Shopify has become our go-to commerce platform at Sitelogic and, with the announcement of the Shopify Online Store 2.0, it’s only going to get better. In light of this, we wanted to put together a Shopify plan and pricing comparison resource for those considering making a move to the platform.
We like Shopify because it offers a well-tested checkout experience, intuitive product management, and plug-and-play integration with important third parties like Google and Facebook. For anything non-native to the platform, there is a robust ecosystem of apps available that help extend the platform’s functionality.
Historically, some of the native content management limitations have made other platforms a better fit for some businesses with extensive blog/editorial content and a variety of page types. Performance has also been somewhat of a hurdle to overcome. However, the Online Store 2.0 standards offer a higher level of flexibility for developers and more robust content management for less technical store admins. It's a game-changer.
Because Shopify takes care of most time-consuming issues related to maintaining a webstore, you are freed up to focus on what matters most: selling your products and growing your business. Shopify has some important benefits for business owners:
The Basic Shopify plan provides all of the core functionality and will still allow you to have a beautiful online store to showcase your brand. It lags behind the Shopify plan in a few categories that become more important as your business grows.
This plan is best for those just launching their e-commerce business or with a very small staff. You should choose Basic Shopify if you need to get an online store set up quickly and correctly.
The Shopify plan is best for small but growing online businesses, with or without an established physical retail store. It provides all of the functionality as the Basic Shopify plan, along with increased plan limits as well as some additional functionality. It is the most common plan option among our clients.
Many small and medium sized businesses should choose the Shopify plan. Although it’s $50/month more expensive than Basic Shopify, the Shopify plan helps your business continue to grow. Plus, the cost difference between the two plans shrinks as you increase monthly sales (see Pricing section for more detail)
The Advanced Shopify plan is perfect for the expanding business, especially those looking to establish a growing international presence or with multiple inventory and retail locations. Although it comes with a higher price tag, it offers more functionality and flexibility to help your business continue to grow.
The Advanced Shopify plan is much more expensive than its alternatives. You should choose this plan once your business begins to plateau after beginning to scale up. The lower fees, better shipping features, advanced reporting, and enhanced international options give you the tools to keep growing your business.
Shopify Plus is the enterprise option offered by Shopify designed for high volume businesses. It is designed for larger, well-established stores with pricing starting at $2,000 per month. It offers customization within checkout, a high-level of customer support, and more. For now, we’ll limit the rest of our discussion to the other Shopify plan options and save that for another post.
All Shopify plans come with the core commerce functionality needed for your webstore. Some of these features shared by all plans include:
In the table below, you can see the primary differences between the three plans.
|Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|Inventory Locations||Up to 4||Up to 5||Up to 8|
|3rd Party Calculated Shipping Rates||No||No||Yes|
|Sell Gift Cards||No||Yes||Yes|
|Discounts from Couriers||Up to 77%||Up to 88%||Up to 88%|
|USPS Priority Mail Cubic® Pricing||No||Yes||Yes|
|Shopify Payments (default payment gateway)|
|Online Credit Card Rates||2.9% + 30¢||2.6% + 30¢||2.4% + 30¢|
|In-person Credit Card Rates||2.7%||2.5%||2.4%|
|Other Gateway Fee (e.g. Stripe or PayPal)||2.0%||1.0%||0.5%|
The price you pay for your Shopify plan is a combination of three factors:
An important note on the monthly plans is that there is a 10% discount if you pay yearly or 20% discount if you pay for two years. Here, we will just walk through the differences between the base monthly cost and credit card fees. We will discuss more about apps later in Other Considerations & Extra Costs.
Your credit card fees on your store have two components:
What does this mean for your business? One thing is that you benefit by having a higher Average Order Value (AOV). Take the below illustration as an example:
|Scenario 1||Scenario 2|
|AOV||$1,000 sold in 10 orders (AOV=$100)||$1,000 sold in 40 orders (AOV=$25)|
|Fees||($1,000 * 2.9%) + (30¢ * 10 orders)||($1,000 * 2.9%) + (30¢ * 40 orders)|
This may seem small, but the effect only gets amplified with more volume. Whenever possible (not only for fees), increase Average Order Value!
To help you compare the total cost of each Shopify plan based on monthly subscription AND credit fees, use our Shopify Pricing Calculator below. Just insert monthly sales and AOV to see how it affects your total cost.
Note that we’re assuming the monthly base Shopify fee. You should factor the discount in if you pay yearly. We’re also assuming the use of Shopify Payments, since 3rd party payment gateways include additional fees.
|Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|% of Monthly Sales||6.40%||11.10%||32.90%|
|Credit Card Fees|| $35.00 |
2.9% + 30¢
| $32.00 |
2.6% + 30¢
| $30.00 |
2.4% + 30¢
Because Shopify plans have different credit card rates, there comes a point where high enough monthly web sales actually cause the Basic Shopify plan ($29/month base fee) to be more expensive than the Shopify plan ($79/month). As you can see from the chart below, any time you sell more than $16,667 per month, Shopify actually becomes cheaper than Basic Shopify.
By the same logic, as you increase your monthly sales, the extra features that come with Shopify actually become less expensive. For example, at $10K/month in sales, Shopify is only $20/month more expensive than Basic Shopify. When you’re bringing in that much revenue, you’ll likely benefit more from the extra features in an upgraded plan than you will from that $20/month.
Although Shopify is our preferred e-commerce solution, there are still limitations we’ve run into. The primary method of working around these limitations is adding apps to your store from the Shopify App Store. Apps add functionality to your online store in many categories, including store design, marketing, fulfillment, customer service, and more. These often come with an additional cost (see Other Considerations & Extra Costs section for more on this). Below are some common limitations that we’ve seen:
One important consideration for Shopify stores is the customized functionality your store will need and how Shopify’s apps can meet your needs. Some apps are free to add to your store, but many come with a monthly subscription. The average Shopify merchant has 6 apps installed (source: Shopify & You), which shows how fundamental Shopify apps are to your e-commerce strategy.
As much as possible, you should plan which apps to download before building your site and choosing your Shopify plan. This will help you decide what functionality is worth the cost, and it might lead you to decide on an upgraded Shopify Plan. For example, you might know you want to utilize Shopify Shipping and benefit from greater discounts (choose Shopify instead of Basic Shopify). Or else you might want to have calculated shipping rates from your own couriers of choice, leading you to prefer Advanced Shopify.
Shopify's blog is a great resource for anyone operating an e-commerce store. The plans are ever-evolving, so we will do our best to keep this resource up-to-date, but you can find direct pricing information here on their site. If you want to test it out on your own, you can start a free Shopify trial here (affiliate link).