Shopify has undoubtedly established itself as one of the most trusted eCommerce platforms for online merchants. Its customisable themes, performance, and features make it a trusted and popular choice for anyone looking to take their business online. However, there may come a time when that small business blooms into a booming online empire that requires further customisation in order to scale. That’s where Shopify Plus comes in…an enterprise-level upgrade to the Shopify you already know and love, with additional tools to supercharge your business. So wondering whether it’s time to take the leap over to the Shopify Plus side of the island? Let’s take a closer look…
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an all-in-one solution that makes it easy for businesses to start selling products online quickly and efficiently without needing extensive technical skills or knowledge. The core Shopify plan is geared towards small to medium-sized businesses, offering all the tools needed to successfully manage an online store.
Some well-known features of Shopify include:
Affordability: Shopify offers a truly affordable eCommerce solution for small businesses, starting at just $19 per month. Even the Advanced Core plan is priced at only $299 per month, which is affordable for growing businesses that require more staff accounts and in-depth reporting.
User-Friendly Interface: Shopify is very user-friendly. Even if you have no experience in web design or coding, you can easily create a professional-looking website with Shopify's drag-and-drop interface.
Excellent Customer Support: Shopify provides excellent customer support. They offer 24/7 support via phone, email or chat which makes it easier for merchants to resolve any issues that may arise.
Customisable Themes: There are numerous templates and themes available for your website which will help increase conversions by making your site look more attractive and user-friendly.
Secure Payments: The platform offers easy integrated payment gateways such as Paypal and Stripe so customers won't need to leave the site when they're checking out.
Extensive App Store: There are thousands of apps available on the platform that can help streamline your business operations, from inventory management to marketing automation. Plus many apps are free! Take a look at our recent article where we covered the 15 must-have Shopify plugins and apps to add to your store.
Mobile App: The biggest perk of running an online business is that you can work from anywhere, right? Shopify has made this seamless and easy for nomadic merchants with their mobile app, allowing you to manage your shop on the go, via the app.
Remember, you can extend the functionality of your store or add special customisations to a theme by contacting experts in Shopify like us! Or you can learn about how to sell more on Shopify with our comprehensive guide.
What is Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus is a more advanced version of Shopify, designed for high-volume merchants who require extra features and customisation. As the name suggests, it's aimed at larger businesses with higher demands than those that can be met by the core Shopify platform.
Let’s say you start off selling T-Shirts and within 2 years, you’re expanding to locations across the country and perhaps even abroad, along with a wholesale operation. While you used to average around 1000 sales a month, you’re now bringing in well over 100 000. It is most definitely time to move it up to Shopify Plus!
One of the main advantages of Shopify Plus is its scalability - it's capable of handling hundreds of thousands (even millions) of orders per month without any issues. It also provides access to a range of enterprise-level tools such as customisable checkout pages, advanced analytics, and automation capabilities (more on the specifics soon).
Shopify Plus offers significant benefits for larger merchants looking for an all-in-one eCommerce solution capable of handling high levels of traffic and providing customised functionality.
What is the Difference Between Shopify and Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus has all the features found in the core Shopify plans, with a few gourmet sprinkles and cherries added on top! If Shopify were an ice-cream sundae, Shopify Core would be the one you always order from your favourite restaurant, while Shopify Plus is Michelin star status. Same, same but different! Here are all the extras you can expect when signing up for Shopify Plus.
1. Dedicated Account Manager
While both platforms offer 24/7 customer support via phone or email ticketing system- merchants on Shopify Plus receive priority assistance from their own personal account manager who helps navigate any issues they may encounter. You will have direct access to someone who can help you with your specific needs. This level of support helps ensure that everything runs smoothly during peak periods such as Black Friday or holiday sales.
If you’re migrating from a different platform (say Magento or WooCommerce), you will be assigned a Launch Engineer who will be with you every step of the way along the re-platforming journey.
2. Apps Exclusive to Shopify Plus Customers
Shopify Plus users enjoy exclusive access to tools not available to regular Shopify users, including:
Wholesale Channel to streamline high-volume B2B sales
Flow which allows for a visual builder to automate customer-facing tasks and office processes without any coding
Launchpad to plan and execute automated flash sales
Script Editor that enables personalised experiences at checkout
Transporter App that imports customers products and orders with ease
Bulk Account Inviter for inviting customers imported from other platforms
3. Additional Theme Customisation Options
Merchants on Shopify Plus have access to even greater flexibility in terms of customisation options. While Shopify core plans do allow customisations, these must all be done via the editor. Shopify Plus gives you access to its checkout coding language, Liquid, and additional API integrations, which enables you to make robust changes for more control over the look, feel and functionality of your store checkout.
4. Unlimited Staff Accounts
Shopify Advanced, the top-tier plan in the core platform, allows a maximum of 15 staff accounts for a store. This may sound like a lot but as your team grows, you may find yourself needing to add additional team members to your account. For example, if you have a manager and marketing team for each location
5. Customisable Checkout Experiences
Shopify Plus offers far greater control over the checkout experience than Shopify. It presents users with the option to customise their checkout however they wish in relation to shopping cart values and other conditions by modifying the code. This allows you to add promotions, countdowns, and upsells while having more control over the user experience design. This differs from Shopify core, which usually requires the installation of special apps if users want to adjust shipping methods, customer fields, and payment options.
6. Additional API Integrations
Thanks to APIs, Shopify Plus makes it easier for users to benefit from utilising third-party applications. To maximise the use of such applications, Shopify Plus offers different API tools like GiftCard, User, and Multipass.
GiftCard is an alternative payment option that makes it easy for website visitors to navigate smoothly to a Shopify store without separate login details and any customer database syncing. The user allows you to manage staff accounts by adding, removing, editing, and retrieving relevant information. And Shopify Plus gives you the opportunity to either integrate with custom applications or even build your own exclusive ones.
7. Additional Theme Customisation Options
Merchants on Shopify Plus have access to even greater flexibility in terms of customisation options. While Shopify core plans do allow customisations, these must all be done via the editor. Shopify Plus gives you access to its checkout coding language, Liquid, and additional API integrations, which enables you to make robust changes for more control over the look, feel, and functionality of your store checkout.
8. Easy Integration With Your Existing Platforms
Shopify Plus API integrations make it easy to link your existing platforms to your Shopify store. This may include platforms like your CRM, ERP system, warehouse management software, and so forth.
9. Wholesale Channel
As your business grows, you may find there is a demand to buy your products in bulk. To facilitate wholesale orders, Shopify Plus enables you to set up a password-protected area of the website where wholesale buyers will have to register a trade account to purchase from you.
10. Merchant Success Program
Shopify Plus' Merchant Success Program provides you with the support you need to maximise your platform experience. A dedicated Merchant Success Manager is available to help with tasks such as third-party integrations, product selection, and software training, thus allowing Shopify Plus customers to unlock their full potential.
11. Exclusive Access to Bonus Resources
Shopify Plus merchants have access to useful resources including:
A private Facebook group
A Partners directory to quickly find suitable professional partners
Exclusive access to beta programs
Access to the Shopify Plus Academy
12. Manage Multiple Stores from One Dashboard
Shopify Plus provides you with an advanced dashboard to conveniently run your stores, monitor analytics, supervise staff accounts, control user permissions, and use automation tools like Shopify Flow. This dashboard offers a comprehensive view of your business - it facilitates collaborations and optimises automation, especially when multiple stores or locations are involved.
13. Advanced Analytics
Shopify provides a comprehensive analytics dashboard that enables you to easily identify insights such as sales, popular items, source of traffic, returning customer rate, and much more. With the help of this tool, you can produce legitimate and up-to-date reports for your store. Taking it a step further, Shopify Plus partners with renowned analytics companies to make sure you are always aware of the most recent movements in your store.
While Shopify Core offers 3 flat-rate plans, Shopify Plus works a little differently. It targets large enterprises with higher traffic volumes, with its pricing starting at $2,000 per month. Prices are usually calculated based on the higher value of either $2,000 a month minimum or 0.25% of total sales (which has a maximum of $40,000).
Shopify Plus Advantages
Ok, so now you understand exactly what sets Shopify Plus apart from the core plans. So, what specific advantages does it have for businesses?
One major advantage of Shopify Plus is its scalability. Businesses can easily handle large volumes of traffic and sales without worrying about system crashes or downtime. Additionally, as your team grows you are not restricted by any limits on the number of staff you can add to your account. This makes managing your online enterprise seamless.
Another benefit of Shopify Plus is its advanced API capabilities, which allow for easy integration with third-party apps and software. This makes it easier to manage complex workflows and automate processes.
Shopify Plus also offers unparalleled customisation options, including access to a dedicated team of designers and developers who can create custom solutions tailored to your business needs.
The platform's robust security features are another key advantage. With 24/7 monitoring, SSL encryption, DDoS protection, PCI compliance, and more, you can rest assured that your data is safe from potential threats.
Shopify Plus makes re-platforming completely hassle-free. While re-platforming to other eCommerce platforms can take as long as 12 months, it can be done as quickly as 3 to 4 months with a dedicated Account Manager taking the lead on the entire project.
Here’s an overview of the Shopify Plus benefits you can take advantage of:
How To Choose Which One is Right For You
Choosing between Shopify and Shopify Plus can be a difficult decision for any merchant. So, how do you know which one is right for you? Here are some factors to consider when making your decision.
Firstly, think about the size of your business. If you're just starting out or have a small online store, then Shopify may be the best option for you. It's cost-effective and has all the essential features that an eCommerce store needs.
However, if your business is growing rapidly and requires advanced features like multiple stores or customisations, then upgrading to Shopify Plus would be ideal. With its scalability and flexibility, it can easily handle high-volume traffic and complex operations.
Another factor to keep in mind is your budget. While both platforms offer various pricing plans to fit different budgets, Shopify Plus tends to be more expensive due to its advanced features.
Consider what level of support you require from the platform. While both offer customer support options such as live chat and email support, Shopify Plus offers dedicated account managers who provide 24/7 assistance for your specific needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus?
Shopify is a standard platform for small to medium-sized businesses while Shopify Plus offers more advanced features for larger enterprises.
How much does it cost to use each platform?
The basic version of Shopify starts at $29/month, whereas the cost of using Shopify Plus varies based on the company’s revenue.
When should I upgrade from Shopify to Shopify Plus?
The general recommendation is to upgrade to Shopify Plus when your sales exceed $1 million a year or 100 000 orders a month. This will enable you to support high-level growth.
Shopify offers a comprehensive solution for eCommerce companies of all sizes, from small startups to large enterprises. While some businesses may require upgrades to their Shopify plans as they grow, the high price of Shopify Plus makes it better suited to those who have the financial resources and need additional support. For most sellers, traditional Shopify plans will be the right choice until you enter a period of high growth.
Until then, there are plenty of customisations to make to your Shopify store through a Shopify development agency like Vevol Media! Take a look at some of the Shopify websites we’ve had the pleasure of bringing to life and get in touch with our project managers to discuss YOUR project next!