Shopify Plus vs Shopify: Which Is the Best for Your Business?

John Ahya John Ahya April 28, 2021
9 mins read Last Updated February 07, 2023
Shopify vs Shopify Plus

Are you trying to decide whether to go with Shopify or Shopify Plus?

Over the years, I have worked on both Shopify Plus and Shopify. Here is a comprehensive post to help you understand which will work best for you.

Shopify has remained a go-to solution for many businesses to launch an online store since its launch. Shopify Plus came into existence in 2014 to provide more customization to businesses.

Shopify’s standard plans offer many features and customization options for small and medium-sized eCommerce businesses. But when your business grows, and you deal with sales in millions, you may require a more advanced platform. And Shopify Plus is the solution for this!

With Shopify Plus, you get more flexibility, support options, exclusive apps, and greater control over your online store, making it an ideal choice for enterprises that want to grow rapidly.

If you want to create an eCommerce store and cannot decide whether to select Shopify or Shopify Plus, you have reached the right place.

In this blog, we will compare Shopify vs. Shopify Plus based on some essential factors.

So, let’s get started.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: A Quick Comparison

Factors Shopify Shopify Plus
Costs $5 to $299 per month $2,000 per month minimum or 0.25% of sales volume per month.
Ease of Use It is quick to understand & use It has limitations on the way it is used & requires support sometimes.
Languages 5 Languages 20 Languages
Theme Customization Customize themes using the editor. Offer high-level customization with Shopify’s theme language, Liquid.
API Integrations Difficult to integrate third-party plugins. Integrate custom apps or create your own private apps.
Analytics Detailed analytics dashboard Advanced integrations with leading companies like Glew or Looker to get expert, extensive data & information.
Live Support 24*7 Live Support via Phone, Email, and Chat. 24*7 Live Support via Phone, Email, and Chat. Expert Consultant

Shopify Plus vs. Shopify: A Detailed Comparison

Shopify Plus offers all the features and functionalities that other Shopify plans provide. So without wasting time on similar things, let’s just compare Shopify vs Shopify Plus on the advanced features that only Shopify Plus offers and not Shopify.

1. Unlimited Staff Accounts

Unlimited Staff Accounts

Image Source: miniOrange

Almost every major business I helped to get started with Shopify faced the issue of having limited staff accounts. Having limited staff accounts is just not enough for eCommerce businesses with global operations or growing fast.

Shopify Plus solves that problem with its unlimited staff accounts. You can also edit the access available to each account and monitor its activity. Shopify Plus allows staff to access the store from the Shopify app, which is not possible with Shopify. This feature allows the staff to make changes, respond to customer queries, and manage orders from their mobile devices.

On the other hand, the Shopify regular plans permit very few limited staff accounts. Also, they are more limited in terms of functionality and control.

2. Exclusive Apps

Exclusive Apps

Regarding exclusive apps, Shopify Plus offers a broader range of options than Shopify.

Shopify has a vast App Store with thousands of apps, including both free and paid options. However, not all apps available on the Shopify App Store are suitable for high-volume merchants or enterprises with more complex needs.

On the other hand, Shopify Plus offers exclusive apps that are only available to Shopify Plus merchants. These apps are designed to help businesses with more advanced needs and can help with tasks such as fraud prevention, subscription management, and wholesale ordering.

Some exclusive Shopify Plus apps are the following:

  • Shopify Flow: It uses a setup of triggers, conditions, and actions to assist you in automating your store’s e-commerce processes.
  • Launchpad: A pre-configured setup for automating flash sales and product launches.
  • Script Editor: It helps you create custom checkout experiences based on cart value.
  • Transporter App: This is a tool for bulk exporting customer, order, and product data.
  • Bulk Account Inviter: If you have recently migrated to a new store and have imported customer data, you can send them invites for activating their accounts in the new store.

Each one of these apps has practically replaced key highly-priced offerings of third-party Shopify developers.

3. Wholesale Channel

Wholesale Channel

The wholesale channel is one such factor that differentiates Shopify Plus from Shopify.

You will surely see bulk orders from customers as your eCommerce business grows. And Shopify allows you to sell products wholesale through apps or a marketplace like Handshake wholesale marketplace. But you may require to manage separate inventories and pricing for wholesale and retail customers.

On the other hand, Shopify Plus allows you to sell products through an exclusive Wholesale Channel. The main advantage of Shopify Plus is that it enables you to set up a separate wholesale channel from the Direct to Customer (DTC) sales. As this channel relies more on the existing store, you can showcase the same products at special discounts for wholesale customers. Besides, you also have the option to sell only wholesale products on the channel.

Apart from keeping customized pricing of wholesale products, Shopify Plus enables brands to set up percentage discounts. Further, you can place customers in different groups and establish different prices for each one. It also allows you to create separate logins for wholesale customers and assign them unique pricing and minimum order quantities.

One main benefit of Shopify Plus is that you can make different products to present FAQs, policies, and terms. It offers many benefits like invoicing, tracking orders, managing the store, and more.

Ready To Make the Switch to Shopify Plus?
Ready To Make the Switch to Shopify Plus?

Don't miss out on the benefits of Shopify Plus. Schedule a consultation with us now to see how we can enhance your online store.

4. Dedicated Launch Engineer

The regular Shopify version provides support through various mediums, such as phone, email, and live chat. If you want some extra support, you can hire Shopify experts.

Shopify Plus goes one step further and assigns you a dedicated launch engineer; who is there with you while collecting technical specifications and listing all your business problems with relevant solutions. They would support you in setting up your store and optimizing it by adding third-party integrations.

5. Merchant Success Program

Merchant Success Program

The standard Shopify plan provides more general resources and support for smaller businesses. On the other hand, Shopify Plus offers a Merchant Success Program that is more customized.

The Merchant Success Manager provides support in case of third-party integrations, products, and more. They also offer training via webinars, online courses, videos from experts, and checklists that can help to take your business ahead. You also get support from the Merchant Success Manager to stay updated with industry trends.

6. Uptime Guarantee

Most sellers on Shopify have observed 99.99% uptime historically, which translates to approximately one hour of downtime in a year. While the performance is excellent by all standards, it is not guaranteed. On the other side, Shopify Plus offers 99.98% uptime.

I know what you are thinking – why will you pay more for lesser uptime? The answer is in the assurance. Shopify Plus promises 99.98% uptime. It means your worst-possible scenario will now stand within the 0.01% margin of your best-possible scenario. And, if you have hundreds of sales within that hour of difference, it might be worth considering Shopify Plus.

7. Greater Control on the Store Themes with Shopify Liquid

I hear you. Shopify theme customization has been the Achilles’ heel for most merchants for a very long time. An entire industry for customized Shopify themes has mushroomed because of the pain point.

Shopify Plus plan offers great customization, giving you access to Shopify’s theme language, Liquid. You’ll be able to make changes in the backend at the code level for better control with the help of Liquid.

Shopify has somewhat solved the problem with Liquid – its language for templates. You can check out the documentation for the language, So, instead of dealing with several languages, you can invest your time in understanding the underpinnings of one.

8. Pricing

Pricing

Let’s quickly revise what we know about Shopify’s pricing plans. You can choose from Basic Shopify (USD 29/month), Shopify (USD 79/month), and Advanced Shopify (USD 299/month). Even if you are making a splash with your Shopify store, it would not be easy to spend more than USD 3,600 annually for the core offerings.

You can also read the guide on the Shopify website cost to learn more about Shopify Plus vs Shopify Advanced prices and functions. That will help you to choose the suitable option for your business.

Now, let’s jump to Shopify Plus. You can either pay USD 2,000 per month or 0.25% of the monthly sales, whichever is higher. This means that even at the lowest, your expense on Shopify will jump to approximately USD 24,000 annually – a 6x increase.

9. Single Dashboard For Multiple Stores

Shopify allows you to manage multiple stores from a single platform, but you need to use a paid all like Multi‑Admin Multi‑Store Sync to manage your stores.

On the other hand, Shopify Plus offers an in-built feature of a single dashboard. You can easily manage all your Shopify stores and staff accounts and check the complete summary of all stores on a single dashboard.

10. Checkout Page Customization

The standard Shopify plans allow you to customize your checkout page. But they have limitations, and you can only customize some elements of your Shopify store’s checkout page.

On the contrary, Shopify Plus users get the advantage of using Script Editor. With the script editor, you can customize your checkout page and provide personalized checkout experiences for your customers.

When Should You Go with Shopify Plus?

The simple answer to that question is – when you can afford it. If your sales allow you to spend USD 2,000 or 0.25% of the sales every month for Shopify Plus, you should try it. But, the applicable answer requires a little more work.

You can take one of these approaches to evaluate whether Shopify Plus is good for you:

Revenue Benchmark:
Over 500,000 merchants use Shopify, and about 5,300 have upgraded to Shopify Plus. That is 1% of the total user base, meaning only 1 in 100 Shopify merchants upgrade to Shopify Plus. In 2019, the average Shopify merchant made about $61,000 in annual revenues.

Assuming the top 1% of the merchants were making 100 times this, their annual revenue comes to approximately $6 million. This quite accurately converts to the estimate that Shopify Plus is suitable for enterprise eCommerce businesses with revenues of over $500,000 per month.

Breakeven Benchmark:
Assuming the same $61,000 average revenues, Shopify merchants have historically spent not more than 6% ($3600 annually) of their revenues for the platform’s core offerings. The net margin on USA-based online retail businesses was approximately 4.95% in 2021. This means that for the average Shopify merchant to break even (keeping all other costs constant), she had to make sales of at least $72,000 in revenue per year.

That has changed with Shopify Plus. If you want to break even with Shopify Plus at the same average profit margin, you should generate at least $485,000 in revenues yearly.

High-Growth or Venture Capital-Backed Operations:
There might be specific verticals where the growth is and can pay for the long-run incremental cost. Or, your venture might be backed by a private investor who can absorb the cost of growth. If you are in any of the two situations, it is a good go for the Shopify Plus plan.

Need Help Upgrading To Shopify Plus?
Need Help Upgrading To Shopify Plus?

Maximize the potential of your eCommerce store with Shopify Plus. Let us help you upgrade and streamline your sales process.

Conclusion

Shopify Plus is more expensive than Shopify – no doubt about that part. However, if you are in a fast-growing industry or have genuine problems solved by Shopify Plus’s offerings, I would recommend the plan.

If you are starting in eCommerce, the Shopify Plus plan is not for you. You should begin with Shopify Advanced or Basic, and once you hit the $6 million – $10 million ARR mark, you can look into Shopify Plus.

Also, add the costs of hiring consultants for integrations and custom themes, attending industry networking events every year, and losing business when the store runs with issues while you wait the support. And then compare it with the $2,000 per month mark. In most cases, I am sure you will find Shopify Plus a good solution from an expense-saving standpoint.

WebDesk Solution is the top Shopify development company with years of experience developing eCommerce stores. Hence, we can understand your business requirement and help you to choose the most suitable option between Shopify Plus and Shopify.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely. Shopify plus comes with premium features & functionalities. If your online store has surpassed one million dollars, it’s time for you to upgrade to Shopify plus. It provides better flexibility and advanced support. Thus, it is a great option for all businesses who want to leverage more resources and take their business to a new level.

When your annual sales hit a revenue of $ 1 million, it is the best time to upgrade to Shopify Plus. The advanced platform provides better scalability to grow your store. Besides this, it allows you to manage your eCommerce store efficiently.

John Ahya
John Ahya

John is the President and Co-Founder of WebDesk Solution, LLC. Living the digital agency life for over 10 years, he explores an extensive eCommerce world. He has immense experience in all major e-commerce platforms. Being a nature lover, he likes to breathe the fresh air on the hill stations during vacations.

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