With the constant expansion of eCommerce, the industry has also seen the birth of new services and service providers to help businesses sell online. This means a vast world of opportunity not just for online store owners, but also for agencies that support them via web design, marketing, and more. Online businesses both new and established are looking for talented and knowledgeable eCommerce agencies to help them reach their goals.

If your ambition is to start an eCommerce agency, you're likely drawn to this industry by your own expertise and knowledge regarding one of the many facets of eCommerce. Perhaps you're a web designer ready to craft the perfect website for your clients. Maybe you're a marketing expert and you want to help others grow their business. Or, maybe part of your mission is to connect merchants with powerful software that will help their business excel. In all these cases (and more), becoming a Shift4Shop Partner will be a valuable choice for you.

Let's go into the basics of the Shift4Shop Partner Program, the benefits of becoming a Shift4Shop reseller, and why this program may be right for you. We'll also cover the process for becoming a Shift4Shop Partner.


What is a Shift4Shop Partner?

In short, a Shift4Shop Partner is an eCommerce service provider who works together with Shift4Shop for mutual benefit. Many Shift4Shop Partners are Shift4Shop Experts, meaning they have extensive knowledge of how Shift4Shop works and are available to help clients with custom design, development, or other needs of their Shift4Shop store. Other Shift4Shop Experts have skills or knowledge that isn't specific to one eCommerce platform, like product photography, photo editing, and logo design. Shift4Shop Experts can be found on our Shift4Shop Experts Directory.

Shift4Shop Partners can also be resellers. In eCommerce, a reseller is any company that promotes an existing software platform and signs clients up for commission. Generally, resellers offer additional services to add value for anyone who signs up through them rather than heading directly to the platform they're reselling. Unlike affiliate sales, which offer a one-time commission on new signups through the affiliate's link, a Shift4Shop reseller is entitled to a 60% residual split revenue share, 15 times the profitability of the account signed up, and a $500 bonus if the client uses Shift4 Payments.


Who Can Resell Shift4Shop?

Several types of agencies can benefit from reselling Shift4Shop to their clients, and it can be either the central part of their business or one of many services they offer. Here are a few types of agencies that could find opportunity in becoming a Shift4Shop reseller.

eCommerce Experts

If you're an eCommerce guru (or on your way to becoming one), your goal is to help your students or followers understand the eCommerce process and become thriving business owners in their own right. The resources you offer should include a list of recommended tools. As a Shift4Shop Partner, you'll be able to sign clients up to Shift4Shop directly as part of the eCommerce coaching services you offer (and earn a lifetime commission on each client, to boot). It's up to you if you decide to promote Shift4Shop exclusively, but focusing on Shift4Shop will allow you to provide more detailed and specific lessons for your customers, as you'll be able to instruct them on the exact procedures to build their online stores. This means you can offer higher-quality instruction rather than speaking in vague terms to accommodate multiple platforms.

Marketing Agencies

Marketing agencies can focus on SEO, social media, organic marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), or other techniques — or offer a complete solution that targets all of these channels. Since Shift4Shop has a full suite of marketing tools and the most powerful built-in SEO features available, it's a choice platform for any business with serious marketing ambitions. Marketing agencies can become Shift4Shop resellers to offer a complete package for any business seeking to go online and succeed. This way, their client starts out on the right software and can get the most out of the agency's other services.

Web Designers

Many web designers work with multiple platforms and can create websites for clients using a range of software. However, others may want to offer a more complete solution that includes hosting, PCI compliance, and other necessary infrastructure. In this case, becoming a Shift4Shop reseller would mean the web designer can offer not just the visuals of the page, but the entire software package. Web designers working with Shift4Shop can also offer eCommerce website templates for sale through our Theme Store while running their own business as a reseller, which differentiates the Shift4Shop Partner Program from similar programs offered by other eCommerce providers such as Shopify, which limit your options.

Web Developers

Web developers are knowledgeable in coding, but usually prefer to start with an existing platform or framework in order to avoid "reinventing the wheel" for each customer. As a web developer reselling Shift4Shop, you could offer custom solutions with Shift4Shop as the basis for your programming. With full access to the API and tons of Shift4Shop developer resources available, you can build apps to expand the functionality of Shift4Shop to meet your clients' specific needs.

Distributors or Manufacturers

Distributors and manufacturers rely on clients further down the supply chain to sell their products at retail. By reselling Shift4Shop, you can provide your new retail sellers with a shortcut for getting their own website ready to sell your products. With Shift4Shop's Site Copy feature, which we'll describe later in this article, you can even set your clients up with a premade website that already has your products and categories.

Other Agencies

Reselling Shift4Shop can be a great strategy for any eCommerce-related agency that wants to provide its clients with a complete solution for building a website. In addition to the above, this could also include domain registrars, business-oriented life coaches, any Shift4Shop Partners, and many others.


What Features and Resources are Available to Shift4Shop Partners?

At the core of the Shift4Shop Partner Program is the opportunity for you to earn a recurring revenue through commission. Since we want you to succeed as a Shift4Shop Partner, we also include several resources and benefits within this program to help you enhance your business in multiple ways.

  • Exclusive information and tools: Shift4Shop Partners have access to a special portal from which you can access training materials, plus you'll receive a Partner-only newsletter with the latest updates.

  • Early access to new features and integrations: When we introduce new features, or integrate with new software, you'll be the first to know. You'll get early access so you can start learning these features and be prepared for their release.

  • Free sandbox accounts: A sandbox account is a Shift4Shop store used for development, design, or experimentation rather than selling products. Sandbox accounts allow freedom of design without affecting an existing website, so many developers and designers use them to present finished work to their clients before applying it to the client website.

  • Site cloning feature: A sandbox account can be copied, or cloned, as many times as needed. This means you can create a "baseline" website to immediately present to your clients. Everything on the sandbox store can be cloned, including products, categories, and all other settings. This is especially useful for manufacturers and/or distributors that want to provide websites "pre-loaded" with their selection of products, payment providers that want to supply websites with their payment method preinstalled, and other agencies who seek to provide a certain "starting point" for new client websites.

  • Shift4Shop accreditations: Within the Partner Portal you can access your Certified Partner Badge and get "Shift4Shop Approved" banners for your website to help establish your authority as a genuine Shift4Shop Expert. We can help you with custom links, variants on the banners, or other content as needed.

  • Premium support: In addition to our 24/7/365 support via phone, chat, and email, Shift4Shop Partners have unlimited access to our highest-level tech support via our Priority Partner Support team. We also have dedicated support for any questions or assistance about our Partner Program in general.

  • Listing in our Shift4Shop Experts Directory: A listing as a Shift4Shop Expert gives you a place on our website where customers are likely to go when they need a provider of the services you offer. You can post a full listing including a description of your services, pricing, portfolio, and more, and can also accrue customer reviews. For example, if you're a web designer and become a Shift4Shop Expert, a new client could choose your agency from our directory to have you create and design their Shift4Shop website.


How to Become a Shift4Shop Partner

It's easy to start the process of becoming a Shift4Shop Partner. Visit our Partner with Shift4Shop page to get a quick overview and find further instructions and the application form. Once you've gone through a short approval process, we'll send you a link to your Partner Dashboard Account from which you can start accessing your resources.

You'll be required to include Shift4Shop on your website via the referral link and your Certified Partner Badge. The referral link is how you direct your customers to Shift4Shop, and the badge signals your status as a trusted Shift4Shop Partner. When you're ready to launch, contact us so we can coordinate with you and help promote your business with our new partnership.

It's really that easy. If you've got the skills and the ambition, we're excited to work with you.


How Does a Shift4Shop Reseller Sign Up New Accounts?

As a Shift4Shop Partner, we're ready to help support you as you grow your business. This includes providing you with a dedicated Account Manager who will be responsible for creating new Shift4Shop accounts under your reseller account. You will also be able to create new accounts within your Shift4Shop Partner dashboard, but your Account Manager will still be there to assist you if you should need it.


Streamlined Workflow for eCommerce Agencies

Shift4Shop's reseller program makes it easy to set up new accounts for your customers, whether you need to design their whole website first, or simply put together a baseline website that includes your products, theme, or other specifics pre-installed for their convenience.

Let's take a look at an example process a reseller could use to create a new Shift4Shop website for a client. We'll use a web design agency as an example, since this is the type of agency most likely to need to do a significant amount of work on a website before releasing it to the client. Other agencies may not need to go so far — in some cases, they'd only have to complete the first one or two steps before handing the website off to the client.

Additionally, use of the site cloning feature would drastically simplify this process for any agency providing baseline websites to its clients: you'd only have to complete the initial steps once, until you're satisfied with the base website, and then clone it unlimited times for each client. Once the site is cloned, you can make new changes to the copy without affecting the original, so you can still provide unique-looking websites to clients without needing to repeat all the work.

Example of a Design Agency Reselling Shift4Shop

The tools available to Shift4Shop Partners make it convenient to design websites for clients. Since you can create sandbox accounts within your Partner Portal, you'll be able to create a complete Shift4Shop store with your custom design and have it ready for your client's approval before they need to make their Shift4Shop account. Once the client approves the design, you can sign them up directly through your portal.

A Shift4Shop Partner providing web design and setup would follow steps similar to these, although parts of the design process don't need to be done in this exact order — for example, you can add site content before uploading products.

  1. Create the sandbox account.

  2. Install a theme. You can install a Shift4Shop theme directly from the sandbox account's dashboard or pick from the Shift4Shop Theme Store. The theme you pick is only going to be a starter point for your custom design work, so you can choose one that somewhat resembles your intended final product, one that the customer wants you to work from, or simply use the default theme if you want to start from scratch.

  3. Customize the design. Shift4Shop themes are built on our Core Template Engine, which is a modular theme design framework based on Bootstrap. It works like a set of building blocks that can be used in a highly flexible manner to help designers create an attractive, functional, and fully customized website with as much freedom as possible. Full Core Template Engine documentation is available.

  4. Upload products and categories. You'll need to have at least a few products and categories on the website to show a complete design to your client. Alternately, if your service includes a full product upload and your client has provided you with a full list of their inventory, you can add them all. Products can be created manually or uploaded via CSV.

  5. Add content. Create your customer's About Us page, policy pages, and any other pages within your service agreement and add the content they have provided for you. Homepage content should also be added at this time. If the customer hasn't yet given you the copy they want on the website, use our Lorem Ipsum generator to create dummy text so there will at least be an idea of what the content will look like. Add the images as well, including the customer's logo and banners if available.

  6. Present the website to the client. If your service agreement includes design revisions, work through those as well.

  7. When the client approves the website and is ready to launch, sign up for a Shift4Shop online store on their behalf by creating their account through your dashboard or contacting your Account Manager to set it up for you.

At this point, the client's Shift4Shop website can go live and you'll start receiving your commission on their plan for as long as their account is active.

Keep in mind that the above steps are a technical example for Shift4Shop Partners that are more deeply involved with the building and design of the client's website. If you're not offering web design services, your process could be a lot shorter — and in fact could take less than a day, depending on the services you do offer. If you use site clones, you could reduce your work even further, as we discussed above.


Ready to Get Started?

Becoming a Shift4Shop Partner can be a lucrative step forward for an eCommerce agency. We're happy to provide the tools and enhanced support that can help you grow your business and bring your skills to more customers, while earning you a recurring income. We know you have an important role to play in helping others succeed in eCommerce as well, and our available resources reflect our commitment to both you and your clients. Partner with Shift4Shop today.