Home > Articles > Shopify Starter Plan Review: Best $5 E-Commerce Option

Shopify Starter Plan Review 2024: Best $5 E-Commerce Option for New Entrepreneurs

Last updated: January 25, 2024
This article has been written and researched by our expert Avada through a precise methodology. Learn more about our methodology

Sam

Author

Daniel

Researcher

The Shopify Starter Plan offers an easy, affordable entry into e-commerce at just $5 per month, replacing the previous Shopify Lite plan. It simplifies selling online without the need for complex tools or a personal website. This detailed review helps you determine if it’s the right plan for your business.

Shopify Starter Plan: Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Ease of Selling on Social Media
  • Unlimited Products Listing
  • Shopify's Secure Checkout Module
  • Linkpop for Monetized Links
  • Basic Website Functionality
  • Shopify Fulfillment Network Access
  • Higher Transaction Fees
  • Limited Customization and Branding
  • No Full Standalone Online Store
  • No Creation of Staff Accounts
  • Limited Reporting and Analytics
  • Limited Marketing Automation and Inventory Locations

Exclusive Offer: Get Shopify 33 days for just $1 + The Online Store Starter Kit

Start your 3-day free trial, and enjoy your first month of Shopify for 1$ plus the premium package designed especially for new Shopify merchants!

Start Free Trial

What is the Shopify Starter Plan?

The “Shopify Starter Plan” is the cheapest plan that focuses on a quick and easy way to create a simple online store and sell online products without requiring complicated tools, or high prices.

How much does the Shopify Starter Plan cost?

Subscription fees

The Shopify Starter Plan costs just $5 monthly after the standard 3-day Shopify free trial.

Here’s a tip: Once the free trial ends, there’s an exclusive offer where you can continue using Shopify at just $1 for a month..

Transaction fees:

  • The transaction fee is 5% + 0.3$ per transaction (with Shopify Payments).
  • For credit cards issued outside of the United States, Shopify will charge an additional 1% fee per transaction.

Transaction fees

Tips: How to check Shopify Pricing for your store location

Shopify has different prices and transaction fees for different countries and regions. If you want to sell to a specific country, it is recommended that you locate your Shopify store there. However, make sure you check Shopify pricing for that country first.



Note: To be sure, you can turn on your VPN (if you are outside your target country) or off the VPN (if you are inside your target country).

Who is the Shopify Starter Plan Best For?

The Shopify Starter Plan is best for:

  • Individuals or businesses that primarily sell products through social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Bloggers, content creators, and social media influencers looking to sell merchandise or digital products.
  • Merchants with Existing Non-Shopify Websites: Merchants already have a website built on platforms like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace.
  • Solopreneurs and Side Hustlers: Individuals operating independently or managing a side business.

Shopify Starter Plan Tutorial (Step by Step)

Here is our step-by-step guide on signing up for a Shopify Starter Plan and using it to sell your products.

Step 1: Sign up for a Shopify Starter Plan

If you don’t have a Shopify store yet, the first step is to create one.

  • Go to Shopify.com and select the “Start free trial” option, which offers a 3-day free trial to get started.

  • Next up, complete a brief survey, or skip this step by clicking on “Skip All.”

  • Choose your business location from the provided options and click the “Next” button to proceed.

  • Then, wait a few minutes while Shopify sets up your new Shopify store.

  • Once your online store is ready, it’s time to go for a Shopify pricing plan. To do it, you can click the “Pick a plan” button at the top of the screen and select “Choose Starter.”

Sign up for a Shopify Starter Plan 5

  • You will pay $1 only for the next month

Sign up for a Shopify Starter Plan 6

  • Now, provide your billing address and then hit the “Subscribe” button.

Step 2: Customize your theme

Once you have successfully signed up for the Starter Plan, it’s time to fine-tune your Shopify theme.

The Shopify Starter plan provides a single default theme called “Spotlight.” To tweak this theme, first, head to your Shopify admin. Next, select “Online Store” > “Themes.” In the current theme section, hit the “Customize” button.

Customize your theme 1

Once inside, you’ll find customization options on the left sidebar of the theme editor, such as:

  • Logo
  • Color scheme
  • Crucial brand information: Headline, description, and image.
  • Social media icons with clickable links

Noted: With the Shopify Starter plan, your store will have a Shopify subdomain (like myshop.myshopify.com). When visitors enter this URL, they’ll see your online storefront as shown below.

Step 3: Add Product Listing

To start selling with the Starter plan, you need to add your products to your Shopify Store. Here is how to do it:

Click “Products” in your Shopify Admin Panel to create and edit your product information.

Add Product Listing 1

Once you are in, provide the following information:

Add Product Listing 2

  1. Product Title
  2. Product Description
  3. Product Media (images, videos, or 3D previews)
  4. Pricing
  5. Product category
  6. Product Type
  7. Status “Active” or “Draft”

After that, hit “Save,” your newly added product is ready for the next step.

Step 4: Integrate with Social Media

To start selling on social media, you need to create a Linkpop landing page. To do it, go to “Linkpop” and sign in with a Shopify account.

Create your Linkpop Bio page.

  • Click “Linkpop” in your Shopify Admin Panel and create your account.

Create your Linkpop Bio page 1

  • Click on “Create page” to edit your Linkpop profile.

Create your Linkpop Bio page 2

  • Edit your Profile page URL, photo, name, and description, and click “Create profile.”

Create your Linkpop Bio page 3

  • On the Links tab, select “Add link.”

Add a Link to the Linkpop Bio Page

  • Add the “Title” and “URL” for the new link
  • Click the “Publish” button.

Add a product to your Linkpop profile

  • Go to the Links tab and select “Add Shoppable link.”

Add a product to your Linkpop profile 1

  • Click the “Browse Products” button.

Add a product to your Linkpop profile 2

  • Choose your desired products and then click “Select.”

Add a product to your Linkpop profile 3

  • After selection, click “Publish” to add the product to your page.

Add a product to your Linkpop profile 4

In this case, I will add the demo product: a Shopify-themed T-shirt!

Add a product to your Linkpop profile 5

Here is an example of how the Linkpop page will look after adding one product.

Add a product to your Linkpop profile 6

Step 5: Start Selling

Once you’ve added your products and created a Linkpop landing page, you can start selling them. There are two ways you can do this:

Start Selling  1

  • Bio link: Add the product’s URL in your bios for Instagram, Tiktok, and Facebook

Start Selling  2

  • Social Post: Use the Story feature on Instagram and Facebook to showcase your product with a link sticker.

Start Selling  3

Shopify Starter Plan Features

The Shopify Starter Plan offers a range of key features that make selling on social media much more straightforward.

Linkpop

The Linkpop page is versatile and customizable, hosting an array of online content, including social media links, business information, and images. Notably, the Linkpop link can be integrated into your social media bios, on the top of your TikTok or Instagram profile, expanding your brand’s reach and increasing potential traffic.

Effective Selling Features on Social Media

Shopify Starter is an ideal choice for merchants looking to sell directly on social media platforms. The plan simplifies product management, enabling easy uploading of photos, writing descriptions, and setting prices, all shareable across social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.

When someone clicks on your shared product link, they will be directly on the product page. This page helps them check out, add more items, and then complete their purchase using Shopify Checkout.

You can also sell in-person using Shopify POS Lite. Simply download the Shopify POS app on your smartphone or table for ready to start selling in person.

Sales Analytics & Order Management

The Analytics feature provides vital insights into your business’s performance by showcasing key metrics like total sales, a detailed sales breakdown, top-selling products, and order history. This tool allows you to compare recent sales values to a previous time, assess the effectiveness of different sales channels, and track your average order value.

Customer Service & Security

Customer service

As a hosted eCommerce solution, the Starter plan offers robust security measures ensuring users’ data protection. Here are the steps it takes to bolster security:

  • PCI Compliant: The platform adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). This ensures that credit card transactions are processed securely.
  • SSL Certificates: Using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates, data moving between the user’s browser and Shopify’s server is encrypted. This secures sensitive details like credit card information.
  • Two-factor Authentication: To further deter unauthorized access, this feature offers an added security layer to your store.

Security

Being part of the Shopify ecosystem, Starter plan users can gain access to comprehensive customer support.

  • Online Documentation: Shopify’s Help Center boasts many articles and tutorials, assisting in everything from store setup to inventory management.
  • Community Forum: With Shopify’s vibrant community forum, users can share experiences and seek guidance from peers who’ve faced similar challenges.
  • Email and Chat Support: For more specific concerns, users can directly reach out to the support team through email or live chat.

Features similar to other Shopify plans

While the Shopify Starter Plan is more basic compared to other Shopify plans, it still shares several key features standard across the Shopify ecommerce platform:

  • Unlimited Products Listing Capacity
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Brand Assets Management
  • Fraud Analysis Feature:
  • Manual Order Creation
  • Discount Codes
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Analytics
  • Finance Reports
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Shopify Order Management
  • +60 Types of Reports
  • Duties and Import Taxes
  • 3 Markets for Additional Regional Customization

In addition to Shopify, store owners have the option to choose from other free ecommerce website builders like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and Big Cartel.

Shopify Starter Plan vs Basic Shopify Plan: Quick Comparison

Below is a comparison of the Shopify Starter plan and Basic plan:

Shopify Starter Plan vs. Basic Shopify Plan: Quick Comparison

The Shopify Starter Plan offers a streamlined, cost-effective solution for selling on social media and chat platforms, making it perfect for beginners.

On the other hand, the Basic Shopify Plan provides a more robust e-commerce suite with a full website, advanced features, and enhanced analytics, ideal for growing businesses seeking a more substantial online presence.

For more information regarding the comparison of Shopify Starter Plan vs Shopify Basic Plan, please view the latest article HERE.

Shopify Starter Plan Examples: A Successful Case Study

  • Industry: Food & Beverage

Successful Case Study Using The Shopify Starter Plan

Steve Roeenfeldt, a YouTube cocktail creator, serves as a prime example of how the Shopify Starter Plan can propel entrepreneurs towards success.

His brilliant use of the Shopify Starter Plan to pre-sell his cocktail guidebook titled “Steve The Bartender’s Cocktail Guide” demonstrates the power of this platform in turning dreams into reality.

With its simple setup and effective sales features, the Starter Plan enabled Steve to seamlessly integrate sales into his social media, making it incredibly easy for his followers to purchase. Moreover, its $5 monthly affordability meant Steve could test the waters without heavy investment. His story is a testament to how the Shopify Starter Plan can be a game-changer for those looking to make their mark in the e-commerce world.

Read Steve’s full story here.

Upgrade to a higher Shopify plan from the Shopify $5 Plan Starter

Shopify merchants can upgrade to a better Shopify plan once their businesses have grown and expanded beyond the current package. These are the common upgrade choices to consider:

Upgrade to a higher Shopify plan from the Shopify $5 Plan Starter

Shopify Starter Plan: FAQs

What are the limitations of the Shopify Starter Plan?

The limitations of the Shopify Starter Plan include:

No Full Online Storefront Limited Customization Restricted Sales Channels Basic Analytics Limited Marketing Tools No Staff Accounts Fewer Payment Gateways and Higher Transaction Fees

How much does the Shopify Starter plan cost?

The Shopify Starter plan is available for $5 per month and a 5% transaction fee for each sale made.

Can I use Shopify payments with Shopify Starter?

Absolutely, you can! The Shopify Starter plan comes with Shopify Payments, Shopify’s in-house payment gateway.

Can I use my own domain with Shopify Starter?

For the Shopify Starter plan, using your own domain isn’t typically necessary. This is because rather than providing an online storefront or homepage, it focuses on marketing and selling your products through social channels and messaging apps. Therefore, your own domain is not required to use the Starter plan effectively.

How do I change from Shopify Basic to Starter?

For now, it is not possible to switch from Shopify Basic to Starter. However, merchants can contact Shopify’s support team to cancel their current account and set up a new one with the Starter plan. If you wonder on how to check my shopify plan, refer to our latest blog HERE


Sam Nguyen is the CEO and founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore. He is an expert on the Shopify e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. Sam loves talking about e-commerce and he aims to help over a million online businesses grow and thrive.