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Shopify Starter Vs Basic: Which Pricing Plan Is For You?

June 06, 2024
Written and researched by experts at AvadaLearn more about our methodology

By Sam Nguyen

CEO Avada Commerce

Key Takeaways

  • Shopify Starter: Great choice for beginners, affordable (5$) but comes with limited features.
  • Shopify Basic: Ideal for expanding businesses, greater functionality including custom domain, discount codes, and full access to the Shopify app store.
  • The Starter Plan gives you a website with just product pages, best suited for social selling. Meanwhile, the Basic Plan lets you customize your website and add your own marketing materials.

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Quick Comparison 


  • Both plans allow you to sell unlimited products, bandwidth, and storage.
  • Both programs provide a secure checkout with an SSL certificate and accept multiple payment methods.
  • Both projects include 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat.
  • Both plans allow access to 60+ reports like marketing reports, sales reports, etc. for tracking store performance.
  • Both packages have access to collect duties and import taxes at checkout, which helps international customers to avoid additional fees.
  • Both plans include only 3 markets for additional regional customization.


  • Shopify Starter costs $5 monthly, while Shopify Basic costs $39 per month.
  • Shopify Starter does not allow you to use a custom domain, while Shopify Basic does.
  • Shopify Starter does not let you create discount codes, while Shopify Basic does.
  • Shopify Starter does not give you access to Shopify’s app store, while Shopify Basic does.
  • Shopify Starter has a 5% transaction fee. In comparison, Shopify Basic has a 2.9% + 30¢ fee for online credit card payments and a 2% fee for using third-party payment gateways.

Shopify Starter Vs. Shopify Basic: Pros & Cons

Shopify Starter Plan


  • Cost: Lower price point.
  • Ease of Setup: User-friendly, suitable for beginners.
  • Social Media Selling: Direct selling on various social platforms.
  • Mobile Sales: Includes a mobile point of sale (POS Lite)
  • Order Management: Basic backend tools for managing products and orders.
  • Analytics: Basic analytics and reporting tools.
  • Linkpop Tool: Integration for monetizing social media links.


  • Limited features: Shopify Starter has limitations that affect your store’s performance and growth potential. For example, you cannot use a custom domain, or create discount codes.
  • High transaction fees: Shopify Starter charges a 5% transaction fee for using third-party payment gateways (such as PayPal or Stripe), which can add up quickly if you have a lot of sales. This fee is higher than other Shopify plans or other e-commerce platforms.
  • No email marketing: Shopify Starter includes no email marketing tools or integrations to help you build customer relationships and increase repeat purchases.

Shopify Basic Plan


  • Full Online Store: Comprehensive tools for a complete online store.
  • Custom Domain: Supports custom domain names.
  • Discount Codes: Allows creation of discount codes.
  • Advanced Reporting: More detailed analytics and reporting.
  • Theme Customization: More options for store customization.
  • Additional Sales Channels: Greater variety of integration options for selling on various platforms.
  • Reduced Transaction Fees: Lower transaction fees compared to the Starter Plan.


  • Higher Cost: More expensive than the Starter Plan.
  • Basic Reporting for Some Features: While better than Starter, still basic compared to higher-tier plans.

Shopify Starter vs Shopify Basic: Pricing & Fees

shopify starter vs basic

The Shopify Starter Plan is more affordable but has higher transaction fees, whereas the Shopify Basic Plan costs more monthly but offers lower transaction fees.

Shopify Starter Plan

Shopify Starter Plan

Shopify Starter costs $5 monthly, billed every 30 days. There are no setup fees or hidden charges. Moreover, it’s include a Shopify free trial up to 14-day for all newbies to test first before making the purchase decision.

However, there are some additional fees that you should be aware of:

  • If you use a third-party payment gateway (such as PayPal or Stripe) to process your payments, you will have to pay a 5% transaction fee to Shopify on top of the fees charged by the payment provider.
  • If you want to use a custom domain for your store, you need to buy one from a domain registrar (such as GoDaddy or Namecheap) and pay an annual fee (usually around $10-$15).

Read all about starter plan here: Shopify Starter Plan Review

Shopify Basic Plan

shopify pricing plan

Shopify Basic plan costs $39 per month, billed every 30 days, or $29 per month, paid annually.

There are no setup fees or hidden charges with the Shopify Basic plan. For online sales, there’s a fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. For in-person sales, the fee is 2.6% plus 10 cents.

Read all about pricing, features, and comparisons of Shopify Basic Plan here

The verdict

  • For Small Scale or Entry-Level Sellers: Shopify Starter wins. It’s significantly more affordable at $5 per month, making it ideal for individuals or small businesses just starting out or those primarily selling through social media and direct links. The higher transaction fees (5%) are offset by the low monthly cost, especially for those with lower sales volumes.
  • For Growing Businesses Needing More Features: Shopify Basic is the better choice. Priced at $39 per month, it offers a full-featured online store, lower transaction fees, and additional functionalities like custom domain support, discount codes, and advanced analytics.

Shopify Starter Plan vs Basic Plan: Main Features Comparison 

SSL Certificate

SSL Certificate
  • Similarity: Both the Shopify Starter Plan and Shopify Basic Plan include an SSL certificate. This feature is essential for ensuring that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private, which is crucial for building customer trust and improving store credibility.
  • Difference: While both plans offer SSL certificates, the Starter Plan is more focused on external selling platforms like social media, whereas the Basic Plan uses SSL within a more comprehensive website environment, offering a full-fledged online store experience.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Similarity: Abandoned Cart Recovery is available in both plans, allowing store owners to send automated emails to customers with items in their cart that haven’t completed their purchase. This feature helps in recapturing potential sales and improving conversion rates.
  • Difference: The extent and customization capabilities of the Abandoned Cart Recovery feature might vary. The Basic Plan typically offers more advanced customization options for these emails than the Starter Plan, aligning with its broader range of e-commerce tools.

Unlimited Products

Unlimited Products
  • Similarity: The Starter and Basic Plans both allow listing an unlimited number of products, providing great scalability for businesses of all sizes.
  • Difference: While both plans offer unlimited product listings, the Basic Plan is more suited for businesses with more extensive inventories that require more complex store management and organization features, typically more advanced than those in the Starter Plan.

Shopify Shipping

Shopify Shipping
  • Similarity: Shopify Shipping is accessible in both plans, offering discounted shipping rates and integration with major carriers, which is beneficial for managing logistics efficiently.
  • Difference: The Basic Plan might offer more advanced shipping features and significant discounts than the Starter Plan, as it is designed for businesses with a higher volume of shipments and more complex shipping needs.

Manual Order Creation

Manual Order Creation
  • Similarity: Both the Shopify Starter Plan and Shopify Basic Plan offer the feature of Manual Order Creation. This function allows store owners to create orders on behalf of customers, which is particularly useful for handling offline sales, returns, and exchanges, thus offering flexibility in sales management.
  • Difference: In the Starter Plan, Manual Order Creation is typically more essential due to its focus on starting businesses and external sales channels. In contrast, the Basic Plan may offer more advanced features within this function, catering to businesses that require more detailed and frequent manual order processing due to higher sales volumes.

The verdict

The Shopify Basic Plan outshines the Starter Plan with its advanced and comprehensive features. It’s ideal for growing businesses that need a full-featured online store. Key benefits include better functionality in abandoned cart recovery, broader sales channel integration, and enhanced shipping options.

Shopify Starter vs Shopify Basic: Which Plan is Best for You?

Shopify Starter Plan is best for:

  • New Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses: Ideal for individuals just starting out or small businesses testing the waters of e-commerce.
  • Social Media Sellers: Those who primarily sell through social media channels or messaging apps.
  • Low Volume Merchants: Businesses with a small number of transactions or those selling a limited range of products.
  • Budget-Conscious Users: Entrepreneurs looking for an affordable way to start selling online without needing a full-fledged website.
Shopify Starter vs Shopify Basic

The Shopify Basic Plan is best for:

  • Growing Small-to-Medium Businesses: Suitable for small businesses looking to expand their online presence with a dedicated website.
  • KOLs or Businesses Needing More Features: Those requiring more advanced features like gift cards, professional reports, and abandoned cart recovery.
  • Merchants with Moderate Sales Volume: Ideal for businesses that have outgrown the Starter Plan and need more robust e-commerce functionalities.
  • Entrepreneurs Planning to Scale: Businesses planning to scale up need a platform that can grow with them, offering more customization and integration options.


Consider switching from Shopify Starter to Basic when:
  • Your business is growing quickly in sales and customers.
  • You need better features like changing themes, detailed reports, and saving lost sales.
  • You want to sell on more platforms and need a stronger online store.
The Shopify Starter plan is ideal for businesses new to e-commerce, looking for a budget-friendly way to start, especially with a primary focus on social selling.
Yes, the Shopify Basic plan offers a wider range of sales channels, including an online store, in-person selling, and the ability to sell on various online marketplaces and social media, whereas the Starter plan has more limited options.
The Shopify Basic plan offers 24/7 customer support, providing businesses with round-the-clock assistance. The Shopify Starter plan might offer more limited support options in comparison.
Yes, the Shopify Starter plan is typically more budget-friendly and designed for beginners, while the Shopify Basic plan, with its expanded features, comes at a higher price point suitable for businesses looking for a comprehensive e-commerce solution.
The Shopify Starter plan is designed for beginners and offers limited features focused mainly on social selling. In contrast, the Shopify Basic plan provides a more comprehensive set of tools, including an online store, 24/7 support, fraud analysis, and abandoned cart recovery.


The Shopify Basic and Shopify Starter plans let you sell unlimited products online but differ in features, pricing, and transaction fees. 

The Basic plan provides more features and a smaller transaction fee but has a higher monthly cost. The Starter plan is less expensive but provides only the basic features for online merchants to start a new online business.

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.