While digging through the Shopify pricing plans, we bumped into Shopify Starter, and it was a pure surprise to us. There were so many questions that popped up in our mind at that time, like “What does the Starter plan do?”, “Is it really profitable?”.
If that's your concern, too, let's walk through this Shopify Starter review with LitExtension – #1 Shopping Cart Migration Expert. After over 5 months of working with this special plan, we have come up with this detailed article to help you answer these questions:
Without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Shopify Starter Review – Pricing Breakdown
Before getting to the nitty-gritty, it’s time we break down the pricing of this package.
Starter is no doubt the most budgeted Shopify plan. With only $5 per month, you’ll be able to kick off your online business and start selling in no time.
Don't have time and resources to open and maintain a fully functional eCommerce website? Shopify Starter is the go-to option for you. It allows e-merchants to add and sell products directly from their social media platforms. There's no need to involve any technical knowledge or coding skill with this pricing tier.
Unlike other Shopify pricing options, the Starter plan doesn’t come with an online store. And, in our opinion, that's the biggest drawback of this subscription.
It only offers a simple interface with adequate functions for customers to purchase your products. Therefore, if you want to build a full-fledged virtual shop, our recommendation is to consider choosing a higher pricing tier of Shopify.
Let’s take a quick look at other pricing options that might suit your business.
*if not using Shopify Payments
2.9% + 30¢ online
2.7% + 0¢ offline
2.6% + 30¢ online
2.5% + 0¢ offline
2.4% + 30¢ online
2.4% + 0¢ offline
*assign & manage staff's activities
up to 2
up to 5
up to 15
*automatically manage & operate stores
*shipping subsidies with leading carriers
up to 77%
up to 88%
up to 88%
Duties and import taxes
Third-party calculated shipping rates
With that being said, it’s worth noting that the Starter plan isn’t available for everyone. To be eligible for this special package, you must be a new merchant and are currently in the Shopify free trial period. Once you upgrade to a higher pricing tier, you won’t be able to revert back to the Shopify Starter.
Shopify Starter Plan – All Features
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know about its pricing, it’s time for the most important question. Is Shopify Starter good for beginners?
In this part of our in-depth Shopify Starter review, let’s discover how this package can assist you in increasing your sales volume.
Ease of use
As part of the Shopify ecosystem, selling with the Starter plan is just a piece of cake. It’s even easier for eCommerce newcomers since it eliminates the burden of building a full-fledged website. During our testing time with this subscription tier, we don't have any difficulty customizing and selling with the Starter plan.
Shopify Starter plan allows you to upload your product images, add descriptions, set a price, and that’s it! No need to worry about transferring a domain to Shopify, creating landing pages for different purposes, and managing your own store.
Therefore, the Shopify Starter plan, as its name suggests, is perfect for “starter” who have just taken their first steps in the eCommerce world. This platform is also an ideal solution for those who already have a social media page and want to sell directly from this channel.
Themes and customizability
We are quite disappointed that the Shopify Starter plan is only equipped with ONE default theme called “Start”. Unfortunately, you can neither switch to another template nor make changes to the “Start” theme. This website template comes as it is and cannot be edited.
This is one of the biggest drawbacks of the Shopify Starter plan. If you want to take advantage of 100+ sophisticated and well-designed templates on the Theme Store, it is recommended to upgrade to Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify pricing plans.
Sell on social media platforms
Not every merchant has enough resources to open and maintain a fully functional eCommerce website. They might look for a simple yet secure solution to sell on social media platforms, and this is when Shopify Starter comes into the picture.
Have something to sell? Shopify Starter allows you to upload product images, write descriptions, set the prices, and you are ready to go. Feel free to link these product pages on your social media channels (like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat,…).
On the other hand, you can use Shopify Starter and monetize the links in your bio. With the help of Linkpop, you will be able to design customizable landing pages and create shortened links that can be pasted into your social media bio.
When a customer clicks through your link, they will be redirected to a Shopify subdomain. There, they can add more products to their shopping cart and make a payment. Everything will be handled by Shopify, so you won’t be burdened by the weight of maintaining a whole eCommerce system.
On top of that, the Starter plan also creates seamless communication between merchants and their online visitors. This pricing option integrates well with several messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Thus, you can answer any questions customers might have or provide more information about your products through chatting.
When it comes to monitoring your performance, this budget Shopify pricing plan only offers basic functions, including:
- Finances reports
- Product analytics
- Live View
- Acquisition reports
- Inventory reports
- Marketing reports
With that being said, we believe that for small businesses, these tracking tools are enough to provide you with valuable insights into customers' behavior.
Shopify Starter internationalization
Selling beyond borders with Shopify Starter has never been easier with the help of Shopify Markets. It is a cross-border management tool that assists you in identifying, setting up, launching, optimizing, and managing international markets, all from a single store.
This feature centralizes all of the features in one single dashboard. Therefore, you can manage localization, shipping, duties, and compliance without having to switch between different stores and locations.
On top of that, it allows you to design customized online shopping experiences for various buyer segments. You can accomplish this by developing marketplaces that are focused on particular nations or areas, or you can combine nations and regions to streamline your expansion efforts.
As part of the Shopify ecosystem, users opting for the Starter plan can take advantage of its extensive customers' support system, including:
- Online documentation: This platform provides a vast collection of articles and tutorials on their Shopify Help Center that cover a wide range of topics, from setting up your store to managing your inventory and shipping orders.
- Community forum: Shopify has an active community forum where users can ask questions and share their experiences with other users. This is a great resource for getting help from other users who have already gone through similar issues.
- Email and chat support: Users can contact their support team directly via email or live chat for assistance with specific issues or questions.
As a hosted eCommerce solution, the Starter plan is highly secured. It has been taking several measures to protect its users' data and prevent security breaches, including:
- PCI compliant: This platform is PCI compliant, meaning that it meets the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) for securely handling and processing credit card transactions.
- SSL certificates: Shopify Starter uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates to encrypt data transmitted between the user's browser and the Shopify server, providing an additional layer of security for sensitive information such as credit card details.
- Two-factor authentication: This function adds an additional layer of security to protect your store from unauthorized access.
An introduction to what is Shopify
If you still have doubts about this platform, please check out all the reasons below to see how Shopify makes our team at LitExtension fall in love.
First, Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to create an online store to sell their products. It provides a variety of tools for creating and managing an online store, including the ability to add products, process payment, track inventory, and manage shipping.
One key advantage of using this platform is that it is a fully hosted platform. It offers a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate dashboard. Everything is presented in a straightforward and minimal ways. As a result, e-merchants don't have to worry about the technical details of setting up and maintaining an online store.
Grasp more insights about Shopify eCommerce platform with:
On top of that, Shopify has gained its reputation as the leading eCommerce platform thanks to its extensive collections of themes. All website templates are fast, well-designed, and fully functional, so online store owners can quickly set up their store and start selling.
Despite being a hosted solution, Shopify's customizability is not too limited. Feel free to make any changes you like and even upload your own custom Shopify theme.
Shopify can be an ideal solution for a wide range of businesses, including small online stores, large enterprises, and everything in between. It comes with five different pricing plans offering different features and functions to fit the needs of different types of businesses.
Please keep scrolling to learn more about the nitty-gritty of the Shopify pricing plan!
How much does it cost to start a Shopify?
Yes, Shopify is undoubtedly one of the best eCommerce platforms to kick off your online business. But the real question that might bother you is how much it costs to start a Shopify store?
Here’s a quick Shopify pricing breakdown for your reference.
Besides the above-mentioned tiers, Shopify also offers two other pricing options. They are Shopify Starter – a lightweight way to start selling on social media platforms that we've been reviewing in this article, and Shopify Plus – a tailor-made solution for large businesses and enterprises.
Other Shopify services you should not ignore:
How to sell on Shopify?
Looking for a guide to sell on Shopify? Here are some simple steps you could follow to create your online store on this eCommerce platform:
- Create a Shopify account
- Add products and create Shopify collections
- Customize your Shopify theme
- Add a custom domain
- Set up payments, checkout, taxes & shipping
- Add sales channels
- Add essential Shopify apps
- Pick a plan and launch your Shopify store
Shopify Starter – FAQs
Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t offer a free plan. If you want to give this platform a try, feel free to opt for its 3-day-free-trial before choosing a Shopify pricing plan for a long-term commitment.
Shopify plans come with five different pricing options targeting different merchant groups. Therefore, choosing the best Shopify plan depends on your specific needs and business sizes.
- Shopify Starter is best for those who already have a social media page and want to sell directly from this channel.
- Basic Shopify is an ideal choice for small or newly-built businesses who have just taken their first step in the eCommerce journey.
- Shopify Plan is perfect for merchants whose business is on the roll and are looking for a plan to scale up their business.
- Advanced Shopify is best suited for medium to large businesses thanks to the additional features and support it offers.
- Shopify Plus, on the other hand, is tailored for enterprises, huge companies, and high-growth businesses.
Basic Shopify could be an ideal solution for beginners. With an affordable monthly price, this plan offers an adequate amount of eCommerce features to quickly build an online store and start growing your business.
Yes, the Shopify Starter is still available for $5/month only. With this pricing option, you are able to quickly set up a simple storefront and sell products directly from your social media channels.
As your store scales up, you can upgrade to a higher pricing tier to gain more access to Shopify's exclusive features. All your data will preserved and migrated to the plan that you chose.
And that brings us to the end of this Shopify Starter review.
In conclusion, Shopify Starter is an ideal solution for eCommerce beginners who want to start small. This pricing plan lifts up the burden of building and maintaining a complete Shopify store. Therefore, e-merchants can solely focus on growing their business and get sales.
If you intend to move to Shopify, LitExtension is always here to help. With 10+ years of experience, LitExtension ensures your migration process is accurate, seamless, and secure. And don’t hesitate to contact our experts if you have any questions or requires.
If you want to connect to thousands of eCommerce gurus to gain more insights and grab more eCommerce tips & tricks, let’s check out our LitExtension blog and join our dynamic eCommerce Facebook community.