Why? Shopify offers them an easy way to quickly launch their own online business without worrying about finding the right hosting, website development costs, or building the store from ground zero.
And in case a large brand wants something more than a basic Shopify account can offer them, Shopify has a solution for them too – Shopify Plus. Shopify Plus is created specifically for enterprises for which the standard Shopify (or other ecommerce platform they are using at the moment) isn’t cutting it anymore.
What is the difference between a basic Shopify and Plus subscription and when it might be worth it to make the switch?
What is Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus is the enterprise ecommerce platform version of Shopify, created for large or quickly growing ecommerce stores. It offers the same core features as the regular version but also gives far bigger customization options, plenty of automation tools, faster speed, and also can handle far bigger traffic than any other Shopify plan. What’s more, it’s incredibly flexible thanks to several Plus-exclusive apps but still user-friendly enough that new users can quickly get the hang out of the website.
And as Shopify Plus allows merchants to run multiple storefronts on multiple domains, use wholesale options or several currencies in their shop, many well-known brands have decided to either move from their previous platform for Shopify Plus or start there straight away. Currently, there are 24,459 live stores running Shopify Plus -an 37% increase year-over-year in 2021 Q4.
What is the difference between Shopify Plus and regular Shopify plans?
The main Shopify service is usually more than enough for individuals and small businesses looking to sell online – they can sell an unlimited number of products, have access to 24/7 support, and also the shipping costs for DHL Express, UPS, or USPS are far lower. The monthly fee is also the same no matter how many sales you have in a month, so you can set aside enough money for the subscription – you can read more about the differences between the four regular plans in our previous article.
But if you’re an enterprise with millions in sales, you probably need far more than a basic Shopify account can offer. Like more customization options for your Shopify themes. Or a much higher bandwidth than available in the Shopify’s regular plans. Or specific API integrations.
That’s where Shopify Plus comes in. Shopify Plus provides the same core dashboard and features as Shopify, but with access to new apps, integrations, the help of a dedicated launch manager and more. Check out our blog post 8 things you need to know about Shopify Plus.
Think of Shopify Plus as an enhanced version of the base Shopify – it’s not how it looks that makes the difference, but how much more you can do with it.
Let’s take shipping options, for example. Shopify regular plans offers flat rates, free shipping, or live calculated shipping rates – and that’s it. Shopify Plus meanwhile gives you access to a special script through which you can automatically change the shipping costs depending on the customer tags, contents of a cart, or even minimum order values.
If you want to sell to foreign countries, then Shopify Plus can also make it far smoother for you. With it, your online store could automatically adjust the currency displayed based on the customer’s location and the current exchange rate. What’s more, you can even tailor the shipping options to each customer and show them the shipping service available in their location – with shipping costs automatically adjusted as well.
Who is the target audience for Shopify Plus, and why should they consider it?
Regular Shopify is a smart choice for all smaller, medium-sized stores or anyone just starting with e-commerce selling. It’s affordable, easy to set up, and has several apps and integrations to help them with most daily tasks. Still, the basic subscription might feel pretty limited for multi-channel selling companies or wholesale businesses with revenue in millions.
Take the number of allowed staff accounts, for example. On the lowest Shopify tier, only two employees can access the Shopify store. The highest one meanwhile gives you Shopify account access for 15 employees. For most companies, that should be more than enough – but what if you have a large team that has to manage multiple stores?
Then you should definitely consider getting Shopify Plus, as it allows you to add an unlimited staff accounts to the store and immediately add new members whenever you need. Additionally, you will receive the “Store admin” privilege, allowing you to manage all your stores from one dashboard, have access to analytics for all those stores, and also create automated scripts for any store.
What’s also important is that Shopify Plus can handle far more traffic than the regular version. A store with Plus subscription can take four million hits per second with a guaranteed 99.99 percent uptime. It means that your store could handle approximately 8,000 orders per minute without worrying that your servers will go down in the middle of a transaction or slow down to a crawl.
When you might consider getting Shopify Plus?
So when exactly you should start thinking about subscribing for Shopify Plus plan?
- When you have a large customer base that is spread around the world, or you want to start selling internationally.
- Have many inventory locations (Shopify sets restrictions on how many inventories you can add to the system, with 8 being the max allowed)
- Want full control over how your store looks like and the checkout process
- Want to offer customer-based pricing and shipping rates
- Plan to start selling wholesale or have a wholesale channel already.
- Want to integrate your shop with other channels (with Plus, merchants can sell through 100+ social media channels and 80+ online marketplaces)
Benefits of using Shopify Plus for businesses
You probably noticed there’s a big difference in prices between the basic Shopify subscriptions and Shopify Plus – and the gap between Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus is even larger. Standard Shopify subscriptions cost $39 a month for the lowest tier, to 399$ for the business account. For Plus subscriptions though, the costs start from $2,000 a month (more on the charges in a moment). Quite a staggering price isn’t it.
However, when you consider what Shopify Plus has to offer, this solution clearly is worth the price for any large online business. So let’s take a look at what Shopify Plus can do for your business.
A dedicated account manager for your store
The basic Shopify plans already offer 24/7 support to its users, either via phone, email, or live chat. Merchants can also ask for help of the Shopify Experts – marketing consultants, shop designers, website developers, or content writers that are ready to help Shopify merchants with any questions or issues they might have.
Shopify Plus support takes it a step further by assigning you a dedicated Launch Engineer (if you’re migrating from another ecommerce platform or building a new site) and a Merchant Success Manager. As your dedicated account managers, they take care of everything – from store setup and migration to implementing third-party apps and optimizing your store.
Far greater customization options
To make your shop stand out, an eye-catching Shopify theme is pretty much a must. And while Shopify’s main theme marketplace has nearly 300 responsive and fully optimized themes that you can customize yourself, that might not be enough for your brand if you are looking for something unique.
Shopify regular plans also restrict how many things you can customize in your store – for example, you can’t modify the checkout page. As Shopify plus subscriber though, you are free to customize the checkout page as you wish -we’ll talk more about this feature in a second.
Even better is that you use Shopify Scripts tools to create a fully personalized experience for your customers both in your main store but also at the checkout. You can, for example, use scripts to create discounts that are automatically to customer’s cart based on the items they picked or the value of the cart. Scripts can also be used to customize shipping and payment options based on the location of your customers.
Makes international expansion much easier
Thanks to multiple in-built tools for international sellers, Shopify Plus makes expanding your brand to other countries easier than ever.
For example, merchants can grow their customer base by offering personalized and fully localized websites for customers coming from different countries. Depending on your needs, you can either have a single store that will change the language depending on the user’s location, or you can have a dedicated Shopify store for each region you wish to sell to (you can have up to 9 localized stores for free, next ones are paid extra though) – something that’s not possible on basic Shopify account.
Having a separate Shopify store for each country or region is a great way to make sure your store and products are localized for each target audience. In addition, you can optimize each store individually, which means you can make content and offers exceptionally relevant to your audience or set individual product prices for each country or region.
Easier store management
Shopify Plus also has a couple of tools that can make managing and making changes to multiple stores much easier as well. From the Stores section of the Shopify admin account, you can manage all stores in your organization and view detailed sales and orders about your business as a whole or just look at specific store’s performance.
As the store admin, you’ll also be able to quickly add new or remove existing users to your organization (you have unlimited staff accounts after all), assign or remove access to certain features or permissions and also use Shopify Scripts for setting special sales or promotions in your stores.
Shopify Plus was created with companies having thousands of sales per day in mind. That’s why if you are looking for an ecommerce account with unlimited bandwidth or one that can handle Black Friday or Summer events sales peak, Plus would be your best bet.
Shopify Plus servers are highly reliable and secure, with 99.98% average uptime and Level 1 PCI DSS and SOC2 security certification. What’s more, thanks to virtually unlimited bandwidth, stores on Plus subscription can handle around 10,000 orders every minute with ease, meaning you won’t ever have to worry about high-traffic events crashing your store.
And with apps like Launchpad, merchants can prepare and plan for product launches or flash sales and run those automatically at a given time – and turn the website back to normal the moment the campaign’s over.
What about migrating your existing stores to Shopify Plus? That won’t take long, even if you have numerous products or several retail stores – Shopify Launch Managers and Merchant Success Program experts are here to help you move your stores safely. From checking whether all technical components work on the website to helping you with adding integrations, new payment gateways, checkout customization, required certificates or website design – you can leave those tasks to them.
You might also want to hire a Shopify and Shopify Plus agency (like WeCanFly) to help with the migration. Besides helping you with the technical aspects of the store migration, you can also learn from their experts on what you need to do to make your store launch successful or how you can expand your store to other countries.
Which Shopify Plus features are worth checking out?
At first glance, Shopify plus doesn’t look that much different from regular Shopify. You have the same dashboard, editor, and everything that you can find in the standard plans. But the real difference between Shopify and Shopify plus is when it comes to the exclusive features available only there. Here are a few of the notable features of Shopify Plus:
New (exclusive!) apps
Standard Shopify store owners can take advantage of around 6000 different apps and integrations available on the Shopify marketplace that cover everything from design to marketing. However, Shopify Plus users have access to some handy apps only available to those with the Plus subscription. To name just a few of those apps that might be incredibly useful for you:
- Transporter through which you can easily migrate customers, orders, and product records straight to Shopify.
- Launchpad that marketers can use to plan and automate important store events, including flash sales, product launches, and campaigns. The campaign will launch on a scheduled date, and your site will revert to what it was after your event. You can later review the success of your event by using the dedicated analytics dashboard.
- Shopify Scripts, with which you can tailor your checkout to your needs. For example, you can use this feature to create unique discount codes for your shoppers or automatically add a freebie to shoppers’ carts. But it has a load of more uses – you can also use it to dynamically change the pricing in your store, run promotions or help you manage multiple currencies.
- Shopify Flow enables you to automate tasks and processes within your store and across your apps. These make Shopify automatically take specific actions based on certain events (for example, if your inventory is running low, it can send an email message to a supplier).
Special support programs for Plus subscribers
If you choose Shopify Plus, you will also get access to many exclusive programs that are available only for Plus users – for example, Shopify’s Merchant Success Program. This program was created for high-volume merchants who want to grow their stores faster. There, Shopify Experts can answer your questions about running the store or Plus platform, help you with solving third-party apps problems or find Shopify Plus partners you can work with.
There’s also a special Facebook community for Shopify Plus users and partners, an extensive library of online courses and training videos to guide you through the Shopify Plus and also a weekly newsletter that’ll keep you updated on the updates and new features. As a Shopify Plus merchant, you will also have access to the Shopify Plus academy, where you can find both quick, practical lessons about the platform as well as comprehensive courses on topics such as paid advertising or expanding internationally. What’s even better is that all your staff members added to Plus account will have access to those courses as well and for free.
Custom Checkout Page
Even though regular Shopify plan gives you plenty of options when it comes to customizing your store design, there are a few places you can’t change – like your checkout.
Shopify Plus merchants meanwhile can fully customize the default checkout page through the Liquid language. By editing the available checkout file, merchants can add, remove, and reorder content, change styles, colors, and fonts, and generally adjust the look of the checkout page to match the rest of their Shopify store’s branding. Through Shopify Scripts, Plus merchants can also offer customized discount codes or shipping prices based on various factors, such as customer tags, products in the basket, basket value, etc.
If you can’t do it yourself, then you can hire a Shopify Partner to help you with customizing your checkout to match your brand. Being able to reach out to Shopify Plus developers who are all familiar with how to make your store shine is one of the best Shopify Plus benefits out there.
Dedicated wholesale channel
A wholesale channel is another feature that sets apart the Plus subscription from a basic Shopify account. As your company expands, you’ll definitely attract customers that want to buy in bulk – why not give them such an option?
This one Shopify Plus feature allows you to add a separate, password-protected wholesale site based on your online store. There, you can offer wholesale buyers either the same products or special versions at exclusive prices. You can also give them customized lists with special prices, create bundles of products or add exclusive promotional coupons for them.
How much does Shopify Plus cost, and what’s included in the price tag?
Regular Shopify subscription offers three flat-rate e-commerce plans which cost $29, $79, and $299 per month. So no matter how many sales you will have per month, your monthly fee always stays the same. Shopify Plus meanwhile works on a slightly different model.
Shopify Plus charges you based on your monthly sales volume. At the least, you can expect to pay $2,000 per month for using Shopify Plus. But if your revenue is above $800,000 per month, then fee becomes a revenue-based model, and you will pay 0.25 % of your monthly revenue. Keep in mind this means your monthly fees might change from one month to another but it won’t drop below $2000 a month.
So for example, if your monthly sales go over $1.5 million, then you will pay around $3,750 in monthly fees. The highest monthly fee on a Plus subscription is $40,000 a month, but you would have to make $16 million in sales to pay that much.
You will also need to add a 0.015% transaction fee to your costs if you use a third-party provider for payment processing. If you use Shopify Payments though, you don’t have to pay those fees. In addition, Shopify Plus only has a one-year contract option – unlike Shopify’s cancel anytime flat-rate plans. So before signing for the subscription plan, you have to make sure you’ll be able to afford the costs for the year.
The cost of Plus might seem staggering. For merchants who generate around $1-2 million in annual revenue, though, the dedicated Shopify support and unique features we mentioned above start making the investment worthwhile. What’s more, all Shopify stores work on a hosted platform, meaning you don’t have to worry about paying for hosting, server management, updates, security, and so on – like you would with other popular ecommerce store systems such as Magento.
Check out our Shopify Pricing Calculator to easily compare the available Shopify plans.
How does Shopify Plus compare to other ecommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Magento Commerce?
And while we’re on the topic of comparisons – how does Shopify stack up against Bigcommerce and Magento? Those three names are most likely the ones you hear about the most open if you want to open or migrate your online store and are researching your options now. All of these platforms have long supported small and mid-sized businesses, but they also have products and subscriptions that are made specifically for larger ecommerce businesses.
BigCommerce has BigCommerce Enterprise, and Magento has Magento Commerce or Adobe Commerce Cloud. What are their strong and weak points? Let’s have a quick look at those two platforms.
Magento’s strongest point is its flexibility. Since it’s an open-source platform with a free license subscription, you can technically use it for free. You are the main owner of your store code, so you can adapt it to your business however you like. There are also hundreds of online templates you can use to customize your store. Magento also comes with an extensive list of out-of-the-box features that you can use to run your store effectively – and if you need more, you can just download one of the hundreds of extensions available.
However, the main issue here is that Magento isn’t the easiest system to use. As a store owner, you are responsible for everything – from designing and managing the store to managing the host server stability and security. If you have web development skills or can ask your company’s technical support to manage the store, then installation, theme customization, and maintenance shouldn’t be much of a problem.
If you don’t have enough time or employees to manage the Magento store yourself, then you should find an agency that handles the system on your behalf since Magento is a complex platform, and you might not be able to utilize its full potential otherwise. Due to its size, Magento is also quite slow to load. As a result, adding any changes or customizations to the story might be pretty rather tricky – Magento imports data at a very slow rate.
But the biggest problem when it comes to Magento is the costs involved. Yes, the open-source license is free to use – but the costs of hosting, website design and development, security, and SEO are all on your side. Magento also requires using a dedicated server to host it, again because of the platform’s size. With Magento Commerce and Commerce Cloud, the costs grow even more.
Besides the aforementioned development services, you have to consider Magento license costs that are based on a store’s revenue and can cost from $22,000 a year to even over $190,000.
That is why Magento is mainly used by large, enterprise-level companies with their own development teams or a large budget to hire someone to maintain the site.
Interested in learning more about how Shopify Plus and Magento compare? Check out our Shopify Plus vs Magento: 7 key differences article.
Compared to Magento, BigCommerce is much easier to use. BigCommerce is a hosted e-commerce solution that business owners can use to set up an online store and sell their products on the Internet. A ‘hosted’ website runs on its own servers – you don’t have to purchase web hosting or install anything on your computer to use it. As long as you have a web browser and access to the internet, you can build and manage your store from anywhere.
Unlike Magento, BigCommerce is primarily designed for users without much experience with web design or coding. To start your first online store, you just have to pick one of the BigCommerce templates and create your store through a drag-and-drop page builder. That also means that BigCommerce plans are far more affordable – the pricing starts from $29 a month to $299 for business accounts.
BigCommerce also has a special subscription for Enterprise companies, though to know the exact price for it, you have to request a quote based on your average order value and the average number of orders you process each month.
But there’s a catch to the low cost. The biggest one is that most businesses are forced to upgrade when they reach a certain revenue threshold. Every BigCommerce subscription has a revenue limit, and if companies exceed the limit, they are automatically pushed into a higher-tier package. So, for example, if you are on the cheaper Standard subscription, you can only sell for $50,000 in a year before you get bumped to Plus. For Plus users, the limit is $180,000 a year in sales. Pro users get up to $400,000 in annual sales and pay an extra $150 per month for every additional $200,000 in sales.
The majority of BigCommerce’s templates are also paid for – aside from 12 free templates, prices range from $145 to $235.
Which platform should you pick? If you have a large budget to devote to your ecommerce store and plenty of developer resources to devote to site set-up and maintenance, Magento may be the right choice for you. You’ll be able to design your shop however you like, but you’ll also have to handle everything from hosting to payment security yourself.
With BigCommerce and Shopify, hosting, maintenance, and updates are handled by the providers, so you can focus on growing your store. On BigCommerce though you should keep an eye on the revenue limit if you don’t want to be moved to a more expensive tier.
How to get started with Shopify Plus
While you can open a regular Shopify account virtually straight away just by creating an account on the website, signing for a Plus account is a bit trickier. For one, Shopify Plus pricing isn’t directly visible on their website – you need to request a quote from the Shopify Plus sales team, and they will calculate your pricing based on your monthly revenue. Once you decide you want a Plus subscription, a smart idea would be to hire a Shopify Partner agency to help you launch your new store and teach you how to use the Plus platform – they will also be there to help you with any questions or issues you might have.
If you already have a Shopify account and are moving to Plus, then your account will be upgraded in about 24 hours. After the migration is finished, you’ll receive an introduction email with a link to join Jumpstart, the merchant onboarding program and also contact details for the Shopify Plus Priority Support team. You will also get access to Shopify Experts panel, where you can ask for help or hire a developer for any of your Shopify plus development needs – like a new checkout.
What about migrating your store to Shopify Plus? Here it would be best to ask an agency for help, especially if you have a large amount of data to transfer, specific integrations you want to have, or design requirements.
Why should you choose WeCanFly agency?
If you need assistance with Shopify migration, then our Shopify agency is here to help. We have a team of 50 Shopify experts, from developers and designers to business analysts, so we can help you both with building, migrating, and expanding your store but also with developing a strategic plan for your shop.
Our team has helped over a hundred brands launch and grow their Shopify and Shopify plus stores. Among them are:
Aside from building and managing stores, we also develop apps and bespoke solutions for Shopify and Shopify Plus, like Progressive Web App (PAW) stores. Basically, a PWA is a website with all the benefits of an app – it’s faster and more engaging, can work offline and it can even access your camera and microphone.
With our help, you can determine whether PWA is the right solution for your store, move your store safely, see if everything works as it should, and then keep the PWA maintained and optimized.
As a Shopify-exclusive agency, we are experts in all things related to Shopify. So whether it is launching a new store, migrating it from another ecommerce system, improving store UX, optimizing your store for best performance, or developing custom solutions for Shopify – you can count on us.
We also have a lot of experience when it comes to Shopify Plus implementations – we’ve helped both local brands and large, enterprise-class companies to move their stores to Shopify Plus. Our Shopify experts will help you not just choose the right ecommerce platform and third-party apps but will also find the right solution for your unique requirements. We can also integrate your new store with your current tech stack apps, for example your ERP.
In addition, you do not need to worry about any downtime or traffic loss when moving stores – we have tested the migration process to Shopify Plus from a number of e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopware, or dedicated e-commerce sites. In just a few weeks, your new store can be up and running without losing your position in the search engine or dealing with worse store performance.
Our Shopify Plus Services and technologies we use
With over 10 years of experience in the field, you’re in good hands with us, as we know exactly just what your business might need for a successful launch. So what are we especially good at?
- Preparing expansion plans for the new markets
- Developing Shopify B2B and Wholesale shops.
- Headless Commerce
- Store migration to Shopify
- Optimizing your Shopify for mobile shopping
- Creating custom Shopify UX/UI Design
- Boosting existing Shopify store performance
- Building custom apps for Shopify stores
You can also rely on us to monitor your site’s performance and help you whenever you have a problem or question. Our team can suggest tools, apps, and solutions that will boost your site’s growth, as well as take care of regular maintenance and optimization of your store.
Shopify Plus might be the best choice for brands that grow quickly or already have millions in revenue. From its ease of use and excellent support to its many notable features you can use to boost your shop, it has everything your shop might need. If you are thinking about starting selling internationally, then migrating to Shopify Plus might also turn out to be your best, as the tools inside the Plus subscription make creating multi-language pages and using multiple currencies easier than ever.
But the price is pretty hefty – so before you migrate, you should have a discussion with your team on whether it’s the right choice to make. Feel free to contact our agency if you have any questions or doubts about the migration as well – we’ll be happy to help you.