Shopify is known as one of the most flexible and diverse software products available for building an eCommerce store and business.
The flexibility extends from being a business just starting out to sellers of multi million dollars per month in orders.
While this is all housed under one roof, the shopify umbrella, the program of Shopify itself, the program offers several tiers as you grow, expand, and enterprise your business.
The TL:DR Version is as follows
Best for new businesses or online businesses new to in-person selling
Best for growing businesses with 1 retail store
$79 USD per month
Best for growing businesses with 2+ retail stores
$299 USD per month
What do these plans get me?
Shopify’s chart on what features you get for your money, it’s important to check your list of needs as a business, where you are today, and where you want to be in the future to determine which plan to start with, but how and when you’ll want to integrate the upgraded versions of your Shopify account.
We suggest taking a simple pen and paper and checklisting each item below
|Plan feature||Basic Shopify||Shopify||Advanced Shopify|
|Includes ecommerce website and blog.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Staff members with access to the Shopify admin and Shopify POS.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sell on online marketplaces and social media. Channel availability varies by country.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Locations||up to 4||up to 5||up to 8|
|Assign inventory to retail stores, warehouses, pop-ups, or wherever you store products.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Manual order creation||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Free SSL certificate||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Abandoned cart recovery||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced report builder||No–||No–||Yes|
|Third-party calculated shipping rates||No–||No–||Yes|
|Show calculated rates with your own account or third-party apps at checkout.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Shipping discount||up to 77%||up to 88%||up to 88%|
|Competitive shipping rates from DHL Express, UPS, or USPS.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Print shipping labels||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|USPS Priority Mail Cubic® pricing||No–||Yes||Yes|
|Online credit card rates||2.9% + 30¢ USD||2.6% + 30¢ USD||2.4% + 30¢ USD|
|In-person credit card rates||2.7% + 0¢ USD||2.5% + 0¢ USD||2.4% + 0¢ USD|
|Additional fees using all payment providers other than Shopify Payments||2.00%||1.00%||0.50%|
|POINT OF SALE|
|Shopify POS Lite||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Accept in-person payments instantly at pop-ups, markets, fairs, and more.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Shopify POS Pro||+plus$89 USD per month||+plus$89 USD per month||+plus$89 USD per month|
|Store management tools and omnichannel features essential for brick-and-mortar businesses.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sell in 133 currencies||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Use price rounding to create consistency in your prices after conversion.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sell in multiple languages||up to 5||up to 5||up to 5|
|Set country-specific domains to optimize international SEO.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Customize your product prices for different countries/regions with a percentage increase or decrease.||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|International pricing (per variant pricing)||No–||No–||Yes|
Now that we know what each plan gets you, keep in mind, you can always upgrade or downgrade to meet your business requirements, you need to learn what your actual business requirements are!
Are you selling internationally? Are you going to use 3rd party calculated shipping rates? Go through the list above and match it as closely as you can to your current business needs and you’ll find the right plan for you!
Some categories are included in all plans, such as the following, the great news is, this is a pretty good list for the basic package to come with. Again, if this is all you need, then you have the right plan for you all ready to go
- Online Store
- Includes ecommerce websites and blogs.
- Unlimited products
- 24/7 support
- Sales channels
- Sell on online marketplaces and social media. Channel availability varies by country.
- Assign inventory to retail stores, warehouses, pop-ups, or wherever you store products.
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Gift cards
- Show calculated rates with your own account or third-party apps at checkout.
- Competitive shipping rates from DHL Express, UPS, or USPS.
- Print shipping labels
- USPS Priority Mail Cubic® pricing
- Fraud analysis
- Shopify POS Lite
- Accept in-person payments instantly at pop-ups, markets, fairs, and more.
- Store management tools and omnichannel features essential for brick-and-mortar businesses.
- Sell in 133 currencies
- Use price rounding to create consistency in your prices after conversion.
- Sell in multiple languages
- Set country-specific domains to optimize international SEO.
- Customize your product prices for different countries/regions with a percentage increase or decrease.
The times you will be looking to upgrade are as follows
- Staffing accounts – how many different staff members can log in (with their own login) to make changes
- Locations – while the basic plan offers just 4 locations, upgrading can get you 5 or 8 on premium
- Professional Reporting – Reporting is important, usually if you’re smaller you can handle it, we recommend upgrading once your operation gets too large and you need the system to handle the reporting for you
- Shipping Discount -While basic offers up to 77% , upgrading can get you up to a 88% discount which is important when
- Credit Card Charges – upgrading your plan will reduce the cost of each credit card transaction fee from 2.9% (basic) to 2.6% (regular) to 2.4% (premium)
- Additional fees using all payment providers other than Shopify Payments – Basic will cost you 2% while upgrading will cost only 1%.(regular) or 0.5% (premium)
- International domains – International domains are available only on upgraded versions, determine if you need to be selling on a non USA domain or .com and see if this is something you need
- International pricing – Do you need to display the pricing internationally in the currency of the buyer? If so, you will need to upgrade
There are many providers out there for eCommerce platforms, Shopify wants to do the one thing that many other providers won’t, be flexible to what you need and when you need it. If you ask any company, the #1 thing they dread is migrating programs, it’s a hassle, a mess, and almost always has problems.
This is why Shopify provides a gradual upgrading platform that enables you to grow your business with Shopify, gradually upgrading your business from startup to enterprise…with no migration needed.
As we discussed in our why shopify article here, some reasons why it’s the best platform on the market
Shopify! It’s easy to use
There are lots of choices to build eCommerce sites, but a big reason why Shopify is on our choice list is because it’s just that easy to use. The system provides a robust back end (adding products, prices, discounts, images, categories) and that’s just the interface!
Shopify provides an open market solution that allows you to single click integrate to 100s of 3rd party tools and services so you can customize exactly what you want to happen when you want it to happen. There is very little in the modern era that Shopify doesn’t connect to make your eCommerce store run like clockwork.
Oh, it gets better.
You can build the front end (the site people actually see) all within shopify as well. You can either do it from scratch or use their proven to convert templates and plug in your logos, products, and overall customer user experience on your brand new eCommerce website.
Gone are the days of having a developer or programmer have to modify, Shopify makes it easy and the right way to do business.
Several programs as you’ll see below still operate off needing a developer to make that perfect solution for you such as WordPress. Shopify realized this early on (so did other companies like Wix) that if you want to be successful in the online marketplace from websites to eCommerce platforms, even down to web searches, it has to be easy and simple to use.
For our developer friends, it kind of stinks, as these types of sites were the bread and butter of the development world. These seasoned professionals, like everyone now, have to adapt to building solutions that non developers can use on their own.
The world is getting smaller, smarter and more robust, and Shopify is leading the way to making consumer’s and shopkeepers (you) have the best experience possible.
The plugins and 3rd party
Touched upon briefly above, but the plugins are nothing to shy away from. Some of our favorites are the out of stock plugins that enable you to give your customers notifications when something comes back into stock and even deprioritized the out of stock product while its out of stock by moving the positioning of the product to the bottom (so customers can focus on what you do have in stock!
The 3rd party connections are amazing, such as Klaviyo, an email marketing solution that was designed with Shopify in mind. Klaviyo helps you automate your processes for email notifications from sales emails, shipping notifications, abandoned carts and more to help maximize your sales and your customers’ experience when interacting with you.
Remember customer experience is key to retaining those hard earned customers
The plugins and automations don’t stop there, there are literally marketplaces in Shopify to find exactly what you want, which are rated by experience, cost, stars and more. Shopify’s searchable mammoth database is at your fingertips to discover exactly what you need and how easy they make it to implement, usually just a click of a button.
Letting Shopify run your business while you grow your business
Similar to the above, Shopify automates everything from website, to the sale, to the fulfillment of the sale, connecting until the product sold is in your customer’s hands. What a relief! Taking care of your store, whether its brick and mortar or digital can be a daunting task. In the real world there can be a spill and a cleanup on aisle 7! In the digital world, the page may not load! Shopify takes care of those digital bumps in the road for you, so nothing to clean up (and their technical support is top notch).
Shopify’s robust and redundant secure system enables you to have peace of mind that your store is running at its best level and can handle all of your business traffic, while maintaining a secure system to avoid issues and hacking.
The Pros and Cons of Shopify
Shopify is great (if you have not been able to tell) but there are some drawbacks to the program. Below are the Pros and Cons of using Shopify.
- Free 3 month trial.
- Super Easy to use.
- Flexible design for your front end website.
- A super cost-effective way to build your online shop.
- You own your own store (as opposed to being a part of Amazon, eBay etc)
- Access to 1000s of powerful ecommerce apps and plugins
- Simple to manage and create
- Mobile and tablet compatible store
- Around the clock security
- Unmatched technical support
- No server costs
Basically, With Shopify, the pros are just awesome! You can get access to the starter plan, design and build your store and trial it for 3 months completely on the house. During your trial, you can use the “Shopify payments” feature (which is also free) so you’ll get a better idea of how your Shopify store will work for you. With its flexible platform with access to ecommerce tools and apps, getting started and expanding has never been easier. In addition, it all runs on Shopify’s servers, so there is no need to buy and support!
Security wise, Shopify invests millions of dollars every year into making its platform secure and comply with PCI regulations and rules. Security is obviously critical in building your and your customers’ trust, and when you, the shop owners, are taking buyer credit cards to complete transactions, it’s key that you are PCI compliant and your website displays “HTTPS” when customers come to process their orders. Shopify takes care of all of this for you.
Support wise, a super reliable and responsive technical support team is crucial when running any business, but especially an online store. If your website goes down or a payment method stops working, it’s key you can get a hold of someone no matter day, night, or weekend, which is a giant benefit that Shopify has.
- You have to do your own marketing
- You don’t get Amazon’s name, you have to build your own
- Potential monthly fees based on your package and add ons
- Reports only available in upgraded plan
- Transaction fees apply if not using shopify payment portal
Basically, The most important part of Shopify is to be aware that marketing is something you not only need to handle, but prioritize.
You won’t see any reports on the basic plan either, so you’ll need to keep track of data yourself. Remember too that if you don’t use Shopify payments, you’ll incur a transaction fee on all your sales.
In conclusion, whether you are thinking about going up against (or combining with) Amazon or against the plethora of other options, Shopify has stood the test of time and continues to innovate and build on its brilliant reputation as the #1 leader in eCommerce platforms on the marketplace today.
Can it be overthrown, yes, but the geniuses behind this giant eCommerce platform have been ahead of the game since 2006.
Shopify’s sheer flexibility does not constrict itself to a particular niche, but seems to excel at all of them. Whether you are a technology eCommerce store to an artsy one, Shopify has you covered.
Its core product is robust, its upgraded version, Shopify Plus takes you to a whole nother level, and with its 1000s of 3rd party solutions and plugins makes it nearly impossible for you to not create and make the perfect site, backend, automation to make your eCommerce store shine.
The automations are one of the brightest features, essentially combining multiple programs into one to extend the reach of your business needs and goals far beyond what was once thought impossible.
Shopify has the bright future facilitating small Small to medium sized businesses all the way to $100Million dollar companies all within the same smooth platform.
Its support is unprecedented and something they took to heart. Shopify knew that to be successful, its customers need to be happy, and that is exactly what they did. Every aspect of Shopify’s mammoth program is an expert waiting to help you answer questions you may have, to make your experience the best experience for selling online.
Whether you are looking to get started with your eCommerce empire, have some experience, and already well established, we 100% recommend Shopify.