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Launch Your Online Business in Just 7 Days

Has Shopify become too expensive? You're not making as many sales as you were expecting? Or maybe you were just trying out the platform.


Either way, if you want to close your Shopify online store, but you don’t know how to, don’t worry, we’re here to help.


In this post, we’ll show you how to close/pause your store, sell your Shopify store, and we offer some alternatives that might help.


Let's get started!

1. What is the difference?

There are 2 ways to stop using Shopify:

  • Canceling your store — Permanently closing your store
  • Pausing your store — Temporarily closing your store

With the first option, you will eliminate your site with no chance of coming back under the same Shopify URL.


The second option allows you to take a break from your business or do some maintenance.


When paused, your store will still be accessible online.


Customers can enter your store and see your products, but can’t buy anything.

2. How to close your Shopify store

How to close your Shopify store

Source: LitExtension.com

To close your Shopify business, just follow these simple steps:

1. Log in as an Account Owner

2. Head to the Shopify Admin option, then to Settings > Account

3. Go to the Store Status and select Close Store

4. A drop-down menu will appear, select the reason you’re leaving Shopify

5. Click the Close Store button

However, we recommend reading this whole post before you close your Shopify store completely.

2.1. Things you should know before closing your store

Now, there are a few things you must know and do before you cancel your Shopify subscription.


Pay close attention to these, because it will save you a lot of the troubles most people experience when closing their Shopify account.


Things like losing your custom domain name or getting charged by add-ons you no longer use are some examples.

2.1.1. What will happen to your Shopify account?

The moment you delete your account, you will lose all the store data you had unless you backed it up.


Thankfully, Shopify allows you to manually export your database into a CSV file, in case you want to migrate your store.


Keep in mind that you won’t be able to copy the store’s design, but you will get all of the information about:

  • Orders
  • Products
  • Gift cards
  • Customers
  • Discount codes
  • Financial details (including credit card details)

Each ecommerce platform has its own migration process, so it will vary based on which one you’ve chosen to move to.


Also, you have to disconnect your custom domain name, or you’ll lose it.


To do this, follow these steps:

1. From the Shopify Admin option, head to Settings > Domains

2. In the Third-party domain section, select your custom domain

3. If you are on the Basic Shopify plan, you’ll just need to click Remove, but if you are on any other plan you’ll have to click on Manage > Remove

4. Select Remove on the confirmation box

Then, you’ll have to change the DNS settings with your domain registrar.


If you purchased your domain name through Shopify, you need to transfer its management to another hosting platform.


Your data and configurations will remain stored for 30 days, in case you change your mind.


Lastly, you have to make sure that the platform you are migrating to uses HTTPS.


If not, Shopify’s HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) policy will generate a message to anyone that enters your website.


The message will tell them that your new online store is not safe.


This is a policy made to protect the information of businesses and customers and will remain active for 90 days after you cancel your Shopify account.

2.1.2. What will happen to any outstanding fees?

Shopify doesn’t do refunds.


This is specifically mentioned in their Terms of Service.


Also, you won’t be able to close your store if you haven’t paid all of the outstanding fees.


Paying these fees is necessary to avoid getting charged in the future.


If for some reason, you can’t pay all the fees, it would be better to change to a Pause and Build plan that only charges $9/month until you have the money for it.


This way, once you have enough for everything, you can pay them and cancel your subscription.

2.1.3. Third-party applications and add-ons

Before permanently deleting your Shopify account, you have to cancel all third-party apps and add-ons.


Otherwise, you might still get recurring charges even after you close your Shopify account.


This has to be done individually, just uninstalling the application is not going to cancel Shopify’s service.


You’ll have to be careful and patient, especially if you use apps or add-ons with a monthly fee.


Depending on how many apps you were using, this can be the most time-consuming part of the shutdown process.


It’s also the most important and the one the majority of people tend to overlook.

3. How to pause your Shopify store

If you're uncertain whether or not to permanently delete your store or pause it instead, then pausing might still be the better option.


Let's find out why.

3.1. Why should you pause your store?

This is the best option if you are not entirely sure about canceling your subscription completely.


It’s also the right option if you want to do maintenance or take a break from your business.


Nonetheless, to be eligible, you need to be on a paid plan and 60 days must have elapsed since the end of your free trial.


Also, as mentioned before, while you pause your store customers can still visit it, but can’t purchase anything.


To improve the user experience while your store is paused, it would be best if you hide the prices and “Add to cart” buttons.


This will prevent users from trying to buy something.

3.2. How to pause your store?

To pause your store, follow these 5 steps:

1. Log into your account as the Account Owner

2. From the Shopify Admin option, click Settings

3. Click on Plan and Permissions and go to Store Status

4. Select Pause Store, read the terms and if you agree click on Pause Store

5. Review the changes of your billing cycle and click Confirm Changes

Keep in mind that pausing your Shopify store doesn’t mean that you won’t pay any monthly fees.


More about that is below.

3.3. How much does it cost?

When you pause your store, you are still going to pay a reduced subscription fee — $14/month, almost half the price of the basic plan.


You will still need to uninstall all apps and add-ons, since pausing your business won’t pause their subscription fees.


There is also the Pause and Build plan.


This option allows you to keep working on your online store while it’s paused, for $9/month.


With this, you can still access your Shopify admin profile, edit your products and see your performance reports.


If you don’t want any visitors to see your products at all, then you can use a password to stop them from accessing your store.


You can also add a message to tell customers why you are paused or when you will open again.

3.4. How to reactivate your online store

When you’re ready to start selling again, you can do it like this:

1. Log in as the Account Owner

2. From the Shopify Admin option, head to Settings

3. Select Plan and Permissions

4. Head to Account Overview

5. Click Compare Plans and select a Pricing Plan

Once you choose a pricing plan, your store will automatically reopen, and you can get back to business.


Don’t forget to let your customers know that you are active again.

4. How to sell your Shopify store

Selling Shopify Store

Source: AVADA.io

This is an extra option if you don’t want to have your online store anymore, but don’t wish to just shut it down either.


For this, you’ll need to access Shopify’s Exchange Marketplace.

Shopify’s Exchange Marketplace

Shopify’s Exchange Marketplace

This is an app that is partnered with Escrow.com to facilitate the selling of Shopify stores.


Here, you can submit a listing and once it’s approved, you can publish it so that anyone can buy your store.


Nevertheless, there are a few things you should know before you decide to sell your store at the Exchange Marketplace.


For starters, only the owner can access and install the application and only stores with a paid plan or a development plan can be listed.


This means that if you are using the Pause and Build plan, you can also make and submit a listing.


If your business is on Shopify Plus, then you need to contact the support team to negotiate downgrading your store to one of the eligible plans.


If you use Shopify Payments, your store needs to be in good standing, or you won’t be able to list it.


You can’t list a store that had Shopify Balance, or that has active financing from Shopify Capital.


You can’t have any unresolved issues with Shopify’s risk team, legal team, or recovery team — if you have an open ticket with either of these teams, your store won’t be eligible.


Finally, your listing needs to adhere to Shopify’s Terms of Service and Partner Program agreement.


If your store fulfills all of these requirements, then you’re good to go.

5. Alternatives to Shopify

Whether you decide to start a new online store or migrate your existing business, you are going to need a platform for it.


That’s why we’re presenting you with some alternatives to Shopify that we know will give you everything you require.

5.1. Systeme.io

systeme.io logo

systeme.io logo

Systeme.io is the best option to start and grow your online business.


That’s because systeme.io is an all-in-one marketing platform.


With systeme.io, you can:

  • Build a website or blog — Our website builder allows you to create a blog with unlimited posts to bring free traffic to your business
  • Sell physical and digital products Create a drop-shipping business, sell digital products, or do affiliate marketing
  • Create sale funnels Easily build a sales funnel to grow an email list, offer a free ebook, or promote a newsletter
  • Do email marketing — Contact your subscribers to inform them about discounts, promos, updates, or launch a campaign
  • Make and monitor your own affiliate program — Build your affiliate list, easily manage their activities, and deliver quick payments
  • Create evergreen webinars and online courses Design a course site, control your subscriptions and track your students’ progress
  • Automate your business — Set automated rules once and let them handle your business

The best part is that with the forever Free plan, you can start using systeme.io, get access to most of our features and then choose to upgrade once you are used to it.


This is a perfect choice for beginners who can’t take a risk, or who are on a low budget, to set up their business, and start growing without spending any money.

systeme.io’s pricing plans

systeme.io’s pricing plans

As you can see, this is a free plan, not a free trial, so you can take your time to try our platform before joining us — no card details required!

5.2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce logo

BigCommerce logo

One of the biggest ecommerce website builders in the industry, and one of the most well-known, is BigCommerce.


They’re a great option for small and big businesses alike.


They offer:

  • Website builder and customization
  • Several payment gateways
  • SEO tools
  • Hosting and security services
  • Unlimited storage, bandwidth, and product additions across all plans
  • Several add-ons for language translation, international shipping, and multi-currency management

You can test these features during their 30-day free trial. After that, you’ll have to purchase their Standard Plan for $29.95/month.


Then, when the sum of the sales volume processed over the last 12 months passes the limit of your current plan, you’ll be automatically upgraded.


There are 4 plans to choose from:

1. Standard — $29.95/month

2. Plus — $79.95/month

3. Pro — $299.95/month

4. Enterprise — Price on request

5.4. Shift4Shop

Shift4Shop logo

Shift4Shop logo

This is an option similar to BigCommerce.


However, Shift4Shop is one of the better platforms for businesses that also want to have a blog.


They also have a special plan for those that are from the United States.


On it, you can get everything the platform offers for free, as long as you use their credit card processor.


If you live outside of the United States, then you’ll need to get one of the paid plans.


Shift4Shop’s plans are set up as follows:

1. End-to-End — Free plan. Only available in the U.S. when processing credit card payments through Shift4Shop

2. Basic — $29/month, with maximum sales of $100,000/year

3. Plus — $79/month, with maximum sales of $250,000/year

4. Pro — $229/month, with maximum sales of $1 million/year

Just like with BigCommerce, the moment you pass the maximum number of annual sales, you automatically get upgraded to the next plan.


The features you get with Shift4Shop are:

  • A website builder for ecommerce or blogging
  • Unlimited bandwidth to sell physical and digital products
  • SEO tools to improve the user experience
  • Social media integrations
  • Built-in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
  • Auto-shipping features
  • Shipment delivery notifications

6. Conclusion

If what you want is to take a break from your Shopify store, then pausing it is the right choice.


On the other hand, if you want to say goodbye to your store, then you can either close it or sell it.


Closing it will only shut it down, while selling it allows you to profit from it one last time.


There are also plenty of ecommerce platforms where you can build and grow your online business.


For a website where you can mix blogging and selling, Shift4Shop is a great choice.


For selling goods, BigCommerce is a solid option that offers security, assistance, and several add-ons at a reasonable price.


Lastly, systeme.io is a powerful all-in-one platform for managing all kinds of online businesses, while saving a substantial amount of money.


With our platform, you can also build email lists and use them to bring visitors back every time you launch a new product, article, discount, etc.


And you can start using it for absolutely free with our Freemium plan.


Sign up now and start growing!

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