Which Shopify platform is the best option for you? And what does Shopify plus do differently? Over the years at Story of AMS, we have built countless eCommerce stores with Shopify and Shopify Plus and know the ins and outs of both systems. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Shopify and Shopify Plus to make a well-educated decision. Let’s dive in!
Shopify is generally used by everyday eCommerce businesses. Its plans – which range from $29/month to $299/month – are accessible to most companies. Shopify Plus is Shopify's enterprise solution for rapidly growing businesses. Plus plans start at $2,000 per month. And once the brand generates over $800,000 per month through the website, the pricing changes to a revenue-based model - 0.25% of their monthly revenue.
We’ve found that Shopify Plus starts to make sense for businesses when they reach $1-2 million in annual revenue. But it's not the revenue that triggers this need, but more the extra support and unique features of Shopify Plus that make it worth the investment for businesses of this size.
Shopify and Shopify Plus offer over 60 themes to work from. There are 10 free themes and 59 paid ones, which cost between $140 and $180. With Shopify’s standard plans, you can customize your Shopify theme using the editor.
In contrast, Shopify Plus allows a high degree of customization, giving you access to Shopify’s theme language, Liquid. With Liquid in your bag of tools, you’ll be able to make changes at the code level. You can also couple Shopify Plus to your headless set-up, giving you full control over the look and feel of your website. Check out this blog If you want to learn more about headless eCommerce with Shopify plus.
While you are able to customize your Shopify theme, you can’t access the full set of Shopify’s underlying code, so there are limitations to what can be done. One of which is customizing the checkout. With Shopify Plus, however, brands have access to customize this page. This way you can create a branded checkout experience and tweak the experience for conversion optimization.
Another feature you’ll want to keep in mind while weighing Shopify vs Shopify Plus is staff accounts. The basic Shopify plan permits only a few limited staff accounts.
On the other hand, Shopify Plus allows you to add unlimited staff accounts and enables additional permission settings. As the store manager, you’ll be able to give any number of your team members access to work on your online store.
Multichannel allows you to sell in lots of different places at the same time. Both Shopify and Shopify Plus lets you sell products directly on marketplaces like Amazon and enable you to tap into the social commerce space. Giving you the ability to sell on Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest and you name it.
If a customer doesn’t have to leave the social platform they’re on to make a purchase, they’re far more likely to buy. Not only is this feature great for diversifying, but it also gives you access to a whole new customer base who may never even visit your website.
Shopify comes with its own analytics dashboard out of the box. It gives you a rich overview of your store’s sales and there is even a live view, showing your minute-by-minute data. For 90% of eCommerce businesses, this out-of-the-box analytics dashboard will give you everything you need.
Shopify plus on the other hand takes analytics to a whole new level. Shopify Plus works with leading analytics companies to keep you up to date on the latest trends in your store. The Shopify plus analytics gives your business the detailed information to make big calls with confidence.
Shopify is a beast when it comes to supporting, you can reach them via phone, email, and live chat. And if things get difficult, you can hire Shopify Experts. What Shopify plus brings to the table in terms of support is personalized and dedicated support. First, they assign a launch engineer to your website that will help you throughout the entire store setup and migration process. From there you will get a merchant success manager, MSM and it’s their sole job to help you be successful. They can give you everything from guidance on how to use Shopify Plus, to strategic coaching and updates on the latest trends.
So while Shopify does have impressive 24/7 support it’s the personalized support with Shopify plus that makes it even greater.
Shopify is constantly pushing the boundaries of eCommerce. Within Shopify Plus there are some pretty nice features that are not available with regular plans.
The script app allows you to create personalized experiences at the cart/checkout stage. Scripts give you the ability to bundle products, offer promotions and give price breaks on multiple purchases. Using Script, you also get greater control over shipping, you can change shipping methods and offer shipping discounts. Being able to customize every aspect of your online store down to the tiniest detail gives you total control, helping you increase your per order spend.
For brands who run flash sales or product launch events, this is the app for you. With a launchpad, you can automate flash sales, product launches, and or sales campaigns. You can publish products, apply discounts on particular products or collections and it also has an analytics dashboard so you can measure the success of your flash sale or product launch.
In our opinion, this is one of the best features of Shopify Plus. Shopify flow is basically an eCommerce automation app. It helps you to automate backend processes with its unique workflows. Think, executing triggers, conditions, and actions like tagging loyal customers and sending reorder requests to name just a few. It’s a really nice tool that will free up a ton of your and your staff’s time.
Bulk account invite.
Let’s say you want to switch from Magento to Shopify Plus. Besides migrating all of your data it is also essential that your customers get notified and invited to also make the switch. With the bulk inviter, you can invite your customers, imported from another platform or store to activate their accounts for your new online store. Read this blog if you want to learn more about migrating to Shopify Plus.
Shopify’s multi-currency feature allows you to introduce additional currencies that are presented to users based on their IP or having changed currency from a dropdown. But there are a few limitations when it comes to this Shopify feature. The most common issue with multi-currency is that you can’t control the pricing/upload separate price lists. Which is a really common requirement for international retailers. Also, shipping, taxes, and payments options are limited.
Luckily with Shopify Plus, you can clone your store, representing a more scalable approach for international commerce. This way you can couple local payment methods, create local pricing, and also merchandise the store independently for the target market. With Plus, brands can have up to nine cloned stores without paying for another plan.
Integrations with existing platforms
While you can connect numerous apps to your Shopify store, for high growth and more complex businesses, connecting to their existing platforms might make more sense. Thanks to Shopify’s API this is possible. Below are some examples of platforms you can integrate with through the Shopify API.
Product information management (PIM)
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Inventory and order management (IMS and OMS)
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Third-party logistics (3PL)
Warehouse management software (WMS)
It’s no surprise Shopify is so popular, it’s a great ecosystem that can power businesses from their first dollars to hundreds of millions in revenue. Over the years at Story of AMS, we have found that Shopify is the best solution for small to medium-sized businesses who need a platform that can grow with them. Shopify Plus on the other hand is a great solution for enterprise-level businesses that are already established and sell hundreds of products every day. It's for this reason that we build headless eCommerce solutions with Shopify Plus for our clients.
If you are ready to take the leap and go to the next level, reach out and let’s see if Shopify Plus makes sense for you.