Shopify has given online entrepreneurs a solution to start their own eCommerce businesses. You can have your store ready to sell in a single day, but do you have enough money for it? Does Shopify have what you need?
For starters, you can answer the latter question by using the free trial for 2 weeks and test all features available. That way, you’ll know if it’s good for you.
Then, we have the pricing plans, so its affordability is quite flexible as long as you can choose the best one for you.
Don’t worry, though. Today, we’ll take a look at the different pricing plans available for Shopify, along with the functionality offered by each one. Once you finish this article, you should have a deep understanding of which plan you want for your store.
So, let’s dive into your options with each plan.
How much will a store cost you?
You have 3 main plans: the Basic, Shopify (standard), and Advanced plans. Besides those two, you have Shopify Lite, which is a simpler version of Shopify if you can’t afford neither of the three. For larger businesses, there’s also the Shopify Plus option; it’s a custom plan that adapts to your needs, but these ones are often around $1,000 or more, so make sure you have a big company.
All plans are charged monthly, and I’ll list the monthly fees along with each option (except for Plus since those vary depending on each entrepreneur’s needs).
Also, keep in mind that these prices are for the subscription only. If you can work with just the features offered and the free themes (but not recommended), then these will be your only expenses. You can pay for more features and styles by buying premium themes and apps.
This is the best plan for people who are about to start their first store. As you gain more experience, you can upgrade your plan as you see fit.
It’s also the cheapest plan from the 3 main options, and it’s the 2nd cheaper plan out of all the possibilities. Luckily, it packs all of the main features you need to start a store, so even if you’re experienced, you might still prefer it.
Since all of the fundamental features are offered in this plan, this section will take a significant portion of our analysis.
Your store is the website your customers will visit to buy from you. It’s composed by different pages showing products, policies, and other relevant content for your business.
The basic plan lets you use all the free themes. Using themes is straightforward; you just choose one that fits your style and modify the elements to fit your needs. They’re basically templates that you adapt to your own business. You can fill in your information and customize its palette to match your brand.
This store also comes with a blog. You can upload new entries, sort them into different categories and even create drop-downs for the different sections. Your customer will have an easier time navigating it, and it’s a great way to generate organic traffic.
You can group your products into categories or collections, so you can make your store even easier to navigate. Each theme will arrange these sections differently, but they all follow similar processes.
You can list unlimited items on your store’s catalog. This is different from other eCommerce solutions which limit the amount of products you can offer to your customers.
They do it because each element that goes into your store (pictures, words, etc) require bandwidth to display properly. This can cause the hosting service to slow down, so you’ll be charged according to the size of your store.
That doesn’t happen with Shopify. You can post all the products you need right from the basic plan, so even people with large inventories can use it. Stores focused on clothing, fashion, or even electronic accessories will have an easier time using Shopify.
You can create special accounts for others to help you run your store; it’s an optional feature that you’ll probably need once your business starts growing.
The basic plan lets you have 2 accounts, but keep in mind that you’re already using 1 as an owner.
Staff accounts are great for entrepreneurs who want to focus on specific tasks like marketing their business; they can add additional staff to take care of managing the store and pages.
Staff accounts grant special access to employees, who can do most of the things owners can, but they have no access to critical configurations like password management or payment processors.
Staff members can add products, modify the information on your listings, and change the overall design and style of the store. They can add posts to the blog and update pages like your policies and shipping rates. They’re also able to process orders.
While not at the onset, it’s important to consider hiring staff to free yourself from different tasks while you focus on marketing and scaling your business. You can hire online freelancers and have them work remotely if you want.
Once you have a store ready, having access to customer support from experts is paramount. They’ll answer all of the questions you might have about the different features and possibilities within the platform, including customization, shipping rates, and setting up your domain.
The basic plan lets you access Shopify’s support team using the “contact us” option on the official website, where you’ll diagnose your situation. If it’s not something you can solve, then you can click on the “help” button on your account to chat with a Shopify agent.
Unfortunately, you can’t reach Shopify’s support via phone, but you can receive help through email or live chat, which is more than enough for most (if not all) cases. The agents are very reliable, and they’ll be ready for any issues you might encounter.
Keep in mind that the support team can only assist you with issues within the Shopify platform. If you have specific issues with themes or apps, you might have to refer to those products’ customer service.
Another option is to go into Shopify’s University, where you can access a database with solutions to nearly all problems that can spring up while you build or manage your store.
Sales channels are websites that you can use to display products; think of Facebook. It’s a great advantage if you want to leverage social media since you don’t have to create new accounts and list your products manually.
Even basic Shopify lets you link your store to your Facebook account. Shopify takes care of uploading your products, images, and descriptions. Then, your customers can access your catalog through Facebook or even Messenger.
Your website is basically your main sales channel, but you can add different ones as you see fit. Some channels might not be available for some countries.
Among the different sales channels, we have the basic social media platforms; you can link your Shopify store with Facebook and Instagram, where you can show your products. Shopify will even create a special menu with a carousel on your Facebook Messenger, listing all product details.
You can also pin your products with Pinterest automatically by linking the 2 accounts. If you have an account as an Amazon seller, then you can link it as well to import your Shopify products into Amazon.
These are just the channels included by default. You can also integrate different apps that will add more options for your business.
Your store will me online, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make sales outside of it. You might be talking to someone in person or over the phone and convince them to buy something.
In these cases, you can make sales even without your customers visiting your store, and it’s quite likely that they’ll just want to close the deal without having to go into your store and run the entire process.
Creating manual orders let you fulfill these orders even if you don’t have the product on you.
You can input your customer’s orders right from your admin dashboard; Shopify then processes them like normal. This is done with Shopify Mobile; you can use this app to accept payments with your phone, either credit card or cash.
You can also use Drat orders if you don’t want to use the phone app. They’re basically orders that haven’t been paid. You basically create an invoice to send to your customer’s email; after they payment processes, the order is handled as always.
You can offer special promotions to your customers as rewards or even as a marketing strategy that benefits both sides. Shopify makes the process a lot easier right from the basic plan onward. You can create discount codes from the backend to distribute.
When they buy something, they just need to type their code for Shopify to apply your discount automatically. You can use percentages or flat rates for your discount as well as determine when you want it to expire to create urgency.
However, your customers can’t stack discounts, and they’ll have to use them one by one – not combine them. This occurs even if you create a discount for your product and another one for shipping; customers must choose one.
You can also create discounts that work with specific collections or products. Even if your customers have a discount per category, they can only use 1 for every order.
It happens a lot: customers browse your catalog and start adding products to their carts, but then they just have a change of heart and decide to exit without actually buying it. Those are lost sales that you can recover.
With abandoned cart recoveries, you can use personalized emails for people who left their cars after filling up the checkout page with their email address. You have a second chance to change their minds and have them complete the purchase they left.
You can even create special coupons for these customers or ask them about what made them abort their purchase. Shopify lets you automate these emails as well. You can simply set up your emails with your message and Shopify emails it to customers who abandoned their cart.
This is the middle tier, and it’s more expensive since you get all the features from the basic plan plus new, more advanced features.
From the get-go, you have the chance to add more staff accounts, from 2 to 5. Therefore, it’s a great option for when your store starts growing and you get to reinvest some of your profits into hiring personnel.
There’s also a couple more features available in this plan.
You’ve probably seen those cards from Amazon or other stores that you can buy off different chains like Walmart, which you can then use to buy on these companies. They’re called gift cards because you can gift them to people so they can use them for purchases.
Well, Shopify also has that option but without a physical card. You can sell digital gift cards with varying value; these are also great as gifts or rewards to your customers so they can buy from your store.
They’re a great way to reward loyal customers while still keeping them focused on buying from you.
Reports are what let you keep track of how your business is doing: what you need to change, what you can improve, what you should let go, and whether or not it’s actually profitable.
As a business owner, you want to know which products are selling better than the rest, where your customers are coming from, how many sales are you making daily on average, and what’s your average daily revenue.
Well, you can access these statistics by getting this Shopify subscription, and it’s a great advantage to figure out what you want to do next with your business.
You can track the sales from specific products as well as see what’s trending among your customers. You can check your sales records for particular months or seasons as well as your customers’ demographics. You can create reports for when it’s time to prepare your taxes, and you can keep track of specific details about your customers like how many have visited you, which customers are repeating, and compare your sales from recurrent customers against first-timers.
Keep in mind that your reports aren’t customizable with the medium tier plan, but they’re more than enough insight to make decisions.
The last plan is noticeably more expensive than your previous 2 options, but you still get all of the previous features while upping the amount of staff accounts to 15.
As you can see, it’s mostly tailored towards people with enough money to hire as many employees, so it’s understandable.
There are 2 additional features for the advanced Shopify plan.
You have access to the same reports from the previous plan, but now they’re fully customizable to what you need. You can alter them as well as adding or removing different columns that you might not need right now.
You can even have your personnel to do your reports on your behalf. They can customize them and rearrange them into charts that are easier and quicker to read to save you time evaluating your store’s performance.
You can also create different reports, each with their own name so you can sort your statistics as you need for better efficiency.
Calculated shipping rates
For the previous 2 plans, you had to create your own shipping rates manually, keeping different locations in mind. Needless to say, if you’re processing orders from around the world, this can become tedious really fast.
You can’t use the same shipping rate for US and Australian customers. That means creating different rates from your backend with different values.
However, the advanced Shopify plan lets you show different rates from popular companies like FedEx or UPS. Your clients can pick the shipping company the prefer, so you only need to print your shipping label.
It’s an amazing help if you’re shipping products you own, and you can print your label from anywhere and leave it on your package. For instance, if someone chooses UPS, you just print their label, put it on your package, and leave it in an office the next day.
Even better, you can take care of everything from your Shopify dashboard. That means not having to log into your FedEx account or any other service’s. If you’re based in Canada, you can even show rates for both shipping carriers and the Canada Post.
Of course, this is mostly useful for entrepreneurs keeping their own stock. Dropshippers don’t really need this feature since their suppliers handle shipping. Likewise, US and Canada entrepreneurs have an advantage with this feature since the offices used to retrieve the rates are from those 2 countries.
Now, I did say that Shopify Plus often costs thousands, and that’s mostly true for most companies due to the plan they need when they’re bigger. However, pricing for this plan varies a lot depending on the arrangement, and you can only get this plan after requesting it.
As I also mentioned, this plan is mostly for enterprises looking to expand into the internet. By “enterprises” I mean businesses already running global operations, so they have more than enough funds to invest thousands in an account.
This top-tier plan lets the user determine what else they need for their store, and it always remove the limits on staff account numbers as well as having all the benefits from the 3 plans below it.
The price for this plan depends on your country, but it’s mostly just for people who already have a website of their own and want to integrate it with a social media profile.
It basically links your online store with your social media account using Shopify as the link. It enables you to display your products from one website to Facebook.
However, that’s all you can do with Shopify Lite. You can’t create an online store unlike the other plans, but it’s very affordable for pretty much anyone with an online store, and it’s a great way to integrate your store to Shopify and take it into social media.
Transaction fees in Shopify
Shopify charges you a fee for every transaction you make, and the rates depend on the plan you get. It’s always a percentage of the purchase plus an additional fixed fee for 30 cents.
Every time a customer buys something from your store, Shopify will take a part of that payment additional to your subscription costs. Luckily, their rates are quite lower than most eCommerce platforms you can use, so it’s not a big loss.
Besides, the cost is for Shopify processing your payment. You can also choose different payment processors – such as PayPal – but you need to keep in mind that they’ll still charge you for each transaction.
Since each plan has a different transaction fee, you should take this into account when choosing one. It might not be as important as the features you get, but it’s still a relevant factor regarding how much you make.
As stated, all plans charge you a fixed $0.30 fee on all sales. As for the percentage, these are the rates for each main plan:
- 9% for the Basic Shopify plan.
- 6% for the Shopify plan.
- 4% for the Advanced Shopify plan.
As you can see, the changes aren’t really noticeable if you’re not processing huge amounts of sales, so they’re not a relevant criterion when starting out your store. However, they might help you make a decision once you start to think about upgrading your subscription.
As you can see, Shopify offers enough variety in its plans to fit anyone and any business size. If you’re just starting out, the basic plan is more than enough, and it might even suffice for a long time depending on how quickly your business grows or how soon you want access to the more advanced features.
It’s even useful if you don’t need to create a store on Shopify – or if you already have one and just need to integrate it to your social media.
Chances are you can work with the basic plan for a long time, and even the standard plan could work for years if you can work with just a few staff accounts and basic reports.
However, it’s always a good idea to adapt your Shopify subscription to the size of your business, so make sure to – at least – have the idea on your mind as you start to scale your business.
Also, keep in mind that you’ll probably need more than the features in your plan to make your business more efficient. You want at least a premium theme as soon as you can afford it since most free themes won’t be enough for you.
You also want to learn how to run an eCommerce business from a good course like eCom Elites so that you actually know what to do with all the features you have at your disposal.
Finally, you’ll probably find at least a handful of apps that – even while you might not kill your business without them – you’ll find as attractive additions to your business. Perhaps you want to automate your email marketing, or you might want to find and import products with few clicks. Chances are you’ll find a useful integration, and that will be an additional investment.
Therefore, make sure to choose a plan according to your short and long-term goals – always considering the different needs you might have down the line.