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In this guide to Shopify monthly costs, I will walk you through the Shopify pricing and what is included in every plan.
If you want to build an online store with Shopify but unsure about the cost, you are in luck, as this guide will touch the nitty-gritty of Shopify fees, pricing, and features.
Before answering the most popular Shopify question ‘how much does Shopify cost per month’, let me tell you more about the platform.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a fully-hosted eCommerce platform that allows you to build and manage an online store without any core coding.
The platform runs on a web browser—meaning you can access it from anywhere in the world as far as you can connect to the internet. You also don’t have to download any software or pay for hosting since it’s a ‘fully-hosted’ platform.
Shopify comes with tons of features and resources—depending on your plan (more on that later). But with any Shopify plan, you can sell an unlimited amount of products (digital and physical) and track your sales.
Below are Shopify startup costs.
Shopify Costs – The Plans and Pricing
Shopify offers five types of plans:
- Shopify Lite – $9 monthly fee
- Basic Shopify – $29 monthly fee
- Shopify – $79 monthly fee
- Advanced Shopify – $299 monthly fee
- Shopify Plus – Starts at $2000 monthly
All Shopify plans include a 14-day free trial. To learn more about Shopify’s monthly cost, you should continue reading.
Now let’s take a deeper look into these plans and their features.
‘Shopify Lite’ Costs and Features
At $9 per month, ‘Shopify Lite’ is the cheapest plan on Shopify. However, this plan doesn’t allow you to create a standalone, fully functional online store; instead, it will enable you to:
- Sell on existing websites
- Sell on Facebook
- Use Shopify as a backend system for a physical store
Selling on an existing Website with Shopify Lite
The ‘Shopify Lite’ plan allows you to sell your products on an existing website by embedding a buy button.
Think of this like the PayPal button—but better, you add a snippet of code to your website, and details about your product (description, price, images, etc.) will display, including a Shopify ‘Buy Button’.
You can manage and customize your products from Shopify’s interface. Also, you can add not just one product but collections of products, if you like.
This plan is perfect for those with an existing website and needs eCommerce functionality. For example, if you have a blog and need to sell products to your audience, the ‘lite’ plan is for you.
Selling on Facebook with Shopify Lite
If you have a Facebook page with a large audience and need to sell to them, ‘Shopify Lite’ is your perfect solution.
With a few clicks, you can upload all your products to your Facebook shop and start selling.
However, the only limitation is that you can’t sell digital products as Facebook itself doesn’t support it (at the time of writing this guide). This isn’t a Shopify restriction, but a Facebook principle.
Using Shopify Lite as a backend System for your Physical Store (point-of-sale)
Lastly, if you sell products in a physical location and need a solution for processing payments and managing inventory, ‘Shopify Lite’ is your best choice.
You can use it to accept payment through your smartphone and the Shopify app. And every time you make a sale, Shopify will register it and update your inventory accordingly—so you can know when to restock.
Connecting your real-world sales with an online platform like Shopify creates room for easy accountability.
However, to get advanced point-of-sale (POS) service, you need to resort to the ‘Shopify POS pro’ add-on, which comes at an extra fee — $89 per month.
Transaction fees and Credit Card Fees
Every Shopify plan attracts transaction fees and credit card fees. But first, let me differentiate between these two.
Transactions fees are charged by your eCommerce store builder—in this case, Shopify. And Credit Card fees are deducted by your payment gateway (a payment gateway is what you use for processing credit card payments).
Shopify also has its payment gateway called Shopify Payments, which is backed by Stripe. When using Shopify payments, you don’t need to worry about transaction fees.
The only downside is that Shopify Payments isn’t available in all countries yet. At the time of writing this Shopify pricing guide, it’s available in:
- Hong Kong SAR
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States of America (excluding the US territories except for Puerto Rico.)
As for credit card fees, it varies between countries. For this guide, we are using the prices for the US.
If you are on the ‘Lite’ plan using Shopify payments, credit card fees in the US are 2.9% + 30c when a purchase is made through your ‘buy button,’ and 2.7% + 0c when a payment is made through the point-of-sale card reader and a mobile device.
If you prefer a third-party payment provider (for example, PayPal), you will pay an extra transaction fee of up to 2% per sale, plus your credit card fees.
These fees might be different for some countries other than the US. For example, the prices are slightly lower for UK merchants.
Related: Shopify for Artists: Ultimate Guide
Abandoned Cart Recovery
In the past, the abandoned recovery feature was only available on the $79+ Shopify plans. But recently, it became available on even the lowest plan – lite.
Abandoned cart recovery allows you to identify shoppers that add products to the cart, reach the checkout page, then leave without making a purchase.
This way, you can re-engage them with follow-up emails and convince them to complete the purchases. You can either do this manually (sending them emails yourself) or through automation (where Shopify follow-up with shoppers who didn’t complete their purchases).
Of course, the automated style is better since it saves you a lot of time.
Among all the eCommerce platforms, Shopify is the only one that offers abandoned cart recovery at a low price.
For example, to enjoy this feature on Squarespace, you need to be on the $54 monthly plan; and a $79.95 monthly plan for BigCommerce.
Customer Support on Shopify Lite
There is 24/7 customer support on this plan, but it’s only limited to email and live chat. Speaking with a customer support team on the phone is only available on higher plans.
Who is the ‘Shopify Lite’ Plan Best For?
The ‘Lite’ plan is suitable for merchants who:
- Want to add an eCommerce/dropshipping solution to an existing website.
- Need a platform to process payments and manage inventory for a physical store.
- Wish to sell on Facebook (digital products excluded).
- Want to enjoy an affordable abandoned cart recovery service
- Are happy with only email and live chat support (no phone support)
If you need something more advanced than just embedding a ‘buy button’ on an existing website or Facebook, you should look out for the ‘Basic Shopify’ plan next.
‘Basic Shopify’ Costs and Features
At $29 per month, ‘Basic Shopify’ is the cheapest Shopify plan for creating a standalone, fully functional online store. This plan comes with tons of core features, including:
- A fully functional Online Store
- Selling an unlimited number of products
- Two staff login accounts
- 24/7 support via phone, email, and live chat
- Discount code creation
- A free SSL certificate
- A blog
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Gift cards
- Point of sale (POS) features
- Ability to print shipping labels
- Discounted shipping rates
- Fraud analysis
‘Basic Shopify vs Shopify Lite’ – The significant Differences between these plans.
The core benefits you get with ‘Basic Shopify’ that isn’t available on ‘Shopify Lite’ is a fully functional, standalone online store. This also includes a blogging functionality that allows you to promote your store through content marketing.
Also, the embeddable ‘buy button’ and all other ‘Shopify Lite’ features are included in ‘Basic Shopify’. But this time around, you can build your website on a domain of your choice (for example, www.mystore.com).
Now let’s take a closer look into more features you can enjoy with the ‘Basic’ plan that isn’t accessible on the ‘Lite’ plan.
If you are on the ‘Basic Shopify’ or higher plans, you can access tons of templates you could use to customize and beautify your online store. At the moment, there are 9 free and 72 paid-for themes to choose from.
The free themes are incredible and are easily customizable, including fine-toning them with CSS and HTML codes. However, If you prefer premium themes, the pricing ranges between $140-$180.
You can access these templates from the Shopify theme store. There are a lot of filters to choose from to help you find the perfect theme you need.
For example, if you are starting an online restaurant on Shopify, you can tick the ‘Food and Drink’ filter to find themes related to food and drink.
One of the best ways to boost your online store visibility and increase your sales is through blogging. Blogging is a form of inbound marketing that allows you to create keyword-rich content that solves specific problems.
‘Basic Shopify’ (and higher plans) offers a blogging solution, allowing you to create and manage blog posts. However, this doesn’t come close to the WordPress blogging platform since you don’t have much control over post categorization options, plus a few more limitations.
Support Services on ‘Basic Shopify’
Unlike ‘Shopify Lite’, which restricts support to only email and live chat, ‘Basic Shopify’ allows you to speak to a support team member over the phone. This means the Basic Shopify plan includes email, live chat, and phone support.
Transaction Fees and Credit Card Fees
There isn’t any difference between the fees for the ‘Lite’ and ‘basic’ plan.
Meaning, there is no transaction fee when using Shopify payments, but up to a 2% transaction fee when using a third-party payment solution.
Credit card fees also match the lite plan: 2.9% + 30c when you make a sale online, and 2.7% + 0c when a sale is recorded through the Shopify point of sale (POS) card reader and a mobile phone.
Remember I mentioned earlier that the fees vary by country? This also applies to the ‘Basic’ plan. Some countries’ costs can be lower, while some higher.
Who is the ‘Basic Shopify’ Plan Best For?
‘Basic Shopify’ is best for merchants who:
- Needs to build a standalone online store on a small budget.
- Want to leverage blogging for inbound marketing.
- Don’t need advanced selling or reporting (read on to understand)
The plans are getting more interesting. Basically, the higher the plan, the more features you can enjoy. It’s time to see what comes with the ‘Shopify’ plan.
‘Shopify’ Costs and Features
The next plan, ‘Shopify’ at $79 per month, was named after the platform itself. This plan includes every feature you get with the ‘lite’ and ‘basic’ plan, and even a lot more.
The key features that the ‘Shopify’ plan offers that’s not included in previous plans are:
- Professional reporting
- Lower transaction fees and credit card fees
Most online store owners love to get advanced reports of activities happening in their stores. However, this type of reporting is only accessible on ‘Shopify’ and higher plans. The reporting feature on the ‘basic’ plan – just like its name – is quite average.
For most merchants, the in-depth reporting functionality is why they prefer ‘Shopify’ over the ‘basic’ plan. The report summaries you can get with ‘Shopify’ includes:
- Marketing reports
- Sales reports
- Customer reports
- Retail sales report
To balance your report, you should use the free Google Analytics tool to get more insights into your site’s traffic. This is a big plus since this tool is free for every plan.
Transaction Fees and Credit Card Fees
The transaction and credit card fees are slightly lower on the ‘Shopify’ plan compared to the ‘lite’ and ‘basic’ plans.
Just like the previous plans, there isn’t any transaction fee when using Shopify payments. But when using an external payment gateway, you can expect up to a 1% transaction fee per sale.
As for credit card fees, it costs 2.6% + 30c per online sales and 2.5% + 0c for point of sale transactions (in the US).
Who is the ‘Shopify’ Plan Best For?
The ‘Shopify’ plan is best for merchants who:
- Need an in-depth reporting functionality
- Is making high volume sales or at least expecting them (high sales volume with lower transaction fees can increase profit margin)
- Wish to use Cubic Pricing with USPS Priority Mail
- Want to enjoy discounted shipping rates
‘Advanced Shopify’ Costs and Features
For $299 per month, the ‘Advanced Shopify’ plan includes everything in the previous plans. However, two things that made it unique are:
- Advanced reports building
- Real-time carrier shipping quotations from third-parties
- Lower transaction Fees and credit card fees.
Advanced Report Building
Although there is in-depth reporting functionality on the ‘Shopify’ plan, but it doesn’t include building custom reports. The ‘Advanced Shopify’ plan allows you to tweak your data to generate your own custom reports.
You can choose from tons of metrics, dimensions, apply varieties of filters to create custom reports you can save for the future.
This feature is perfect for merchants making high volume sales and need to get more insight into their sales—the ability to tweak and create your own custom reports made this functionality a priority for most vendors.
Third-Party Real-Time Carrier Shipping
If you want your shoppers to get real-time shipping rates at checkout, this functionality is for you.
The real-time carrier shipping rate feature is available on ‘Advanced Shopify’, but you can get it on cheaper plans in some countries. To enjoy this functionality, you need to use the shipping services recommended by Shopify.
If you want to use a third-party shipping service or this functionality is not accessible in your country, you need the ‘Advanced Shopify’ (or higher) plan to calculate shipping rates.
It helps to automatically calculate real-time carrier shipping rates for shoppers at the checkout.
Transaction fees and Credit Card Fees
There are lower transaction and credit card fees on ‘Advanced Shopify’ compared to the previous plan.
Although the same rule of zero transaction fees when using Shopify payments still applies to this plan too.
There is a 0.5% transaction fee when using a third-party payment provider, which is lower than the previous plans.
As for the credit card fees for this plan, it’s 2.4% + 30c for sales made online and 2.4% + 0c for point of sale transactions.
Who is the ‘Advanced Shopify’ Plan Best For?
The ‘Advanced Shopify’ plan is suitable for vendors who:
- Want real-time carrier shipping rates by third parties
- Need an advanced and custom reporting feature
- Have high volume sales and need to increase profit margin by leveraging lower transaction and credit card fees.
‘Shopify Plus’ Costs
Unlike the previous plan, the ‘Shopify Plus’ (also called enterprise plan) plan is suitable for big enterprises and organizations making huge volume sales per month. The plan provides them with more advanced tools, resources, and support to manage their business.
There are many benefits of Shopify plus for enterprises, including multiple store cloning, automating tasks with Shopify flow, a dedicated success manager, advanced multi-channel capabilities, wholesale management, and so on.
The ‘Shopify Plus’ cost starts at $2000 per month for merchants making $800,000 (or lower) per month. Once you cross that amount, the pricing becomes a revenue-based model where you pay 0.25% of your monthly revenue.
To read more about this, check out my Shopify Enterprise pricing guide.
Who is the ‘Shopify Plus’ Plan Best For?
The ‘Shopify Plus’ plan is best for (large) enterprises that:
- Need high-level security and reliable uptime for their online store
- Make an insane number of sales and need proper management
- Want to automate tons of basic tasks
- Need to sell in multiple languages (the cloning feature can help with that)
- Want to supercharge their operations without sacrificing time
- Have a decent budget
- Want to enjoy extremely low transaction and credit card fees.
More Advancements with Shopify Apps and Integrations
When evaluating the Shopify monthly cost, you should consider app fees too.
Even though every plan includes features you need, chances are you might prefer something better.
If you prefer more advanced features that are not included in your plan, the best way to do it is by integrating apps from the Shopify app store.
The app store contains over 6000 apps (free and paid) you can use to strengthen the functionality of your store.
Most of the time, the Shopify plan you choose will come with tons of features you need. But in a scenario where you need more, you need to resort to paid-for apps.
For example, to add dropshipping functionality to your store, you certainly need an app. And you can find a lot of them on the Shopify app store.
Enjoy Free Trials
If you are skeptical or unsure if Shopify is the best platform for you, you can test-run the platform free for 14 days. This allows you to explore and familiarize yourself with all its features to understand how they work thoroughly.
You can explore any plan and core functionality you want within this trial period. After the testing period, you should have had enough experience on which plan is best for you.
Conclusion on How much Does Shopify Cost per month
If you are among those asking ‘how much does Shopify cost per month’, I believe this guide has made Shopify monthly costs crystal clear to you, and you now know what you can expect for each plan.
Shopify is arguably the best eCommerce platform for building an online store – without many technicalities. This is why it’s a top choice for most online vendors.