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What Shopify plan should you choose?

This is an important question, which deserves a long answer. Today, I will tell you the different price points of the three Shopify plans, plus I will discuss in details what features are accessible to you for each plan.

Here are the things you will learn today:

  • How much do the different Shopify plans cost?
  • What are the Basic Shopify Features?
  • What are the Shopify Features?
  • What are the Shopify Advanced Features?
  • What are the Shopify fees?
  • Summary

Let us get started!

How much do the different Shopify plans cost?

There are three Shopify plans. These are Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify. Take a look at the table below to see the prices. Each price is a monthly subscription, not a one-time payment.

Basic ShopifyShopifyAdvanced Shopify
$29$79$299
Monthly Subscription Plans of Shopify

In the next section, we will talk about each feature, and help you understand what that feature is all about.

If you are a beginner in the dropshipping or online store industry, I will help you decide which of these three you should use.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that your only options should be Basic Shopify and Shopify. Advanced Shopify, and the Enterprise Plan, which we will not cover here, is reserved for huge businesses.

For now, take a look at each plan, and then skim through the features.

FEATURESBASIC SHOPIFYSHOPIFYADVANCED SHOPIFY
Monthly price $29$79$299
Online Store
Unlimited products
Staff accounts 2515
24/7 support
Sales channels
Manual order creation
Discount codes
Free SSL certificate
Abandoned cart recovery
Gift cards
Professional reports
Advanced report builder
3rd-party shipping rates
Shopify Features Per Plan

Now that you have seen the plans and their prices, let us discuss each feature and what it means to the user.

What are the Basic Shopify Plan Features?

Online Store

The online store is not a simple one. It is a webstore where you can:

  • Upload product pictures
  • Change the product pricing
  • Add the product description
  • Activate the Shopping Cart and Add to Cart buttons
  • Create product collections or categories
  • Add tags

In short, the website you get is a fully-functional store that you can edit.

It comes with free themes, but you have the option to buy one from other sources, like Envato.

We are not going through a tutorial how to change themes, or how to upload it in Shopify.

If you do not want the generic Shopify themes, you can check out the Template Monster marketplace for something that you like.

Suggested action:

Visit the Template Monster marketplace to view all themes. Do this to plan ahead what theme to save up for.

Unlimited Products

Some online store platforms can somehow shortchange you because they put a limit to the number of products you can upload.

It is not unusual to see web developer platforms that will only allow you to upload a maximum of 25 products if you subscribe to the lowest plan.

With Shopify, you can upload as many products as you want, regardless of the type of plan you purchase.  

Staff Accounts

A staff account refers to the credential or access of an individual. Since you are operating an online store, it is likely that you will eventually have employees who will help you out in running your day to day operations.

The Basic Shopify Plan grants you with two staff accounts, which includes yours.

The next tiers can provide you more legroom to add more employees.

The staff account is within the control of the admin, which is you, the owner. You can choose what areas of your store are accessible to your staff.

What this means is you can protect yourself from unsavory actions, like a staff member redirecting payments to his PayPal account.   

This makes Shopify a great platform where you can hire virtual assistants who will work for you remotely.

They cannot change anything on your store if you did not grant them access to that specific area.

24/7 Support

Regardless of your plan, you are entitled to Shopify support via phone, email, and live chat.

There are other platforms where you can only get support via email if you are at the lowest plan. In Shopify, you can call or chat to get immediate help.

The platform also has a forum. If you are not in a rush, the forum is a place where you can post questions, and the community will provide answers.

There are also Shopify employees here who will provide their inputs.

If you want to get feedback about your site, such as how its looks, or if the products are priced competitively, you can post that question and the community will provide you with positive criticism, or praise you if you have done a good job.

The last form of support you can get from the platform if you are a member is its knowledgebase.

It is a compilation of thousands of articles, instructional materials, and helpful tips in running your business.

For example, you may have a hard time tweaking your theme’s background color. If you are not in a rush, you can look for an answer to that, and read the manual online.  

Sales Channels

This varies per country, but the most common is Facebook. If you operate a Shopify store, you can integrate your Facebook page with your store.

If you do this, your Facebook page will have a Shop section. Customers who go to your Facebook page will see all your products from your Facebook page.

If they click the product, they will be transferred to your online store, and then they can complete the purchase there.

Once you update what is on your store, like if you deleted a product, your Facebook account will do the same.

If you add a new product on your Shopify store, Facebook will get that feed and automatically show that new product in your Facebook page.

With Shopify, you can integrate Instagram, Amazon, Pinterest, and your FB Messenger. But again, the availability varies by country.

Manual Order Creation

Sometimes, some customers will order products from you physically. Let us say that you are in a party and someone found out about your products. You show this person your website, and he decides to buy.

The thing is, this person may not have a credit card, so he cannot make an online purchase. In this case, you can take his cash, and then set his expectation about when you will ship the item.

Now, in your Shopify dashboard, you can place that order, and fulfill it, too. This makes your inventory and sales records accurate.

If you are dropshipping, you can place the order so your supplier can ship the item to your friend.

Discount Codes

With Shopify, you can create a discount code. Then, you can blast this discount code to your email list, social media, or your paid ads.

How much is the discount?It is up to you. In the admin section, you can do the following things:

  • Create a discount code
  • Set the date when the discount is valid, and also the date when the code will no longer be accepted
  • Choose if the discount is a flat price, or a percentage price of the orders
  • Select if the discount code can be re-used over and over again, or only once per consumer

Once you activate this code, each customer will be presented a box upon checkout to enter this code. The discount will then be applied to the total purchase.

Free SSL Certificate

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. A website that starts with HTTPS:// means that the website is secure.

Secure Socket Layer is an encryption technology that helps keep your website safe from hackers.

It also ensures that all information that passes through between your website and your customer’s device is safe.

A website that is secure is granted an SSL Certificate. Without this, your URL will be HTTP://, without the “S”.

And if your website is like this, some browsers, like Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Safari, will warn a customer that the website they are trying to access is unsafe.

If they receive this warning while they are trying to go to your online Shopify store, they are not likely to proceed.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Sometimes, people put products in their cart, fill out the email, the shipping address, and other information, only to leave the shopping cart as they changed their mind.

In this case, Shopify would have recorded their email address, which you can see. Now, you have the option to manually send this customer an email, or automate it in Shopify.

What are the Shopify Plan Features?

Now, let us move to the Shopify Plan, which costs $79 per month. In this plan, you have all the features and benefits from the Basic Shopify Plan, plus the two below.

Gift Cards

A gift card is a digital card that you can sell on your store. You can design it, and sell it at different price points. It is like a gift card that you buy from physical stores, but it is online.

In a physical store, you buy the card and you give it to someone. The person who receives the gift will go to the store and use that to make a purchase.  

In Shopify, the principle is the same. You can sell a digital gift card, and the buyer can send this gift card via email, and it will contain a code.

The recipient of the gift card will now go to your store, and then use that gift card to make a purchase  

Professional Reports

The Basic Plan also has a report, but not as detailed as this one.

In the Shopify Plan, you can view data for specific items only, and you can make decisions based on your customer’s buying trends.

This report also shows you what products sell the most based on the season.Here are some of the things you can view from this report:

  • Sales difference between first-time and recurring customers
  • Sales per country, and customer base per country
  • Sales taxes collected

The Professional Report gives you an in-depth analysis about your store’s performance. Use the data to make wise business decisions, and let the report influence how you will market your product, or which products you can take off from your store.

What are the Advanced Shopify Plan Features?

Should you decide to go with the Advanced Shopify Plan, you will get all the features of the previous plan, plus two others.

Advanced Report Builder

The advanced report builder is a custom-report that you can program in your Shopify dashboard. In this report, you can create a customized report that does not exist on Shopify.

What this means is that for as long as Shopify is saving the information, you can build a report around it.

For example, you can create a report that shows billing only for Australia, or remove Australia from the report.

Or, you can see a report for sales made in the United States, but only for your Facebook and Instagram sales channels, and not include sales made directly from your online store.  

Third-party Calculated Shipping Rates

On this feature, you can integrate your own account from carriers, provided that these carriers have apps that you can integrate with Shopify.

What it does is that the customer who checks out will see a calculated shipping rate based on real-time data from your shipping provider.

Without this, you have to manually create a shipping zone and also manually create shipping prices.

What is the Shopify Shipping Feature?

Now, we can discuss the shipping feature, which varies from one account to another.

BASIC SHOPIFYSHOPIFYADVANCED SHOPIFY
Discount64%72%74%
Print Shipping Labels
USPS Priority Mail Cubic® pricing
Shopify Shipping Features and Discounts

As you can see, all three are similar, with the exception of the discount. As a merchant, you will get up to 74% discount if you are in the Advanced Shopify Plan, but only if you use Shopify’s shipping partners.

The USPS Priority Mail Cubic® pricing is for high-volume shippers. If you ship often, and you ship in high volume, you will get special rates from USPS, which apply on both small and heavy packages.

What are the Shopify fees?

Now, let us take a look at the fees. Apart from the monthly subscription, you will pay Shopify a share of your sale per transaction.

BASIC SHOPIFYSHOPIFYADVANCED SHOPIFY
Fraud Analysis
Online credit card rates 2.9% + 30¢ 2.6% + 30¢ 2.4% + 30¢
In-person credit card rates 2.7% + 0¢ 2.5% + 0¢ 2.4% + 0¢
Additional fees using all payment providers other than Shopify Payments 2.0% 1.0% 0.5%
Shopify Transaction Fees

If you sold an item for $100, and you are at the Basic Shopify Plan, you will pay $3.2 to Shopify. This applies if the purchase is made online. The transaction fee gets lower as you move to a higher plan.

If you are using a different payment processor, like PayPal, Shopify will still charge you a fee. In this example, you will pay $2 per $100 transaction.  

Summary

So, what is your choice going to be?

Given these features, the best option here is to start with the Basic Shopify Plan. There are only a few differences between the Basic Shopify and the Shopify Plan.

These differences on the staff account, reporting capabilities, and transaction fees will not do justice for the $50 difference between the first two plans.

You have to shift to the second tier, the Shopify plan at $79 per month, if you are already in a state where you are selling high volume of products.

Let us take a look:

BASIC SHOPIFYSHOPIFY
UNITS SOLD2020
COST PER PRODUCT$100$100
Fee % if PayPal is Used2%1%
Transaction Fee$40$20
Monthly Subscription$29$79
TOTAL FEE$69$99
Low-volume Shopify Fees

If you are selling only 20 items per month at $100 each, your transaction fee is $2 if you use PayPal for your checkout system. That is $40 of transaction fee per month if you are in the Basic Shopify Plan. Let us compare this with the Shopify Plan.

BASIC SHOPIFYSHOPIFY
UNITS SOLD100100
COST PER PRODUCT$100$100
Fee % if PayPal is Used2%1%
Transaction Fee$200$100
Monthly Subscription$29$79
TOTAL FEE$229$179
High-volume Shopify Fees

As you can see, you will save $30 per month if you stick to the Basic Shopify Plan. But if you have a high sales volume, like 100 products a month, you are better off if you stick to the Shopify Plan, as you will save $50 per month.

The same principle applies with shipping rates. My advice is for you to create a table similar to what I just did there, and calculate your total costs based on your projected sales. Then, you can decide which plan makes sense.


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