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How to Pause Shopify Store in 10 Steps: Reasons & More!

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In the dynamic realm of running a Shopify store, there come moments when a strategic retreat becomes essential for a thriving business. Stepping back doesn’t imply closing shop; it’s a deliberate pause to recharge and reassess. Temporarily hitting “pause” on your store can be a prudent move. It allows you to rejuvenate, reflect on your business strategy, and fine-tune your approach. This breather can uncover insights into what’s working, what needs adjustment, and where new opportunities lie.

Shutting down temporarily doesn’t signal failure; instead, it showcases adaptability and dedication to long-term success. During this hiatus, you can refine your product offerings, streamline operations, or explore fresh marketing tactics. Communicate transparently with your customers, assuring them of your return with even better offerings. Use this time to analyze market trends, study competitors, and envision the future trajectory of your store.

In the world of e-commerce, strategic pauses can ultimately lead to leaps forward. So, while you may be hitting “pause” momentarily, you’re also hitting play on the journey toward an evolved and more prosperous Shopify venture. That is why this article will focus on how to pause a Shopify store as you take a break and reassess your current endeavors.

So, please don’t touch that dial because we have everything you need to know coming your way!

What Does It Mean to Pause a Shopify Store?

Pausing a Shopify store refers to temporarily suspending the public visibility and accessibility of the online store while retaining its data, settings, and configuration. This differs from closing a store, which involves permanently shutting down the entire operation. When a store is paused, visitors cannot access the website, purchase, or view products. However, the store owner can still access the backend admin panel to manage the store’s settings, products, and orders.

It’s important to note that the ability to pause a Shopify store might depend on the subscription plan and available features. You should carefully consider their reasons for pausing and communicate transparently with customers if the pause is expected to be more than a brief interruption. After all, your loyal customers need to know you’re stepping away and get a reasonable timeline for your return.

Shopify Store Pause
Source: https://shutterstock.com/

What Is the Difference Between Pausing and Deactivating Your Shopify Store?

Pausing and deactivating a Shopify store entails distinct approaches with varying impacts. Pausing temporarily suspends your store’s public visibility, enabling you to access the admin panel for management while customers can’t make purchases. It’s ideal for breaks, strategy evaluation, or inventory management, usually limited to three months.

On the other hand, deactivating fully renders your store inactive, making it inaccessible to everyone, including the store owner. Deactivation is often used for temporary or permanent closures and requires a more complex reactivation process. The choice between pausing and deactivating hinges on the duration and purpose of your store’s inactivity, whether a strategic pause or a complete closure.

Be aware that you can reactivate a Shopify store after it has been completely deactivated. However, the process to reactivate a fully deactivated store is more complex than unpausing a paused store. Remember that the reactivation process for a fully deactivated store can take some time and might involve administrative steps beyond a simple click. So, be sure not to deactivate a store unless you’re completely certain you want to get rid of it. If you’re unsure, it’s best to pause instead of deactivating.

Why Should You Pause a Shopify Store?

There are various reasons for pausing a Shopify store. Let’s take a look at the most significant ones:

#1: Business Assessment

It allows the store owner to take a step back, assess the business’s performance, and strategize for improvements without the pressure of new orders or customer interactions.

#2: Inventory Management

If a store needs to manage its inventory or restock products, pausing can prevent new orders from coming in until stock levels are replenished.

#3: Seasonal Breaks

Some businesses might have seasonal demand fluctuations. Pausing during off-peak seasons can help store owners avoid unnecessary expenses and focus on preparations for the peak season.

#4: Marketing Adjustments

Store owners might temporarily pause their stores while updating their marketing campaigns, website design, or other promotional activities.

#5: Operational Changes

If there are changes in suppliers, shipping methods, or other operational aspects, pausing the store can provide time to make these adjustments seamlessly.

#6: Personal Reasons

Store owners might need time off for personal reasons, during which pausing the store prevents orders from piling up.

Be aware that communication is key. Don’t just bail on your customers. Be sure to let them know you’re hitting pause and perhaps provide a general explanation for the situation. Then, try your best to provide a reasonable timetable for the store’s return. In the meantime, you may consider engaging your customers with content such as newsletters or teasers about upcoming promos and products.

Benefits of pausing Shopify Store
Source: https://unsplash.com/

What Happens When You Pause a Shopify Store?

When you pause a Shopify store, several changes and effects occur to ensure that your online business operations are temporarily put on hold while maintaining the integrity of your store’s data and settings. Here’s what happens when you pause a Shopify store:

#1: Storefront Visibility

The public-facing side of your Shopify store becomes temporarily unavailable to customers. This means visitors won’t be able to access your website, view products, or make purchases.

#2: Checkout Disabled

The checkout process is disabled, preventing customers from placing new orders during the pause period.

#3: Product Display

All product listings, collections, and pages become hidden from view, effectively removing your products from the online storefront.

#4: Search Engines

Your store’s visibility to search engines is significantly reduced during the pause, which can help prevent customers from finding inactive or outdated content.

#5: Customer Accounts

While customers can still log in to their accounts, they won’t be able to place new orders or access product details.

#6: Order Management

While customers can’t place new orders, you can still access the admin panel to manage existing orders, process refunds, and perform other administrative tasks.

#7: Communication

You can add a custom message to inform visitors about the temporary pause and provide any relevant information, such as the expected return date or alternative contact methods.

#8: Theme and Design

Your website’s theme and design remain intact, so you won’t lose any customization or changes you’ve made. They will reappear when you reactivate the store.

#9: Apps and Integrations

Many third-party apps and integrations will pause alongside your store. They will resume functioning when you reactivate the store.

#10: Billing

Depending on your Shopify plan, you may continue to be billed during the pause period. Be sure to check your plan details and billing terms.

#11: Admin Access

As the store owner, you can still access the Shopify admin panel to make changes, update products, adjust settings, and prepare for the store’s eventual reactivation.

Please remember that once you’re ready to resume operations, you can easily reactivate your store, and all the settings and data will be restored as before the pause.

How Long Can You Pause a Shopify Store?

Shopify allows store owners to pause their stores for a maximum duration of three months. This means temporarily turning off your storefront and pausing business operations for up to 90 days. During this pause period, your store’s public-facing features will be hidden from customers, and new orders won’t be accepted.

Pausing your store can be useful for various reasons, such as taking a break, reevaluating your business strategy, or managing inventory. It’s important to note that while your storefront is paused, you still retain access to your store’s admin panel, where you can manage orders, products, settings, and other aspects of your store’s operations.

Keep in mind that Shopify’s features and policies may change over time, so it’s recommended to check directly with Shopify’s official documentation or support for the most up-to-date information regarding the duration and specifics of pausing a store. If you need a longer pause or have specific requirements, contacting Shopify’s customer support can provide you with the most accurate and current information.

How Much Does It Cost to Pause a Shopify Store?

Shopify does not charge an additional fee specifically for pausing a store. However, while pausing a store doesn’t have a direct cost associated with it, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

#1: Subscription Fee

Depending on your Shopify subscription plan, you’ll continue to be billed the regular subscription fee while your store is paused. The subscription fee covers access to the platform and its features, even if your store is temporarily inactive.

#2: App Costs

Some apps might have ongoing subscription fees if you use third-party apps to enhance your store’s functionality. These fees could continue to apply even during the pause.

#3: Domain Costs

Suppose you have a custom domain purchased through Shopify. In that case, you’ll still be billed for the domain’s registration during the pause period.

#4: Payment Gateway Fees

Some payment gateways may charge monthly fees regardless of your store’s activity. Check with your payment gateway provider for details.

It’s important to review your subscription plan’s terms, as well as any agreements with third-party apps and services, to understand how costs are handled during a pause. Keep in mind that Shopify’s policies may change, so it’s a good idea to check their website to ensure you’re current on the latest policies.

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How Do I Know If My Shopify Store Is Eligible for Pause?

In essence, your Shopify store may be eligible for pause if it meets the following criteria:

If your store does not meet these criteria, it may not be eligible for pause. If so, your store can apply for the Pause and Build plan.

What Is the Pause and Build Plan?

When opting for the Pause and Build plan, your store remains operational while incurring a monthly reduced fee of $9 USD. This plan grants you ongoing access to your Shopify admin, allowing you to manage and modify your products whenever necessary. However, please note that the checkout functionality will be disabled. Consequently, potential customers can browse through your product offerings but won’t have the ability to complete purchases.

The Pause and Build plan could prove to be a suitable option under certain circumstances. For instance, if your store operates seasonally or maintains a specific open period, this plan can offer the flexibility you need to effectively manage your store’s presence.

If you’ve chosen the Pause and Build plan, you retain access to:

While your store is in a paused state, certain functionalities will be unavailable for use. These include online store checkout, point of sale (POS) services, discounts, abandoned checkout recovery, gift cards, and the utilization of third-party integrations like Facebook and Google for product promotion. While you retain the ability to generate draft order invoices, it’s important to note that customers won’t have the capability to finalize the checkout process. Furthermore, any draft orders you create during this period cannot be transformed into live orders. This arrangement ensures that specific aspects of your store’s operations are temporarily on hold while maintaining the integrity of your ongoing processes.

How to Pause a Shopify Store

When thinking about how to pause a Shopify store, you’ll be surprised to find that the process is relatively straightforward. Here’s how you could typically pause a Shopify store:

#1: Login to Your Shopify Account

Log in to your Shopify account using your credentials.

#2: Access the Plan and Permissions

In the admin panel, go to “Settings” and then click on “Plan and permissions.”

#3: Pause or Cancel Subscription

Depending on your subscription plan and the options available at the time, you may have the option to pause or cancel your subscription. Look for the option related to pausing. If pausing is available, follow the instructions to initiate the process.

#4: Select the Pause Option

You’ll likely see a “Pause” option if pausing is available. Click on it to begin the pausing process.

#5: Choose Pause Duration

You might be prompted to choose the duration for which you want to pause your store. Typically, you can choose a maximum pause duration of three months.

#6: Confirm and Review

Review the terms and details of the pause. Confirm your choice and proceed.

#7: Customize Pause Message (Optional)

Some plans allow you to customize a message that will be displayed on your storefront during the pause. This message can inform visitors about the temporary closure and provide any necessary information.

#8: Confirm Pause

Once you’re ready, confirm the pause. Your store will now be paused, and the public-facing storefront will be hidden from visitors.

#9: Access to Admin Panel

You’ll still have access to your Shopify admin panel despite the pause. You can manage your store’s products, orders, settings, and other aspects.

#10: Reactivate the Store

When you’re ready to resume business, you can reactivate your store by following the appropriate steps. Your store’s settings and data should be preserved, and your online storefront will become visible to customers again.

As you can see, pausing a Shopify store is a straightforward process. However, it’s crucial to be sure about this decision before hitting the pause button.

How to Activate the Pause and Build Plan

If you’re interested in the Pause and Build plan, you can easily activate it by following these steps:

Please be aware that you can reactivate your Shopify store at any time by choosing a new paid plan. Once you’ve chosen a new plan, your store will officially open for business.

Pause Shopify Store
Source: https://shutterstock.com/

How to Reopen Your Shopify Store After a Pause

Reactivating your Shopify store is quite straightforward. Here’s how:

#1: Log in to Your Shopify Account

Begin by logging in to your Shopify account using your credentials.

#2: Access Plan and Permissions

Inside your Shopify admin panel, navigate to “Settings” and click on “Plan and permissions.”

#3: Reactivate Your Store

If your store is currently paused, you should see an option to reactivate it. This might involve clicking on a “Reactivate” or “Resume” button. Follow this prompt.

#4: Review and Confirm

Carefully review any details or terms associated with reactivating your store. Make sure you understand any potential changes or adjustments that might have occurred during the pause period.

#5: Customize Reopening Message (Optional)

Depending on your plan and options, you might have the opportunity to customize a message that informs visitors about your store’s reopening. This can be helpful to communicate any updates or changes.

#6: Confirm Reactivation

Once you’re ready to proceed, confirm the reactivation of your store. This action will make your storefront visible to customers once again.

#7: Check Store Configuration

After reopening, ensure all your settings, products, and information are up-to-date and accurate. This might involve reviewing inventory, updating product listings, and checking payment and shipping settings.

#8: Resuming Operations

With your store reactivated, you can now resume your business operations. Customers will be able to access your online storefront, browse products, and make purchases.

How to Reactive a Shopify Store After a Pause and Build Plan

When you’re ready to reactivate a store on the Pause and Build plan, follow these steps:

Please note that you don’t have to choose the same plan as you had before. You can keep the same subscription plan or opt for a different one, such as a cheaper or more expensive subscription.

Can You Pause a Shopify Plus Store?

Regarding pausing a Shopify Plus store, the ability to do so might depend on the specific terms and features of your Shopify Plus subscription. In general, pausing a Shopify Plus store is not available to all subscribers. This feature largely depends on the specific terms of each store.

If you are a Shopify Plus merchant and you are considering pausing your store, it is recommended to contact your Shopify Plus account manager or reach out to Shopify Plus support directly. They can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on whether pausing is an available option for your specific Shopify Plus plan and how it would impact your store’s features and functionality.

Please note that the Pause and Build plan is unavailable for Shopify Plus subscribers. So, if you are a regular Shopify user considering upgrading to Shopify Plus, keep in mind that you may not be able to pause the store. This consideration is important, especially if you run a seasonal store.

Conclusion for How to Pause Shopify Store

Pausing a Shopify store can be a strategic and beneficial move for personal and business considerations. The Pause and Build plan, in particular, offers a valuable solution catering to various scenarios. Seasonal businesses can find it advantageous to temporarily halt operations during off-peak periods, conserving resources and maintaining customer engagement for when the peak season returns.

Moreover, pausing proves valuable for personal reasons, allowing entrepreneurs to take a well-deserved break without completely shuttering their online storefront. The Pause and Build plan empowers individuals to step back, recalibrate, and return with renewed energy and ideas. This approach demonstrates adaptability, preventing burnout, and fostering a balanced work-life dynamic.

Whether you’re running a seasonal business or simply seeking a breather, the Pause and Build plan offers a flexible solution, preserving your store’s essence while acknowledging the need for strategic pauses in the dynamic world of e-commerce.

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