#cta-visual-pb#<cta-title>Delight your customers on any Shopify plan<cta-title>Build out the perfect buyer experience in Shopify or Shopify Plus.Start building for free
Critical differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus
Three major factors differentiating Shopify from Shopify Plus are pricing, features, and design.
Shopify Plus is tailored to larger enterprise sellers, and you’ll see this reflected in the service’s overall cost and functionality.
1. Shopify vs. Shopify Plus pricing
“Switching from Shopify to Shopify Plus allows you to save on transaction fees…. Once you have Shopify Plus, you no longer need to spend extra for … fees, which can be huge if you expect a large volume of orders daily.”
There are four regular Shopify plans available, namely:
Shopify Starter: Shopify’s starter plan is a mere $5 per month and is designed to make it easy for merchants to sell online through their social channels, such as Instagram or WhatsApp, without an ecommerce storefront.
Basic Shopify: This plan provides all the basics for starting a new ecommerce business. At $29 a month, it’s the ideal starter plan for those launching an online store for the first time on a small scale.
Shopify: Most small to mid-sized retailers starting their first online store (or moving to Shopify) use this plan. It costs $79 per month and includes all the basics plus features that a growing business needs to continue to scale.
Advanced Shopify: It’s a bit of a jump to the $299 monthly price for Advanced Shopify, but this is an ideal choice for merchants interested in cutting-edge ecommerce features.
You can opt for annual billing, which takes 50% off the regular monthly cost.
Shopify also offers a three-day free trial, so you can experience firsthand whether or not a specific plan meets your business’s needs.
But take note, Shopify also charges additional fees, including:
Transaction fees: Depending on your plan, using a third-party payment provider subjects you to additional fees—2% (Basic), 1% (Shopify), 0.5% (Advanced).
Credit card fees: If you want to be able to accept major credit cards, you’ll also have to pay a small payment processing fee. It also varies based on your chosen plan.
LeSportsac, a lifestyle brand known for their bags and accessories, noticed the shopping experience their former ecommerce platform provided couldn’t match the real-life feel of shopping with the brand.
Thanks to Shopify Plus, LeSportsac provides tailored shopping experiences across their digital channels, perfectly emulating the brand’s in-store feel.
The camera brand Polaroid reemerged during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With everyone turning to online shopping, they needed to revamp their site to keep up with surging online traffic and demand.
Through Shopify Plus and the assistance of their partner agency, Ask Phill, Polaroid was able to achieve explosive online growth, improve their ecommerce experiences, and launch two new products—all of which effectively revitalized the brand.
The benefits of upgrading to Shopify Plus
As mentioned above, there’s a big price jump from the first two Shopify plans to Advanced Shopify, and the gap between Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus is even greater.
But when you look at what Shopify Plus has to offer, the solution is well worth the cost for large online stores.
Upgrading to Shopify Plus provides access to exclusive features designed for enterprise brands.
Furthermore, it gives you much more control over your store’s general appearance and functionality.
We’ve broken down some of the most important features included with Shopify Plus below.
Ability to sell everywhere
A massive advantage to Shopify Plus is it can help you establish a presence in many channels and territories.
An omnichannel approach lets you meet customer needs wherever, whenever and Shopify Plus enables that option.
With translations for your store’s contents in up to 21 different languages, you can also provide more localized experiences.
Tip: Shopify Plus merchants gain the ability to clone their store up to nine times without paying for additional plans. This is a great way to support multiple languages for businesses that operate in other countries.
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In 2017, Shopify created a new wholesale platform available through Shopify Plus.
It gives merchants the ability to run a wholesale site separate from their existing Shopify account.
On the new platform, you can either have a store for both DTC and wholesale or create one dedicated to B2B.
This password-protected wholesale channel extends your online store and is only available through Shopify Plus.
This exclusive Shopify Plus feature lets you offer wholesale customers the same products available on your main storefront at different prices.
With it, you can even add products only available wholesale.
“The better checkout personalization in Shopify Plus … allows us to refine our checkout interface to provide a more attractive, functional, and seamless experience for our purchasing customers, giving us insights into which layout designs are best for our clients. The improved selection of payment options also makes the checkout process highly convenient.”
Platforms like Shopify are so popular thanks to their ease of use.
Both the shopping cart and store are already coded and designed—to open a store, the merchant simply needs to customize their settings, apply a theme that fits their brand, and populate the products and content.
Shopify provides many ways to customize your store—with some limits.
While the company allows a range of visual customizations in the checkout, standard Shopify account holders cannot customize the checkout page’s functionality.
But with Shopify Plus, the default two-page checkout is entirely customizable, allowing merchants to change the checkout into a single-page checkout, three-page checkout, or any other variation.
This produces a fully branded checkout experience that allows A/B testing to maximize your online store’s conversion rate.
Shopify Plus users enjoy more control over how their stores look as well. Its drag-and-drop editor lets you instantly tailor your store and checkout experience.
You can even create more advanced customizations using templating and coding languages such as:
If you’re not well-versed in the required technical know-how, a Shopify launch manager can write code and make custom edits for you, resulting in effortless customization that saves you time and money.
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Shopify Plus also provides access to its Script Editor, a tool for tailoring your checkout experiences and promotions.
It lets you edit Line item, Shipping, and Payment scripts to offer various discounts, tweak prices based on volume, and more.
While standard customization for Shopify stores typically occurs through third-party apps, the Script Editor allows merchants to develop and write scripts that Shopify hosts and runs.
As a result, you produce your own customized business logic to enhance the checkout and shopping experience.
This is ideal if you need specific functionality but can’t find an appropriate app.
Specifically, you can create functionality for items like:
Product bundles and combination offers
Tiered pricing applicable to VIP customers or other segments
Blocked promotional codes during specific events
Dynamic pricing for volume-based price breaks
Higher API call limits
In simple terms, an API call occurs whenever an app performs an action, typically due to an interaction between a visitor and your store.
Shopify limits the number of API calls per second to manage their server load.
The cap on API calls is doubled for Shopify Plus merchants (who are usually scaling up to much higher traffic volumes than standard Shopify users).
Note: This applies to the Storefront API, used by headless stores, which has a time-based limit.
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Access to Shopify Flow
It’s challenging to keep up with all the little tasks that accumulate as your store grows dramatically.
Managing individual changes to elements like customer status becomes incredibly time-consuming when dealing with tens of thousands of customers.
Flow is an automation tool for Shopify Plus merchants that allows you to set up and manage automated workflows for these and other similar scenarios.
With Flow, there’s no need to hire a developer.
You can produce a range of workflows, such as:
Adjusting product tags based on inventory levels and purchase behaviors
Creating a triggered action when a high-risk order is detected
Adding 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 or account behaviors
Flow provides the agility a growing ecommerce enterprise needs to continue to scale while staying productive and managing overhead.
Shopify Plus has also released pre-built Flow templates that make setting up your automated workflows easier.
It details your performance across your sales channels, the regions you’re present in, and customer segments, which can help you build forecasts, strategies, and goals.
Additionally, Shopify Plus partners with analytics companies and offers many integrations for gathering in-depth insights so you can make data-driven decisions.
Onboard unlimited staff
As previously mentioned in Huel’s case, Shopify Plus helps streamline onboarding.
However, it also accommodates an unlimited number of staff accounts, allowing you to gather and train as much talent as you need to run your business efficiently.
Meanwhile, Shopify’s standard plans only permit up to 15 accounts and restrict control over staff actions.
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Exclusive Shopify Plus apps
Another significant edge you gain from upgrading is access to apps available only to Shopify Plus users.
These exclusive Shopify apps include:
Launchpad: This app lets you plan and automate promotional campaigns, product launches, and flash sales. You can also revert any changes made instantly after your event.
Transporter: This app is designed for importing product, order, and customer records into your Shopify store. It makes it easy to migrate and send records from other platforms to Shopify Plus.
Bulk Account Inviter: With this app, you can invite customers to activate their accounts on your store. Ideally, you should use it after importing customer accounts from another platform or Shopify store.
Avalara AvaTax:This app comes in handy when managing your financials. It automatically calculates and files taxes for you, effectively removing legal compliance worries.
The Launchpad tool, one of the most popular, lets you quickly set up and track automated events such as flash sales and product launches.
Through the app, a Shopify Plus merchant can schedule events like a limited-time sale with correlating price changes at the start and end dates.
You can trigger automatic theme changes during events (great for seasonal website design alterations), enable reCaptcha during a sale to limit bot use, push products to desired sales channels, and trigger specific scripts to run.
It also features a real-time analytics dashboard for tracking the performance of your events.
Better remote collaboration
Shopify Plus has a robust feature for remote collaboration as well. Now, you can see whenever someone is editing the same product page as you.
Additionally, when someone saves changes to a product page, anyone else who has that page open will be notified.
This will avoid the loss of any work when you update your store.
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Access to Shopify Plus Academy
Finally, Shopify Plus merchants can access business courses for scaling brands through Shopify Plus Academy.
For an industry that is constantly shifting, with best practices evolving rapidly, having a source of consistent education is a huge competitive advantage for ecommerce teams.
The Shopify Plus Academy courses include everything from getting started to seasonal lessons that help merchants prepare for events such as Black Friday and the holiday season.
Their five main topics include:
Marketing and sales
7 Signs it’s time to upgrade to Shopify Plus
Now that we’ve covered most of the basics, here are some key factors that indicate an upgrade to Shopify Plus is in order.
1. You want to sell omnichannel
Selling on multiple online and offline channels improves the customer experience and provides massive benefits like decreasing sales losses by up to 30% and increasing order rates by 494%.
If omnichannel is your aim, Shopify Plus can make it a reality.
2. You require better security and fraud prevention features
You can seamlessly incorporate wholesale into your main storefront or create a secure, dedicated B2B site.
It even offers clear search functionality and catalog browsing, as well as various integrations and optimizations.
Upgrading to Shopify Plus makes scaling effortless
Shopify’s standard packages are superb for kick-starting and growing your business up to a certain point.
However, upgrading to Shopify Plus is the right move to take your business to the next level.
It provides impressive, professional support, extensive customization, and robust functionalities.
Despite being pricier than Shopify’s core plans, it balances this out by saving the time and resources you’d spend on less-capable platforms.
Take the hassle out of scaling by transitioning to Shopify Plus today.
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Rachel is a remote marketing manager with a background in building scalable content engines. She creates content that wins customers for B2B eCommerce companies like MyFBAPrep, Shogun, and more. In the past, she has scaled organic acquisition efforts for companies like Deliverr and Skubana.