ClickFunnels was created in 2014 by founder Russell Brunson, developer Todd Dickerson, and designer Dylan Jones, born out of the desire for specialized tools to handle the creation of websites constructed around the sales funnel model. They based their software on the practical requirements of online sales funnel creation such as landing pages, squeeze pages, upsells, and more tools built to make use of the high-powered sales tactics Russell knew to be effective. The result was a highly focused and optimized sales funnel platform. ClickFunnels is based just outside of Boise, Idaho, with an additional location near Atlanta, Georgia.
Shift4Shop is a feature-rich eCommerce platform serving businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries across the globe. Offering an unmatched free eCommerce solution, the company provides everything you need to start — and grow — your business. This turnkey eCommerce experience includes powerful tools to help businesses succeed — a robust website builder, product and order management, customer marketing tools, and more. Customers can choose from dozens of professionally designed, industry-specific templates, all of which are mobile-friendly, SEO optimized, and highly customizable.
If you're ready to open an online business, chances are you've already heard of ClickFunnels. It's touted as one of the best solutions for creating compelling landing pages that lead visitors through a sales funnel to make conversions. When used properly, landing pages and well-constructed sales funnels are indeed a tried and true method for getting conversions. However, this approach is only useful if you're trying to sell a single product at a time (per website), plus any upsell items specific to that product. The ClickFunnels homepage itself even points out that their software is meant to be used to point customers to "the ONE product or service they need most."
For building a full-featured online store and providing customers with a shopping cart, ClickFunnels is simply not a good solution. For that, you need Shift4Shop, the best choice for building an eCommerce website that functions as a complete online store. Your website will have a familiar catalog-style structure that helps customers find the products they're looking for, with product pages and as many categories or subcategories as necessary. Shift4Shop also includes numerous built-in tools to help grow your business and encourage customers to come back for more.
The most important distinction is that ClickFunnels and Shift4Shop are made for different types of websites with different sales tactics. If your strategy does require use of landing pages and the various types of webpages you can build into a ClickFunnels sales funnel, but you also want to maintain a traditional online store where customers can browse and buy several products at once, you can use both Shift4Shop and ClickFunnels together. Simply connect your ClickFunnels landing pages to your Shift4Shop store via links.
Since ClickFunnels is based on the creation of a landing page and a few simple related pages, it lacks the typical features you'd expect from a traditional online store. Each ClickFunnels website is geared toward selling a single product and potentially upselling similar related products. Customers aren't given the option to continue shopping and browse the other products that you offer, and are only guided to make the specific purchase described on the landing page. There are some ClickFunnels website templates that purport to create funnels for multiple products, but they are expensive and still don't have complete shopping cart functionality. Shift4Shop, however, allows you to build an online store to sell as many products as you desire, and you can still use it with ClickFunnels if you want their landing page features.
A basic ClickFunnels account costs $97/month and includes caps on everything from visitor traffic to number of funnels (and remember, you'll need one for each product). To remove these limitations, you'll need to upgrade to $297/month! Shift4Shop is much friendlier to new businesses, with a free plan that includes far more functionality without limits. You can even create unlimited landing pages and sales funnels in a similar way as you can with ClickFunnels, although naturally, the tools are different.
"I wish I'd learned a little more about ClickFunnels before I decided to pay for it. The landing pages and sales funnels are easy to set up, and it's good at what it does, but it doesn't do everything I wanted. It's mainly for selling single products, or up to 3 on the lower-priced plan, and it doesn't have online store features like a regular retailer would need. I filled the gap by also building a Shift4Shop store which allows me to sell unlimited products and also export them to eBay, Facebook, and Google, where I get a lot of my sales."
– Current ClickFunnels User
There are many ways to get the word out about your brand. These include social media integrations and multichannel sales endeavors, such as creating a Facebook Shop and adding your products to Amazon, eBay, Google Shopping, and more. ClickFunnels doesn't provide any tools for expanding your audience by tapping into these lucrative sales channels, but Shift4Shop has complete integrations with each of them so you can sell your products to millions of potential customers.
How does ClickFunnels' web design stand up against Shift4Shop's web design?
Your online store's design is a crucial part of your branding, and can differentiate you from your competitors — or cause you to blend in and become forgettable. Let's compare ClickFunnels' online store templates with those offered by Shift4Shop.
ClickFunnels offers several free themes with various color schemes and other elements suitable for a few different product types, but the platform's reliance on a specific website structure limits its design flexibility. While ClickFunnels store designs can be customized with relative ease, there's a limit to what you can do, and it's very common for one seller's ClickFunnels site to look almost identical to another's. Templates also vary in what parts of the website they cover, which can take a user by surprise.
Shift4Shop offers a wide variety of free eCommerce themes with colors and layouts that any business can use, and all themes can be adapted to work with any industry. The Theme Editor and Drag n' Drop HTML Builder make customization a breeze, allowing you to change colors, typography, layouts, and more. Plus, there's enough variety that your website can stand out from day one without much effort, and while not all themes apply tons of styling to every page, all Shift4Shop themes are for your entire website, not just some of your pages.
Shift4Shop is powered by Shift4 Payments, a leading payment processor with support for flexible payment methods. For international or alternative payment methods, Shift4Shop integrates with more than any other eCommerce platform. The best part? It all comes without transaction fees.
ClickFunnels only integrates with a handful of payment methods, with a serious lack of integration with international payment gateways. Plus, you're charged a transaction fee on every sale on top of the payment processing fee and monthly fee that you already pay.
Shift4Shop lets you build a complete eCommerce website including an online catalog and all the pages you need to support it, including informational pages, landing pages, pages for products and categories, and much more. Plus, you can integrate your store with all your favorite software for everything from tax accounting to email marketing.
ClickFunnels is based on a single type of website meant to lead customers to purchase a single product, and you'll need to create separate websites for all products you want to sell (with a maximum of 3 domain names, unless you upgrade). It doesn't include features to give your customers a regular shopping experience, and it integrates with fewer tools.