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Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Which Is Better for an Ecommerce Store?

Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that allows merchants to build and customize an online store. Many small and medium businesses also use this tool to sell their products and manage various social media and marketplace channels. So what’s the deal with Shopify vs Shopify Plus?

The basic Shopify ⭐ service is an all-inclusive selling platform from which you can promote, sell, and ship products. Still, the company also offers an enterprise version, Shopify Plus ⭐⭐, which is better suited for larger companies.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus

In this article, we will compare these two platforms in terms of their pricing, features, integrations, and support and show you the key differences between them. So, let’s get started!

What is Shopify? 🤔

Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms for small businesses and entrepreneurs. With it, you can:

The platform is entirely cloud-based (meaning you can access it from any device, including your smartphone) and capable of being upgraded automatically. So, you don’t need to worry about web servers or maintenance.

How do Shopify vs Shopify Plus differ?

When comparing Shopify vs Shopify Plus, the main distinction is that the second is the enterprise version of the first. What does this mean, exactly?

Well, Shopify and Shopify Plus are not different platforms; they are actually built on the same technology, share the same Shopify themes, and provide the same core functionality and interface. However, the company offers two main types of plans with somewhat similar helpful ecommerce features, with Shopify Plus being better suited for larger companies because it offers more advanced, “enterprise-grade” features.

Shopify Plus has all the functionality of the core Shopify plus more. For instance, it can integrate shopping fulfillment and has powerful analytics and reporting capabilities. But let’s first go through the main differences between the two in terms of both pricing, features, and customer support, so you can see for yourself which one might be a better fit for your business.

💰 Pricing

The base Shopify product costs between $24.00 and $299 per month, depending on the credit card rate (or the transaction fees) you want to pay for your ecommerce business. For example:

  • Shopify Basic costs $24.00 and has a 2.9% + 30¢ per online transaction,
  • the main Shopify plan costs $69 per month and 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction,
  • and the Advanced Shopify plan costs $299 with a cost of 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction (you can check this page for a breakdown of all prices and fees).

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, starts at $2,000 per month. This price includes a fully hosted platform, from which you can set up campaigns, channels, automation processes, and robust customizations. The payment processing costs for Shopify Plus are quote-based, so you will likely negotiate a percentage of your monthly sales depending on how you’re configuring your ecommerce shop and your specific requirements.

There are a couple of other charges you should keep in mind if you choose Shopify Plus. For instance, if you’re utilizing a payment processor from a third-party, there’s also a 0.15% extra transaction fee, and if you use the platform’s built-in payment gateway (called Shopify Payments), you will be charged an additional 0.3% on all credit card transactions. There’s also an extra charge if you want to open more than ten different stores ($250 per month per Shopify store).

Shopify Payments

Although the pricing between the two might be different, one feature that’s the same in this Shopify vs Shopify Plus matchup is the trial period. You can try either version of Shopify for three days, and no credit card is required. Shopify Plus is quite pricey, so you should make sure you will use its features before picking it for your ecommerce website.

🚀 Key features

Another aspect that is the same, which we mentioned earlier, is that both versions – Shopify and Shopify Plus – share the core functionality. However, Shopify Plus gives you access to a suite of advanced apps and tools that are focused on managing multiple or very large stores.

Shopify Organization Admin tool

One of the main differences when comparing Shopify vs Shopify Plus is the Shopify Organization Admin tool, which is available only for the latter. This useful feature enables you to run multiple stores from the same account. For example, you can manage multiple users, build automations for one or more shops, and access advanced analytics all using the same dashboard.

Shopify advanced apps

The core version of Shopify has a decent amount of apps and integrations available (8,000 and counting), but Shopify Plus gives you access to even more! For example, there are advanced tools focused on customer rewards, shipping methods, order fulfillment, content management, and marketing campaigns. Some popular Shopify Plus apps include:

Shopify Launchpad

Multicurrency support

Shopify Plus allows you to sell online in multiple currencies by automatically picking your customers’ country (and legal tender) using their IP address. So, when someone visits your store, they will instantly see the products in their local currency, which can typically lead to more sales. If you’re also using Shopify Payments, your Shopify stores can show different prices for custom territories.

Unlimited Users

The regular version of Shopify will cap the number of users that can access the platform at the number specified in your plan (two for Basic, five for Shopify, and 15 for Advanced). This limit does not exist in Shopify Plus, as you can have unlimited staff using the stores. Also, you get more control over what actions they can take by allowing you to create custom permissions and rights that are not available in the base version.

Customized checkout

Shopify Plus allows you to fully customize your customers’ checkout process. In fact, you can easily edit your checkout page templates yourself. You can also use one of the many Shopify Scripts, which can help you add advanced functionality such as precalculated shipping costs, shipping thresholds, and automated promotions and discount codes.

POS features

The POS (or Point of Sales) features included in Shopify Plus are all bundled with your subscription. If you had standard Shopify, you’d have to pay for things like physical card readers and selling hardware separately (around $89 per month, per location). Some of these advanced features include the ability to “buy online and pick up in store,” provide custom printed receipts, assign sales to staff members (especially useful if they work on commission or their performance needs to be tracked), and create purchase orders.

More stores and inventory

You can use the regular version of Shopify to create one store. With Shopify Plus, this limit is lifted to ten extra ones (you can add further expansions for a cost. See pricing above). Shopify Plus also lets you create dummy or sandbox stores with unlimited test orders and a bogus gateway payment provider. Additionally, you gain access to multiple inventory locations (base Shopify includes four, five, or eight, depending on the plan. Shopify Plus can support 250!).

🤝 Integrations

APIs (or Application Programming Interfaces) can facilitate integrations with third-party apps. The base version of a Shopify account includes access to the Shopify API, but if you have Shopify Plus, you can access enhanced resources and make more calls.

For example, the standard limit is 50 points per second for calculated queries, two requests per second for request-based ones, and a minimum of 0.5s per request. With Shopify Plus, these numbers change to 100 per second, four per second, and 0.5s per request, respectively. In short, what this means is that you can develop more sophisticated custom apps for your shop without having to worry about restrictive API limits.

Businesses with Shopify Plus can also use a few enhanced API resources, such as:

  • GiftCard: An alternative payment method where you can provide your customers with unique codes they can enter during checkout.
  • Multipass login: A feature to allow customers to log in before they make purchases (they can use the same email address for both the site and the Shopify shop, so the user database is the same).
  • User: A functionality that lets you retrieve information about your staff (such as permissions and rights) and control their access levels more quickly.

Lastly, you can use Shopify Plus to integrate with platforms such as Warehouse management software (WMS), Product information management (PIM), Inventory and order management (IMS and OMS), Enterprise resource planning (ERP), Third-party logistics (3PL), Customer relationship management (CRM), and Global fulfillment partners.

🧰 Customer support, tools, and sales resources

Shopify Plus offers something called the “Launch Team,” a hand-holding service to help launch your ecommerce business. These experts can help you with migrations and ongoing sales strategies, among other things. Part of the Shopify Plus suite is also the Merchant Success Program, a team of people that can aid you with integrations, platforms, and products and provide specific training.

Support for Shopify Plus customers is available 24/7 via a help center, live chat, email, callback, or social media. There are also step-by-step guides for all relevant topics, an active Shopify Plus community, a dedicated account manager, and several regular webinars you can check out.

You gain access to exclusive tools and resources for helping with your sales, too, such as the Shopify Plus Academy (a library for self-training), Shopify Audiences (a feature for targeting social media users), and the Shopify Plus Partner Program (which provides solutions for high-growth businesses).

Shopify Plus includes access to the Shopify Plus Academy, a series of resources for best practices and integrations.

So, should you use Shopify vs Shopify Plus? 🧐

The base version of Shopify already offers an excellent range of ecommerce features, integrations, and payment methods. There is also a lot of helpful documentation and a thriving Shopify user community that can help you make the most of your plan. Every project is different, but if you’re a small business, these might be enough to run your store successfully.

In our opinion, Shopify Plus is worth considering if you:

  • have a large and international customer base – because you can benefit from the platform’s powerful automatic currency conversion tool,
  • run multiple physical stores with their own POS needs – because running Shopify Plus will typically be cheaper,
  • want complete control over your checkout page process – because Shopify checkout can be fully customized to your liking,
  • need API access, or you want to run your own custom tools and apps as part of your store,
  • have multiple online shops and/or a large team that needs to access them – because you will have a myriad of enterprise-grade features, unlimited user accounts, POS tools, and more.

We hope that this advice has been helpful. Let us know who is your personal winner in the Shopify vs Shopify Plus matchup.

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Yisela Alvarez Trentini

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