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Shopify vs Shopify Plus: An All-around Review (Pricing, Features, Tutorial)

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: An All-around Review (Pricing, Features, Tutorial)

Distributed as an up-and-coming ecommerce platform since 2006, Shopify is now a go-to choice for not only small local stores but also world-wide prominent enterprises like Partake Foods, Uppercase magazine, Hiut Denim Co.,etc. 

Work in the same way, but offer even more - With the ability to handle over 10.149 transactions per minute, Shopify Plus stands out as a cost-effective ecommerce platform for high-growth enterprises. The following video will take you less than 1 minute to understand how Shopify Plus can enhance your business:

But how can you know when to upgrade to Shopify? Is it worth the effort? To answer it, let’s dive deeper into 3 key differences between Shopify vs Shopify Plus.

Table of content

I. What is Shopify Plus?

Launched by Shopify in 2014, Shopify Plus is a new ecommerce platform that works with all Shopify’s up-to-date features, but extends the scalability, effectiveness and support to meet the demand of corporates and enterprises. 

Vendors recommended to use Shopify Plus are normally “merchants who want a more customized product offering, without the price tag and long delivery time frames of existing enterprise offerings”, stated by Harley Finkelstein, Chief Platform Officer, Shopify. 

So far, Shopify Plus has accompanied with success stories of hundreds of merchants around the world, including Budweiser, Kylie Cosmetics, Tesla Motors, etc.

Shopify Plus overview dashboard screenshot

Shopify Plus’s overview dashboard

Merchants using Shopify Plus can take advantage of 3 key differences between Shopify vs Shopify Plus, which, within this topic, includes:

  • Design Flexibility 
  • e-Commerce features
  • Support

II.  Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Design Flexibility

01. What does Shopify vs Shopify Plus have in common?

From a local store to a multinational enterprise, merchants from all plans of Shopify can gain benefits from having stunning storefront while breaking the least sweat. So what exactly are those benefits you are provided?

  • Theme: Both Shopify and Shopify Plus provide over 100 customizable themes at your disposal, from free to premium, all created by professional designers with deep understanding of customer experience, to simplify designing your store and imprint your brand on customers’ minds. 

Shopify Theme store interface animated gif

Shopify’s theme store

  • Templates: Besides 10 free templates available, the rest can be purchased within the range price of $140-$180. This sounds quite a fortune for some store owners, but considering it as a one-time purchase for the long-term investment in the face-front of your whole brand, you probably wouldn’t need to think twice.
  • Language Support: Shopify supports a wide range of languages, which allows you to sell to your customers from all over the world, in their own mother tongue. Nothing connects a brand and its customers better than speaking the same language, so why not take advantage of it? Up until now, you can translate your store into 5 different languages with Shopify to optimize your cross-border selling. To optimize this feature, you can have IP-based translation using Translation app from Shopify App Store, which allows you to automatically translate your store into the local language of where your customers are standing.

02. What Are The Differences? 

  • Stronger customization capacity: With Shopify Plus, you are exposed to a wider range of options when it comes to customizing your Shopify stores, for example, you can use Shopify Plus's script editor to customize your cart and check out - which is not possible with basic Shopify plans. or Launch Manager will help you integrate your existing website seamlessly into Shopify. 
  • Language support: Another plus point of Shopify Plus comes to changing templates’ language. While Shopify only allows 5 languages for translation, in Shopify Plus the number of languages available is 20 - which lets merchants’ stores become more personalized and boost customer engagement.

III. Shopify vs Shopify Plus: eCommerce Features

01. What Do They Have In Common? 

1.1. Multi-currency

  • With Shopify Payment, merchants from both Shopify and Shopify Plus now can sell in multiple currency to expand their business internationally. In other words, products’ currency displayed in stores can change depending on the location of customers.
  • Up to this time, Shopify has supported more than 130 currencies, which means people from around the world can engage with your business without the intervention of price difference.

Shopify Add Currency Interface

Shopify’s Add Currencies interface

  • The conversion price for each purchase will be calculated automatically based on current foreign exchange rate. 
  • To enable this feature, customers can select their in-need currency using a Currency selector which is added to theme store. Merchants can also notice customers about currency switching with the help of Geolocation App

1.2. Product and Store options

Both have basic - yet powerful enough store management features to power your Shopify store, including but not limited to:

  • Customer Management
  • Order Management
  • Multiple Shipping
  • Fulfillment Centers and Refund.

Coupled with the mentioned Store Management features, Product features power up merchants' product page seamlessly:

  • Video and 3D support
  • Inventory Management 
  • Multiple images and variations
  • SEO support 

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus's Marketing tools are more than enough to help merchants advertise their online store: 

  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) Integration 
  • Gift Cards and Discount 
  • Google Ads Credit
  • Reviews and Social Proof 

Click here to see the full list

    1.3. Analytics

    Shopify has its own analytics dashboard to illustrate your store’s sales and customers data minute-by-minute. This allows you to take a closer look at your business situation along with customers’ insight for further marketing campaigns.

    Every Shopify’s plan offers in-depth reports, however, the number of reports will vary depending on merchants’ choice of plans. The table below from Shopify Help Centre will provide more details about reports of each Shopify’s subscription plan.

    Analytics and reports

    Shopify Lite

    Basic Shopify

    Shopify 

    Advanced Shopify

    Shopify Plus

    Overview dashboard

    Finances reports

    Product analytics

    Live View

    -

    Acquisition reports

    -

    Inventory reports

    -

    ✓ (4 of 5)

    Behavior reports

    -

    ✓ (5 of 6)

    Marketing reports

    -

    ✓ (1 of 5)

    Sales reports

    -

    -

    Retail sales reports

    -

    -

    Profit reports

    -

    -

    Customers reports

    -

    -

    ✓ (5 of 7)

    Custom reports

    -

    -

    -


    For merchants who want to upgrade to higher plan, you will receive additional reports which track data from the time you start using Shopify. 

    02. What Are The Differences? 

    2.1. Multi-currency

    Shopify Plus can automatically select suitable currency for customers based on their IP address. There is no need for customers and merchants to manually change currency of existing products, which allows them to experience purchase journey seamlessly.

    Moreover, Shopify Plus also customizes the rounding rules based on merchants’ preference. This helps merchants decide how the price will be displayed even in other currency, thus improve buyer experience.   

    2.2. Store and Product Features

    Apart from all the features that Shopify provides, Shopify Plus also lets its merchants access to exclusive apps specialized for Shopify Plus users, including Shopify Flow, Script Editor and Bulk Account Inviter.

    01. Shopify Flow: One of the most highlighted features is Shopify Flow - an Ecommerce platform that allows you to create an automatic workflow for customer-related transactions - to put it simply, it helps automate your ecommerce operation. 

    By monitoring the flow including triggers, conditions and actions, you can lead your customers through each step of the task automatically. For instance, if you want to send a Thank-you email for every customer purchasing more than 50 products, instead of manually checking customers list and sending email to each of them, you can simply create a workflow and let Shopify Flow do the job while you can focus more on developing your business.

     Shopify Flow Interface

    Shopify Flow interface

    02. Script editor: As mentioned above, another exclusive feature of Shopify Plus is Script Editor. Not just your website template, you can also customize your Shopping cart and Checkout page - which is available for Shopify Plus merchants only.

    Shopify Plus brings you a more flexible and convenient way to personalize Shopping cart and Checkout page, including creating discounts based on cart properties and customizing shipping and payment method to suit your customers’ needs. 

    03. Bulk Account Inviter is also an effective tool to invite a large number of existing customers to activate accounts on your store. This feature is suitable for merchants who own another store or platform that already has a wide loyal customer base and are willing to connect it to their current store at once.

    Moreover, your automatic notification emails that your customers received will not be flagged as spam, as Shopify uses Sender Policy Framework to verify your email address. 

    2.3. Analytics

    As some may notice, there are not many differences in the number of reports between Advanced Shopify vs Shopify Plus. Does that mean Shopify Plus is just the same as Advanced Shopify when it comes to analytics? The answer is no. At this moment, it is not about quantity but about quality - Shopify Plus takes these reports to the next level.

     

     

    IV. Help and Support

    01. What Do They Have In Common? 

    Shopify promises to cover your business with the best customer service they can offer, in various approaches - all to put a stop to any intervention during your seamless experience.

    • For merchants who want to actively educate themselves, Shopify provides hundreds of tips and tutorials at Help Center and Youtube Channel, all at your disposal. 
    • If you need a hand from others to troubleshoot, feel free to join Shopify Community with 700.000 merchants and partners all over the world willing to help. 
    • Need a more personal way to solve your problems? No need to worry, as Shopify has your back with its 24/7 support via phone, email and live chat.

    Shopify Help Center Screenshot

    Shopify Help Center

    Shopify Community Screenshot

    Shopify Community

    02. What Are The Difference?

    Shopify Plus merchants, undoubtedly, have access to every Help and Support channels available, and also some exceptional merits. 

    • Shopify Plus serves you with profound, dedicated, personal support from Launch Manager and Merchant Success Manager. It’s their job to accompany you from launching online store for the first time to finding your way to success. As a Shopify Plus merchant, you will be provided with guidance to make the most of Shopify Plus, strategic coaching and prediction ahead of business trends.
    • While Shopify merchants gain benefit from 24/7 support, Shopify Plus merchants also receive constant help from 24/7 support, but in priority order. Whether it is day or night, working day or holiday, minor or major problem, your questions will always be answered by experts from Shopify Plus.

    V. Pricing: Shopify vs Shopify Plus

    This is probably the most important concern of many merchants. 

    For the time being, there are 3 different plans with the most competitive price: Basic Shopify ($29/month), Shopify ($79/month), Advanced Shopify ($299/month).

    • All these plans provide you with crucial features such as fraud analysis, multi-currency selling and abandoned cart recovery; however, naturally, the more you pay, the more you get - if you want more professional reports, you may want to upgrade your plan to Shopify, or if advanced report builder is important to your business, then Advanced Shopify is probably what you need.
    • The price for each plan is rather competitive, yet you still can save more money with Shopify’s promotion: If you sign up for Shopify Plan for 1 year, you can save $94 per year, and if you sign up for 2 year at a time, up to $190 can be saved annually.
    • “Wait! If it is that good, is there any way I can try Shopify in advance to see if I like it or not?” Aha! You ask, we answer. For vendors who want to experience its features before deciding on any further plans. Shopify offers 14-days free trial, no credit card required
    • If you need a closer look at the difference between each plan, Shopify Pricing plans or the following video may be of help.

      However, it’s important to bear in mind that the mentioned price can only keep your store up and alive on Shopify - to make purchasing on your store possible, paying for Shopify Payment fee and transaction fee is a must.

      • Why do you have to pay for this fee? Shopify Payment fee allows you to make payment seamlessly in various methods such as VISA, Master Card, American Express, and so on; while transaction fee ensures the safety of your transaction with “fraud analysis” - a Shopify’s specialized tool to protect your return once the order is completed. 
      • How much will this fee be? In fact, there is no definite number for this; however, PageFly has just a tool you need for calculating estimated monthly cost based on your average order value, number of orders and Shopify plan  

      While Shopify plans pricing is publicly stated, Shopify Plus pricing will require some direct negotiation with Shopify Plus.

      • Normally, it will be around $2000 per month, but this number can vary depending on your business’s monthly sales volume, with $40.000 as the ceiling price.
      • However, along with the high price, you will be granted all the enterprise power you need to manage your business, not just the sole store. To see all the benefits you can gain with Shopify Plus, check Shopify Plus Pricing.

      VI. FAQ: Shopify vs Shopify Plus

      01. Between Shopify vs Shopify Plus, which one is faster?

      It is concluded that Shopify maintains 99,99% overall uptime, while in Shopify Plus the number is 99,98%. While it seems that Shopify Plus is a little slower compared to Shopify, the storefront loads 2.97 times faster than any other SaaS platforms. In other words, both platforms can minimize bounce rate that can negatively impact your business’s conversion rate.

      02. Is Shopify worth my money and effort?

      The answer to this question will, in fact, depend on both Shopify’s quality and your current demand.

      • If you are looking for a simple way to start your business online from scratch, especially for the first time, then yes, Shopify is totally worth it. Even if you have zero knowledge of developing, Shopify still can provide you with professionally designed storefront themes and highly secure payment method.
      • However, if your business deeply focuses on content marketing, Shopify may not be the best choice in comparison to WordPress or Medium, as its blogging platform’s features are quite limited.

      So, is Shopify worth your money and effort? Only you can decide. Based on Shopify’s features together with your business goal, you can answer the question clearly.

      But if you still cannot decide on your own? No need to worry, as below we provide some reviews from third parties to let you have an objective look at the issue.

      Here is a review presented by Chase Clymer - one of the host of Honest Ecommerce. 

      Another review comes from Joe McFerrin - Ecommerce expert and CEO of IWD Agency

      03. When should I upgrade to Shopify Plus?

      It seems that there is no silver bullet answer for each enterprise on when to upgrade your plan to Shopify Plus; however, here we provide you with 3 factors that worth considering:

      • Company’s annual revenue: As Shopify Plus may cost your business a fortune, it is essential to make sure you can afford it. The recommended number for your annual revenue would be 1 million dollar annually, at which the need to use better tools for monitoring business becomes crucial.
      • The number of staff members: Up until now, Advanced Shopify only allows 15 staff accounts for each store. If your business is growing rapidly together with the number of staffs, changing to Shopify Plus will be a worthy choice as Shopify Plus plan includes unlimited staff members. 
      • Troublesome repetitive tasks: When focusing on growing your business, petty tasks can be roadblocks - this is where Shopify Plus will jump in. With the help of ecommerce automatic tools together with Shopify Plus partners, your business can run seamlessly without direct handling with repetitive tasks.

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      Conclusion

      To tell the differences between Shopify vs Shopify Plus and which platform is suitable for your business, it will depend on your requirements.

      If what you are looking for is basic ecommerce features for building and monitoring your store, both Shopify and Shopify Plus can fulfill your demand; however, when it comes to better control and stronger customization, more flexibility and higher functions, Shopify Plus stands out as a better choice for high-growth merchants. 

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