Napoleon Hill once said, "Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle." This quote holds so much value in the business landscape, as it is no secret that an entrepreneur's journey is anything but smooth.

In a competitive environment, building an eCommerce business can be challenging, and statistics prove it: according to research, the failure rate of startups is around 90%, and there are many reasons behind it, including poor website navigation. This is why many ventures have turned to Shopify as a solution to help them build their online store – according to Statista, the company's annual revenue has only been increasing since the e-commerce platform was first introduced, reaching a value of more than 5.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2022.

Shopify has been investing highly in marketing and fulfillment services, which are essential for small retailers to run a successful store. In 2020, the platform also partnered with cryptocurrency platforms to enable sellers to accept digital currencies. Since many individuals learn how to buy crypto these days and use it for payments, this only means that businesses should adopt this method of payment to give customers a positive experience.

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Running a profitable Shopify store requires significant effort, as there are many aspects you need to take care of, so you may want to use Shopify maintenance services to ensure your store performance in the long run. However, when getting started with the platform, one essential question crosses every entrepreneur's mind: "How much does running a Shopify store cost?"

This is exactly what you will learn in this blog so that you will feel better equipped to run a successful online store. The article will guide you through the pricing plans available on the platform and other costs you should consider when looking to grow your business. 

Shopify Pricing Plans

Opening a Shopify store can be more expensive or cheaper, depending on your preferred plan. You can choose between Basic Shopify and Advanced Shopify or opt for Shopify Plus based on your own business needs. Let's discuss all the Shopify plans in more detail below. 

Shopify pricing plans

The Basic Shopify Plan

This is the cheapest plan you can choose for your Shopify store, requiring you to pay a monthly fee of $39. Despite its relatively low price, Basic Shopify provides features that can be really helpful for small business owners.

For instance, you will benefit from an online store that you can customize how you want, 24/7 customer support, limitless product listings, and support for sales channels, to name just a few. This plan also enables access to features like discount codes, abandoned cart recovery emails, a free SSL certificate, and manual order creation.

However, it's worth noting that Basic Shopify has a drawback, as it doesn't allow you to use performance reports. Still, there is room to grow by opting for this plan, and it is particularly suitable for eCommerce businesses who lack sufficient funds at the beginning of their journey.

The Advanced Shopify Plan

Finally, you can opt for the Advanced Shopify Plan for $399 per month, but this is only recommended if your eCommerce business has a large inventory and your goal is to sell more products. This plan has all the features included in the other two options, and once you pay for it, you will have unlimited access to everything, whether product listings, storage, or posting images or videos of your products.

Advanced Shopify has a third-party calculated shipping rate, meaning that you can use third-party shipping providers to determine the shipping cost for all your customers' goods. This also benefits customers by allowing them to pick their preferred shipping rates and get Shopify shipping discounts.

Shopify Vs Shopify Plus: Which Option Is Better For Your Business? 

While the primary Shopify plan is excellent for small enterprises looking to generate online sales, larger businesses may seek a more customizable experience. That's where Shopify Plus comes to help, enabling entrepreneurs to access new integrations and features, dedicated support options, and so on. 

 ome of the advancements of Shopify Plus include: 

  • Wholesale channels. They allow you to build a password-protected storefront so that you can offer exclusive prices for the same products to wholesale buyers. 
  • Comprehensive analytics options. While Shopify enables businesses to check essential stats related to top products, sales, returning customer rates, landing pages, and so on, Shopify Plus takes things one step further, as it works with top analytics companies. As a result, you can stay on top of the latest trends in your online store. 
  • Exclusive apps. With Shopify Plus, users get access to a wide range of apps that aren't available on the main Shopify plan, such as ScriptEditor, which enables you to create customized experiences at the checkout stage, reducing abandoned carts; Launchpad, which is ideal for planning product launches, flash sales, and sales campaigns. 
  •  A high degree of theme customization. With Shopify Plus, you get access to Liquid, the platform's theme language, enabling enhanced customization, as you can make changes at the code level backend. 

Additional Costs of Running a Shopify Store

Besides the monthly fee you must pay to access vital features on the platform, setting up your store will require some extra costs you must be aware of. Let's explore them to better understand the investment you must make to get your store off the ground.

Costs Associated with Website Building

Building a website on Shopify is costly, as you need to pay for themes, branded domain names, and essential apps. These are all critical investments because a website can't exist without them. When it comes to website development, it is just as crucial to use Shopify maintenance services to maintain a competitive edge and rank higher on search engines.

Fortunately, there's no need to host your own domain on Shopify, as the platform offers various domain names that you can use for free once you pay for a plan. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can also choose a custom domain, but keep in mind that you will have to pay a yearly fee of between $11 and $81 based on your preferred domain.

It's no secret that outstanding design is imperative to stand out in the world of eCommerce. The more aesthetic your website is, the greater your chances to attract more customers. The good news is that a platform like Shopify gives you access to several tools that you can use to choose the colors, layout, and style that are ideal for your website (there are more than 100 free themes and 70 premium ones, with costs varying from $150 to $350.

If your budget allows, you should also invest in Shopify maintenance services to keep up with trends and roll out new page designs.  

No software can always meet every business's needs, and Shopify makes no exception. This is where integrations and add-ons can help, enabling you to use features you can't find on the Shopify platform.

Shopify app store

The Shopify App Store has a large selection of apps that can improve your store's functionality considerably. It includes several collections you can choose from, such as marketing, store design, customer support, orders and shipping, and so on. However, Shopify maintenance services also play a role in ensuring your site is easy to navigate and making shoppers more likely to buy something from you.

It's worth noting that the apps' prices and functions can differ significantly. For instance, if you use a free app, customers can get the opportunity to chat with you directly, while apps that require considerable fees (such as $299 per month) provide features like supply chain management and level product sourcing.

Transaction Fees on The Platform

This is another category you need to consider when maintaining a Shopify store. Transaction fees are essential because they ensure that your website operates optimally, whether it has only ten visitors or a million.

Whenever a customer completes a transaction on your website, a fee will be charged, but the amount differs based on the Shopify plan you have chosen, as follows: a 2% fee for the Basic Shopify plan and a 0.5% fee for the Advanced Shopify plan.

Luckily, there is a way you can eliminate the transaction fees on the platform: using Shopify Payments. With this tool, you can process customer payments more quickly, and to benefit from it, you only have to pay an initial credit card fee.  

Using Shopify Payments will save you money because the credit card rates aren't as high as those of a payment processor like PayPal.

Credit Card Rates

Credit card rates are another essential factor that will determine your profit margin, so you need to be aware of them. Whenever you accept credit card payments, the platform charges a fee, which is often higher compared to other types of payment (that's because of the security issues that credit card payments pose).

All Shopify plans have different credit card rates; some can be more aggressive than others. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce them, such as encouraging customers to pay with debit cards instead – they are still as convenient as credit cards and require less than 1% of the overall purchase price, which can be an advantage for your business.

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POS Payments

Shopify has two options for POS payments: Shopify POS Lite and Shopify POS Pro. The former is available on all Shopify plans and enables you to manage everything from customer profiles to products and orders.

The latter POS payment option is accessible only if you pay an additional monthly fee of $89. However, you should remember that you will still be charged every time a credit card transaction is completed.

How To Choose the Best Shopify Pricing Plan for Your Business

Selecting a suitable Shopify pricing plan for your venture can be daunting. However, it is essential because it ensures you will use only features your business needs at this stage.

How can you know that you are making the right decision? You have to ask yourself some questions, such as your current needs and wants, as well as where you want your brand to be in the next few years.

For eCommerce businesses, revenue is everything, which is why it's normal to want to get things right from the very beginning and ensure your store is running optimally, whether that means choosing the right Shopify maintenance services or making the most of the available features and building the perfect website.

Hence, to find the right pricing plan, try to figure out what features are imperative for your business to thrive right now and what features you can do without until your brand grows further. For example, you will likely not need fraud analysis in the initial stages of your business, as your monthly order volume is lower.

Using Shopify Strategically to Boost Profit and Minimize Costs

Undoubtedly, Shopify is excellent when it comes to running a lucrative online store, but small businesses can't afford to profit from its features (after all, all the fees can quickly add up, translating into a significant investment).

But rest assured that you can still take advantage of everything that Shopify offers, even if you are a startup. However, you have to make strategic decisions when utilizing the platform. Speaking of strategic decisions, Shopify maintenance services are a good way to ensure your brand moves in the right direction, so you shouldn't hesitate to leave important tasks to experts as soon as your budget allows you.

1. Carefully choose your pricing plan

The first step is to select a plan that best matches your business needs. Suppose you have just begun your entrepreneurial journey; the Basic Shopify plan is a good option.

Once you become more recognizable in the business world, you can choose a version with more features. However, you want to remember that the Basic plan involves higher transaction fees than the others, so if you're generating significant sales, a higher-priced plan is worth the investment.

2. Use Free Themes

An essential aspect of setting up your store on Shopify is selecting a suitable theme. Otherwise put, you have to choose a template that will help design the store in whatever way you want. Shopify gives users access to free and paid themes, but the former option is better if you're a startup.

While you will not be able to benefit from the enhanced customization features, it is good to use it in the beginning and shift to a paid theme as soon as your business generates higher revenue. Since the eCommerce world is constantly growing, you want to always ensure that your store's design is visually appealing to encourage customers to explore your products. This is why you should consider investing in Shopify maintenance services as your business grows so that customers will keep coming back to your brand.

3. Take Advantage of Free Apps

One reason why Shopify is a top eCommerce platform is that it offers solutions not only to well-established businesses looking to scale but also to those who have just entered the market.

The Shopify app store offers a plethora of options that will boost your online store. For example, HoneyComb Upsell and Tidio are great if you're looking to enhance customer experience, while TinyIMG will help with website speed optimization.

Of course, you could always leave these tasks to experts using Shopify maintenance services, but this may not be an option for every entrepreneur, especially those on a tight budget. 

4. Make The Most of Shopify Payments

As mentioned earlier, there are many benefits you will get from using Shopify Payments. This is highly recommended when you run a small business and are looking for ways to cut down on costs.

Shopify Payments enables you to avoid paying transaction fees every time there is a sale. Suppose you rely on a third-party payment processor; in this case, the fee will be higher, so it makes even more sense to use Shopify Payments.

5. Determine The Right Price for Your Products

When choosing a price for your products, you will want to consider both the transaction fee and the goods sold. The profit you make from selling your products should be enough to help you cover these costs while ensuring a sufficient amount is left.

You don't want to price your products too low or too high because both are less than ideal. In the former case, the profit you generate will not be enough to cover your daily expenses, while the latter will lead to missed sales. The solution is to find a middle ground, and you can start by getting clear on your desired profit margin.

After you do so, you can calculate the total cost of the sold goods, which comprises the product itself and any expenses associated with handling and shipping, plus the transaction fee. Once you understand the total cost, you can finally set a reasonable price for your products.  

Get Started with Shopify Today to Run a Successful Online Store

When building an online store from scratch, there are many options you can opt for, but not all of them may be worth the investment. Shopify is a robust platform for entrepreneurs wanting to achieve long-term success, as it doesn't involve outrageously expensive plans. After all, paying $39 per month doesn't really mean much if you get the chance to generate a profit of $1,000, right?

Sure, the initial investment may sound significant when first getting started, but in the long run, it will be worthwhile. Shopify empowers entrepreneurs to sell locally and to customers worldwide, encouraging creative expression through customization, flexibility, and extensibility. The tools and plans it offers allow you to grow your brand quickly and effectively to thrive and stand out from competitors.

 Of course, it isn't enough to just set up your Shopify store – you also want to maintain it. But since your time as an entrepreneur is limited, don't forget that you can always seek experts by using Shopify maintenance services.

This article has highlighted all the aspects you need to consider when running a Shopify store while also aiming to clarify how much you have to pay for it and how you can reduce these costs.

If you're ready to make your brand shine, start your journey on Shopify today and shape the future of your business by drawing inspiration from the tips provided in this blog.

Peter Herzog
Ruby on Rails Developer
Peter is a Ruby on Rails web developer with 10 years of experience, and a strong foundation in full-stack development, with a particular focus on building scalable and efficient web applications using the Ruby on Rails framework. With a proven track record of delivering high-quality software on time and within budget, Peter is skilled in agile development methodologies and has a deep understanding of modern web technologies, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and various database systems.

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