Shopify Starter Plan Review: Features, Pricing, and Comparison 2023
- Shopify Starter is an affordable $5/month plan designed for new or social media-driven businesses, offering basic sales capabilities.
- Shopify Starter is perfect for those new to online selling, social media influencers looking to monetize their fanbase, those working with a tight budget or solo entrepreneurs.
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What is Shopify Starter Plan?
Shopify Starter Plan is Shopify’s cheapest plan that focuses on a quick and easy way to sell products online without requiring complicated tools, high prices, or even a website. With that said, it comes with the basic features of a Shopify plan while lacking most of the advanced features.
For merchants who are new to e-commerce, in June of 2022, Starter Shopify Plan became the entry-level plan offered by Shopify, replacing the old Shopify Lite Plan. While sharing almost the same features, Shopify Starter Plan starts at 5$ monthly, a lot cheaper than the Shopify Lite Plan (9$ monthly).
How much does Shopify Starter Plan cost?
Shopify Starter Plan subscription fees
The shopify starter plan website show its cost just $5 per month. Starting from November of 2022, Shopify even offers 1$ per month for the first three months with Shopify Starter.
On the other hand, you can opt-in for the Shopify trial to experience this plan and test if Shopify Starter is suitable for your online store.
Shopify Starter transaction fees
Shopify Starter transaction fee is at 5% + 0.3$ per transaction (with Shopify Payment).
And for credit cards issued outside of the United States, Shopify will charge an additional 1% fee per transaction.
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 to locate your Shopify store there. However, make sure you check Shopify pricing for that country first.
Step 1: Visit https://shopify.com
Step 2: Scroll down to the footer section and choose where you want to locate your store.
Step 3: A list of available languages and countries will be shown. Click on any country to view the Shopify version for that country/region.
Step 4: Click on the Pricing section - usually in the header bar (in this example, I have chosen the Canada version). You might find the Shopify Pricing for Canada here different from the original United State ones.
Step 5: Click on Compare Pricing Plans (or similar section in your language of choice) to view transaction fees for your store location.
Note: Just to be sure, you can turn on your VPN (if you are outside of your target country), or turn off the VPN (if you are inside your target country).
Upgrade to a higher Shopify plan from the Starter Plan
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:
Shopify subscription plans
Shopify Starter Plan Features
The Shopify Starter Plan offers a range of key features that enhance your e-commerce experience.
Linkpop by Shopify
The Linkpop page is versatile and customizable, hosting an array of online content including social media links, business information, and images. Importantly, 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. Also, various Shopify Starter Plan theme available for store owners to choose from to customize their online stores effectively.
Effective Selling on Social Media
Managing a full-fledged eCommerce site can be daunting for merchants with limited resources. This is where Shopify Starter becomes an ideal solution, especially for those aiming to sell directly on social media platforms.
Benefits of using Shopify Starter to sell on Social Media include:
Efficient Payment: Combining robust payment processing with top-notch security ensures customers can buy directly from social media without visiting your Shopify store. This not only builds trust but also boosts conversion rates.
Easy Product Management: With Shopify Starter, you’re just a few steps away from selling:
- Upload product photos.
- Write concise descriptions.
- Set your prices.
- Once done, you can easily share these product pages across social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Moreover, Shopify Starter can be utilized to optimize and monetize the links in your bio. By leveraging tools like Linkpop, you can craft customizable landing pages and generate shortened links suitable for your social media bios.
Sales Analytics & Order Management
The Analytics feature enables you to monitor key metrics including overall sales, detailed sales breakdown, top-selling products, and order history. It offers the flexibility to compare recent sales values to a previous time period, assess the effectiveness of different sales channels, and track your average order value.
The metrics are presented in a user-friendly format, with both numeric values and visually appealing graphs, ensuring easy interpretation. Plus, you can view the percentage change from the previous date range for all metrics, helping you understand your business’s progress better.
Customer Service & Security
The Starter plan, as a hosted eCommerce solution, 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: By utilizing 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.
Being part of the Shopify ecosystem, Starter plan users can gagain access to comprehensive customer support. This includes:
- Online Documentation: Shopify’s Help Center boasts a wide array of 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
Shopify Starter Plan includes:
- Unlimited products: You can sell as many products as you want in your Shopify store.
- Unlimited bandwidth: There is no limit on how many online visitors or files you upload to your store.
- Brand assets: Your logo, brand colors, and slogan can be added and managed.
- Fraud analysis: Shopify Payments comes with a built-in fraud analysis feature. To help you avoid chargebacks and losses, this feature flags orders that are potentially fraudulent.
- Manual order creation: The Shopify admin allows you to create new orders and enter payment details.
- Discount codes: Increasing your customer base is easy with discount codes.
- Abandoned cart recovery: If a customer leaves your store without completing the checkout process, abandoned cart recovery sends them an email. You can customize the email that is sent to customers who leave your store.
- Analytics: The Analytics page is available on all plan levels and displays sales, orders, and visitor data for the online store.
- Finance reports: These reports provide you with key financial information about your business. In the finances summary, you can see your sales, payments, and pending sales, or you can see the full finance reports for more information.
- Customer support: Call, email, or chat with Shopify’s Support team if you need assistance setting up your store.
These are the features available for all plans, which is a great start for selling online with Shopify.
Shopify Starter Plan tutorial: Set Up Your Online Store.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to set up your online store using the Shopify Starter Plan.
Create an Online Store
If you don’t have a Shopify store yet, the first step is to create one. Shopify suggests newbies to choose the 3-day free trial option (which only costs them $1 for 3 months) to get started. Click the below button to start the registration process.
Simply finish some of the basic information about your business to create the account according to the Shopify instructions. Once having the account and your own online store, it’s time to move to the next step: Selecting the Starter plan.
Choose the Starter plan
Once you have created your Shopify store, it’s time to select the Starter plan by click the “Pick your plan” button.
Next, proceed to the Shopify Starter plan, click on the “Choose Starter” button to register this plan. Merchants are only required to charge $1 for the first 3 months when using this Shopify plan.
To finish the Starter plan registration process, please fill all of the necessary information as mentioned below:
Customize your 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, press the Customize button.
Once inside, you’ll find customization options on the left sidebar of the theme editor. While the customization scope is limited, it adequately equips you to set up a fundamental storefront. This includes several essential elements for your online shop like:
- Color scheme
- Crucial brand information: Headline, description, and image.
- Social media icons with clickable links
Add a Product
To start selling with Shopify Starter, you will need to add your products to your Shopify Store.
Click on Products in your Shopify Admin Panel to create and edit your product information.
You will need to provide the following:
- Product Title
- Product Description
- Product Media (images, videos, or 3D previews)
- SKU (Stock keeping unit)
- Product options/variants
After that, hit Save and your newly added product is ready for the next step.
Your Linkpop page
What is Linkpop?
Linkpop, powered by Shopify, offers a free tool to create shoppable landing pages that can attract traffic from social media platforms. Linkpop is pretty similar to Linktr.ee, Shor.by or Tap.bio, with added ecommerce features.
Create your Bio landing page with Linkpop
Click on Linkpop in your Shopify Admin Panel.
Linkpop works as one of your sales channels and can be managed just like Shopify Apps. You might need to give Linkpop permission to install and access your store.
Click on Create page to edit your Linkpop profile.
After that, edit your Profile page URL, profile photo, profile name, and profile description. Remember that you can always come back to change this information if you want.
Click on Create profile, and your Linkpop profile is ready to go. However, we still need to add products to that Linkpop.
Add a product to your Linkpop profile
Then, click on Add product and choose the products you want to add.
In this case, I will add the demo product: a Shopify T-shirt!
Here is an example of how the Linkpop page will look after adding one product.
However, you can add an unlimited number of products (with unlimited product pages), and they will stack up vertically.
Social selling with your Linkpop profile
To start social selling with Shopify Starter, the first goal is to direct traffic from social media platforms to your Linkpop. Here are some ideas you can implement right away:
For Social media platforms like Instagram or Tiktok, you can only add one URL in your bio, and it is a common practice for many social sellers.
Whenever a fan visits their profiles, they will be shown with Call-to-action to follow the page or to click on their bio link. This is where Linkpop shine!
With Linkpop, you will be able to redirect your profile visitors to your product pages and help them browse through your listed product.
At this stage, you might want to track these metrics:
- Your profile viewers: Almost every social media platform provides this metric (in their business modes/plans).
- Your Linkpop visits: Shopify tracks the traffic go to your Linkpop profile.
A simple conversion rate can be calculated with the following:
Link in Bio conversion rate = (Number of Profile visitors / Number of Linkpop visitors)%
The higher the conversion rate, the better! This conversion rate will also help you to optimize your bio copywriting (with bio length, wording, and emoji). But how should you know your bio link is on point?
According to flick.tech, with their study conducted on 54 thousand Instagram accounts, you should consider the conversion rate of 4% to be your benchmark.
For some Social media platforms, you might not be able to attach URLs in the caption (for example, Instagram). However, you can use features like Instagram Story to showcase your product with a link sticker.
Another practice for Instagram is to quote “Link in bio” at the end of your post caption. That will navigate your fans back to your profile, where they can see your Linkpop page.
Shopify Starter Plan vs Basic Shopify Plan
Detailed comparison: Difference between Shopify Starter and Basic Shopify
Shopify Starter Plan is 8 times cheaper than Shopify Basic, but the transaction fee is almost doubled.
In addition to that, you won’t be able to have the following features:
- Staff accounts: Shopify Basic offers two staff accounts, while you will have to fly solo with your Shopify Starter kit.
- Fully-fledged online store & SSL certificate: While the Starter Plan lets you to build a simple online store, it lacks certain ecommerce features like advanced reporting, theme editing, or blog posts.
- Blog: Without a Blog function, you will be unable to do SEO and content marketing
Speaking of driving traffic, Shopify Starter is feature-wise for organic visitors coming from your social media platforms. Meanwhile, Shopify Basic offers the whole package for an ecommerce store wherever your traffic comes from.
This does not mean that you cannot run ads or do the SEO to drive traffic to your Linkpop. However, they would not be optimized and often perform much poorer than having your own Shopify Store with the other plans.
Tips: Shopify Starter could be a bargain, depending on your business size and model. But in most cases, when your business is expanding, you will eventually want to upgrade to another Shopify plan.
For more information regarding the comparison of Shopify Starter Plan vs Shopify Basic Plan, please view the latest article HERE.
SHOPIFY PLANS OVERVIEW 2023:
What Do Redditors Say About Shopify Starter Plan?
Overall, most redditors agree that Shopify Starter is just a stepping stone for a new merchant to the ecommerce world: “The difference is the website. The starter plan’s website is just product pages, so you’d wanna link those from elsewhere (eg. social media). On the basic plan, you get a fully customizable website, where you can add your own marketing material.
Considering shopify starter plan reddit, you can definitely start with the Starter plan, and then upgrade as you go if you think a real online shop would help your business.”
“You may start with it and see if it has everything you need and fits you. Sure if you want more, they will be happy to let you upgrade to another plan.”
Indeed, the Starter plan is a sweet spot for anyone just getting their e-commerce gig off the ground or those who are smashing it on social media already. With product pages that you can link from just about anywhere, it’s a slick way to get your products in front of potential customers without any fuss.
But things change as your business evolves. At that time, you might find yourself looking for a fully functioned website. And that’s the pro of Shopify - you can move up to the Basic plan whenever you’re ready, getting a fully customizable website to tweak as you please. It is kind of like a ‘try before you buy’ deal.
The point here is: Shopify Starter has your back when you’re starting out, but it’s also ready to level up when you are. So flexible!
Who should use Shopify Starter Plan?
Shopify Starter Plan is suitable for you if you know crucial factors like how much does it cost to start a shopify store. Besides the cost, here are the indicators to show that you should use Shopify Starter Plan:
It is your first time selling online
Shopify Starter is really easy for newbies to start with. It may be overwhelming initially, but you can ignore all of the advanced features and stick with your products and Linkpop pages.
You have fanbases on social media
You might have successfully built one or multiple social media profiles with a great fanbase. Then the Shopify Starter Plan is the easiest way to start monetizing while making your fan happy.
You don’t know how to set up an ecommerce website
It has taken years for web developers to develop a fully-functioned ecommerce website. Thanks to Shopify, it is much easier now, but we still need to explore and learn different use cases for selling to a specific niche. You can also look for a web development company who knows how to elevate your project to the next level.
You are tight on budget
A heavy investment comes with risks, and Shopify Starter is really useful for testing your products and finding out if you should step up and build your own online store later.
You are a one-man-army
Many great businesses start with one person who can manage everything at the earlier stages. Shopify Starter Plan helps you cut through the chaos and focus on the most important things like.
- List multiple products
- Driving and optimizing social traffic
- Inventory management
- Order management
Shopify Starter Plan: FAQs
What are the limitations of the Shopify Starter Plan?
Shopify Starter does have certain limitations, even when it is an excellent way to start your online sales journey. Unlike the higher-tier plans, it doesn’t provide a standalone e-commerce website, so your primary sales channels will be social media, an existing website, or in-person interactions. Additionally, advanced features like professional reports, gift cards, and advanced cart recovery are not included in this plan.
How much does the Shopify Starter plan cost?
The Shopify Starter plan is available at a cost of $5 per month, in addition to 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