Shopify Tutorial: payment gateway and pricing

Kirstie Lau7 mins
Business tipsGuides
Shopify Tutorial: payment gateway and pricing
In this article

If you are keen to know more about Shopify, here’s the right place for you. Shopify is a Canadian multinational eCommerce company headquartered in Ottawa, which helps businesses that lack IT resources to develop online stores. This article will walk you through Shopify’s features, pricing, and the procedures to open an online shop.

What type of eCommerce platform is Shopify?

Shopify is a Canadian multinational eCommerce platform headquartered in Ottawa. It went public on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges in May 2015 and has a market cap or net worth of around US$98 billion as of February 23, 2024. With over 10,000 employees, it serves millions of merchants in 175 countries around the globe. As an all-in-one eCommerce platform, it assists businesses to start, operate and grow online and offline by offering services such as online shop setup, payment systems integration, marketing and dropshipping support. 

Shopify provides a variety of tools as well as free and paid layout themes for users so that they can choose among multiple pricing plans, and hence, build an online shop based on their needs and preference on the page’s designs and functions.

Introduction to Shopify’s functions

Shopify aims to assist businesses or individuals without IT resources and knowledge to build professional-level online shops. Both entrepreneurs and physical shop owners can also build and customise their own online shop and integrate social media with Shopify. They may also use Shopify POS, which is a point-of-sale app, to sell their products in person in retail stores, pop-up shops, and markets. Shopify, meanwhile, also provides a powerful back office management suite for shop owners so that they can monitor their inventory, orders, fulfillment, and the status of refunds and returns. It also offers analytics and reporting services, allowing users to view key metrics of their businesses at a glance. 

Comparing Shopify with other eCommerce platforms

As a Canadian eCommerce platform, Shopify mainly targets the European and American markets. Although it was only listed in the US in 2015, its market cap or net worth has reached about US$98 billion as of February 23, 2024. Therefore, it is believed to be a mature and trustworthy eCommerce platform. However, its scale and maturity are still behind the largest and earliest developed eCommerce leaders Amazon and eBay as its purpose of business mainly focuses on providing online shop setup services for individuals and merchants aspiring to build their own brands but lack IT knowledge.

A step-by-step guide: How to start an online shop on Shopify 

  1. Create a new account on Shopify’s official website. Fill out your basic information, such as shop name and product details.

  2. After registration, go to “Settings” and fill out your business information, such as shop name, industry and email address. Then choose a pricing plan that suits your needs and management preference.

  3. Then, click “Payments” and select your preferred payment providers, such as Shopify Payments, Paypal, or other third-party payment gateways. You can also choose a variety of shipping rates and methods to appear as options for your customers when they checkout.

  4. Start designing your online shop by choosing a theme, which controls the organization, features, and style of your online shop. You can choose from a variety of free and paid themes. Then, fill in a domain, which is a URL or web address where customers go to find your shop online. It can be the “myshopify.com” URL given to you by default when you signed up for Shopify or one that you bought from Shopify or any third-party domain provider. After that, add product listing, and upload their photos, descriptions as well as pricing details.

  5. Before launching your shop, submit a few test orders to ensure the checkout process is functioning. When you’re ready, remove the password on your shop so that it’s open to the public. You can remove the password from your “Themes” page or the “Preferences” page under “Online Store” in your Shopify admin.

Shopify’s pricing plans and payment methods

Shopify offers a three-day free trial and users don’t have to provide credit card information. Once the trial is over, users can choose a pricing plan that suits the scale and development plan of his/her business. They can start for free and enjoy their first month for only US$1 (except for “Shopify Plus” and “Enterprise commerce” plans). The Starter, Basic, Shopify and Advanced plans are billed monthly. There is a discount of 25% if they choose to pay annually.

Details of different pricing plans:

Plans Best for? Monthly cost if paid monthly Monthly cost if paid yearly
Starter People who sell instantly through social media and messaging apps or a simple online shop US$5 N/A
Basic Solo entrepreneurs US$33 US$25
Shopify Small teams US$92 US$69
Advanced Businesses that are scaling up US$399 US$299

Alternative solutions for established businesses:

  1. Retail: US$89/ month

  2. Shopify Plus: US$2,300/ month

  3. Enterprise commerce: custom pricing

After selecting a plan, users can pay for their bills with credit cards or co-branded debit cards from Mastercard, Visa or American Express. They can also pay for their Shopify bills, either one-time or recurring, with Paypal.

Features of Shopify POS

Shopify POS is a point-of-sale app that shop owners can use to sell their products in person. It helps retail businesses manage their staff, inventory, stock, orders and customers. It syncs with their Shopify online shop so that they can monitor business in an all-in-one panel. In short, shop owners can integrate their physical stores with their online business, including the shop’s website, social media and the back-end POS system, greatly benefiting both their online and offline business operations.

What kind of payment method is Shopify Payments?

Shopify Payments is the simplest way for Shopify stores to accept payments online. Users do not have to link their stores to another third-party payment provider or merchant account, and hence, they can also avoid the hassle of having to enter credentials into Shopify. Once Shopify Payments is activated, their Shopify stores will be automatically configured to accept all major payment methods, such as Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

A new payment acceptance method—Airwallex—the third-party payment provider

Aside from Shopify Payments, shop owners can also choose a third-party payment provider, such as Airwallex, which offers dedicated eCommerce plugins that allow you to connect with their existing eCommerce platform. Installation is quick and easy. Shop owners can get up and running in minutes without having to learn any coding or technical knowledge. They are also safeguarded against fraud with Airwallex’s 3DS engine.

What are the benefits of using Airwallex Payments?

Airwallex Payments provides like-to-like settlement for more than 10 major currencies, directly depositing the received funds into the merchant’s multi-currency account. Therefore, users can eliminate costly foreign exchange conversion fees and maximize their profit by collecting and settling funds in the same currency. Moreover, customers can make card payments directly in the Shopify shop without being redirected to other checkout pages. They are also provided with more than 60 payment methods, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, which can help maximize on-page conversion rates.

FAQs

1. What is Shopify as an eCommerce platform?

Shopify is a Canadian eCommerce platform adopted by millions of merchants in 175 countries globally. It provides all-in-one services for businesses to start an online shop and integrate online payment systems. It also offers marketing and dropshipping support.

2. What are the procedures to open a Shopify online shop?

It’s not complicated to open an online shop. You’ll just have to create an account on Shopify’s official website, fill out your shop’s details, and choose a pricing plan. Then, design your shop by selecting a theme, and upload product information, including images, descriptions and prices. And after all, you are ready to launch your online shop.

3. What payment methods are available when checking out on a Shopify online shop?

Besides Shopify’s in-house developed payment gateway – Shopify Payments, merchants can also choose other third-party payment providers that help save costly foreign exchange conversion fees, such as Airwallex, which also provides more than 60 payment methods, including Apple Pay and Google Pay.

*Retrieved as of 6 March 2024. Information provided is for reference only. Please refer to Shopify's official website for the most up-to-date details.

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Kirstie Lau
Senior Associate, Growth Marketing

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