What’s all the hype about Shopify?
Most of you, if not for all, would’ve heard about Shopify at least for once. What is Shopify all about? Why does it seem to be so popular, especially in recent years? A one-line answer - it is a cost-effective e-commerce platform. Some of you would have already got a tinge idea about the reason behind its popularity. In the current technology-driven world, of all the industries, e-commerce is the only growing sector amid the COVID-19 outbreak which in turn opened a massive rise to e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix.com and so forth. Are you confused about which one to choose - Shopify or other ecommerce platforms? Read our blog posts on Shopify vs Magento and Why should you choose Shopify?
According to the Statista report, “Retail platforms have undergone an unprecedented global traffic increase between January 2019 and June 2020, surpassing even holiday season traffic peaks. Overall, retail websites generated almost 22 billion visits in June 2020, up from 16.07 billion global visits in January 2020”.
Impact of COVID-19 on global e-commerce website traffic 2019-20
This clearly proves the shift in the people’s lifestyle and growing opportunities for e-commerce related markets. Coming back to Shopify, it possesses the largest market share in the e-commerce software platforms in the US and third most leading e-retailers worldwide as of April 2020. Launched in 2006, Shopify was built by a computer programmer, Tobias Lutke using the open-source web application Ruby on Rails. In 2009, Shopify launched its Application Programming Interface and an App store which allowed the users to create Shopify online stores and to sell it on the Shopify App Store. In 2010, the Ottawa Business Journal named Shopify as Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company. Further, to help large enterprises with additional access and features, in 2019, Shopify has launched its enterprise solution called Shopify Plus.
Market share of e-retailers United States 2020
Shopify powers more than 1,000,000 merchants worldwide. The affordable and scalability aspects of Shopify makes it possible for all sizes of business; be it SMB, SME and Large enterprise to build their custom online store. It provides all the necessary features - third-party integrations, 100+ themes (both for free & paid), control and tools that take to build and manage a web store across multiple sales channels. Want to know more about the free themes, check out our article on Top 10 free Shopify themes in 2020
Shopify’s Plans & Pricing:
To cater to business of all sizes, Shopify offers four plans; Basic Shopify, Shopify and Advanced Shopify with 14 days free trial to decide whether it's worth using. Minimum technical knowledge is required for setting up a web store on Shopify. You can bank on wide-variety of Shopify themes and experts forums. Recognizing the steep rise of mobile users, Shopify provides you with the social media buying facility which takes care of all the channels such as web, mobile, marketplaces, pop-up shops, social media (especially Facebook) and much more.
Having seen enough about what Shopify is all about, let’s explore how much it cost to launch and maintain a Shopify store.
The Basic plan costs $29 per month. It contains all the basics you need to start a new e-commerce business, and you can create 2 staff accounts (with access to the Shopify admin and Shopify POS) for the transaction fees of 2%. With Basic Shopify, you can create a fully-functional standalone e-commerce store which comes with the core features common to the prime Shopify plans as listed in the latter section. Unlike Shopify Lite (discussed later), you can get blogging functionality crucial for inbound marketing and hosting facility on your own domain name.
Who should opt for Basic Shopify?
- Want to build a standalone e-commerce store
- Looking to integrate blogging functionality
- To grab advanced selling and reporting functionalities
You can try the Basic Shopify plan with a 14 days free trial here.
This plan costs $79 per month and incorporates all the features you need to grow a business. You can create 5 staff accounts with access to the Shopify admin and POS with 1% transaction fees. Further, when compared with Shopify Lite and Basic Shopify plans, you have professional reports, discounted shipping rates, lower transaction and credit card (external payment gateway) fees with this Shopify plan.
Who should opt for Shopify (intermediate plan)?
- High volume of sales (leads in lower transaction fees)
- Need an in-depth reporting
- Looking for discounted shipping rates
You can try your Shopify plan for free here.
Costing around $299 per month, it provides access to advanced features to scale your business. With this plan, 15 staff accounts are available again with the accessibility to both Shopify admin and POS for the transaction fees of 0.5%. As an added advantage, you have the facilities of professional reports and advanced report builder with Shopify Advanced plan.
Who should opt for Advanced Shopify?
- In a period of high-volume of online sales (which helps in saving transaction fees)
- Looking for a real-time shipping carrier
- Need an advanced reporting functionalities
Want to get Advanced Shopify now?, try your Shopify free trial here.
You can avail a 20% discount for annual payments and a 10% discount on biennial payments on your membership fees when you pay upfront. Based on the plan you adhere to (basic, intermediate or advanced) and for each order you make, you’ll be charged with a transaction fee. In case, if you’re using payments other than Shopify payments, you need to pay extra transaction fees. Furthermore, the features common to the main pricing plans include;
- Unlimited file storage and product
- 24/7 support
- Availability of sales channels ( varies from one country to another)
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Gift cards.
Apart from these standard plans, you also have . . .
Targeted mainly for selling on Facebook, it comes at a very low price of $9 per month with customer facilities like chat and much more. In Shopify Lite, using the Buy Button you can add products to any website (or blog) and add a snippet of code directing to your website along with product description, price and option to buy a product on your website.
Also, you can send invoices either wholesale, phone or custom orders directly to your customers and accept credit card payments with your iOS and Android devices. At the same time, it’s important to note that you cannot expect a fully-functional standalone online store.
Who should opt for Shopify Lite?
- Want to add e-commerce/dropshipping to your existing website or blog
- Want to sell on Facebook (without “add to cart” and selling digital goods functionalities)
- Want to get rid of VAT MOSS related concerns
- To use Shopify as your physical store’s back-end system
- Looking for a low-cost access to abandoned cart saving feature.
- Looking for only live chat and email support
- Want to manage inventory and process payments
If you’re the one who’s looking for the above features, try Shopify Lite now.
Exclusively launched for high-volume merchants and large enterprises, it costs around $2000 per month yet, it is negotiable too. It comes with advanced features such as APIs, security and fulfilment. Most importantly, you have a visual workflow builder, “Shopify Flow” to automate your e-commerce related tasks such as facility of “if this then that” (IFTTT) style rules that enables specific action on specific events - for example, building custom workflows for automatic multi-currency selling, segmenting top customers, tagging products or high-risk orders, automatically reordering inventory when supply gets low and much more without needing to write a single code.
Who should opt for Shopify Plus?
- A high volume of online sales (too higher than Advanced Shopify)
- Want to automate workflows for your e-commerce tasks
- Looking for an impeccable security and uptime guarantee
- Need to create reserved connections between Shopify and internal system
To make use of these features, try Shopify plus for free here.
Shopify POS Pro
A new add-on which will be free until October 2020 and after that you need to pay $89 per month. This Shopify POS pros add-on will be helpful to unlock advanced point-of-sale functionalities for your e-commerce.
Who should opt for Shopify POS Pro?
- Want to purchase online and collect from the store.
- To sell in multiple locations
- To facilitate product exchange
- To provide printed receipts or bills.
- Assign specific staff roles and permissions
Are you looking for unlocking more POS functionalities, try Shopify POS Pro now.
Most significantly, there is no web hosting, bandwidth and setup fees. You can use your own domain name and need not enter any payment details for the mere signing up of the 14 days free trial. Further, by using the Buy Button facility, you can add your e-commerce to any of your existing websites. To get in-depth details about Shopify’s plans and pricing, go to Pricing.
What’s the minimum cost needed to start a web store?
Now that we have seen Shopify’s features, plans and pricing, some of us would’ve already understood the reason behind the popularity of this e-commerce platform. Yet, to get a better idea about the Shopify store’s cost components, let’s consider how much it takes to build a small online store with Shopify. Let’s start with domain name costing $20 lowest annual fee, web hosting of $40 lowest annual fee, Shopify theme $100 (for a complete e-commerce template), Basic Shopify plan of $29 (for first 12 months) and if it’s Shopify Lite, it’s only $9. If we calculate the total cost excluding the web development, designing, integrations and maintenance costs (since it is for a start), the minimal cost to launch and maintain a Shopify store would be around $500 when you choose Basic Shopify plan and only $270 when you choose Shopify Lite. Wondering whom to choose - a Shopify developer or a web developer? Seek guidance from experts’ take on Why should you hire a Shopify developer?
Comparison of online sales growth between Shopify and global e-commerce market
For a little over $500 and $270, you can launch a full-fledged e-commerce store with Shopify. No wonder, Shopify powers more than 1 million merchants worldwide and has seen total revenue of $1.703 billion in 2018, which is a 59% increase over 2017. To know more about Shopify’s statistics and latest figures, check out Shopify & You. Some of the top-selling brands that use Shopify include Bajaao, Kylie Cosmetics, Raymond, Nush, John Jacobs, Nush, etc. and Shopify Plus such as Rothy’s, HEINZ, Allbirds, Rebecca Minkoff, etc. Looking for a Shopify developer to build a custom online store for your website/clients, schedule a call with us to get you the right Shopify developer onboard.