Is Shopify Worth It? Understanding Where the Value Comes From

When it comes to eCommerce, we love working inside Shopify. For nearly two decades, Shopify has focused on being the very best platform for online stores. But when we discuss Shopify’s pricing plans with clients, we frequently receive the same question: “Is Shopify worth it?” 

Yes, absolutely. Shopify is worth it. As we’ll discuss, Shopify has enjoyed a long and successful history simply because it’s done an excellent job servicing internet stores. Although it’s occasionally more expensive than other platforms and eCommerce tools, its powerful combination of tools, flexibility, and user-friendliness make it the go-to option for eCommerce businesses—especially those who have an agency that can offer Shopify Website Design Services.

But don’t take our word for it. Check out the sections below to dig even deeper into what makes Shopify such a great option for online stores. 

What Is Shopify?
Shopify Pricing and Plans
Pricing For Shopify Competitors
Understanding Shopify’s Pricing Compared to Other Platforms
Is Shopify Worth It For You?

What Is Shopify?

Shopify launched in 2006 after its founders were frustrated by the existing eCommerce tools on the market. Since then, Shopify has grown to more than 2 million customers across 175 countries, and the company itself earns around $3 billion a year in revenue through its eCommerce platform and point-of-sale systems.

As web designers ourselves, we believe Shopify’s success has been a no-brainer. We love its eCommerce functionality, as it makes it simple for online stores to get off the ground and immediately start growing. 

Even better, though, is Shopify’s uncompromising focus: Shopify has always remained true to its eCommerce roots.

Compare that to a platform like WordPress, which initially focused on copy and then launched an eCommerce tool (WooCommerce) on top of it. Or, compare it to a site builder like Squarespace or Wix, which started as simple DIY brochure website tools that eventually adopted eCommerce functionality. 

Shopify’s dedication to eCommerce has been unwavering, and that focus has allowed it to deliver better service to both its online stores and their customers. 

Shopify Pricing & Plans

Shopify has three general plans available. As of December 2023, here’s how they compare:

Starting Price: $39/month
Comes with:All Shopify functionalityBasic reportingTwo staff accounts
Starting Price: $105/month
Perks over Basic:Slightly lower credit card ratesBetter reportingAdditional staff accounts
Starting Price: $399/month
Perks over Shopify plan:Even lower credit card ratesRobust reportingEven more staff accounts

Compared side-by-side, the biggest different between the accounts is the credit card rates, reporting functionality, and the number of seats available. 

That is a major differentiator between Shopify and its competitors: Shopify offers all of its functionality directly out of the box with each plan; there’s no need to upgrade simply to unlock different features! 

Because of this, we generally recommend our clients start with the Basic plan and see how things progress. They can always upgrade if it becomes necessary. 

We should also note: The prices listed above aren’t necessarily what you’ll pay each month. Some high-value apps have additional costs attached to them. 

One business owner we work with spends around $10,000 per month on his website. While that seems like a lot, the tools he’s built into his site help him earn millions every single month, so the investment is worth it! 

Shopify Benefits

As we’ll discuss in the next section, Shopify can be a little more expensive than the competition. But you’re unlocking a ton of value right out of the box. 

Some of the biggest benefits of Shopify, which we outline in our Shopify pros and cons article: 

1. It’s easy to use. Shopify’s intuitive layout and features make it easy for shop owners to build their online stores, update product information, and process new orders. 

2. Shopify offers a variety of versatile design options. Shopify is equipped with a variety of templates, including beautiful, community-designed templates that can elevate your brand online. 

3. Shopify is secure and reliable. Shopify handles hosting, security, and software updates, so you can run your business with confidence your website is quick and secure. Plus, Shopify has worked hard over the years to ensure it delivers a smooth shopping and fulfillment experience. 

4. It’s loaded with app integration options. Shopify offers hundreds of apps to amplify your capabilities on the website. If you want to do something special or unique on your site, there’s a good chance Shopify has an app for it! 

As we mentioned earlier, these and other apps can increase your monthly costs, so take those costs into your overall assessment for Shopify!

5. Your subscription can grow with your business. Shopify is designed to scale with you. As your business scales, you can quickly upgrade your plan to the next level to unlock additional benefits. 

Pricing For Shopify Competitors

Here’s how Shopify’s pricing compares to some of the most popular alternatives, as of December 2023:

PlatformBasic eCommerceNext Package UpNext Package UpNext Package Up
Square$0/month$29/month $79/monthN/A

Note: WordPress’ WooCommerce actually has seven different packages available. These four show the two least expensive and the two most expensive. 

Understanding Shopify’s Pricing Compared to Other Platforms

Obviously, Shopify isn’t the cheapest option of the bunch. And it’s also not the most expensive. 

But what’s most compelling about Shopify is how robust it is at every level. While you have to pay more for Square, Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress to unlock additional functionality, you’ll have the same functionality at every level of Shopify. 

Of course, like everything else, Shopify has its own perks and drawbacks, so be sure to fully explore its full list of features to ensure it can meet your needs. (We’ll save you some trouble: It usually can!)

We should note here that we do love WordPress for content-heavy sites. Check out our WordPress Custom Design Services to learn more! 

Shopify Versus Amazon & eBay

Occasionally, we’ll hear questions about building a business on Amazon, eBay, or similar online marketplace instead growing through a brand-owned website. 

While companies can certainly grow through the Amazons and eBays of the world, it’s a tricky place to be. When you’re on Amazon, for example, you’re constantly competing against nearly 10 million other sellers and special offers. 

Plus, add-ons like Fulfillment By Amazon are convenient, but they slash into your margins and reduce your overall profitability. 

Controlling your own website ensures you have a visitor’s full attention, and you control how they navigate the website and how that website is promoted. 

Plus, today’s tracking abilities can provide you with the data necessary to identify better strategies to profitability. 

Again, there’s a time and place for selling on Amazon and eBay. But for most growth-oriented companies who aim to build a team and grow revenues year-over-year, a web platform like Shopify can become a better option. 

Is Shopify Worth It For You?

Whether or not Shopify is worth it for you and your business depends on your current business structure. 

For example, if you’re a small business that already uses Square to accept payments at your brick-and-mortar location, it may make sense to build your site inside of the free Square option. 

And if you’re an online store built inside WordPress and you love working with Mailchimp, you may want to stay put—since Shopify doesn’t connect with Mailchimp.

Shopify certainly isn’t the perfect fit for everyone. 

But if you’re flexible with technology or are ready to prepare yourself for long-term growth, Shopify can be an excellent investment.

Find Support For Shopify Development

If you’re ready to explore Shopify, contact us! Our experienced team of developers and designers can bring your vision to life—and your value to the market. 

For examples of our work in Shopify, check out our eCommerce case studies.

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