Everything You Need To Know About Shopify Fees [Full Guide]
Nov 20, 2021

Everything You Need To Know About Shopify Fees [Full Guide]

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Estimated reading time: 13 minutes.

Shopify fees

As a Shopify seller, how much are you paying in fees?

Do you know? Did a number just pop into your head?

Or are you thinking… “It’s complicated…”

You’d be right about that. But if you don’t know the details about the fees you’re paying, you’re at risk of paying too much. And paying too much affects your bottom line.

We’re here to break it all down for you so you can better understand where your money is going, and whether there might be a cheaper option.

In this guide to Shopify fees:

Let’s jump into it.

Fees: A Fundamental Expense for Ecommerce Businesses

Ah, fees. 

No matter where you sell online, you’re unlikely to avoid them. They come in a variety of forms, names, and can change year on year.

Just like in 2020, when some merchants were caught out after Shopify decided it would no longer refund transaction fees to merchants when processing customer refunds.

Shopify is a cutting-edge ecommerce platform: from integrating with TikTok to introducing the development toolkit called Hydrogen, Shopify is well and truly on the pulse.

The best way to keep your finger on the pulse is by understanding what exactly you’re paying Shopify for, and what it means to your business. Is there a better way that will save you money?

Let’s see.

Breaking Down Shopify Fees

Fees are something every online seller deals with in some form or another. You’re using services to run your businesses, and that costs money. 

Here, we break down all those you might encounter running a Shopify store so that you can be prepared for all your business expenses ahead of time.

  • Shopify store subscriptions

The very first cost you’ll accrue is to set up your store on Shopify in the first place. This is a recurring cost and depends on the plan you choose.

The main three are Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify, each with its own features.

Shopify plans

Source: Shopify.

As you can see above, at the time of writing, the monthly fees for these three main plans are $29 USD/mo, $79/mo, and $299/mo, respectively.

Then there’s Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus.

Shopify Lite is:

“a plan for merchants who are looking to sell in-person (via POS lite) or add a buy button to their existing website. With Shopify Lite, you get features to view reports, issue gift cards, and split bills, among others.”

The fee is $9 for 30 days.

Shopify Plus has: 

“all the enterprise power you need to manage your business, without the weight and cost of legacy enterprise software.” 

It consolidates costs of hosting, infrastructure, and security, bundling them into one neat, inclusive package.

The starting fee is $2000 for 90 days, designed for larger businesses with more moving parts.

Out of all of the plans, Shopify ($79/mo) tends to be the most popular.

  • Templates and designs

After choosing your subscription, it’s time to set up your shop. An important part of this is selecting your template, which can also involve fees. They might be a one-off payment, but there could be ongoing costs related to specific ones.

When it comes to templates, at the time of writing, there are 10 free ones and 70 paid ones to choose from.

Considering that design has a 75% influence on a website’s credibility, and 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive, selecting an appropriate (and stylish) template is actually quite important.

Shopify’s own templates can range between $150 and $350, and sites like Pixel Union or Out of the Sandbox sell templates for anywhere between $150 to $500.

You can also pay for your own domain name, to establish your brand, rank higher in searches, and develop its presence online through multiple channels - like social media. 

Check out our guide to choosing the right theme for your Shopify store here.

  • Credit card rates

These allow customers to pay using major credit card companies, like Visa and Mastercard, and do apply to Shopify Payments users (unlike transaction fees below). 

The rates vary depending on your subscription plan (see under Shopify Payments below) and are not refundable on the return of items. 

  • Transaction fees

Unless you use Shopify’s integrated payment gateway (Shopify Payments), you will be charged transaction fees.

This gives you the option to provide more choices to your customers. And we know this is important to customers shopping online.

These fees may vary based on the methods chosen, like Amazon Pay, PayPal, Google Pay, and more. 

See the typical fees in the next section.

  • Shopify Payments

The native Shopify payment gateway is Shopify Payments (merchant-facing), with the Shop Pay button being what the customer sees. Being integrated, this is the default and typically, cheapest option. 

“Shopify Payments is the simplest way to accept payments online… With Shopify Payments you’re automatically set up to accept all major payment methods as soon as you create your Shopify store.”

We analyzed 1,000 Shopify payment gateways to see what customers wanted most, and while Shop Pay did come out on top, it’s worth noting the next most popular options too. 

Paypal and Amazon Pay were the next two in line, followed by Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Facebook Pay.

The table below shows the credit card rates and fees for the three main subscription plans, with the last row showing the transaction fee that applies if you are not using Shopify Payments.

Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
Online (domestic) credit card rates 2.9% + 30¢ 2.6% + 30¢ 2.4% + 30¢
In-person credit/debit card rates 2.7% + 0¢ 2.5% + 0¢ 2.4% + 0¢
Transaction fee if not using Shopify payments 2.0% 1.0% 0.5%

Source: Shopify.

It’s free to enable Shopify Payments, and because transaction fees apply to every other form of payment, it effectively costs you to not use it.

“Using anything other than Shopify Payments means giving up dollars in order to chase cents.”

Payment gateways are all about making transactions smoother and frictionless for customers. When choosing which gateways to use, you should be looking both at costs to your company and at what customers want.

Not just one or the other.

You can read more about this in our Everything You Need To Know About Shopify Payments Guide.

  • Currency conversion

If Shopify processes an international transaction, you may be charged a slightly different processing fee. And, you may be charged a currency conversion fee too.

So how does Shopify work out currency conversions?

  1. The selling price you set in your chosen currency is called your store currency.
  2. A customer in another country with a different currency can shop in their local currency if you have set this up. 
  3. Shopify automatically calculates the appropriate conversion rate behind the scenes and deposits money into your account in a payout currency.

The prices on your online store fluctuate automatically with market rate changes, and you cannot set these prices manually.

“Your prices are converted by multiplying the store price by the currency conversion rate, adding the conversion fee, and then applying the rounding rules for that currency if applicable. Your converted prices include your currency conversion costs. For example, when a $10.00 USD product is converted to Euros, the converted price of €8.90 includes the currency conversion rate and conversion fee.”

At the time of writing, the currency conversion fee (based on your store’s primary country) is 1.5% in the US and 2% in all other countries and regions with Shopify Payments.

  • Shipping

What’s next after taking your customer’s payment?

Getting them the goods they’re so excited for.

If you’re eligible for Shopify shipping, you can buy and print shipping labels from your Shopify account.

Shipping labels are charged separately from your Shopify subscription.

Shopify gives you some leeway, so even if you reach your billing threshold, your access to buying more shipping labels shouldn’t be restricted as long as you pay your bills soon after.

Your billing threshold refers to the amount that you can spend in your account before you are actually charged for it.

“If you reach your billing threshold and you’re issued with a bill, you can continue to buy shipping labels until the total reaches 110% of your threshold. No further purchases can be made until you pay for the issued bill. For example, if your threshold is $400, and your account’s activity reaches $400, then you’ll be issued a bill. You can still purchase shipping labels until your account activity reaches $440 (110% of $400), but any more purchases after that can be made only after you’ve paid your bill of $400.”

The table below shows discounts available to seller types, as well as some of the options each subscriber has for carriers.

Shopify Shipping Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
Shipping discount (with DHL, Express, UPS, or USPS) Up to 77% Up to 88% Up to 88%
Shipping labels (print at home) Yes Yes Yes
USPS Priority Mail Cubic pricing No Yes Yes

Source: Shopify.

Since 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is their number one incentive to shop online more, you can try offering free shipping to help boost your sales. This won’t change your fees, but it might result in more income to pay for them.

  • Shopify Fulfillment Network

If you’re interested in opting for Shopify’s own fulfillment service, there’ll be a few more fees coming your way. 

With Shopify Fulfillment Network, the pricing is based on the unique needs of your business.

Here’s a quick overview of the fees involved:

Shopify Fulfillment Network fees

Source: Shopify.

One bill from Shopify covers your storage, projects, and fulfillment rate.

In the Shopify Fulfillment Network (SFN) app, you can find your charges, and your bills show up on the billing page of your Shopify admin account. 

  • Returns

Uh-oh. Wrong size, color, or product? A quarter of all consumers will consider a return.

Shopify shouldn’t charge you additional fees for returns, so you’ll just have the costs that you can’t recover - like the transaction fees or credit card fees that you’ve already paid.

With Shopify Payments enabled, it will take 5-10 days for your customer to receive the money. You can choose whether or not to refund the shipping cost too.

Refunds will be deducted from your next Shopify payout. If you have a negative balance, you might not be able to issue a refund, in which case it might appear as pending.

If using Shopify POS, you can refund the order to store credit, and then again to the original payment method later on.

You can read more about how Shopify refunds work here, and watch a video on how to easily issue refunds here.

  • Apps for Shopify

So, smashing the orders and fulfillment, and looking to run a tighter ship?

The Shopify app store has many solutions to help you streamline, become more efficient, and grow.

The fees involved in these apps vary, and so do their uses. Choosing which ones to use will involve analyzing both your business needs and your customer needs.

We’ve put together a list to help you find the right Shopify apps for your store.

Here’s a basic overview of how the fees work in general:

  • App subscriptions are billed on a 30-day billing cycle, and may have recurring price plans or usage price plans.
  • Apps issuing usage charges will usually include a capped amount to prevent maxing out a billing period.
  • If you’re not paying a subscription, then you’ve probably approved one-time app charges for in-app purchases. These won’t appear on your regular Shopify subscription bill.

You can read more about Shopify app charges here.

  • Shopify email

With your store up and running, and your processes automated, it’s time to think about your marketing plan.

Every Shopify plan comes with 2500 free emails each calendar month.

With these, you can reach hundreds of subscribers with promotional emails, or reply to individual messages from your customers. Unused emails don’t carry over into the next month.

You can send additional emails for a fee of $0.001 each. If you send more than your 2500 free emails, Shopify provides you with a cost estimate when you send or schedule your next email.

  • Shopify Point of Sale (POS)

Sometimes, you might want to sell your Shopify store products in-person.

The POS app allows you to take payments through your Shopify store, for products that you sell to people right in front of you - at events, pop-ups, and markets.

“Shopify POS syncs with Shopify to track your orders and inventory across your retail locations, online store, and other active sales channels. You can even view and manage your store’s orders from the app.”

A basic version of POS - Shopify POS Lite - is included with all Shopify plans.

Shopify POS Pro is included with Shopify Plus, or it’s $89/mo per location.

Some of the main features can be seen here:

Source: Shopify.

And that’s all your Shopify fees in a nutshell.

Calculating And Minimizing Your Fees

Estimating your fees can be made easier with a fee calculator.

Fee calculators ask you questions such as:

  • What is your monthly revenue?
  • Are you using Shopify Payments?
  • Are you selling overseas?

Calculating in advance what your fees might be can help you understand where you might be able to minimize them.

After all, Shopify fees are not straightforward, and the payout you receive from Shopify doesn’t always explain them all for you either.

So, how do you fully understand the fees you’re currently paying as a merchant?

At the end of the day, we’re all human, with limited time and patience to trawl through the backend looking for dollars and sense.

Don’t Spend Hours Calculating Fees Manually…

Your single bank deposit from Shopify doesn’t tell you much about the transactions associated with it.

Fees are just one type of expense already deducted that you’ll need to figure out. There’s sales tax you need to separate, shipping costs, the prices of the items themselves, any returns or reimbursements received - the list goes on. But your settlement statement doesn’t.

Making the time to sit and manually calculate all these lines for every Shopify settlement (with risk of human error), is a real bug-bear for many sellers.

And this problem is what A2X was designed to solve.

By integrating A2X with your Shopify store and accounting software, every settlement triggers an automated journal entry. This entry details all the income and expense lines associated with the settlement, so you can reconcile in a few minutes rather than hours.

Plus, for settlements spanning months, A2X splits these automatically, for easy performance tracking and forecasting.

Such a good app - been using it for the past few months and it saves me an unbelievable amount of time and energy. All it takes is a few clicks to take care of everything on the accounting side. Probably the best subscription service…

Actiflex, Shopify business, Shopify reviews of A2X.

“A2X gives incredible reporting at the push of a button. I have clients that use it and those that don’t, and I can see the amazing reporting and time-saving value that A2X brings to the table.”

Christy S., Accounting Manager, Capterra review.

Get accrual-based books for industry-standard accounts with A2X.

Try A2X for Shopify today for free!

FAQs

What are Shopify transaction fees?

Transaction fees are 2% with Basic Shopify, 1% with Shopify, and 0.5% with Advanced Shopify. However, if you use Shopify Payments with any plan, there are no transaction fees.

Do you have to pay fees for Shopify?

Yes, you do. Shopify fees can include subscription plans, templates, and designs, transaction fees, credit card fees, fees for currency conversion, payment, shipping, and add-ons.

What are the fees in Shopify payouts?

Shopify fees include subscriptions, templates, transactions, credit card uses, payment gateways, conversion fees, shipping (labels or fulfillment), apps, email, and POS.

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