How Much Cost To Open A Shopify Store For SMBs. 4 Tips To Save Money On Your First Years

Ellie Ho
Jun 7, 2024
3 min read

​​How much cost to open a Shopify store? This may be the question you have in mind when clicking through this article.

So if this is the case, let us help you. This article will list every cost you need to consider when starting a Shopify business and give you detailed information about which Shopify pricing plan you should take.

Also, we will give you some tips to save money when opening your Shopify store in the first year.

Are you interested enough? Let's dive in.

Shopify pricing plan explains. Which one you should choose?

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that supports businesses of all levels to sell. It offers you an entire pack of features so that you can easily manage your online store, help you put your effort into more important tasks, such as promoting or handing customers.

There are 5 Shopify plans you can choose from:

  • Shopify Lite
  • Basic Shopify
  • Shopify
  • Advanced Shopify
  • Shopify Plus

- Shopify Lite: This is a Shopify plan for merchants who want to sell in person (POS). With Shopify Lite, you get more to add more features to your exiting website, including adding the "buy" button, view report, issue gift cards, access to the admin dashboard, etc. However, you cannot build an online website using this plan.

Shopify Lite costs you $9 / month.

- Basic Shopify: this is the starting plan for small businesses who want to build an online store using Shopify. This plan fits with small start-ups with revenue no bigger than $5000 since, among all the plans, this plan has the highest transaction/ credit card rate. You also don't have access to any report features.

Basic Shopify plan costs you $29 / month.

- Shopify: the best plan for growing business ($5000 - $10000 revenue a month). The plan offers you more than Basic plan at lower credit card/ transaction rate and enables you to have standard reporting and set up an international domain and pricing.

Shopify plan costs you $79 / month.

- Advanced Shopify: enable you to have every features possible, including essential features: advanced reporting (custom, visualization reports. This plan is the best for medium-sized businesses with revenues from 10.000 dollars since you get the lowest transaction/credit card rate.

Advanced Shopify plan will cost you $299 / month.

- Shopify Plus: this plan is for enterprise-level companies. Not just only offer every features that all previous plan has, the plan provides you to customize your store in every way. It is also equipped with many unique features, such as: Future-proof with built-in AR, video, and 3D media on product pages, automating complex processes, campaigns, and discounts

Shopify Plus will cost you at least $2000 / month. However, the price will vary depending on your business volume. All transaction fees/credit cards are negotiable according to your business size as well.

For Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify, you could see the cost-benefit as the below image

Shopify pricing table

That’s a fix cost for using Shopify as your online business platform. The minimum cost is $29/ month.

For more detail comparison between all basic plan you could check this guide: A Complete Guide On Shopify Price Plans.

Shopify Payment Rate

For payment service, you can choose to use Shopify Payment or other 3rd party payments such as Amazon Pay or Paypal integrated directly into your store.

Shopify payment is the service that help store owner get payment online. With Shopify Payment, you don't need to go through the complex and cumbersome of verifying 3rd party payment account through Shopify. It is fully integrated with your store, and you can view your payouts directly in the Shopify admin.

If you decide to use Shopify Payment, you need to pay an additional fee, the cost is different with each plan:

  • Basic Shopify plan:some text
    • Online credit card rate: 2.9% + 30¢ USD
    • In-person credit/debit card rates: 2.7% + 0¢ USD
  • Shopify plan:some text
    • Online credit card rate: 2.6% + 30¢ USD
    • In-person credit/debit card rates: 2.5% + 0¢ USD
  • Advanced Shopify plan:some text
    • Online credit card rate: 2.4% + 30¢ USD
    • In-person credit/debit card rates: 2.4% + 0¢ USD

If you don't use Shopify Payment, instead of payment rate, you need to pay a transaction rate:

  • Basic Shopify plan: 2%
  • Shopify plan: 1%
  • Advanced Shopify plan: 0.5%

This payment cost directly impacts your profit. Therefore if your business grows, you need to change the Shopify Plan accordingly to minimize the fee.

For Shopify Plus, the payment fee is custom based on business volume. You have to check with Shopify staff to know more details.’

Read more:

Shopify payment cost
Learn more about Shopify Payment

Shopify Shipping cost

Basically, you don't pay for shipping costs. Your customer pays this fee one way or another.

You could include this fee into the cost of your item and enable your customer to have free shipping. (This model works for high-margin products like a high-end watch).

Or you could charge your customer a flat shipping rate. For the remaining cost, you also add the product's price. (this model works for a store with few similar products)

Depending on your product range, and business model, you will have a different strategy to calculate the shipping rate.

Using Shopify, you can have a Shipping discount up to 88% from DHL Express, UPS, or USPS.

You can start calculating your shipping cost using this page.

Shopify POS Cost

Shopify POS is a point of sale app that you can use to sell your products in person. You can use Shopify POS to sell almost anywhere, including brick-and-mortar stores, markets, and pop-up shops.

Every Shopify plan supports POS, but you have to pay an additional $89 for each location for the cost.

Shopify POS detail pricing
Shopify POS detail pricing

Domain cost

Since your store is already hosting on Shopify, you only need to buy a domain (if you don't have one)

Typically, a new domain costs you from as low as $2.99 to $19.99 in the first year. Renewal rate yearly is about $15


- Some premium domains can cost you thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the domain's popularity. For example, can cost over $4.000, while rare domain such as is listed at $7.5 million.

- The popularity of each domain extension (.com, .io, .net) will impact the cost of the domain. For example, the ".com" domain always has the highest price.

Shopify domain cost
Example of domain cost. Source:

Theme cost

Shopify has many good free themes, such as Brooklyn, Simple, Dawn. They all offer enough features for basic needs: hero image, basic product layout, standard customization.

However, if you want more advanced features, customization options, or more design/ layouts, you need to have a premium one.

To purchase a premium Shopify theme, you can go directly to Shopify's website or theme marketplaces. A premium one often ranges from $35 to $250.

Read more:

Shopify theme cost
Shopify theme cost

Shopify Apps cost

Although Shopify is an easy-to-use eCommerce platform, it can not cover every feature. For example, they only have a basic filter and search function and don't have any marketing or conversion rate features.

They offer you enough functionality to run an online store straight away.

Therefore, like all other platforms, you may need to install different apps depending on what you need.

The most common type of apps that most Shopify Store have are:

  • Customer review
  • Filter & Search
  • Page / Form builder
  • Emails marketing
  • Push notification

Unlike Shopify themes which you purchase one time only, most of the apps in Shopify use a subscription model that you pay per month for the app to use it.

Additionally, some apps depend on the usage of your website to determine the price you have to pay. Your cost will range from $0 to $500+ /month for using Shopify Apps.

For example, Product Filter & Search charges you by the number of products used in your store.

Read more: Best Shopify Product Review Apps To Try In 2021

Products Fitler and Search Pricing
Product Filter & Search pricing. This is one of the most popular Shopify apps for SMB store.

Advertising / Marketing cost

Building an online store is just the beginning. Delivering customers to your store is equally important. To do that, you need to spend time and money on marketing.

Again, there are free/ organic ways of marketing and paid advertising.

Organic marketing means doing marketing using free platforms. The activities of this type could involve SEO, seeding, content marketing, etc/, while most efficient paid marketing in Shopify revolves around Google Ads, Facebook/ Instagram Ads.

The marketing cost could vary depending on many things: cost of the products, marketing budgets, products market, etc. However, if you decide to run ads, we think the minimum you should start is $500 a month. Smaller than this would be a waste since the frequency of your ads would not be enough for the customer to remember your brands.

Read more: How to Utilize the Benefits of User Generated Content

Shopify website design/ development cost

For most SMB businesses, free version of Shopify themes can not meet the demand. Maybe with your upcoming Shopify store, you will find it too.

You may need to redesign your website, do marketing, code specific features, or migrate your current website to the Shopify platform, and so on. To do all of those things, you need to hire an expert.

Shopify has dedicated an entire page to connect Shopify experts to those in need. You can check this page here for more details.

Besides this website, you could go to any freelancer website or Shopify Community to hire people. The price range from $30 for a small design task to $10.000++ for an entire project.

You may be interested in:

Hire Shopify experts
Cost to hire Shopify experts

4 Tips to save money when building Shopify business

For any business, saving money is a top priority. If you don't have a comfortable budget to work within the beginning, you need to pay extra attention to where you spend your money. We have some tips for you, so you don't overspend your money in your first years.

1. Planning and budgeting ahead

"Not planning is planning to fail."

Small or big business, you always start your business with planning because it gives you a clear map of everything you need to do to run your business.

You will have a clear plan of what you want to do and how much money you are willing to spend. Despite planning being changed according to the situation, it will save you from overspending.

2. Use Trial and use free Apps as much as possible.

You have to use some Shopify Apps. That's inevitable. However, you don't need to pay for every app you are going to use because some apps you can use for free and still be enough.

For example: if you are a new business with small email contact (< 1000), you could use Shopify Email apps for Free.

Secondly, always use Trial first, and try as many apps as possible to find your match. For one feature, there are often at least 3 - 4 choices. Therefore, you don't need to rush to purchase. Use the app to see it fit your need, ask customer support about things you don't understand, balance all the choices with budgeting in mind before the final decision.

Read more: Top Apps To Help Your Shopify Stores Increase Global Sales

3. Use organic marketing

Even if you are going to spend big money on paid advertising at some point., organic marketing is still a cost-effective way to acquire new customers. SEO, social media, content marketing, and seeding are some of the most effective organic marketing methods.

All of them can be done for free, but at the cost of your time. When you are in your first years, you may not get much profit, so doing the marketing yourself could save you a lot of money.

However, if your business is growing, you should consider hiring more people to save both your time and money since you can't do everything now.

4. Pay Shopify plan yearly or biannually.

Like most eCommerce platforms, Shopify offers a 10%, 20% discount for its plan when you choose to pay in 1 year or 2 years in advance.

Paying upfront might be a risk if you aren't sure your business will pay off in that time. However, if you already have a well-going business before coming to Shopify, paying years in advance will save you a lot of money.

Final words,

According to Shopify, start-up businesses spend $40.000 on average in the first year. That's a considerable number. However, with Shopify, you may spend a lot less than that since it's an all-in-one platform developed specifically for online SMBs.

You can start using Shopify with a 14-day trial to see if the platform fits you and the cost is worth your investment.


Boost Commerce is a technology company that is helping more than 11,000 Online Stores Across 80+ Countries grow sales with Shopify Advanced Filter and Search app.

You can try our filter and search app for Free here.

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Ellie Ho
Content Marketing Specialist
June 28, 2024
7 min read