also process credit card and debit card transactions.
Shopify offers a basic POS function that lets you take payments anywhere, even on the move. Shopify POS Pro costs $89 more per month, but most features are locked away. Your Shopify plan includes multiple store locations so that you can sync inventory across all of them.
You can also purchase barcode scanners and receipt printers from Shopify.
Shift4Shop integrates with and recommends POS systems from their trusted partners. These rely primarily on iPads that are available in-store. The additional cost of your chosen POS software, and the hardware that you rent or buy, is the reason for the extra cost.
Our Final Verdict
It’s easy to see how Shift4Shop could become an ecommerce rival to Shopify in the long-term. Both offer extensive sales features. Shift4Shop offers more functionality for US merchants.
Shopify is a good choice if you manage physical stores and need a premium POS system to integrate with your online shop. Shopify has an active online community, an extensive and growing app store, and excellent customer support.
This is something 3dcart users frequently complained about. Shift4Shop’s future is still uncertain. Will the new direction and management completely change the platform’s reputation? Shift4Shop’s features are still in development and growing, so Shift4Shop may not be perfected yet. Shopify might be a better choice if you are nervous about a new platform.
Shift4Shop’s free, end-to-end eCommerce service is a great value. Let’s say you are a US merchant who is interested in Shift4Pay. Nothing can stop you from accessing one of the most comprehensive eCommerce platforms available today.
How was your experience with Shopify and Shift4Shop? Do you think about migrating your store to Shift4Shop and getting their free migration assistance? Do you think Shopify is a better option for your business? Or, are you more likely to choose one of their competitors, such as Magento, BigCommerce or Wix? Let us know what you think/decide in the comments below!