Shopify is one of the easiest and, currently, one of the most popular e-commerce platforms. However, just because it is easy to build does not mean it is easy to run.
A lot of stores struggle with getting enough sales, attracting enough traction, maintaining profits, and avoiding shut down. Some stores simply switch platforms for cheaper options.
If you are thinking about pausing or canceling your Shopify store, this is your comprehensive guide. This article will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and give you steps to pause, cancel, or close your account.
If your business is seasonal, you need some time to work on your products or strategy, you just need a digital detox, or you have another reason you need to suspend your store, you have the option to pause your Shopify store.
There are two options available when you decide to pause.
Pause and Build
When you pause your Shopify store under this plan, your store is accessible without the checkout process. That said, you also have an option not to make your store accessible.
Shopify gives you the option of adding a password to your store. When a customer visits the online page, they will be restricted and see an explanatory message (which you can customize).
You also have the option of collecting visitors’ email addresses so you can communicate with them when you decide to reopen your store. If you give your customer the password, you can accept orders and payments (manual payments using draft orders).
There are two benefits to pausing your store. First, you will still have access to your admin panel. This means you can still optimize your store, access basic reports, and work on your plans.
Second, it is less expensive than the normal price for a regular account. Shopify has a “Dormant” plan, which is just $14/month.
If you do decide to pause your store, make sure you complete the following steps before pausing.
- Uninstall and cancel any third-party apps connected to your store (you will otherwise still have to pay for their services).
- Clear any outstanding charges you owe to Shopify (you will not be able to pause otherwise).
Simple Pause Your Shopify Store
Under this plan, you do not have access to your admin plan and do not need to pay even the reduced fee. The customer does not have any access to your store (even with a password) and only gets a customized message.
You can opt for this plan only for three months, after which, if you do not unpause, you will be upgraded to the pause and build plan.
Steps to Pause Your Shopify Store
1. Log into your account → Access your admin panel
2. Go to Settings → Account → Store Status
3. Pick the pause your store/pause and build option
4. You will get a pop-up to confirm → click on the dialog box → success!
Unpausing Your Shopify Store
When you are ready to get back to your store, unpause it with two simple steps:
1. Log into your account → Access your admin panel
2. Choose your plan (remember, you were on the dormant plan) → account reactivated!
Closing Your Shopify Account
Familiarize Yourself With All the Facts
When you are nearly certain you want to close your account, read the following facts to make your final decision.
1. You are responsible for closing your store. It is not an automatic process if you stop uploading products or stop all activities. It must be actively done by you.
2. You surrender your store name and URL when you close your account. In case you do decide to reopen later, you cannot use the same store name.
3. If you are out of your trial period (in which case you did not enter your card details anyway), you are entitled to pay for the remaining period. You are not eligible for a refund just because you have a subscription period pending. You might even want to consider waiting till the end of your subscription month/period before closing.
4. The same applies for application credit (when you downgrade a paid subscription, you get application credits). You will not get the money back for the unused period.
5. If, for some reason, you choose to open your store again within 30 days, Shopify preserves your data and configuration information. Beyond that, you can expect loss of all your data.
Side Note: Consider Selling Your Store
When you cancel your account, you lose access to your admin panel, store name, and everything else with it. If your store has a nice brand and a loyal customer group, you can also think about selling your store. To make this easier, Shopify also helps you find a buyer for your store.
Shopify has an exchange marketplace where you can list your store. It has also partnered with third-party tools to help you with secure payment and transfer so you can trust the marketplace.
There are some restrictions in this process. For instance, you cannot be on a trial period or a plus plan (you need to downgrade to basic), you cannot have financing from Shopify Capital, and you cannot have any open tickets with their risk or legal team. They have a detailed list of these restrictions you can refer to and, if eligible, you can go ahead and sell your store on the marketplace.
Required Steps Before Cancelling Your Shopify Store
While canceling the account is easy, there are some steps you need to do before you can cancel your store.
- Clear the outstanding charges. Pay all your platform bills. If you do not pay, you will not have the option to cancel.
- When you miss a payment (and if your payment fails more than thrice), your account is frozen. You can simply pay your bill to unfreeze and then close your account. You need to clear all your outstanding payments before closing your store.
- Resolve outstanding cards. If your store gave out gift cards, then you need to resolve them, too. You can export your gift card CSV file from the platform, which contains all the information about your gift cards (amount, receiver, etc.).
- Uninstall third-party apps and tools. You might have installed third-party apps, such as Oberlo or Printful. You need to manually cancel your billing agreements with these vendors and uninstall the apps from your store (remember that just uninstalling will not cancel your payments).
- Transfer custom domains. This applies to you if you either connected your third-party domain or transferred it (if you used a custom domain for your Shopify store). In either case, it is easy to remove the connection and change the DNS setting with your domain registrar.
Side note: If you move your domain to a new platform, then Shopify’s HTTP Strict Transfer Security (HSTS) will still be enforced for 90 days after closing your store.
If your new platform is also HTTP, then you do not need to do anything. If not, customers will get a notification that the website is not secure when visiting your store, and will have the option of not visiting it.
Steps to Cancel Your Shopify Store
- Log into your store → access your admin panel
- Open settings → go to plan and permissions
- From the store status tab → select sell or close store
- Select Close Store → enter password, select reason, and close!
To ensure that your store is closed, go to your store URL and see if your request is processed.
Shopify really makes all the processes easy to execute; however, you need to be careful of all the associated terms and conditions. For instance, even if you clear your payments with Shopify, you need to cancel your third-party agreements.
Failing to do so will allow bills to accumulate even when your store is closed. Use the pre-steps in this article as your strict checklist when you pause or cancel your store.