If you are starting an online store, I think you’ll agree that the Shopify plan you choose will have an impact on your business.
After all, this one decision can have a major impact on your company’s bottom line.
But Shopify pricing and plans have many variables that can be confusing. Information overload often leads to indecision. Or as I like to call it, analysis paralysis.
Does this sound familiar?
Okay, so let’s start breaking it down slowly. Shopify actually has 5 plans to choose from. And every plan has unique features. In order to make the right decision, you really need to know what you’re looking at.
In today’s post, I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned from a decade of experience and thorough research on the topic. Armed with this information, you’ll be confident in making the right decision for your business.
Warning: After reading this post, you may just become a Shopify pricing ninja. It’s a common side effect and nothing to worry about. Just try to use your newfound powers for good instead of evil.
Why does Shopify pricing matter so much?
Before we jump into Shopify pricing plan comparisons…
Let’s address one thing. If you’re comparing Shopify pricing to another ecommerce platform, make sure the other one gives you something else to care about.
So, Why does pricing matter so much?
Shopify has many competitors, but there are also plenty of areas where this ecommerce platform excels beyond the basic. Remember to consider things like:
- Customer-centric philosophies
- Marketing hacks (e.g., email buy button)
- Extensive documentation
The cheapest isn’t always the best. And while Shopify isn’t always the cheapest, it’s certainly among the best.
“The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.” – Seth Godin, Watcha Gonna Do With That Duck?
Pricing is important when you’re running any business, but as Seth Godin implies, it isn’t everything.
So, since you’re already set on using Shopify (or at least giving it a shot), let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Now is when pricing starts to matter a whole lot.
Shopify has 5 basic pricing levels that you can choose from:
- Basic Shopify: $29/mo.
- Shopify: $79/mo.
- Advanced Shopify: $299/mo.
And then, there’s ShopifyPlus and Shopify Lite, which target large enterprises or very small businesses without a website.
For now, let’s focus on the bread-and-butter plans because these will apply to most ecommerce businesses using Shopify.
Wondering which one is the cheapest? Let’s begin by taking a look at this screen shot taken from Shopify’s website.
It’s clear to see which is cheaper, but depending on your business, it may be more complicated. It’s possible that you can save money by choosing the Advanced Shopify plan at $299/mo.
And as we’ve already addressed, cheaper isn’t always best. An upgraded plan may have features you need to scale your business. As with most things, this isn’t a black or white choice.
But don’t worry…
I’m going to show you exactly how to choose the right Shopify plan to scale your business and make the most out of every dollar.
Shopify Pricing Plans: What you get for your money
When you’re evaluating Shopify pricing, there’s one important thing to note upfront. All plans are monthly, so you can cancel, downgrade or upgrade at any time.
Why does it matter?
This is crucial because any platform that locks you into a contract could end up being more expensive in the long run (if you’re still paying for a service you aren’t using). With no contracts, Shopify affords you freedom of choice. And it gets better.
The best part is…
You can put your Shopify store on hold for an indefinite period of time. This is especially helpful for startups and very small ecommerce sites.
During this time, you’ll pay half the monthly rate and everything will remain live, but the payment gateway will be disabled. This is a great feature for startups who need more than the 14-day free trial to build content.
Let’s jump in to the details of each plan and see which one is best for you.
Basic Shopify is the cheapest plan at $29 per month, and with it, you can create a fully functional (and even beautiful) online store.
Here are the highlights:
- Sell an unlimited number of products
- Get unlimited file storage
- 2 staff accounts
- 24/7 phone, email and live chat support
- Manual order creation (enter credit card payments in Shopify for offline sales)
- Discount code creation
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Discounted shipping rates
- Fraud analysis
- Point-of-Sale hardware support
Is this everything you need in an ecommerce plan? If so, you can click here to start your 14-day Shopify trial. But I recommend you read to the end of the article to be sure this is the plan you want.
We’ll cover some business examples and bonus material that you won’t want to skip.
In addition to reduced credit card rates and transaction fees, you get some added and enhanced features with the Shopify plan at $79 per month.
Here is the deal…
The following are two key features you’ll get in the Shopify plan that you don’t get with Shopify Basic.
- Ability to offer gift cards
- Professional reporting
Personally, I love these features. And I’m actually pretty excited to tell you why they matter and how you can use them to grow your business.
I’ll have more on that soon, so be sure to subscribe to the newsletter at the end of this post. This way, you’ll be among the first to get those tips.
And you’ll also get the following enhanced features:
- More comprehensive POS functionality
- Enhanced sales reports (including sales over time, sales by product, vendor, channel, staff, and more)
- More detailed customers reports (including first-time versus returning customer sales, customers by country, one time customers and more)
- In-depth marketing reports (including sales and sessions by marketing campaign, conversions by first interaction or last interaction, attribution model comparison)
The Advanced Shopify plan comes with two features that you won’t find in the Basic or Shopify plans:
- Advanced report building (manipulate your Shopify data and create custom reports)
- Real-time carrier shipping (shipping costs are automatically calculated by a shipper when the customer places an order)
And, of course, you’ll also get lower credit card rates and transaction fees.
Shopify Credit Card Rates
First, you should understand that all credit card processors charge a fee. That fee is almost always a percentage of the sale, and it may also include a small flat rate per transaction.
So here is the deal…
Whether you use Shopify to process credit card transactions or not, you will have to pay some type of fee. And Shopify’s rates are competitive, so there’s no reason not to.
But there is a catch…
Shopify does charge a transaction fee if you use an outside credit card processor, so that would be another cost to consider (more on that soon…).
Here are the credit card rates by plan:
- Basic Shopify Plan – 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
- Shopify Plan – 2.6% + 30 cents per transaction
- Advanced Shopify Plan – 2.4% + 30 cents per transaction
The good thing is:
Shopify fees are applied on a per-transaction basis, so if someone buys 100 items in one order, you’re only charged one transaction fee of $0.30 for that order.
Rates are slightly lower for in-person transactions, and there are no transaction fees:
- Basic Shopify Plan – 2.7% + 0 cents per transaction
- Shopify Plan – 2.5% + 0 cents per transaction
- Advanced Shopify Plan – 2.4% + 0 cents per transaction
Shopify’s payments are powered by Stripe, which is a very reputable payment processor.
Shopify Credit Card Rate Comparison
Now, let’s look at some business examples to see how the fees add up.
We’ll use the same business example for each plan to keep things simple. Let’s say this -> your business brings in 200k in online transactions among approximately 100 orders.
Which plan do you think would make the most sense for this business?
A business with 200,000 revenue and 100 orders will pay:
- Fees: 5,400 + $30 = $5,430
A business with 200,000 revenue and 100 orders will pay:
- Fees: 5,000 + $30 = $5,030
- $400 fee savings from Basic plan
A business with 200,000 revenue and 100 orders will pay:
- Fees: 4,800 + $30 = $4,830
- $200 fee savings from Shopify plan
- $600 fee savings from Basic plan
Does the cheapest option seem clear? If you’re pointing towards the Advanced plan right now, you may be forgetting something.
Here is the deal…
Since the Advanced plan actually costs $220 more than the Shopify plan ($299 versus $79), the fee savings of $200 on this example doesn’t quite cover the additional monthly cost.
Of course, this is just an example and real life application would probably be different. The difference is only $20 at the end of the year, so it would probably be worthwhile to upgrade to Advanced just in case you brought in more sales than you anticipated.
But that is not all! There are other factors to consider. Like the dreaded transaction fees (no one likes ‘em).
Transaction Fees by Plan
Here is where even some of the diehard Shopify fans take pause. And it’s understandable.
It’s difficult to comprehend why you might have to pay transaction fees to Shopify when you’re already paying monthly fees and credit card transaction fees.
But transaction fees are a common practice among ecommerce platform providers.
Before we get to the whys of it all, let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with per plan.
- Basic Plan: 2%
- Shopify Plan: 1%
- Advanced Plan: 0.5%
So if you get an order for $100 on the Basic plan, you’ll pay Shopify $2. On the Shopify plan, that order would result in a $1 transaction fee. And on the Advanced plan, it would be $0.50. You get the picture…
But there is some good news.
You only have to pay these fees if you use an alternative credit card processing company. If you use Shopify Payments, you can avoid these fees completely.
And to be honest, these transaction fees aren’t going to make financial sense for the Basic or Shopify plans.
If you’re selling enough to make the Advanced Plan worthwhile, you may be able to save money with an outside card processor. But that would depend on a few things, so you’d have to crunch the numbers.
Which Shopify Plan is Right for Me?
Now that we’ve covered all the costs and features of the Shopify pricing model, you should be almost ready to make a decision. But do understand that you’re the only one who can choose the plan that’s right for your business.
As we’ve seen, there are so many variables to consider in this equation. Unfortunately, I can’t cover all of them. But you can figure out the best option based on the following criteria.
- Credit card processor – Do you plan to use Shopify Payments? If so, you don’t have to factor in any transaction fees. Phew… that’s one less fee to calculate.
- Card processing fees – If your business is new, consider starting with the Basic plan. Unless it’s missing features that you need, this is the best option for you. You can always upgrade when the Shopify or Advanced plans make more sense.
- Features – If one plan is missing business-critical features, you may want to consider upgrading. Example: if your business is reliant on gift cards, you’ll need the Shopify or Advanced plans. Basic won’t cut the mustard. The same holds true for any features your business needs. But before you upgrade, remember to look for Shopify apps that may do the same job. It may (or may not) be cheaper to use an app for feature you need instead of upgrading.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to set pricing on Shopify?
All plans are at monthly rates. You can always downgrade or upgrade when it fits your needs. You are also not locked into any contracts.
Shopify Pricing Plans 2020: Which Plan Should I Pick?
This depends on what you are looking for. Even the basic shopify option can give you what you need to start a fully functional online store. Each plan offers more options, it’ll be up to you on what you need. What you are looking for.
How much does Shopify cost per month?
Basic Shopify: $29 a month
Shopify: $79 a month
Advanced Shopify: $299 a month
ShopifyPlus and Shopify Lite are for large enterprises, or very small businesses without a website.
Is Shopify worth the cost?
Yes. It wins over other ecommerce platforms. Even with the basic shopify option, you can create an online store that is fully functional.
If you’re serious about running an online store and building a brand, Shopify has all the tools you need to make it happen.
All plans are setup at monthly rates, so you can upgrade or downgrade at any time. You can even cancel at any time. You’re not locked into any contracts, so you almost have nothing to lose.
That’s why I recommend that all new ecommerce stores start with the Basic plan. You can spend time getting everything setup the way you want. And when sales start rushing in, you can upgrade to the Shopify plan or the Advanced Plan.
And if you have an established ecommerce site on another platform, the migration process is easy.
Now that I’ve shared just about everything I know about Shopify pricing tiers and how to choose the right plan, what do you think?
Are you already using Shopify? If so, how did you figure out which plan was right for your business. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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