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Shopify Starter Plan: Best Plan for Beginners?

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eCommerce growth is one that shocked all of us.

What fuels this growth is the affordability of starting an online store compared to a physical store for new merchants, just like the Shopify Starter plan.

Simply starting an online store doesn’t guarantee anything. In fact, choosing the right eCommerce platform and pricing plan is very essential, as it can make or break your store’s success. Nobody wants to break the bank to start an online store, especially if they are new to it.

If you have been searching for a suitable solution to this and the perfect paid plan for beginners, you have reached the right place. This article will cover the Shopify starter plan review, explain why it is good and what its features are, and provide much more information so you can make a faster decision!

💡We meticulously evaluate Shopify themes and apps based on our hands-on experience. Read more about our comprehensive review process and methodology.

Why Shopify?

Why use Shopify?

While Shopify is known for many of its services, including the Shopify App Store and the Shopify Themes store, a few new features the platform has introduced are worth mentioning.

  • Launched Shopify Magic, the AI-driven features to simplify business operations.
  • Introduced Sidekick, an AI assistant that enhances productivity and decision-making.
  • Shop's AI shopping assistant will help consumers personalize their shopping with OpenAI's ChatGPT API.
  • Integrated Shop Pay installments into Shopify POS.
  • Optimized Shopify checkout with a one-page experience.
  • Introduced Shopify Credit, a business credit card for merchants.
  • Launched Shopify Collective, a B2B solution for sourcing products.
  • Introduced Shopify Marketplace Connect app, a hub for selling on major marketplaces.

What is the Shopify Starter Plan?

What is the Shopify Starter Plan?

As the name suggests, the Shopify Starter plan is a beginner-friendly subscription tier designed for those new to eCommerce. With this plan, you can create a fully functioning store within a few clicks and within minutes. The Starter plan is focused on creating a simple store for merchants who wish to sell through social media or messaging apps.

You only need images of your products and relevant product descriptions to get started. Sounds easy, right?

  • One of the best parts of this plan is that since you are creating a fairly simplified store, there's no worry about coding or advanced tech needs. You can sell on Instagram, WhatsApp, or any other app and even leverage Shopify checkout for quick and easy transaction processing and order placement.
Linkpop is a Shopify product that lets you sell products on social media by simply adding the link to your bio.
  • If you are looking for more ways to monetize your store, then Shopify's link-in-bio tool - Linkpop, can be of help. You can create a Linkpop page in minutes, and drive visitors to your bestselling products, and other content. The link can be added to your brand's social media bio for easy access.

You get many more features with the Shopify Starter plan, and we'll discuss them in detail in the upcoming sections.

Start a free trial and enjoy 3 months of Shopify for $1/month
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Who is the Shopify Starter Plan for?

Who is the Shopify Starter Plan for?

Source: Canva

Is Shopify's Starter plan for you? We will get to that in some time. But, if you are looking to understand if you can use the Shopify Starter plan for your business, here's what you need to know:

  • This plan is exclusively for new merchants and those in the free trial period.
  • It is also perfect for social media influencers, creators, artists, and solopreneurs.
  • It suits businesses looking to sell directly to customers through social media, WhatsApp, and other messaging apps without wanting to build a full-fledged online store.
  • This allows businesses to work with a smaller inventory and use social media for promotion.
  • Shopify's starter plan doesn't support staff accounts.
  • If you need staff access, consider upgrading to Shopify, Advanced Shopify, or Shopify Plus.

If you check all or most of the criteria above, then the Shopify Starter plan might be for you. We will discuss the plan more going forward and help you make an ironclad decision.

Shopify Starter Plans: How Much Does it Cost?

Shopify Starter Plans: How Much Does it Cost?

The Shopify Starter plan program is priced at just $5 per month. Yes, that's right! It is the perfect and affordable entry point into the eCommerce world.

But there's a small catch. The transaction fees for the Starter plan are considerably high compared to the other Shopify pricing plans, with a 5% plus 30¢ charge per transaction.

Even then, this plan equips merchants with essential features to sell products on social media platforms.

What's Included in the Starter Plan?

Included in the Starter plan are:

  • The Spotlight theme allows for limited customization for branding and color schemes.
  • Merchants can set up various marketing campaigns and automation, create unlimited product pages, and process manual orders.
  • Analytics and reports provide insights into sales performance, while discount code creation stimulates sales growth.
  • Additionally, the plan offers unlimited bandwidth and 24/7 merchant support.

There are certain features that are not included in the Starter plan, including the absence of a full-fledged online store with advanced customization options and blogging functionality. If this is not one of your important criteria while starting an online Shopify store, you can proceed with the Starter plan.

You might want to read more: 

  • Shopify 1 Dollar For 3 Months Plan 2024. How to get this deal and open Shopify store

Features of Shopify Starter Plan You Must Know of

The Shopify Starter Plan features are designed to kickstart your eCommerce journey and drive success. Here are some of them:

  • Unlimited Product Listings

Unlimited product listings

Source: Shirtbox

One of the standout features of the Starter Plan is the ability to create unlimited product listings. Whether you're selling a handful of products or building a comprehensive inventory, this feature allows you to showcase your entire product range without limitations and sell them effortlessly via social media. This flexibility enables you to cater to varying customer preferences and expand your product offerings as your business grows.

  • Access to Shopify Fulfillment Network

Access to Shopify Fulfillment Network

You must be already familiar with the business model of Amazon FBA, right? Well, with the Starter plan, you can utilize a similar business model. The Starter plan allows merchants to send their products to a Shopify warehouse for fulfillment, shipping, and returns management.

This feature is particularly beneficial for content creators venturing into eCommerce, as it alleviates the burden of managing order fulfillment independently. Do note that the Starter Plan offers only one fulfillment option. Yet, you get access to the network, allowing you to streamline your store operations, making it a valuable inclusion in the plan.

  • Customizable Contact Page

Customizable Contact Page

Source: Shopify

Building trust and establishing a direct line of communication with customers is essential for eCommerce success. With the Starter Plan, you have the ability to create a customizable contact page, providing customers with easy access to support and inquiries. This personalized touch is essential to create a positive customer experience and encourages engagement, ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Start a free trial and enjoy 3 months of Shopify for $1/month
Trusted by over 2,000,000 businesses worldwide

  • Basic Analytics and Reporting Tools

Basic Analytics and Reporting Tools

The Starter plan offers basic analytics and reporting tools that provide valuable insights into sales patterns, popular products, and customer behavior. You can even track metrics such as sales revenue, conversion rates, and customer demographics. Merchants can also identify trends, pinpoint areas for improvement, and optimize their marketing strategies for maximum impact.

Features of Shopify starter plan

Shopify Starter plan is indeed the whole package for you to start selling products online. And since it integrates with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other similar applications, you can communicate with your customers right from your phone. Plus, it offers a simplified dashboard for new merchants, resembling Shopify's standard interface. Though lacking advanced inventory features, it provides basic order processing.

Shopify Starter Plan vs. Basic Plan: Which One is Better?

 

As someone who is new to eCommerce, you are bound to explore all possible opportunities and pricing plans before committing. If you are confused between the Basic Shopify and Starter plans, don't worry; we have got you covered.

Feature

Shopify Starter Plan

Shopify Basic Plan

Price

$5 per month

$39 per month

Transaction Fees

5% + 30¢ per transaction

2.9% + 30¢ per transaction

Online Store

No (Mini site)

Yes (Customizable website)

Custom Domain

No

Yes

Discount Codes

No

Yes

Staff Accounts

No

Yes

App Store Access

Limited (excludes online store apps)

Yes

Features

Product pages, social media selling

Customizable website, blogging, abandoned cart recovery, SEO tools

Customization

Limited

Extensive

Inventory Management

Basic

More advanced features

Technical Skill

Minimal

More is required for full customization

Let's break this down further and analyze both plans.

  • Shopify Basic plan is Ideal for:
  • Established businesses with a growing product range
  • Businesses wanting a professional and branded online presence
  • Businesses planning to use marketing and discount strategies
  • Businesses with a higher sales volume (saves money on transaction fees)
  • Businesses needing advanced features like abandoned cart recovery and SEO tools

Upgrading to the Basic plan is beneficial when:

  • For branding, you require a full-fledged online store with a custom domain name.
  • You want more control over the look and feel of your store through extensive theme customization.
  • You need to add staff accounts to manage your growing store.
  • You want to offer discounts and promotions to attract customers.
  • You plan to leverage apps to extend functionalities (marketing tools, shipping integrations).
  • You anticipate a higher volume of transactions, where the lower transaction fee of the Basic plan can save you money in the long run.

Additional considerations:

  • The Starter plan is very affordable but has limitations. The Basic plan unlocks essential features for a successful online store.
  • Transaction fees impact profits. Consider your sales volume when choosing a plan.
  • The Basic plan offers more technical flexibility but may require some learning for full customization.

How to Start Selling on Shopify?

To build a Shopify store and start selling through the Starter plan, here's what you need to do:

  • Sign Up for an Account

How to Start Selling on Shopify?

Go to www.shopify/starter and click on the "Get Started for Free" button. The first three days of your plan will be free of cost, and you will be charged $1 for the first month.

  • Fill in Business Details

business details to sign up for Shopify Starter plan

The next step is to fill in the necessary business details. The questions would include whether you are starting new or have prior experience selling online or offline, the type of products you want to sell, where you want to sell, etc. You can answer them one by one and move forward. You also have the option to skip this altogether and set it up later. Choose your business location, and you are done.

  • Login Using Your Email

Create a Shopify account

At this point, you will be asked to create an account and sign in using your email address, or if you already have an account with Shopify and are on a free trial, you can simply log in. Once you have logged in, you can start adding products to your store.

Shopify admin page

 If you use any POD services, you can explore their relevant sourcing apps.

Product sourcing apps
  • Customizing the Store Design

Spotlight theme is the default theme on Shopify Starter plan.

By default, the theme will be Spotlight. You can customize it according to your liking and add a social sharing image, title, and description to showcase your online store on social media and search listings. You can also install relevant social channels at this point.

Build your Linkpop landing page directly from Shopify admin page after signing up on Linkpop webpage. Edit profile details, add social media links, then connect your product listings for easy social selling.

  • Configure Payment and Shipping Options

Configure Payment and Shipping Options

Don't forget to change your name store. Configure payment methods (transaction fees apply) and choose shipping options (manual setup needed) as well. You can also set up Shopify payments.

And that's it! You are all ready to launch your store and start selling online.

Best Shopify Starter Plan Examples to Check Out

Since the Shopify Starter Plan is so new, here's how Steve, a bartender and cocktail specialist, leveraged it for success!

  • Steve the Bartender

Steve the Bartender used Shopify Starter plan for selling his book.

Source: Shopify

Steve, a Youtuber with a cocktail recipe channel, used Shopify's Starter Plan ($5/month) to pre-sell his new cocktail recipe book. He found it perfect for its ease of use and social media sharing features, allowing him to test the market affordably before potentially upgrading.

🔑 Key Takeaway

The Shopify Starter Plan offers a cost-effective entry point for eCommerce beginners. At just $5 per month, it allows you to test product viability and manage basic sales through social media integration.

While it lacks a full storefront, its user-friendly interface makes creating product listings and processing payments seamless. This plan is ideal for beginners who are budding entrepreneurs and side hustlers.

Read more: 

 

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