Shopify Starter vs Basic Unfolding: A Guide to Launch Your Store


The world of eCommerce is booming, and Shopify has become a go-to platform for aspiring entrepreneurs. But with their two entry-level plans, Starter and Basic, choosing the right fit can be tricky. 

Fear not, fellow business builders as this blog dives deep into the nitty-gritty of both Shopify Starter vs Basic plans, laying out their features, limitations, and costs. We’ll compare everything from website creation and product listings to marketing tools and customer support. 

By the end, you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision and launch your online store with confidence. 

1. Overview of Shopify Starter vs Basic Plan

You might feel overwhelmed by Shopify subscription plans. This table breaks down the key differences between the Basic vs Starter Shopify to help you decide which one is best for you.

Shopify Starter
Shopify Basic
Shopify Starter is a budget-friendly option for beginners to add buy buttons to existing websites or social media for quick online sales.
Shopify Basic is an affordable plan that allows you to build your own online store with essential features for managing products, marketing, and customer support.
Product listings, buy buttons, credit card processing
Online store creation, product listings, inventory management, discount codes, abandoned cart recovery
Transaction fee
5% per transaction
2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
Suitable for
Businesses just starting out, social media sellers
Businesses selling online with a dedicated store

2. Shopify Starter Plan: A simple start for social sellers



The Shopify Starter plan is the most affordable option, priced at just $5 per month. It’s ideal for businesses that are dipping their toes into online sales or those who primarily sell through social media channels. 

🔶 Here’s what you get with Starter:

  • Product listings: Showcase your products with clear descriptions and eye-catching images.
  • Sell on existing platforms: Add “Buy Now” buttons directly to your existing website or social media profiles. Customers can seamlessly purchase your products without leaving the platform they’re already on.
  • Secure payments: Accept major credit cards through Shopify’s secure payment gateway, ensuring a smooth and trustworthy transaction experience for your customers.
  • Order tracking: Keep an eye on your sales and monitor order fulfillment with built-in tracking tools.


🔶 While powerful for social media sellers, the Starter plan does have limitations:

  • No dedicated online store: You can’t build a full-fledged online store with the Starter plan.
  • Limited marketing and sales features: Starter lacks features like discount codes, abandoned cart recovery, and email marketing to attract and convert customers.
  • Limited organization: Keeping your products organized can be tricky without the ability to create collections.
  • Design constraints: Customization options are limited, so don’t expect a highly personalized storefront experience.
  • Limited analytics: Starter offers basic sales data, but you won’t have access to detailed customer insights or advanced reporting to understand your audience and optimize sales.
  • Higher transaction fees: The Starter plan comes with a slightly higher transaction fee (5%) compared to higher tiers.

✨ Learn more: Shopify Advanced vs Plus: The Ultimate 2024 Showdown

🔶 So, who is the Starter plan ideal for?

  • Social media sellers: If you primarily sell through platforms like Instagram or Facebook, Starter allows you to easily add buy buttons to your existing content.
  • Testing the waters: Thinking about launching an online store but unsure of the commitment? Starter’s low cost lets you experiment with online sales without a big upfront investment.

In short, the Shopify Starter plan is a user-friendly and affordable option for beginners or social media sellers. However, if you’re serious about building a full-fledged online store with more features and customization, you might want to consider upgrading to the Basic plan.

3. Shopify Basic Plan: Build your brand and launch your store



The Shopify Basic plan is the stepping stone to a full-fledged online store. At $29/month, it offers a powerful set of tools to help you create a professional brand presence and start selling online with ease.

🔶 Here’s what sets the Basic plan apart:

  • Online store creation: Build your own dedicated online store with customizable design and functionalities.
  • Product listings & organization: Add unlimited product listings and organize them with collections and categories for better customer navigation.
  • Inventory management: Track stock levels, receive low-stock alerts, and avoid overselling with built-in inventory management tools.
  • Marketing & promotions: Run targeted promotions and discounts to attract new buyers and boost sales (e.g., discount codes, abandoned cart recovery).
  • Secure payment processing: Accept major credit cards for secure and trustworthy transactions.
  • Flexible website customization: Control the design and layout of your online store to reflect your brand identity.
  • 24/7 customer support: Gain access to Shopify’s customer support team for help whenever you need it.

🔶 While Basic offers a significant leap in functionality, there are a couple of limitations to consider:

  • Transaction fees: While lower than Starter, Basic still has transaction fees associated with each sale.
  • Limited staff accounts: The Basic plan allows for a limited number of staff accounts, which might be restrictive for businesses with a larger team.

🔶 Who should choose the Basic Plan?

  • New businesses launching online: If you’re ready to take the plunge and build a dedicated online store, the Basic plan offers the essential features you need to get started.
  • Businesses with growth potential: The Basic plan is a scalable solution that can grow with your venture. As your sales increase, you can easily upgrade to a higher-tier plan for more advanced features.

In essence, the Shopify Basic plan strikes a perfect balance between affordability and functionality. It empowers you to establish a professional online presence, manage your inventory, and implement sales-boosting strategies – all the building blocks you need to launch and grow your online business.

4. Shopify Basic vs Starter: Key features face-off

Choosing between Shopify Starter vs Basic plan can be tough. Here’s a head-to-head comparison to help you decide which one best equips you for online sales success:

Shopify Starter
Shopify Basic
Website creation
Website customization
You can only add buy buttons to existing platforms
Allows you to build a complete online store
Product listings
Unlimited product listings
Unlimited product listings by organizing them into collections for easier browsing by customers
Inventory management
Basic tracking
More control over stock levels and low-stock alerts
Transaction fees
5% per transaction
2.9% + 30¢ per transaction
Payment processing
Major credit cards
Major credit cards
Marketing tools
No built-in marketing features
Built-in marketing tools that allow you to create discount codes and recover abandoned carts to boost sales
Customer support
Limited support options
24/7 access to customer support for any questions or troubleshooting

This table highlights the key differences between Shopify Starter plan vs Basic. Consider your needs – if you prioritize a simple buy button solution, Shopify Starter might suffice. But for a dedicated online store with essential functionalities for growth, Basic plan is the better choice.

5. Choosing the perfect Shopify plan: A complete guide for your business

Selecting the right Shopify plan is a crucial first step in launching your online store. Let’s navigate through some key factors to consider to ensure you choose the plan that best propels your business forward.

🔹 Budget: Shopify offers plans at different price points. Be realistic about your financial resources and choose a plan that fits comfortably within your budget.

🔹 Business needs: What are your core business needs? Are you simply looking to add a buy button to your existing website, or do you envision a full-fledged online store? Identify your must-have features to narrow down your options.

🔹 Sales volume: Estimate your projected sales volume. If you anticipate high sales, transaction fees associated with lower-tier plans can become significant. Consider a plan with lower transaction fees to maximize your profits.

🔹 Growth potential: Think about your long-term vision. Do you plan to scale your business significantly in the future? If so, a plan with features that support growth, like staff accounts for managing a larger team, might be necessary.


Don’t forget to take advantage of Shopify free trial! This allows you to test-drive the features of both Starter and Basic plans and see which one feels like a better fit for your business operations. 

By carefully considering these factors and signing up for the Shopify free trial, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect plan that empowers your business to thrive online.

6. Conclusion

The choice between Shopify Starter vs Basic ultimately boils down to your business goals. Throughout this article, eComStart pointed out that if you’re a budding entrepreneur testing the waters of online sales, the Starter plan offers a budget-friendly way to dip your toes in. But for those serious about building a dedicated online store with room for growth, the Basic plan provides the essential features and functionalities to establish a strong brand presence and drive sales. 

Remember, Shopify also offers a free trial. Take advantage of it to explore both plans and see which one feels most intuitive and manageable for your business. No matter which plan you choose, Shopify empowers you to take control of your online presence and turn your business dreams into a thriving reality. So, choose your plan, unleash your creativity, and get ready to take the eCommerce world by storm!

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