While the eCommerce software market can feel a little crowded, one of the benefits is that companies are forced to price their products competitively. Even the industry giant Shopify isn’t an exception.

This is good news for customers who are looking for a truly powerful content creation and store management software, packaged in one affordable bundle.

Shopify Pricing Plans

Comparing Shopify Pricing Plans

Shopify offers several different pricing plans that are designed to address the needs of different size businesses. Perhaps most importantly, they offer a free 14-day trial. You don’t even need a credit card to sign up. This is common practice among software companies today.

So, beware of any product that doesn’t allow you to try it out first. If a seller doesn’t let you fly before you buy, he isn’t that confident in the quality of the solution he is offering.

Once your 14-day trial is up, you can choose the right pricing plan to fit your budget and your business.

Shopify Lite – $9/month

Even with this cheap, bare-bones plan, you still get to enjoy the power of Shopify. It allows you to sell on Facebook and add “buy” buttons to any existing website. You can quickly monetize a site and start selling.

Shopify Light Plan Solution to Sell on Facebook

Features

  • Create attractive product showcases on Facebook
  • Add “buy” buttons to any site
  • Accept credit cards at fairs and other events
  • Create invoices and bill customers
  • Automatic updates
  • Marketing resources
  • 24/7 customer support via email or live chat
  • Unlimited product listings

Limitations

The main limitation of Shopify Lite is that it doesn’t allow you to build a stand-alone site from scratch. It is really designed for those who already have a site and don’t want to switch over. You can think of it as similar to adding a PayPal button to your site.

Shopify Plans

Basic Shopify – $29/month

The next step up is Basic Shopify. This version does allow you to create your own, fully hosted website. It comes with all the tools you will need to start a new business. In fact, it is designed and priced with entrepreneurs in mind. Here are some highlights:

Features

  • Two staff accounts. These can be used to restrict access to certain information and are useful in managing your site.
  • Unlimited products and storage space
  • SSL certificate for security and safe payments
  • Blog
  • Ability to create discount codes
  • Manual order creation

Customer Support Options

A big part of Shopify’s success can be attributed to their excellent customer service. You can contact support 24/7. With the Basic plan, you have a variety of options when it comes to contacting help, including:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Also, be sure to check out their knowledge base, FAQ section, and tutorials. The chances are that you will be able to answer your own question. They regularly post informative articles and always seem eager to improve the user experience.

Shopify Fees

In addition to the monthly fee, there are some other costs involved with using Shopify.

Credit Card Rates and Transaction Fees: With the Basic plan, you will pay a 2.9% credit card rate plus a 30₵ fee for every online purchase. In person, purchase rates are 2.7%, and the extra charge is dropped. Also, if you choose to use an external payment gateway, there is a 2.0% transaction fee.

Monthly Pricing: At $29 per month, Shopify Basic is competitively priced. You will find that most of the other major players are in the same ballpark. However, Shopify is one of only a handful to offer unlimited product and storage at this price point.

Contract Savings Options: To save money you can pay for a year or two upfront. Purchase an annual plan and save 10% or 20% on a two-year plan.

Extra Costs

Don’t forget that you will also have to purchase a domain name. This is an annual fee that usually runs about $10.

Shopify store allows to have a custom domain

You might also find that you want to expand your store by purchasing specific apps. While these certainly aren’t necessary, they may come in handy from time to time. Prices vary from a one-time fee to monthly subscription plans.

Who is Basic Plan Best For?

If you are just starting your business, then the Basic plan offers more than enough to help. As your business grows, you may want to upgrade. Otherwise, Shopify Basic provides a robust and powerful tool. You shouldn’t encounter any real limitations as you get your shop up and running.

Shopify -$79/month

The Shopify plan is for growing businesses who need room to expand. It also comes with some more advanced eCommerce features that will help with customer relations and business management.

Features:

All the Shopify Basic features, plus

  • Ability to create, sell and accept gift cards
  • Professional reports
  • Abandoned cart recovery

Customer Support Options

24/7 customer support is available through:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Shopify Customer Support Channels

Fees

Credit Card Rates and Transaction Fees: For online transactions, Shopify customers will be charged a 2.6% + 30₵ credit card rate. If purchases are made in person, that rate drops to 2.4% + 0₵. If you use Shopify payments, you don’t have to worry about transactions fees. However, third party gateways come with a 1.0% transaction fee.

Monthly Pricing: For most established businesses, $79 is a nominal fee. This is especially true considering just how much you can do with this plan. It provides more than enough to support a polished, professional and growing business.

Contract Savings Options: To save money you can pay for a year or two upfront. Purchase an annual plan and save 10% or 20% on a two-year plan.

Extra Costs: The potential for additional costs is the same for all the Shopify plans. You won’t have to purchase apps to have a fully functional store. However, you might find that certain apps will be beneficial to your business.

App pricing varies pretty widely. Be sure to do your research so that you can find the best deal to fit your needs. Finally, don’t forget about the cost of a domain name. Typically, a domain will cost around $10 per year.

Who is Shopify Plan Best For?

The Shopify plan is best suited for established businesses who are focused on growth. The plan provides all the features you will need to expand quickly and adapt to changing needs.

Advanced Shopify – $299/month

While the advanced version of Shopify isn’t completely unlimited, it comes pretty close. Here are the additional features that come with the Advanced Shopify pricing plan:

Features:

All the features of Shopify, plus

  • 15 staff accounts
  • Advanced report builder
  • Real-time carrier shipping

Customer Support Options

As with all the Shopify plans, customers enjoy superior service support. You can search through the knowledge base or contact a representative directly. The community forums are also very active and helpful. Finally, be sure to take advantage of their E-commerce University. This free service will help you improve your site and your marketing strategies.

Contact customer support through:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Fees

Credit Card Rates and Transaction Fees: With Advanced Shopify you will pay a credit card rate of 2.4% + 30₵ for online purchases. Any in-person purchases come with a fee of 2.2% + 0₵. As always, there are no transaction fees when you use Shopify Payments. For external payment gateways, be prepared to pay a 0.5% transaction fee.

Monthly Pricing: Advanced Shopify costs $299 per month. It is clearly a plan meant for established businesses who need a scalable solution.

Contract Savings Options: Save money by paying for an entire year upfront. Shopify offers a 10% discount on a one-year plan. That is a savings of over $350. If you purchase a two-year plan, you can save almost $1,500 with their 20% discount.

Extra Costs: Whether you buy a domain name through Shopify or another provider such as BlueHost, you can expect to pay around $10 a year.

You may also want to add apps as you expand your website and require more specific functions. Keep in mind that app pricing can be a one-time fee or monthly subscription. Be sure to do your research before investing in an app.

Who is Advanced Shopify Plan Best For?

Advanced Shopify is best suited for large businesses that need a scalable solution that can quickly adapt to their company. It is meant to grow with your business and provide you with the tools you will need to expand.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is an enterprise-grade software solution for stores with a high volume of transactions. Some of the world’s biggest brands use Shopify Plus to power their online stores. It comes with unlimited sales, products, and bandwidth.

Shopify Plus Plan

The primary goal is to provide an affordable solution that allows businesses to focus on launching products and targeting new markets. The robust tools make it easy to manage your store and reduce IT costs. Dedicated 24/7 support will also help you launch your store faster

Shopify Plus Limitations and Requirements

Shopify Plus doesn’t come with any real limitations. To get started, you will need to contact Shopify. They will create a custom plan for you along with individualized pricing.

Who is Shopify Plus Plan Best For?

The LA Lakers and Dodocase are two Shopify Plus clients. They both boast recognizable brands and an international reach. They are also high volume merchants with unique needs. Shopify Plus is ideal for handling their needs.

Shopify Pricing Compared to Their Biggest Competitors

Magento

Magento is another big name in eCommerce software platforms. The big difference is that Magneto CE is an open source service. This means that it is technically free. People from all over the world voluntarily contribute to building the program by creating add-on and apps.

Unfortunately, free comes with a lot of strings attached. For one, you will have to provide hosting on your own server. Besides, you will have to be pretty experienced when it comes to coding. If either of these requirements is too technical for you to handle, you will have to hire someone to. That is when costs really start adding up.

Designers and developers typically charge in the range of $100-$250 an hour. If you are creating a site from scratch, the hours can quickly add up. Also, not all add-ons are free. Prices for extensions can start at 99₵ and go up to reach upwards of $8,000.

Magento also provides very limited customer service. You can browse community forums. However, in most cases, you will have to consult with the person who set up your site. This means more person-hours to fix problems.

To summarize, here are just some of the additional costs:

  • Security
  • Domain name
  • Hosting
  • Designer fees
  • Developer fees
  • IT support
  • Add-ons and extensions

As you can see, the “free” cost of Magneto can quickly get out of hand.

Who is Magento Best for?

Despite a hefty startup cost, Magento does offer some real positives. It is a sophisticated and scalable program that allows you to customize your site completely. However, the price tag makes it best suited for more established companies. Successful businesses with a broad audience and hundreds of products may benefit from Magneto.

BigCommerce

When it comes to pricing plans and available features, BigCommerce most closely resembles Shopify. Their standard plan is $29.95 per month. Like Shopify, it offers:

  • One-click installation
  • Free themes
  • 15-day free trial – no credit card required
  • Hosting
  • Security
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Fast load times
  • Automatic updates
  • 10% discount when you purchase a year’s subscription upfront

Who is BigCommerce Best For?

Ultimately, BigCommerce and Shopify are competing for the same audience. They are both well suited for entrepreneurs starting their first website. The choice might come down to personal preference. You might find that the theme you like best is only available on Shopify. Or maybe one particular feature unique to BigCommerce.

Luckily, they both offer free trials. Take them both for a spin before you make your final decision.

Volusion

Volusion is yet another top-ranking platform. At just $15 per month for the mini plan, it can look like a great deal. However, it comes with a lot of limitations. You can only add up to 100 products, and the bandwidth cap is 1GB. Also, you will only have access to online support.

Even newbies will probably want to upgrade to the Plus Plan for $35 per month. Plus Plan features include:

  • Unlimited storage
  • 1,000 products
  • 3GB bandwidth
  • Phone support
  • Newsletters
  • CRM
  • Abandoned cart recovery

Keep in mind that most plans within the $30 range come with unlimited bandwidth.

By far the biggest complaint against Volusion is their pricing practices. While the advertise monthly subscription prices, they don’t list all the hidden fees. Here is a short list of prices to expect:

  • SSL Certificate – $149
  • SSL Certificate Installation (You can’t install on your own) – $99
  • New domain – $11.99
  • Bandwidth overages – $7 per GB
  • Third party payment processing fees – 2.0-3.0% per transaction
  • PCI service fee $1.83 – $3 per month
  • Removing “Powered by Volusion” link – $25
  • Termination fee – $99
  • Monthly statement fee – $10

Notice that the cost of premium themes and add-ons aren’t even mentioned. Volusion is a solid platform, but their pricing isn’t transparent or competitive.

Who is Volusion Best For?

In a nutshell: experienced coders who are aware of extra fees. The platform doesn’t provide a WYSIWYG editor. You will have to know a certain amount of code to customize your site. Even then, it may not be worth the price. Unexpected fees can quickly add up. Compared to Volusion, Shopify is the better choice for the majority it people.

Shopify Plans FAQS

  • Can I upgrade or downgrade my plan at any time?
  • Yes! You can change your plan at any time. Whether you want to cut costs or upgrade for more capabilities, you are free to switch plans.
  • Can I cancel my subscription at any time? What are the penalties?
  • You can either close or pause your store. If you choose to put it on pause, the store will still be up, but customers won’t be able to make purchases. It will also reduce operating costs. Shopify will keep your store live and pause for $14/month.
  • It is just as easy to close your store. All it takes a few clicks, and you can cancel your account. There are no penalties for closing or pausing your store.
  • Do I need to enter credit card info for a free trial?
  • No. You can start your free trial in just a few minutes without having to enter any payment information.
  • How do I get billed?
  • Shopify will automatically charge your credit card every 30 days. You will receive an invoice, but you won’t need to take any action. Your invoice will include your monthly fee along with any transaction and app fees.

Conclusion on Shopify Pricing

Shopify is by far the most popular Hosted eCommerce platform. It provides a robust solution and affordable pricing plans. Even first-time entrepreneurs can harness the power of Shopify for a reasonable price.

Choosing the right plan depends on where you are with your business and how quickly you want to grow. The good news is that you can upgrade and downgrade plans as needed. There simply aren’t many platforms out there that offer the same combination of cost, versatility, and flexibility.

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and editor of www.aawebmasters.com. He has a love for web design, online marketing, social media and eCommerce. He enjoys working with a variety of web professionals on a number of projects.