How does Shopify work in the UK?

Paola Faben Oliveira

If you’re thinking of setting up an ecommerce business to sell either physical or digital products, you may choose to use a platform like Shopify to make it easier to create and manage your store.

In this guide you will find an overview of how Shopify works in the UK, its plans, features, and monthly costs you need to know about. We’ll also introduce the Wise Business account, which can be helpful to receive your payments and manage your business finances.

📝 Table of contents:

What is Shopify?

Shopify a Canadian-based company that provides an all-in-one ecommerce platform whose mission is to reduce barriers for entrepreneurs who want to start their own online store, selling physical or digital products.¹

Besides the possibility to create and customize your own online store, Shopify connects with tons of business apps that can help you develop and run your online business.

Does Shopify work in the UK?

If you are based in the UK and are planning to start your own online store, the good news is that yes, Shopify does work in the UK. You can set up your online store to sell within the UK as well as European countries or even the United States market.

To get started with Shopify you will need to set up your shop details, as well as legal business information. You will also need to take care of tax-related set-up, making sure your store is running according to the UK taxes regulations. ²

How does Shopify work in the UK?

Besides the specificities related to taxes, Shopify works in the UK pretty much the same way as in other countries. Once you sign up and get started with Shopify you will be able to build and customize your own online store, managing your sales, income and logistics.

Shopify works with a monthly subscription fee that provides multiple solutions to make your life easier when receiving payments, shipping your products and advertising your store.

shopify-UK

Shopify main features

Shopify isn't your only option when it comes to setting up your ecommerce store. So how do you compare the different platforms available to support your business? Here are a few of the features on offer from Shopify, so you can compare against other available solutions for your store:

Custom Domain names and hosting

When you join Shopify you can either buy a new domain name through the platform, or import your existing one.³

You’ll also get your hosting, including automatic upgrades and unlimited bandwidth. Shopify is Level 1 PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant, so you know you can safely accept card payments online.⁴

SEO & Marketing tools

Once your business is up and running you can use Shopify to make your site easily found online using SEO best practices, offer discounts and gift cards, and sell using social media to reach your biggest possible audience.

Follow-up in abandoned carts

One powerful feature for an ecommerce business is abandoned checkout recovery. This means that there’s a way to follow up with customers who have been browsing your site, put items in their basket, and then navigate away without completing the purchase.

In this case, a simple reminder might be all you need to convert a sale - and Shopify offers the option to manually or automatically email customers with abandoned items in their online baskets, to increase your sales.

SSL Certificates

Customers shopping online need to know their payment is safe. That’s why Shopify sites all come with a free SSL certificate which means web pages and content, as well as transaction information and credit card details are all secured with the same technology used by banks.

Product Search

With Shopify you can display up to 50 products on each page, and sort, search and filter the list for ease. This makes it easier for customers to find a product - and of course can give your sales a boost.

Managing your inventory

Shopify has built in inventory tracking features that make it effortless to manage your online inventory.

From the "Inventory" area of your Shopify account, you can track and adjust, export or import inventory details with a CSV file, and hide out-of stock products.⁵ Among other features, you can also track incoming orders and inventory from your suppliers, to help you manage your purchase orders.

Shopify dropshipping UK

Although Shopify helps manage your online inventory - you’ll still need to coordinate the physical order, storing, packaging and delivery of your goods. As a new business that can be difficult due to the potential costs involved.

Dropshipping is one option to consider. This is where you list your items, but do not own, store or ship the inventory. Rather this is managed by a third party, usually a manufacturer or supplier. This means that there is no up-front cost to you for the inventory. Perfect if you’re just starting out and looking for a way to scale your costs. If that is an option you would like to consider, Shopify offer dropshipping services.⁶

Shopify pros and cons

To help you consider if Shopify is the right choice for your business, check below some pros and cons for their platform:

Pros⛔️ Cons
  • Easy to set-up and use
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Multiple payment options
  • Support digital or physical products
  • Tons of apps to connect
  • Marketing tools
  • Not ideal for larger stores
  • Fixed cost with monthly subscription
  • Limited customization
  • Limited free themes for store layout

Shopify Payments UK

Shopify Payments is the payment gateway you can use to accept various payment methods into your online store. When you use this service there is no need to set-up a third-party provider, meaning you can withdraw your earnings directly into your business account.

Once a payment is processed, your money is deposited directly into your linked bank account after it clears. In the UK this will take 3 business days. If you prefer, you can schedule your payments to come at different intervals, from within your account settings. ⁷

With Shopify Payments UK you can only receive payouts in British pounds (GBP). That means that if you accept payments online in a different currency, they will be converted back to pounds sterling under Shopify’s terms and conditions.

Receive from Shopify with Wise Business

Shopify Payments UK will only pay-out your earnings in GBP, but you can easily receive them to your UK local account details with Wise Business, and use manage your cash flow in multiple currencies.

Need to make payments to suppliers or manufacturers abroad? That is easy, because with Wise Business multi-currency account you can:

  • Send payments for more than 70 countries;
  • Open balances in 10 different currencies: GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, CAD, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD and TRY;
  • Hold money in more than 50 currencies;
  • Spend with Wise Business debit card in over 170 countries and +50 currencies;
  • Order additional cards for employees for a one-time fee of 3 GBP to manage expenses easily across currencies;
  • Connect your Wise account with Xero, Quickbooks and Freeagent to streamline your accounting fast and easily.

Wise Business will always convert your money at the real mid-market exchange rate - with no mark-up and low, transparent fees.

Get started with Wise Business

Shopify UK Pricing

Shopify UK offers a few different packages based on features you expect to use. You can change the platform plan you choose as your business grows and new needs arise.

Shopify UK pricing is charged in GBP and you can choose between a yearly payment with 25% discount, or a monthly billing. Let's have a quick look into each plan and what they can offer your business:

Shopify plans - features

All the plans for Shopify platform have some features and services in common:

  • Online store
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 support by phone, email and chat
  • Sales channels to promote your store
  • Up to 1000 inventory locations
  • Manual order creation
  • Discount codes
  • SSL certificate
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Gift cards
  • Customer segmentation
  • Marketing automation
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Fraud analysis
  • International market management
  • Market domains and subfolders
  • Language translation
  • Currency conversion
  • Local payment methods
  • Product pricing by market

Now let's have a look into how the Shopify plans compare in rates and features:

Shopify plans - comparison⁸

BasicShopifyAdvanced
£25 per month if paid monthly

£19 per month if paid yearly

  • 2 staff accounts
  • Up to 1000 inventory locations
  • Basic reports
  • 2% + £0,25 per online credit card transaction
  • 3,1% + £0,25 per online international credit card transaction
  • 2,0% per transaction with third-party payment provider
£65 per month if paid monthly

£49 per month if paid yearly

  • 5 staff account
  • Standard reports
  • Ecommerce automations
  • 1,7% + £0,25 per online credit card transaction
  • 2,7% + £0,25 per online international credit card transaction
  • 1,0% per transaction with third-party payment provider
£344 per month if paid monthly

£259 per month if paid yearly

  • 15 staff accounts
  • Advanced reports
  • Third-party calculated ship rates
  • Ecommerce automations
  • 1,5% + £0,25 per online credit card transaction
  • 2,5% + £0,25 per online international credit card transaction
  • 0,5% per transaction with third-party payment provider
  • Duties and import taxes

Get started with Shopify UK

Shopify offers everything you’ll need to get started in online retail, including website templates, hosting and payment processing.

Getting set-up with Shopify is simple. In fact, one of the main selling points of ecommerce software like this, is that you don’t necessarily need any technical background to get going. You may even benefit from a free trial period to set up a store and see how it works, before you need to pay any fees.⁹

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Create a Shopify account - take advantage of any offers available, such as a 3 day free trial to test the system.
  2. Use the Shopify software to generate a business name and logo if you don’t already have one.
  3. Get your own customer web address, and create an online store using the available templates and stock photos. If you already have a website and hosting, you can skip this step.
  4. Find and upload products into your store, ready to sell.
  5. Promote your store online, using social media, and in person among your network.
  6. Use Shopify Payments, or your chosen third party provider to process sales.
  7. Your income is sent automatically to your linked local bank account a few days after a sale is made.

Manage your online business with Wise

wise-business-product

Wise Business can be the perfect partner to help you manage your business finances easily and conveniently. You can register to your multi-currency account online, and manage your cash flow across currencies without worrying about hidden fees.

Wise always uses the real mid-market exchange rate and all the transaction fees are shown upfront when you set up a payment. There is no monthly subscription, only a one-time fee of 45 GBP when you register to the multi-currency account, and after that you are ready to take your business to new places.

Get started with Wise today


Sources used:

  1. All About Shopify
  2. UK taxes | Shopify Help Center
  3. Domains | Shopify Help Center
  4. Ecommerce Hosting | Shopify UK
  5. Managing inventory | Shopify Help Center
  6. Start a dropshipping business | Shopify UK
  7. Shopify Payments for the United Kingdom
  8. Shopify Pricing
  9. Getting set up to start selling | Shopify Help Center

Sources last checked March 07, 2023.


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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