Now you know what Shopify is and how it works, let’s take a look at what plans are on offer. Which one you choose will be determined by how large your business is and what your requirements are. There are five plans to choose from:
- Basic Shopify
- Advanced Shopify
- Shopify Lite
- Shopify Plus
Before we look at each one in a little more detail, bear in mind that Shopify offers domains for $9 a month. There are also monthly and yearly options for payment and you can upgrade or downgrade whenever you want with no charge. The only difference will be the difference in the payments. If this is your first time with Shopify, you are better off starting with monthly payments. There are no cancellation charges when you are paying annually, but you also won’t get a refund of any unused portion of the payment. Test things out first by paying monthly – you won’t lose so much if things don’t work out.
When you land on the Shopify page detailing their plans you will only see the first three options from the list above. You will find the Lite and Plus plans detailed at the bottom of the page. Lite is the cheapest plan and Plus is the most expensive. A quick rundown of what you can expect to pay:
- Shopify Lite – $9/month
- Basic Shopify – $29/month
- Shopify – $79/month
- Advanced Shopify – $299/month
- Shopify Plus – prices start at about $2000 per month but are variable.
Each of the plans also has their own credit card rates and these are what you will get charged if you choose the Shopify Payments option to manage transactions and payment processes. Basically, when a purchase is made from your Shopify store, you get charged by the payment processor – the system that collects your money and places it onto your bank. Credit card rates are handling fees for transferring money from the purchases to the seller. These are normal and you cannot avoid paying them – at the end of the day, it means you don’t need to meet every one of your customers in person, collect the cash and then deposit it into your own bank account. Let’s delve into the plans.
At $9 a month, Shopify Lite is the cheapest plan and it provides only the very basic features, such as:
- A Facebook selling channel
- Payment tools – for credit card and other forms of payment
- A couple of Buy buttons.
It is advertised separately to the main plans because, technically, it isn’t really an online store. Instead, it provides access to a couple of features that can be added to an existing website, blog or social media account, enabling you to sell on a small scale. It also has a neat feature that allows you to connect Facebook Messenger on your Facebook business page to your account on Shopify. This lets you chat instantly with your customers and provide a very quick solution for customer support.
If you do not have a website or a blog already set up and doing well then Shopify Lite isn’t for you. The idea behind Lite is so that it can be added to an existing online platform that already has its own domain and hosting in place. It’s perfect if you have those platforms and just want to sell a few items – installing Shopify Lite to your website is really quite simple.
Shopify Basic costs $29 per month and this one will provide you with an online store with lots of useful features. These features include:
- An engine for discount codes
- Uploading as many items as you want to your store
- Tools for fraud analysis
- Unlimited storage for files 24/7 technical support
- SSL certificate for encryption and security
- Manual order creation
The plan also comes with a blog and a website, ensuring that everything is linked together as it should be and fully managed through Shopify. You get everything you need to create an online store that is fully functional and looks professional. The store can be used whether you have a website or blog or not.
The credit card rate is 2.9% plus $0.30 for each transaction on top of the monthly fee.
This is the middle plan and is, so far, the most popular. It is, however, $79 per month, a fair bit more than the Basic plan. The reason it is so popular is that it offers pretty much every Shopify feature you could possibly need.
You get everything the Basic plan offers plus some extras, including:
- Professional reports
- Recovery for abandoned carts
- A gift card feature
The abandoned cart tool is quite useful because it stores all the information from those who visit, start adding to the shopping cart but don’t finish off their order. By retaining their information, you can then contact the customer later – they were obviously interested enough to start shopping so you can try to encourage them to finish. However, instead of you needing to make contact with each of these customers individually, individually, you also have the tools to automate the process by automatically sending a customized email to them. You can even decide when the email should be sent, from a matter of hours after they abandon the shopping cart to days.
Why is this such an important feature? Simply because research has shown that almost 70% of online customers abandon their cart before completing a purchase but, when they are contacted later, they often end up spending up to 50% more. This isn’t just good for gaining sales, it also helps you to determine why the initial sales are not being completed. Perhaps your store is a bit confusing or the purchasing process takes too long and customers give up. These are all things you need to know so you can put them right and make things easier for customers.
If you are thinking about growing your business quickly then the features of this plan, such as unlimited storage and unlimited products are great. This plan is also ideal for those who already earn more than $5,000 a month through online sales – the transaction fee is cheaper than the Basic. Plus, the abandoned cart recovery feature is worth paying a bit more for because it could potentially increase your earnings quite significantly.
The credit card rate is 2.6% and $0.30 per transaction.
Costing $299 a month, Advanced Shopify is not cheap, but it does offer quite a few advantages for the large businesses. As well as everything from the Basic Plan and the Shopify Plan, Advanced also offers pretty much unlimited everything:
- Unlimited product uploads
- Unlimited storage capacity
- Unlimited uploads for posts and videos
- Unlimited abandoned cart recovery package
- Shipping discounts
- Advanced reporting
- Adding access for up to 15 different users
The money saved on the shipping discounts and transaction fees make this the ideal plan for a business earning $10,000 or more every month. It also allows for shipping to be taken care of by another party and provides business reports that offer more detail so you can analyze data, test out different variables for marketing and try to make projections for the future.
The credit card rate is 2.4% plus $0.30 per transaction.
The final plan is Shopify Plus, the plan that proves this is more than just a platform for selling small amounts of simple goods. This is for the big companies and organizations and it provides management for all orders and operations for every sale. You also get 200 TB storage capacity, more than enough for even the largest store and the biggest benefit is no transaction fees.
However, you can’t sign up for this plan through the website. Instead, you must call Shopify direct and discuss your requirements with them to get a quote. The minimum fee is $2,000 per month though.
This is a highly customizable option giving you the opportunity to adapt it to your branding and requirement; the level of technical and customer support is excellent, as it should be when you fork out that kind of cash every month, and you get a dedicated account manager working with you all the way.
The Shopify Plus platform can handle large visitor volumes easily, and there are no issues with processing potentially thousands of sales every minute, making this the ideal plan for the largest of businesses. It’s ideal for the company that wants to concentrate on sales, customer service, and marketing, automating the rest as far as possible and leaving it to a third party to deal with.
How Do You Choose a Plan?
That is going to come down to a few factors, such as your monthly budget and the size of your company. If you run a blog and want to sell just a few products per month through your own website then the Lite plan will be sufficient.
If you have a store already but with another provider, Shopify helps you to make the transfer easily. The other way to determine which plan is right for you is to use the data you already have on sales, customers, stock, and so on.