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2019 Shopify Pricing Plans: You (Probably) Need Shopify Basics

A detailed guide to choosing the best Shopify pricing plan. Learn the pros and cons of each plan and read why Shopify Basic is probably the best fit for you.

Update (November 2019): Shopify “Abandoned Cart” feature is now available on ALL plans. This means, unless you really want to have “gift cards” in your store, the only criteria for Shopify pricing plan selection is.. well, PRICE. Until your store is making less than $5,000 per month — Shopify Basic is the right plan for you. Learn why 👇

Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms out there, with more than 820,000 stores hosted with the platform. It’s no surprise that you’re considering opening your store with Shopify. 

But if you’re anything like me, when I started on my journey to open my first eCommerce store, you’re overwhelmed with all the information out there and struggling to figure out what is the right Shopify pricing plan for you. 

Fear not, as after reading this post, I’m sure you’ll have a much clearer understanding of the different plans and you’ll be able to pick the right one for yourself and your store in no time.

Let’s get to it.

Shopify Pricing Plans [Comparison Table]

If you’re serious about picking Shopify as the ecommerce platform to launch your store, then you probably already visited their official website, including the pricing page

While it’s pretty exhaustive and mentions all the features present on different plans, I find it pretty hard to read, as there’s a lot of information, especially for the beginners. 

Instead, we created this light version of Shopify pricing plan comparison table. It only highlights the most important features.

 Shopify LiteBasic ShopifyShopifyAdvanced Shopify
Monthly plan fee$9$29$79$299
Credit card fee (with Shopify Payments)2.9% + 30¢2.9% + 30¢2.6% + 30¢2.4% + 30¢
Staff accounts02515
Numbers of productsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Abandoned cart recovery
eCommerce website and blog
SSL certificate (helps to keep your customers’ information secure)
Competitive shipping discount from USPS, UPS, or DHL Expressup to 64%up to 72%up to 74%
Professional reports
Transaction fee (if you’re not using Shopify Payments)2%2%1%0.5%
Real-time carrier shipping rates at checkout

Shopify pricing plans: Which one is right for you?

In most cases, I would say in 99% of the cases, if you’re reading this – the right plan for you is Shopify Basic

Until you get to $5,000 revenue per month. 

Then you’re going to want to check if in your specific case it makes sense to upgrade. It depends on 2 things:

  1. where you’re from,
  2. if you’re using external payment gateways.

There are other exceptions too though, so read the full pricing plan breakdown below.

Shopify pricing plans

“Shopify Lite” Pricing Plan

Let’s start with the cheapest option. Currently, that’s Shopify Lite at $9 per month. It’s also the entry point if you want to use plugins like Oberlo for dropshipping.

👍 Sell on social media, in person, or on an existing website with Shopify Lite. This plan is good for someone who already has a website (even WordPress blog will work) and just wants to add additional eCommerce functionality to it through embedding a buy button or with a shopping cart. 

💸 Shopify Lite costs $9 per month (and 2.0% per transaction). Note that this doesn’t include external gateway fee (Paypal, Stripe, etc), which is usually another 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. There are 2 ways to lower that price: buy an annual subscription (get a 10% discount) OR switch to Shopify’s own payment gateway. In this case, the 2.0% external gateway fee will be waived and Shopify will charge you a fee similar to Paypal or Stripe – 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.

It sounds complicated, but it literally pays not only to pick the right Shopify pricing plan, but also figure out all the payment processing details. It can really cut into your margins if you’re not careful.

Here’s how Shopify shopping cart overlay looks like on an existing website:

Shopify shopping cart

“Basic Shopify” Pricing Plan

Basic Shopify is the best starting point for the majority of new entrepreneurs looking to open an online store. 

👍 This plan is best for someone who wants to create an online store from scratch. It has all the features of Lite and the fully customizable storefront. And it’s THE plan you should be using until you earn at least $5,000 per month.

💸 Shopify Basic costs $29 per month (and 2.0% per transaction). Note that this doesn’t include external gateway fee (Paypal, Stripe, etc), which is usually another 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. There are 2 ways to lower that price: buy an annual subscription (get a 10% discount) OR switch to Shopify’s own payment gateway. In this case, the 2.0% external gateway fee will be waived and Shopify will charge you a fee similar to Paypal or Stripe – 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.

“Shopify” Pricing Plan

The plan cleverly called just “Shopify” is the one Shopify really wants you to pay for. It’s advertised as a perfect eCommerce solution for growing stores. 

👍 Access to “reports” that show you important information about your store, like your most popular products. In most cases, you can figure out this information even without the reports feature. However, the gift certificates addition on “Shopify” pricing plan will be welcomed by more serious stores. 

💸 Shopify Plan costs $79 per month (and 1.0% per transaction). Note that this doesn’t include external gateway fee (Paypal, Stripe, etc), which is usually another 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. There are 2 ways to lower that price: buy an annual subscription (get a 10% discount) OR switch to Shopify’s own payment gateway. In this case, the 1.0% external gateway fee will be waived and Shopify will charge you a fee similar to Paypal or Stripe – 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction.

Once you’re earning more that $5,000 per month, you should be looking into upgrading. The savings on the commission make the extra monthly fee worth it. And if you’re using Shopify Payments, that figure grows to $16,667 per month. 

“Advanced Shopify” Pricing Plan

The “Advanced Shopify” plan is the only option if you need real-time carrier shipping, meaning that the shipping cost is conveniently calculated by a third party on the fly. 

👍 Lowest credit card fees and external gateway use fees. Best shipping conditions for the US. With this plan, you can create advanced custom reports designed specifically for your needs. 

💸 “Advanced Shopify” plan costs $299 per month (and 0.5% per transaction). Note that this doesn’t include external gateway fee (Paypal, Stripe, etc), which is usually another 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. There are 2 ways to lower that price: buy an annual subscription (get a 10% discount) OR switch to Shopify’s own payment gateway. In this case, the 0.5% external gateway fee will be waived and Shopify will charge you a fee similar to Paypal or Stripe – 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction.

A word of warning on switching to annual payments on any plan. While it is possible to get a 10% discount on each plan by making a yearly subscription instead of monthly, you would have to make the whole payment for the year upfront. And, if you change your mind and decide to cancel your subscription at any point after payment, you will not be able to get a refund

Understanding Shopify POS pricing

Shopify point of sale (pos) pricing ranges from 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction to 2.4% + $0.30 and possibly even lower with the Shopify Plus custom plan. What does it mean and how it works? If your client purchases a $100 worth of products and transaction is done through Shopify Payments while you have a Basic Shopify plan subscription, Shopify will take $3.2 ($100 * 2.9% + $0.3) from the $100 your client paid, as a commission. With the Advanced Shopify plan, this price would be $2.7 instead of $3.2.

shopify point of sale

Imagine you would use other payment processing service like PayPal instead of Shopify Payments. In this case, Shopify will take 2% of the transaction amount as commission. However, you should take into account that the payment processing service you are using instead of Shopify Payments will most likely have around a 3% commission rate giving you a 5% total commission fee. 

Domain registration fee

No matter which Shopify pricing plan you choose, domain name is not included in that price. You have to buy your domain name separately and it costs $14 using Shopify.

shopify domains

You’ll also want to set up an email address with your domain, so all outbound emails you send are sent from your domain. It’s easier to just go with Google and buy a custom domain name that matches your website’s domain name. Also, G Suite is very easy to use, and you probably know lots of the functionality from using Gmail already. Try Gmail with a custom domain name, choose a free trial option in the beginning. 

Note that you have to buy the domain name first, since it will be necessary to verify that you are the owner of the domain name in order to use your custom email.

Other fees

Shopify has a built-in app store that allows you to install applications to your store. These applications are designed to solve certain problems or add functionality to your store. The good thing about Shopify is that most problems you will run into are probably solvable with application. But there’s a catch, these applications often have a subscription fee of their own. 

Sometimes an application has a set of free to use tools as well as more advanced tools that are not accessible in the free version. It is not uncommon to have over 10 apps installed in your store. You can imagine how this may get expensive really fast. Whatever the issue you’re facing, try to solve your problem without adding this recurring expense first, try the free to use applications before installing paid apps.

Shopify themes

If you do not like the free website theme that Shopify offers, you can always buy another theme that satisfies your needs in terms of design and customization. Paid themes cost $100-$200 on average. Also, this is usually a one-time payment so no recurring fees for using a paid theme should apply.

Conclusion

If you already have a website with a blog and looking for possible ways to monetize it through selling products, you could benefit from using the Shopify Lite plan. It will cost you just $9 per month and will give you access to Shopify backend from where you can create a buy button and monitor product inventory.

For those who want to create an online store from scratch, the Basic Shopify plan is the most suitable option. This plan will cost you $348/year. Additionally, you will have to pay $14 for a domain name and approximately $72/year for the custom email if you chose Google option. Also, expect to pay around $40 from each $1,000 earned in transaction fees. And don’t forget about additional costs that apply from Shopify apps you might decide to use, as well as the acquisition of paid website theme.

More expensive Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans are recommended to those who already built an online store with Shopify and are seeing incredible success with monthly revenues above $5,000.

Owner of Profit Industry. Also CEO & Co-Founder of GetFound XL. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.
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