When thinking about an ecommerce website builder, Shopify is usually the first name that comes to mind. Over the years, it’s earned a reputation as both an easy-to-use and complete online store solution, with all the features you need to get started in the world of ecommerce. (You can read our full Shopify review here.)
But is it affordable? The answer to that depends. On the one hand, there are a few different Shopify pricing plans offered to suit a wide range of budgets. And, there are also some ways you can reduce the cost of running your Shopify store (which we’ll go through in this article).
But if you have a long list of features that you need - or, conversely, are only just getting started - there are some other ecommerce website builders that might be a little kinder on the wallet. We’ll also share those with you later in our article.
With all that in mind, let’s first jump into everything you need to know to pick the right Shopify pricing plan (and whether, indeed, Shopify is the right solution for you!).
Shopify Pricing: A Quick Breakdown
Shopify Basic costs $29 monthly (and 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction). The Shopify plan is $79 monthly (and 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction). Advanced Shopify is $299 monthly (and 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction). Use Shopify Payments to avoid extra fees.
There are two additional Shopify pricing plans, to cover an even wider range of needs and budgets:
- Shopify Lite lets you sell on an existing website, and costs $9/month
- Shopify Plus is designed for enterprises, costing $2000/month
While Shopify does charge credit card fees as well as transaction fees on your sales, it’s actually possible to remove the transaction fees altogether if you use Shopify Payments, Shopify’s own payment system. But, we’ll cover that in more detail later. Please note that there is no Shopify charge to manual payment methods such as cash on delivery or bank transfers.
Before you sign up for any Shopify pricing plan, it’s also worth noting that you’ll have the option to take a free 14-day trial - no credit card required.
However, let’s see what each plan offers in more detail.
Shopify Pricing Review: Video
Want help with choosing a Shopify pricing plan quickly? Pick the right plan in less than 5 minutes with the help of our video:
Here is something you can try out as well. Our intelligent Smart Finder algorithm will find the ideal Shopify plan for you in less than a minute:
Now, let’s take a closer look at the differences between the three main Shopify pricing plans (Basic, Shopify and Advanced). The following table compares each plan’s features. Below the table, we explain each plan in more detail, and also summarize the Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus pricing plans.
Comparing the Shopify Pricing Plans: What’s Included in Each Plan?
|Feature||Basic Shopify ($29/month)||Shopify ($79/month)||Advanced Shopify ($299/month)|
|Abandoned cart recovery||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced report builder||No||No||Yes|
|Real-time carrier shipping||No||No||Yes|
|Print shipping labels||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Domain||Not included. You can buy a domain through Shopify ($14 per year) or redirect an existing one.|
|Email accounts||Not included. You can set up an unlimited number of email addresses, but you must manage your emails using your own email hosting provider.|
|Support 24/7||E-Mail, Open Chat, Telephone||E-Mail, Open Chat, Telephone||E-Mail, Open Chat, Telephone|
|Selling in multiple languages||Up to 20 languages (requires a paid app like Langify or LangShop)|
|International pricing (adapt your prices per country)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Credit Card Rate (with Shopify Payments)||2.9% + 30¢*||2.6% + 30¢*||2.4% + 30¢*|
|Additional Transaction Fee for all online transactions|
(only charged if Shopify Payments is not activated)
|External Gateway: 2%||External Gateway: 1%||External Gateway: 0.5%|
|Pricing||$29 / month||$79 / month||$299 / month|
|1 Year Contract|
(Payment in advance)
($26 / month)
($71 / month)
($235 / month)
|2 Year Contract|
(Payment in advance)
($23.25 / month)
($63.25 / month)
($235 / month)
|3 Year Contract|
(Payment in advance)
($21.75 / month)
($59.25 / month)
($219 / month)
|More information||Visit Shopify for a free trial account|
Shopify’s pricing tiers: where’s the difference?
Let’s take a detailed look at the difference in Shopify’s pricing plans:
Basic Shopify gives you your own Shopify-hosted storefront, and is a great plan to start out with. It’s also great for anyone not planning on selling huge volumes of stock. This is the cheapest pricing plan when you have a vast product range. Shopify doesn’t limit the number of products or file storage, so you can offer as many products as you like, whether they be physical or digital. This plan also contains advanced features such as abandoned cart recovery emails, gift cards, and a multilingual store. Email, chat and phone support is also available.
However, the credit card fees (2.9% + 30¢) and transaction fees (2%) are higher on this plan than on the Shopify and Advanced plans. Plus, features like professional reports and third-party calculated shipping rates aren’t included (although you may not need these).
The plan named Shopify is $50 more expensive, but has a lower credit card rate (2.6% + 30¢) and transaction fee (1%). It provides more features, such as professional reports, which provide greater insight into your online store, making analysis more convenient. It’s also better geared for international selling as it includes country-specific domains (if you want to use different domains in different regions), and percentage-based international pricing.
In any case, you should check your Google Analytics before upgrading to this plan – it’s free and will give you a good understanding of your online shop’s performance (and whether upgrading to the Shopify pricing plan makes sense).
Advanced Shopify is the most expensive pricing plan for standard stores. But the credit card payment rate is the lowest (at 2.4% + 30¢), as is the transaction fee (0.5%), and it provides the best shipping conditions for the US. This plan is the only option if you have accounts with third-party shipping carriers and want to offer those rates to your clients (although there is a little trick you can use if you want to access these on the lower plans – more on that below). It’s also the best option for international selling as it allows you to set individual prices per country/region. Furthermore it has an advanced report builder that will allow you to customize own professional reports.
Other Shopify Pricing Plans: Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus
Shopify Lite is designed for those who already have a website, and want a simple way to start selling on it. You’ll be able to embed individual products, product collections and a shopping cart directly on your site, through the use of Shopify Lite’s Buy Buttons. However, you won’t get a full storefront like you would on the Basic, Shopify and Advanced plans. It costs $9 per month.
An example of a product embedded on a site using the Shopify Buy Button
Shopify Plus is an enterprise solution for businesses that seek a scalable ecommerce platform. Long story short: Shopify Plus pricing starts at about $2000 per month which is a massive increase compared to Shopify Advanced ($300). But what will you get on top? A dedicated support team will help you with the launch and will provide 24/7 priority support. Your developers will get more access to the Shopify system for customization (cart scripting, dedicated API etc.). You are covered with two additional clone storefronts for internationalization. If you need more information about this ultimate tier, please get in touch directly with the Shopify Team.
What if I want to add a point-of-sale system (POS)?
If you’d also like to offer in-person selling and integrate this with your Shopify backend, you’ll be happy to know that all plans (including Shopify Lite) include Shopify POS Lite, which lets you accept payments and manage orders via iOS and Android devices. There is no additional charge for this. Shopify transaction fees aren’t applied to POS orders (which is great news!), although credit card fees are charged depending on which Shopify pricing plan you’re on.
The Shopify POS app
If you’re located outside of the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia, you’ll need to use separate hardware to be able to accept payments (more information on Shopify POS card readers here).
If you need advanced POS features such as in-store pickups, staff permissions and smart inventory management, you can opt for the Shopify POS Pro plan, which costs $89/month (regardless of whichever Shopify plan you’re on).
You can compare the features of Shopify POS Lite vs Pro in full here.
Shopify Pricing: How to Reduce Your Costs
Obviously, the higher your plan, the lower your credit card and additional Shopify fees will be. It’s worth doing the numbers to see whether paying the extra monthly fee associated with the Shopify and Advanced plans will actually save you money in credit card fees.
Of course, if you’re just getting started with your store and have no sales history, it will take a few months (at least) before you’ll be able to get a feel for your sales numbers. So we’d generally recommend starting out with the Shopify Basic plan first.
Luckily, there are a few other ways you can cut your monthly Shopify costs…
Use Shopify Payments to avoid the Shopify transaction fee
The good news is that the Shopify transaction fee (remember, that’s separate to the credit card fee) can be completely avoided by using Shopify Payments, Shopify’s own payment processing system (available in the USA, UK, Australia & NZ, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Japan and a few other countries). There’s no additional cost to use Shopify Payments, which will let you accept all major credit cards and other popular online payment methods. For a full list of all supported countries and businesses that are prohibited from using Shopify Payments, please consult this guide.
It’s important to note that using Shopify Payments eliminates the Shopify transaction fee completely, so even if your customers pay via e.g. Paypal (learn more) or Amazon Pay, you won’t be charged any additional fee by Shopify anymore. The credit card fees will remain the same – the only difference is that they’ll now go directly to Shopify, rather than a third-party payment gateway. So if you can, you should always try to use Shopify Payments!
Without Shopify Payments, you’re looking at a transaction fee of either 0.5% (for Advanced plan users), 1% (for the Shopify plan), or 2% (for Shopify Basic users) – which can add up to a pretty significant (and painful!) amount each month.
Purchase your domain name elsewhere
Common to all Shopify plans is that no domain or email hosting is included. Shopify allows you to buy a domain name for $14 per year, but this still doesn’t include any email hosting. To save a few bucks, we recommend that you compare these prices with a few external domain registrars (Namecheap, GoDaddy, etc.).
Furthermore, every plan allows you to add apps from the Shopify App Store or use a custom template. Most of these are available for free, but if you need a special feature, it could cost you extra. Therefore, we recommend that you test Shopify extensively during your free trial.
Upgrade to a yearly or biennial plan (if you’re really sure Shopify is for you!)
You can upgrade, downgrade or cancel Shopify anytime, provided you pay per month. It’s a good idea to start off with a monthly plan, to keep costs manageable and to also have the option to cancel at any time. In the long run though, it pays to upgrade to either an annual or biennial plan – these offer you a discount of 10% and 20% respectively. However, you should only do this if you’re sure you want to keep using Shopify during that time, as you’ll have to pay upfront, and won’t get a refund if you do decide to cancel (for more details, see our FAQ at the bottom of this page).
One tip: upgrading to an annual or biennial plan if you’re on the Basic and Shopify pricing plans will also entitle you to third-party carrier rates for shipping – something that’s normally only available on the Advanced and Plus plans. To redeem this, you’ll just need to get in touch with Shopify support.
More Affordable Alternatives to Shopify’s Pricing
We get it – committing to paying at least $29/month for your online store can be a big ask, especially if you’re just trying to dip your toes in the water. If you want to explore cheaper alternatives to Shopify’s pricing plans, here are a few other ecommerce platforms to check out:
This popular website builder offers some impressive features for opening an online store – abandoned cart reminders, integrations with Amazon and eBay, the ability to sell subscriptions, and the Wix App Market. The Wix Business Basic plan comes out slightly cheaper than Shopify Basic, too, at $27/month. Wix doesn’t charge transaction fees in any of their plans. Plus, there’s also a free plan that lets you try Wix out before you commit. You can read more in our Wix Ecommerce review, or see our direct Wix vs Shopify comparison.
Another popular website builder (thanks to its sleek templates and clout with creatives), Squarespace also has some great ecommerce features – the ability to sell services and subscriptions, versatile product descriptions, and customer logins. The cheapest Squarespace ecommerce plan, Squarespace Business, costs $23/month, although a 3% transaction fee is also charged. You can read our full Squarespace Ecommerce review here.
Since being acquired by digital payments company Square, Weebly has invested a massive amount of effort into improving its online store builder – so much so that it even launched a completely new ecommerce builder, Square Online. One great advantage of Weebly is its pricing – plans start at a very affordable $12/month for shopping carts. There are no additional transaction fees. Find out more about building an online store with Weebly in our review.
While it’s not a hosted ecommerce platform like Shopify (or the alternatives listed above), Ecwid works well if you have an existing site that you want to start selling from – and what’s more, is a lot more affordable. In fact, there’s even a free plan that lets you sell up to 10 products. It also has a long list of great ecommerce features, such as multilingual stores, user ratings, and automated taxes (US only). Paid plans start at $15/month. Read more in our Ecwid review.
You can see our full list of Shopify alternatives here.
Shopify Cost: Conclusion
We hope this article has helped you make a decision whether or not a) Shopify is right for you, and b) which of the Shopify pricing plans makes the most sense for the kind of store you want to open.
Remember – we’d always recommend starting out with the free trial first, and then moving onto Shopify Basic on a monthly basis (so you can cancel any time). You can then upgrade to the Shopify or Advance plans if you need extra features such as selling internationally, advanced reports, or third-party carrier rates – or, if you want to reduce your credit card fees.
Once you’re sure you want to continue with Shopify, you can look at contracting an annual or 2-year subscription to save you in overall fees. And of course, opting for Shopify Payments in order to remove the Shopify transaction fees.
So, ready to give Shopify a go? Try Shopify free for 14 days (no credit card required).
If you already have a website, you can use Shopify Lite for $9 per month. WordPress users can also use Shopify’s plugin.
Shopify Online Shop Examples Websites
13 Apr 2022 – Smaller updates (including SmartFinder) and checked for accuracy.
22 Dec 2021 – Full update
16 Dec 2021 – Facebook shop integration no longer available on Shopify Lite
Can I upgrade or downgrade my plan easily?
Yes, you can always change your plan type. An upgrade or downgrade will initiate a new billing cycle and close the current one. Existing funds will be credited to your new plan.
How do I cancel my Shopify subscription?
To cancel your online store, go to Settings > Account page. Select the “Close my Store” option.
Is there a money-back guarantee? Can I get a refund?
According to their terms of service, Shopify doesn’t do refunds. There is a 14-day free trial, which gives you access to the Basic Shopify plan. But in order to try out the Shopify or Advanced Shopify plan, you’ll have to purchase a paid subscription.
One of their live chat reps told us that there may still be a chance to get a refund, but they are deciding this on a case by case basis.
How much are Shopify themes?
Shopify offers 8 themes that are completely free. So no need to spend any money there if you don’t want to. If you do have special requirements in terms of design or features, you can also opt for one of their paid themes.
Prices range from $150-350, and include themes designed for specific industries – e.g. fashion, pets, health and automotive, and more.
Do I need to enter my credit card details for the free trial?
No, all you have to do is to enter a valid email address to start the 14-day trial.
Shopify Lite plan: is this the same as Shopify Basic?
No, you add Shopify Lite to an existing website or Facebook. If you want an online store hosted by Shopify, you’ll need Shopify Basic.
Is Shopify good for my SEO?
Discover it in our complete review here.