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Shopify Starter Plan Review: Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons

2023 Shopify Starter Plan: New Gateway to Your eCommerce Success - The4™ Free & Premium Shopify Theme

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur or a small business owner ready to embark on your eCommerce journey? 

Look no further than the Shopify Starter Plan, a game-changing solution designed to empower merchants starting in online selling. Focusing on social commerce, this plan lets you connect with customers through popular social media platforms and messaging apps, offering a simplified online store experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the features, benefits, and strategies of the Shopify Starter Plan, equipping you with the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed in the ever-evolving social commerce landscape. We've covered everything from setting up your store to leveraging social media for maximum impact. 

What is Shopify Starter Plan?

Get ready to launch your online store easily and affordably through the Shopify Starter Plan. 

The Shopify Starter Plan (formerly Shopify Lite plan) is perfect for those who want to sell their products through social media platforms and messaging apps via product links without maintaining the merchant’s online store. Then It enables you to reach a wider audience and drive sales. You can also use Shopify’s link-in-bio tool, Linkpop, to gather all products in one place.

With its intuitive setup process and customizable options, the Shopify Starter Plan empowers you to showcase your products and engage with your target market seamlessly and efficiently.

This section will delve into the various features and benefits of the Shopify Starter Plan.

Shopify Starter Plan features:

Besides all features that all Shopify Plans must have, such as: 

- Unlimited products and bandwidth

- Brand asset management

- Fraud analysis

- Manual order creation

- Discount codes

- Custom pricing by market

- Abandoned cart recovery

- Staff logins

- Online sales channels

- Shopify POS app for in-person sales and order processing

Support options include email and chat support.

The Shopify Starter Plan offers specific features only in this plan:


Feature

Description

Transaction fees

5.0% for all payment providers

Default theme ready

The Spotlight theme in the Starter plan offers customization options like adding a logo, brand introduction, social media links, and customizing theme colors.

Linkpop support for Free

Shopify Starter Plan supports you in creating shoppable landing pages by Linkpop to connect your social media pages, online store, web-based documents, and media links, then enhance your online presence and engage your audience effectively.

Analytics and report

Key performance reports: Analytics page, Finances report, Product Analytics, Live View, Acquisition report, Inventory, Behavior, Marketing

International Commerce

The Starter plan supports your international growth with Shopify Markets - an all-in-one cross-border management tool for seamless international selling.

While the Shopify Starter plan is a great choice for eCommerce newbies, it does have a few limitations to keep in mind. 

- First, you can only add your product lists but won’t create your collections.

- The Starter plan does not include built-in blogging features, which can be essential for driving traffic through inbound marketing strategies.

The Shopify Starter plan is available in most countries worldwide, including The USA, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Germany, Spain, France, HongKong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Sverige (Sweden), UK, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, etc.
Click to check the Shopify Start Plan in your country

Starter plan pricing & subscription

Replacing the Shopify Lite, the Shopify Starter becomes the cheapest plan in Shopify.

The Shopify Starter plan costs $5 per month with a simple 5% per transaction credit card fee. It offers a free trial for you to explore its features before committing. 

If your business grows, you can upgrade to higher tiers, including the Basic plan ($25/month), Shopify (Standard) plan ($65/month), or Advanced plan ($399/month) for added functionality and scalability.

!Notice:

- The Shopify Starter plan is only available for new Shopify merchants.

- The pricing will change depending on your store location. Check the Shopify subscription in your country before opening a new Shopify store.

Build a store on the Shopify Starter Plan

To build a store on the Shopify Starter Plan, follow the process below: 

Step 1: Create your Starter account here.

Step 2: Add products to your store

Step 3: Customize your online store.

Now, you will design your store on the Shopify Starter plan’s default theme- Spotlight.

On Spotlight theme editor, you need to:

- Add your brand’s logo

- Pick up the hue for your store’s background, text, and button

- And add your store’s social channel links.

Finally, click Save. 

Step 4: Finish store settings.

Here you need to fill in your address and payment methods.

You now have a simple product link created on the Shopify Starter plan.

Create a Social Shoppable link

To start selling on social media using the Shopify Starter plan, you can create a Linkpop landing page. Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:

On your Starter’s store admin, click on Linkpop to install this app on your store,

Or visit Linkpop.com and sign in with your Shopify account details.

Now, Get started by making your social bio link by Linkpop.

You can either continue building your Linkpop or start from scratch.

Step 1: Set up your profile

- Enter the URL for your profile page (e.g., Linkpop.com/The4demo). Please note that this URL cannot be changed once created.

- Provide a profile name and description for your landing page.

- Click "Create Profile" to proceed.

Step 2: Customize your shoppable link:

On the Linkpop Admin page, you need the following:

- Add products that you want to sell
- Add media for some rhythms and make your Linkpop link more visually

- Add links to your store and affiliate links on Shopify Collabs or/and Amazon (if you have one)

Next, personalize the appearance of your Linkpop landing page by adjusting font color, background color, and font style. Add a logo for your profile and fill in the bio section. 

 

Moving to the "Bio" tab. You can add your business’s social channel links, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok.

Following these steps, you can create a Linkpop landing page and effectively sell your products through social media.

And here is the outcome.

Leveraging the Shopify Starter Plan for Success

To succeed with the Shopify Starter Plan, merchants can focus on the following areas:

Marketing and SEO: 

Utilize the built-in marketing and SEO tools to optimize product visibility and drive customer engagement.

Social Media Integration: 

Leverage social media platforms for promotional strategies and expanding your customer reach.

Customer Experience: 

Enhance the customer experience through personalized communication, prompt support, and a seamless checkout process. 

With the Shopify Starter plan, you can sell products through WhatsApp messages and share product links on Instagram. Connect your Linkpop landing page to social media platforms for seamless promotion.

Data Analysis: 

Regularly analyze store performance to make data-driven decisions and optimize marketing and sales strategies.

↪️ Explore more tips and tools to power up Starter stores:

 +11 Best Shopify Apps For Dropshipping

17+ Shopify Free Apps You Must Try

How to Use Cold Outreach to Build Your eCommerce Brand From Scratch

Starter Plan vs. Other Plans: Should I upgrade?

The Shopify Starter Plan is budget-friendly and offers many features to help entrepreneurs establish a successful online presence. However, it has several limitations.

If you consider upgrading to Shopify higher plans, first take a closer look at the pricing and key aspects of the Shopify Starter Plan and compare it to other Shopify plans here.

Starter Plan

Basic Shopify

Shopify (Standard)

Advanced Shopify

Shopify Plus

Pricing

* $5/ month 

* 5% transaction fee for all payment providers

* $25/ month

* 2% transaction fees for all payment providers

* 2% Currency conversion fee

* $65/month

* 1% transaction fees for all payment providers

* 2% currency conversion fee

* $399/ month

* 0.5% transaction fees for all payment providers

* 2% currency conversion fee

* Duties and import taxes rates

+ 0.85% (when using Shopify payments) 

+ 1.5% (Other payments)

* Start from $2000 for standard setups and integrations.

* Free (for Shopify payments) - 0.15% transaction fees

* Credit card fees vary by country. 

Best for

New Shopify users who focus on selling on social media with simplified product links.

Small businesses & individuals who want a Basic online store and don’t need extra features of higher Shopify plans.

Great for businesses looking to expand quickly, as unlimited products and unlimited storage.

Great for businesses that prefer a store like the Standard Plan, plus third-party shipping service.

High-volume companies consistently sell hundreds to thousands of products, with revenue of $1 million annually.

Store Setup and Customize

* Simple setup

* Link-in-bio support

Full website builder with customizable themes

Customized solutions for high-growth businesses

Key Features

Staff accounts

one user

two staff members

five staff members

15 staff members

Unlimited staff members

Type of store

Simple online store, include:

* Product pages,

* Contact page, 

*Shopify's fast and secure checkout

Full-page and high Customize online store

Domain

Shopify subdomain

Custom hosting and domain available

Analytics and reports

Basic report, including

* Analytics page

* Finances reports

* Product analytics

* Live View

* Acquisition reports

* 5-of-7-figure Inventory reports

* 5-of-6-figure behavior reports

* 1-of-5-figure marketing reports

All in the Starter & Basic, plus

* Full reports about Inventory, Behavior, Marketing

* Order reports

Sales reports

* Retail sales reports

* Profit reports

* 7-of-9-figure customer reports

All in Standard, plus

* Custom Reports Builder

Shipping

* Shipping discounts: Competitive DHL Express, UPS, or USPS shipping rates.

* Competitive Shipping discounts from DHL Express, UPS, or USPS.

* USPS Priority Mail Cubic® pricing

* Competitive Shipping discounts from DHL Express, UPS, or USPS.

* USPS Priority Mail Cubic® pricing.

* Third-party calculated shipping rates.

International commerce

No

Yes (exclude eCommerce automation)

Yes (include eCommerce automation)

Point of Sales

Shopify POS Lite

Shopify POS Pro

Apps and channels

Limited

Can add all apps based on the installation requirements you fulfill for your store.

* Can add all apps for common plans
* Advanced Shopify app offers for specific channels

Customer Support

24/7 via email, chat, and phone

Dedicated support by Shopify Launch team

Premium services 

No

Yes (Merchant Success Program, additional API call, Shopify Plus Academy, etc.)

To upgrade to a higher plan, follow these easy steps:

Step 1: Log in to your store.

Step 2: Click Settings from your Shopify admin, then go to Plan.

Step 3: Click Change Plan.

Step 4: Review and Choose plan that you want to upgrade.

Step 5: Select a billing cycle and carefully review the description of the credit card fees before agreeing to them.

Step 6: Click Start Plan to accept the new agreement or Cancel.

Is the Shopify Starter Plan suitable for your business?

With its affordable $5 per month, Shopify Starter Plan is an appealing offer to many merchants, especially eCommerce beginners. However, you must understand the limitations of the Shopify Starter Plan and determine if it aligns with your specific needs as a seller. This plan is designed for a specific type of merchant, so it's important to consider if it fits your business model.

To determine if the Shopify Starter Plan is right for you, ask yourself:

- Do you want to sell products without needing a complete website?

- Are you a creator, blogger, or influencer looking to sell merchandise?

- Is selling on social media your preferred sales channel?

- Does your current website already have essential content, making creating a separate site for selling products impractical?

- Would you like to monetize your social media presence?

If you answered "Yes" to these questions, the Shopify Starter Plan may be a suitable match. Not only is it affordable, but it transforms any website or creator platform into a selling system, offering options to reach fans and customers across multiple sales channels for unlimited product sales.

Should you ever need to upgrade your plan for additional features such as selling on Amazon, integrating PayPal, or accessing advanced reporting tools and printing shipping labels, upgrading is just a click away.

If you have further questions about our Shopify Starter Plan review or experience using Shopify Starter or the previous version, Shopify Lite, we welcome your comments and insights in the section below.

FAQs about Starter Plan

1- What is the Shopify Starter Plan?

The Shopify Starter Plan is an entry-level eCommerce plan offered by Shopify. It is designed for merchants just starting out and wanting to sell products online through social media platforms or existing websites.

2- How much does the Shopify Starter Plan cost?

The Shopify Starter Plan is priced at $5 per month. It provides access to basic eCommerce features and tools to help you create a simple online store and sell on social channels.

3- Can I upgrade from the Shopify Starter Plan to a higher plan?

Yes. You can upgrade from the Shopify Starter Plan to higher plans like Basic Shopify, Shopify, or Advanced Shopify as your business grows and requires more advanced features and capabilities. Check out the full Shopify pricing guide here.

4- What payment options are available with the Shopify Starter Plan?

With the Shopify Starter Plan, you can accept customer payments through multiple payment gateways. This includes popular options like credit cards, digital wallets, and other similar payment methods.

5- Does the Shopify Starter Plan include customer support?

Yes. Like other common plans, the Shopify Starter Plan provides 24/7 support on Shopify Help Center

6- Can I try the Shopify Starter Plan before committing to it?

Yes, Shopify offers a free trial period for the Starter Plan. You can sign up for a trial and explore the features and functionalities of the plan for a limited time to see if it meets your business needs.

7- Can I change the themes on the Shopify starter plan?

Unfortunately, you can only use the default theme set on the Shopify Starter plan. You can freely change the logo, brand introduction, add your business social media links, and customize your theme’s color on that theme.

To apply advanced Shopify themes,  you first need to upgrade your store plan first.

8- Is the Shopify Starter Plan sufficient for my business needs?

The Shopify Starter Plan 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, choose a higher pricing tier of Shopify.

9- Can I dropship using the Shopify Starter plan?

The Shopify Starter plan is only suited for Social commerce. It would be best if you had a higher plan than the Starter that fully supports you in creating a comprehensive dropshipping store

10- Does Shopify Starter Plan work on another eCommerce platform?

Yes

With the Shopify Starter Plan, you have the flexibility to host your products on Shopify and sell them on your WordPress website. By utilizing the Buy Button feature, you can seamlessly integrate any product from Shopify onto other eCommerce platforms, blogs, or any platform that supports HTML coding. This opens up opportunities for expanding your sales channels and reaching a wider audience.

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