Are you fed up with a slow ecommerce website that crashes when your traffic surges? Perhaps you’d like to automate more tasks, freeing up your time to focus on strategy and building a bigger, scalable brand.
Shopify Plus is created for enterprises that want more from their ecommerce platform and enables them to take their store to the next level. It’s incredibly flexible, but still user-friendly, it enables great speed to market for new projects, it has dedicated Apps, flexible API calls and much more. It’s the most cost-effective platform for big companies and the enhanced user experience it offers has convinced plenty of big brands to leave other ecommerce platforms and migrate to Shopify Plus.
Read on to discover what are the differences between normal Shopify and Shopify Plus and see why the latter makes sense for enterprises like yours. By the end, you’ll see why many brands are making the switch and how you too can upgrade to Shopify Plus.
- What is Shopify Plus?
- How do Shopify and Shopify Plus work?
- Why Shopify Plus is better?
- How to get Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus is a fully-hosted enterprise ecommerce platform, specifically designed for larger brands and high-volume merchants. Shopify launched the Shopify Plus platform in 2014 to attract bigger businesses, with the intention of competing with enterprise ecommerce platforms, like Magento and Volusion.
Shopify is best for small-to-medium-sized businesses, whereas Shopify Plus caters to larger enterprise-level companies. The two services operate the same way, but Shopify Plus has more advanced features and functionalities than the regular Shopify platform.
You get access to the same dashboard, editor, support centre for any assistance or information. But going beyond the basics, you can do much more with Shopify Plus.
For example, standard Shopify offers free shipping, flat rates, or live calculated rates. On the other hand, Shopify Plus users get access to a shipping script to configure precise rates based on cart contents, customer tags, or minimum order value.
Put simply: Shopify Plus gives you more control over the setup and customisation of your online store.
Now that you understand the basics let's take a deeper dive into the differences between these two ecommerce services to understand the benefits of Shopify Plus. We'll explore the following aspects:
- Design Flexibility
- Ecommerce Features
- Help and Support
- Pricing and Transaction Fees
Together, Shopify and Shopify Plus offer more than 60 themes when you are designing your ecommerce store via their Theme Store. There are ten free themes and 59 paid options, ranging between $140 and $180.
In addition, a number of Shopify theme developers (Out of the Sandbox* and Pixel Union for example) offer premium themes (specifically designed for Shopify Plus) which are sold via their websites and range between $200 and $500.
You can set the language in your theme, which is great if you’re targeting audiences in different countries. Available languages include English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, and Brazilian Portuguese.
You can browse options in Shopify’s theme store, sorting themes by category, and previewing the ones you like. Once you select a theme, you can perform basic customisation through the editor, add products, and group them in category pages.
Advanced users or those with some coding skills can take their custom design further by editing their theme appearance with Shopify’s theme language, Liquid.
So, how does Shopify Plus differ?
As mentioned, this upgraded platform targets enterprises. It's likely that you'll already have a website. With Shopify Plus, you get the additional support of a dedicated launch manager, who helps integrate your site into Shopify. Better yet, the manager helps write code and gets your business up and running with a customised Shopify theme.
Shopify Plus users can also edit the checkout page. While standard Shopify users are limited to the standard templates, Plus users have the freedom to design this page in a way that drives more sales.
Design Flexibility - Shopify vs Shopify Plus: While the base theme options are the same, you have much more creative freedom and support with Shopify Plus.
When you compare Shopify and Shopify Plus, the latter's advantage really comes to the fore in the ecommerce features. Let's take a closer look:
Multi-Channel Integration - Available on both
This feature enables selling through different marketplaces, like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and social media. Customers don't want to leave the platform they are on to buy something, so if you can sell within that platform, your conversion chances are much higher.
For example, the fashion brand, Chubbies, sends updates, promotional info, and abandoned cart reminders directly to their customers via the Messenger app.
Abandoned Cart Recovery - Available on both
Almost 86% of mobile shoppers leave a website with items in the cart. Thankfully, Shopify sends automated emails to encourage these customers to return.
Abandoned cart emails are a proven tactic that can recover lost sales for your business. This useful tool is a built-in feature on both Shopify and Shopify Plus.
Multi-Currency Selling - Available on both
If you use Shopify’s native payment processor, Shopify Payments, your ecommerce store automatically adjusts the currency displayed for your products depending on the customer’s geographical location. This is an excellent feature for anyone intending to sell products internationally. Supported currencies include USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, HKD, and SGD.
Shopify Flow - exclusive to Shopify Plus
Shopify Flow allows store owners to offload everyday tasks into automated workflows. You can use pre-made workflow templates or build them to specification. For example, popular workflows include purchase tracking, email sequencing, customer segmentation, and personalised product recommendations.
With clever use of this ecommerce plugin, Shopify Plus users can tailor the customer experience and maximise their productivity and store performance.
Script Editor - exclusive to Shopify Plus
The script editor doesn’t just offer greater control over shipping costs. You can create scripts for a multitude of store aspects, including line items and payment methods. With experimentation, you can use this tool to customise your store down to the smallest details.
Winner: Shopify Plus. Although Shopify shares many of the tools with Shopify Plus, it lacks the advanced features that many enterprises need to create a unique, scalable store.
Data analytics is a vital part of ecommerce success. Shopify has a user-friendly analytics dashboard, where you can get an overview of your sales performance. You can also study custom reports and view real-time data, which is great during major shopping days, like Black Friday.
As if this wasn't good enough, Shopify Plus goes further by partnering with industry-leading analytics companies, including Glew and Looker. With these integrations, Shopify Plus users get access to expert insights and in-depth data reports that help them make faster smarter business decisions.
Analytics - Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Most store owners will be happy with the analytics dashboard that Shopify offers. But the advanced integrations and capabilities on Shopify Plus unlock the potential for more profitable data-driven decision-making.
Shopify is renowned for its excellent customer support. You can solve any issue through the 24/7 assistance available on the phone, email, and live chat. On top of that, Shopify has a massive library of help guides and blog posts.
However, Shopify Plus goes one better, again. Instead of referring to the help centre, you can get dedicated, personal support. Not only will you have a launch manager assigned to kick things off, but you'll also have access to the merchant success program.
This program “for your goals—then connects you with the right support and training to take you there.” In short, it exists for one reason, and one reason only:
To ensure your ecommerce business is a success.
Whatever you need to grow a profitable store, from help using the platform to strategic coaching and leveraging industry trends, the MSM is your guide.
Help and Support - Shopify vs Shopify Plus: You’d think 24/7 support was pretty good, but Shopify Plus goes the extra mile to make sure you get the most bang for your buck with a dedicated merchant success program.
Shopify has a 14-day free trial, which is great for beginners to test the platform. After that, the standard Shopify platform has three pricing plans:
- Basic Shopify - USD $29/month
- Shopify - USD $79/month
- Advanced Shopify - USD $299/month
All three plans include key features like abandoned cart emails and multi-channel integration. However, there are subtle differences in the higher tiers, such as gift cards, reports, and higher sales limits.
The pricing for Shopify Plus is less transparent, as you need to get a custom quote depending on several factors, such as:
- Your business model
- Monthly turnover
- Marketing needs
To give you a ballpark figure, let’s say your monthly sales are somewhere between $0 and $800,000. In this case, the cost of a Shopify Plus plan is about $2,000 per month. Going beyond that, subscription costs will vary, with the ceiling price set at $40,000 per month.
What about transaction fees on Shopify and Shopify Plus?
These fees are similar on both platforms. Shopify sets fixed fees per transaction. With Shopify Plus, transaction fees are negotiable during your quote. However, in either case, it works out between 1-2% + 30¢ per transaction.
Pricing - Shopify vs Shopify Plus: With its budget-friendly, transparent pricing, Shopify is the better option here. It also offers a 14-day free trial. However, it comes at a cost of missing features, missing analytics and it’s stripped of design flexibility.
Shopify is the most popular ecommerce platform in the world. It’s a user-friendly solution that makes it easy to launch an online store quickly. However, it has some limitations when it comes to scaling.
If you want to grow your small or medium business into an enterprise, you'll need to sell thousands of products each day. Large ecommerce stores must have a fast, reliable website that won't crash under a spike in traffic. Also, you will want to automate as much as possible and minimise time and money spent on maintenance and transaction fees.
By doing this, you can turn your attention to creative, strategic tasks that will help you grow your brand and your bottom line.
Do you want to scale and expand operations to different countries? Would you like to develop a unique, highly-customised store? How about delivering a memorable, branded shopping experience that keeps your customers coming back for more?
You can do all of this with Shopify Plus. Want to see some examples? Check out these 12 stand out stores in Australia that took their game to the next level with Shopify Plus and get inspired!
And when you need expert help with ecommerce website development, design, and marketing, The Hope Factory is here to bring your vision to life.