Shopify Basic vs Professional Plan Review | Which Pricing Plan is Better for You?

Last updated on November 6, 2016

Shopify Pricing Review

Shopify Pricing review

Rating

Shopify’s pricing plans are very reasonable given their ecommerce tools are very solid and effective.

Specifically, their abandoned cart recovery function can help you recover lost sales you should be earning. This tool itself can be very valuable to your business.

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Last Updated on November 6, 2016

A frequent Shopify related question that we get from our readers is about Shopify Basic vs Professional Plan – why the monthly fee of the Professional Plan is $50 more than the Basic Plan?

[Update – the Basic and Professional plans are now named “Basic Shopify” and “Shopify”, respectively.]

Which Shopify pricing plan is better for you?

It’s a very legitimate question. After all, why pay $79 per month for the “Shopify” plan, when you get most of the tools with the “Basic Shopify” plan ($29 per month), right?

The way to analyze this is not to think about how many additional tools you get from the “Shopify“, or even the higher, “Advanced Shopify” plans.

Rather, the right way to evaluate each Shopify pricing plan is to consider how the additional tools can help you grow your business, and make more money!

You see, it’s not so much about the quantity or the number of tools you get. It’s all about how effective the tools are to help you grow your e-commerce online store.

I can give you 2,001 tools to build your store, but if you can’t use them to generate sales, then they’re not as effective for your business.

If I give you 1 single tool that can help you quickly generate more sales, then you would be very interested, right?

So what’s the killer tool that Shopify gives you with its “Shopify” and “Advanced Shopify plans that you won’t get with the “Basic Shopify” pricing plan?

The Abandoned Cart Recovery tool (more on exactly how this tool can make you more money below).

Before we proceed, let’s summarize Shopify’s pricing plans here:

Shopify Pricing Plans Monthly ($/month) 1-Year ($/month) Savings (%) 2-Years ($/month) Savings (%)
Shopify Basic $29.00 $26.10 10% $23.20 20%
Shopify $79.00 $71.10 10% $63.20 20%
Advanced Shopify $299.00 $269.10 10% $239.20 20%

As you can see, if you sign up to Shopify’s 1-year or 2-years plan, you can save between 10% to 20%.

The Abandoned Cart Recovery tool is available only to the Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans.

YOUR MONEY FALLING BETWEEN THE CRACKS

Have you ever tried scooping up water with both hands, and you see a large fraction of water leaking between your fingers? That fraction of water was already in your hands. But now, gone. A waste of your efforts, right?

Okay, so I can probably come up with a better example, but this illustrates a very critical point when it comes to generating more sales.

When you spend so much effort in building your ecommerce website, creating your products, marketing, getting prospects to your website, guiding them through your site, and finally have them add your product(s) to the shopping cart. Just this process is a heck of a lot of work and investment (if you have an online store, you know exactly what I mean).

Time to celebrate? Not yet. You know as well as I do is that you don’t do the victory dance until the cash hits your bank!

Here’s the bad news.

Did you know that on average, 67.89% of your prospective customers / shoppers who actually added your products to the shopping cart, ready to pull the trigger, end up not purchasing? That’s 2 out of 3 people! O-M-G!

Shopify basic vs professional plan - abandon rate

The 67.89% is based on an average of 24 different studies on shopping cart abandonment rate. This rate may not be indicative of what you are experiencing, but it’s pretty darn scary if you are operating an online store.

So if you have 100 customers a month, on average they purchase $50 from you. That’s $5,000 in monthly sales. If the statistics were accurate, what you may not know is that there are another 200 shoppers who may have added products to your cart, then walked away due to various reasons (more on this below). That’s $10,000 in sales that slipped between your fingers!

Even if you can “recovery” 10% of these shoppers, that’s another $1,000 in sales you can pocket.

WHY ARE YOUR SHOPPERS ABANDONING YOUR SHOPPING CART?

Studies have shown that there are a lot of different reasons why people add products to your shopping cart, insert their information in the checkout form, then decide to walk away without completing their purchases.

The top reason, which accounts for 56% of the time, is that they are presented with unexpected costs (such as shipping & handling, taxes, etc).

What else? Based on the study, here are the main reasons people cited as why they have abandoned shopping carts:

Shopify Basic vs Professional plan - abandon-reasons

Here are some of the key reasons for cart abandonment:

  • Presented with unexpected costs – 56%
  • Found a better price elsewhere – 36%
  • Overall price too expensive – 32%
  • Decided against buying – 26%
  • Website crashed – 24%
  • Process was taking too long – 21%
  • Concerns about payment security – 17%
  • Website time out – 15%

All these factors have something in common – you can recover these sales opportunities.

How?  You email / communicate with people who abandoned your shopping cart and give them a nudge to complete their purchases.  This is where Shopify’s Abandoned Cart Recovery can help you “recovery” sales that slipped through the cracks.

HOW CAN ABANDONED CART RECOVERY MAKE YOU MORE MONEY

Listen, these are people who were about to buy something from you. Things get in the way (dog made a mess, a friend called, had to run to the restroom, etc) and that’s just part of life.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that their intent to buy from you has changed. You just have to use the right tool, to nudge them to complete the purchasing process!

So what do you do?

The “Shopify” and “Advanced Shopify” plans come with the Abandon Cart Recovery tool, which allows you to automatically email your prospects, to follow up with them if they abandoned your shopping cart. This is the main, and critical point when it comes to comparing Shopify’s higher plans vs their lower, “Basic Shopify” plan.

Shopify basic vs professional plan - abandon feature

Sounds magical, right? But does it work?

Yes – absolutely.

This follow-up tactic is being used by large e-commerce stores such as Amazon all the time. I received quite a few of these follow-up emails and they work so well.

They get my attention, they make me an offer, and from time to time, I go back and complete the purchase.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK?

A lot of shoppers abandon the shopping cart after they’ve inserted their email addresses in the checkout form. Once they’ve done that, Shopify actually notes down their names and email addresses, and if they don’t complete their purchases, the Abandon Cart Recovery tool intelligently activates and will automatically start sending emails to market to them again.

The really cool part is that the series of emails that you can send to each shopper can be custom tailored by you, and can even include a link to the abandoned shopping cart with the products still in the cart, so that your shopper can click on the link to go back to the checkout page, and quickly and easily finish the purchase.

Now, not all shoppers who abandoned your cart will complete their purchases with your store, and that’s expected. But studies have demonstrated that it is quite reasonable for you to recover about 15% of your sales.

So just using our example above, where you may potentially have 200 shoppers abandon your cart.  If you recovered 15% of them at an average purchase size of $50 per purchase, that’s an additional $1,500 in sales you can potentially recover.

And the amazing part is that you don’t have to do any more marketing and lead generation work, as these were visitors that have visited your site and already had the intent of buying. You just have to set up Shopify’s Abandon Cart Recovery tool and it works on autopilot.  No need for you to lift another finger at all as Shopify does all the work for you.

WHAT SHOULD YOU EMAIL YOUR SHOPPERS?

What I’ve noticed from some big businesses, such as Amazon or GoDaddy, is that they will get my attention by sending me a reminder that I forgot to complete my purchases, with a link to my abandoned shopping cart. They ask me if I had any questions and they’re just there to be helpful.

Here is just an example that we found on one of Shopify’s blog post to illustrate how powerful this tool can be:

Shopify Basic VS professional Plan - email 1

If I ignore it (still don’t buy), they will follow up with me a day or two later again, and this time, they may throw in a discount code to really motivate me to complete my original purchase. Pretty sneaky, but so effective!

If I still don’t take action, they’ll follow up again in a day or two, with a “Last Reminder” sort of email, just in case I didn’t get their previous emails.

Here’s another example email we found from Shopify’s blog post:

Shopify Basic vs professional plan - Email 2

Now, not everybody is going to complete their original purchases with you, but even if 10% – 20% do, that’s extra money in your pocket.

The beauty is that once you’ve set up your automatic email sequences, Shopify takes care of automatically sending them out to your abandoned shoppers. You don’t have to do anything else as this system / tool will do all the hard work for you.

For a more comprehensive set of examples of what you can potentially email your shoppers who have abandoned your cart, Shopify has an excellent blog post that expands on this topic.

REVIEW CONCLUSION – SHOPIFY BASIC VS PROFESSIONAL PRICING PLANS (or “Basic Shopify” vs “Shopify” plans)

Remember, people may abandon your cart for a variety of reasons. But if you have the right tool to follow up with them, to offer more help (maybe they left because they had some uncertainties), or even incentives such as discount codes to complete their purchases (maybe offer them free shipping, or discount to beat a competitor’s price), that’s a very powerful tactic to grow your business.

Let’s not forget that for the customers that you “recovery”, the ones that you’ve managed to systematically motivate them to complete their purchases, they just might return and buy more (become repeat customers). Or, they may even tell their friends about your products, or share them on social networks.

So don’t think of using Shopify’s Abandon Cart Recovery tool as a one-off benefit. It can grow your sales in a really meaningful way by becoming repeat customers, or help you promote your products to their social circles.

This is what Shopify’s “Shopify” and “Advanced Shopify” pricing plans give you. It’s just one more tool, but arguably, can be one of the more powerful marketing tools you can have in your toolbox.

Is it worth the extra $50 per month to upgrade from Shopify’s “Basic Shopify” plan to their “Shopify” plan? I think so. If you can recover more than $50 a month, it’s a no-brainer.

Try Shopify’s “Shopify” or “Advanced Shopify” Plans Risk-Free for 14 Days

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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Jeremy Wong

About Jeremy Wong

Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.

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10 Responses to Shopify Basic vs Professional Plan Review | Which Pricing Plan is Better for You?

  1. Ashish kumar June 25, 2016 at 9:55 PM #

    But why don’t we go for Basic plan @ $ 29 and then get an abandoned cart recovery app for $ 5 per month??

    Still we can save $ 40 per month

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong June 26, 2016 at 7:59 PM #

      Hi Ashish,

      That’s one option. But with Shopify’s Abandoned Cart Recovery function, the tool and data are fully integrated into your Shopify dashboard, so you can control everything in one single location and operate your business that way.

      Bolting on external apps is an alright option, but I personally prefer to use tools that are built directly by the software provider (Shopify) so that everything is fully integrated. The last thing I want is for the external app to not work properly with my online store, and nobody wants to take ownership to fix the problem. With Shopify’s built-in abandoned cart recovery function, they’ll ensure it works at all times.

      You also get advanced reporting with the Shopify plan. This is really important as your business grows larger.

      I think that $29 per month plan (the Basic plan) works well if you are starting out. But as you accumulate more sales and as your business grows, it’s worth considering the Shopify plan ($79 per month) for its built-in abandoned cart recovery and advanced reporting functions.

      Jeremy

  2. Charles October 31, 2015 at 12:53 PM #

    Hi Guys,

    I just want to leave my personal opinion and experience with Shopify. I am a graphic designer and do web work as well. I recently setup an eCommerce site for a big client (footwear) and I could not be happier with how Shopify handles everything. Primarily, customer service is the best and I never wait more than a couple of minutes to be helped if I have any questions when I’ve called.

    Their templates are very easy to work with and overall it’s been a great rewarding experience.
    I’d like to see more features on their free templates such as roll-overs and customized image boxes
    but don’t let these discourage you from trying them out.

    Godd so far.

    Thanks

    Charles

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong November 2, 2015 at 4:07 PM #

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with Shopify with our readers, Charles. Glad to hear that you’ve had such a wonderful experience thus far!

      Jeremy

  3. Colin April 28, 2015 at 4:24 PM #

    Hi, just wanted to say a big thank you for your excellent articles. I run my own small business from home and was looking for advice on the various e-commerce platforms, and you provided it superbly.
    I’ll be sharing this fabulous site whenever possible

    thanks again

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong April 28, 2015 at 7:54 PM #

      Hey Colin,

      Thanks for your feedback! Glad we’ve been helpful and best of luck on your business!

      Jeremy

  4. Wayne December 6, 2014 at 3:03 AM #

    Good advice. One of the reasons I always abandon shopping carts is so the company contacts me after a few days with a discounted offer for the goods. I do that with Vistaprint all of the time – within a few days they email me with the current ‘sale’ price on, guess what…, the goods that I had left in the shopping cart. Not that many consumers follow this behavior though.

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong December 7, 2014 at 6:41 PM #

      Hey Wayne,

      Very sneaky! 🙂

      I suppose the important point is that the merchant made a sale, and potentially more opportunities to sell to customers after making that first sale!

      Jeremy

  5. Michael June 6, 2014 at 5:47 PM #

    I have been looking at both Big commerce and Shopify and ended up making a decision (based on my own abilities and what I need etc).
    I am glad I found your posts as they have helped a lot. I am very sure you have an idea of the amount of time you have saved me and many others. Thank you for such informative posts.

    • Jeremy Wong
      Jeremy Wong June 7, 2014 at 2:53 AM #

      Hey Michael,

      Glad we were able to be helpful! Do click on the social sharing buttons on the left side of our pages if you like them – you never know who else may benefit from your sharing!

      Thanks!

      – Jeremy