In recent years, Shopify has made a name for itself as of the fastest growing and most trusted eCommerce platforms. Since its launch, Shopify has grown to more than 600k merchants processing over $63 billion as of 2018.
One of the largest draws of Shopify is its ease of use. The platform is offered as a software-as-a-service or SaaS. This approach provides an off-the-shelf model that’s east to customize, so anyone who wants to launch an eCommerce business can do so with little to no coding knowledge.
In fact, after registering you can have a store online in just a few hours.
To accommodate the variety of business types selling through their platform, Shopify has created a number of plans offering everything from the most basic to more robust and comprehensive feature sets.
And there is a wide variety of brands working with Shopify. From sole-proprietors selling a single products to global brands like Nestle, MVMT, Red Bull and Tesla Motors.
Granted, small business owners aren’t likely to use Shopify Plus like those global brands. For SMBs, Shopify has carefully tailored plans at a much lower price point.
Shopify Plan Pricing
Shopify offers three “standard” plans that are a solid fit for most customers depending on the needs of the business. Those plans are: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify.
The Basic Shopify Plan – This is the lowest plan available and provides all the basics for starting a new business. At just $29/mo it’s the ideal starter plan for those launching a new eCommerce store for the first time on a smaller scale.
The Shopify Plan – This is the standard plan used by most small- to mid-sized retailers starting out with their first store online (or moving to Shopify) and costs only $79/mo This plan includes all the basics along with features that a new, growing business needs to continue to scale.
The Advanced Shopify Plan – It’s a bit of a jump to $299/mo for the Advanced Shopify plan but it’s an ideal choice for the growing business who needs advanced features and a platform that will grow with you.
And then there’s Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level solution designed specifically for high volume merchants that need more features, more functionality, more room to operate, and more control over their online stores. And like all things, all the added features and functionality come at a price.
The Cost of Shopify Plus
Like each of the plans offered by Shopify, Shopify Plus is transparent with its pricing and starts at a base of $2,000/mo. That is the minimum you can expect to pay for the platform when your revenue is under $800k/mo. Once you revenue exceeds that amount per month you’ll switch to a revenue based model with a fee of .25% of your monthly revenue.
The fee for Shopify Plus caps at $40,000/mo using the revenue-based model, so you’ll never have to pay more than that for your Plus account.
Keep in mind there are other fees associated with a Shopify Plus account that are not factored into the monthly price you pay. This includes:
- Credit card processing fees
- Store design and build costs
- Dev costs
- App costs
- Third party services (shipping, marketing, accounting software, etc.)
Shopify Plus Benefits – What You Get With Shopify Plus
As the price increases for each of the Shopify plan a few additional features are added. This changes significantly when you upgrade to Shopify Plus. In fact, Shopify Plus removes a significant number of barriers and turns over a large amount of control to the user.
Here are some of the biggest features available with a Shopify Plus pricing plan.
Custom Checkout Page
What makes platforms like Shopify so popular is the ease-of-use. The entire shopping cart and store has already been coded and designed. To open a store, the user only needs to customize settings, apply a theme that fits their store, populate the products and content, and launch.
There’s no code required – everything works right out of the box.
Customization of the shopping experience and the store is possible, and brands of all sizes frequently work with developers to add new custom functionality to their stores. The only exception is the actual checkout.
While Shopify allows for a range of visual customizations in the check, the standard Shopify accounts do not have access to customize the functionality of the checkout page itself.
This limitation is removed for Shopify Plus merchants. The standard two-page checkout can be fully customized, allowing merchants to alter the checkout into a single page, 3-page checkout, or any other variation. This is a great way to create a fully-branded checkout experience and use A/B testing to maximize the conversions of your online store.
The Launchpad Tool
On its own Shopify has strong baseline functionality but there’s always room for improvement and additional features. Shopify knows this, so they’ve created a system that allows for 3rd party tools to be use in conjunction with its platform. Professional developers have created a large volume of applications adding more functionality and customization to the Shopify platform. The best part of these apps is they can be installed with the click of a button and easily customized, just like the parent platform.
Some apps are only available to Shopify Plus merchants, like the Launchpad app.
This is the perfect application for merchants who need to easily setup and track automated events such as flash sales or product launches. Through the app, a Shopify Plus merchant can schedule things like a start and end date with correlating price changes as the start and end of an event.
You can even trigger automatic theme changes during events (great for seasonal website design changes), enable reCaptcha during the sale to limit bot/script use, push products out to specific sales channels, and trigger specific scripts to run.
There’s also a real-time analytics dashboard to track the performance and success of your events.
Script Editor Access
One of the things we love about Shopify is that even out-of-the-box stores are stylish and highly customizable. Shopify Plus really takes this to the next level by giving Script editor access to its merchant users.
While normal customization for Shopify stores is typically done with 3rd party apps, the Scripts system allows merchants to develop and write custom scripts that are hosted and run by Shopify. This way you can create your own customized business logic to enhance the checkout and shopping experience. It’s ideal if you need specific functionality but can’t quite find an app that does what you need.
Using the Scripting feature you can create functionality for things like:
- Percentage based discounts
- Product bundles and product combination offers
- Tiered pricing applicable to specific VIP customers or other segments
- Blocked promotional codes during specific events
- Modify, hide, or reorder shipping methods and prices or even payment gateway methods
- Dynamic pricing for volume-based price breaks
Using line item, shipping, and payment scripts you can implement custom logic and tailor the user experience during a customer’s checkout journey.
Higher API Call Limits
Shopify has a limit on the number of API calls that take place per app used in an online store. In simple terms, an API call takes places when an app takes an action, typically as a result of an interaction between a visitor/customer and your store. Shopify limits the number of calls each app can make per second primarily to manage server load.
For Shopify Plus merchants, who are typically scaling up to much higher traffic volumes, the cap on API calls is doubled.
Access to Wholesale Management
eCommerce platforms have come a long way over the years but one area that many platforms, including Shopify have been found to be lacking is in wholesale management. They work fine for consumer purchases but things like wholesale account management, user group discounts, bulk discounts, and bulk orders, haven’t exactly been possible.
The traditional shopping experience and checkout method isn’t ideal for a wholesale customer that needs to select and buy products at volume.
In 2017, Shopify created a new wholesale platform available via Shopify Plus giving merchants the power to run a separate wholesale website from their existing Shopify account.
Mobile Store Builder
Creating a mobile-first eCommerce experience is vital considering the number of consumers shopping on mobile (to pass 5 billion by 2019). Search engines like Google even factor mobile-friendliness into search rank.
Load times and site speed on mobile can also impact customer conversion rates.
The Mobile Store Builder allows Shopify Plus merchants to create native iOS and Android apps without having any technical knowledge or code experience. The platform is powered by a template system not unlike the theme system used for Shopify store customization. This will allow merchants to easily create mobile store apps using customizable themes.
Access to Shopify Flow
It’s not easy to keep up with all the little tasks when your store grows dramatically. Managing individual changes to things like customer status become incredibly time consuming when you’re dealing with tens of thousands of customers.
Imagine having to employ someone full time just to track and manage status changes on high-value customers.
Flow is an automation tool for Shopify Plus merchants that allows you to create and managed automated workflows for scenarios just like, and it’s all done without the costs involved with hiring a developer.
You can create a range of workflows like:
- Adjusting product tags based on inventory levels and purchase behaviors
- Creating a specific triggered action when a risk order is analyzed
- Add customer tags when customer value increases to track loyalty
- Republishing products when inventory is back in stock
- Sending personalized notifications to customers based on specific order/account behaviors
Flow provides the agility that a growing eCommerce enterprise needs to continue to scale while staying productive and managing overhead.
One shortcoming of traditional Shopify stores is for those stores who sell on a global level. It’s not easy to create a store that support multiple languages or multiple currencies. As a workaround, Shopify merchants have had to use 3rd party apps that offer translation and multi-currency support, but these apps have been found to be lacking in some areas.
Another workaround is for merchants to clone their stores with the default language and currency being changed for each store. For a typical Shopify merchant that means paying for additional accounts.
Shopify Plus merchants gain the benefit of being able to clone their store up to nine times without paying for additional plans. It’s a great way to setup additional stores to support multiple languages for those merchants doing business in other countries.
Shopify already offers an incredible feature set for it standard users in each of its base pricing plans. For those eCommerce retailers who need more control and a scalable solution, Shopify Plus pricing uses a model that scales with your business and includes a feature set designed to give you more control over the growth of your online store.