Insights, Web Development

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Should You Upgrade to Shopify Plus?

Detailed comparison review

When it comes to choosing between Shopify vs Shopify Plus, the main difference is that Shopify is for small and midsize businesses, while Shopify Plus is for larger to enterprise-level businesses. So when is it beneficial to make the upgrade?

As much as your current Shopify plan helps your business grow, at some point, you want to scale and meet higher revenue goals. This is when you might want to find out whether upgrading to Shopify Plus is the right move.

There’s no way around it. Shopify Plus costs $2K per month, which raises two important questions: is the upgrade worth it, and do you really need it?

This is why, in this blog post, we’ll outline the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus, cover the benefits of Shopify Plus and discuss in which cases you’ll need the advanced Plus features.

 

Shopify vs Shopify Plus Differences

Shopify and Shopify Plus are built on the same technology and share the same Shopify themes, interface, and core functionality. In each case, you’re using the same platform, however, Shopify Plus unlocks the fully-featured eCommerce solution with access to advanced features as well as a customized enterprise plan.

☎️ Support

Shopify users get support via email, live chat, and phone. However, if you need help with more complex projects or to solve more complicated issues, you can hire a Shopify Expert.

In comparison, Shopify Plus users get fully personalized support from start to launch. The platform provides you with a Launch Manager to set up your store or assist with migrations and custom integrations.

Shopify Plus consultant

Shopify Plus Consultants help you decide if the upgrade to Plus is suitable for your business. The consultant maps out your requirements and business needs, walks through the Shopify Plus platform, and identifies opportunities for growth and efficiency.

Solutions engineer

The Solutions Engineer makes sure your technical components will work perfectly with Shopify Plus. This includes all customer-facing, internal, and third-party systems.

Launch team

Shopify Plus comes with its own Launch team of professionals, who consult on best practices for re-platforming and building your online store. This means the launch team is on hand to:

  • Help you get your store online.
  • Assist with data migration and custom integrations.
  • Advice on unique customer cases and international storefronts.
  • Provide testing and go-live best practices
  • Help you with your ongoing eCommerce strategy.
Merchant success program

Shopify Plus has a Merchant Success Program that helps users get the most value out of the platform. The Merchant Success team helps you define a clear roadmap for your goals and then connects you with the right support and online courses in key business areas to take you there.

With 24/7 support, the Merchant Success team is ready to pitch in and assist you in finding approved Shopify Plus partners to help with every aspect of your business. They’ll ensure you’re compliant with industry trends and help you create engaging marketing strategies. Their team will even be there to support you during flash sales.

Shopify Plus Partners

The Shopify Plus Partners are award-winning agencies and software solutions that specialize in design and development, digital marketing, system interrogators, and enterprise consulting. Shopify Plus Partners are hand-picked by Shopify.

🎨 Customization

Standard Shopify Plans allow you to customize your Shopify theme by using the visual editor, or by editing the source code yourself. The source code uses Liquid, a template language unique to Shopify and you can access variables from within any Liquid file, with a simple to use and readable syntax.

Shopify Plus users, on the other hand, get access to additional coding functionality: the checkout.liquid file, Shopify Scripts, and the Shopify Scripts Editor.

You can customize your checkout

The Shopify Plus version gives you access to the checkout page template: checkout.liquid. This gives you the ability to customize most of your checkout process to personalize the whole experience as you feel like it.

Shopify Scripts

These are small pieces of code you can copy and paste to create personalized experiences for your customers in their carts. You can create three types of scripts that interact with line items, shipping, and payments, respectively.

For example, you can use Shopify Scripts to add features such as:

  • Automated discounts and promotions: For example, discount products with specific tags to offer percentages; fixed discounts; or a combination of both
  • Run promotions with logic: buy one- get one free; buy two- get 10% off, etc.
  • Precalculated shipping costs
  • Modify/ hide/ re-order shipping options, prices, and payment gateway methods
  • Free shipping thresholds

and many more.

📋 Store Management

Another thing to consider when comparing Shopify vs Shopify Plus is the number of storefronts you can manage. Shopify users have a single store per account which is ideal if you only need to manage one store. Of course, this option might become limiting if you have multiple brands you want to manage from the same place.

In comparison, Shopify Plus provides users with the Organization Admin tool so they can manage up to ten stores from a unified dashboard.

Organization Admin

The Shopify Plus Organization Admin tool lets you manage multiple stores from one dashboard. This feature allows you to access analytics, manage users, edit stores and build automation for any of your stores, all in one place.

In case you need to add more stores exceeding the standard Shopify Plus limit of ten stores, you can do so for an additional cost of $250 per month per store.

🧑‍💻 Staff Accounts

Another feature to keep in mind when comparing Shopify to Shopify plus is the number of staff accounts control over these accounts.

Shopify is designed for small to midsize businesses and offers a few limited staff accounts. For example, Basic Shopify comes with only two staff slots while Standard Shopify comes with five.

In comparison, Shopify Plus is designed for larger companies with teams of 10 or more employees, allowing you to add unlimited staff accounts. You can also add permissions and assign roles.

Unlimited Staff Accounts

The option to create unlimited staff accounts makes Shopify Plus suitable for larger organizations. Aside from giving access to as many team members to your account as you need, you also have more control over their access to data by assigning roles with custom permissions.

➕ Apps

The Shopify App Store has over 2400 apps available for all users: free and premium, ranging from $15 to $50 per month. These extensions give you the option to expand your website’s functionality, depending on your business.

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, gives users access to a substantial amount of tools and apps that aren’t available on the standard Shopify platform. Here are some of the apps exclusive to the Plus plan.

Transporter App

This app is part of a suite of tools that makes it easier to migrate online stores from other platforms. You can use it to import data into your Shopify Plus store.

Wholesale channel

You can use the Wholesale Channel app to sell your products wholesale to other businesses. It’s designed for businesses with a large number of wholesale customers and allows users to sell on the Handshake marketplace or create a separate password-protected storefront.

Shopify Flow

This app is also available for users subscribed to Advanced plans. It’s an automation platform that gives you the ability to automate tasks and processes based on specific events. To create these automated tasks, you need to build a specific workflow using the following components: triggers (events), conditions, and actions. For example, you can set an event to start the workflow. This can be a new order created in your store. Next is the condition: the order should cost over $200. If this condition is met, you can set an action that will make a particular change.

Script Editor

The Script Editor allows you to customize the shipping and payment options, create discounts that are applied to a cart based on items, and other customizations that let you create personalized checkout experiences for your customers. The Editor includes templates of common scripts that you can edit depending on your needs.

Bulk Account Inviter

You can use the Bulk Account Inviter to invite your customers to activate their accounts for your online store. This is especially effective if you migrated customer accounts from another platform.

🔌 АPI Integrations

APIs are the backbone of headless e-commerce and Shopify Plus provides some of the best available. Platform developers can use these APIs to easily integrate Shopify with their own services and applications.

Shopify Plus includes enhanced API resources such as:

  • GiftCard: An alternative payment method that allows you to create, retrieve and update gift cards for a store, assign them to specific customers, etc.
  • Multipass Login: A solution for store owners with a website that is separate from the store. It redirects users from the website to your store and logs them in with the same email address and from the website.
  • User: This resource lets you retrieve staff permissions and other staff account data on a Shopify Store.
  • Custom Apps integration: Shopify Plus also lets you integrate with custom apps.

In addition, the Plus plan gives you the ability to call APIs more often and use them to develop your own apps for Shopify.

💲 Multiple Currencies

Depending on your Shopify plan, you can use international pricing features to control prices for different countries and regions. You can enable multiple currencies by adding the countries and regions for each currency you want to accept in your store. Shopify supports store and customer currency values.

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, goes a step further and enables your online store to automatically set your customer’s country and currency based on IP. This means that your customers will see the prices in their own local currency automatically, instead of having to select the currency manually.

Ultimately, this makes the user experience better and your website doesn’t feel “foreign”.

💎 Access to Additional Resources

If you have a Shopify Plus account, you’ll gain access to exclusive resources and tools that are not available to regular Shopify users. These special extras give you the ability to boost your company’s growth from day one.

  • Shopify Plus Facebook community  – This is the place where you can join more than 8,500 active members to share business ideas, and strategies and make connections.
  • Shopify Plus Academy – You can learn how to sell more and get trained by some of the best e-commerce coaches.
  • Shopify Plus Partner Program  – this is the place where you can get access to highly skilled solution providers.

 

Shopify vs Shopify Plus Pricing

When it comes to pricing, the difference between any Shopify Plan and Shopify Plus is huge.

🏷️ Shopify Pricing

Shopify Lite $9 per month: Best for small businesses to sell on social media, in person, or on an existing website. Only one staff account.

  • Basic Plan $29 per month: Best for new eCommerce businesses with occasional in-person sales.
  • Shopify Plan $79 per month: Best for growing business selling online or in-store.
  • Advanced Plan $299 per month: Best for scaling businesses that require advanced reporting.

🏷️ Shopify Plus Pricing

With Shopify Plus, you have two options when it comes to pricing. You will need to contact the Shopify Plus team in order to discuss your project’s requirements and get a quote.

  • Standard Pricing $2K per month: For standard setups and integrations.
  • Percentage-Based: The price is based on a negotiable percentage of your store’s monthly sales. This percentage depends on the complexity of your setup and requirements.

🏷️ Additional Fees

Another thing to consider is that have to pay extra transaction fees unless you use Shopify’s own payment gateway.

  • Shopify Basic – 2%
  • Shopify – 1%
  • Shopify Advanced – 0.5%
  • Shopify Plus- 0.15%

 

Should You Upgrade to Shopify Plus?

Here’s the big difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus gives you a lot more flexibility, more support options, and more access to your store’s underlying code.

Its array of extra support functions, Plus API, and powerful features make it worth considering.

However, there are specific things you need to consider before you make your decision to upgrade to Shopify Plus. For example, your annual revenue and your current goals will determine if Shopify Plus is the right platform for you.

💰 Annual Revenue

Shopify Plus was designed for scaling your business and meeting higher revenue goals. With this in mind, it is not viable for businesses with less than $1M in annual revenue. From a price perspective, the higher the revenue, the lower the fee.

This means the base pricing for Shopify Plus is $2K per month and covers stores up to $800K in monthly sales. If your business, however, exceeds the $800K in monthly revenue, you will pay 0.25% of your monthly revenue instead. In comparison, if you make, for example, $300K in monthly revenue, you’re basically paying around 0.67% of your revenue. Respectively, if you’re making $50K in monthly revenue, Shopify Plus takes 4% of your revenue, and so on.

However, revenue is not the only thing to consider. In fact, there are a couple of other factors that make the upgrade desirable.

👍 Other Factors

Depending on your business, you might need more flexibility and customization options. In this case, consider the benefits of Shopify Plus if you:

  • Have a huge customer base spread globally which makes the automatic currency conversion necessary.
  • Work with multiple inventory locations. In this case, Shopify Plus allows you to manage your inventory in up to 20 different locations, compared to Advanced Shopify with up to 8.
  • Need to manage multiple Shopify stores in one dashboard. The Plus plan gives you the Organization Admin tool to access analytics, manage users, edit stores and build automation for any of your stores from the same dashboard.
  • Have a huge team. In this case, you might need unlimited staff accounts and the option to give and manage access to a great number of team members to your account.
  • Need to develop custom apps. Then you will need the advanced Plus API capabilities.
  • Want to fully customize the checkout experience. Having access to checkout.liquid. gives you full control over your checkout process.

 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the regular Shopify version offers a very powerful set of tools for any eCommerce business, so your best option is to start with a regular Shopify plan. In case you need advanced features such as managing multiple stores, unlimited team member accounts, automatic currency, and full customization options, or you’re already making $1M in annual revenue and you’re ready to scale your business, Shopify Plus is the right decision. In any other case, it might be overkill.

If you wish to discuss whether you need to make the upgrade to Shopify Plus, feel free to book a call with our Shopify experts for a free consultation and further discuss your needs. We’ll be happy to chat with you and help in selecting a solution that is perfect for your needs.

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