Which Shopify pricing plan is the best to choose? This depends on how much you sell in a month, who you use to process payments and which Shopify features you need.
What are the Shopify Payment Plans?
Here are the current Shopify plans and their prices:
- Basic Shopify - $29/month+ 2.2% and 20p per transaction
- Shopify - $79/month + 1.9% and 20p per transaction
- Advanced Shopify - $299/month + 1.6% and 20p per transaction
These assume that you use Shopify Payment for your gateway, more on that below.
Shopify also offer a plan for high-volume plan for enterprise merchants called Shopify Plus, which starts from $2000/month.
Confusingly every plan mentions Shopify, except the middle one which is just called Shopify! For shorthand we call them 'Basic', 'Middle', 'Advanced' and 'Plus'.
Taking Payment with Shopify's Gateway
All websites need a payment gateway to connect your checkout to your underlying merchant account. All payment gateways and merchant accounts charge rates for processing. Merchant accounts are provided by acquirers and their rates are ultimately dependent on the underlying rates set by Visa, Mastercard, and other card schemes.
Shopify Payments is Shopify's own payment gateway, the charges are:
- Basic Shopify - 2.2% and 20p per transaction
- Shopify - 1.9% and 20p per transaction
- Advanced Shopify - 1.6% and 20p per transaction
- Plus - Enquire to find out
One major benefit of Shopify Payment is that you can sign up instantly for it.
A merchant account is an account that accepts payments electronically but it doesn't hold a balance, the money will pass through to your business current/checkout account so that you get paid. Some payment gateways like Shopify Payment, Stripe and Paypal roll this up into one service, but they are typically more expensive because they take more risk by making it easy for people to sign up and not getting to know each business.
Established businesses will find better rates by provisioning their own merchant account. If you do this you'll need to use a third party gateway to connect to your Shopify checkout.
Using a third party gateway
Shopify charge a commission fee if you use a third party gateway instead of Shopify Payments. As I said, it's usually cheaper to provision your own merchant account and gateway once you reach high volume. If you're making money through your Shopify store it therefore makes sense to do this and choose a higher plan that offers lower commission.
The commission charged by each plan if you use a third party gateway is:
- Basic - 2% commission
- Shopify - 1% commission
- Advanced Shopify - 0.5% commission
- Shopify Plus - No commission
This commission is an extra fee on top of your payment gateway and acquirer rate.
Shopify Plus does not charge a commission and this is a common reason why our clients upgrade. The cost is around $2000/month but once you start paying that much via the 0.5% commission on the Unlimited plan, it's a no-brainer to upgrade. The point at which this happens is when you are turning over $400,000/month, but you will probably want to upgrade to Plus before for the benefits it brings over the other plans.
Choosing a third party gateway
The main difference in features between the plans are as follows:
|Who's it for?||
For small businesses
For business with modest sales
High volume business
|Shopify Payments card processing|
|Website||2.2% + 20p||1.9% + 20p||1.6% + 20p|
|Shopify POS||2.7% + 0p||2.2% + 0p||1.6% + 0p|
|Commission charged by Shopify|
|Using Shopify Payments||None||None||None|
|Using third party payment gateway||2.0%||1.0%||0.5%|
|Abandoned cart recovery||No||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced report builder||No||No||Yes|
|Real-time carrier shipping||No||No||Yes|
All plans include: unlimited products, unlimited storage, 24/7 support, fraud analysis, manual order creation, discount codes, blog, SSL certificate.
The Retail Package
The Retail Package is an extra feature that you can add to your plan so that you can use Shopify POS to take payments.
The Lite Plan
Some people have noticed there is a 'Lite plan' for $9/month. We don't recommend this for any business due to its limited set of features.
You can change plan at anytime
The unavoidable answer to which plan to choose is 'it depends'. We recommend doing some calculations using predictions of how many orders you'll realistically be taking and at what value, then use this to decide on the right plan for you.
If you are worrying about margins you are hopefully in a good position to spend more on the higher plans. If you're just starting out, use the lower plans to reduce your fixed costs. Take the hit on the higher rates until you have a decent order volume through your store.
Here is a very rough guide to which plans suit which businesses:
- Basic - small lifestyle businesses
- Professional - small businesses that get modest sales
- Unlimited - growing businesses that need more powerful reporting and cheaper rates
- Plus - high growth and high volume businesses that need top class support
We can advise based on the specifics for your business.