Shopify is a global ecommerce platform that can propel businesses to new heights through its features, automation, and global reach. The platform is capable enough for small to medium businesses. But when demands grow, ecommerce companies upgrade to Shopify Plus stores to unlock enterprise features that will make the workflow more secure and efficient.
So, we arrive at the question, “Should I upgrade to Shopify Plus?”. The answer is not just a simple yea or nay.
In this article, we will shed light on your question by comparing Shopify Plus to the standard plans, and provide examples of successful Shopify Plus stores so you can compare if your business has the same demands.
- What is Shopify Plus?
- Shopify Plus Success Stories
- More Shopify Plus Success Stories
- Bottom Line
What is Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus stores are not for every business model. The features and benefits of Shopify Plus are particularly useful for large enterprises with complex SKUs, several locations, or a sizable number of staff and points-of-sale scattered in several store branches.
If you are just starting out small on your ecommerce business, the standard Shopify plans will be more than capable of handling your tech needs.
So, what exactly is Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus is a high-tier ecommerce platform of Shopify to provide enterprise-level businesses and fast-growing brands with the tools they need to scale their business online. Furthermore, it also offers tools to manage the “tangible” aspects of the business such as inventory, human resource, and sales.
Shopify vs Shopify Plus
Shopify and Shopify Plus are the same platforms that work on the same technology and revolve around the same core functionality. The latter is just more capable of handling complex business processes of large enterprises.
Some notable features exclusive to Shopify Plus are:
- Shopify Flow - automated workflows
- Launchpad - powerful scheduling tool
- Organization Management - a tool for team management on all storefronts
- B2B or Wholesale- lets wholesale customers access exclusive prices
Check out this video to learn more about these along with other modifications you can do with scripts.
Standard Shopify offers three (3) plans that you can choose from:
- Basic - $25 / month (if paid monthly) | $19 / month (if paid yearly)
- Shopify - $65 / month (if paid monthly) | $49 / month (if paid yearly)
- Advanced - $399 / month (if paid monthly) | $299 / month (if paid yearly)
All these standard plans have all the necessities to successfully run an online store. Where they differ are on some features that may or may not be useful on small-scale businesses (those using Basic and Shopify plans) but will be useful on larger businesses (those using Advanced subscription).
Here are all the differences between Basic, Shopify, and Advanced:
- Staff Accounts
Grants access to admin staff other than yourself. You can add two (2), five (5), and 15 staff accounts on Basic, Shopify, and Advanced respectively.
Provides detailed analytics about your business. As the subscription plan goes higher, you will gain access to more reporting tools.
- Ecommerce automations
Only Shopify and Advanced subscription plans have access to tools that can help you automate manual and repetitive tasks. Basic plan has no access to these tools.
- Order Fulfillment
Shopify Fulfillment Network lets you sell through your online store while they handle order fulfillment, returns, storage, and freight. No need to store products yourself. Moreover, you gain access to Shop Promise.
You get 20, 30, and 50 free units for Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans respectively. When you have exceeded these numbers, additional charges will be based on usage.
- Duties and Import Taxes
Only available in the Advanced plan. Automatic computation of duties and import taxes gives your customers a more transparent computation of the amount that they have to pay when purchasing. This will protect your customers from getting surprised by hefty fees that were not indicated in your store upon checkout.
Pricing: Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus does not explicitly provide a pricing tier. Instead, the website only states that a Shopify Plus subscription starts at $2,000 per month.
Users may also choose a variable fee for businesses with high-volume sales and processes. This means that payment differs from month to month.
If you want to have a specific ballpark when it comes to Shopify Plus pricing, contact their sales team.
Do you want a more in-depth comparison between Shopify and Shopify Plus? We wrote an entire article about it: Shopify vs Shopify Plus: An All-around Review (Pricing, Features, Tutorial)
01. Is Shopify Plus Different From Standard Shopify?
Shopify Plus and Shopify are the same ecommerce platforms with similar core functionalities. Where they differ are in features and use cases. Shopify is best for small to medium businesses while Shopify Plus is best for large enterprises managing several storefronts and physical locations simultaneously.
The organization management of Shopify Plus lets users manage a team of more than 15 people. You can add unlimited staff accounts.
Moreover, Shopify Plus stores can handle over 10,000 simultaneous transactions per minute. This means that it can handle visitor spikes when you launch a promotion.
02. Should I Upgrade to Shopify Plus?
It depends on the needs of your business. If you are just starting out in your online business, chances are, the standard plans will suffice. Even for a medium sized business, the Advanced subscription plan of Shopify is more than enough.
On the other hand, if your business needs cannot be addressed by Advanced Shopify, or if you are starting an online business at a large scale (complex SKUs, more than 15 staff, several points of sale, multiple brands, worldwide reach, etc.) you would want to consider Shopify Plus because the tools it offers are tailored to handle the needs of large enterprises.
In terms of online sales, Advanced Shopify is capped at $800,000 per year. Thus, even if you are using a standard Shopify plan, if your yearly sales exceed that amount, Shopify will start charging you $2000 per month – equivalent to that of a Shopify Plus subscription.
03. How Many Shopify Plus Stores Are There?
According to BuiltWith, there are a total of 4,230,468 live Shopify sites as of this writing. Among this number, there are only 32,422 live Shopify Plus Stores, also as of this writing.
Crunching the numbers, only 0.77% are using Shopify Plus. This means that in every 1,305 Shopify stores, there is only one Shopify Plus user.
04. What Is A Storefront?
Storefronts are expansion websites of existing Shopify Plus stores. These are mainly used by international brands to cater to their international market. Using a storefront lets ecommerce companies provide a more culture-appropriate experience to visitors from around the world.
A storefront is not a different online store. It is the same online store with a different design depending on the location of the website visitor. Think of it as a laptop with different wallpapers.
05. How Many Stores Can I Manage In Shopify Plus?
In a Shopify Plus account, you can manage up to 9 different storefronts in addition to your main website. Thus a total of 10 accounts that you can manage in your Plus subscription.
Shopify Plus Success Stories
To give you a more concrete view of what Shopify Plus stores are, here are some success stories of Shopify Plus users.
State Bike Co. is a dealer of bicycles, parts, accessories, and they have their own clothing line. The company was established in 2009 by brothers Mehdi and Reza, and their sheer love for cycling. Guided by their goal of making bicycles accessible to everyone, they managed to bring high-quality, branded bikes for as low as $399.99.
With the help of Shopify Plus, their customers can’t just shop ready-built bikes. They can create their personalized bicycle by choosing which part goes into their bike.
The freedom and enjoyment that this gives to their online visitors helped propel State Bike Co.’s online revenues by 500% and increased their web traffic by 2.5X.
Using Shopify Plus, they achieved the design, security, compliance, and functionality that they wanted for their ecommerce store.
Allbirds is a fashion brand established in 2021 with a very nature-friendly advocacy. Their goal is to reduce their company’s carbon footprint to nearly zero by year 2020. They claim that two (2) years in, they have managed to cut their emissions to almost 50%.
Guided by their goal of leaving a near-zero carbon footprint, they turn to sustainable materials to manufacture their products. Their main materials are wool, trees, and sugarcane.
Using their Shopify Plus store, they managed to tap into their customers around the world. Currently, they now have more than 40 physical stores in the US alone, and more than 10 stores scattered across Europe and Asia.
With a global brand like this, inventory and logistics is a nightmare. But with the help of Shopify POS systems, they manage to optimize the inventory of their omnichannel business.
Aje is an Australian fashion brand founded in 2008 by Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest. They specialize in crafting luxurious dresses and statement pieces for women – the kind of clothing that you mostly see on runways.
They are renowned for their stunning physical stores in Australia and New Zealand. For almost a decade, they were focused on selling through these channels and managed to achieve success at that – thanks to Aje’s strong social media presence..
But with the advent of ecommerce, they realized that they have the capacity to become a truly global brand and compete head-on with other famous luxury fashion labels.
Thus, they turn to Shopify Plus to achieve this goal. With the power and flexibility of Shopify Plus, they brought luxury from their stores to their website. Thereby promoting great online shopping experience to their customers.
In just a few weeks, they managed to increase their conversion rate to 135%, reduce bounce rates, and encouraged customers to browse more of their products through their online store.
Tropeaka is a manufacturer of all-natural gym supplements like lean protein, collagen, and energy bars. They also have all-natural powdered products like matcha, coconut, spirulina, wheatgrass, and more.
Alongside their consumable products, they have their proprietary blenders, shakers, and utensils made out of sustainable materials like coconut shell and bamboo.
After a lengthy battle with chronic fatigue, Caleb Marshall partnered with Blake McKenzie in 2016 to establish Tropeaka. More than profitability, the company does its share of helping struggling communities and reducing the harmful effects of global warming.
They used standard Shopify in their initial launch. But as their business grew exponentially, they upgraded to Shopify Plus to handle their operations that are becoming increasingly complex. As their inventory grew, employed more people, and used different sales channels, they needed a tool that could simplify these tasks for them.
With the help of Shopify Plus experts, they implemented systems that would automate their tasks and reinforce their checkout systems to handle a large volume of visitors.
The transition to Shopify Plus was a success. In fact, in a three-day sale campaign back in 2020, their website generated more than $1 million without experiencing checkout issues and downtime.
Spanx’s rise to fame started in 1998 when its founder, Sara Blakely, wanted to look smashing in her cream-colored pants. At that time, there were no seamless underwear. To solve this dilemma, she cut the legs off her pantyhose. That simple idea will soon turn out to be a billion-dollar idea.
In 2012, Sara Blakely was recognized by the Forbes Magazine as the youngest self-made female billionaire.
But Sara didn’t stop there. Spanx kept the wheels of innovation spinning and they introduced more product lines using their signature designs. This led to the introduction of leggings, activewear, swimwear, and various underwear for men and women.
As they marched towards becoming a bigger name in the industry, they tapped the power of ecommerce to further boost their sales.
But as growth happened, their inventory grew, product lines increased, and their business demands became more complicated. Their IT and engineering team experienced bottlenecks that often took them months to solve – which hampered their efforts to meet their customers’ demands and achieve maximum growth potential.
That is when they decided to switch to Shopify Plus to eliminate these problems altogether. With the capabilities of their new platforms, Spanx’s technical and development team are never stuck again in scalability and maintenance issues for more than weeks at a time. Thus, they can focus on being more proactive for the future instead of being reactive to every problem that arises.
When they made the switch to Shopify Plus, Spanx saw a 10% increase in conversion rate and they have become 30% more efficient at managing their product and content. Overall, their website-related customer issues were also cut in half.
06. Juiced Bikes
Juiced Bikes is an ecommerce company that specializes in high-performance electric bikes. It was founded in 2009 by US high jump olympian Tora Harris. At that time, it was one of the pioneering electric bike companies in the world.
At first, the company was a producer of high-capacity Li-ion batteries. Since they had the core part - the battery - in creating electric powered mobility solutions, they launched their first e-bike in 2010.
Up until today, Juiced Bikes solely remains as an ecommerce store. Unlike other e-bike companies, Juiced Bikes is not focused on affordability, instead, it has its eyes set on performance, durability, and range.
That is why their e-bikes are on the expensive side. Their cheapest model, RipRacer, starts at $899 (discounted) and their top-level bike, Cross Current X, commands a $2,199 price tag.
Nonetheless, their e-bikes can be ridden from 35 miles all the way to 70 miles on battery depending on the model.
Usually, taking “affordability” out of the picture results in eventual failure of business. But Juiced Bikes still managed to make its bikes attainable for the everyday rider.
How did they do it? They used Shop Pay Installments. By giving their buyers the option to buy their products on 3, 6, 9, or 12-month installments, their bikes became more affordable despite the hefty price tag. Not to mention the seamless checkout Shop Pay grants to its users.
In fact, the implementation of Shop Pay Installment was a very effective business strategy for them as 25% of their sales are from Shop Pay Installment. Since the initial cost of buying a bike from them was significantly lowered through installments, their customers also buy their accessories whenever they check out. Thus, resulting in more sales per transaction.
Overall, with this simple installment option, Juiced Bikes increase conversions and lifetime order value by reducing checkout friction.
Do you like ramen? We do! If yes, this is the story for you.
Immi was founded by Kevin Lee and Kevin Chanthasiriphan. They came from Taiwan and Thailand, respectively. As part of their culture, they grew up eating different types of noodles for their everyday lives.
But as they grew older and became more conscious of their health, they realized that store-bought instant noodles are packed with unhealthy ingredients that could adversely affect their health in the long run.
Their paths crossed and they decided to recreate the different kinds of ramen without the fatal ingredients – a healthier version. After two (2) years of research, Immi came to life.
But there’s one problem. Introducing a new version of a deeply rooted product is not an easy task.
However, the two Kevins had a solution with the help of Shopify Plus’ Shopify Collabs. This enabled them to get in touch with hundreds of content creators to help them spread the word across about Immi.
Through Shopify Collabs, they grew their affiliate network to more than 400 brand ambassadors. And in turn, they generated more than $200,000 in affiliate sales throughout the campaign period.
With their resourcefulness partnered with the efficiency of Shopify Plus platform, Immi is consistently paving its way towards becoming a household ramen brand.
More Shopify Plus Success Stories
Do you want to read more success stories of Shopify Plus users? Here are other global brands to help you get inspired.
- Petal & Pulp
- Slam Jam
- Honey Birdette
- Peter Sheppard
- Crate & Barrel
Many successful businesses start from small ideas and humble beginnings. With persistence, knowledge, and forward-thinking, they became the successful brands that they are today.
There is another crucial element that is at play here if you want to grow your business like the examples above. And that is technology. Particularly, ecommerce technology.
Granted that there are other ecommerce platforms to choose from. However, Shopify Plus has a proven track record of opening the doors for global fame and success to hundreds of companies today.
And if you are just starting out in your career as an online entrepreneur, keep on hustling, learning, and maintain an open mind. May these stories inspire you to become a member of the opulent league of successful Shopify Plus stores.