Beginner’s Guide to Shift4Shop Dropshipping
It’s no secret that starting your own online business is much simpler and quicker to do than it was 20 years ago. And, with the advent of dropshipping, many new entrepreneurs can now start a business with very little startup capital. While it has become easier than ever to start selling online, there are challenges present in the decisions you make. Namely, what platform will you choose to sell your products from?
In the world of dropshipping online, there’s no shortage of options available to support your online business. Today, we’ll be guiding you through one such option: Shift4Shop dropshipping.
What is Shift4Shop?
Shift4Shop is an all-in-one eCommerce solution that provides merchants everything they need to build a successful online store. Since 1997 Shift4Shop has made for a formidable option among the seemingly endless number of eCommerce platforms available with constant updates, hundreds of built-in features, and powerful hosting. Now, they support over 20,000 online stores that range from one-product businesses to huge enterprise ventures.
Recently, Shift4Shop has introduced a plan solely designed with dropshipping in mind. Let’s dive into whether or not what they have to offer is beneficial for a dropshipping business.
Why use Shift4Shop for dropshipping?
Dropshipping has exploded in popularity, becoming one of the biggest eCommerce methods for new business owners. With that popularity has come a long list of eCommerce platforms offering dropshipping plans and features to help streamline and support dropshippers. Among the rest, Shift4Shop stands out with its affordable pricing, ease of use, and built-in features.
Their dedicated dropshipping plan is the most affordable one they offer and gives merchants everything they need to build a fully-functional, profitable online store – all without transaction fees. While Shift4Shop isn’t just for dropshipping, they’ve added functionality to their software that provides dropshippers with the features and integrations they need to run their business.
Overview of Shift4Shop dropshipping features
Let’s get to what makes Shift4Shop a good choice for dropshipping: the features that they offer.
At just $9.99/month, Shift4Shop is considered one of the most affordable eCommerce solutions. You can sign up for the Shift4Shop Dropshipping plan and have all of the basic features you need to build a dropshipping store. Shift4Shop charges no transaction fees and includes a domain name with your account.
While you may feel inclined to compare this to Shopify’s $9/month plan, that plan only includes social selling tools, meaning you can’t actually build an online store with it. You’ll have to sign up for Shopify’s $29/month plan to do that.
The Shift4Shop Dropshipping plan offers a variety of payment scales differing in savings and agreement length:
- $5.50/month for a 3-year agreement
- $6.00/month for a 2-year agreement
- $6.58/month for a 1-year agreement
- $9.99/month for a monthly agreement
However, keep in mind that the affordable dropshipping plan does limit a few features that Shift4Shop typically offers. For example, you can only integrate with three payment processors and list up to 1,000 products. You also have a limit of $10,000 in online sales per year on this plan before you’re automatically upgraded. If you’d like more features and unlimited products, you can upgrade to any other Shift4Shop plan. Here’s every plan that Shift4Shop has to offer:
- Startup Store: $19/month
- Basic Store: $29/month
- Plus Store: $79/month
- Power Store: $129/month
- Pro Store: $229/month
Each plan differs in yearly sale limits, staff users, and features. Shift4Shop ensures that there’s never a startling jump in cost from plan to plan, so you won’t need to worry about breaking the bank when you upgrade. Just like the dropshipping plan, there is a discount for yearly agreements on each plan. There are also enterprise-level plans available for larger businesses.
Shift4Shop dropshipping plan includes several integrations with popular suppliers to get your online business up and running. Some features and integrations include:
- DOBA Dropshipping Connector: This feature allows you to add your chosen products from DOBA’s directory into your online store.
- Inventory Source Dropshipping Connector: Add products to your store and forward orders through this integration with Inventory Source.
- Printful Print-on-Demand Connector: Sell custom printed apparel on your online store by connecting to Printful, a print-on-demand supplier.
Customer service & support
To help keep your 24/7 online business running, Shift4Shop offers round-the-clock technical support whenever you run into an issue or have a question about the software. Their team is US-based and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including holidays). You can reach them over the phone, through support tickets, in live chat, and via email.
Marketing your dropshipping store is extremely important to making any sales. Without marketing online, your website won’t get any traffic. Each Shift4Shop plan, including its dropshipping plan, comes with built-in marketing features to help you get the word out about your business. Some of the best features include:
- SEO Tools: Edit meta titles, descriptions, custom URLs, robots.txt, and more to optimize your website for search engine result pages.
- Social Wish Lists: With this feature, customers can create wish lists to share on social media, which gets the word out about your business to all of their followers and friends.
- MailChimp Integration: Connect with MailChimp to start sending marketing emails, such as newsletters, to your customers.
- Built-In Blog: Create valuable, optimized content directly on your website without having to use a third-party blogging service.
- Google Shopping Feed: Automatically upload a feed of your products to Google Shopping, where searchers can see and buy them instantly.
- Coupons and Discounts: Create your own custom coupons and discounts to incentivize shoppers to buy from your store.
No matter how much traffic your online store gets, Shift4Shop’s servers will be able to support it. All plans, including the Dropshipping plan, provide unlimited bandwidth so that your site never goes down unexpectedly. Even if your online store gets millions of visitors, you won’t have to worry about outages or overage fees.
Shift4Shop also provides all stores with a free secure URL backed by their shared SSL certificate. This ensures that your online store is safe and secure, giving your customers confidence when they shop with you.
Shift4Shopt’s dropshipping plan supports three of the most popular payment processors for online selling: PayPal, Square, and Stripe. This may not seem like very many options – this is because the dropshipping plan is their most affordable plan, meaning some restrictions have been applied. If you’d like access to more payment processors, you’ll need to upgrade to the Startup plan at $19/month. This plan gives you access to over 100 payment gateways to add to your online store.
How to build an online store with Shift4Shop
If you’re ready to start dropshipping with Shift4Shop, follow these steps to get your online store built for selling.
1. Sign up for a Shift4Shop account
Before you can get started building your online store, you’ll need to create a Shift4Shop account. Enter your contact information, billing information, domain name information, payment details, and then click “Get Started.”
If you find that Shift4Shop isn’t a good fit for your business, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee as well. You can also start out with a 15-day free trial to check out the software before committing to payment.
2. Choose a reliable dropshipping supplier
The supplier you choose to work with can make or break your success as a business. This is because you entirely rely on your supplier for stock levels, product storage, shipping and handling, and returns. Your reputation is on the line, and if your supplier makes a mistake anywhere along the way, it’ll be your brand that suffers.
When choosing your dropshipping supplier, ensure that they ship out products in a decent time frame, sell high-quality products, and package them well without any of their own branding inside. You’ll also want to choose a supplier that specializes in your niche. For example, BrandsGateway specializes in dropshipping clothing from luxury fashion brands. This supplier is a great choice if you’d like to sell in this niche.
3. Research the best products to sell
Since you’ll be dropshipping, this step is one of the most important. Without good products backing your business, you’ll never make any sales. The first step here is choosing your niche – don’t just sell general, random items in your store. To find out what niches are currently the most profitable and safe to enter, you’ll need to perform market research. Using a research tool like Google Trends will show you what’s being searched for.
With your products chosen, you can start importing them into your online store. On Shift4Shop, you can either input product information manually or in bulk through a CSV file import.
4. Integrate with payment processors
Now that your products are in your store, you’ll need a way for customers to buy them. This is where payment processors come in. On the Shift4Shop Dropshipping plan, you can choose to integrate with PayPal, Stripe, and Square. To enable these payment processors, you first need to create an account for each respective service. Then, connect that account to your online store, and you’re ready to go.
5. Customize your online store
Once your store is established, it’s time to work on the customization. Because you’re dropshipping, you may not be the only online store on the internet selling the exact same products that you are. What will set your business apart from everyone else is the look of your eCommerce website.
Shift4Shop has over 50 free themes available to choose from, all of which are responsive for mobile devices and optimized for online selling. You can choose the one that best fits your niche or the one that best fits the brand aesthetic you’re going for.
After you’ve chosen your theme, you can start customizing. Add your logo, change up the colors and fonts, and create sections of content using the Page Editor. All of these customization tools are built-in, so you won’t need any coding experience to create a custom look.
6. Optimize your website for SEO
It’s time to start optimizing your website so that you can get more eyes on your business. Shift4Shop’s built-in SEO toolkit can help you rank your store higher in search engine result pages, leading to more organic traffic.
Target keywords that relate to your niche and use them on your homepage, product pages, category pages, content pages, and more. Shift4Shop allows you to edit page titles, meta descriptions, custom URLs, and more to optimize your website for your needs. Then, track your progress with Shift4Shop’s built-in reporting and analytics.
Building your online store is just the beginning – it requires constant upkeep and attention to bring in any success. Despite the common misconception that a dropshipping store can be a form of passive income, it does require work to bring in sales. Constantly update your website based on customer feedback, conversion rates, and any other metric that you’re able to keep track of. Advertise your business to your niche and stay active with SEO, paid ads, and organic social media posts.
You may reach a point that your product lineup needs to change. Trends come and go, and if your products are based on current eCommerce trends, that won’t always last. Consider offering trendy items alongside evergreen products to keep your business consistent. Just because you’re starting with a small number of products and customers doesn’t mean you won’t see huge success in the future.
Table of Content
- What is Shift4Shop?
- Why use Shift4Shop for dropshipping?
- Overview of Shift4Shop dropshipping features
- How to build an online store with Shift4Shop
- Moving forward