Understanding Shopify Vacation Mode and How to Use It

Taking time off from managing your Shopify store shouldn’t disrupt your business.

With Shopify Vacation Mode, you can efficiently manage store closures, keep customers informed, and ensure a smooth reopening. In this guide, you’ll learn how to make the most of Shopify Vacation Mode, including tips on customizing messages and countdown timers.

As a member of the Magical Apps team, I’ve been doing a lot of research into Shopify apps and stores and it made me think, “when do business owners even get the time to take a break?”.

As a Shopify merchant, the constant hustle and bustle of managing and fulfilling orders must sometimes feel like an endless marathon. But what if I told you that there’s a way to hit the pause button, if only for a while, without closing your shop entirely? That’s where Vacation Mode, or as some call it, Holiday Mode, comes into play.

In this article, we’re going to explore:

Whether you’re feeling the burnout, dealing with an unexpected surge in sales, or just yearning for some well-deserved weekends off, this article will guide you through it all. 

Shopify doesn’t have a true native solution to this yet but with apps like Magical Vacation Mode, merchants can discover their secret weapon for a more balanced, flexible, and sustainable online store experience.

What is Vacation Mode for Shopify?

Vacation Mode, also referred to as Holiday Mode, is a feature that allows you to temporarily pause the normal operation of your online store. It’s like putting up a “Be Back Soon” sign on your digital storefront.

During this period, you can disable the ability for customers to make purchases, hide product prices, and display a custom message that informs visitors about your temporary closure and when you’ll be back in business.

Platforms like Etsy and Ebay have it built-in to their offering. However, Shopify doesn’t have a vacation setting natively. The Shopify Help Center suggests two possible solutions for merchants looking for some time off:

  1. Short term solution: Password Protect your store
  2. Long term solution: Pause and Build Plan

While Shopify admits that they don’t have a true solution for Vacation Mode, merchants do have the option to use third party apps like Magical Vacation Mode that are dedicated to providing this functionality for their online store.

I personally find it confusing when I visit a store and it is on password protect mode. It looks like it is under construction. Even when there is a message on the landing page that the merchant is away, giving the impression the store being under construction–or even worse–closed forever quickly shifts my attention elsewhere. Sometimes the way your store looks communicates more than what it actually says; in this case, the look of a password protected store doesn’t give off the impression that a store is on vacation.

Vacation Mode allows you to temporarily pause sales and display custom messages while on a break.

Types of Vacations for Online Stores

You might be wondering, “What kind of vacations can I take as an online store owner?” Well, the beauty of Vacation Mode is its versatility. Here are a few ways you can apply it to your store:

Holiday Breaks

The most common use of Vacation Mode is for taking actual holidays. Whether it’s a summer vacation, a winter getaway, or any other special occasion, you can put your store on hold while you enjoy some well-deserved time off.

Weekend Retreats 

If you’ve ever wished for weekends free from order fulfillment, Vacation Mode is your answer. You can close up shop from Friday evening to Sunday night, giving yourself a regular break for better work-life balance.

Seasonal Closures

Seasonal closure involves temporarily closing the store during specific times of the year when demand naturally decreases. This is common for businesses selling weather-dependent products like swimwear, winter sports gear, or holiday decorations.

Unexpected Life Events

Sometimes life just throws curve balls at us. Events such as illness, accidents, family emergencies, or even the loss of a loved one can significantly impact your ability to run your online store effectively. Using Vacation Mode can give you the ability to attend to the more important things in life while not having to worry about your business.

Reasons to Use Vacation Mode

Now that we’ve explored the various types of vacations you can take as a Shopify merchant, below we’ll dive some of the top reasons why enabling Vacation Mode might be the right move for you as a merchant.

Afterwards, read the top five benefits of using Vacation Mode on Shopify from a customer’s perspective here.

Prevent Burnout 

The world of e-commerce can be relentless. Taking a break can help you recharge, reduce stress, and come back to your business with renewed energy and creativity.

Maintain Work-Life Balance 

One of the beauties of online business is its flexibility. Use Vacation Mode to establish a healthier work-life balance by designating specific days or times when your store is closed.

Prioritize Customer Experience 

When you’re overwhelmed, it can be challenging to provide the excellent service your customers expect. Pausing sales temporarily can help you fulfill existing orders more efficiently.

Enjoy Special Occasions

Don’t let your business tie you down during important life events or holidays. Vacation Mode lets you celebrate and cherish these moments without distraction.

Refine Your Store

Use the break to make your online store even better. Whether it’s improving your website’s design, optimizing product listings, or refining your marketing strategy, Vacation Mode gives you the time to focus on enhancements.

Store Maintenance

Perhaps you need time for some store updates, like redesigning your website or adding new products. Vacation Mode allows you to work on these improvements without interruptions, although Shopify’s Pause and Build plan may be more suitable for significantly lengthy periods of maintenance.

Dealing with Sales Surges 

Sometimes, your store experiences unexpected spikes in sales, making it challenging to manage new orders. Activating Vacation Mode briefly can give you the breathing room you need to catch up and provide excellent service, without having to deactivate your store.

While Shopify admits that they don’t have a true solution for Vacation Mode, merchants do have the option to use third party apps like Magical Vacation Mode.

How to Put Vacation Mode On Your Shopify Store

We’ve explored how Vacation Mode’s availability, purpose, and usage methods vary greatly among online store owners, but ultimately in all cases it is a valuable tool for merchants looking to strike a balance between the demands of their online store and their personal lives. 

Whether you’re taking a well-deserved holiday, managing burnout, or striving for a better work-life balance, Vacation Mode empowers you to temporarily pause sales while maintaining professionalism and customer communication.

Shopify merchants can take a break by either using Shopify’s native solutions or a third party app

With Shopify not having a true native solution for merchants wanting vacation mode for their online store, you would be better off using a third party app that is dedicated to this type of functionality.

Magical Vacation Mode is the only app on the Shopify store that is allowing merchants to take a break.

It is a valuable tool you can use while you get some well deserved time off. The comparison to similar, popular features on other ecommerce platforms like eBay and Etsy is favourable, too .

Apps like Magical Vacation Mode ultimately provide you with the ability to maintain professionalism and customer communication while you are away.


Magical Vacation Mode

Use the Magical Vacation Mode App to pause your online sales letting you take a break, go on holiday, or get caught up.