How Much Does It Cost to Create a Shopify Store
Do you know what a Shopify store and a pie have in common? They both have a lot of slices that you can claim for yourself. And in 2023, the pie of e-commerce is bigger than ever, with online sales accounting for 20.8 percent of retail sales worldwide. Jeff Bezos once said: 'If you decide that you're going to do only the things you know are going to work, you're going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table.' That's why starting a Shopify store in 2023 is a great opportunity to tap into the booming e-commerce market and make money online.
The other day, my entrepreneur friend was browsing through some Shopify stores and was amazed by how easy and affordable it was to set up an online shop. These days, one doesn't need much capital, inventory, or technical skills to start selling your products or services online. All it takes is a domain name, a Shopify subscription, and some marketing savvy. But how much will the Shopify website development cost in 2023? This article will break down all the expenses of launching your online business. From buying a domain to making your first sale, you'll learn how much money you need to invest and how to spend it wisely. Let's begin!
Before getting into the breakdown of Shopify website development cost, let's take a look at why one would choose this platform in the first place.
There are literally many e-commerce platforms that allow users to create their own online stores. But Shopify has long been the leading name in that market, with most digipreneurs choosing it for their businesses — big and small. So, what makes Shopify website development cost worth paying for launching your eСommerce brand?
1. User-Friendly Interface
Shopify's interface is designed to be easy to understand and use. That makes it feel user-friendly to everyone, no matter how little technical background they may have. Even if a person is completely new to the world of e-commerce, Shopify's intuitive UI allows them to launch and run their online store easily. With super simple features like their drag-and-drop website builder and customizable templates, users never run into frustrating technical complexities. Plus, the user-friendly admin dashboard allows them to design and launch their store without the need for extensive technical expertise or coding knowledge. Aside from boosting user experience, this also eliminates the potential cost of hiring a software or coding pro. Even as a solo worker, any entrepreneur can establish their online brand quickly through Shopify.
2. Versatile Customization
There's lots of customization available on Shopify. Users can make their stores look just like their imagination through various customizable themes. With so many of them to choose from, it's easy to get one's store to match the brand image they're aiming for.
Themes aside, the platform also lets business owners extensively customize the look through the built-in editor, enabling them to modify colors, layouts, fonts, etc.
3. Robust App Ecosystem
While the themes take care of the store's aesthetics, third-party apps and extensions are there to offer the customers the best possible shopping experience. Shopify doesn't lack in that department, either. Their app store features an extensive ecosystem of third-party extensions and apps to boost the store's functionality and make the experience as seamless as possible for buyers.
What is the Shopify App Store?
The Shopify app store, if you've never used it before, is a place where you can find and install apps that enhance the functionality and features of your Shopify store. Apps can help you with various aspects of your online business, such as finding products, managing orders, designing your store, marketing your products, and more. You can browse through thousands of apps from different categories and developers, and read reviews and ratings from other merchants. You can also access the Shopify app store from your Shopify admin or from the Shopify app store website.
There are also apps and extensions to make management easier — not just streamline the shopping experience for customers. From social media integration to automated inventory management, marketing, and customer support, there's a game-changing extension or app to make users' lives easier. These features simplify operations, boost traffic, improve conversion rates, and build customer loyalty.
4. Secure and Reliable
Hackers and malware are some of the biggest threats in the world of e-commerce, and that's what makes security paramount. Shopify understands this and values the safety of customers and store owners alike. They've built a reliable and secure online environment with built-in SSL certificates, prioritizing the protection of customer data between online transactions.
Shopify also regulates updates, backups, and timely patches to optimize security. With technical maintenance being Shopify's responsibility, store owners get to be stress-free and focus on stuff that matters, like growing their business and creating an exquisite shopping experience for their audience.
5. Payment Gateway Integration
Payments are also made as simple as ever by Shopify through Shopify Payments — their native payment gateway. It's an integrated solution that lets store owners accept payment through various methods, including digital wallets, cards, and much more. That, too, with minimal transaction fees.
6. Scalability with Shopify
Shopify is for everyone, not just for beginners or big shots. Whether you're just finding your footing in your market niche or have already established your brand online, Shopify can facilitate your growth. One of the ways it does so is by offering subscription plans that are designed in tiers to suit your business's needs and scale. It lets you pick an appropriate tier and upgrade as needed once your operations and sales go up. Business owners can also take full advantage of in-built growth-oriented tools for advanced analytics, marketing, and SEO optimization!
7. Affordable Price Plans
Shopify has several different price plans that you can choose from compared to many platforms. And all of them are completely affordable, and every business can actually afford it - which is a big plus.
The plan will really depend on your personal requirements and the overall profitability of your brand. So, you should think about this before you make the final decision.
Let's have a look at some of the most popular pricing plans - shall we?
Basic Costs of Creating a Shopify Store
Shopify Subscription Plans
The major (or fixed) portion of a store's Shopify website development cost comes from the subscription plan it has. The platform lets business owners choose between three pricing tiers depending on their budget, scale, and needs. Here's a quick overview of each one.
- Basic Shopify ($29/month): With this plan, one can access all must-have features required for setting up a fully functional e-store. This includes a website, a blog, and being able to sell unlimited products. Online store, unlimited products, two staff accounts, 24/7 support, sales channels, manual order creation, discount codes, SSL certificate, gift cards, reports, customer segmentation, marketing automation, and many more.
- Shopify ($79/month): For an additional $40, this middle plan offers everything in the Basic plan, plus professional reports, gift cards, and a feature for customers to recover abandoned carts.
- Advanced Shopify ($299/month): The "Advanced Shopify" plan is the platform's flagship offering that's meant for large-scale businesses with the highest-volume sales. With the lowest credit card transaction fees and advanced report-building tools, the $299 per month is worth it for the biggest online brands.
The subscription plan's cost covers the entire infrastructure of your e-commerce store. This includes everything from the website and hosting to security and even customer support. On top of all that, however, businesses have additional costs that are necessary for the store's customization and optimization depending on their branding requirements and customer needs.
The domain name is an e-store web address (e.g., www.e-store.com) — and it's one of the first few necessary costs an online store would incur. It's a small part of the overall Shopify website development cost. While their subscription does include a free "myshopify.com" domain, having your own custom domain is highly recommended as it makes it easier to establish an internet presence that's professional and easy to remember. Domain prices vary depending on the availability of your preferred name, but most typically range between $10 to $20 annually. The accurate amount also depends on the domain registrar you choose to work with (for example, GoDaddy or NameCheap). Make sure that you choose the most suitable domain for your business.
Well, once you have a domain, you won't be able to change it afterward. Plus, you must have an original brand name at the start, which will eventually grow and build great social proof. So, that's why you need to choose wisely before you just end up clicking that "Add To Cart" button.
If you don't know a unique name, you can even get one using a random word generator. Or you can even join a forum and think of a new name with other members as well. It's always good to be in a community.
Website Design and Themes
Themes are a key part of building an e-store via Shopify. There are many free options to choose from, but the premium themes are paid — costing anywhere between $50 - $300. Not only does the theme choice affect the store's aesthetic, but also its branding, UX, and overall Shopify website development cost.
For additional customization onto your chosen theme, you may even need to hire a professional web developer or designer, which further adds to the total Shopify website development cost, depending on how complex or time-consuming the modifications turn out to be.
The Shopify themes marketplace is a place where you can find and buy themes for your Shopify store. Themes are pre-designed layouts that give your store a professional and attractive look. You can browse through hundreds of themes from different categories, such as fashion, health and beauty, home and garden, electronics, and more. You can also filter the themes by price, style, industry, and popularity. Some themes are free, while others require a one-time payment.
The most popular themes on the Shopify themes marketplace are:
A minimalist theme that lets product images take center stage. It supports a mega menu, sticky header, slideshow, customer testimonials, product filtering, and more. It is also Shopify's reference theme, which means it uses Online Store 2.0 features, such as JSON templates, app blocks, and sections on all pages.
A streamlined theme designed to quickly start selling. It features a stock counter, mega menu, sticky header, slide-out cart, collection list, and more. It's got a clean and efficient UI that requires minimal customizations.
A bold theme that elevates product quality and brand storytelling. It includes a mega menu, a sticky header, promo banners, image galleries, product videos, and more. It has a clean, modern design, a fresh color palette, and soft gradients.
A refined theme that celebrates craftsmanship. It supports a mega menu, sticky header, image rollover, image zoom, lookbooks, product options, and more. It has an honest and authentic design with generous spacing and elegant typography.
An energizing theme featuring extensive product detail layouts. It supports a mega menu, sticky header, cross-selling, product reviews, image galleries, product videos, and more. It has a fresh and bright design with curved elements and soft gradients.
Apps and Extensions
Like themes, some apps and extensions on Shopify are free, while others are paid. The bill for these will rack up depending on how feature-rich one wants their e-store to be. Some key examples include social media integration, customer service functions, automatic inventory management, marketing, etc.
Here are three apps that are popular with Shopify merchants:
- Judge.Me Product Reviews: This app allows you to collect and display product reviews and ratings on your Shopify store. You can use widgets, email templates, coupons, Q&As, and more to encourage customer feedback and social proof. You can also integrate with other apps like Facebook, Google, and Klaviyo. You can start with a free plan or upgrade to a paid plan for more features.
- Instafeed: This app helps you display your Instagram feed on your Shopify store. You can customize the layout, style, and number of posts to match your store's design. You can also use hashtags, filters, and captions to showcase your brand and products. You can also increase your Instagram followers and engagement by linking your feed to your profile.
- PageFly: PageFly enables you to create stunning web pages without coding. You can use the drag-and-drop editor, templates, elements, and global styling to design landing pages, product pages, blog posts, and more. You can also optimize your pages for conversions, SEO, and mobile devices. You can try the app for free or choose a paid plan for more benefits.
Additional Costs to Consider
While the Shopify website development costs account for a major portion of your cash outflow, many other costs are associated with running your store.
1. Transaction Fees
Subscription fee aside, Shopify also takes a small cut for each sale you make as a transaction fee. However, business owners can reduce these by using Shopify Payments a lot. Relying on third-party solutions can incur additional charges that range around 0.5% to 2% per transaction.
2. Marketing and Advertising
Creating a Shopify store is one thing, and running it is another. The latter requires consistently pulling customers and making sales. Doing so requires effective advertising and marketing strategies.
Marketing cost depends highly on the type of model that a business chooses. Based on your business's target audience, one may seem more appropriate than another. For instance, some of the most popular models are influencer partnerships, paid social media ads, SEO for organic growth, and PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns. Advertising budgets can range between a few hundred to thousands of dollars monthly, depending on scale.
Here's an overview of three of the most popular Shopify marketing and advertising apps:
- Shopify Email: This app lets you create, customize, and send emails using pre-built templates that are populated with your store's colors and branding. You can use email templates for products, sales, restocking, holidays, events, and more. You can also personalize your subject line, preview, and body text with customers' names. You can track results like click-through rates, products added to the cart, and purchases. Your first 10,000 emails each month are free. After that, pricing starts at $1/1000 emails per month.
- Facebook & Instagram: This app helps you sell on Facebook and Instagram and seamlessly manage your business from one place in Shopify. You can sync your products to Google Merchant Center, list products for free on Search YouTube, and even run paid Performance Max campaigns. You can also offer a seamless in-app shopping experience from discovery to checkout. You can create ads and shoppable posts right where your customers are. When you run a campaign, the ad spend is billed directly to your Facebook ad account. You set the daily campaign budget.
- Google & YouTube: This app enables you to sell where people search on Google and YouTube. You can list your products on Google: Search, Shopping, Images, Lens, and YouTube. You can also promote your products with free listings or create a Performance Max campaign that fits your budget. You can also boost conversion with Buy on Google for eligible merchants to connect with your audience and sell on YouTube. The ad spend is billed directly to your Google Ads account when you run a campaign. You set the daily campaign budget.
3. Photography and Content Creation
The realm of eСommerce relies heavily on product photography as it's the only means to showcase what a business sells. This makes professional photography, copywriting, and graphic design services some of the biggest costs of running a Shopify store. The more volume and variety a business has as inventory, the higher these costs will be.
4. SEO and Content Optimization
Optimizing your internet store for search engines is crucial for driving organic traffic. This involves keyword research, content creation, and technical SEO improvements. Suppose you're not familiar with SEO best practices. In that case, you might consider hiring an SEO specialist or content strategist, which can also cost several hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the scope of work.
5. Ongoing Maintenance and Support
Ongoing Maintenance and Support After the Shopify store is up and running ongoing maintenance and support are absolutely necessary to ensure smooth operation and address any technical issues that may arise. This can include software updates, security monitoring, and customer support. You might handle these tasks yourself or hire a Shopify expert, with costs varying based on the level of support required. According to some sources, Shopify store maintenance and support costs range from $500 to $2,000 per month. However, this can vary depending on the size and complexity of your store, the number of features and integrations you have, and the level of customization you need. Some factors that can affect the cost of maintenance and support are:
- The number of products and collections you have
- The number of apps and plugins you use
- The frequency of software updates and security patches
- The amount of traffic and sales you generate
- The quality and responsiveness of customer service
- The availability and expertise of Shopify experts
Therefore, it is important to plan ahead and budget for your Shopify store's ongoing maintenance and support costs.
Tips to Optimize and Minimize Costs on Your Shopify Store
As a new or small online business, minimizing the Shopify website development cost and maximizing efficiency is essential to ensure you survive these competitive times. While the initial Shopify website development cost is unavoidable, here are some ways to help businesses spend as little as possible without making any compromises on their e-store:
1. Choose the Right Plan
Starting with the foundation of a store's total Shopify website development cost, choosing a subscription plan that aligns with the current needs of a business is vital. New brands should generally stick to the lower-tier plan and upgrade as their sales grow. The last thing a business wants to do is pay for quirks that it won't yet be able to exploit. Even though Shopify's paid features are all great, they simply may not be required at an initial stage.
2. Explore Free and Low-Cost Themes
While paid themes might be tempting, they're still largely unnecessary — especially when a business is just starting out on Shopify. There are tons of great free themes to choose from on Shopify that are versatile enough to create any type of aesthetic per the business's branding needs.
3. Limit Apps and Extensions
The App Store in Shopify has a ton of tools that can transform the user experience of any e-store. However, having too many tools and apps integrated into it can not only heavily drive up costs but also take away from the store's minimalism. Some apps are not even one-time purchases but rather monthly recurring expenses. That's why limiting extensions and apps significantly manages one's Shopify website development cost. Also, regularly revisit the get rid of apps on the store that may no longer be necessary.
4. Effective Marketing on a Budget
Marketing is one of the costliest affairs in a business — especially when it's online. That's why one of the most effective ways to save money is to make cost-effective marketing decisions to efficiently promote the store online. Social media platforms, for instance, have a lot of free marketing potential to be leveraged. Businesses can create engaging content, exploring email marketing campaigns to reach their target audience without overspending on ads.
5. DIY Product Photography
Another big chunk of the cost associated with running a Shopify store is product photography. Learning that skill allows businesses to do their product photography in-house as well, saving up another significant portion of their cost.
Invest time in learning basic product photography techniques to create high-quality images for your products. This DIY approach can save you money on hiring a professional photographer while still showcasing your products effectively.
Creating a Shopify store involves various costs beyond the basic subscription fees. While Shopify website development costs can vary greatly based on your business needs and goals, it's essential to consider all the factors outlined in this article to budget effectively and avoid any surprises along the way. By understanding the various components that contribute to the overall Shopify website development cost, you'll be much better equipped to make informed decisions and create a successful and sustainable online store.
Remember that while there are costs involved, the potential for reaching a global audience and building a profitable e-commerce business through Shopify is well worth the investment.
We really hope that our article has been incredibly valuable to you. If you have any additional questions or are wondering about a specific part of the article, please feel free to reach out to us.