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Shopify Starter Plan Review: Features & Pricing [2023 Update]

by Amelia Pahm
Shopify Starter Plan Review: Features & Pricing - OneCommerce

Looking to start selling online using Shopify but don’t have a huge budget? The Shopify Starter plan is the perfect solution for you.

With just $5 per month, monetization opportunities lie in your hands when there are limitless products to sell. As for the subscription fee, Shopify Starter has fewer features than other plans. However, new merchants who love to sell across their social platforms will find this plan an ideal fit.

Read on if you’re one of them and ready to make big bucks online soon. We’ll walk you through a detailed review of the Shopify Starter plan and show why it’s worthwhile.

Let’s go!


  • Shopify Starter plan is the most basic pricing plan offered by Shopify, at just $5/month.
  • Shopify Starter plan is perfect for beginner merchants who just starting to sell across social media without a website.
  • Merchants are provided with Linkpop—a bio link service partnered with Shopify to give its users monetized links to Shopify product pages.

What is Shopify Starter Plan?

Shopify Starter plan is the most basic pricing plan of Shopify starting from just $5 a month, suitable for new merchants who plan to sell across social media channels and messaging apps.

shopify starter plan

If you know about the Shopify Lite plan—the Starter plan’s precursor, you can picture the idea behind it. But with the Shopify Starter plan, you’ll pay less for even more features. Yes, Shopify rebranded the old newcomer plan for a good reason!

And $5 is all it costs. No hidden fees are included in the subscription fee. However, it’s critical to know that there’s a payment processing fee, which is also unhidden.

As its name suggests, the Shopify Starter plan aims at sellers who are new to the platform or have just been on trial. Plus, these sellers have usual activities on social media where they’ve already built a robust community online. The plan comes for those desiring to monetize their digital communities with Shopify.

The fascinating news is—there’s no absolute need to create a website. Once you’re on set with the Starter plan, Shopify gets you covered with its self-made subdomain.

Then, it’s easier for you to sell your merch, as navigating product pages and creating product links are all the needed tasks.

What Features Come with Shopify Starter Plan?

Let’s see what’s in the Shopify Starter plan from the table below.

Feature Description
Numbers of products & items to sell Unlimited
Checkout module A secure and fast Shopify subdomain with a built-in SSL certificate. (SSL is the type of domain security to ensure that it’s safe to access the URL. An SSL-certified link comes with HTTPS and not HTTP) 
Online store A simple online store with basic product pages, a shopping cart, a Shopify inbox, and a contact page.

  • Product pages are easy to navigate while showing item images, a title, descriptions, a review section, and payment methods.
  • A shopping cart that allows visitors to save as many products as they want for the later checkout stage.
  • A Shopify inbox to execute quick customer support like handling orders and customer inquiries.
  • A contact page showing essential contact info such as your email address, social accounts, location, and phone number. This is crucial as it can prove you’re a legit business regardless of its size.
Link tool You’re provided with Linkpop—a bio link service partnered with Shopify to give its users a stack of solutions for social media creators/influencers.

One of them is creating monetized links to your Shopify product pages, which is an essential tool for social creators. The second important Linkpop feature is creating shortened links, which is helpful if you have multiple social pages for specific products from the same store.

Order management The Shopify Starter plan’s order management process is similar to the other plans. You can receive orders through your online store, social media, or email. Then, you can view, manage, and fulfill orders in the Shopify admin panel.

Specifically, you can track orders, integrate with shipping carriers (USPS, UPS, and FedEx), process refunds & exchanges, and generate reports.

The plan doesn’t include advanced features such as order automation, multi-channel selling, and advanced reporting.

Sales Analytics This feature measures all key performances of your store to give insightful pictures of how well you’re selling. This way, you’ll know whether you’re making profits.

But the most fantastic benefit of sales analytics is that you can learn what items are selling most, so you would pay more marketing effort to them. Likewise, for items left unsold for a long time, you could remove them from the store.

The sales analytics tool also provides sales data based on a selected period. From there, you’ll quickly detect the peak season for your business to prosper, buyer tendencies, marketing efficiency, and more.

Fulfillment network The Shopify Starter plan already includes the Shopify Fulfillment Program. That means with $5 monthly, you leave every step—from storing to shipping—of the fulfillment process to the professionals.
Mobile POS (Point of Sale) This feature allows you to sell offline anywhere and accepts payments via the Shopify POS app installed on your smartphone. Payments can be made by Tap to Pay on iPhone or card readers for every budget.
Access to Shopify apps You can head to the Shopify App Store, download desired apps, and set them up to support your online store.

How Much Does the Shopify Starter Plan Cost?

The Shopify Starter plan costs $5/month.

We have mentioned this multiple times because the price is too good to be true for such a merchandise opportunity with Shopify—the biggest e-commerce platform.

This is the lowest subscription fee among all plans from Shopify. And it’s fixed, meaning there are no upgrade options or extra fees to access the plan. You’ll pay for all features of the Starter plan.

Nevertheless, you must pay for payment transaction fees whenever you make a sale. Shopify charges you a 5% per transaction for this fee (even if you use Shopify Payments or not). And it’s a bit higher than the credit card rate of 2.9%+$0.30 from the Shopify Basic plan.

Using the Starter plan, on the bright side, you’ll spend less upfront costs with the needed functionalities to get your feet wet in the merchandise world.

$5/month already sounds like a good deal, but Shopify gives a great treat with a 14-day trial for newcomers. This is to make sure that the plan sits with you. Meanwhile, note that poor sales performance during the trial might have nothing to do with your Shopify plan.

shopify free trial

Shopify Starter Plan vs. Other Shopify Plans

In case you want to consider more Shopify plans, we’ve made two comparisons below to show the losses and wins if you choose the Starter plan over the Basic and Advanced plans.

1. Shopify Starter plan vs. Basic plan

Here’s a comparison of the Shopify Starter plan and Basic plan:

Starter plan Basic plan
Subscription Fee $5/month $25/month
Trial 14 days First 3 months for $1/month
Online Credit Card Processing Fee 5% per transaction 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction
Number of Products Unlimited Unlimited
Storage and Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited
Staff accounts No 2
Free SSL Certificate Yes Yes
Reports Basic Basic
Inventory Locations 2 1000
Marketing Automation No  Yes
Type of Merchants New merchants who want to sell across social media Small businesses with a website built by themselves.

It’s all about what merchant type you are. Choosing the Starter plan instead of the Basic plan means you can start selling online without a website with the least cost possible.

However, the Basic plan would be a better choice if you’ve already become a small business. That’s because a small business usually needs as many inventory locations as possible to sell worldwide. And with marketing automation from the Basic plan, they could take a step ahead of their competition.

2. Shopify Starter plan vs. Advanced plan

Here’s a comparison of the Shopify Starter plan and Advanced plan:

Starter plan Advanced plan
Subscription Fee $5/month $399/month
Trial 14 days First 3 months for $1/month
Online Credit Card Processing Fee 5% per transaction 2.4% + $0.30 per transaction
Number of Products Unlimited Unlimited
Storage and Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited
Staff accounts No 15
Free SSL Certificate Yes Yes
Reports Basic Custom report builder
Inventory Locations 2 1000
Marketing Automation No  Yes
Type of Merchants New merchants who want to sell across social media Growing businesses looking for more opportunities to expand their stores.

The Shopify Advanced plan is an entirely different route and anyone cannot be on the fence between it and the Starter plan.

You would prefer the Advanced plan over the Starter plan if you’re already an enterprise with the ambition for an expanded business presence. The plan comes with a custom report builder that allows you to perform expert-level eCommerce analysis. Plus, with up to 15 staff accounts, reaching the business goal might be just a matter of time.

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Who Should Go For Shopify Starter Plan?

At this point, you can tell that the Shopify Starter plan serves a very specific type of merchant. Only sellers who are new to Shopify are eligible for the plan, and “new sellers” don’t exclude those on trials.

In addition, the Shopify Starter Plan is right for you if:

  • You want to sell merchandise across social media without a website.
  • You’re a social media creator, influencer, or blogger, and you want to monetize your growing followers/traffic.
  • You’re not interested in managing a complex store; simple product pages with accessible links to share are good enough for you.
  • You have a tight budget and no time to take care of inventory.
  • You have an insane social network through messaging apps (e.g., WhatsApp and Telegram) and would love to share monetized links.

Even if you’re not having a big fanbase to sell to instantly, the Starter plan is still a worthwhile option. How? Run social ads. If you’re an ad expert, you’re on the highest chance to make a great deal of money. Ads are also the fastest way to reach the target audience in case you don’t have available followers.

And with just $5/month as the plan’s subscription fee, you can save more budget for the ads to generate more sales.

Plus, when running ads to promote your eCommerce business, you should activate the ad during your product’s peak seasons. The basic reports from the Starter plan are powerful enough to let you know what time of the year could bring you the most conversions.

Also, one more interesting fact about the Shopify Starter plan is that you can use it to test a sales idea. And you can do it completely with just a smartphone.

As soon as you’re done using the Starter plan and want to upgrade to the higher-tier ones, it’s just a click away.

Shopify Starter Plan Drawbacks

The Starter plan is a great option for social creators just starting with Shopify, but it does have some limitations. Here are its downsides:

  • No abandoned cart recovery: Abandoned cart recovery is a feature that helps you recover sales from customers who have added items to their cart but have not yet checked out.
  • Higher transaction fees: The Shopify Starter plan charges a 5% transaction fee on all payments processed through Shopify Payments. This is higher than the transaction fees charged on other Shopify plans.
  • No access to advanced features: The Shopify Starter plan does not include access to some of the more advanced features of Shopify, such as gift cards, shipping labels, and dropshipping.

Again, there’s no way to make changes to the Starter plan. If you’re uncomfortable with those adverse sides, just consider other Shopify plans.


In short, Shopify Starter plan is the best fit for those selling across socials like Facebook or Instagram. The idea is to monetize your customer base while not having to carry a burden from upfront costs, inventory, packaging, shipping, and web management.

With the subscription fee of just $5 per month for critical features to run a little eCommerce store, the Starter plan slaps other similar tools. We’d love to think that this plan is rather a welcome gift from Shopify. It opens the eCommerce door for novice merchants and actually gives them lucrative opportunities.

Social platforms are gold mines these days. With the Shopify Starter plan, hopefully, you will sell more easily and quickly!

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