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A Step-by-Step Guide to Start Your Own Shopify Store

Pochepskiy Oleg

In today’s digital age, starting your own online store has never been easier. With the rise of e-commerce platforms you can turn your passion into a profitable business venture. The opportunity to embark on a journey as an online entrepreneur has never been more accessible or enticing. If you’ve ever dreamt of turning your passion into a thriving online store, Shopify, one of the most user-friendly e-commerce platforms, is here to transform your aspirations into a reality. Whether you want to sell handmade crafts, clothing, electronics, or anything in between, this step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of setting up your own Shopify store. We’ll explore everything from selecting your niche and crafting a business plan to registering your business and setting up your online store. We’ll delve into designing your store to captivate your audience, adding products that fly off the virtual shelves, configuring payment and shipping options, and finally, launching and marketing your Shopify store for success.

Table of Contents

Choosing your niche, creating a business plan, registering your business, setting up your shopify account, launching your store, marketing your shopify store, managing your online business.

Selecting the right niche is a pivotal decision in the journey of establishing a successful Shopify store. The niche you choose serves as the foundation upon which your entire business will be built. This step is not to be taken lightly, as it directly impacts your store’s profitability and long-term viability. Here’s a closer look at the intricacies of choosing your niche in a business context:

Market Research

Before you make a commitment to a particular niche, it’s essential to conduct thorough market research. This involves assessing the current demand, competition, and trends within the niche you’re considering. Market research should include:

Market Size and Growth: Determine the size of the market you plan to enter and its growth potential. A larger market may offer more opportunities but could also be more competitive.

Competitive Landscape: Analyze your potential competitors. Who are they, and what are their strengths and weaknesses? Understanding your competition will help you identify gaps you can exploit.

Target Audience: Define your ideal customer persona. Understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. Your chosen niche should align with the interests and desires of your target audience.

Passion and Expertise

While market research provides valuable data, it’s equally important to align your niche with your passions and expertise. Running a successful online store requires dedication and enthusiasm, and being genuinely interested in your niche can make the journey more rewarding. Additionally, your expertise in the niche can help you stand out as an authority, fostering trust with your customers.

Profitability Analysis

Beyond passion, assess the potential profitability of your chosen niche. Consider the pricing structure of products or services within the niche and whether it allows for a reasonable profit margin. Evaluate the lifetime value of a customer and the potential for repeat business.

Long-Term Viability

A successful Shopify store is not just about short-term gains but long-term sustainability. Assess whether your chosen niche has lasting appeal or if it’s a passing trend. You’ll want a niche that can provide a consistent revenue stream for years to come.

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Identify what sets your store apart from competitors. Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) should be a clear and compelling reason why customers should choose your store over others in the same niche. It could be unique products, exceptional customer service, or a distinctive brand identity. Choosing your niche is a critical foundational step in the establishment of your Shopify store. It’s a blend of data-driven market research, personal passion and expertise, profit potential, long-term viability, and a unique selling proposition. By meticulously evaluating these factors, you’ll set the stage for a successful and sustainable e-commerce venture.

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In the realm of e-commerce entrepreneurship, a well-structured business plan is not just a formality; it’s a strategic compass that guides your Shopify store’s journey from inception to success. Here’s an outline of the key elements involved in creating a business plan:

Executive Summary: Begin with an executive summary that provides a concise overview of your Shopify business venture. This should include a brief description of your store, its objectives, the target market, and your unique value proposition. Think of it as a snapshot of your entire business plan, providing a quick glance at what investors, partners, or stakeholders can expect.

Business Description: Delve into the specifics of your business. Detail the nature of your online store, the products or services you’ll offer, and your niche market. Explain why you believe your chosen niche is viable and how it aligns with current market trends.

Strategy and Implementation

Outline your business strategy. How do you plan to penetrate the market and gain a competitive edge? Consider the following:

Marketing Strategy: Describe your approach to reaching and acquiring customers. Will you rely on digital marketing, social media, content marketing, or other channels?

Sales Strategy: Detail your pricing strategy, sales tactics, and sales funnel. How will you convert leads into paying customers?

Operational Plan: Explain the day-to-day operations of your store. This includes inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer service processes.

Financial Projections

Financial projections are crucial for assessing the viability and potential profitability of your Shopify store. This section should include:

Startup Costs: Itemize the initial investment required to launch your store. This includes expenses like website development, inventory, marketing, and legal fees.

Revenue Forecast: Present a detailed revenue projection for the first few years of operation. Break it down by product or service category, and consider various growth scenarios.

Expense Breakdown: List your anticipated ongoing expenses, such as hosting fees, marketing costs, and employee salaries.

Profit and Loss Statement: Create a projected profit and loss statement that outlines your expected income, expenses, and profitability over time.

Risk Analysis: Every business venture carries inherent risks. Identify potential risks and challenges that your Shopify store may face and explain how you plan to mitigate them. This demonstrates your awareness of potential obstacles and your ability to adapt.

Creating a robust business plan for your Shopify store is a critical step in ensuring its long-term success. It serves as a roadmap that not only guides your initial launch but also provides a framework for ongoing decision-making and growth. A well-structured business plan demonstrates your commitment to your e-commerce venture and provides confidence to investors, partners, and stakeholders.

To operate a legitimate online business, you may need to register your business name and obtain any necessary permits or licenses. Consult with your local government to ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Now it’s time to set up your Shopify account. Visit Shopify’s website and sign up for an account. You can start with a free trial to get a feel for the platform. Choose a memorable domain name that reflects your brand and niche. Shopify offers user-friendly templates to help you design your store.

Designing Your Store

Your store’s design is crucial to attracting and retaining customers. Customize your store’s theme to align with your brand. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, as many shoppers browse and make purchases using smartphones and tablets. Make navigation intuitive and display high-quality images of your products.

Adding Products

With your store’s design in place, it’s time to add products. Use captivating product descriptions that highlight the benefits and features of your items. Upload clear and appealing images. Set competitive prices and organize your products into categories for easy browsing.

Setting Up Payment and Shipping

Shopify offers a variety of payment gateways to facilitate transactions. Choose the ones that best suit your customers' preferences. Additionally, configure your shipping settings, including shipping rates and delivery options. Be transparent about shipping costs and estimated delivery times.

Before you launch your store, thoroughly test it to ensure that all features work correctly. Check for any spelling or grammatical errors. Once you’re confident in your store’s functionality, it’s time to hit the «Launch» button. Announce your grand opening on social media and to your network.

In the highly competitive landscape of e-commerce, effective marketing should be one of the key features of your Shopify store. It’s not merely about having a great product or a well-designed website; it’s about reaching your target audience and convincing them to choose your store over the myriad alternatives. Here’s an in-depth look at how to market your online store effectively:

Digital Advertising: It encompasses paid advertising efforts across various online platforms.

Social Media Advertising: Leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to create highly targeted ad campaigns. These platforms offer granular audience segmentation based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Keyword Research: Identify high-value keywords relevant to your niche and integrate them strategically into your website’s content, meta descriptions, and product listings.

On-Page SEO: Ensure that your site is technically sound, with proper HTML tags, image optimization, and a mobile-responsive design. Improve page load times and enhance user experience.

Quality Content: Create valuable, original content that appeals to your target audience. Regularly update your blog with informative articles and guides related to your niche.

Email Marketing: Email marketing is a powerful tool for nurturing leads and retaining customers. Implement automated email sequences, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and post-purchase follow-ups.

Social Media Marketing: Engage with your audience on social media platforms.

Content Marketing: Content marketing involves creating valuable and educational content to attract and engage your target audience.

Once your store is up and running, the work doesn’t stop. Regularly update your product listings, monitor your inventory, and analyze your sales data. Respond promptly to customer inquiries and feedback. Continuously optimize your website and marketing strategies to stay competitive.

Starting your own Shopify store can be a fulfilling and profitable endeavor. By carefully choosing your niche, creating a business plan, and diligently following the steps outlined in this guide, you can set yourself up for e-commerce success. Remember, consistency and dedication are key to growing and sustaining your online business. Now that you have a comprehensive guide to starting your own Shopify store, it’s time to take action and turn your e-commerce dreams into reality. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!

— How much does it cost to start a Shopify store?

Starting a Shopify store can cost as little as $ 29 per month for the basic plan. Additional costs may include domain registration, app purchases, and marketing expenses.

— Do I need to have technical skills to use Shopify?

No, Shopify is designed for users with varying levels of technical expertise. Its user-friendly interface makes it accessible to beginners.

— Can I sell digital products on Shopify?

Yes, Shopify allows you to sell both physical and digital products. You can easily upload and manage digital downloads for your customers.

— How long does it take to set up a Shopify store?

The time it takes to set up a Shopify store varies depending on factors like the complexity of your products and how quickly you complete each step. You could have a basic store up and running in a day or two.

— What marketing strategies work best for Shopify stores?

Effective marketing strategies for Shopify stores include social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO). The best approach may vary based on your niche and target audience.

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shopify store business plan

How to Create a Business Plan for Your Shopify Startup

  • Elliott Pearce
  • on March 22, 2023

Creating business plan

Launching a Shopify store is exciting, but it’s easy to feel unprepared without a good plan.

You may have a brilliant idea—and the Shopify platform makes everything from marketing to finances easier to manage—but working out how to bring your vision to fruition is still a tremendous challenge.

Creating a business plan may be something a few entrepreneurs can do without, but for many others, it’s a vital tool for clarifying their startup’s objectives and their strategy for achieving them. A formal business plan is also a necessity for those seeking funding.

This article will help you decide if a traditional business plan is something that will assist you in launching your Shopify startup, and if so, show you the 8 key elements it should contain.

Are formal business plans essential?

Formal business plan

Before we launch into the ins and outs of creating a successful business plan, it’s important to note that creating a full business plan may not be necessary or desirable for all entrepreneurs.

While almost everyone will benefit from doing some kind of planning before setting up a business, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal business plan.

For example, successful entrepreneur Cat LeBlanc uses what she calls a ‘concept to test’ . This involves laying out an idea and a value proposition, and then doing some marketing to see if the concept actually appeals to the target audience.

For those with the ability to be flexible and adapt rapidly in the face of market realities, this more minimal type of planning can certainly work. By contrast, sticking too rigidly to a business plan—no matter how well thought-through—in the face of changing or unexpected market conditions is a recipe for failure.

It’s also worth noting that for ecommerce entrepreneurs using Shopify specifically, various aspects of marketing, operations, and finances will be handled for them by the platform. This may reduce the level of detail required in a business plan.

But with all that being said, your personality type may be suited to engaging in meticulous planning and forethought before taking the leap. Creating a full business plan will force you to do several potentially valuable things:

  • Think through every aspect of how the business would operate
  • Clarify your business objectives and strategy
  • Work out what is required in the way of resources
  • Identity potential risks and roadblocks

So for many, working through all of these details may allow them to reach a more informed and confident decision about the viability of their business idea, provided that they’re willing to adapt their business plan once it meets with reality.

It should also be noted that for those looking to raise capital or take out a business loan, having a fully fleshed-out business plan to show to investors or your bank is pretty much essential.

Now that we’ve established that a formal business plan can be a useful tool for many (if not all), let’s discuss what it needs to contain to be effective.

What are the elements of a traditional business plan?

Traditional business plan

1. Executive summary

The purpose of the executive summary is to provide readers with an accessible, clear overview of your business, providing brief insights into key details like:

  • Your business concept, vision, and goals
  • What your product will be, and what sets it apart
  • Your target market and customer demographics
  • A summary of your marketing strategy
  • An overview of your financial projections

If you’re writing the business plan only for your own planning purposes, the executive summary is optional. However, distilling everything in this way can be a useful exercise nonetheless.

2. Company description

This section involves describing your business in greater detail than in the executive summary. It should include setting out your company’s vision and mission, any important background information or history, and the ownership structure you’ll adopt (e.g. S corporation vs. sole proprietorship). Another important factor to plan for is where to base your startup .

As with the executive summary, this section is optional if you don’t intend to present your business plan to anyone. However, laying out in writing what the core values of your company will be, and what impact you want to have on the world is, can still be a very useful way to gain clarity on these big-picture issues.

3. Product breakdown

Product breakdown

Here you’ll want to go into detail about the product (or range of products) that your Shopify store will be offering. You should flesh out:

  • Product features and benefits
  • Your pricing strategy
  • Where products will be sourced from, e.g. will they be handcrafted locally or manufactured abroad?
  • Information about any patents or trademarks required or already owned.

4. Market and competitor analysis

Market and competitor analysis

This section is where you’ll provide an analysis of the particular ecommerce market your Shopify store will operate in, as well as of your competitors.

This means firstly breaking down industry trends such as the size of the market, its growth rate, and projected future growth. These are crucial stats to consider, as you probably don’t want to be chasing a slice of a shrinking or stagnant pie.

You'll also want to break down data on your competitors, such as how they price their products, the marketing strategies they’re using, and how their products differ from yours.

Even if your product is first to market, it’s still worth considering any indirect competitors, i.e. where your customers are likely to be switching from spending their money.

5. Customer segmentation

Identifying your ideal customer (or target market) is crucial in creating an effective marketing strategy, as preferences can vary so widely between different groups—particularly in many ecommerce industries like fashion.

In order to work out which customer segment you should target, you’ll want to look at characteristics like:

  • Physical location
  • Education and income level
  • Personal values, beliefs, and viewpoints

6. Marketing and sales plan

Marketing and sales plan

Once you’ve set out who your ideal customer is, you’ll need to explain what your strategy will be to actually get them to buy from you.

You’ll therefore need to figure out some key elements, such as your pricing strategy, how you’ll use the power of branding and design to set your product apart, and the marketing channels you’ll pursue to promote it.


Build a stronger brand with Sufio’s professionally designed invoice templates.

Who your ideal customer is will inform these parts of your marketing strategy. For example, if you’re targeting a younger demographic, you may opt for TikTok as an advertising channel—but probably not if it’s an older demographic.

7. Financial plan

Making a bulletproof projection of your business’s finances when you haven’t started it yet is likely to be tricky.

Producing realistic projections of profits and losses is an excellent exercise in determining how much financial headroom your business has.

If margins look tight, even in an optimistic projection that assumes you’d be making good levels of sales, you may need to think hard about how viable your business idea is.

The depth of information in your financial plan will vary based on who (you’re presenting the business plan to (if anyone)), but it generally includes an income statement, a balance sheet, and a cash-flow statement. You may also want to include your startup costs and funding needs.

8. Operations and logistics plan

Operations and logistic plan

The logistics and operations section outlines how you’ll ensure that your customers are being served by a finely tuned machine.

Key aspects to cover include:

  • Sources of raw materials and your production location
  • Manufacturing method and production time, and details of how you’d handle high demand
  • The technology and equipment you’ll need
  • Whether shipping and fulfillment will be handled in-house or through a third-party
  • How you’ll manage your inventory

Your operations plan should also address how you’ll staff your business, e.g. how many employees will you need and in which roles?

Comprehensively planning operations and supply chain issues will also help to determine things like your pricing and break-even point, thus helping to inform your marketing and financial plans.

Even though Shopify businesses have functions like shipping handled for them, it’s still a good idea to have a solid plan for those elements of operations that don’t fall under the platform’s umbrella.

Streamline your invoicing process with Sufio

Hopefully, you now understand how a business plan can be an excellent tool to help you successfully launch your Shopify startup (even if it’s not mandatory).

Provided you adapt any plan once it meets the realities of the market, it can really help you clarify your ecommerce startup’s objectives and strategies.

Sufio invoice template

Once you’ve launched your business, you’re likely to want to leverage the power of automation to save you time and money while reducing the potential for costly errors.

Sufio is a professional invoicing app for Shopify that allows you to generate invoices that are fully compliant, display the right currency, and are translated into the customer’s language. All automatically.

So, when you’re ready, try Sufio’s powerful automated features with this 14-day free trial.

Professional invoices for Shopify stores

Let Sufio automatically create and send beautiful invoices for every order in your store.

Install Sufio - Automatic Invoices from the Shopify App Store

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Shopify Pricing and Plans 2024: Which Plan Should I Pick?

Sally Lauckner

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Table of Contents

What is Shopify?

Free shopify trial.

Among online retail options for small businesses, Shopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms. What was once a robust option for selling products online has blossomed into a solution that includes web hosting and in-store point-of-sale (POS) systems .

You’re likely to find a Shopify plan that fits your business needs, but you’ll want to compare each plan’s features and pricing to determine which works best for you. Here’s a rundown of available plans, features and pricing.

Shopify is an e-commerce-focused platform that helps online businesses sell their products. Businesses can create e-commerce websites on Shopify that offer seamless buying portals for customers, and the platform also supports selling through other marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay and Instagram.

Shopify has also branched out into brick-and-mortar businesses, offering mobile card readers, its own POS software and inventory management. What started as a simplified way to sell online has now become a full-scale merchant solution for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs.

Shopify's plans include four non-enterprise options and one enterprise-level tier. Each plan has a set of features that cater to different types and sizes of businesses and comes with its own pricing structure.

Plan comparison

Video preview image

Shopify Starter

Shopify Starter is a great option for businesses that are just getting started with selling online and costs $15 a month, with transactions starting at 5%. The Shopify Starter plan includes basic features, including:

Accepting credit cards in person and online.

Adding purchase links on existing websites.

Accepting gift cards.

Unlimited product pages.

Contact page.

Shopping cart for multiple purchases.

While this plan doesn’t provide you with an online store, you can add purchase links to your existing website to make it easy for customers to checkout on desktops and mobile browsers. Popular website hosts that work well with Shopify include Squarespace , Weebly , Wix and WordPress .

You’ll also have access to simple features, like managing online orders, inventory and customer profiles. As Shopify’s cheapest plan, it is best for small businesses that are looking for minimal options and an easy setup to sell online.

Basic Shopify is designed to help burgeoning small businesses that need to do more than just sell online but might not need the full slate of features. This plan costs $29 per month when paid annually and includes:

A customizable online store.

Unlimited product listings.

Up to 1,000 inventory locations.

Two staff logins.

Customer segmentation to filter by feature.

Marketing automation.

Alternative sales channel support outside of the Shopify ecosystem.

Shipping discounts and shipping label printing.

Support for international market management, including currency conversation and translation.

With this plan, payment processing fees are 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transactions, and 2.7% per in-person transaction.

» MORE: How to start an online store

Shopify Plan

The middle-tiered Shopify Plan is geared toward medium-sized businesses with a more robust set of e-commerce needs. At $79 per month when paid annually, this plan incorporates the features from the lower-priced subscriptions along with additional benefits. These include:

Five staff accounts.

Standard reporting options.

A shipping discount up to 88%.

UPSP Priority Mail Cubic pricing.

These features can boost businesses that are growing and need more insight into their sales, expansion for more locations and shipping support. Online transactions have a processing fee of 2.6% plus 30 cents, and in-person transactions come with a 2.5% processing fee.

» More from Shopify: Learn about loans from Shopify Capital and banking with Shopify Balance .

Advanced Plan

At $299 per month (when paid annually), Shopify’s Advanced plan builds on the lower-tiered plans to offer the most features for larger businesses that don’t consider themselves at the enterprise level — those that need advanced insight into sales, are handling a lot of shipping, have a larger employee base and need full assistance for international sales. In addition to what the previous tiers offer, this plan includes:

15 employee logins.

Advanced sales and performance reports.

Third-party shipping calculations that show customers what they’ll pay in real-time.

Automations for workflows and tasks.

Tax estimates and custom market pricing for international sales.

The Advanced Shopify plan charges 2.4% plus 30 cents for online transactions and 2.4% for in-person purchases.

Shopify Plus Plan

Finally, if you’re a high-volume multichannel seller, you might want to opt for Shopify Plus. This plan is built for enterprise businesses and offers several features for high-volume businesses, including:

Additional permissions to further restrict what employees can and can’t access.

International payment processing in multiple currencies and languages.

3D modeling of online store products.

Automated workflows to simplify processes.

Scheduling for sales.

Shopify also advertises that customers who use this plan can work with Shopify Plus Certified Apps and Partners to get the most out of their system. Pricing for this plan — from the monthly subscription fee to transaction fees — is quote-based, depending on your sales volume.

Shopify offers a free three-day trial for new customers with their Starter, Basic, Shopify and Advanced plans. A trial is currently unavailable for Shopify Plus.

The trial lets you build a store to try out different features and determine how well the platform will work for your business. But you can’t start selling until you sign up for a paid plan. And the trial doesn’t automatically sign you up after three days: if you don’t choose a plan before the trial ends, your store is paused and you aren’t charged anything until you sign up for a paid plan at a later date.

Shopify Plus is designed for enterprise-level companies and offers features that most small businesses are unlikely to need. But if you're processing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, you might want to look into it.

You can have an online store, but you can't host it with Shopify. You'll need to already have it set up before you add a Buy Button to let customers checkout through Shopify.

According to Shopify, your credit card will not be automatically charged at the end of the trial. You'll only be charged if you sign up for a particular monthly plan.

Shopify Payments is the company's payment processing service and is available for all plans.

Shopify Payments

is the company's payment processing service and is available for all plans.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

Whitney Vandiver, a writer at NerdWallet, contributed reporting to this article.

On a similar note...


Shopify Marketing Guide: A 30-minute marketing plan for Shopify stores

Using Shopify? Launch an AI-powered quiz in 5 minutes that helps customers buy to increase sales & grow your email list 🚀

You're busy, and marketing is complicated. SEO, ads, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, blogging, etc. You're unsure where to start, or maybe you tried it all, but nothing works.

You're overwhelmed and trying to figure out what to do next.

But you know what? You're not alone.

Many Shopify stores have these questions 🤔

  • How do I do marketing on Shopify?
  • How do I write a marketing plan for Shopify?
  • How do I attract buyers on Shopify?
  • How do I make a marketing sales funnel on Shopify
  • How do I increase my marketing on Shopify?
  • How do I increase conversion rates on Shopify
  • How do I build an email list on Shopify?

The questions are endless, and so is the overwhelm.

So, let's fix. In this guide we'll create a marketing plan for your Shopify store in 30 minutes!

If you want to skip around, below is a detailed table of contents for this guide.


Let's dive in!

Create a marketing plan for your Shopify store in 30 minutes ⏲️

In the next 30 minutes we will:

  • Simplify marketing to make it easy to understand
  • Create a simple Shopify marketing plan to follow
  • Give you a simple framework to test & expand as you're ready

How to use this 30-minute Shopify marketing plan guide 📝

It'll take about  10 minutes to read this guide.  So that gives you about  20 minutes to write your marketing plan.

As you go through this guide, treat it as a fast rough first draft where you write the first things that come to mind.

Why this approach? Because every part of your marketing plan is connected, and things will get clearer once you go through it the first time.

Then you can iterate and refine it as you tie things together. And remember: Your marketing plan will never be done, it's an evolving document. The goal is progress, not perfection.

Your marketing plan will never be done, it's an evolving document. The goal is progress, not perfection.

Marketing plans are intimidating. That's why we're forcing ourselves to do the first draft in 30 minutes. So, please challenge yourself to keep moving and avoid getting stuck on any step. You can always come back later.

‍ Let's dive in!

What is marketing? 🤔

First, let's simplify marketing.

Marketing is a 3 stage process:

  • Attract your target customers ( prospects )
  • Make the sale ( leads )
  • Make them happy so they buy more & tell others ( customers & referrals )

That's it. Everything anybody ever said about marketing, every tool, and every tactic fits into one of those stages. SEO, Instagram, TikTok, ads, direct mail, blogging, etc. are just marketing tactics to do the 3 things above.

Marketing strategy  is how everything comes together, and your marketing plan is how you execute your marketing strategy. So that's what we'll cover next.

What is a Shopify marketing plan? 📈

A Shopify marketing plan is a marketing strategy customized to your store's needs by defining the specific tactics you should use to execute the 3 stages: attract target customers, make sales, and drive referrals. It shows you where to focus so you can ignore distractions and do the most impactful things to grow your business.

Each of the 3 stages (attract target customers, make sales, and drive referrals) is made up of 3 steps each , making  9 steps in total .

Next, we'll create a marketing plan for your Shopify business by defining each of the 9 steps.

The 9 steps in a Shopify marketing plan

Here are the 9 steps that will make up your Shopify marketing plan:

  • Define your target market

Define your message

Define your channels, how you capture leads, how you nurture leads, how you convert leads, how you thrill customers, how customers buy more, how customers tell others.

Each step of your Shopify marketing plan plays an important role, making the next step more effective by moving prospects to purchase, buy more, and refer others.

For example, you will only capture quality leads by defining the right target market and picking the right channels. Then, you need to capture and nurture quality leads to make sales.

So take the time to do each step right. It's worth it.

How to make a Shopify marketing plan for your store 🛒

Next, we'll step through each of these so you can build your Shopify marketing plan.

You can write it in a document or use a template to make it easier. I like the  marketing plan template  from the 1-Page Marketing Plan book, which I highly recommend (this guide is inspired by it).

Let's get started!

Attract your target customers (prospects)

First, we must understand who we should target, what we should tell them, and how to reach them.

Define your target market ‍

  • Question: Who is your ideal customer?
  • What to do:  Identify and focus on your ideal customers to ensure your marketing efforts are directed toward those most likely to buy your product or service. ‍
  • Recommendation:  Think about demographics like gender, age, location, and psychographics like interests and lifestyle to get specific about who is most likely to buy your product. Go more narrow than you think you should. You can always expand later.

A well-defined target market makes everything else easier, so be clear about who you're targeting and understand their needs.

  • ‍ Question:  Why should people buy from you? ‍
  • What to do:  Develop a unique selling proposition (USP) that sets you apart from competitors and communicates the value of your offering. This is how you stand out in a crowded market, attract your ideal customers, and ultimately drive sales and growth for your business. ‍
  • Recommendation:  A few steps to help: 1) Consider your target market's preferences, pain points, and needs. 2) Analyze your competition to identify the gaps. 3) Combine steps #1 and #2 to create a clear, concise USP that communicates why to buy from you.

This part can be hard, but it's important. If you can't see why people should buy from you and what sets you apart, neither can your customers.

This is especially important when selling online. For example, if you're the only grocery store in a small town, then it's obvious why people should buy from you. But if you're selling online, you compete with millions of other stores. So you can only succeed by clearly communicating why your target market should buy from you.

  • ‍ Question:  What are the most effective channels to reach your target audience? ‍
  • What to do:  Select the best channel to reach your target market, such as online ads, direct mail, or social media. Consider cost, talent, and any existing advantages (e.g. if you already have a big Instagram following, use that). ‍
  • Recommendation:  This varies by business and demographics, but often Shopify stores have the most success with Instagram. But if your demographic is much younger (e.g. students), then TikTok may be a better fit, so do your research.

The two most important things about choosing the right channel are:

  • Is your target market there?
  • Can you effectively reach them?

For example, if your target market is mostly on TikTok, but you're not good at making TikTok videos, you should choose another channel.

Bonus points if there's a channel you already have an audience on or enjoy creating content for, even if it has less of your target market. There is no perfect answer here, so double down on your strengths to give yourself an advantage wherever possible.

Through this process, we attract the right prospects who want what we offer so we can turn them into leads.

Make the sale (leads)

In the last step, we reached our prospects through our key channel, e.g. Instagram. But now we need a way to communicate with our leads to build a relationship (so they know, like and trust us) to make the sale.

IMPORTANT:  Email marketing is the best way for most Shopify stores, so we'll use email in these examples.

  • ‍ Question:  How do you capture email addresses from your channels? ‍
  • What to do:  Implement lead generation strategies to collect contact information from leads (potential customers) for follow-up and relationship-building. ‍
  • Recommendation:  At a minimum, you should have an email pop-up on your website. If you're using Instagram, use  POPSMASH  to get your followers on your email list with a giveaway or quiz. If you're using a different channel, look for ways to get prospects onto your email list. If you don't do email marketing yet, then start with  Shopify Email or Klaviyo .

Getting prospects from the channel (e.g. Instagram) onto your email list is how you start loading up your pipeline to start driving sales.

Bonus points if you can use a Shopify quiz app to capture data on customer buying preferences with a product quiz. Then after customers opt-in you can include recommended products that match those preferences in your future email marketing campaigns, in on-site upsells and more to help drive conversions.

  • ‍ Question:  How do you get your email subscribers to know, like, and trust you? ‍
  • What to do:  Create an automated email sequence to engage with your email subscribers with valuable content and showcase the best of what you offer. This will nurture the relationship to build trust, eventually turning them into customers. ‍
  • Recommendation:  First, create a solid welcome email with a limited-time introductory discount. The content of your welcome email and follow-on sequence depends on your industry but will tie back to why people chose you and the unique value you can provide.

This part is challenging and takes time, but your email list will become a significant source of your Shopify store's revenue. Start by creating a great welcome email, then build from there.

  • ‍ Question:  How do you convert sales from your email list? ‍
  • What to do:  This is how you gently but effectively drive sales. Develop a sales process that efficiently turns email subscribers and other leads into paying customers, addressing objections and providing excellent customer service. ‍
  • Recommendation:  Balance promotional emails with valuable, engaging content to drive conversions without inducing subscriber fatigue from constant sales pitches. Limited-time offers, discounts, and bonuses can also help conversions.

This part of your marketing plan greatly depends on your product, customer preferences, business nature, and more. So, test and experiment over time to see what works best.

Make them happy enough to buy more & tell others (customers & referrals)

Congrats, you made the sale! But here is where the real work begins. Nailing this last stage is how to build a long-term sustainable business.

Why? Because happy customers are the best source of revenue through repeat purchases, upsells, referrals, and good reviews that accelerate your growth. So next, let's talk about how to do it right!

  • ‍ Question:  How do you exceed customer expectations? ‍
  • What to do:  Exceed customer expectations by offering high-quality products and services, ensuring they become loyal and repeat customers. ‍
  • Recommendation:  The best way to get new customers is to thrill existing customers. Go above and beyond, especially with customer support, to make your customers love you and tell others.

No matter how good your marketing is, if you product or service isn't good, it won't matter. Your product isn't just what you sell, it's the whole experience: buying, product quality, shipping speed, customer support, etc. It's hard to do it all well, but that's why you'll stand out when you do it right. They better it is, the less you have to spend on marketing.

  • ‍ Question:  Why would customers want to buy more from you? ‍
  • What to do:  Encourage repeat purchases and upsells by creating additional value for your customers and strengthening relationships. ‍
  • Recommendation:  After making the initial buying experience amazing, continue to nurture the relationship, add value, and offer incentives through your email marketing. For example, follow up the initial purchase with a discount, use upsells/cross-sells, give personalized recommendations, etc.

Happy customers are one of the best sources of future sales. This will increase customer lifetime value, drive repeat purchases and foster long-term customer loyalty for your brand.

  • ‍ Question:  Why will customers tell others? How? ‍
  • What to do:  Foster word-of-mouth marketing by actively seeking and nurturing referrals from satisfied customers. ‍
  • Recommendation:  Loyalty programs, bring-a-friend discounts, sharing purchases/recommendations, and more are ways to encourage customers to refer others. Get creative and make it easy for your customers to spread the word.

In the earlier steps, you worked hard to nurture the relationship and thrill customers when they buy from you. Now you want to harvest that loyalty and goodwill to get even more customers because happy customers love telling others!

From funnel to flywheel

After walking through the 9 steps above, think back to the 3 simple stages:

In the beginning, it's on you to manually move customers through the funnel. It's heavy lifting because you're doing it all.

But as you make sales and deliver exceptional experiences, those happy customers will tell others. The result? Selling gets easier.

Every step of the funnel gains momentum through raving customers, social proof, great reviews, word of mouth, etc.

And as you nail the core parts of your funnel, you can start testing and layering on new channels, targeting new segments, trying new messages, etc.

Test & expand, rinse & repeat 🧪

What we walked through above was a perfect-world scenario. We just assumed that Instagram and email marketing would work for your business. But every business is different, so the only way to know is to test and iterate: test your target market, messaging (USP), channels, lead capture, lead nurture, offers, and referrals. Test everything.

When you find what works, you need to double, then triple down on it  before doing anything else.  Focus on what works.

Why? Because growing online is hard, especially when you're first starting. Getting customers is hard. Growing your Instagram is hard. Growing email subscribers is hard. It's all hard. So, the only way to do it well is to focus in order to make any channel work.

Then when you're ready you're ready, you can start layering on new target markets, messages, channels, etc., and start again. do you know what works?

This could be a whole other guide, but at a minimum, you should track traffic and events by adding your store to  Google Analytics  and  Search Console . Google Analytics can be complicated, so here's  Shopify's guide on Google Analytics . But the most important thing is to set it up to start capturing the data, then you can do more later.

Then you should have most of what you need between Shopify's built-in analytics and Google Analytics.

Now, go forth and sell!💰

I'm proud of you for making it this far, and I hope you're proud of yourself. This is challenging and can feel overwhelming, but you did it.

So what did we cover? Together we:

  • Simplified marketing into 1) attracting your target customers, 2) making the sale, and 3) making customers happy enough to buy more and tell others.
  • Walked through the 9 steps to create a marketing plan for your Shopify store
  • Covered how you can test and expand your marketing plan

This isn't the perfect marketing plan for your Shopify store, and we made a lot of assumptions. But we went through the process, you now understand how a marketing plan pulls the sales funnel together, and you have a first draft you can iterate on.

Your marketing plan is never done. It will continue to evolve as the market evolves and you seek to grow.

Also, remember to always leverage your strengths. Consider your unique strengths and talents to give yourself an advantage, and get creative.

I wish you nothing but success and happiness.  Now go forth and sell!

Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH

Launch an AI quiz on Shopify in 5 minutes.

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Retail | Ultimate Guide

Shopify Pricing Plans: Comparison, Fees & Calculator

Starting at just $5 per month, Shopify pricing is transparent and straightforward, consisting of monthly and per-transaction fees.

Published May 4, 2023

Meaghan Brophy

REVIEWED BY: Meaghan Brophy

Agatha Aviso

WRITTEN BY: Agatha Aviso

shopify store business plan

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This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management .

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  • 1 Pricing & Fees at a Glance
  • 2 Fee Calculator
  • 3 Shopify Prices vs Other Ecommerce Platforms
  • 4 How to Choose a Plan
  • 5 Additional Costs
  • 7 Bottom Line

Shopify offers a starter plan perfect for social media selling at $5 a month and a full-fledged online store starting at $39 a month. Shopify’s affordable pricing plans (along with its ease of use and robust yet scalable features) earned it the top spot in our list of the best ecommerce platforms .

However, if you’re just starting a Shopify online store, expect to pay $300 to $600 in startup fees and around $75 to $150 in monthly expenses at the beginning, including add-ons. If you need to sell in-store as well, that will be an additional $49 to $499 for hardware purchases plus an $89 per location monthly fee for using Shopify POS Pro (which we recommend).

Our Quick Take: Even with Shopify’s latest price increase , it still provides the most cost-effective solution for startups and small businesses and offers exciting scalable features for thriving businesses. Its recent winter update included hundreds of new features and improvements that are worth more than the price increase. You can read more about the new features in our Shopify review .

We cover Shopify pricing plans and feature inclusions in this guide. But more importantly, it details how much Shopify truly costs —including setup, add-on, recurring, and incidental fees you may incur managing a Shopify store.

Shopify Pricing & Fees at a Glance

*Shopify collects sales taxes in certain states where it is required by law. The prices stated here do not reflect such taxes.

Visit Shopify

Shopify Fees

Shopify’s transaction fees, shopify payments.

It’s important to know the differences between credit card processing fees and transaction fees regarding Shopify’s specific pricing model.

  • Credit card processing fees (otherwise known as credit card fees) are charged by Shopify and allow you to accept major credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, as payment in your online store.
  • Transaction fees are additional Shopify charges (on top of credit card fees) if you use a third-party payment provider to take payments. It covers the charge to integrate Shopify with your chosen provider. Transaction fees vary based on your Shopify plan subscription. They are waived if you use Shopify’s payment processor, Shopify Payments.

For example, if you’ve subscribed to Basic Shopify and use Shopify Payments, online purchases have credit card fees of 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. If you use a third-party payment gateway, expect to pay a 2% transaction fee for each sale on top of credit card rates.

Use our Shopify fees calculator below to know how much you will be paying in fees on top of your monthly subscription based on your monthly sales.

With Shopify Payments, you can fully integrate your checkout within your store without needing to redirect customers to a different platform, such as PayPal, to complete a purchase. If you accept offline payments with a point-of-sale (POS) system , you can use Shopify’s POS with Shopify Payments to consolidate online and in-store sales. What we like about Shopify Payments is that it doesn’t restrict you from accepting other payment types. You can still activate PayPal, Amazon Pay, and more for your checkout options.

Another advantage of using Shopify Payments is having the Shop Pay feature and the ability to set up a local currency on your checkout page. Shop Pay allows customers to save payment details between Shopify stores for faster checkout. It’s similar to Apple Pay and Google Pay in that shoppers can complete orders in one click.

  • Read our Shopify Payments review
  • Learn how to use Shopify Payments for your business

Shopify Fees Calculator

Shopify prices vs other ecommerce platforms.

Considering all the add-on costs, expect to initially shell out around $300 to $600 to launch a Shopify store. We compared our cost estimate to other ecommerce platforms’ startup costs and found that creating a Shopify store is the more economical option.

For example, WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin; however, it requires you to invest in hosting plans and other add-ons, so expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 as a startup (roughly includes shared hosting, a paid website theme, and a few paid plug-ins).

Meanwhile, with BigCommerce, startup costs are around $800 or more, depending on your online store’s expected sales volume. This estimate comes with no website developer. If you prefer to work with a developer, expect to pay a few thousand more.

What you can save on startup fees with Shopify might go to its monthly transaction fees on your online sales. BigCommerce does not have transaction fees, making it an ideal solution if you are a high-volume seller or plan to use a processor other than Shopify Payments.

If Shopify’s startup budget is too much for you, you can explore our top picks for free ecommerce platforms . While they can be limited in features, you might find one that is enough to start your online store and upgrade when business is more profitable.

  • How to set up a WooCommerce and sell on WordPress
  • How to set up a BigCommerce store
  • BigCommerce vs Shopify

How to Choose the Right Shopify Plan for You

Of all the ecommerce platforms we have evaluated, Shopify’s pricing plans bring the most value for buck—they meet the needs of all types of sellers with a wide range of budgets. For example, sellers that don’t need a Shopify website can sell securely on blogs and Facebook for just $5 per month, while businesses needing a website can launch one on any budget.

The Basic Shopify pricing plan delivers what most small online sellers need to get started for just $39 per month—a full online store and robust marketing tools such as an abandoned cart saver, email marketing, and the ability to create discounts and promo codes.

Meanwhile, Shopify and Advanced Shopify support growing and volume sellers by adding a range of advanced reporting, marketing, and shipping functionality for $105 and $399 per month, respectively.

Here are a few tips on deciding which Shopify plan is the best for your business:

  • Evaluate the features of each Shopify plan. The best plan for your business should be based on the features you need.
  • Consider Shopify’s transaction fees. It might be worth getting a higher-tiered plan to save on transaction fees. For example, if you sell more than $25,000 per month, the Shopify plan is worth the higher monthly fee because of its lower fees.
  • Think about the savings you can take advantage of. For example, you can avoid additional transaction fees by using Shopify Payments. Additionally, you can have additional discounts on prepayments for one- and two-year subscriptions to Shopify.
  • Consider additional Shopify costs. POS hardware costs, domain fees, and additional app subscriptions can add up.

Shopify Pricing Plans Comparison: How Much Does Shopify Cost?

Excluding Shopify’s Starter ($5/month), Shopify’s pricing plans come with the following features:

  • Unlimited products
  • Up to 1,000 inventory locations
  • Sell in 133 currencies
  • Multilingual store translation
  • Point-of-sale features: Shopify POS & POS Go
  • Online sales channels
  • Fraud analysis (when using Shopify Payments)
  • Manual order creation
  • Marketing tools (abandoned cart saver feature, discount codes, and more)
  • Customer support—24/7 live chat and phone support in English; 24/7 email support in multiple languages

Shopify Starter

Shopify Starter is ideal for new sellers that plan to sell through social media platforms or messaging apps and do not want to maintain an online store. We recommend Shopify Starter, aptly, for those starting out. Once a customer base and product demand have been established, we encourage you to explore Basic Shopify, which includes value-added features like theme editing, blog posts, and more.

Basic Shopify

Basic Shopify delivers everything the new or small business seller needs to sell online, market their website, create a blog, and sell in person or on other channels like Amazon, Facebook, and Pinterest. Basic Shopify is very much in line with the needs of small-volume online sellers.

The Shopify plan gives you all of the features of Basic Shopify plus advanced capabilities like cart recovery, gift cards to optimize sales, and expanded reporting capabilities. With this plan, sellers using Shopify Payments to process credit cards also pay a lower processing rate. So, if you are a volume seller and process more than $25,000/month in sales , the Shopify plan is worth the monthly fee.

Advanced Shopify

Advanced Shopify is geared toward high-volume sellers who use all the capabilities of the full Shopify plan but need added features such as real-time shipping rates and customizable reporting. Advanced Shopify sellers also get the lowest Shopify Payments processing rates of all four plans. If you sell more than $110,000/month, the Advanced plan is worth the higher monthly fee.

But that’s not all . If you outgrow the Advanced Shopify plan, Shopify prices its Enterprise plan, Shopify Plus, to meet specific needs. With this option, you can custom-tailor ecommerce features and save even more on credit card processing. This starts at $2,000 per month and includes custom-discounted processing fees.

Interested in learning more about Shopify’s features? Read our Shopify review .

Additional Costs to Launch a Shopify Store

After considering the cost of Shopify’s monthly plans, you also need to consider the extra costs you will incur when launching your store. We have listed additional options you might need and their corresponding fees.

*Shopify POS Pro is free with a Shopify Plus plan (for enterprise users).

Here’s a full breakdown of the additional Shopify fees listed above.

Domain Name

When you create a Shopify site , you automatically get a free “” domain. However, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a custom domain name. You can use your domain if you already have one or purchase a new one through Shopify. Domains purchased through Shopify start at $11 per year. The exact pricing depends on which top-level domain (TLD) extension you choose (such as .com, .net, .store, etc.).

Note that Shopify’s domain name registration doesn’t include any email hosting. We recommend that you compare these prices with other domain name registrars . If you go that route, then you can transfer it to Shopify. Learn how to choose a domain name .

Shopify Website Themes

Shopify offers about nine free and over 90 premium website themes , with prices starting at $100. You can hire a Shopify expert if you need help customizing a paid theme.

Showing Shopify's OS 2.0 Free Theme: Dawn.

Shopify’s OS 2.0 Theme: Dawn (Free) (Source: Shopify)

Shopify consistently launches new themes. Its latest theme, Online Store 2.0 (OS 2.0), introduces sections and blocks which offer modularity, flexibility, and, to some extent, drag-and-drop capabilities. The new free theme for OS 2.0, Dawn , is mobile-first and 35% faster than Shopify’s themes for the previous version of the store builder (now referred to as “Vintage”).

Add-ons & Integrations

One of the reasons Shopify is a popular and highly rated ecommerce platform is its fantastic app store. If you want extra functionalities such as dropshipping or membership programs, you might benefit from signing up for add-ons in the Shopify App Store .

There are free and paid integrations, which usually charge a monthly fee. Thousands of integrations available, so you should know the most popular add-ons used by Shopify owners to get an idea of which features you can add to your store. These plug-ins and add-ons can significantly improve your online store’s usefulness and your business’ performance.

Shopify POS

Shopify POS Lite is free with your Shopify ecommerce plan, and it works great for running temporary stores such as pop-up shops and farmers market locations. However, those who want to use the app for their brick-and-mortar operations will likely want to upgrade to Shopify POS Pro for $89 per location. The main difference between the two is access to advanced features such as smart inventory management and in-store analytics.

Shopify POS Hardware

If you sign up for the Shopify POS, then you will also need Shopify’s hardware options (such as a card reader) to support mobile and in-store sales. Each hardware solution includes free shipping, 30-day returns, 24/7 customer support, and a one-year warranty. One-time fees range from $29 to $299.

Shopify POS is a consistent top pick for retail POS systems , multichannel POS systems , and POS inventory systems . Interested in finding out more about Shopify POS? Read our Shopify POS review and learn how to use Shopify POS .

Here are sample hardware solutions for Shopify POS.

Shopify Hardware Fees

If you plan to use Shopify POS for a temporary market, pop-up sales , or on a seasonal basis, you can rent its hardware through Shopify’s partnership with Fello .

Shopify Pricing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does shopify cost to use.

When building a Shopify store, expect to pay $250 to $500 in start-up fees. Monthly fees will depend on your subscription plan and any add-ons you use to operate your online store, but we estimate expenses to be around $50 to $100. However, if you need to sell in-store, too, you need an additional $30 to $300 for hardware purchases plus an $89 per location monthly fee for using Shopify POS Pro.

What Shopify plan is right for me?

It depends on your business needs. If you are a new seller and plan to only sell through social media and messaging apps, Shopify Starter ($5/month) is perfect for you. However, if you need an online store and multichannel sales capabilities, go with Basic Shopify ($29/month). Once you scale and need advanced selling features, upgrading to Shopify ($79/month) is worth it because you also save on card and transaction fees. If you are already a high-volume seller, maintain multiple warehouses, and need the full powerhouse features Shopify provides, Advanced Shopify ($299/month) is the perfect plan for you.

What is the cheapest plan on Shopify?

Shopify’s entry-level plan, Shopify Starter, is priced at $5/month. It provides a checkout link and allows you to sell through social media channels.

How much does Shopify charge per transaction?

Shopify’s transaction fees depend on your chosen subscription plan. Shopify transaction fees range from 0.5%–2% under the Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify plans. If you go with the Shopify Starter, transaction fees are at 5%.

Is Shopify worth the fee?

Yes, it is. Shopify recently rolled out a price increase for its subscription plans and also launched hundreds of new features and improvements. You can easily sell on social media for only $5 a month or build a full online store with all the bells and whistles starting at $39 a month.

How long is a Shopify contract?

All Shopify plans are month-to-month except when you sign up for an annual subscription.

Which Shopify plan has the most value?

For us, the sweet spot is the Basic Shopify plan at $39 a month. You can sell on multiple sales channels, build a full online store, sell in-person, and have a basic marketing tool kit—a lead generation tool (Shopify Forms), email marketing (Shopify Email), abandoned cart saver, promo codes, and more. Shopify’s latest updates give more tools that adding a plug-in (which is an additional cost) is no longer needed.

Bottom Line

Shopify prices its ecommerce plans to meet virtually any small business’s budget and selling needs. At $5 per month, Shopify’s entry-level plan provides you with a checkout link and allows you to sell through social media channels. Full-featured plans starting at $39 per month allow beginner sellers to start their online store and give them room to scale.

Consider additional costs when setting up your Shopify store, but don’t be discouraged by them. What’s great about these investments is that they deliver more profit in the long run. We suggest you launch your store first and add more features (integrations) as the need arises.

Start your free trial before choosing a plan for three days, and extend it to three months for just a dollar a month.

About the Author

Agatha Aviso

Find Agatha On LinkedIn

Agatha Aviso

Agatha Aviso is a retail software expert writer at Fit Small Business. She specializes in evaluating ecommerce and retail software features that help small businesses grow. She has evaluated dozens of the top software for retail SMBs. Agatha has more than 10 years of experience writing online content for both small business owners as well as the marketing industry. She also served as a content strategist and digital marketing manager for many entrepreneurs.

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The Ecommerce Coffee Break podcast offers actionable strategies for success with Shopify. You’ll hear conversations with some of today’s top experts in ecommerce, digital marketing, AI, and entrepreneurship. Discover the latest online marketing strategies, business growth tips, and industry trends, and get expert tips for improved marketing, increased conversions, and higher revenue. Previous episodes have featured experts from Google, Gorgias, Referral Candy, Cartloop, Adroll, StoreHero, Limespot, Yotpo, Preezy, LoyaltyLion, PartnerHero, and many others. With 300+ episodes, you're sure to find something that will help you grow your business faster. Short episodes, ideal for listening on the go. Hosted by ecommerce entrepreneur and digital marketing veteran Claus Lauter, the show covers a broad range of topics, including Shopify store apps, direct-to-consumer marketing (DTC or D2C), Marketing technology (MarTech), social media, dropshipping, paid advertising, AI, entrepreneurship, and much more. Join over 22,000 monthly listeners who want to improve their marketing skills, increase sales, and boost earnings. Ranked among the top 5% most popular global shows on ListenNotes, the podcast stands as the fastest-growing in the Shopify ecosystem. New episodes are released twice a week. Please follow, rate, and review the podcast if you enjoy it. For show notes, inquiries about becoming a guest, or sponsoring the podcast, please visit Subscribe to our free weekly ecom news summary: 

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In this podcast episode, we unpack the strategies to make your business sale-ready. Our featured guest on the show is Chris Shipferling, Managing Partner at GW Partners and Founding Partner at Topics discussed in this episode: How to get your business ready to sell at a higher priceHow to attract potential buyers by making improvements across the company  The role of investment funds in providing capital to help businesses growWhy buyers and sellers often have different price expectations when it comes to acquisitionsThe Reasons behind the recent slowdown in e-commerce business sales Links & Resources Website: LinkedIn: Get access to more free resources by visiting the podcast episode page at Subscribe & Listen Everywhere: Listen On: ​ | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube | Podurama How did you like this episode? Send us a Text Message. Become a smarter Shopify merchant in just 7 minutes per week Our free newsletter is read by 6,402 busy online sellers, marketers, and DTC brands building successful businesses with Shopify. We scour and curate content from 50+ sources, saving you hours of research and helping you stay on top of your ecommerce game with the latest news, insights, and trends. Every Thursday in your inbox. 100% free. Sign up at

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In this podcast episode, we talk about how attribution can help business leaders and executives make smarter decisions about where to spend their marketing money. Our featured guest on the show is David Saxon, CEO of Attribution at Topics discussed in this episode: Why attribution is crucial for business leaders and executives in making informed marketing decisionsHow a click-based, first-party data model provides a "single source of truth."The different attribution models, including multi-touch and single-touch models, and their impact on decision-makingWhat different attribution models reveal about the customer journey.Common misconceptions about attribution, including the impact of third-party cookies and the significance of impression dataFuture developments in attribution solutions, such as integration with Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) Links & Resources Website: Shopify App Store: LinkedIn: X/Twitter: Get access to more free resources by visiting the podcast episode page at Subscribe & Listen Everywhere: Listen On: ​ | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube | Podurama How did you like this episode? Send us a Text Message. Become a smarter Shopify merchant in just 7 minutes per week Our free newsletter is read by 6,402 busy online sellers, marketers, and DTC brands building successful businesses with Shopify. We scour and curate content from 50+ sources, saving you hours of research and helping you stay on top of your ecommerce game with the latest news, insights, and trends. Every Thursday in your inbox. 100% free. Sign up at

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In this podcast episode, we discuss strategies to maximize your business's value when it's time to sell. Our featured guest on the show is Emmett Kilduff, Co-Founder and CEO of Topics discussed in this episode: The process of selling a businessWhy should you start planning for a business sale earlyThe 7-step M&A process for a successful business saleHow to prepare for a business exitHow market trends affect business valuationHow long it takes to sell a businessAnd more Links & Resources Website: LinkedIn: YouTube: Get access to more free resources by visiting the podcast episode page at Subscribe & Listen Everywhere: Listen On: ​ | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube | Podurama How did you like this episode? Send us a Text Message. Become a smarter Shopify merchant in just 7 minutes per week Our free newsletter is read by 6,402 busy online sellers, marketers, and DTC brands building successful businesses with Shopify. We scour and curate content from 50+ sources, saving you hours of research and helping you stay on top of your ecommerce game with the latest news, insights, and trends. Every Thursday in your inbox. 100% free. Sign up at

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The Entrepreneur's Guide to WhatsApp Ecommerce (Success Without Hustle!) — Arjun Paul | Why WhatsApp is Becoming Popular for Ecommerce, The Best Way to Start Using WhatsApp Marketing for Business, How to Decide Message on Frequency Based on Markets

In this podcast episode, we discuss how Shopify brands can use WhatsApp for commerce. Our featured guest on the show is Arjun Paul, CEO/Co-Founder of Topics discussed in this episode: Why is WhatsApp becoming popular for ecommerceWhat's the best way to start using WhatsApp marketing for businessHow to decide message frequency based on market and notification typesWhat automation does WhatsApp's API offer businesses Links & Resources Website: Shopify App Store: LinkedIn: Get access to more free resources by visiting the podcast episode page at Subscribe & Listen Everywhere: Listen On: ​ | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube | Podurama How did you like this episode? Send us a Text Message. Become a smarter Shopify merchant in just 7 minutes per week Our free newsletter is read by 6,402 busy online sellers, marketers, and DTC brands building successful businesses with Shopify. We scour and curate content from 50+ sources, saving you hours of research and helping you stay on top of your ecommerce game with the latest news, insights, and trends. Every Thursday in your inbox. 100% free. Sign up at

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How to Avoid a Tax Audit DISASTER. Sales Tax Compliance Made Easy! — Matthew Campbell | Best Practices for Ecommerce Sales Tax, Exploring Shopify's Tax Features, Overview of Sales Tax Management, Common Sales Tax Mistakes to Avoid (#304)

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How to Identify and Eliminate Business-Killing Website Errors — Kailin Noivo | Strategies for Proactive Website Error Management, Impact of Errors on Business and Customer Experience, Future of E-commerce and Role of AI (#303)

In this podcast episode, we discuss what you should know about website errors and how they are impacting your business. Our featured guest on the show is Kailin Noivo, co-founder of Topics discussed in this episode: Why e-commerce errors matterHow to proactively manage errors Strategies, technical integration, Noibu case studiesWhat streamlines errors: Bug reporting processWhat to do for payment, communication issues  Links & Resources Website: LinkedIn: X/Twitter: Get access to more free resources by visiting the podcast episode page at Subscribe & Listen Everywhere: Listen On: ​ | Apple Podcasts | Spotify | YouTube | Podurama How did you like this episode? Send us a Text Message. Become a smarter Shopify merchant in just 7 minutes per week Our free newsletter is read by 6,402 busy online sellers, marketers, and DTC brands building successful businesses with Shopify. We scour and curate content from 50+ sources, saving you hours of research and helping you stay on top of your ecommerce game with the latest news, insights, and trends. Every Thursday in your inbox. 100% free. Sign up at

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Furniture Store Business Plan PDF Example

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  • May 7, 2024
  • Business Plan

the business plan template for a furniture store

Creating a comprehensive business plan is crucial for launching and running a successful furniture store. This plan serves as your roadmap, detailing your vision, operational strategies, and financial plan. It helps establish your furniture store’s identity, navigate the competitive market, and secure funding for growth.

This article not only breaks down the critical components of a furniture store business plan, but also provides an example of a business plan to help you craft your own.

Whether you’re an experienced entrepreneur or new to the retail industry, this guide, complete with a business plan example, lays the groundwork for turning your furniture store concept into reality. Let’s dive in!

Our furniture store business plan is structured to cover all essential aspects needed for a comprehensive strategy. It outlines the shop’s operations, marketing strategy , market environment, competitors, management team, and financial forecasts.

  • Executive Summary : Offers an overview of your furniture shop’s business concept, market analysis , management, and financial strategy.
  • Store & Location: Describes the shop’s design, layout, and why its location is appealing to potential customers.
  • Products & Pricing: Lists the types of furniture offered by your shop, including pricing structure.
  • Key Stats: Shares industry size , growth trends, and relevant statistics for the furniture market.
  • Key Trends: Highlights recent trends affecting the furniture sector.
  • Key Competitors : Analyzes main competitors in the area and how your shop differs from them.
  • SWOT : Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis.
  • Marketing Plan : Strategies for attracting and retaining customers.
  • Timeline : Key milestones and objectives from start-up through the first year of operation.
  • Management: Information on who manages the furniture shop and their roles.
  • Financial Plan: Projects the shop’s 5-year financial performance, including revenue, profits, and expected expenses.

the business plan template for a furniture store

Furniture Store Business Plan

shopify store business plan

Fully editable 30+ slides Powerpoint presentation business plan template.

Download an expert-built 30+ slides Powerpoint business plan template

Executive Summary

The Executive Summary introduces your furniture store’s business plan, offering a concise overview of your store and its products. It should detail your market positioning, the range of furniture and home decor items you offer, its location, size, and an outline of day-to-day operations.

This section should also explore how your furniture store will integrate into the local market, including the number of direct competitors within the area, identifying who they are, along with your store’s unique selling points that differentiate it from these competitors.

Furthermore, you should include information about the management and co-founding team, detailing their roles and contributions to the store’s success. Additionally, a summary of your financial projections, including revenue and profits over the next five years, should be presented here to provide a clear picture of your furniture store’s financial plan.

Make sure to cover here _ Business Overview _ Market Overview _ Management Team _ Financial Plan

Furniture Store Business Plan exec summary

Dive deeper into Executive Summary

Business Overview

Store & location.

Briefly describe the furniture store’s physical environment, emphasizing its design, layout, and the welcoming atmosphere it offers to customers. Mention the store’s location, highlighting its accessibility and the convenience it offers to shoppers, such as proximity to popular shopping districts or ease of parking. Explain why this location is advantageous in attracting your target clientele.

Supply & Products

Detail the range of furniture and related products offered, from basic home furnishings to specialized items like custom-made pieces, home accessories, or eco-friendly furniture. Outline your pricing strategy , ensuring it reflects the quality of products provided and matches the market you’re targeting. Highlight any promotions, financing options, or loyalty programs that provide added value to your customers, encouraging repeat business and customer loyalty.

Make sure to cover here _ Store & Location _ Supply & Products

shopify store business plan

Market Overview

Industry size & growth.

In the Market Overview of your furniture store business plan, start by examining the size of the furniture retail industry and its growth potential. This analysis is crucial for understanding the market’s scope and identifying expansion opportunities.

Key Market Trends

Proceed to discuss recent market trends , such as the increasing consumer interest in personalized furniture solutions, sustainable and eco-friendly products, and innovative design styles. For example, highlight the demand for furniture that caters to specific lifestyle needs and preferences, alongside the rising popularity of environmentally conscious furniture stores.

Key Competitors

Then, consider the competitive landscape, which includes a range of furniture stores from high-end boutiques to budget-friendly options, as well as online furniture sales trends. For example, emphasize what makes your store distinctive, whether it’s through exceptional customer service, a unique range of products, or specialization in certain types of furniture. This section will help articulate the demand for furniture store services, the competitive environment, and how your store is positioned to thrive within this dynamic market.

Make sure to cover here _ Industry size & growth _ Key competitors _ Key market trends

Furniture Store Business Plan market overview

Dive deeper into Key competitors

First, conduct a SWOT analysis for the furniture store , highlighting Strengths (such as quality craftsmanship and a diverse product range), Weaknesses (including high operational costs or intense competition), Opportunities (for example, an increasing trend in home improvement and interior design), and Threats (such as economic downturns that may decrease consumer spending on non-essential items).

Marketing Plan

Next, develop a marketing strategy that outlines how to attract and retain customers through targeted advertising, promotional discounts, engaging social media presence, and community involvement. This could include collaborations with interior designers, staging partnerships with real estate companies, or hosting DIY furniture workshops to increase brand visibility and consumer engagement.

Finally, create a detailed timeline that outlines critical milestones for the furniture store’s opening, marketing efforts, customer base growth, and expansion objectives, ensuring the business moves forward with clear direction and purpose. This timeline should include key dates for product launches, seasonal sales campaigns, and potential entry into new markets or online expansion.

Make sure to cover here _ SWOT _ Marketing Plan _ Timeline

Furniture Store Business Plan strategy

Dive deeper into SWOT

Dive deeper into Marketing Plan

The Management section focuses on the furniture store’s management and their direct roles in daily operations and strategic direction. This part is crucial for understanding who is responsible for making key decisions and driving the furniture store toward its financial and operational goals.

For your furniture store business plan, list the core team members, their specific responsibilities, and how their expertise supports the business.

Furniture Store Business Plan management

Financial Plan

The Financial Plan section is a comprehensive analysis of your financial projections for revenue, expenses, and profitability. It lays out your furniture store’s approach to securing funding, managing cash flow, and achieving breakeven.

This section typically includes detailed forecasts for the first 5 years of operation, highlighting expected revenue, operating costs and capital expenditures.

For your furniture store business plan, provide a snapshot of your financial statement (profit and loss, balance sheet, cash flow statement), as well as your key assumptions (e.g. number of customers and prices, expenses, etc.).

Make sure to cover here _ Profit and Loss _ Cash Flow Statement _ Balance Sheet _ Use of Funds

Furniture Store Business Plan financial plan

Privacy Overview

shopify store business plan

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Geographic coordinates of Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast, Russia

City coordinates

Coordinates of Elektrostal in decimal degrees

Coordinates of elektrostal in degrees and decimal minutes, utm coordinates of elektrostal, geographic coordinate systems.

WGS 84 coordinate reference system is the latest revision of the World Geodetic System, which is used in mapping and navigation, including GPS satellite navigation system (the Global Positioning System).

Geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) define a position on the Earth’s surface. Coordinates are angular units. The canonical form of latitude and longitude representation uses degrees (°), minutes (′), and seconds (″). GPS systems widely use coordinates in degrees and decimal minutes, or in decimal degrees.

Latitude varies from −90° to 90°. The latitude of the Equator is 0°; the latitude of the South Pole is −90°; the latitude of the North Pole is 90°. Positive latitude values correspond to the geographic locations north of the Equator (abbrev. N). Negative latitude values correspond to the geographic locations south of the Equator (abbrev. S).

Longitude is counted from the prime meridian ( IERS Reference Meridian for WGS 84) and varies from −180° to 180°. Positive longitude values correspond to the geographic locations east of the prime meridian (abbrev. E). Negative longitude values correspond to the geographic locations west of the prime meridian (abbrev. W).

UTM or Universal Transverse Mercator coordinate system divides the Earth’s surface into 60 longitudinal zones. The coordinates of a location within each zone are defined as a planar coordinate pair related to the intersection of the equator and the zone’s central meridian, and measured in meters.

Elevation above sea level is a measure of a geographic location’s height. We are using the global digital elevation model GTOPO30 .

Elektrostal , Moscow Oblast, Russia


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Savvino-storozhevsky monastery and museum.

Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and Museum

Zvenigorod's most famous sight is the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery, which was founded in 1398 by the monk Savva from the Troitse-Sergieva Lavra, at the invitation and with the support of Prince Yury Dmitrievich of Zvenigorod. Savva was later canonised as St Sabbas (Savva) of Storozhev. The monastery late flourished under the reign of Tsar Alexis, who chose the monastery as his family church and often went on pilgrimage there and made lots of donations to it. Most of the monastery’s buildings date from this time. The monastery is heavily fortified with thick walls and six towers, the most impressive of which is the Krasny Tower which also serves as the eastern entrance. The monastery was closed in 1918 and only reopened in 1995. In 1998 Patriarch Alexius II took part in a service to return the relics of St Sabbas to the monastery. Today the monastery has the status of a stauropegic monastery, which is second in status to a lavra. In addition to being a working monastery, it also holds the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum.

Belfry and Neighbouring Churches

shopify store business plan

Located near the main entrance is the monastery's belfry which is perhaps the calling card of the monastery due to its uniqueness. It was built in the 1650s and the St Sergius of Radonezh’s Church was opened on the middle tier in the mid-17th century, although it was originally dedicated to the Trinity. The belfry's 35-tonne Great Bladgovestny Bell fell in 1941 and was only restored and returned in 2003. Attached to the belfry is a large refectory and the Transfiguration Church, both of which were built on the orders of Tsar Alexis in the 1650s.  

shopify store business plan

To the left of the belfry is another, smaller, refectory which is attached to the Trinity Gate-Church, which was also constructed in the 1650s on the orders of Tsar Alexis who made it his own family church. The church is elaborately decorated with colourful trims and underneath the archway is a beautiful 19th century fresco.

Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral

shopify store business plan

The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is the oldest building in the monastery and among the oldest buildings in the Moscow Region. It was built between 1404 and 1405 during the lifetime of St Sabbas and using the funds of Prince Yury of Zvenigorod. The white-stone cathedral is a standard four-pillar design with a single golden dome. After the death of St Sabbas he was interred in the cathedral and a new altar dedicated to him was added.

shopify store business plan

Under the reign of Tsar Alexis the cathedral was decorated with frescoes by Stepan Ryazanets, some of which remain today. Tsar Alexis also presented the cathedral with a five-tier iconostasis, the top row of icons have been preserved.

Tsaritsa's Chambers

shopify store business plan

The Nativity of Virgin Mary Cathedral is located between the Tsaritsa's Chambers of the left and the Palace of Tsar Alexis on the right. The Tsaritsa's Chambers were built in the mid-17th century for the wife of Tsar Alexey - Tsaritsa Maria Ilinichna Miloskavskaya. The design of the building is influenced by the ancient Russian architectural style. Is prettier than the Tsar's chambers opposite, being red in colour with elaborately decorated window frames and entrance.

shopify store business plan

At present the Tsaritsa's Chambers houses the Zvenigorod Historical, Architectural and Art Museum. Among its displays is an accurate recreation of the interior of a noble lady's chambers including furniture, decorations and a decorated tiled oven, and an exhibition on the history of Zvenigorod and the monastery.

Palace of Tsar Alexis

shopify store business plan

The Palace of Tsar Alexis was built in the 1650s and is now one of the best surviving examples of non-religious architecture of that era. It was built especially for Tsar Alexis who often visited the monastery on religious pilgrimages. Its most striking feature is its pretty row of nine chimney spouts which resemble towers.

shopify store business plan

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Shopify (SHOP) Q1 2024 Earnings Call Transcript

May 08, 2024 — 01:15 pm EDT

Written by Motley Fool Transcribing for The Motley Fool  ->

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Image source: The Motley Fool.

Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) Q1 2024 Earnings Call May 08, 2024 , 8:30 a.m. ET

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Carrie Gillard

Good morning, and thank you for joining Shopify's first quarter 2024 conference call. Harley Finkelstein, Shopify's president; and Jeff Hoffmeister, our CFO, are with us today. After their prepared remarks, we will open it up for your questions. We will make forward-looking statements on our call today that are based on assumptions and, therefore, subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected.

We undertake no obligation to update these statements, except as required by law. You can read about these assumptions, risks and uncertainties in our press release this morning as well as in our filings with the U.S. and Canadian regulators. We'll also speak to adjusted financial measures, which are non-GAAP and not a substitute for GAAP financial measures.

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dollars unless otherwise indicated. With that, I'll turn the call over to Harley.

Harley Finkelstein -- President

Thanks, Carrie, and good morning, everyone. The start of 2024 has been very strong for Shopify with more and more merchants thriving on our platform. This is the strongest version of Shopify yet. We're helping millions of merchants around the world to both start and scale their businesses.

For four straight quarters, we have demonstrated our ability to drive results at scale, growing revenue over 25%, excluding logistics. And as we have proven over the last two decades, the more hard problems we solve for merchants, the more we add to our flywheel and the better off commerce is for everyone today, tomorrow and for many years to come. We've talked a lot about this new shape of Shopify and how it's enabling us to drive greater growth and profitability at a larger scale, and it's working. The penetration of payments is on the rise.

We're making significant strides in our offline and enterprise sectors. Our efforts toward international growth are yielding positive results, and our attach rate is expanding. Our operating discipline has been a key factor in the success, ensuring that we maintain efficiency, invest from our position of strength and deliver value at every turn. Shopify has always been high volume, high velocity when it comes to building and shipping products.

In the span of just two years, we've rolled out more than 400 new features and updates to our platform, setting a pace that demonstrates our leadership in building for the future. In that time, we've launched what we call editions twice a year, changing how we present and unveil Shopify's progress. These biannual moments have not only increased engagement, product adoption and visibility with our merchants and partners, but also reinforced our leadership in commerce. In fact, in our recent Q1 edition, 62% of businesses who installed Shopify subscriptions had never previously installed a subscription app on Shopify, demonstrating the impact these key storytelling moments can have on driving adoption.

We're dedicated to continually creating great software that allows brands to start and scale, finding their desired features quickly and intuitively as if each feature had been integrated from the start. From foundational elements like expansion of variant limits to 2,000 and the rollout of our web performance dashboard, which can improve a storage search rankings and boost conversion to new AI-enabled editing tools and within point of sale, the launch of email capture at off-line checkout. We are relentlessly working to reduce friction and make it easier for merchants to run and manage their business. Our editions have become key milestones for Shopify and the innovation engine we are powering at scale, not only extending our reach to a broader audience, but also redefining how our ecosystem engages and build with us.

Touching briefly on AI. Our unique position enables us to tap into the immense potential of AI for entrepreneurship and our merchants. Currently, the most practical applications of AI are found in tools that simplify business operations and enhance productivity, all of which we've been developing deeper capabilities with our AI product suite, Shopify Magic. However, we also firmly believe that we're just scratching the surface of what's possible as we're still in the nascent stages of understanding the vast potential that AI hold for businesses and commerce.

Launched over a decade ago, our most scaled product is Shopify Payments. Its GMV penetration has steadily increased, reaching 58% in 2023 with Q1 achieving 60% GMV penetration. We expect it to continue to be a key contributor to our growth moving ahead. Our seamless integrated payment solution continues to be a key gateway for other product offerings like capital, installments and Shop Pay, the world's highest converting accelerated checkout.

In Q1, Shop Pay increased 56%, processing $14 billion in GMV, accounting for 39% of our gross payments volume as it continues to be the preferred choice for consumers seeking a fast, secure and hassle-free checkout. Ensuring that these checkouts are fast loading, secure and compliant can be complex, which is why Shopify works to make it simple. At Shopify, we stay ahead of what's next for our merchants. We inherently build in potential updates to compliance, including the latest PCI security standards for payments so that merchants will be compliant with no additional work required.

Shopify Payments and our accelerated checkout will continue to play a vital role in the expansion of our unified commerce platform. As we continue to improve our features and global integrations and expand our offline and enterprise segments, we anticipate increased growth and adoption. This will be partially driven by the new avenues and flexibility provided by our commerce components offering. Notably, the international acclaimed fashion brand, Coach, recently committed to join Shopify via commerce components, intending to roll out Shop Pay off-platform across all of their U.S.

and Canada outlets in the coming months. This mix of composability, reliability and speed will further solidify the position of Shopify Payments as a crucial tool for merchants with Shop Pay continuing to become the go-to choice for quick, secure and seamless checkout at scale. Moving to our channels and growth drivers. More merchants are leveraging the value of Shopify point-of-sale, a true omnichannel solution as the number of locations using our new point-of-sale Pro increased substantially over the prior year.

Key feature enhancements like draft order functionality and fully customizable printed POS receipts continue to advance our offering. As a result, more merchants, especially large, complex, multi-location merchants are coming to Shopify. We saw location growth of 52% in the quarter for merchants with 20 or more locations. Our increased investments in performance marketing for Shopify point-of-sale as well as experimenting with other acquisition tactics are yielding positive results.

For example, Frank and Oak, a Montreal-born apparel brand launched our point-of-sale in more than a dozen of the retail locations in this past quarter as did Michigan-based food company, Cherry Republic. In Q1, we saw growth across merchants, locations and geographies, supporting our 32% offline GMV growth year over year as we continue to gain share. Moving to B2B. Shopify has been making significant strides with Q1 B2B GMV growing over 130% year over year after doubling in 2023.

B2B merchants are loving the power of self-serve purchasing by customers with a 7x increase in the number of orders coming in through the online store than a year ago. So why does this matter? Well, it means that there are fewer manual orders having to be entered by merchants using draft orders, which gives merchants back the value of time to focus on winning new business. B2B represents a significant growth opportunity for Shopify, allowing us to reach new verticals and cater to merchants focused on B2B transactions. We understand the specific needs of B2B businesses and are continually refining our platform to address those needs and boost efficiency and growth.

For example, we made it easier for existing customers who previously managed B2B buyers through their DTC store front and third-party apps to move to their entire wholesale business to our B2B solution, a key feature for Plus merchants. Further validation of just how competitive our B2B offering is, two days ago, Forrester's 2024 B2B commerce platform, Wave Evaluation, came out, and Shopify was placed in the leader category. This is our first appearance on a top two enterprise validation report for B2B and a clear signal that Shopify is increasingly becoming a leader in unified commerce for online, offline, B2B and everywhere in between. Moving to international.

Q1 international GMV growth outpaced North America with continued strength in Europe, posting Q1 GMV of 38%, marking our third consecutive quarter of GMV growth above 35%. With international making up less than 30% of our revenue base last year, the opportunity remains significant for us to equip merchants with the tools to make selling globally as easy as locally. Now to do this, we are laser-focused on building products and tools that cater to the unique needs and preferences of our international merchants. This quarter, we continued to make headway on our localization efforts in international markets with tools like shipping localized brochures in Japan, Spain and Italy, helping our merchants ensure a tailored experience and expand their reach.

We've also been working to get more of our products into more countries. For example, in Q1, we successfully launched our point-of-sale go and point-of-sale terminal in Australia, further increasing the on-ramps into Shopify in this key market. Enabling merchants to sell cross-border to buyers anywhere in the world has been a key focus for us. In Q1, we saw a 70% increase in our markets product over last year, which makes it easy for merchants to sell in local currencies.

We are further simplifying international expansion with Markets Pro, our native all-in-one cross-border merchant of record offering, which became generally accessible in the U.S. in September of 2023. Brands are leveraging Markets Pro to enter global markets within days and see immediate increases in their global sales. Take Chicago-based apparel company, SuitShop, which grew international orders by 600% since adopting Markets Pro or New York-based skincare brand, Beekman 1802, which experienced 137% international sales growth in 6 months.

And with cross-border GMV up 15% in Q1, representing roughly 14% of total GMV, we will continue to enable greater cross-border transactions for our merchants. As we mentioned on the last call, we continue to aggressively pursue enterprise brands in 2024, and we are seeing results. Whether it was key events like NRF and Shoptalk, our engagements with the larger brands are escalating every single quarter with our plus and enterprise GMV growth continuing to outpace overall GMV growth. Additionally, following our leadership rankings in IDC and Gartner last year, an independent study recently validated that Shopify's total cost of ownership is up to 36% better than competitors in the enterprise space.

This study proves that our unified commerce platform offers exceptional value and cost savings that only Shopify can offer. And in turn, we pass on the economies of scale we capture to our merchants, saving them money. What we are hearing from our conversations with enterprise-level brands is that there are really two primary reasons that are driving their decision to move to Shopify. First is the exceptional value of Shopify, the powerful and reliable infrastructure and the cutting-edge products that offer composability and choice, making the total cost of ownership hard to pass up.

And second, Shopify's core value proposition of innovation, scale and ease of launch. Let me dive into that point about ease of launch as it's really important. While Shopify moves fast and certainly faster than the competition, making the decision to replatform is incredibly hard, and larger brands can typically take anywhere from 12 to 18 months to completely migrate over. But that is not always the case, especially when it comes to Shopify.

Take, the well-known online discount retailer. We had them up and running in under 100 days, which considering the size and complexity is nothing short of amazing. That's what we do at Shopify. On the flip side, we recently signed BarkBox, a leading subscription service for dog products with over two million subscribers.

They recently made a decision to migrate all of their business to Shopify. Their debut on our platform is anticipated for 2025 and will be the largest subscription merchant to join Shopify to date. While timelines to market vary, the main point is that we are winning businesses and migrations with larger, more complex brands. The launch of these brands and the work we are doing today is building a sustainable foundation that will continue to deliver growth for years to come.

Beyond the two brands I just mentioned, we are seeing more high-volume merchants sign up and launch with Shopify across the board, adding more companies across verticals, industries and geographies to further energize our flywheel. Brands like consumer packaged good companies, Harry's and PrettyLitter; fashion apparel brands, like LoRa Canada and Intersport; fitness and wellness companies, Juice Plus, Balance of Nature and Soul Cycle; home goods retailer Rugs USA; consumer electronics company, Skullcandy; manufacturer of cleaning equipment Carter, health and beauty brand and celebrity brands like Serena Williams' beauty brand, WYN BEAUTY; Beyonce's hair care brand, Cecred; and Dwayne the Rock Johnson's skincare line, Papatui. The past years show that we can cater to both start-ups and large companies. And we continue to invest in both to expand our merchant base.

Our business model focuses on accelerating the success of our merchants and driving long-term value rather than short-term gains. We are a product-led company, and we will invest in those products and strategies that ultimately offer greater value for our merchants and thereby for Shopify. We think about marketing the same way we think about products, build great solutions, use the best internally developed and externally available tools, drive decision through data and be world-class. Our goal is to always get the most out of every existing channel up to our guardrail limits and continuingly find and experiment with new channels.

That is what we build our tools and our AI models to do, and we're using them to create some incredibly compelling opportunities. Let me give you a very recent example. At the end of last year and early into January, we drove significant efficiency improvements in one of our primary channels in performance marketing, where teams have created and leveraged advanced models using AI and machine learning, which now allows us to target our audiences with unprecedented precision. Using these models and strategies, we drove nearly 130% increase in merchant ads within our primary marketing channel from Q4 to Q1, while still remaining squarely within our payback guardrails.

Similar to how we build products, we continually assess emerging technology and how we can leverage them to improve our own tools. We are also advancing our operational rigor with our marketing data team using our tools to connect data inspections at a faster velocity and more granular level than ever before. This agility allows us to quickly seize opportunities and boldly move forward when others may hesitate. These are two of our Shopify wide principles, agility and finally, the unobvious opportunities, leaning to those opportunities when others pull back even when and often, especially because to others, they may appear unobvious.

And we know it's working. Back in Q3 2022, as we mentioned in our July earnings that year, we began a wave of new marketing tool production and tightened our payback guardrails even further. Our initiatives have successfully driven significant improvements in both new merchant acquisition and CAC in core performance marketing, our largest component of marketing investment. Comparing Q3 2022 to Q1 2024, new merchant acquisition has grown 108%, while CAC has improved almost 60%.

You can see why we're investing heavily and why we feel confident in our future and our growth in 2025 and beyond. You should expect to approach every quarter with the same model, testing and opportunistically investing into the areas where we know it will contribute well to our growth and stay within our guardrails. We intend to continue spending when market opportunities are within an average 18-month payback period, which we are finding a lot of right now along with increasingly supporting longer-term initiatives such as expanding into international and to point-of-sale. Right now, you're seeing the strongest version of Shopify in our history.

And we see an excellent opportunity to further our lead in our established products and fuel the strong momentum of our emerging products. Today, we are building an even stronger Shopify. We know our team is one of our most valuable assets. And given that it makes up over half of our cost base, we believe we've architected ourselves to be faster and more agile, which has enabled us to consistently deliver 25% revenue growth, excluding logistics, all while keeping our headcount flat for three straight quarters.

More importantly, because of the structure and the automation we have worked to put in place, we think we can continue to operate against very limited headcount growth while achieving a continued combination of consistent top line growth and profitability. As Kaz mentioned at our investor day in December, over the past 18 months, we've committed significant effort into building efficient infrastructure and systems, which are instrumental in streamlining our work and maintaining our high velocity product releases. We do this through our Shopify operating system, the foundation for every role and purpose at Shopify that uses data to help tell us how many resources we need for any project and the skill set or craft needed for the project. Essentially, these systems and this infrastructure act as catalysts, enabling us to operate with increased efficiency and speed.

So as we create a crafter's paradise, empowering teams to pursue their passions while having an incredible impact on our mission, we were doing it in a way that optimizes our talent and ensures we continue to make the most important thing the most important thing. To close, we are proud of the strides we've made in Q1 and the execution we continue to deliver consistently quarter over quarter. The strength of our business model, the commitment of our team and our unwavering focus on serving our merchants has positioned us to lean into the opportunities we see ahead and invest responsibly to sustain our long-term growth objectives. The best companies are built this way, staying grounded in their reason for being and committed to their mission.

For Shopify, our team's dedication, coupled with our evolved marketing strategy, is reshaping the company and moving us forward. We look forward to sharing our journey with you in the quarters to come. And with that, let me turn the call over to Jeff.

Jeff Hoffmeister -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Harley. We have started off 2024 incredibly strong, building on our momentum from 2023. Let's launch into our Q1 results. GMV in Q1 was $60.9 billion, up 23% year over year.

The strong Q1 GMV was driven by same-store sales growth of our existing merchants, continued growth in our merchant base globally, strength in EMEA, which grew 38% year over year from both strong same-store sales growth from our existing merchant base and new merchant acquisition with same-store sales growth being the slightly larger contributor this quarter. And finally, 32% growth year over year in our off-line business driven primarily by larger retailers joining the platform. Revenue for the first quarter was $1.9 billion, up 23% year over year, which equates to 29% year-over-year growth when excluding the logistics businesses. This represents the fourth consecutive quarter that our revenue growth has been greater than 25% on an organic basis excluding logistics.

The key drivers of this growth were the GMV strength just discussed, growth in subscription solutions revenue from both new margin growth and the pricing increases on standard plans and lastly, increased payments penetration, which hit 60% for Q1. Q1 merchant solutions revenue was $1.4 billion, increasing 20% year over year, fueled by growth in GMV, continued penetration of Shopify Payments, continued growth of our scaled products, most notably markets and growing adoption of our emerging products, including installments and shop cash. Those contributors were partly offset by the absence of the logistics business. $36.2 billion of GMV was processed on Shopify Payments in the first quarter, 32% higher than in the first quarter of 2023.

The penetration rate of Shopify Payments as a percentage of GMV was 60% compared to 56% in Q1 of 2023. Several factors powered the quarter's higher gross payments volume compared to the prior year, including the strong performance of those merchants utilizing Shopify Payments, an increasing percentage of which are Shopify Plus, more merchants across the globe adopting payments, greater penetration of Shop Pay, which was 39% of GPV in the quarter and continued growth of our point-of-sale solution. These items were partially offset by the continued strength of our business in Europe, which was a larger percentage of GMV, but where we have a lower GPV penetration than North America. subscription solutions revenue was $511 million, up 34% over Q1 of 2023, with the two largest drivers being the impact from the pricing increases of our standard plans, which went into effect for existing merchants in the second quarter of 2023 and the growth in the number of merchants.

These two factors were roughly equally balanced contributors. An increase in revenues from variable platform fees was also a contributor to the quarter. As a reminder, existing Plus merchants had until the end of April to commit to their existing rates or move to a new pricing plan. As of today, the majority of our existing Plus merchants have chosen to commit to three-year contracts at existing 2023 rates, a clear testament to the exceptional value that we provide and the trust and confidence our merchants place in us to consistently deliver the solutions they need for their success.

We expect more of the financial impact from these changes to occur in the second half of the year. We are not anticipating as much of a benefit from this pricing change as we did from the changes to standard pricing in 2023. MRR was $151 million, up 32% year over year. We saw growth year over year in MRR across each of standard, plus and off-line point-of-sale.

This strength stemmed from increases in the number of merchants in each of these three categories combined with, for Plus, growth from both new Shopify merchants joining and existing merchants upgrading from one of our standard plans with Plus, with Plus representing 32% of MRR for Q1 of this year. You should expect the Plus pricing changes to have more of an impact on our second quarter MRR as existing Plus merchants did not have to commit until after the end of Q1. For point-of-sale MRR, which was up 50% year over year, growth was driven by improvements in our go-to-market strategy and our new retail plan. And for standard, the pricing change that we implemented last year.

On a sequential quarter-over-quarter basis, MRR increased in plus, standard and point-of-sale, primarily from growth in the number of merchants in each of these groups. It is important to note, we refined our MRR calculation for standard. We adjusted how we factor in merchants transitioning from a paid trial to full price status. Previously, we reflected an MRR the full price plan when the merchant's paid trial ended but before the first payment was received.

Now we do not capture an MRR the change in the pricing until after we have received the first full price payment. We believe this approach better reflects the way we look at our business. The change does not impact revenue. In Q1, our attach rate was 3.06%, up from 3.04% in Q1 of 2023.

Key drivers of attach rate expansion in the quarter were the continued gains in GPV penetration and higher subscription revenues, largely offset by the logistics business in the prior year and lower noncash revenues from strategic partnerships. Moving to gross profit. Gross profit was $957 million for the quarter, up 33% year over year. Gross margin for subscription solutions was 81.4% compared to 78% in Q1 of 2023.

The increase stems from pricing changes on standard plans and, to a lesser extent, continued support and hosting efficiencies. Gross margin for merchant solutions was 40.1% compared to 37.2% in Q1 of 2023. Our improvement in gross margin for merchant solutions was primarily due to the benefit from the absence of logistics, which was dilutive to margin. When excluding the impact of logistics, our merchant solutions gross margin was down year over year primarily from lower noncash revenues from certain partnerships and the continued growth of our lower-margin Shopify Payments business with these impacts partially offset by growth in the products like Shop Cash and installments.

This brings our overall Q1 gross margin to 51.4% compared to 47.5% in the prior year. Operating expenses were $871 million for the quarter, in line with our expectations and representing 47% of revenue. Compared to Q1 of 2023, operating expenses of Q1 2024 were down 4%. The decline year over year was primarily due to the sale of the logistics business and lower headcount, partially offset by increases in marketing spend.

I know many of you look at operating expenses both pre and post stock-based comp. opex excluding SBC and related payroll taxes or adjusted opex for the quarter was 41% of revenue compared to 51% of revenues in Q1 2023. We continue to remain disciplined on headcount with total headcount remaining essentially flat for the past three quarters, all while maintaining and, in fact, accelerating our product innovation capabilities and continuing the top line momentum of our business. How we leverage AI internally is an important element of how we are able to do that.

And as an example, let's talk about how we are using AI in merchant support. A couple of data points for you. During Q1, over half of our merchant support interactions were assisted with AI and often fully resolved with the help of AI. AI has enabled 24/7 live support in eight additional languages that previously were offered only certain hours of the day.

We have significantly enhanced the merchant experience. The average duration of support interactions has decreased. And the introduction of AI has helped reduce the reluctance that some merchants previously had toward asking questions that they might perceive as trivial or naive. Additionally, our support staff has experienced a significant reduction in the amount of toil that is part of their jobs.

We are improving the merchant support process and achieving much greater efficiency than ever before. Moving to operating income. For the quarter, operating income was $86 million or approximately 5% of revenue compared to an operating loss of $193 million in Q1 of 2023. Stock-based compensation for Q1 was $111 million, and capital expenditures were $6 million for the quarter.

Free cash flow was $232 million or 12% of revenue, doubling as a percentage of revenue versus Q1 2023 free cash flow margin of 6%. Turning to our balance sheet. Our cash and marketable securities balance was $5.2 billion as of March 31. And we had a net cash position of $4.3 billion after consideration of the outstanding convertible notes.

Before turning to our outlook, a few comments regarding the broader economy and the macroeconomic assumptions that underpin our Q2 expectations. We see consumer spend in North America remaining resilient that we have factored in headwinds related to FX from the strong U.S. dollar and some softness in European consumer spending in our Q2 outlook. We have and expect to continue to outperform the e-commerce growth rates in North America and Europe.

We otherwise assume that the macroeconomic environment remains consistent with current conditions. Keeping all this in mind, let's now turn to outlook. Our expectations for the second quarter of 2024 are as follows. First, on revenue.

We expect Q2 year-over-year revenue growth to be in the high teens on a GAAP basis, which equates to a year-over-year growth rate in the low to mid-20s when excluding the 300 to 400 basis point impact from the sale of our logistics business. An important dynamic to highlight is the impact of the standard and plus pricing changes and how they affect our growth rate for Q2 versus Q1. The impact of the pricing changes in standard and plus will have a smaller combined benefit in Q2 versus Q1. In Q2, we begin to lap the initial pricing changes on our standard plans that went into effect in April of 2023, resulting in a headwind to our revenue growth quarter over quarter.

While the plus pricing billing cycle went into effect today for those existing merchants who did not sign up for the three-year contract, this uplift is expected to be minimal in Q2, given both the mid-quarter timing of the change and the fact that the majority of our merchants did choose to opt into three-year contracts at their existing 2023 price. Q2 will simply be a quarter where the lapping effect of the standard plan changes exceeds the initial benefit of the plus pricing changes. We remain resolutely confident in the great products and go-to-market initiatives fueling our continuous growth and our ability to further strengthen our position as a leader in unified commerce. We expect Q2 to be a continuation of our strong momentum.

Q2 gross margin is expected to be down approximately 50 basis points from Q1 of 2024. The primary drivers of the decline quarter over quarter are the expected growth of our lower-margin payments business and lower revenue contribution from a high-margin noncash partnership revenue agreement that we'll have fully amortized. Offsetting these factors are the expected positive impacts from the standard and plus pricing changes that I just referenced above and the benefit from shortening our trial length from three months down to one month. Turning to operating expenses.

We believe that our Q2 operating expense dollars on a GAAP basis will be up at a low to mid-single-digit percentage rate compared to our Q1 operating expenses of $871 million. As a percentage of revenue, we expect our Q2 GAAP operating expense dollars to be approximately 45% to 46%, implying a decrease of 100 to 200 basis points versus Q1. I previously have not been guiding toward operating expense as a percentage of revenue. Q2 will mark a full year since we began to operate in the new fitter, faster shape of Shopify as well as the sale of the majority of our logistics businesses.

Given these changes, the year-over-year comparability of operating expenses has been less telling over the past year. Hence, why I've been talking about sequential changes to opex dollars. Going forward, I plan to talk about operating expenses as a percentage of our revenue as it better aligns with our goal of striking the optimal balance between growth and operational leverage to deliver improving profitability over time. For this quarter, I wanted to provide you both metrics.

For the second quarter, the two primary drivers of the operating expense dollar increase over Q1 are marketing spend and our Summit event, which will happen at the end of June with Summit being the primary driver of the increase. Summit is our annual event where we engage in a collaborative week dedicated to aligning on the bold ideas that we have as a company, a spotlight on our mission, our product road map and the mental models that we are using to build incredible things. We consider it a critical week for our product development efforts, company culture and work with external developers. This will be our first completely in-person Summit since 2018, and everyone is really looking forward to it.

We highly value and remain committed to our remote-first culture and concurrently believe that getting teams together periodically is a critical load-bearing element that enables our remote-first culture to thrive. This year, Summit will be aggregated into one event what in other years is multiple discrete events, including our three-day internal hack day event where we ask our teams to start new projects. Our hack days have kick-started many key products and features like point-of-sale and the Shop app. This week's work also includes a series of events for our external development partners,, which includes hands-on technical walk-throughs and immersive workshops. gives us an opportunity to share our vision with our developer partners and get external feedback on our products and road map. It is one of the most highly anticipated events for developers within the Shopify ecosystem, both internal and external. And we consider it an investment in our team, our product road map and our partners. Regarding marketing, Harley shared with you some insights into our thinking and some of our recent successes there.

We intend to continue to invest when opportunities are within an average 18-month payback period. And we are finding a lot of them right now as well as supporting longer-term initiatives such as international, enterprise and point-of-sale. Moving to stock-based compensation. Q2 SBC is expected to be $120 million, and Q2 capital expenditures, $5 million.

Finally, on free cash flow. For Q2, we expect our free cash flow margin to be similar to Q1 of 2024. We have now delivered three consecutive quarters of double-digit free cash flow margin with no expectation for this trend to change. In summary, Q1 was a very strong start to the year.

We continue to deliver on the product initiatives that we have laid out. Our merchants are performing well, and we continue to expand the value that we can provide our merchants. We are making key investments in our future and continuing to build an even stronger Shopify, all while delivering a compelling mix of both growth and profitability. With that, I'll now turn the call back over to Carrie for your questions.

[Operator instructions] Our first question comes from Trevor Young at Barclays.

Trevor Young -- Barclays -- Analyst

Great. Thanks. Just on the core standard MRR, only up slightly Q on Q, can you just give us some color on why that was up maybe a smaller amount that we would have expected seasonally? Is that just a definitional change or is there something going on just in terms of merchant demand?

Yes. No, that's just a definitional change. It would have been up 5% if you look at it in terms of Q4 to Q1. And so it's just a function of that change.

The merchant acquisition engine overall is doing really, really well right now. So there's nothing else to read into that.

OK, thank you. Our next question will come from Matt Coad at Autonomous. Matt, are you there?

Matt Coad -- Autonomous Research -- Analyst

I am. Sorry about that, guys. I didn't click unmute. So wanted to double-click on sales and marketing expenses.

So they're increasing again at a pretty fast clip. You guys touched on that a little bit in your opening remarks. I kind of just wanted to get some incremental color on how that's translating into merchant and bookings growth. Are there any commentary that you could provide on the 2024 cohort and how that's looking compared to 2023 would be helpful.

Yeah. I think from a sales and marketing perspective, and let's just talk a little bit in terms of how we think about our margins overall. I mean our sales and marketing, as Harley talked about in the broader call is going very, very well right now in terms of some of the things we've been doing recently to improve the tools and the methodologies we're using. And Harley talked through some of those not only over the past few quarters as well as some things we've done over the past few months.

As it relates to margin specifically in terms of how we think about it, I'd go back to what we talked about in terms of free cash flow margins. And the guidance I gave there, we are -- let's effectively start with what we said as it relates to Q1 results and then obviously Q2. In Q1, we did 12% free cash flow margins on 29% pro forma revenue growth. I consider that a strong result.

And that also gets into an uptick from Q1. We had expected an uptick from Q1 to Q2 in terms of margin. Q1 outperformed, which is great. We did, as we talked through some of the things that Harley mentioned in his script around the payback periods and kind of when this is going to hit our top line.

That's a key piece in terms of how you think about the merchant acquisition engine. But also going back to just how we think about the margins, our guidance for Q2 points to the free cash flow margins being similar to 12% that we achieved in Q1. And that is combined with the pro forma revenue growth in the low to mid-20s. So the business can deliver both growth and margins, all while we are concurrently creating and leaning into opportunities that enhance our growth.

So we feel really good about the strength of this business as it allows us to accomplish all 3. And this marketing spend for us is an investment in our future and continuing to do all the things, which, again, we think will continue to strengthen the business for the long term.

And Matt, let me just take a moment just on the types of merchant that are coming to Shopify because that is really important to understand. Historically, I think it was fairly well known that in the SMB direct-to-consumer segment, we were winning these merchants. But remember, not only do we continue to win those merchants, but now we're seeing different types of merchants, too. I mean there's some talk around the state of the consumer.

We think the consumer remains resilient. We're seeing consumers buying in their favorite brands that they love and feel affinity to. Those brands are on Shopify. But we also have other brands that have recently joined that are more -- or sorry, less discretionary.

I mean FIGS, for example, are in hospitals all of the country. Hines, Nestle Staples, BarkBox, ButcherBox, these are less discretionary brands also coming to Shopify. When you add to that new brands that are coming for things like B2B, for example, which is growing beautifully in our view and will continue to grow, a huge opportunity there or international merchants, you're seeing all these different on-ramps into Shopify all working really, really well. Now to Jeff's point around the spend -- one thing that's important to understand is think about marketing the same way we think about products.

We build great solutions. We use the best internally developed tools, and we drive decisions through data. And we can be agile at times and at times that they may seem countercyclical. But what it really does is it means we can have -- we can drive sustained top line growth and be profitable.

But all these different growth drivers, all these different on-ramps lead to a much stronger business long term with a variety of very, very strong different types of merchants.

Thanks for your question, Matt. We will now move to Mark Zgutowicz at Benchmark. Mark, are you there? OK. We will put Mark back in the queue.

Let's go instead to...

Mark Zgutowicz -- The Benchmark Company -- Analyst

Oh, there you are. OK. Great. Mark, go ahead.

Sorry about that, Carrie. Thought I hit it. Harley, maybe just picking up on that last point. You talked a little bit about vertical expansion there on the merchant ad component.

But maybe if you could talk about geo and sort of where you're seeing merchant ads from a geo perspective, sort of what the strategy is there and how that payback period, I guess, fits into that 18 months? Is it higher in U.S. versus some of these other geos? Is that sort of an average 18-month payback? If you look across deals, that would be helpful. And then just one other quick one, if I could, just in terms of your audience scale, just in terms of advertising scale broadly. Just trying to get a sense of how your audience target numbers will look this year scaling relative to last year.

Yeah. Let me start, Mark, with international. I mean Shopify is no longer just for small business in North America. We are seeing great revenue growth across channels, cross-sell, regional.

And Q1 international GMV grow at pace North America. In fact, in particular, Europe continues to lead our growth outside North America. I think Q1 GMV growth was like 38% in that region. That's the third consecutive quarter of growth above 35% there.

So there's a lot of opportunity there. I think we've captured less than 1% market share in global retail sales even as our product and geographies have expanded. If you go back to 2015, we have five products in four countries. Today, we have more than 20 products in more than 30 countries just on the merchant solutions side.

We have this massive opportunity ahead with about a $380 billion market opportunity when you just focus on our core geographies and where we operate today, which means we are significantly underpenetrated. And in particular, on the product expansion side, localization of products matters. Commercial initiatives matter. That means working with partners, working with app developers, working with large SIs on the ground in these places.

That really matters. But I think we will continue to focus on the success we're seeing in Europe. And there's no reason for that to be slowing down. And then obviously, APAC and LatAm also provide some really incredible opportunities there.

Let me also talk quickly about audiences because I think it's important. Obviously, we've been talking about advertising generally on Shopify, but audiences in particular is one that we're especially proud of. Look, this thing launched in 2022, May. It's now helping merchants get better results from the digital ads.

The algorithms that this thing is getting better at every day helps with finding high-intent customers. And in some cases, we are leading -- we are seeing this lead up to 50% CAC improvements. So it is really important. It's also a key reason why merchants used to upgrade to plus.

We're now experimenting more. We just launched a free 45-day trial in April. Some merchants who are not in Shopify Plus can actually experiment with it. Of course, the goal to get them the upgrade, but also get them to start using it.

And then just in January, in the winter edition, we talked about stronger retargeting and benchmarks for ads. We target twice as many potential buyers with much better customer targeting boost list, new benchmarks for measuring ad performance. The audience is probably something that we're really proud of. And I think you'll see us continue to double down on it.

But advertising in general, I think what differentiates Shopify is our ability to interpret data, experiment and then lean into where we see these opportunities. And everything I referenced in my prepared remarks speaks, I think, to a desire to be world-class at every aspect of our business, including marketing for ourselves and helping our merchants with marketing. And audiences is a great example of that. The other one, of course, is Shop Campaigns, which previously known as Shop Cash Offers.

Very early stage of experimenting, but we're already seeing merchants and incredible brands use it and find increased revenue through much higher visibility, much better conversions. And again, the great part about things like audiences and Shop Campaigns is if you want to leverage these things as a brand or retailer merchant, you have to be on Shopify.

Thanks, Mark. Our next question will come from Andrew Boone at JMP Securities.

Andrew Boone -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Thanks so much for taking my question. Jeff, can you talk about the reaction to plus price increases? And you laid out 2Q pretty clearly, but how do we think about that flowing through the P&L in the back half of the year? Thanks so much.

Yeah. Thanks, Andrew. A couple of things I mentioned on the call and then a couple of additional points. I did mention on the prepared remarks earlier that we -- we've had a majority of the plus merchants commit to three-year contracts, which for us is really a testimony to them looking at all the value we provide and saying this is something that I want to -- this is a platform.

This is a set of tools I want to continue to work with and commit to for a multiyear period, which is -- which obviously is a great testimony to what we've been doing. As you know, similar to what we saw in the standard pricing changes, it's going hit MRR first, right? So we'll hit MRR in Q2 because today is essentially -- today, this very day, in fact, is the first day of the billing cycle. And so it will hit MRR in Q2. It really won't hit revenue and obviously, therefore, margins really until mostly in Q3.

So this will be a little bit more of a back half phenomenon than anything else. And it will track pretty similar just in terms of timing because we implemented both of these changes, the standard and the plus, at pretty much the same time of the year. So it will track in a similar manner. But again, just given the fact that the majority of the plus merchants have opted into three-year contracts, I don't think it will have as big of an impact as standard did for us last year.

OK. Thank you for your question. Our next question comes from Mark Mahaney at Evercore ISI.

Ian Peterson -- Evercore ISI -- Analyst

Ian Peterson. This is Ian Peterson on for Mark. Can you help us unpack the Q2 guide a little bit more in the puts and takes in your high teens year-over-year revenue guide? How big is the FX headwind embedded in the guide? And how should we think about the balance between subscription versus merchant solutions in the quarter, given the price increases flowing through more enterprise customers coming online? Thanks.

Yeah, I'll go ahead and start on that one. Thanks, Ian. So a reminder that -- and I want to go back to this as the largest impact. I mentioned this in my comments earlier.

The largest impact in the comparison between Q1 and Q2 growth rates is this dynamic of the pricing changes. And you really have Q2 this quarter, where effectively the year-over-year lift of the standard plan pricing changes is waning before you really get the ramp in terms of what we're seeing on the plus pricing and before that's really kicked in. That is the biggest driver. The other -- and really, when you take that in isolation, don't forget, obviously, all the great things that we're doing in terms of what we're seeing, Harley alluding to this in terms of the strength of all of our other products.

The merchant additions are strong across all of standard, plus and point-of-sale, as I talked about as it relates to MRR numbers. Payments, enterprise plus, point-of-sale B2B, they're all going really, really well. So those are the key takeaways. I did, obviously, as it relates to some of the broader economic factors that I mentioned in my comments earlier, there is some impact from the strengthening of the U.S.

dollar. There is also actually when you look at the Q1 growth rate, that had a year-over-year impact from leap year, which is roughly -- just think about the number of days in the quarter is roughly 100 basis points tailwind to the growth rate, normalized Q1 growth rates, that's something to keep in mind. And then Europe and most specifically the U.K., where we are seeing some economic slowdown, as I mentioned earlier, but please do and keep this in perspective that -- and as you go back to our annual report last year, you noted that we mentioned for 2023, EMEA as a whole was 18% of revenues for the year. And the U.K.

is just one piece of that. And we've obviously and Harley mentioned just a few moments ago, we've obviously been talking in the past few quarters about the growth rates in the high 30s for EMEA. So we have been doing exceptionally well there, and we expect to continue to outgrow the market, not only in Europe, but also more importantly, North America. So it is this pricing change impact, which is the biggest factor for Q2.

And again, I think our merchant acquisition engine and our product suite are performing really well. So we feel good about the strength of the business right now.

Thank you for your question. Our next question will come from Michael Morton at MoffettNathanson.

Michael Morton -- MoffettNathanson -- Analyst

Good morning. Thank you for the question. The number one question we get from investors is the impact that the growth in enterprise will have on the attach rate. It's just really tricky to try to forecast it from the outside and probably not growing as quickly as some people might expect at the moment.

Would just love to hear some more about the moving parts behind this as you see success in the enterprise and how investors should think about the attach rate going forward? Thank you.

Hey, Michael. I'll take that question. So first and foremost, enterprise is really continued to gain some traction here. The way that we think about it is that there are a bunch of different ways that very large enterprises can use Shopify.

And not every one of them wants -- some want headless and they can Hydrogen and also Remix. Some want plus, this one size fits all out of the box. And those that don't want out of the box, we have CSS as well. But we're now offering something for every enterprise level brand that takes all the value of plus and wraps into the needs of very complex high-volume brands.

I mentioned Everlane previously. I mentioned Coach on the call today. We're seeing more of these brands that historically didn't necessarily look to Shopify, come to us now to take one component. We believe over time, they will take more of its components.

Now the product attach rate is really important is because it's a proxy for the value we're adding for all the products that we have, whether it's something like capital or it's payments or any of the other point-of-sale, for example, any of the other solutions that we think are really important for merchants to be utilizing to build their business. But in the case of enterprise, in particular, I think the reason that you're seeing Overstock and BarkBox and Intersport, Skullcandy, all these brands coming to us at this increased clip is because this is by far the best product. And the total cost of ownership, we just had an independent study validate this. Total cost of ownership for Shopify's enterprise offering is 36% better than competitors.

That is unbelievable. I mean the value to cost ratio is so far on the side of value here. And they're choosing Shopify because it's a great product, it's a great value, and we'll continue to see that as well. Now in terms of directly answering your question on the attach rate, over time, what we do see is that more and more merchants take more of our solutions as they fully integrate into the platform.

So think about these things like CSS and Hydrogen and plus as on ramps into the enterprise product. But once they're in the enterprise product, we have the opportunity to show them better value on things like payments, for example, better value on -- get them using audiences, for example. That's sort of the model here. And when you add on top of that a much more aggressive go-to-market effort, which frankly is -- we've been working on now for, call it, 24 months, you're seeing the fruits of those labors.

And so I think you'll continue to see that as well. But over time, we like that the product attach continues to grow again as a proxy for the value we create for the people that use Shopify.

OK. Thank you for your question. Our next question comes from Martin Toner at ATB Capital.

Martin Toner -- ATB Capital Markets -- Analyst

Good morning. Thanks for taking my question. Free cash flow margins have been greater than adjusted op income margins last two quarters. Is that something we should expect will continue?

Well, yeah from a free cash flow margin perspective versus operating income, there's a few things in play. But yes, in general, it's been and we expect it to continue to be a few points higher. So -- and that's just a function of how you think about our P&L and kind of how that flows through the P&L. But yes.

OK. Our next question will come from Andrew Bauch at Wells Fargo.

Andrew Bauch -- Wells Fargo Securities -- Analyst

Hey. Thanks for taking the question. Just wanted to unpack the Shop Pay growth, three straight quarters over 50%. And Harley, you mentioned the off-platform opportunity and its interplay with commerce components really starting to show traction.

So can you give us a sense on what the drivers of Shop Pay's growth are at this point? And what does the pipeline look like for Shop Pay off-platform as we get into the back half of this year?

Yeah. I mean simply put, Shop Pay is the highest converting accelerated checkout on the Internet. It converts 36% better than competition and 15% more on average. There's now 150 million buyers, 150 million that have opted into Shop Pay.

And for Q1 alone, we facilitated $14 billion of GMV. That's a 56% year on year. I think total cumulative, it's about $140 billion so far. So I think -- I mean people are coming to shop -- people want to use Shop Pay because, frankly, even the mere presence of Shop Pay on the check -- even if it's not used results in a 5% higher conversion.

It's becoming a really bad idea for any brand or any retailer on the planet to not use it. And so we like the fact that people are coming to us specifically for Shop Pay. Again, it allows us to begin a business relationship with brands that maybe historically we had not otherwise spoken to. But we're going to continue to make Shop Pay the default checkout on the Internet.

And we do that because it's faster. It reduces friction and ultimately drives greater adoption by both merchants and ultimately for more buyers, which means merchants want it. But it's -- we think -- we're really excited about it. We are very focused on making it easier to checkout with Shop Pay and extend it to way more surfaces and the pipeline for Shop Pay is something that is new, but very, very exciting.

And our last question will come from Samad Samana at Jefferies.

Samad Samana -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Hi. Good morning. Thanks for squeezing me in. I appreciate it.

So I wanted to ask a question maybe on the point-of-sale GMV and point-of-sale MRR. Jeff, I know you guys gave off-line revenue targets last year at the Analyst Day, which is really helpful. Could you give us any sense of maybe what the MRR contribution from point-of-sale is and maybe how you're expecting the overall point-of-sale growth this year? And then not to make it a multiparter, but just trying to understand maybe what the GPV for offline merchant dynamics are versus online. Thanks again for squeezing me in.

I appreciate it.

Yes, of course. A couple of things on that, Samad. In terms of some of the growth rates in some of the sizing that we talked about at the investor day regarding retail point-of-sale, that is consistent in terms of how that business is performing. As strong as our core business is performing, the off-line piece continues to perform at an even higher level.

So that is something, obviously, which from our vantage point is a great thing. It's a testimony to a lot of merchants Harley talked a little bit about, especially some of the larger multi-location retail merchants that are using point-of-sale more and more. And it's also helpful from their vantage point to use our platform because obviously, they can look at one tech stack and basically say, all right, I have the best technology, the best tech stack on the online side, and now I have the best on the offline side as well. Really all do that from one pane of glass, one set of data analysis, etc.

It's been a really, really compelling value proposition, I guess, for lack of a better way of saying it. And so that's been one of the things that's been fueling the growth. And we're doing a lot, and we talked to maybe a couple of quarters ago as it relates to things like installments, where we're taking them, Samad, from our core online business and adding them to the offline offering that we're giving to retailers. And we continue to expand the countries that we're in with point-of-sale.

So that being said, we don't -- in terms of the attach rate, we just don't have the number of just in terms of sheer number. We don't have the same number of offerings for point-of-sale that we also have in online, but that's also an opportunity because we're going to be able to migrate more and more functionality at the point-of-sale. And so over time, the attach rate and some of the opportunities overall are going to increase. As I believe you know, the point-of-sale, the retail piece for us is primarily a payments piece.

There's obviously the subscription element to that. Those two make up the significant majority of the revenues that we get from retail. We -- unfortunately, we're not breaking out as it relates to percentage of MRR what is exactly retail, but you can expect as we -- again, the kind of continuation of the trends, as I alluded to before. So it's doing really well, and it's a function of all the things both Harley and I have covered.

So with that, maybe Harley, I'll turn it back to you.

Yeah. Let me just close that before we finish the call because I just want to say one thing that I think may be getting lost here, but it's really important. We just delivered 29% pro forma revenue growth and 12% free cash flow margins. Now for Q2, our outlook points to free cash flow margin similar to the 12% we achieved in Q1.

And that combined with pro forma revenue growth in the low to mid-20s, I mean this business can do something very rare and unique relative to almost every single company on the planet. We can deliver growth and margins, all while creating and leaning into opportunities that enhance our growth in the future. And so I just -- I think it's important to say like the strength of this business means we can accomplish all three of those things and build stronger company longer term. This is what the best companies do.

And I think this is how you achieve long-term durable growth. And I've never been more excited about Shopify, about our business, and I've never been more proud to work with this world-class team. I think this is the best version of Shopify ever, and thank you so much for joining us today on the call.

This concludes our first quarter 2024 conference call. Thank you.

Duration: 0 minutes

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