Brick and mortar businesses have been around for a long time, and this brand of retail isn’t going anywhere. While plenty of people are content to order peanut butter on subscription from Amazon, there will always be folks who want to shop in person. That’s doubly true for industries like clothing, furniture, and many others where interacting with the product before you buy is important.
But as eCommerce continues to grow, long-time retail brick and mortar businesses are looking at how to take their business online.
Here at Sterner Stuff, we love getting these shops set up with Shopify. While there are many options, Shopify is one of the only eCommerce platforms that offer capable solutions for both online and in-store selling. While you may already be familiar with Shopify for eCommerce, Shopify Point-of-Sale (POS) is a fantastic system for running in-store operations. Using a single platform means you can centralize:
- Rewards programs
- Gift cards
And any time you can centralize operations that way, it means you’re saving time. What business owner doesn’t need more time on their hands?
But business owners are all about dollars and cents, so they inevitably want to know: what’s it going to cost me?
So we’ve put together this definitive guide including what you need to get started with Shopify for your retail store, and what it’ll cost. You can skip straight to the calculator at the end to just see some numbers.
Startup Costs: Point of Sale Hardware
First up is the hardware. We’re going to run the numbers for buying everything you need brand new, but Shopify POS can be run with a variety of hardware, some of which you may already own.
Here’s what we recommend:
The grand total for everything here is $1,432. You’ll need to buy all that for each checkout register at each brick and mortar location you run.
Ongoing Costs: Base Shopify Software
The Shopify platform requires a monthly subscription, and you get a ton of features that we won’t go into here. While competitors, like WooCommerce, can feel like you’re constantly piecing together the basic features you need to run your store, pretty much everything you could need for eCommerce comes baked right into Shopify. They even handle your payment processing, so you don’t have to worry about a third-party processor.
|Subscription||Cost (Monthly)||Cost (Annually)||Notes|
|Shopify||$79.00||$852.00||In-person card rate 2.5%. Online card rate 2.6% + $.30. The next-level Shopify plan offers a 2.4% credit card rate across all channels, but the cost difference isn’t regained until > $2mil/yr|
Some folks get really hung up on the card rate. We love hearing what kinds of rates folks are able to negotiate with their existing payment processors so that we can compare Shopify’s rates, so leave a comment if you’re getting a better deal somewhere!
You’ll notice there’s only one line item here! Depending on the size of your store and the products you’re selling, it’s very possible you don’t need any additional Shopify subscriptions – apps or otherwise – for the eCommerce side of things. Keep in mind that paying annually is always a better deal than paying monthly, too. There are even more savings to be had if you commit to a two-year or three-year plan.
We do recommend moving to QuickBooks Online, if you aren’t already using it. They offer an integration with Shopify’s payments platform that comes free with your subscription. Each day’s payouts from Shopify get synced over to QuickBooks. Combine that with banking integration, and your accounts receivable bookkeeping simply involves matching up transactions. No more lengthy receipts, and reconciling is essentially happening as you go. If you aren’t already using QuickBooks Online to run payroll and pay your taxes, you’re going to love switching. Talk to us about getting started.
Ongoing Costs: Shopify POS
Shopify POS is a paid add-on to Shopify, so it has its own per-store costs:
|Subscription||Cost (Monthly)||Cost (Annually)|
|Shopify POS Pro (per location)||$89.00||$948.00|
There’s technically a “Shopify POS Lite” plan, but we don’t recommend it. It removes several valuable features, including the ability to ship to customers from the point of sale and processing pickup for online orders from the point of sale. These features are very valuable for customers shopping from out of town and folks who are still looking to do local pickup, respectively.
Is this really it?
These are the most predictable costs of getting started with Shopify POS. There are some other items that you’re more likely to already have, or that will fluctuate in price depending on your volume. This may include things like:
- Labels and label printers
- Shipping containers
- Gift cards (custom designs can be ordered from Shopify)
You may also need to pay for things like an email marketing platform, your rewards program if you want certain features, or digital advertising (which Shopify makes easy). But the costs we’ve outlined here are the basics for getting started.
Adding it all up
To get down to numbers, we’ve created a simple calculator that will help you estimate costs for moving to Shopify for your brick and mortar retail business!