Which Shopify Plan Should I Choose for My Business?
Jairene Cruz-Eusebio on Nov 5, 2021 1:00:00 PM
Choosing a Shopify plan can be really tricky. There are four options to choose from, and each of them has its own distinct features that will allow you to do different things. You need to understand what your business needs are before making the best decision for your company!
When you start your Shopify store, there are a few basic steps that every business owner must follow. You’ll have to have your products and your website ready, be prepared to deal with an influx of orders in case your website goes viral—and you need to decide which Shopify plan to purchase.
Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows you to sell your products online. Shopify started as a basic blogging platform but has transformed into something much bigger. If you are looking to start an online store, this is the program for you! It can be accessed through your computer or phone—no need for special software!
What Does Each Shopify Plan Include?
But which is right for your needs? Should you focus more on your budget and choose the lowest-priced option? Is it best to choose the most expensive option, with all the additional features? Are there any other ways to decide which plan is right for you?
How exactly would you know which plan is best for you? Let’s start by discussing the inclusions per plan and evaluating whom each is meant for.
1. Shopify Lite
The first plan is Shopify Lite which is the lightest and most basic plan on the list. It only comes with the basic necessities of an eCommerce platform so you can sell your own products without any extra features. This is perfect for those who have a small budget and want to place more of their money into their product rather than into superfluous features that they would never use.
Shopify Lite is a barebones version of Shopify—it does not provide you with an eCommerce website, only sales functionality. This includes the ability to accept payments and manage inventory.
It likewise includes access to the Point of Sale app which allows you to monitor sales, create orders and invoices, and accept payments in person.
This plan is priced at $9 per month.
Who is Shopify Lite for?
If you’ve got an existing blog or website and are looking to add products to it, then this is the plan for you. Shopify Lite essentially allows you to accept credit card payments and helps you add “Buy Buttons” to your website.
Additionally, it is also a good option for people selling products via Facebook, as the plan has the functionality for the same. You can simply chat with customers via Facebook Messenger in order to provide customer support.
If you already have a website or active social media pages and don’t need anything bigger, this is the option for you. It’s perhaps the best option for brand new startups. It’s also useful for people selling in-person without the need for a website (for example, if you sell fresh produce at a farmer’s market).
2. Shopify Basic
The next plan on the list is Shopify Basic. This plan comes with all the features of Shopify Lite and adds a standard eCommerce website. Simply, this plan includes all the basics you need to create and run your online store. From uploading products to managing your inventory, you can do it all within this one package.
The following are some of the notable features of the Shopify Basic Plan:
- An online store with unlimited products and 24/7 support
- 2 staff accounts
- Up to 4 inventory locations
- Multiple sales channels
- Ability to manually create orders
- You will have up to a 77% discount on shipping prices and the ability to create shipping labels
- Fraud analysis
- A 2.0% transaction fee for orders that don’t use Shopify Payments*
- 2.7% credit and debit card rates for in-person transactions and 2.9% + 30 cents credit and debit card rates for online transactions
- Free access to Shopify POS Lite and access to Shopify POS Pro for an additional $89 per month per location
- Can sell in 133 currencies and up to 20 languages
- Can add manual and automatic discounts
- Can add online store gift cards
- Free SSL certificate
- basic abandoned cart recovery via email or SMS**
This plan is priced at $29 per month.
*Shopify Payments is Shopify’s own payment service and allows you to skip the additional fee that comes with using third-party payment services. However, it should be noted that this service is not available worldwide—it is available in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and a few other countries.
To determine whether your country features Shopify Payments, you can refer to our article on Shopify Payment Gateways. The guide also provides you with the types of businesses that are prevented from using Shopify Payments, so even if your business is located in one of the above-mentioned countries, make sure to check whether you can take advantage of this functionality.
**The email and SMS functionality for abandoned cart recovery is very basic. If you want to fully maximize marketing through these channels, you need to use a dedicated email and SMS Marketing app for Shopify stores.
Who should use Shopify Basic?
This plan is the true entry-level option for most businesses. By the time they come to Shopify, they usually have a small customer base and need to transition to a full eCommerce website to grow their brand.
Ideally, this plan is good for smaller businesses and businesses that are only selling products in a single country. If you sell products internationally, the ability to set international prices that more advanced plans offer can be extremely helpful.
Additionally, there is an unofficial “earnings limit” at which Basic Shopify stops being a good option. If you earn over $16,333 per month, the 0.3% difference in credit card transaction fee between Basic Shopify and Shopify means that you’ll actually save money by upgrading. So, this plan is perfect for smaller-volume sellers who need an eCommerce website and access to various selling channels, like in-person, Facebook, Amazon, Google Products and more.
A step-up from Basic Shopify is the Shopify Plan. The primary difference between the two plans is that this one comes with a dedicated account manager, who will have direct access to your team and can offer support when needed.
This plan includes everything under the Basic Shopify plan as well as:
- additional 3 staff accounts (total of 5)
- Up to 5 inventory locations
- Standard reports
- Up to a 88% discount on shipping prices
- Access to USPS Priority Mail Cubic pricing
- A 1.0% transaction fee for orders that don’t use Shopify Payments
- 2.5% credit and debit card rates for in-person transactions and 2.6% + 30 cents credit and debit card rates for online transactions
- Allows international pricing so you can customize product prices by country and region. You will be able to set international prices based on a percentage increase or decrease.
- Access to Standard Reports
This plan is priced at $79 per month.
Who should use the Shopify Plan?
This plan is perfect for businesses that are experiencing high levels of growth. You can think of the Shopify plan as Basic Shopify on steroids, since it gives you access to everything included in Basic with an added bonus.
With this plan, you’ll have not only increased support but also more inventory locations and staff accounts. More inventory locations mean that you can better manage your products across different warehouses or branches. More staff accounts allow you to staff up and outsource certain activities so you can focus on operations instead of the day-to-day tedium.
The professional reports that come with the Shopify plan are one of the biggest advantages that it offers. You’ll gain great insight into the store and be able to analyze sales trends much better.
Additionally, this plan offers sellers access to the ability to set international prices. If you’re shipping internationally—especially if you’re selling in more than one continent—this is the option for you. You also get a better discount on shipping, which can come in handy when shipping both internationally and domestically.
As discussed above, you should definitely upgrade if you’re earning over about $16,000 in a month, as it allows you to save money. However, most people agree that the Shopify Plan starts being the better option by the time you are making between $5000 and $10,000 per month. That said, if you reach sales of $50,000 per month or more, it’s time to upgrade to Advanced Shopify—the 0.2% difference in credit card transaction fee between the two plans means you’ll save more money on the more expensive plan.
4. Advanced Shopify
The Advanced Shopify plan is designed for larger-volume sellers who need more inventory locations, staff accounts, and dedicated account managers.
This plan includes everything under the Shopify plan as well as:
- 10 additional staff accounts (total of 15)
- Up to 8 inventory locations
- Advanced reports
- Third-party app shipping rates calculated at checkout
- A 0.5% transaction fee for orders that don’t use Shopify Payments
- 2.4% credit and debit card rates for in-person transactions and 2.4% + 30 cents credit and debit card rates for online transactions
- International pricing so you can customize product prices by country and region. You will be able to set international prices individually for each product.
International pricing is available per product or customer country. You can set each product’s price individually if you want—meaning that you don’t have to create a new listing every time a customer from a new country makes an order.
This plan is priced at $299 per month.
Who should use Advanced Shopify?
Ideally, as mentioned above, you should only upgrade to the Advanced Shopify plan once you’re making over $50,000 to $110,000 a month, or if you need the added functionalities to be able to effectively grow and scale your business. The monthly cost will drop with the higher sales volume, but it’s still not worth it when you are just starting out or earning less than $5000 per month.
You can also use this plan if you need more than 15 staff accounts, eight inventory locations, or need to set international prices for individual products. It’s worth noting that you get access to all of the features included in the Shopify plan on top of these benefits.
It is important to note that with each new feature added to your store, there is an associated cost. For example, the price includes all of the benefits mentioned above. However, if you want to plugin a third-party app—say online store analytics or a marketing tool—it will have its own monthly cost. While the Advanced Shopify plan is certainly suited for larger sellers and those that need more control over their business, it’s important to understand that there are additional costs involved as well.
Advanced Shopify is a plan you should only upgrade to if you have the sales volumes to justify it. It offers the greatest functionalities of all the plans and the best credit card rates—however, it also represents a stark rise in monthly Shopify overheads.
The advanced reports and additional staff accounts make it an extremely attractive option as your business grows in size, and the third-party apps shipping rate calculator makes it extremely useful for businesses who don’t ship by themselves.
Additionally, the ability to individually price each product for international customers is extremely useful for companies doing large volumes of international sales in several different countries or those who see the possibility of this for their business once they have access to this functionality.
However, as discussed, the additional fee increase is significant. From Shopify Lite to Basic Shopify, your payment jumps $20, and it jumps another $50 if you choose to upgrade to the Shopify plan. However, the Advanced Shopify plan represents a cost increase of over $200 a month. For this reason, you need to have the sales to justify the additional costs.
5. Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus is an enterprise solution designed for businesses with high-volume needs and those who want access to unlimited staff accounts and inventory locations. That said, it also offers:
- Custom white-label branding (including your choice of site design)
- The ability to choose which apps can be used on your shop (you don’t have this option if you use Shopify Plus).
- Unlimited product listings and orders
- The ability to store your products in your own Amazon S3 or Google Cloud accounts
- Unlimited bandwidth and download capacity
- A dedicated support team to help with the launch of your business/website if necessary
- 24/7 priority support
- Up to 9 expansion stores. You also get the ability to create further stores for $250 a month.
- Better credit card rates (you’ll need to contact a representative for accurate figures)
- A lower, 0.15% transaction fee if you use a third-party payment processor, as well as having your payment fee waived if you use Shopify Payments
- Better customization tools.
Furthermore, you’ll have access to additional special features, including:
- Shopify Launchpad, which automates the process of running sales and promotions.
- Shopify Flow, which helps you automate repetitive tasks with the help of custom backend workflows.
- Shopify Plus Wholesale, through which you can create a wholesale storefront that serves as an extension of your main store.
- Omnichannel commerce capabilities so that you can manage customer relationships across unique touchpoints.
However, as already mentioned, this comes with a steep increase in your monthly Shopify fees. So, should you upgrade your plan to Shopify Plus?
The additional features may sound tempting enough to create space in your budget for the plan, but the fact is, this plan is simply not worth it for most businesses. Only businesses that are extremely high-volume will be able to get the most out of the Shopify Plus experience.
Who should use Shopify Plus?
There are currently about one million merchants who use some form of Shopify to run their businesses—and of these one million, only 10,000 or so use Shopify Plus.
This statistic should let you know that choosing to upgrade to Shopify Plus is a major decision to make for your business and should only be done after careful consideration. At the same time, some businesses find that upgrading slightly early than necessary—just before they hit the “enterprise-grade” threshold where you can justify the cost of the plan—can help them get the groundwork laid for success when they do hit this milestone.
Shopify Plus has its downsides—there are content management limitations, and you’re locked into the Shopify platform. Additionally, getting used to Shopify Plus requires a learning curve—not only will you be faced with a host of additional tools, you’ll also need to learn at least basic Shopify Language Liquid if you haven’t already.
At the same time, the plan is extremely scalable and can be great for websites struggling to handle high volumes of traffic. It offers a multi-channel sales functionality so you can easily link brick-and-mortar outlets with your online stores and other online channels like Amazon and Instagram, which make the sales flow smoother.
The plan is undoubtedly the right option if you are running a very big store. However, if you’ve got a large team or simply don’t have the time and ability to spend on order management and other repetitive tasks, it can be effective for smaller businesses as well. This is especially true if you’re looking to create additional storefronts or transition well-performing product lines into their own brands.
You will need to be able to justify the additional cost—and in order to decide whether you can do so, you’ll need a quote on how much the plan will cost your storefront. Your best bet is to contact a representative, get a custom quote, and then decide whether it’s a good option for you.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, deciding which Shopify plan is right for you depends on your business’s individual needs, the functions you require, and your own preferences.
For example, some businesses may prefer to upgrade from Basic Shopify to Shopify when they’re doing $2000 in monthly sales because they prefer the additional features they get. However, others who are comfortable with Basic Shopify’s features may only make the transition when the lower transaction fees help them save money—that is, when they do over about $16,500 in business a month.
That said, here’s a quick rule of thumb you can follow if you’re still not sure which to choose:
- If you’re a beginner shop owner just getting started, opt for Basic Shopify (or Shopify Lite if you don’t need a complete eCommerce website just yet).
- For intermediate shop owners, the Shopify plan offers significant advantages. If even you’re okay with the features of Basic Shopify, you should definitely make the move once you’re doing about $16,000 in monthly sales, as you end up saving money in the long run.
- Storeowners with large volumes of sales ($110,000+ per month) should move over to Advanced Shopify. Additionally, if international sales are a key part of your business operations, the advanced plan can come in very handy.
- Shopify Plus is meant for the biggest Shopify stores – only 0.01% (10,000 of 1 million) of Shopify vendors currently use this plan. However, if you’re doing enormous amounts of sales, are overwhelmed by site traffic, or anticipate your sales will reach an extremely high level soon, contacting a Shopify representative about upgrading might work out for you. Additionally, this plan is great for people who want to automate large parts of their store, so they can stay as hands-free as possible.
Shopify is a great tool for eCommerce businesses of all sizes, and the diversity of plans they offer is reflective of this fact. All you need to do is conduct an honest review of your storefront before making a decision—while choosing a more advanced plan may seem beneficial, the smaller plans still have all the functionality you need, and they ensure your overheads stay limited as you grow your brand.
The good news is that WinBack is available for all types of Shopify plans. Whichever you choose, you can be sure that you’ll be able to market to your customers via SMS.
Once you decide which Shopify plan you want, sign up for a 14-day free trial of WinBack immediately.
Topics: Shopify Marketing