So you’re in the market for an eCommerce website? You are not alone. The number of eCommerce websites is growing exponentially every year, and it partly has to do with great platforms like Shopify making it so easy for people to start businesses online. Platforms like Shopify take most of the technical and tedious processes out of the equation and allow anyone to make a beautiful and functional eCommerce website without a degree in computer science.
But you already know that, which is why you’re looking into Shopify and other related costs. The questions you have are related to the Shopify pricing model, the types of plans Shopify offers, and anything else that will cost you money when it comes to your Shopify/eCommerce business. This guide takes an extensive look at anything that will cost you money while using the Shopify platform. After reading this guide, you will know:
-How Shopify sets up its service offering and how it benefits you
-What is Shopify plus and how much Shopify Plus can cost you
-How Shopify annual pricing is discounted compared to Shopify monthly cost
-How to calculate Shopify transaction and credit card fees for your business
-Which Shopify plan is the best choice for you
-How to account for Shopify Shipping fees
-What you can expect from Shopify Apps concerning costs and how you can minimize those costs
-Shopify Compared at Price to Competition
-How much are Shopify Domain and Hosting fees
-How to start using Shopify
Table of Contents
Shopify Pricing and Plans
Shopify Transaction Costs
Shopify Pricing: Annual Vs. Monthly
Shopify Shipping Prices
Shopify App Pricing
Shopify Domain Pricing and Hosting Fees
Shopify Theme Prices
Shopify Prices Vs the Competition
Shopify Free Trial
Shopify Plan Pricing
To best understand Shopify and their overall value offering it is important to understand that Shopify makes way more money from credit card transaction fees than it does from subscriptions. Shopify has built their platform and profit engine around a built-in payment gateway that takes a % of the sales going through it. It is a genius business model, as businesses will have to pay credit card transaction fees no matter how they do business online. It makes things easier to get the gateway from the same place you get your website and other tools. However, if you decide to use Shopify and not their gateway, Shopify will charge you transaction fees on top of the fees you incur from your gateway of choice. The transaction fees are definitely something you will want to consider before you choose Shopify as your platform. If you already have a gateway, Shopify may not be the best choice.
The transaction and credit card fees become smaller as you choose a more advanced Shopify plan. The fees become such a factor that you could end up paying less for a more robust plan depending on your sales numbers. If your sales reach or are at a certain point, a more advanced plan with more features will be available to you for a less expensive price. This pricing plan is perfectly designed for scaling with the Shopify platform. The better you do online, the lower your online fees can be. This means the plan that is right for you may be based of your sales rather than the features you want. That is why we have built a fee calculator to allow would be customers to find out which Shopify plan is the optimum plan for them. Just put in your sales info, and it will tell you which plan is the least expensive option for you.
To get an idea of what features each plan has access to, we we built this chart and broke down the plans individually.
|Shopify Lite||Basic Shopify||Shopify Standard||Advanced Shopify||Shopify Plus|
|Monthly Price||$9||$29||$79||$299||$2000 Minimum *|
|Credit Card Rates|
|Online||2.9% + 30 ¢||2.9% + 30 ¢||2.6% + 30 ¢||2.4% + 30 ¢||Negotiated|
|In Person||2.7% + 0 ¢||2.7% + 0 ¢||2.5% + 0 ¢||2.4% + 0 ¢||2.4% + 0 ¢|
|Using Shopify Gateway||NA||0||0||0||0|
|Using External Gateway||NA||2.0%||1.0%||.5%||.15%|
|Number of Products||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Shopify Shipping Discount||Basic||Basic||Advanced||Premium||Premium|
|Print Shipping Labels||√||√||√||√||√|
|Manual Order Creation||√||√||√||√||√|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery||√||√||√||√||√|
|Website and Blog||√||√||√||√|
|Free SSL Certificate||√||√||√||√|
|Advanced Report Builder||√||√|
|Third-party Calculated Shipping Rates||√||√|
|Multiple Store Fronts||√|
|Open API and SDK's||√|
Shopify Lite Pricing
If you just want access to the Shopify gateway and do not need a store around it, then Shopify Lite is the plan for you. Coming in at only $9 a month, Shopify Lite is the least expensive of the Shopify plans. The Shopify Lite plan will give access to
- A POS, allowing you to accept credit cards in person
- Gateway functionality, allowing you to accept credit cards online
- Social Buy buttons, allow you to sell your products on popular social media apps like Facebook
- Embedded Buy buttons, allow you to add buy buttons to any blog you own
- A Shopify back-end that allows you to manage it all
As the name implies, this plan is light on features, however, with the low price the plan is perfect for people who just need a reliable POS to sell on-the-go or have a popular social media following that they would like to monetize. The Buy buttons will also allow you to monetize your blog without having to switch entirely over to the Shopify platform.
If you are a budding content creator, food-truck driver, or sell goods at a farmers market, then the Shopify Lite platform is worth your consideration.
Basic Shopify Pricing
Basic Shopify is the least expensive Shopify platform that gives you website design, management, and blog functionality. With Shopify basic, you can build a store that is all yours, on a domain that you own. Basic Shopify comes in at $29 a month. The Shopify basic plan will give you access to all the features mentioned with the with the Shopify lite plan but with the website functionality included. Basic Shopify also has more analytic and reporting tools than Lite.
Shopify Basic is great for the small business that is just getting started and is ready to sell products. Shopify gives you all the tools you need to sell your products and get your name out there, all for just $29 a month. Click here to start a free trial of Basic Shopify.
Shopify Standard Pricing
Shopify Standard is by far the most commonly purchased Shopify plan. Priced in at $79 a month, Standard Shopify adds a number of features that make it attractive to more established online business. Shopify Standard comes with all the features basic Shopify comes with, but it also comes with:
- Reduced credit card and transaction rates
- Reduced shipping rates
- More staff accounts (from 2 to 5)
- Gift card functionality
- An increased selection of reporting tools
Shopify Standard is a great fit for businesses that are already established and are want a more reliable platform for their eCommerce store. With the reduced transaction fees, depending on the amount of sales your business does, you may find that this plan is actually less expensive than the basic plan.
Shopify Advanced Pricing
Shopify Advanced is a more robust version of Shopify Standard. Advanced comes in at $199 per month and is a favorite among larger businesses. Shopify Advanced comes with:
- Even more reduced credit card and transaction fees
- The highest discounts on Shipping
- More Staff accounts (15)
- Additional reporting tools
Shopify advanced is for larger companies that need all the possible reporting tools available and have a larger staff devoted to eCommerce. Shopify Advanced customers also get access to the best shipping discounts.
Shopify Plus Pricing
Shopify Plus is the largest plan Shopify offers and it is meant exclusively for large business. Plus allows for automation, multi-currency, multi-store fronts, and other features that would be attractive to the enterprise class.
Shopify Plus is not priced like the other plans. It is actually the only plan that Shopify will negotiate with you. What Shopify is aiming to do is charge a fee that is .25% of your gateway sales. This fee is way less that the other plans, however, it comes with a catch. The catch is a $2000 a month minimum fee. For this to be a worthwhile option for your business, you will need to have a large amount of sales for this to make sense. Some simple math will tell you that this plan is for businesses making around $800k a month in sales.
Shopify Plus has been a hit with many businesses. Right now over 3600 customers use Shopify plus as their eCommerce platform. Many of these businesses have grown with Shopify and earned these extra features and discounted rates as part of the ROI of Shopify itself. To learn more about Shopify Plus…
Shopify Transaction Fees
As mentioned earlier Shopify charges transaction fees on sales that go through Shopify but do not use the Shopify gateway. These fees start off at 2% and come down to .15% depending on the plan you choose for your business. Shopify fees are only charged to businesses that do not use the Shopify gateway for their sales. If you use Shopify as your gateway, you will only have to pay the credit card fee corresponding to your plan, no transaction fees at all.
Shopify Pricing – Monthly Vs. Yearly
The prices listed in the chart above are all monthly prices. However, like most SaaS companies, Shopify will offer you incentives for staying with them longer and signing an extended contract.
Shopify will offer you a 10% discount if you agree to a one year contract and even go up to a 20% discount for signing with them for 2-3 years. These discount only apply the plan base fees and not any credit card or transaction fees. However, these discounts are worth considering if you know you are a dedicated Shopify customer and want to lock yourself in for a less expensive rate.
Shopify Shipping Discounts
Another inescapable cost of doing business online is shipping. Shipping is something that you will have to set up yourself. However, based on your Shopify plan you will qualify for a discount from Shopify. Shopify has deals with some major shipping labels and can offer you discounts of up to:
- 46% off of USPS
- 52% off of UPS
- 65% off of DHL
- 40% off of Canada Post
These discounts can add up! When purchasing Shopify be sure to confirm with the Shopify rep the discount you qualify for so you can consider all of the costs involved with your transactions. Discounts you qualify for depend on the plan you choose during purchase as well as your choice of carrier.
Shopify App Pricing
Shopify natively provides a lot of functionality and features for their users. However, there is always something specific to your needs at the Shopify app store. Prices for these apps can end up being anywhere from free to $49 a month to even more! Considering the price of these apps is important going into the purchases because many of these apps have SaaS fees that at up over time. Common apps users download include integrations to Quickbooks or another accounting platform, custom form tools, SEO tools, and many other apps that take care of specific use cases. You will want to check out the app-store pre-purchase so you can get a better idea of what your unique requirements would cost you per month in app fees.
A way around the Shopify App prices is to build the functionality you need yourself. All of the apps on the Shopify app store have been built using Shopify’s proprietary code, liquid. A talented group of software developers, knowledgeable in liquid, can build the custom app for you for an up-front fee rather than a lifetime of monthly fees. This decision will cost you more up-front but will save you in fees in the future. Buying or building your own functionality is something that should be looked at on a case-by-case basis and should be influenced by factors like cost of the app and access to development talent.
Shopify Domain Pricing and Hosting Fees
Another inescapable cost of doing business online is the purchasing of a domain name and hosting the website data. Shopify takes care of the hosting for you for free when you purchase any plan besides light. When it comes to domains, you will have to pay for one. The Shopify domain price starts at $13 a year. However, purchasing and transferring a domain from another vendor such as Go-Daddy is extremely easy with Shopify, so I would recommend shopping around for the domain name you want, because you may be able to get it at a better price elsewhere.
Shopify Theme Prices
Shopify themes can be a significant expense. I say can because Shopify comes with a wealth of free themes that can pass for an acceptable website out of the box. However, Shopify allows users to build their own themes and even sell templates on an online marketplace. Popular themes on the Shopify theme store can sell for up to $200 per theme but many are available for between $20-150 per theme. If the Shopify store themes do not have the options you want you can have the theme custom designed for you. The price would then depend on the value added reseller whom which you chose to buy the theme. The right theme for you could end up costing a couple thousand depending on your budget and needs.
Shopify Pricing Compared to Competitors
When it comes to comparing eCommerce platforms on price things start to get difficult. The various eCommerce platforms have all chosen various pricing methods for their products so it is never really an apples to apples sort of comparison. Products like Magento have free editions but require a lot of software development knowledge on-hand to set up the website and back-end. BigCommerce is closest to the Shopify model and is even a little cheaper, but offers a completely different approach to the back-end and has less features and support.
|eCommerce Platform||Base Price||Credit Card Fee||Transaction Fee|
|Basic Shopify||$29.99||2.9% + .3||2%|
|BigCommerce Standard||$29.95||2.8% **||0%|
|Wix eCommerce||$17.00||2.8% **||0%|
|SquareSpace Online Store Basic||$30.00||2.8% **||0%|
|Magento Community||$0||2.8% **||0%|
** – eCommerce platform allows a number of gateway options. 2.8% is an average gateway fee based on current market conditions. You may find a more expensive or less expensive option available.
Overall, according to data on G2Crowd.com and based on over 3000 reviews, Shopify is priced around the 62 percentile among all eCommerce platforms; meaning that 61% of the options in the market today cost less than Shopify total. So this confirms that Shopify is definitely not the least expensive option available and if budget is a factor, you should check out your other options. Just remember to take into account the many other pros of being a Shopify customer when doing your comparisons.
Shopify Free Trial
The best way for you to know if the Shopify platform is going to work for you is by checking out their free trial. Shopify gives you two weeks of access to the back-end for free, allowing you to look at templates, apps, and set up other functionality before you have to pay for anything. If you want to learn more about Shopify and check out their platform for free, click the button below to get started.