Shopify Plus vs Shopify: Which Is Better for Your Business?

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Shopify Plus vs Shopify: Which Is Better for Your Business?

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Choosing the right platform is a pivotal decision that can shape the trajectory of your business. Two prominent players in this arena are Shopify and its advanced counterpart, Shopify Plus. As companies grow, so do their needs, prompting a closer look at which platform aligns best with their aspirations and requirements.

In this blog, we'll compare the differences between Shopify Plus and Shopify. Based on that, we will determine which is better for your business. Let's embark on the journey of discovery to find out which e-commerce powerhouse stands out as the better choice for your business growth.

What is Shopify?

shopify plus vs shopify

Shopify is a user-friendly gateway for creating and configuring online stores, providing an intuitive 'buying portal' for customers. One of Shopify's notable strengths lies in its versatility for product distribution. Beyond traditional online selling, the platform facilitates transactions on social media platforms, brick-and-mortar stores, and across major online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay. 

Shopify distinguishes itself through a plethora of eCommerce features. From tailor-made themes providing a professional aesthetic to a rich selection of plugins enhancing functionality, Shopify ensures your digital storefront is visually appealing and technologically advanced.

The uniqueness of Shopify extends to its comprehensive set of tools for store management. This includes handling refunds, recovering abandoned checkouts, setting automatic carrier shipping rates, managing customer profiles, and delving into marketing, SEO, and social media integration. 

What is Shopify Plus?

shopify plus vs shopify

As its name suggests, Shopify Plus isn't just an evolution but an upgrade to the already formidable Shopify platform. It takes the best features, functionalities, support, and integrations that Shopify offers and enhances them, creating a powerhouse tailored for enterprise-level needs. Shopify Plus embraces the omnichannel approach, providing a comprehensive solution for businesses operating at a grander scale.

One of the standout features of Shopify Plus is its access to the Shopify organization admin. This centralized hub allows you to manage multiple stores efficiently, streamlining operations and offering a unified control center. Additionally, Shopify Plus opens the doors to integration with custom apps, enabling businesses to tailor their digital storefronts to unique specifications. Embracing innovation, Shopify Plus introduces exclusive programs like the Shopify Plus Partner Program, Shopify POS Pro, and a dedicated Shopify Plus Community on Facebook.

The primary distinction between Shopify and Shopify Plus lies in their target audience and pricing structures. Shopify Plus strategically positions itself as an enterprise-level solution, ideal for larger businesses with complex operational needs. In contrast, Shopify, the more cost-effective option, caters to the requirements of smaller companies, providing a solid foundation for those starting their eCommerce journey. 

Shopify Plus vs. Shopify Comparison

Pricing

Shopify pricing

shopify plus vs shopify

Understanding the pricing structures is pivotal when deciding between Shopify and Shopify Plus. Shopify, known for its user-friendly approach, absorbs web hosting costs and development expenses within its plans. However, specific add-ons, such as payment gateways, customized themes, or third-party plugins, may incur additional charges.

Let's delve into the breakdown of the different plans available on Shopify:

  • Shopify Lite ($9 per month): Ideal for those just starting or looking to sell on social media. It has basic features for selling and processing orders. Currently, Shopify Lite is no longer offered to new users but only maintains previously registered users.
  • Basic Shopify ($25 per month): Suited for small businesses and startups. It has essential features for building a foundation in the digital marketplace.
  • Shopify ($65 per month): Geared towards growing businesses with expanding product catalogs. It has additional features for scaling your online presence.
  • Advanced Shopify ($399 per month): Designed for businesses on the verge of significant growth. It has advanced features for optimizing and managing large-scale operations.

Currently, Shopify offers Shopify 1 Dollar 3 Months plan. This plan is a great deal for new users as you only need to spend 1 dollar to experience all the features of Shopify for 3 months.

 


Shopify Plus pricing

shopify plus vs shopify

While Shopify offers these plans with inclusive features, Shopify Plus operates on a different tier. Shopify Plus entails a more robust enterprise-level solution but comes with a cost.

Shopify Plus involves a $2,000 monthly fee and other expenses, such as transaction fees, online store development costs, third-party services, and add-ons. This pricing structure reflects the platform's capability to cater to the intricate needs of larger enterprises, offering advanced features, scalability, and dedicated support.

Understanding your business's size, requirements, and growth trajectory is crucial in determining whether the costlier Shopify Plus is the right fit or if the more budget-friendly Shopify plans align better with your current needs.

Key Features for E-commerce Stores

Let's dive into the feature differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus. While Shopify provides the essential features, Shopify Plus goes a step further, combining Shopify features and additional advanced features:

Elevating Automation

Shopify Plus takes automation to the next level with its Custom Scripts feature. This functionality proves invaluable for store owners aiming to offer tailored promotional codes, customize pricing, and implement discounts. Here are some prominent use cases that underscore the versatility of this feature:

  • Customizing the Shopify Checkout Process: Shopify Plus users can enhance the checkout experience by adding custom fields, validating customer input, and calculating custom prices through scripts.
  • Modifying Cart Behavior: Scripts can introduce custom logic to the cart, facilitating actions like discounts to incentivize purchases.
  • Automating Order Processing: Shopify Plus allows the automation of crucial order processing tasks, including calculating shipping costs, handling taxes, and applying discounts.
  • Customizing Product Pages: Scripts offer the flexibility to tailor the look and feel of product pages, incorporating custom options or recommendations.
  • Enhancing Analytics: With scripts, users can elevate their analytics game by tracking custom events and creating personalized reports and dashboards.

Advanced Reporting and Analytics

Beyond the foundational reporting options in Shopify, Shopify Plus takes data analysis to a higher echelon. Shopify Plus offers more advanced reporting and analytics capabilities, providing eCommerce stores with deeper insights into sales and customer behavior. While Shopify's basic plan covers sales, product, customer, and marketing reports, Shopify Plus expands on these, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the eCommerce landscape.

Tailoring the Shopping Experience

Shopify Plus empowers users to create a seamless and brand-consistent checkout experience, reducing friction and enhancing conversions. The customizable checkout pages offer various features:

  • Custom Fields: Users can add fields like text boxes, dropdown menus, or checkboxes to collect additional customer information, improving the shopping experience.
  • Custom Validation: Introducing custom validation rules ensures that essential fields are filled out, enhancing the checkout process's efficiency.
  • Custom Pricing: Users can create rules for custom pricing based on factors like customer location or cart contents, allowing for personalized and dynamic pricing.
  • Custom Scripts: Leveraging custom scripts, users can add unique eCommerce features to the checkout page, enhancing functionality and user experience.
  • Custom Design: The design of the checkout page can be customized to match the brand's aesthetic and tone, creating a cohesive shopping journey.
  • Multilingual Checkout: Shopify Plus extends multilingual checkout support in 20 languages, catering to global businesses, while Shopify's basic plan covers only five languages.

Nudging Customers Towards Completion

Shopify Plus offers enhanced cart recovery functionalities, employing various strategies to recover abandoned carts and encourage shoppers to complete their purchases:

  • Abandoned Cart Recovery Emails: Built-in features allow for automated emails sent to customers who haven't completed their checkout, including a link to the cart and a special offer.
  • Retargeting Ads: Through Facebook Pixel or Google Adwords, users can create retargeting ads targeting customers who abandoned their carts, showcasing left-behind items.
  • Automated Workflows: Shopify Plus enables the creation of automated workflows triggered by specific events, such as sending recovery emails after a set period or adding special offers after multiple abandoned cart attempts.

Handling High-Volume Sales

Shopify Plus outshines regular Shopify in scalability, catering to high-traffic and high-volume sales. Its capability to handle a more substantial volume of sales and traffic makes it an ideal choice for large and rapidly growing businesses.

Personalized Support

Shopify Plus users enjoy the added benefit of a dedicated account manager. This professional provides invaluable support, offering insights and advice on optimizing eCommerce operations.

Integrations and Community

In addition to the highlighted features, Shopify Plus offers enhanced integrations with different APIs, access to paid APIs like Shopify Flow, and participation in Shopify's merchant success program. These features contribute to a seamless and community-driven experience for business owners looking to scale their operations.

Themes & Design Flexibility

shopify plus vs shopify

Your online storefront's visual appeal and flexibility are pivotal in capturing and retaining customers. Both Shopify and Shopify Plus recognize this, but they offer distinct advantages regarding themes and design flexibility.

Shopify

In classic Shopify, your store's visual identity is supported by various customizable themes. Here's what you can expect:

  • Theme Variety: Shopify provides a diverse selection of over 70 professionally designed themes, with approximately ten available for free. These themes cater to various industries and boast responsiveness, ensuring they look impeccable on any device.
  • Customization: The theme editor in Shopify allows users to customize various elements like colors, typography, and layout without coding skills. However, for those with coding knowledge in HTML, CSS, or Liquid, the ability to make more significant changes is readily available.
  • Theme Store and Third-party Themes: The Shopify Theme Store offers a range of free and premium themes crafted by renowned designers. Additionally, users can opt for third-party themes from other marketplaces, expanding the range of design possibilities. Read more: Top 21 Best Shopify Themes

Shopify Plus

When it comes to Shopify Plus, the design game is taken to the next level:

  • Expanded Features: Shopify Plus encompasses all the features offered by Shopify, providing a comprehensive toolkit for enterprise-level needs.
  • Theme Capacity: Shopify Plus allows users to add up to 100 themes to the account, facilitating the maintenance of seasonal versions or testing changes in a copied version of the selected theme.
  • Professional Assistance: With Shopify Plus, businesses are supported by experienced Shopify staff. The launch team can assist in making custom edits to any theme within the plan's price, saving money and effort.
  • Access to Shopify's Script Editor: This tool creates personalized experiences in the shopping cart and at checkout. Particularly useful for large businesses requiring unique and complex designs.

Exploring the Liquid Theme Language

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus leverage the power of Liquid, an open-source templating language created by Shopify for their theme ecosystems. Liquid significantly enhances design possibilities by enabling developers to build dynamic and flexible themes for e-commerce stores.

  • Dynamic Content Loading: Liquid allows developers to load dynamic content onto storefronts using a combination of tags, objects, and filters.
  • Control and Customization: Beyond page layout, Liquid offers a high degree of control and customization. Developers can manipulate visibility based on conditions, tailor content to customer behavior, and create bespoke navigation structures.
  • Logic Operations and Control Flow: Liquid's capabilities extend to intricate logic operations and control flow techniques, allowing for a truly personalized and differentiated e-commerce experience.

Thanks to the platform's more extensive feature set, Shopify Plus users gain additional opportunities with Liquid. This includes fully customizing the checkout process offering a unique and branded experience.

For those seeking even greater design freedom, both in Shopify and Shopify Plus, the option of headless Shopify exists. This approach decouples the back and front end, enabling the creation of a custom visual layer using JavaScript frameworks like Next.js or Vue.js instead of Liquid. This unconventional path allows for virtually limitless design possibilities with assured performance.

Which Is Better for Your Business?

Based on the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus that we mentioned in part III, here are the top 4 advantages we believe are for Shopify and Shopify Plus that you can refer to:

Shopify (Ideal for Smaller Businesses and Individuals)

Shopify Plus (Ideal for Mid-Size and Larger Enterprises)

Pricing and Scalability

Users pay for what they use. Affordable plans with scalable features.

Enhanced omnichannel sales features, including Shopify checkout upgrades, product recommendations, advanced analytics, and more.

Customization

Empowers users to self-customize themes and design with Liquid, an open-source template language for HTML or CSS editing.

Allows customization using the Launch Manager or Script Editor on the checkout page.

Cost-Effective Plans

Offers three-tier plans: Basic Shopify ($29/month), Shopify ($79/month), and Advanced Shopify ($299/month).

Provides support for 20 languages, offering a broader global reach.

Ease of Use

No coding knowledge needed; Quick setup with 24x7 customer support.

Access a unique community, including Shopify Plus Academy, Facebook Community, meetups, and invitation-only events.


In summary, Shopify is ideal for growing small to medium-sized businesses requiring core eCommerce features. If you have an eCommerce business with multiple locations, Shopify is the way to go.

On the other hand, Shopify Plus, with its higher cost, caters to larger enterprises engaging in high-volume multichannel selling. It offers advanced features such as international shipping fulfillment, payment processing in multiple currencies and languages, real-time analytics for omnichannel sales, and more.

Choosing between Shopify and Shopify Plus ultimately depends on your business size, requirements, and aspirations. Evaluate your specific needs against the outlined advantages to make an informed decision that aligns with your eCommerce goals.

Shopify Plus vs Shopify - FAQs

1. How much is Shopify Plus, and how do I purchase it?

The pricing for Shopify Plus is quote-based, starting at $2000 per month for standard setups and integrations. The final price is determined by multiple variable components, primarily dependent on your credit card sales volume. 

For instance, if your business achieves a monthly sales figure of $800,000, Shopify Plus will utilize a revenue-based model for charging. The maximum monthly charge in this scenario would be approximately $40,000. To acquire more detailed information about the pricing structure and make a purchase, you should connect with a Shopify representative who can provide personalized insights based on your business requirements.

2. Which is a faster option? Shopify or Shopify Plus?

When it comes to speed, Shopify Plus is the recommended option. Here's why:

  • Enables Large-Scale Businesses to Scale Rapidly: Shopify Plus is designed to accommodate the needs of large-scale businesses, allowing them to scale their operations at lightning speed.
  • User-Friendly Automated Workflows: The platform offers user-friendly automated workflows, streamlines processes, and enhances operational efficiency.
  • Extensive Support Options: Shopify Plus provides extensive support options, ensuring businesses have the assistance they need to navigate and optimize their operations effectively.
  • Greater Access to Store's Code for Flexible Growth: Shopify Plus offers greater access to its code, allowing businesses to drive growth and tailor their online presence to meet evolving needs.

In summary, if speed and scalability are critical factors for your business, Shopify Plus is the faster option.

3. Is Shopify worth the investment?

Yes, Shopify is undoubtedly worth the investment for businesses of all sizes and scopes. Here are the key reasons:

  • Automated Workflows and Rapid Scaling: Shopify provides automated workflows and empowers businesses to scale rapidly, a significant advantage for small and large enterprises.
  • Flexible Plans and Pricing Models: The platform offers choices through different plans and pricing models, catering to various business needs and budgets.
  • Boosts Customer Loyalty and Trust: Shopify is a reputed platform known for boosting customer loyalty and improving trust and confidence in the brand.
  • Add-On eCommerce Functionalities: The platform offers add-on eCommerce functionalities, enhancing the overall capabilities of businesses and supporting their growth.
  • Extensive Support and User-Friendly Integration: Shopify provides extensive support and user-friendly integration features, making it a lucrative and accessible choice for businesses of all sizes.

In conclusion, the combination of automated workflows, scalability, flexible pricing, reputation, additional functionalities, and user-friendly features makes Shopify a worthwhile investment for businesses seeking a robust eCommerce platform.

4. When should I upgrade to the Shopify Plus plan?

Consider upgrading to the Shopify Plus plan when your business:

  • Generates at least $1 million in annual revenue.
  • Requires unlimited user accounts for a growing team.
  • Involves frequent and intense repetitive tasks that can benefit from eCommerce automation tools.
  • Seeks comprehensive support and services offered by the Shopify Plus Partners program.

5. How can I upgrade to Shopify Plus?

You can upgrade to Shopify Plus in two ways:

  • Using a Third-Party Automated Tool: Consider migrating with a third-party automated tool for a streamlined transition.
  • Contacting Shopify's Team: Alternatively, you can contact the Shopify team directly. They will offer assistance, guidance, and the necessary resources to facilitate a smooth upgrade to Shopify Plus.

6. Is Shopify Plus Worth the Additional Cost to Improve the Business?

The decision depends on your business needs. Shopify Plus offers advanced features, but the cost is justified if your business can effectively utilize and benefit from these extras. If you are seeking creative freedom, headless Shopify is an option, and integrating it with Shopify Plus provides the most advanced e-commerce solution. Consider the cost of the potential business growth.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the choice between Shopify and Shopify Plus hinges on your business's specific needs and aspirations. While Shopify provides a robust platform suitable for smaller to medium-sized ventures, Shopify Plus is a comprehensive solution tailored for larger enterprises aiming to scale rapidly. 

The decision involves business size, revenue, customization requirements, and the potential for leveraging advanced features. Analyze your business objectives, evaluate your current and future needs, and make a well-informed choice that aligns with your vision for success in the dynamic world of online commerce.

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