Pre-Built Templates & Themes
If you are building the store yourself using a template then the cost is simply your time and the price of the theme.
If you hire a Shopify set up expert the pricing can vary greatly. You can pay as little as $99 USD for someone to set up a Shopify theme and as much as $5k USD for an agency to customize a template making it more onbrand.
If you choose the latter route I’d advise to go with a custom theme. There is no point investing so much money to simply tweak a template.
Custom Shopify theme
How much does a custom Shopify theme cost? It really depends on the quality and location of the development team.
If you work with companies in India or areas of the world with lower cost of living, you can create a custom Shopify theme for as little as $1k USD. But the design execution level will oftentimes be average or poor and quality assurance process for browser and device testing more or less non existent. That is not to say you cannot find some talented freelancers in those countries that can deliver a reasonable custom theme for smaller budgets.
But you will either be lucky or need a lot of time to find that partner.
Agencies in the western world start closer to $2k USD for a custom theme, again with hit and miss results and less specialization or experience in Shopify.
Leading Shopify agencies in the US, UK, Australia and Canada tend to charge anywhere from $4k USD all the way up to $75k USD on average for a custom Shopify theme. With some outliers spending more.
Your budget should be in relation to your revenue or cash flow from personal investment.
What these budgets include and the quality of the work again comes down to your research and due diligence process.
Cheaper companies tend to include population of the store as they are simply using templates and more professional companies are really focused on delivering a high quality theme, and as such don’t offer store population services.