Which Shopify Plan Is the Best for My Business?

If you’re looking to open an online store, Shopify is a great platform to use. But with so many different plans available, it can be tough to decide which is right for your business. The good news is as a Shopify Official Partner, our Shopify experts are here to help. We’ve put together this guide to the different Shopify plans so that you can better decide which one is right for your online business.

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What is Shopify?

Shopify is a versatile platform for businesses of all sizes to create an online store. It’s simple to use and comes with everything you need to get started, including scalable hosting, automatic software maintenance, and robust security.  It offers users a customizable platform, an easy-to-use checkout process, and a wide range of features through its app store ecosystem. 

Shopify also provides users with blog functionality that can be used to share news and updates with customers. In addition, Shopify offers native social media and sales channel integrations, allowing businesses to connect their Shopify store with other platforms, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Instagram Shopping.

Shopify Designs

Shopify is a powerful website creation platform. They provide hundreds of professionally designed themes or you can have a custom theme developed based on your own design mockups.

Shopify is easy to use for managing your online store, even for those without eCommerce experience. Simply sign up for an account, choose a theme, and start adding content. For those with more advanced skills or working with an eCommerce developer, you can customize your Shopify website further with HTML, JS, and CSS using Shopify’s powerful liquid code templating.

Included Features With Shopify

No matter which Shopify plan you choose, you’ll have access to a plethora of platform features. These features cover everything you need to get started such as a domain name, hosting, and powerful tools to help you grow your business. 

Shopify offers a wide range of features, including inventory management, order processing, and shipping. Best of all, Shopify is easy to use, even for those with no experience in web design or development. As a result, it is an ideal solution for businesses that want to launch an online store quickly and without hassle.

Here are some of the key features that are included with every Shopify plan: 

  • A customizable platform: You can choose from a wide range of professionally designed themes to create a unique look for your store or hand code your own custom theme.. 
  • An easy-to-use checkout process: Your customers will be able to check out extraordinarily quickly using the Shopify payment platform. Those with an existing accelerated checkout Shop Pay account can enter a 6-digit code to prefill their shipping address and payment information and check out with a single click.
  • A simple, user-friendly interface: Shopify is designed to be easy to manage products and orders, even if you’re not a tech expert. If you are looking to build a more complex site, Shopify developers are becoming increasingly common.
  • A scalable online store: Every Shopify plan comes with unlimited bandwidth so your website can handle as much traffic as you throw it, no worrying about the website traffic during marketing campaigns
  • A free domain name and hosting: Many platforms require you to purchase a domain name and pay for hosting on a monthly or yearly basis. With Shopify, these essential elements come standard.
  • 24/7 support: No matter what time of day, you can always get help from Shopify’s team of experts, community members, and help center.
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Shopify Partner Program

Shopify has a network of experts who can help you with everything from marketing to design and development. They’re called Shopify Partners, and they’re available to help you get the most out of your Shopify store.  

Here are some of the things Shopify Partners can help with:

  • Design: If you need help creating a professional-looking Shopify store, Shopify Partners are here to help.
  • Development: Shopify Partners can also help with custom development so that you can add unique features or customizations to your online business.
  • Marketing: A good marketing strategy is essential for any business. Shopify Partners can help you create a marketing strategy tailored to your online store.

What You Need to Know About the Different Shopify Plans

Shopify has four plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify, and Shopify Plus. Here’s a quick overview of each:

Basic Shopify: This is the most basic plan, and it’s great for small businesses just starting or minimum viable product (MVP) shops. It includes all the essential features you need to run a successful online store, including unlimited products, 24/7 support, and fraud analysis.  Being the lowest tier plan, it does have several limitations:

  • Highest credit card transaction fee rate when using Shopify Payments or a third-party payment processor
  • Only includes basic reporting features, it doesn’t include any sales, order, profit, or customer reports at all
  • Limited to 2 staff members who can sign into the backend
  • Limited to 4 inventory warehouse locations
  • You can’t use your own carrier accounts, ie. FedEx, USP, etc. to pull in negotiated rates
  • No e-commerce automation to build automated workflows
  • Doesn’t include cubic USPS shipping pricing or shipping insurance
  • Excludes International Duties and Tax calculation at checkout
  • Does not include any staging to test changes to your site in a sandbox environment
  • Limitations on how your checkout page looks and functions
  • Developers are limited in their API access

Shopify: This is the standard plan, and it’s perfect for businesses that are starting to grow. It includes everything in the Basic Shopify plan, plus features like advanced sales and inventory reports and lower transaction costs.  It works well for most small businesses, but still has limitations:

  • Better credit card transaction rates as well as improved shipping discounts
  • Only includes standard reporting features, it doesn’t some customer reports and you cannot create custom reports
  • Limited to 5 staff members who can sign into the backend
  • Limited to 5 inventory warehouse locations
  • You can’t use your own carrier accounts, ie. FedEx, USP, etc. to pull in negotiated rates
  • Excludes International Duties and Tax calculation at checkout
  • Does not include any staging to test changes to your site in a sandbox environment
  • Limitations on how your checkout page looks and functions
  • Developers are limited in their API access

Advanced Shopify: This plan is ideal for businesses ready to scale. It includes everything in the previous two Shopify plans, plus features like using your own shipping accounts and running custom reports.  With this in mind, there are still a few limitations:

  • Much smaller credit card transaction fees as well as great shipping discounts
  • Only includes standard reporting features, it doesn’t some customer reports and you cannot create custom reports
  • Limited to 15 staff members who can sign into the backend
  • Limited to 8 inventory warehouse locations
  • You can use your own carrier accounts, ie. FedEx, USP, etc. to pull in negotiated rates
  • Includes international Duties and Tax calculation at checkout
  • You can run advanced custom reports
  • Shopify POS Pro is still an extra $89 / month fee even on this plan
  • Does not include any staging to test changes to your site in a sandbox environment
  • Limitations on how your checkout page looks and functions
  • Developers are limited in their API access

Shopify Plus: This is the highest-tier plan, and it’s designed for businesses that need enterprise-level features. It includes all of the elements of the lower-tier plans plus features like unlimited users, advanced Shopify analytics, and a wholesaler portal.  It is the highest plan available and includes several goodies not found on the lower-end plans:

  • Unlimited backend users
  • More control of your templating and checkout look and functionality
  • Much lower transaction fees from credit card processing than other plans
  • Greater developer API access to customize your store
  • Built in wholesaler portal for selling products at a discount B2B
  • Staging environments to test changes on a separate domain from your live site
  • Access to exclusive apps from Shopify such as bulk account inviting
  • Dedicated Shopify support rep

Shopify Plan Price Comparison

Now that you know a little about each Shopify plan, let’s compare their prices.

Basic Shopify

  •  $29/month
  • Credit Card Rates: 
    • In Person: 2.7% + 0¢ USD
    • Online: 2.9% + 30¢ 

Shopify

  •  $79/month
  • Credit Card Rates
    • In Person: 2.5% + 0¢ USD
    • Online: 2.6% + 30¢ USD

Advanced Shopify

  • $299/month
  • Credit Card Rates 
    • In Person: 2.4% + 0¢ USD
    • Online: 2.4% + 30¢ USD

Shopify Plus: Contact Shopify for pricing

  • $2000+ / month (custom quote)
  • Credit Card Rates 
    • In Person: Custom based on your plan, but lower than standard Shopify plans
    • Online: Custom based on your plan, but lower than standard Shopify plans

How to Choose the Right Shopify Plan

Now that you know a bit more about the different Shopify plans, how do you decide which one is right for your business? Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. The size of your business: The Basic Shopify plan may be all you need if you’re just starting out. But if you’re already growing quickly, you may want to consider upgrading to the Shopify or Advanced Shopify plan. 
  2. Your budget: Shopify plans start at $29 per month and go up to $299 per month for the Advanced Shopify plan. You can also pay for 1,2, or 3 years upfront for up to 50% discount if you sign a long-term contract.  With these costs in mind, you’ll need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on your online store.
  3. The features you need: If you need advanced features like unlimited users or advanced Shopify analytics, you’ll need to sign up for the Shopify Plus plan. But if you don’t need the high-level features, you can save money by choosing one of the cheaper plans.
  4. The level of support you need: All Shopify plans come with 24/7 support, so you can always get help if you need it. But if you want access to priority support, you’ll need to sign up for the Shopify Plus plan.
  5. Your long-term goals: Think about where you see your business in the future. If you’re planning on growing quickly, it may be worth investing in a higher-tier plan now.

For most clients who are serious about their e-commerce store and plan to make their livelihood on it, we recommend the Shopify Advanced or Shopify Plus plans.  Shopify Advanced provides everything you need to run your business properly, but Shopify Plus is even better if you can afford it since it provides proper staging environments to test larger changes to the store without worrying about disrupting your current customers visiting the website.

Keep in mind that you can always upgrade or downgrade your Shopify plan later on instantly for plans up to Shopify Advanced. Upgrading to Shopify Plus can take up to 24 hours to transition, but there is no downtime. If you need to scale up or down, you can do so without penalty right from your Shopify account settings.

Shopify vs. WooCommerce 

WooCommerce is a WordPress plug-in that turns your WordPress site into an eCommerce store. It’s highly customizable so that you can tailor it to your needs. However, this customization also comes with a learning curve and additional overhead, and you will need some coding knowledge and constantly maintain it to really take advantage of all the features it has over Shopify. WooCommerce is also self-hosted, which means you are also responsible for managing your server and security. Of course, having direct access to your server and code means the sky’s the limit on customizations compared to Shopify.  There are no transaction fees, however, you will need to pay for the web hosting, your theme, and extra plug-ins necessary to power your store. 

On the other hand, Shopify is a complete eCommerce solution that takes care of everything for you. It is much easier to use than WooCommerce out of the box and requires less upfront investment.  There is a monthly fee, though you don’t need to worry about web hosting, website maintenance, or software updates. Shopify is also known to offer better customer support than WooCommerce. With all of this in mind, if you plan to heavily tweak your user experience and functionality, WooCommerce may be the route to take if you can afford a development team to maintain your website and server.  If your online store’s business model is more standard and you do not expect many customizations, Shopify is a no-brainer due to its ‘set-it-and-forget mentality. 

Shopify Vs. WordPress for SEO 

WordPress and Shopify are both popular platforms for building eCommerce websites. However, regarding SEO, there are some significant differences to consider.

WordPress is a content management system that gives users a great deal of control over their website’s code and structure. This can be extremely helpful for optimizing website content and improving website speed.  Since it is a full web content management system, it provides easy management of different content types outside of products and blog posts such as case studies, knowledge center articles, etc., and provides more powerful control over SEO.  You can create a real content powerhouse with a lot less work than in Shopify.

On the other hand, Shopify is a turnkey eCommerce platform that offers users a simplified way to build and manage their online store. It is not as customizable as WordPress but has built-in SEO features such as product tagging and sitemaps. In addition, Shopify has a large number of plug-ins and themes that are designed for SEO. While this can make creating a basic eCommerce website effortless, it can be more difficult to customize website code and achieve the same level of control as WordPress. 

As a result, when it comes to SEO, both WordPress and Shopify have their strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, the best platform for SEO will depend on the specific needs of the business owner. Sometimes it may even make sense to build your content website in WordPress and your e-commerce store in Shopify depending on your needs.  This often provides the best of both worlds but does add to maintenance complexity, training, and overall user experience degradation. 

Contact Inspry to Take your E-Commerce Store to the Next Level

So, which Shopify plan is best for you and your business? It depends on what you need. The Advanced or Plus plans might be a good fit if you’re looking for a platform with more features. Or, if you want to partner with Shopify Experts who can help with design, development, and marketing, then one of those two plans might also be a good option. However, the Basic plan may be enough if you’re just starting and don’t need all the bells and whistles. 

No matter which plan you choose, the team of Shopify web development experts at Inspry is here to help get your business online and sell products in no time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can provide value as a Shopify Partner in getting your business off the ground!