Shopify is one of today’s most popular ecommerce platforms.
However, understanding all its nuts and bolts can be pretty overwhelming.
Are you an aspiring user who wants to understand Shopify’s plan structures, particularly the differences between the Shopify and Shopify Plus plans?
I can help you.
I wrote this article to discuss the features and variations of Shopify vs. Shopify Plus.
Shopify is a powerful tool for people who want to start an online business.
This ecommerce platform allows you to sell products online without having to create an entire website from scratch.
Among ecommerce platforms, Shopify has some unique selling points.
It’s relatively easy to use, provides excellent ecommerce features, and helps ecommerce businesses manage order fulfillment with absolute ease.
Shopify has generated over $59 billion in sales, making its success undeniable.
Thus, many ecommerce store owners have either decided or are looking to shift to the platform.
However, deciding on a Shopify plan can be challenging for many Shopify owners looking to set up their Shopify store.
Shopify Plus is an upgrade for enterprise-level businesses and ecommerce store owners who want a premium experience. It provides numerous additional features, customizations, premium support, and more.
Here’s how Shopify and Shopify Plus differ.
The first key difference you should know is the pricing difference.
Here’s the pricing of Shopify plans:
Shopify Plus starts at $2,000 or higher, depending on your business volume. It’s an excellent option for traditional large businesses that want to sell online.
According to Shopify’s website, it takes three to four months for Shopify Plus users to shift from brick-and-mortar to online selling. Meanwhile, the same task takes non-Shopify Plus users 12 months.
Here are the features you get on a Shopify Plus account.
With Shopify Plus, you can access a dedicated Launch Manager or Engineer (who acts as your account manager).
A launch manager helps a Shopify plus client set up their store. These professionals are a step higher than personal support agents and experts because your Launch Manager focuses more on you.
A Launch Engineer, also known as a Merchant Success Manager, will work with you throughout the entire setup and migration process.
This individual helps you with technicalities, best practices, project management, and many other aspects of online store creation.
Here are other areas where Shopify Plus Merchant Success Managers can help you.
- Choosing the best Shopify themes and apps
- Setting up APIs and customizing Liquid code
- Working with internal and third-party design teams
- Documentation and dedicated support during the setup phase
- And anything to progress your site’s status
Another key Shopify Plus feature is access to Liquid, Shopify’s theme language.
While you can access a template editor on a Basic Shopify plan, it has limited customization options.
With Shopify Plus plans, you have more customizations because you can access the Shopify theme language. You can change the backend at the code level to provide more customization and control to your online store.
When you need several accounts for your store access, you’ll benefit from Shopify Plus.
When considering Shopify vs. Shopify Plus staff accounts, the Plus account is a Shopify upgrade with a clear edge over all other plans.
Other plans on Shopify plans limit the number of staff accounts you create.
- Basic – 2 accounts
- Shopify – 5 accounts
- Advanced – 15 accounts
With Shopify Plus, you have unlimited user accounts. You can add as many staff members as you want to your store. You can also enable additional permission settings.
These capabilities allow you to have as many team members working on your online store while giving you complete control over what they can see and access on the shop backend.
Those who want to create personalized experiences in their Shopify stores will enjoy Shopify Plus. Many consider the checkout experience customizations a massive plus.
With the highest tier account, you can customize your checkout experience based on shopping cart values or other conditions.
You can give more personality to your Shopify checkout page.
Here’s what you can customize with a Shopify Plus account.
- Upload a background image for the checkout banner.
- Add a logo to your checkout page.
- Change the form fields’ background color.
- Add a background image to your order summary.
- Change fonts.
- Change buttons.
- Change accent colors.
- Add features to the post-purchase page.
Shopify Plus users can also access Shopify Scripts, giving them refined control over shipping methods, customer fields, payment methods, and more.
Shopify Plus APIs facilitate integrations with third-party applications.
This feature allows your Shopify store to seamlessly communicate with services that might not be available on the Shopify app store.
You can integrate payment gateways like GiftCard into your Shopify store as an alternative payment method, letting you create unique gift cards people can use to buy from your store.
Adding Multipass logins is also an option. Integrate them seamlessly into your apps to automatically create logins on other services without creating separate login credentials.
Here are tools you can integrate via APIs.
- Enterprise resource planning software
- Inventory and order management system
- Customer relationship management tools
- Third-party logistics platforms
- Warehouse management software
If you’re creating custom apps, you can connect them to your store and develop automation and ecommerce features to enhance your store experience.
Shopify Plus has a clear advantage over Basic Shopify on API needs.
Compared to Shopify, Shopify Plus provides more helpful resources for its sellers.
The Merchant Success Program is exclusive to Shopify Plus subscribers, letting them access these resources.
- A Facebook community to connect and learn from other Shopify Plus users.
- A partners directory to all sorts of agencies, tech, and solution partners to help you grow on the ecommerce platform.
- Early access to Beta programs.
- The Shopify Plus Academy with resources and lessons to maximize your Shopify account.
- A Merchant Success Manager to help you with all you might need moving forward.
Another Shopify Plus advantage is having a Shopify Organization Admin account and managing multiple stores on one unified dashboard.
If you have numerous ecommerce stores on the platform, you can merge all the stores into one backend dashboard. Doing so makes it more convenient to manage orders, settings, products, campaigns, updates, integrations, and more in one backend.
Regular Shopify users with multiple stores must update their stores individually.
With the unified dashboard, you can see all online sales, professional reports, customer data, third-party apps, and more in one place.
With Shopify Plus, you can support multiple currencies and languages, removing the barrier to global growth. Shopify Plus takes your brand to other parts of the world by giving prices in your global audience’s respective currencies.
This simple add-on lessens friction and allows you to reach more people.
When comparing Shopify and Shopify Plus accounts, you’ll find that a Plus account has a few exclusive apps that can help you immensely.
Here are some apps exclusive to Shopify Plus users.
This app helps with high volumes of B2B sales or wholesale customers. You can also create discount codes for large purchase volumes.
This app is a popular automation tool on Shopify.
You can automate many customer-facing tasks and Shopify admin processes. Shopify Flow executes triggers to tag loyal customers, send reorders, and more.
This app helps you plan and run flash sales, product launches, and marketing campaigns. The app then rolls back changes once the event or campaign ends.
This app creates personalized experiences at the shopping cart or checkout stage.
Some customizations you can perform include applying discounts, customizing shipping, and customizing payment options.
Script Editor is an excellent add-on for abandoned cart recovery.
This app Imports customer, product, and order records into your Shopify store.
This app sends a bulk invitation to your customers on other platforms or stores to activate their accounts on your new store.
Shopify offers users analytics like average order value, conversion rates, and sales.
However, Shopify Plus gives users more analytics by allowing you to add a Google Tag Manager to your store.
A Google Tag Manager connects your store to Google Analytics—one of the best website analytics trackers.
Having Google Analytics on your Shopify account is an excellent bonus.
Shopify Plus partners with leading analytics companies, like Glew and Looker, to give users expert data and insights to help optimize your store’s performance.
Shopify Merchants with a Plus account can also get their Launch Engineers to help with this process.
Shopify users with a basic to advanced plan will have to pay specific transaction fees when users buy through their site.
Shopify Payments charges the following transaction fees for credit card and payment processing.
- Basic Shopify Plan – 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
- Shopify Plan – 2.6% + 30 cents per transaction
- Advanced Shopify Plan – 2.4% + 30 cents per transaction
A Shopify Plus plan waives all these transaction fees, meaning you no longer pay a percentage when someone buys from your site.
Is upgrading to Shopify Plus worth it?
Deciding between Shopify vs. Shopify Plus might not be that simple, but there’s a way to make an informed decision.
Consider the following factors.
A Shopify Plus Store could hurt your business if you’re not making much money on Shopify yet. Consider starting with a lower plan and then shifting later on.
Shopify Plus becomes worth it if you’re a business doing a million dollars or more in annual revenue. The cost might not be justifiable for a Shopify starter or small businesses not yet close to that amount.
Consider how many features you need. If you only need one or two of them and they aren’t non-negotiables, you could be better off with a lower plan.
Shopify becomes a more robust platform with a Shopify Plus plan, but more robust doesn’t always mean better.
You might also want to consider the total number of stores in your business. When you have a lot of Shopify sites you have to manage, a Shopify Plus plan could do you well.
But when you only have a handful, you could save money and still profit from more basic Shopify plans.
Looking at Advanced Shopify vs. Shopify Plus, you’ll find both Shopify plans are adequate for your needs. So maybe getting a lower account might do the trick if you only have two or three sites.
I hope I’ve clarified the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus and how each plan can benefit your business.
Remember, don’t choose the more expensive plan just because you get more features. Pick the plan that matches your current budget and requirements. You can always switch to another plan like Shopify Plus later.