Whether you’re already a Shopify merchant or you’re looking for a platform for your eCommerce business, you might be wondering if Shopify Plus is your best next step.
However, with a variety of Shopify plans available – no fewer than five, to be exact – it can be tricky to figure out if Plus is the right choice for your brand.
So, how do you decide if Plus is worth it? Before you upgrade, migrate your site or build a new one, it’s important to compare and gain a clear picture of the plans available.
It isn’t only Shopify vs Shopify Plus that you need to look at. With other potential showdowns including the likes of Shopify Plus vs Shopify Advanced, and Shopify Plus vs Shopify Basic, how can you begin to whittle down your options?
A quick comparison of your Shopify options
The current five pricing plans for Shopify are – from the least to most sophisticated – Shopify Lite, Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus.
Shopify Lite, as its name suggests, is really for those who are only just getting started selling online. It doesn’t even give you your own shopping cart, but does allow you to add products to your website or blog and accept credit card payments. Nonetheless, you might consider it if you are currently a young entrepreneur or small business with just a few products to sell.
Basic Shopify goes some way above this, giving you two staff accounts for access to the Shopify admin and Shopify POS. You’ll get an online store, the ability to sell on online marketplaces and social media, and the option to assign inventory to up to four locations – that is, wherever you store products, such as retail stores, warehouses or pop-ups.
You might like the idea of Basic Shopify if you intend to post and sell hundreds of items. But it does – of course – lack some of the next-level Shopify plan’s perks, such as professional reports, international domains and the ability to sell in multiple languages. The Shopify plan may therefore be for you if you expect to initially sell hundreds of products, before scaling up rapidly.
Pick Advanced Shopify for your ecommerce store, and you’ll also get an advanced report builder and third-party calculated shipping rates – in other words, the ability to show calculated rates with your own account or third-party apps at checkout.
If you intend to regularly introduce new product lines and ideas to your store, Advanced Shopify may therefore make a lot of sense for you. Its advanced features relative to Basic Shopify or Shopify could be just the thing for scaling your business.
Advanced Shopify is really just the most advanced of the aforementioned standard Shopify plans, although it is impressive in that context. Priced at $299 a month at the time of typing, Advanced Shopify comprises an expanded version of the functionality of the other plans we’ve covered so far.
It offers as many as 15 staff accounts – an adequate limit for most larger firms – compared to the five offered by Shopify and the two possible with Basic Shopify. This plan also allows you to assign inventory to up to eight locations, as opposed to the Shopify plan’s five and Basic Shopify’s four.
Shopify Plus vs Shopify Advanced
These two sound similar going off their names alone, so are they? The short answer is... not really.
This being the range-topping Shopify plan, Shopify Plus really is the option to go for if you wish to get the very most out of Shopify’s complete functionality, including exercising the greatest control over your backend. It’s a true enterprise-grade solution for the highest-volume merchants, having been used by such household-name giants as Sony, Clarks and Unilever.
Shopify Plus is a different beast to the other platform options, as signalled by its pricing of $2,000 per month, although variable fees are available to higher-volume businesses.
Considering, however, that with other enterprise platforms like Magento (where the basic fee is similar, but you also have to pay 1000s of pounds for hosting and yet more for development), Shopify Plus should be considered by serious brands who are ready to super-charge their growth and want backing by innovation-driven developer teams around the globe.
When on Shopify Plus, you will also get access to Merchant Success Managers (MSMs) and innovative Solution Engineers. There to answer questions from you or your Shopify expert agency, the MSMs can also raise issues with people higher up in Shopify.
Not only will your Shopify Plus site be fully hosted, but you’ll also get 200 TB of storage and no transaction fees to pay. It’s an excellent solution for many businesses that don’t wish to spend much time on order management and instead intend to plough greater resources into marketing and design. Naturally, then, a lot of larger ecommerce brands will – and do – gravitate to Shopify Plus.
Another big advantage Shopify Plus offers over other forms of Shopify, is the potential it offers for automation. One Shopify Plus-exclusive feature, for instance, is Launchpad, which is a smart promotional tool that allows you to schedule, coordinate and execute events like sales, inventory restocks and product drops.
Then, there’s the not-insignificant attraction of Flow, which is great for automating customer, inventory and order management.
While the plain old Shopify plan does allow you to customise the shopping experience, it doesn’t give you scope to do much with the checkout itself, beyond changing how it looks.
Shopify Plus, though, enables you to go further by also customising your store’s checkout’s functionality. So, you don’t have to make do with just the usual two-page checkout – variations such as a one-page or three-page checkout are possible, too.
Another great customisation feature you’ll only get with Shopify Plus, meanwhile, is Shopify Scripts.
As the term suggests, these are small pieces of code that allow you to give your customers more personalised experiences in their cart and at the checkout stage. Here are just some of the best examples, to give you a sense of what Shopify Scripts can do.
What Industry Experts Have to Say
Lisa Popovici, Co-Founder & COO of Cartloop
“While the Shopify platform comes with all the fundamental tools and features to make your brand look highly professional, Shopify Plus is the option you need to go with if your brand is growing at a fast pace, you need to cover a high volume of orders, therefore you need a more efficient infrastructure.
Some of Cartloop’s brands have made the switch due to its customization capabilities, such as the checkout customization feature, which allows merchants to add a free product via a discount code, create extra custom fields, login via social media and much more..
Also, as our main way of gathering new marketing subscribers is done at this step, having a personalized checkout page increases the chances of shoppers subscribing to your marketing updates, hence more sales and nurturing opportunities.”
Are you still unsure as to the Shopify solution that may best serve your requirements and ambitions as a merchant? If so, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Underwaterpistol today.