Should You Use the Shopify Starter Plan for Starting Your First Online Store?

in Website Builders

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Shopify has become the “Google” of the e-commerce universe. If anyone mentions they are thinking of starting an e-commerce business, they will typically be directed to Shopify. And for a good reason. Here is my Shopify Starter Plan review.

I’m a big fan of Shopify. In my Shopify review, I have covered all the key features and pros and cons of this industry-leading eCommerce platform. Here, I will zoom in on their Starter plan ($5/month).

But there’s one sticking point. Its standard plans aren’t exactly cheap.

So what do you do if you’re a total n00b and you’ve never tried out e-commerce before? Give up? Or give Shopify’s bargain Starter plan a go?

I know which one I’d choose.

I love risk-free things. I love free things too, but I’ll also settle for almost free. The Shopify Starter plan allows everyone to kickstart their e-commerce career with practically no risk and for virtually no money.

TL;DR: The Shopify Starter plan provides an incredibly low-risk and cheap way to get started in e-commerce. It’s perfect for beginners and users of social media that want to increase their revenue through selling products through social media, email, SMS, WhatsApp, and anywhere you share a link to a product.

However, it is unsuitable for large e-commerce, and those that do not like using social media may not enjoy this option.

Raring to start with the Shopify starter plan? Go for it here.

Reddit is a great place to learn more about Shopify. Here are a few Reddit posts that I think you’ll find interesting. Check them out and join the discussion!

What is Shopify and the Starter Plan?

shopify starter plan

Shopify has been around forever and was born out of frustration when a snowboarding company couldn’t find an e-commerce solution that fit its requirements.

Rather than give up, they created their own platform, and this quickly grew to become one of the largest e-commerce platforms on the planet, with impressive statistics such as over 2 million customers and $4.6 billion in revenue.

It’s safe to say that Shopify is huge. Mega huge.

Historically, Shopify only had two or three plans available and cost at least $29/month. Understandably, this made newcomers to e-commerce nervous because it required a financial investment and no guarantee that they would make money.

Ultimately, Shopify lost out on business because its plans weren’t suited to this demographic.

Fast-forward to 2023, and Shopify has diversified its available plans and now has the Starter plan, which is accessible to all and so easy to use that my pet dog could do it in his sleep.

Geared toward beginners, the nervous, and fans of social media, the Starter plan offers an (almost) risk-free way to start selling products on your favorite platforms.

And I think it’s pretty neat.

Plans & Pricing

Shopify Starter Plan Pricing

The Shopify Starter plan’s pricing is very straightforward:

  • $1 only for the first three months
  • $5/month thereafter
  •  Transaction fees are only 5% when you use Shopify Payments.

Before you start paying, you can take advantage of a three-day free trial. At the end of this period, you will be charged. There is no money-back guarantee available, so once you pay for a subscription, it’s non-refundable.

Love the simplicity and ease of the Shopify Starter plan? Get started here.

Shopify Start Plan Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A very low-risk and affordable way to try out e-commerce
  • Try for three months for only $1
  • Perfect for beginners
  • You only need a mobile device to use this plan
  • Linkpop (shoppable link-in-bios) integration

Cons

  • Features are limited, with few online selling features, customization, and sales channels.
  • If you need more advanced eCommerce features like theme editing, blog posts, and more, then you need Shopify’s Basic plan.
  • You have to pay a 5% + 0.3$ transaction fee on each sale

Starter Plan Features

Shopify Starter Plan Features

Okay, so this is a lightweight plan with an even lighter price, so don’t go expecting the same features that you get on a standard Shopify plan. Here’s what you get for your money:

  • Sell unlimited products for only $5/month
  • Optimized for selling via social media, email, SMS, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Use of Shopify checkout, product pages, and inbox
  • Linkpop included
  • Order management and fulfillment
  • Key analytics
  • Discount codes and abandoned cart recovery
  • Customer support

Why Choose the Starter Plan?

What are the reasons to pick this plan over Shopify’s more comprehensive plans? Let’s find out.

The Easiest Way for Beginners to Sell

The Easiest Way for Beginners to Sell

Setting up an entire e-commerce website is daunting, to say the least. And what if you’ve never dipped your toe into the world of online selling before? Where do you even start? What if you only want to sell one or two products?

These are the concerns that Shopify has addressed with its Starter plan, and it couldn’t be easier to get started.

All you need is a smartphone, a product description, and a couple of images, and you’re good to go. Set up your product listings, then get to work sharing them on social media or anywhere that accepts a link.

You get to use all the essential Shopify features, such as its shopping cart and payment gateway, and customer inbox, but you don’t have to create a website, and you’re not going to get distracted or overwhelmed by unnecessary features.

As far as I’m aware, this is the lowest-risk and simplest way to start your e-commerce venture.

Social Media Optimized

Social Media Optimized

The Shopify Starter plan is designed for social media selling. Useful, really, because this is where you will find your biggest customer base.

Whether you’re promoting through paid ads, Instagram reels or stories, Tweets, or TikTok videos, all you have to do is add the link to the product page, and those interested just have to click and buy via the single-page order form.

Overall, this is the most rapid way to get your products out there, and if you’re already a dab hand at social media, you will find it a breeze. Even better if you have already established an eager and dedicated audience to sell to.

Monetize Your Bio Link

Monetize Your Bio Link

The Shopify Starter plan includes the Shopify-owned app Linkpop. This enables you to build a curated list of products found via a single link. This link is intended for your Instagram bio or other social media bio lines and makes it easy for customers to click and buy your products.

You can jazz your link up by adding videos from your YouTube channel, Spotify playlists, other websites, and more. Essentially, it’s a one-stop shop for everything you sell and promotes online.

Linkpop works seamlessly with Shopify, so you can add the products via your Starter plan and then add them to your Linkpop.

I love this feature because you can personalize it with so much more than just products. It’s a fun way for customers to discover who you are and what your brand is about. And, of course, clicking on a bio is just about the easiest thing for social media users to do.

Sell Whatever You Want

Sell Whatever You Want

The true beauty of this plan is that you can literally sell whatever you want. Whether you make your own products or sell ready-made items, it’s possible. If you want to set up a print-on-demand business or dabble in dropshipping, the Starter plan facilitates this.

This goes for digital products as well as physical ones. So if you’ve been looking for a low-risk way to sell that e-book you wrote ages ago, this could be the perfect solution for you.

Also, if you choose something like drop-shipping or print-on-demand, then you’ll never actually purchase or handle any inventory. So unless you pay for advertising, your business could literally cost you just $5/month!

Upgrade When You’re Ready

shopify pricing plans

There’s going to come a time when you outgrow the Starter plan. I mean, the clue is in the name, and it’s a plan to simply get you out there selling from the get-go.

At some point, you’re going to want to upgrade to a “proper” e-commerce site and have access to all the Shopify features that come with its standard plans.

The good news is that Shopify makes this possible and is entirely flexible. This means you are free to upgrade your plan whenever you want. I like that you have this flexibility because it means you can do whatever works for you without having to put up with any limitations.

About Shopify

Shopify Features

Shopify is a leading eCommerce platform that provides businesses with a range of features to help them succeed online. Shopify’s app store is a treasure trove of useful apps that businesses can integrate with their online store to enhance its functionality.

The platform also offers a variety of themes, including the Shopify theme, which can be easily customized to fit any business’s brand and style. Businesses can also leverage messaging apps to easily communicate with customers via their online store.

Shopify’s SSL certificates provide a secure browsing experience for customers, while specific transaction fees enable businesses to manage the cost of running their online store effectivelyShopify’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for businesses to manage manual order creation, create discount codes, and take advantage of following features such as third-party app connectivity, hosted solutions, payment processors, shipping labels, and marketing reports.

Overall, Shopify’s features enable businesses to grow their online presence and provide customers with an engaging and enjoyable shopping experience.

Shopify eCommerce

Shopify’s eCommerce platform is designed to help businesses succeed online. By enabling businesses to sell products through their online store, Shopify has become a cornerstone for many eCommerce businesses. Its user-friendly interface enables eCommerce store owners to manage their online store, including their product inventory, orders, and customers with ease.

Additionally, Shopify offers a range of features that provide businesses with the flexibility to customize their eCommerce website, including the ability to use a custom domain and web hosting. Shopify enables businesses to connect with customers through social media platforms, leveraging online marketing tools, generating revenue in the global marketplace, and making selling on social media super easy.

And with different pricing plans, Shopify caters to businesses of all sizes, making it possible to own a Shopify store easily for everyone, including those just starting their eCommerce journey. Overall, Shopify’s eCommerce platform provides businesses with the tools to establish and grow their businesses, and the flexibility to adapt as their business evolves.

Questions & Answers

Our Verdict ⭐

I think the Shopify Starter plan is really great. I’ve known plenty of people who were curious about e-commerce but were put off by the high fees and startup costsThis plan removes the monetary risk entirely and makes it accessible to all.

Shopify $1/month Free Trial
From $29 per month

Start selling your products online today with the world’s leading all-in-one SaaS e-commerce platform that lets you start, grow, and manage your online store.

Start a free trial & get three months for $1/mo

However, I would say that you need to be comfortable using social media for this plan to be successful. If you tend to avoid social platforms, then it might not be for you.

But for content creators, those that run forums, groups, and other community pages, this is a truly exceptional option.

If you like what you’ve read, sign up now and try it for yourself.

Reviewing Shopify: Our Methodology

When we review website builders we look at several key aspects. We assess the intuitiveness of the tool, its feature set, the speed of website creation, and other factors. The primary consideration is the ease of use for individuals new to website setup. In our testing, our evaluation is based on these criteria:

  1. Customization: Does the builder allow you to modify template designs or incorporate your own coding?
  2. User-Friendliness: Are the navigation and tools, such as the drag-and-drop editor, easy to use?
  3. Value for Money: Is there an option for a free plan or trial? Do paid plans offer features that justify the cost?
  4. Security: How does the builder protect your website and data about you and your customers?
  5. Templates: Are the templates of high quality, contemporary, and varied?
  6. Support: Is assistance readily available, either through human interaction, AI chatbots, or informational resources?

Learn more about our review methodology here.

About Author

Matt Ahlgren

Mathias Ahlgren is the CEO and founder of Website Rating, steering a global team of editors and writers. He holds a master's in information science and management. His career pivoted to SEO after early web development experiences during university. With over 15 years in SEO, digital marketing, and web developmens. His focus also includes website security, evidenced by a certificate in Cyber Security. This diverse expertise underpins his leadership at Website Rating.

WSR Team

The "WSR Team" is the collective group of expert editors and writers specializing in technology, internet security, digital marketing, and web development. Passionate about the digital realm, they produce well-researched, insightful, and accessible content. Their commitment to accuracy and clarity makes Website Rating a trusted resource for staying informed in the dynamic digital world.

Ahsan Zafeer

Ahsan is a writer at Website Rating who covers a broad spectrum of modern technology topics. His articles delve into SaaS, digital marketing, SEO, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies, offering readers comprehensive insights and updates on these rapidly evolving fields.

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