If you own a business, you’ll understand the juggle that often comes between cash flow and expenses and how a business credit card can help to navigate...
If you're thinking about selling products on the internet but aren’t sure how to start and manage an online store, then you might want to use a commerce platform to help you. A commerce platform provides the technology for you to manage all aspects of your business, with one example being Shopify.
In this article we’ll take a look at what Shopify is including how it works, the main features, how payments work and what the fees are. We’ll also let you know how a Wise Business account might benefit you as an Australian business owner.
|💸 Looking for a stress-free international business account to pay abroad like a local? With multiple cards, AUD and foreign currency account details?|
Shopify is a commerce platform that enables you to start, grow and manage your business, selling in multiple places including your own website, social media and in physical locations like a pop-up shop or store.¹ This makes it quite different to online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay.
To give you an idea of how popular Shopify is in Australia, they claim to have already been used by over 100,000 Australian retailers, including Budgy Smuggler, Manning Cartell and SUNNYLiFE.²
With Shopify you can get your business started by building a brand, online presence and website.⁵ You then use what you’ve created to sell your products using a range of tools including point of sale software, an eCommerce website builder, buy buttons that can be added to websites and the ability to manage multiple sales channels. Customer payments can be processed online or in person⁴ and Shopify can also help with shipping.
The features offered by Shopify can be broken down into four main areas - start, sell, market and manage. Here’s some of what’s available within each of these areas.
- Create a business logo
- Customise your domain name
- Access stock images
- Build an eCommerce store
- Point of Sale (POS) system for in person sales
- Buy button that can be embedded into blogs and websites
- Secure online check out for customers
- Extend to other sales channels including Facebook, Instagram, eBay and Amazon
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tools
- Ready made email marketing campaigns
- Connect to third party tools such as Google Performance Max and Facebook Ads
- Insights into the performance of marketing campaigns
- Fulfil customer orders
- Accept payments
- Get insights into your business performance
|Read more: Amazon FBA Australia. How it works and how to get in.|
The pricing for Shopify is broken into three tiers - Basic, Shopify and Advanced. There are some differences in the available features and payment rates.
The Basic plan is aimed at new ecommerce businesses that have few or no in person sales.³ It includes access for two staff members, four inventory locations and basic reports.
The Shopify plan has the same features as the Basic plan but upgrades you to access for five staff members, up to five inventory locations and standard reports.³
The Advanced plan gives you more again with 15 available staff accounts, up to 8 inventory locations and advanced reports, as well as third party calculated shipping rates and the ability to estimate and collect import duties and taxes.³
Here’s the monthly fees for using Shopify in Australia, keeping in mind that the amounts are given in USD.³
|$29 USD per month||$79 USD per month||$299 USD per month|
If you need to pay fees in USD then it’s a good idea to find out who can exchange your AUD at the best rate with the lowest fees. With Wise, your money is exchanged using the real exchange rate and there’s no hidden fees to worry about. It can be 6x cheaper than old-school banks, and 19x cheaper than Paypal, so it’s worth considering.
If you’re using Shopify in Australia you can set it up to accept payments using the Shopify Payments system.⁴ The advantage of this is you can save on third party transaction fees and manual payment fees.
Alternatively, you can set up a third party payment provider or a merchant account, then enter those credentials into your Shopify account.⁴
Here’s the fees for accepting payments when using the Shopify commerce platform.³
|Online Australian credit cards||1.75% + $0.30 AUD||1.6% + $0.30 AUD||1.4% + $0.30 AUD|
|Online International |
|2.9% + $0.30 AUD||2.8% + $0.30 AUD||2.7% + $0.30 AUD|
|Amex credit card, Bancontact, iDEAL||2.9% + $0.30 AUD||2.8% + $0.30 AUD||2.7% + $0.30 AUD|
|In person credit card or debit card||1.9%||1.7%||1.5%|
|Transactions not processed using Shopify Payments||2.0%||1.0%||0.5%|
As you can see the Shopify fees vary between the different plans, and unlike the monthly fees the amounts are listed in AUD.
If you're using Shopify Payments rather than a merchant account or third party payment provider, any money you make will be sent to your Australian bank account.⁹
For Australian Shopify account holders it takes 2 business days from the customer's purchase for Shopify to send the funds, excluding any processing times your bank has.
With Shopify it’s possible to receive payments in a different currency.⁹ If you mostly sell overseas to somewhere like the United States, then the Wise Business account we mentioned earlier might be the a cost effective place to store and convert that money due to the exchange rates on offer and ability to hold and convert over 50 different currencies.
If you use your Australian bank to receive foreign currency you risk them automatically converting the funds to AUD while applying their exchange rates and fees.
In Australia, Shopify has partnered with Sendle to manage shipping.¹⁰ Using your Shopify account you can buy Sendle shipping labels for discounts of up to 44% off. These labels can be printed from any printer including your own, and once the parcel is ready you can either drop it off or organise for it to be collected.
What you decide to charge your customers for shipping can be managed through your Shopify account.¹⁰ You can set default rates to be applied at the checkout which can be updated as needed.
At this stage drop shipping isn’t something Shopify offers Australians directly, but it might be available through certain sales channels such as Amazon’s program, Fulfilment by Amazon.
It’s possible to use Shopify to manage multiple sales channels, including those listed below.¹¹
When connecting a sales channel to your Shopify account it’s a good idea to check whether you can do this using the Australian version of the website, or if you have to use an international or United States version.
- Before starting with Shopify you should make sure you’ve met the Australian government regulations for starting a business including applying for an Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Be aware of your tax obligations including how and when to charge Australian GST and how your annual tax return needs to be managed. If you’re unsure it’s a good idea to speak to someone qualified to answer your questions such as a business accountant or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
- Take a look at whether you’re required to have a business bank account.
- If you decide to start selling overseas keep in mind that foreign tax laws, import duties and customs rules generally differ from Australia.
- Check to see what your obligations are in regards to your customers and their rights. For example, how will you handle complaints, warranty issues or requests for a refund? What does Australian consumer law require you to do?
If you have questions about Shopify or need help you can contact them directly using one of these methods.
- Online chat
- Email through their website
- Message from within your Shopify account
- Reach out on social media such as Facebook
When embarking on the journey of starting your own Shopify business you need to make lots of big decisions including how to manage your money. As we’ve mentioned, a Wise Business account might be able to help.
As well as enabling you to hold and convert over 50 currencies and exchange them at the mid market rate, Wise also offers a range of business tools that can make managing your business finances easier.
Using the Wise Business account you can gain access to local account details for 10 currencies, pay invoices to suppliers within Australia and overseas, connect to compatible accounting software and add other team members while controlling their permissions. You can also order a Wise Business debit card which connects to the account.
To learn more about what Wise can do, take a look at what they offer for yourself. It’s free to open an account and registration is conveniently all done online.
- Shopify - Shopify FAQ
- Shopify - Meet the brands reimagining retail.
- Shopify - Pricing
- Shopify - Shopify Payments
- Shopify - Start
- Shopify - Sell
- Shopify - Market
- Shopify - Manage
- Shopify - Shopify Payments for Australia
- Shopify - Shipping made easy for all
- Shopify - Sales channels
Sources checked on: 20 October 2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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