How much does a Shopify store cost to open?

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Want to become the next Jeff Bezos and conquer the ecommerce space? Then odds are you’re familiar with Shopify.

Shopify is one of most famous ecommerce platforms, offering an easy to use interface with an affordable pricing scheme that will have you up and running your business in no time.

One of the most common questions people have about the platform when starting out is, “How much does Shopify cost?”

There’s no one size fits all answer to this question, but today we’ll break down the various pricing plans and help you decide which one is right for your business.

Shopify basics

Before we break down the various Shopify payment options, let’s first go over what Shopify is and how it works.

Shopify is one of the fastest growing ecommerce platforms in the world. It allows businesses to set up online stores and sell their products to customers from around the globe, to right next door.

Whether you’re selling physical or digital products, classes, services, or memberships for customers, you can do it with Shopify. The best part? Getting set up and selling is easy.

The service is completely cloud-based and hosted, which eliminates the need to keep software or hardware upgraded and frees you to sell your wares from anywhere you have an internet connection.

Whether you’re selling online, in a brick-and-mortar store, through social media or online marketplaces, Shopify can help you better handle your business with a point of sale system that will allow you to manage your inventory, product mix, shipping, and payments.

The low barrier to entry means it’s easier than ever to start an eCommerce business.

Shopify plans and prices

Now that you have a better idea of how Shopify works and how versatile it is, it’s time to talk about how much it will cost to get started on the platform.

The first thing to consider here is that the more you pay in monthly fees on Shopify, the less you’ll pay in processing charges. With that in mind, choosing the right Shopify plan isn’t solely about getting the best monthly rate. Instead, it’s about finding a monthly rate that lines up with your business’s needs.

Shopify offers four basic plans, and one of them is all but guaranteed to be a great fit for you whether you’re just starting out or have a thriving, established business.

  1. Shopify Basic

If you’re just getting started and looking to see if running a business is for you, then Shopify’s Basic plan is a good place to start.

At this tier, Shopify costs $29 a month, meaning it’s perfect for small businesses, new businesses, or entrepreneurs just starting their business journey.

There are pros and cons to this entry level plan, so let’s break down what you get for your $29 a month.

Some of the notable features of this plan include the affordable monthly price, a package that includes all of the basics you’ll need to get up and running, and it’s scalable, so it will grow with your business.

There are a few downsides to be aware of when it comes to Shopify Basic, as well.

The biggest issue is that Basic offers limited functionality compared to the other tiers. You won’t be able to utilize gift cards, advanced reports, or the abandoned cart functionality).

On top of that, this tier has the highest credit card processing fee of all the different plans. Shopify Basic users will pay 2.9% plus $0.30 per credit card transaction. 

Clearly, Shopify’s base plan is lacking in the bells and whistles of the company’s more expensive offerings, but not everyone needs or wants more functionality. The basic plan provides a great entry point into the Shopify ecosystem.

  1. Shopify

The second tier offering is simply named Shopify.

If you’ve outgrown the basic plan, or your business needs a little more horsepower in its ecommerce and sales engine, this might be the choice for you.

The monthly subscription price at this level is $79 a month, but you get a number of benefits you miss out on with the basic plan, including:

  • Gift cards
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • A variety of reports
  • A better rate on credit card transactions

At the Shopify level, you will pay 2.6% plus $0.30 per credit card transaction, a savings over the 2.9% of the base plan.

Small businesses looking to scale up will undoubtedly find this plan intriguing. You’re getting a full set of features for your business and you’re still paying less than $100 a month.

  1. Advanced Shopify

If you’re a larger company really looking to take control of your business, you’ll certainly want to consider advanced Shopify.

There’s a fairly large jump in price for this package when compared to the standard Shopify tier we just discussed, but here’s what all the extra money will get you:

  • More robust, customizable reports
  • Real-time carrier shipping information at checkout

You may be thinking, “Only two additional features? That’s not all that impressive.”

However, the customizable reports will help you spot growth opportunities you wouldn’t find with the standard version’s report set up. You’ll be able to filter a lot of information in very specific ways that can provide valuable insights into your company’s performance.

That being said, the big deal of this tier is the real-time shipping information. One of the biggest causes of cart abandonment is when a customer learns that the cost of shipping will exceed their expectations. With this tool, you’ll be able to tell them the exact shipping cost at the time of sale, eliminating a potential barrier to completing the transaction.

Another way you can lower shipping costs for your customers and minimize fulfillment time is by using the Shopify Fulfillment Network. If you don’t mind the associated fees, this could rid you of some shipping headaches and free up more time to focus on your business.

You can purchase the Advanced Shopify package for $299 a month. At this level, your credit card processing fees will also drop again, settling at 2.4% plus $0.30 per transaction.

When your business is ready to step to the next level, this is the product you’ll want to explore.

  1. Shopify Plus

The final Shopify tier is Shopify Plus, and it’s designed for heavy hitters looking for a fully functional commerce platform.

This is another huge jump in price, but for the extra cost you will get access to the following:

  • Dedicated project manager
  • An account manager
  • Personalized support contacts
  • Access to beta features
  • Negotiated payment rates

This is essentially the luxury level of Shopify, and all of this comes at a premium price. Shopify Plus will set you back $2,000 a month. That might seem pricey, but consider the level of personalized attention your business will get, plus the ability to negotiate your own rates, and it’s easy to see how this package would appeal to power sellers.

Additional costs

As you probably realize, the cost of Shopify’s platform is just one of the costs you’ll have to consider before starting your new business. If you truly want to succeed, you’ll have to spend additional funds on the following items.

Organic marketing

Organic marketing is all of your marketing efforts that don’t revolve around paid advertising, sponsored posts, and things of that nature.

Instead, organic marketing looks to build your traffic over time using things like content marketing (blog posts, social media posts), user generated content, email marketing, and things of this nature.

That being said, organic marketing does have costs. You’ll still be paying for things like content, email and social media software, and the like. The organic part simply means you aren’t paying to boost posts or content.

How much you spend on organic marketing will depend on your business, your goals, and how much of the work you can do yourself, but it is an expense that has to be considered. A business with no marketing is going to struggle to survive.

Paid marketing

Naturally, after organic marketing, you’ll want to think about paid marketing for your Shopify business. These are your marketing efforts that aren’t covered in the organic section. Ad words, boosting content, marketing campaigns, and sponsored content are just some examples of paid marketing.

Again, how much this costs you will depend on a number of factors. You will definitely need to budget for it, if you want your business to succeed.

Product sourcing

And finally, we come to what might be the most obvious expense when running a Shopify business: product sourcing. You can’t run a business if you don’t have anything to sell, right?

One of the benefits of running a drop shipping business on a platform like Shopify is that you won’t have to actually carry inventory. Instead, customers will order the item and your wholesale source will provide it.

If you run a business on the platform where you do sell your own products or have to carry inventory and handle manufacturing, you’ll need to figure in the cost of that when setting up your business.

Final thoughts

Monthly Shopify costs range from anywhere between  $29/month to $2,000/month. That’s just the price of your Shopify subscription, though.

Starting a drop shipping or ecommerce business has a relatively low financial barrier to entry compared to brick-and-mortar and other conventional industries, but it does still require cash.

And while you could start a Shopify business for $100 (or perhaps even less), to really give yourself a shot at success you should plan to invest something along the lines of $1,000 minimum to cover marketing and other expenses.

No matter what path you choose, the good news is there’s a Shopify solution designed to meet your needs. Less time spent worrying about how you’ll actually sell your products will allow you to focus on what really matters: building the best business you can.

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