Holidays are for catching up with friends and family and spending some quality time with them. It’s also a time for reflection and relaxation for yourself. If you’re like most business owners, you’d also want to take some time off during the holiday season.

But what about your online business and sales through your Shopify store? How do you pause / temporarily close it down for the holidays? In this blog post, we will discuss some of these tips and tricks on  how to pause Shopify store  for the holiday season properly so that you won’t lose any customers and maintain their trust in your brand.

illustration of a temporarily paused shopify store

Whether you run a B2B/B2C, or a combined Shopify store, if it is open or accepting orders while you’re on a holiday or vacation, you may face issues such as product shortage (out-of-stock) or delivery failures due to late shipping and more. This may, in return, churn out your new or existing users or the customers that place repeat orders on your Shopify ecommerce store.

To make sure you don’t lose your new costumers and maintain your relationship with the old ones, here are the 3 main steps you should take to temporarily shut down your Shopify store smoothly:

  1. Decide when you want to pause the Shopify store.
  2. Start preparing for your temporary closure.
  3. Decide the closure method and take steps to pause your Shopify store.

Now, let’s discuss these three things in detail.

Read Also: How to Lock or Hide Shopify Store Content? [Tips & Tricks]

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1. Decide when you want to pause Shopify store

The first thing you need to do is to decide when you want to pause your store. And this will obviously vary depending on your business and your sales. 

For example: If you’re a retail business, you’ll likely want to pause closer to Christmas Eve. If you’re an online business, you may want to pause it a few days before Christmas Eve. Either way, it’s important to give yourself enough time to properly prepare for the closure.

pause shopify store illustration

I. How do I know if pausing my Shopify store is the right decision for my business?

There is no definitive answer to this, as each business is different. However, here are a few things to consider that’ll help you make your decision:

(a) How much business do you typically do during the holiday season?

If your business sees a significant drop in sales during the holiday season (or the time you want to temporarily shut down your store), it may be worth pausing it for a few weeks. By pausing your Shopify store, you can also reduce the Shopify subscription plan fee to $0-9 per month.

(b) What are your operating costs?

Take into account things like rent, inventory, staff wages, etc. If your costs are high and sales are low during the holidays, it may make sense to close your physical store temporarily and so your Shopify store where you’re selling products online to your customers. 

(c) Are you taking time off anyway?

If you’re planning to take some time off for the holidays regardless of whether or not you close your Shopify store, it may make sense to temporarily shut it down so you can enjoy a stress-free vacation.

These are just a few things to consider when making your decision. Ultimately, it’s up to you to compare the pros and cons of pausing your Shopify store for holidays.

II. Why temporarily pause Shopify store on holidays?

There are a few possible reasons why you should consider to pause Shopify store on holidays:

(a) To prevent overspending

The holidays can be an expensive time of year, both for personal and business expenses. By closing your store during this period, you can avoid the temptation to overspend on inventory or marketing or other business-related costs.

(b) To focus on family and friends

The holidays are a great time to catch up with loved ones and enjoy some much-needed relaxation time. By temporarily closing your Shopify store, you can free up some time to do just that.

(c) To take advantage of slow periods

Many businesses experience a lull in sales during the holiday season. If this is the case for your business, it might make sense to pause your store for a few weeks and save on operating costs.

2. Start preparing for your temporary closure

Once you’ve decided when you’re going to pause your store, the next step is to start preparing for temporary closure. This includes things like creating holiday-themed messages for your store and social media platforms, updating your shipping deadlines, and creating any special offers or discounts that you’ll be offering during the closure.

pause shopify store

There are a few different ways you can go about this, depending on your needs and preferences. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

I. Notify your customers in advance

Give your customers a heads up that you’ll be closing shop for the holidays. Notifying your customers beforehand will help them plan to make necessary purchases on your store before your store is closed.

To notify your customers about the temporary pause, you can inform them via emails, put up site banners/pop-ups on your Shopify store or announce it on your social media handles.

II. Stop accepting orders ahead of time

Once you’ve notified your customers, stop accepting orders at least a week before you plan to close shop. This will give you time to fulfill any outstanding orders and tie up loose ends before taking some time off.

3. Decide a method and take steps to pause Shopify store

pause shopify store illustration

When it comes to actually pausing your Shopify store sales, there are a few different methods to do that, such as:

1.  Hide the Add-to-cart button 
2. Temporarily hide your entire storefront
3. Password-protect your storefront

Now, let’s discuss these in detail and see the steps to pause Shopify store.

1. Hide the Add-to-cart button

To close your Shopify store, you can simply disable the add-to-cart function on every product page of your Shopify store. This will prevent any new orders from being placed, but it will still allow customers to browse your products.

Remove or Hide Add-to-cart button in Shopify store
Remove or Hide Add-to-cart button in Shopify store
pause shopify store using wholesale lock manager
hide add-to-cart button in Shopify with wholesale lock manager

2. Temporarily hide your entire storefront

You can also temporarily hide your entire storefront from your Shopify store visitors. This means that customers won’t be able to access anything in your store, but it’s a good option if you’re worried about people placing orders that won’t be fulfilled until after the holidays.

To hide your entire Shopify storefront, follow these steps: 

i. Go to Settings in your Shopify Admin.

Pause for 90 days Shopify store

ii. Click on Plan in the menu.

iii. Click on Pause or cancel subscription > Pause for 90 days.
iv. Read the terms and conditions carefully and do it.

3. Password-protecting storefront

This is the most preferred way for merchants to temporarily close or pause their Shopify stores during the holidays or vacations. Password protecting the entire Shopify storefront allows store owners to only display the store to visitors that have the secret passcode. 

You can also password-protect specific products that are almost out of stock or difficult to deliver to specific locations. This way, you can keep the products you can sell when you’re on vacation and hide those which are difficult to deliver on time.

This option will allow you to still accept orders, but customers will need a password to access your site. This can be a good option if you want to keep your store open but want to limit who has access to it.

To password protect your entire storefront, follow these steps:

i. Go to Online Store > Preferences in Shopify Admin.
ii. Scroll down to Restrict store access.
iii. Click on the Password protected checkbox.

Restrict store access in Shopify Admin
Restrict store access in Shopify Admin

iv. Hit the Save button.  

To password protect the entire storefront or specific product pages on your Shopify store, follow these steps:

i. Add the  Wholesale Lock Manager  app to your store.
ii. In the app settings, click on Create Lock button.

Wholesale Lock Manager dashboard - Create lock
Wholesale Lock Manager dashboard – Create lock

iii. Create a lock by selecting the required configuration.

Wholesale Lock Manager dashboard - Create lock configuration
Wholesale Lock Manager dashboard – Create lock configuration

iv. Hit the Save button.

Final Thoughts

If you are thinking to pause Shopify store, ensure that the process is properly implemented for your customers and make sure to take the necessary steps to ensure that your store is properly closed for the holidays. 

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By following the guidelines we’ve outlined in this article, you can ensure that your temporary Shopify store closure is handled smoothly and without any major issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will pausing my Shopify store affect my sales?

When you pause Shopify store temporarily, it may affect sales since customers won’t be able to purchase during the pause period. However, proper planning and communication can help minimize any negative impact.

Can you pause Shopify store and still work on it?

Yes, Shopify offers an option to pause your store and still access the admin area to make changes or updates. This way, you can improve your store even while it’s not actively selling.

What should I do before I pause Shopify store?

Before pausing, notify your customers, fulfill all existing orders, and update your store’s messaging to reflect the pause. This helps maintain trust and keeps customers informed.

How to put Shopify store on hold without losing customers?

Communicate clearly with your customers about why you’re pausing and when you plan to return. Offering a discount upon your return can encourage them to come back.

How long can I pause Shopify store?

Shopify allows you to pause your store for a specific period, typically up to 3 months, but it’s best to check the current Shopify policies for the most accurate information.

What are the consequences of choosing to pause store Shopify temporarily?

When you choose to pause store Shopify, your sales operations halt, but you can still access your admin panel. This may impact sales but allows you to take necessary breaks.

What’s the best practice for communicating a Shopify temporarily close store to customers?

The best practice is to announce your Shopify temporarily close store well in advance through email, social media, and store announcements, providing details on when you’ll return.


Kanishk is a B2B marketer and cybersecurity enthusiast. He is also a corporate contributor to many technology magazines and runs his own cybersecurity news site

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