Which Is The Better eCommerce Platform: Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) Or Volusion?
|Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart)||Volusion|
|Ease of Use||Good||Good|
|Reviews & Complaints||Fair||Fair|
|Best For||Sellers who want an affordable, robust, and flexible set of eCommerce tools with a moderate learning curve.||Smaller merchants looking for an easy and uncomplicated way to start selling online|
|Next Steps||Start Trial
Cloud-based, all-inclusive eCommerce software like Shift4Shop and Volusion can give you the tools you need to turn your online sales goals into reality. And because these software place a strong focus on ease of use, even sellers with little technical knowledge can get a store up and running quickly. But which is better: Shift4Shop or Volusion?
Note: Shift4Shop may seem like a newcomer to the eCommerce scene. But in fact, it’s not new software but instead a new name for a familiar and popular online sales platform, 3dcart, that was acquired and rebranded by payment processor Shift4Payments in November 2020. As a fully hosted solution, 3dcart’s change to Shift4Shop hasn’t meant big changes so far, and the platform continues to be accessible and affordable. Small and large businesses alike can use this eCommerce platform successfully, as is evidenced by the 22,000+ current customers. What’s more, Shift4Shop continues to expand its features, services, and pricing (see below) to suit even more users.
Similarly, Volusion is a fully hosted solution for merchants looking for ease of use. Volusion hosts more than 30,000 stores and offers everything users need to build an online store and keep it running, although you may find you’re missing some advanced features that are pretty nice to have.
A Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion comparison reveals that each platform comes with unique advantages and disadvantages, and your choice will depend on your business’s needs. So you’ll want to drill down, to help you decide which solution is right for your online store. We’ll put each of them head-to-head in categories such as pricing, ease of use, and web design. Read on.
Table of Contents
- Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion
- The Key Differences Between Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) & Volusion
- Which Is Best For My Business: Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) Or Volusion?
- Comparing Features
- Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion Pricing
- Ease Of Use
- Customer Service & Support
- Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion Reviews & Complaints
- Positive Reviews & Testimonials
- Comparing Integrations
- FAQs: Volusion VS Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart)
- Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion Comparison: The Final Verdict
Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion
A comparison featuring Shift4Shop VS Volusion shines a spotlight on two strong eCommerce tools. You could use either to build a functional online store, quickly. But does one or the other come out ahead in the comparison? Read on to see how their features, pricing, and ease of use stack up.
The Key Differences Between Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) & Volusion
They’re both all-in-one eCommerce solutions, ready to help you set up and manage an online store. Neither requires a great deal of technical expertise or design experience to use it successfully, although those who have a little experience with HTML and CSS or who are willing to learn will gain more from Shift4Shop.
There are a few big differences between Shift4Shop and Volusion, and any one of them could be the deciding factor for you. Here are some important differences for your consideration:
- Free Plan: Both platforms have plans with similar price points: $29, $79, $299. Only one, though, offers a completely free plan. And it’s a really good free plan, with access to a lot of advanced eCommerce tools that can support your online business. Of course, there’s a catch: If you want to use Shift4Shop’s forever free End-to-End plan, you will pay a total of $0/month but you’ll be locked into using the in-house payment processor. With reasonably priced options that are within the industry norms, price may not be a deciding factor between these two. If you’re on an extreme budget, however, free is a mighty fine price.
- Sales Limits: I’m not a big fan of revenue caps, but in this Shift4Shop VS Volusion matchup, they’re all but unavoidable. One key difference between the two platforms, however, is the size of their caps. Let’s start with Shift4Shop. For starters, the forever-free End-to-End plan does not include any limits on revenue. Outside of that plan, you’ll face revenue caps that, if exceeded, mean you’ll automatically be bumped up to a higher plan. Shift4Shop’s plans allow slightly higher revenue compared to the plan price. For example, the $19/mo. plan allows up to $50,000 in sales. With Volusion, you’ll pay $29/mo. at that annual revenue. Shift4Shop’s $129 plan allows up to $500,000 in sales, but if you’re at that level you’ll need the $229 plan with Volusion. Shift4Shop’s $229 plan allows sales of up to $1 million.
- Size Of Business: Volusion doesn’t have a dazzling array of built-in features, and you may not find the integrations you need to run your online store the way you’d like to. For those reasons, it’s best suited to small businesses and startups. On the other hand, Shift4Shop can be a good option for any size business. The platform’s generous free plan provides even startups on a budget with advanced tools, and the software is loaded with enough features out of the box to satisfy large businesses. If you find that something’s missing, you can choose from hundreds of apps available on the Shift4Shop app store.
- Features: As mentioned previously, Volusion comes with the basic features most small businesses will need to create and operate an online store. Some important elements are still missing, however, such as the ability to sell downloadable products. Though you can find workarounds to both those missing functions, if you’re looking for out-of-the-box functionality, Shift4Shop definitely comes out ahead.
- Sales Channels: Shift4Shop supports multi-channel selling, making it easy to sell on Facebook and Shopzilla, dropship with AliExpress and Doba, and integrate with Amazon and eBay. Shift4Shop even makes it easy to create shoppable posts on Instagram. Volusion has suggestions for promoting your products on social media and makes it easy to add Pinterest’s Pin It button to products on your storefront. Amazon and eBay integrations are available for Business and Prime users only.
Don’t have time to read an entire article? Take a look at our top-rated eCommerce solutions for a few quick recommendations. Every option we present here offers excellent customer support, superb web templates, and easy-to-use software, all for a reasonable price.
Which Is Best For My Business: Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) Or Volusion?
A lot of factors go into choosing the right eCommerce platform for building your online store. So many of those factors depend upon you and your unique business goals. However, we’ve identified a few things that may help make your choice a little easier. Keep reading for the full details on our Shift4Shop VS Volusion comparison.
Choose Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) If…
- You are willing to use the in-house payment provider in order to gain a fully loaded eCommerce plan for $0/month
- You can accommodate a slight learning curve in order to gain access to more advanced features
- You have a little experience with HTML and CSS or don’t mind learning to use them
- Your eCommerce store anticipates significant growth and you want to have the tools you’ll need to handle it
Choose Volusion If…
- Your small online business doesn’t anticipate extensive growth
- You lack technical expertise or access to a web designer
- You want dependable, friendly, and helpful customer support
Still undecided? Let’s start with a summary of each platform and what it has to offer, then take a deeper dive into head-to-head matchups in a few key areas.
Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) Overview
As 3dcart, this platform had loyal users and a reputation as a solid shopping cart worth using to build an online store. Rebranded in 2020 as Shift4Shop, so far it seems like not much has changed, with one big exception. Shift4Shop added a free plan. Users who are willing to use the in-house payment processor exclusively gain access to an impressive array of advanced features and no limits, at no cost.
Those who would rather stick with their tried-and-true payment processors will still find a lot to like in Shift4Shop’s competitively priced paid plans that include access to 100+ payment gateways. All plans come with handy eCommerce basic features as well as some advanced features more commonly limited to top-tier plans or paid integrations, such as an affiliate program, gift-wrapping, social wish lists, and more. Customer support is available 24/7 on all plans except the Startup Store.
If you’re interested in Shift4Shop, be sure to take advantage of the free trial, with no credit card required.
- Free trial
- Generous free plan
- Mobile responsive
- Numerous features
- Spotty customer service
- Moderate learning curve
- Coding experience helpful
Volusion an easy-to-use software aimed at non-technical users who want to set up and run an online store. If that sounds intriguing, take advantage of Volusion’s free trial to test it out. You’ll have to enter some personal information, but you can leave your credit card in your wallet for this one. As an all-inclusive platform, Volusion takes care of hosting and security duties, meaning you’ll pay only the monthly fee for the plan you choose, with some extra expenses possible if you add some integrations.
You can use Volusion’s easy editor to add content in blocks — think chunks of text, images, headers, footers, and so on. While it’s easy to use, you won’t find the greatest degree of customization. That’s a good way to describe Volusion as a whole. It’s a solid eCommerce tool that’s easy to use, but sellers looking for a sophisticated platform may find that Volusion’s simplicity means sacrificing some style and substance along the way.
- Easy to use
- Competitive Cost
- No technical skills needed
- Mobile responsive
- Basic features
- Revenue caps
- Limited integrations
|Features||Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart)||Volusion|
|Automatic Shipping and Tax||✔︎||✔︎|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery||✔︎||✔︎|
|Next Steps||Start Trial
As 3dcart, the platform built a reputation for its robust feature set. If anything, that reputation has only increased since the rebranding to Shift4Shop, with more features available at all price points, including Shift4Shop’s fully loaded free End-to-End plan. Volusion, on the other hand, comes with the basic features small businesses need to create an online store, with some advanced features still lacking. Here are a few important differences a Shift4Shop VS Volusion comparison reveals:
Shift4Shop makes selling digital products alongside your physical products simple — and secure. Volusion does not currently support automatic digital downloads for your customers.
You can use Shift4Shop’s built-in blogging capabilities to boost your brand and SEO with a blog. While you can link a Volusion store to an external service, there’s not a simple fix that makes it easy to do so.
Meet customers wherever they are when you build your online store using Shift4Shop. That includes a mobile POS, Facebook, Shopzilla, Amazon, eBay, and more. Volusion allows its users to add Pinterest Pin It buttons to product pages. And users on the Business and Prime plans unlock Amazon and eBay integrations.
As stated more than once in this Shift4Shop VS Volusion review, both platforms offer all the tools most small businesses would need to get an online store up and running. However, in almost every category of feature, Shift4Shop offers just a little more. For some users, enough is enough, and “more” just means unnecessary complexity. eCommerce sellers who are doing a greater volume of business will appreciate the flexibility and growth potential a Shift4Shop store offers.
Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion Pricing
Shift4Shop and Volusion follow similar pricing models. Both services are billed on a monthly basis with no contract required and more advanced features included in higher-level plans. If you commit to a year-long purchase, you can benefit from a discounted price. Keep in mind that many software solutions do not offer refunds on year-long purchases, so don’t commit to a full year until you’re sure the platform will work for you.
Shift4Shop shakes up its pricing scheme by offering a fully loaded, unlimited, and totally free plan to users who agree to use the in-house payment processor. All plans beyond the free End-to-End plan determine pricing levels by the number of staff users and availability of features, although all plans come with unlimited products and bandwidth. Take a look at a brief breakdown:
- End-to-End: $0/month
- Startup: For $19/month, this plan allows one staff account and sales of up to $50,000/year
- Basic: For $29/month, this plan includes two staff accounts and sales of up to $100,000/year
- Plus: For $79/month, this plan allows five staff accounts and sales of up to $250,000/year
- Pro: For $229/month, this plan allows 15 staff accounts and sales up to $1 million/year
Shift4Shop also makes an enterprise platform available for any merchant with annual revenue of over $10 million/year. Costing $1,999/month, it includes unlimited staff accounts and a one-time $499 setup fee. Discounts are available on all plans for resellers, students, schools, and nonprofits.
Volusion pricing is based on the features merchants want to access. Volusion plans come with unlimited products and bandwidth. See the pricing model below:
- Personal: For $29/month, this plan includes one staff account and 100 products. It allows annual sales of up to $50,000.
- Professional: For $75/month, this plan includes five staff accounts and 5,000 products. It allows annual sales of up to $100,000.
- Business: For $299/month, this plan includes 15 staff accounts and unlimited products. It allows annual sales of up to $500,000.
- Prime: Volusion’s enterprise-level plan is based on gross sales, starting at more than $500,000 annually. It includes unlimited products and staff accounts as well as VIP customer support.
Ease Of Use
Shift4Shop and Volusion both claim to be easy-to-use eCommerce solutions. Let’s take a closer look at each software.
Shift4Shop offers all potential users a risk-free, 15-day trial, so you can test the platform yourself without handing over any credit card information.
When you log in, you’ll get to explore the Shift4Shop dashboard, with features organized in a toolbar on the left. Use categories and subcategories to navigate the software. Use video tutorials to learn the basic procedures.
Adding a product to your store is a two-step process. First, you have to input and save basic product information. Once you’ve saved that page, you’ll be able to add more detailed product information. For example, you can adjust shipping, inventory, and SEO settings.
It’s relatively easy to learn, though you may have difficulty locating features initially. Some are buried in places you wouldn’t expect under titles you might not know to look for. Discount features, for example, are available under “Promotion Manager.” Overall, we give Shift4Shop four out of five stars for ease of use.
Volusion also offers trials of their software. You can sign up for a free 14-day trial. While Volusion’s software is missing a few features, the UI is looking pretty good.
We’d still like to see a bit more work done to this admin. In particular, we’d like to see subcategories added to the toolbar on the left. This would make navigation require fewer clicks, which can really add up for online sellers.
While Volusion’s “Add a product page” is inviting in its simple and colorful design, we experienced some frustration with the simple design. We felt railroaded through basic operations, which can be a pain when you don’t need the help.
Volusion’s latest version of its software is still relatively new and its goal was to create a platform that’s easier to use than earlier versions. The company did meet that goal. However, Volusion still has some work to do to make their admin easily navigable.
In the end, both shopping carts have areas they could improve. It’s a tie.
Customer Service & Support
All Shift4Shop plans except the basic Startup plan include personalized support via phone. Self-help support options include live chat, email, support forms, a knowledge base, video tutorials, a community forum, webinars, and a developer portal. Shift4Shop’s response times are good for inquiries via phone or web ticket. However, their response times for live chat support are significantly delayed. Essentially, “live chat” is just another way to submit web tickets. It takes hours for support reps to get back to you.
Volusion’s Business plan comes with 24/7 support via phone. Users on the Professional plan ($79/mo.) can schedule a phone call in advance, with calls scheduled for up to 45 minutes long. Chat and email support are also available. Self-help resources include in-software help, a knowledge base, webinars, video tutorials, a blog, and guides. There are mixed reviews online about the quality of Volusion’s customer support. Some have great experiences, others don’t.
Support for both platforms is about the same. If you take advantage of the free trial period to test either or both of these platforms, you’d be wise to test out the support options while you’re there.
Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion Reviews & Complaints
Almost every shopping cart comes with a certain amount of negative reviews. In Shift4Shop’s case, it’s important to note that reviews are still coming in since the rebranding at the end of 2020, so most of the comments found online still refer to 3dcart. Here’s what users dislike about each platform:
- Poor Customer Service: Users claim customer support is slow to respond to inquiries. Note below in the “Positive Reviews” section that this is not a universal experience.
- Plain Templates: The available templates aren’t bad, but they lack pizzazz.
- Expensive Add-Ons: The cost of using multiple integrations and extensions can add up. This is one area to watch since the change from 3dcart to Shift4Shop, since users now have access to more features, especially on the free End-to-End plan.
- Limited Features: While acknowledging the usefulness of Volusion’s basic feature set, some users recognize limitations, specifically around shipping, discounts, and other core functions of eCommerce.
- No Blogging Option: That limits users’ ability to create content marketing.
- Bugs: While some users complain that the platform can be glitchy at times, it’s unclear that that’s a common problem for all users.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
Despite these negative reviews, there’s still a lot of good things to say about both of these platforms. Here’s what users love about Shift4Shop and Volusion:
- Low Price: Shift4Shop’s prices are competitive with other leading eCommerce software. The new, robust free plan is a welcome addition.
- Good Customer Support: Some users have positive experiences with Shift4Shop’s support team.
- Easy To Use: Shift4Shop’s UI is easy to use, after a slight initial learning curve, no matter what your technical ability level is.
- Many Features Built-In: Shift4Shop plans each offer a robust feature set right out of the box. You’ll be able to access advanced features without add-ons.
- It Works: Users like that they can get started right away with all the necessary features. In addition, Volusion users say the software has reliable connectivity, which is a huge plus.
With hundreds of apps to choose from, Shift4Shop’s marketplace features plenty of add-ons that offer a variety of features, including order management, shipping, security, social media, dropshipping, channel management, advertisement, and more. There’s also a RESTful API that developers can use to build more customizations and connections.
Volusion does not provide so many options, with 79 applications currently available. It’s worth noting, however, that one of those applications is Zapier, which facilitates connections to many, many more integrations. Zapier is a paid service. And under about 20 searchable categories, you’ll find more than adequate options. Under shipping, for example, there are 10 integrations that include ShipStation, ShippingEasy, OrderCup, and Shipwire as well s international and free options. There’s also an API available for further development.
FAQs: Volusion VS Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart)
Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart) VS Volusion Comparison: The Final Verdict
In the end, we believe most online businesses looking at a Shift4Shop VS Volusion decision will do better with Shift4Shop. A strong feature set, low pricing, looser revenue caps, and high ease of use make Shift4Shop an excellent eCommerce option for many merchants.
However, despite the results of this comparison, Volusion could still be the right choice for your business. There’s nothing wrong with the platform — and many things right. Volusion’s software can fit the needs of many small businesses and startups, including possibly yours.
Whichever you choose, we again recommend that you sign up for a free trial of the software before you purchase. You can learn a lot from spending even a couple of hours exploring a software’s admin panel. And, if you’re not convinced that either is the right choice for your needs, keep looking for other options for building your online store. With so many good choices available, you’re sure to find the right fit.