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3dcart Review: Best eCom Platform Or Is There A Better Option For You?

3dcart, now Shift4Shop, has been a well-respected player in the eCommerce industry. They have served online merchants of all sizes since 1997.

While 3dcart’s original version was not without its flaws, many reviews have found it a solid platform for building online stores.

Is it possible that the record will still stand now that 3dcart was acquired by Shift4 Payments, a technology and payment processing company?

Shift4Shop, the eCommerce platform now known to fans, will have some changes. The main difference is in pricing. For customers in the US, Shift4Shop offers an in-house payment option.

This allows them to create and manage a feature-rich online Shift4Shop store. Customers who use other payment options will still have access to competitively priced subscription plans.

This review will go over Shift4Shop to see if it really is the best eCommerce platform out there.

You’ll learn whether eCommerce is the right online business for you.

And at the end, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Shift4Shop and eCommerce in general.

But most importantly, you’ll see the exact system many others have used to build their own internet marketing business to over $40,000 a month in mostly passive income.

This system made them swear off eCommerce for good, because it uses some of the same skills but in a much more powerful and profitable way!

Table of Contents

Shift4Shop Pricing

Shift4Shop offers a free End-to-End plan for $0/month.

Let’s begin by asking a fundamental question. Can Ship4Shop’s End-to-End plan, which is forever free, deliver a stripped-down version 3dcart functionality and features?

The simple answer is “No.” The free plan allows you to access many features and enterprise-level functions.

These are just a few of the many features that come with the free plan.

  • Domain Registration & Hosting
  • Unlimited Orders
  • Facebook Store
  • Real-Time Shipping
  • Unlimited Categories & Smart Categories
  • Single-Page Checkout
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Product Reviews
  • Purchase Orders
  • Shipping Labels
  • Unlimited Product Images & Zoom
  • Unlimited Product Variants
  • Inventory Control
  • Digital Downloads
  • Gift-Wrapping & Registry
  • Wish Lists
  • Gift Certificates
  • Email Marketing Tools
  • Store Credits
  • Daily Deals
  • Promotions Scheduler
  • Saved Carts
  • CRM Tools
  • Tax Rate Calculator
  • Upsell & Cross-Sell Features
  • Built-In Blog
  • API Access
  • Google Pay & Apple Pay
  • PayPal integration
  • Visa Checkout & Masterpass
  • Financing solutions from Affirm, FuturePay, & PayPal Credit

All these can be yours for $0 per month, provided that you use Shift4Shop Payments as your in-house payment processor.

Shift4Shop charges for Shift4 payments are published at 2.9% plus $0.30/ transaction with no additional transaction fees.

You must note that third-party reviewers have raised significant red flags regarding some Shift4 Payments businesses.

It is unknown if Shift4Shop online retailers will encounter similar issues. However, it’s a major concern that warrants attention as Shift4Shop continues to roll out.

Here’s a quick overview of the paid plan and a sample of their limitations. All paid plans offer unlimited bandwidth, unlimited payment gateways, unlimited product and variant access, as well as a complete set of features across all categories such as shipping, marketing, sales, and so forth.

Startup Store

The Startup plan costs $19/month. This plan is intended for users who have just started their eCommerce venture. The plan provides one staff account with no transaction fees and unlimited product listings. Below are some of the features that the Startup Plan offers:

  • SEO tools
  • Built-in blog
  • Real-time shipping & labels
  • Categories
  • Product images & zoom
  • Inventory control
  • Bulk discounts
  • Single-page checkout
  • Digital downloads
  • 60 real-time reports & dashboards
  • Automatic tax calculation
  • Product reviews
  • Gift wrapping
  • Saved carts
  • CRM tools
  • Social wish list
  • Gift certificates, coupons, & discounts
  • Affiliate program
  • Mobile store
  • Facebook shop
  • Dropshipping

Basic Plan

The Basic Shift4Shop plan costs $29/month and includes up to $100,000 of online sales per year and two staff accounts. You’ll find many great features in the Basic Shift4Shop plan. Here’s an example of what you’ll get:

  • Integrations with Google Shopping, eBay, & Amazon
  • 24/7 phone support
  • 100+ payment gateways
  • Apple Pay & Google Pay

Plus Plan

The Plus Plan costs $79/month. It includes five employee accounts. It also allows for up to $250,000 annual online sales. It has all the features of the Basic plan and more:

  • Customer groups
  • Purchase orders
  • Product comparisons
  • Product QA
  • FedEx integrations
  • Blog subscriptions
  • Promotions scheduler
  • Make-an-offer capability
  • Store credits
  • Abandoned cart saver
  • Email marketing newsletters
  • Gift registry
  • Reward/ loyalty program
  • Google Search Console SEO statistics
  • Facebook Dynamic Ads & Pixel

Power Store

The Power Store plan costs $129/month. It allows 10 staff accounts and annual sales of up 500,000. You get all of the Plus features and these additional ones:

  • Recurring orders
  • Waiting list and back in stock alerts

Pro Plan

The Pro Plan costs $229/month. 15 staff accounts are included. It allows online sales up to $1,000,000 per year. It offers all the same features as the Plus plan with these additional features:

  • In-store pickup
  • Automation rules
  • Advanced search
  • Pre-orders
  • Shipment delivery notification
  • Autoresponder email campaigns
  • Houzz integration
  • Sales team management tools

Shift4Shop offers a 10% discount on annual prepaid plans. There are additional discounts available for resellers, students, PTAs, schools, PTAs, and non-profits.

Cloud-Based Or Locally-Installed

Shift4Shop, a cloud-based SaaS platform, eliminates the need to manage your servers and update your software.

Hardware & Software Requirements

Shift4Shop provides a cloud-based and fully hosted eCommerce solution, requiring only a computer with an internet connection and a reliable web browser. The software does not require any download.

Specific Size Of Business

Shift4Shop’s free plans are generous, and its paid plans offer varying prices. This eCommerce solution can fit businesses of all sizes and types.

Whether it’s the End to End, the Startup plan, or the Pro plan, every plan comes with many advanced features.

No-cost End-to-End plans should appeal to all business types, including startups and enterprise-level businesses.

The $29/month Basic plan will appeal to those who prefer to stick with trusted third-party processors. Shift4Shop is flexible enough to allow you to grow no matter what plan it may be.

Ease Of Use

Shift4Shop has paid plans that offer users the chance to try out the platform. Sign up to get basic information like your company name, address, phone number, and email.

Once you’ve created an account, you have the choice of going your own route or using the wizard to get you started. The wizard will assist you in setting up product categories, adding new products, and shipping.

If you’ve previously used 3dcart or looked at it in the past, you will notice that Shift4Shop didn’t make any significant changes in this area. I was able to easily navigate my way through the simple steps of setting up a store.

It is pretty easy to add products. Drag and drop multiple images onto the box to add a product. In your admin, you can add various options to your product, such as color and size.

It’s effortless to create a blog post and create a discount promotion. I also found it easy to view reports on my customers and sales.

Web Design

Shift4Shop offers both premium and free templates that you can use in your store. The theme store offers 108 free and mobile-responsive themes.

While the templates provided by 3dcart seem usable in general, they lack the visual “wow” factor that some eCommerce site builders offer.

The themes are more appealing because of the $0 price, which I find pretty impressive. You can search themes according to category. But, you’re not restricted by what you sell.

Shift4Shop also provides a team to help you customize your store.

Shift4Shop Integrations & Add-Ons

Shift4Shop offers hundreds of apps that can be customized to make your online store more attractive. A variety of options are available, organized in 24 categories using a dropdown. This allows for easy browsing.

Shift4Shop provides a RESTful interface that lets developers create custom connections to the apps they require. You can read user reviews and ratings about apps to get a better idea of how they feel.

Be aware, however. Some apps have very few user reviews, and others none at all. You should also take into account the date reviews were submitted.

Given the small feedback pool, you might end up taking your chances with some apps.

Payment Processing

Every Shift4Shop outlet is set up to accept Shift4 Payments. If you use the End-to-End free plan, you will need Shift4 Payments to be your default payment provider.

Paid subscription plans allow you to choose between more than 100 payment services, with international options available in 19 other nations.

Many familiar names are included on this list, including Authorize.net, PayPal, Sage Payment, Skrill, Stripe.

Shift4Shop is free to use, but you may have to pay transaction fees to the processor you choose, such as Shift4 Payments. Flat-rate merchants such as Stripe, Square, PayPal, and others charge approximately 2.9% + $0.30 for each eCommerce transaction.

For transactions that are done in-person, there will be a separate and usually lower processing charge. Transactions manually entered may be subject to a different rate.

Customer Support Team & Technical Support

Shift4Shop recently purchased a 3dcart eCommerce platform. This makes it less fair to compare past performance. However, this is the only thing that we have until Shift4Shop can create its own record. The options are endless.

  • Phone: Available for all users, except those with the Startup plan.
  • Live Chat: Chat button are prominently displayed on Shift4Shop sites.
  • Email: Issues that require the sharing of a lot of information, such as pictures, links, and lengthy descriptions, are best suited for email.
  • Support Form: Submit your ticket for support.
  • Knowledge base: Shift4Shop keeps a searchable directory with technical information. It includes how-to guides and tutorials.
  • Community Forum: The community support forum offers help and support to users and a chance to share your experiences. The support staff is always available.
  • Help Manual: Shift4Shop Instruction Manual is now online. It is searchable, so you can quickly access the relevant information.
  • Videos: The Online eCommerce University offers a variety of resources to help increase traffic, boost search ratings, understand social media marketing, and develop income streams. You can also take better product photos.
  • Template Guide: Access Shift4Shop design documentation. It guides you on how to build a custom store using code blocks and variables.
  • Find An Advisor: Shift4Shop would be delighted to help you locate experts that can assist with your design and marketing needs.
  • Developer Portal: Access the complete REST API documentation of the software and developer forums and learn how to create custom apps or themes.

Security

Shift4Shop features all the security features an online store would need. It’s a VISA PCI-certified eCommerce system hosted on a cloud platform with a 99.99% uptime guarantee.

Shift4Shop backs up all users’ data daily and is monitored 24 hours a day. The software is kept up-to-date monthly.

All Shift4Shop Plans include a 256Bit SSL SSL certificate. Your customer data will remain secure.

Pros

  • You get a generous plan for free
  • There are many options available for all plans
  • Strong and flexible features
  • There are no transaction costs
  • Highly scalable
  • Large selection of free professionally designed templates
  • Reliable technical support

Cons

  • Reputation concerns regarding payment gateways
  • Paid plans are subject to revenue limitations
  • Inconsistent customer support

Final Verdict Of Shift4Shop

I’ve been compiling 3dcart reviews for years and have always maintained that it is an excellent option for many online vendors.

Following the acquisition by Shift4 Payments (and the platform’s new branding as Shift4shop), I expect that to continue.

The plans are reasonable in price and have tons of features built-in, especially for those who sign-up for the End-to-End plan, which is free.

The vast selection of payment processing options makes it easy to avoid Shift4Pays and still use Shift4Shop as an eCommerce platform.

Shift4Shop charges no transaction fees regardless of which processor is chosen. I are not sure about Shift4 Payments based on its track record.

But, I think that merchants who are very careful with their cash flow might be open to taking the chance to have access to the most advanced features for free.

I will continue to monitor trends and update this review when more customers have their experience with the platform.

I still believe Shift4Shop is the best choice for merchants who want to benefit from a variety of powerful and flexible eCommerce features.

But, it also requires patience to master those powerful tools. You will find that the learning curve is well worth it for the power and control you have over managing your store.

And once you’re comfortable using the tools, running your daily operations should be very simple. I believe that 3dcart can be used to design storefronts.

It is best for people with moderately technical skills who are proficient in HTML and CSS.

Customer service reports continue being mixed. I have had mixed experiences with tech support. I’ll keep an eye out for Shift4Shop changing service trends.

I recommend that you first try the software out on whatever eCommerce platform you decide to use. It just takes a few minutes to sign up, and there are no commitments. A demo is worth a lot more than a thousand words.

What Is Our Top Recommendation For Making Money Online In 2021?

Our review team has come across a program in the real estate industry that is next level!

Although it’s not real estate in the traditional sense, it’s all digital.

Yup, Digital Real Estate!

Where Shift4Shop falls short is in scalability. 

You can’t realistically expect to be able to make passive income when you have to watch your store and manage ads all day.

But what if you leverage it?

With this digital real estate program, you can have the ability to completely walk away from the laptop because there is no ad management!

Sound too good to be true? Of course it does! But it isn’t…in fact, business owners wish they had this skill!

All you have to do is build and rank a website and forward the jobs off to a business owner in town, you could even email it to them!

This works for literally any service based business, tree service, plumbing, towing, etc. 

How do you get paid and how much?

Simple, after you forward the jobs off to a business owner and he makes some money off of them, you simply ask to make the deal beneficial for each other.

A fair price to charge per lead, depending on the industry is 10-20%…let’s just use the tree service industry for example and go by worst case scenario.

Let’s say you build and rank the site and only 10 jobs a month come in. The average tree service job is anywhere from $500-$2000!

That means at bare minimum you have an asset worth $500 a month!

See why they call it digital real estate now? That’s a rent payment. 

The great thing is how easy it is to scale. You don’t have to answer the phone…all you have to do is get the phone to ring.

Remember Shift4Shop and all the small profit margins? 

This one actually allows you to collect that without being on the laptop managing a store all day. Truly passive income!

The training program takes making money online to a whole other level. The owner of the program walks you through how to build and rank a site hand in hand, with the occasional voice over when he is sharing his screen.

You will learn the importance of keywords, website name, how to send call notifications via email, backlinking, etc.

Once the training program is completed you will also have access to a Facebook group much better than the Shift4Shop group in our opinion. This group is much more active.

Unlike Shift4Shop, where you have to run ads all day and worry about getting a $5 profit off a $50 product 1,000 times over…. A business will always want more leads and another job. In fact it doesn’t even matter that the job isn’t coming from their website name…they see it as it is…expanding digital real estate.

Unlike Shift4Shop, more people have been able to walk away from their 9-5 job as well. 

Digital real estate allows you to have total passive income with most of your day being spent OFF the laptop.

Now, I know you probably have tons of questions… So, check this out to learn more.

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