Shopify Plus vs Shopify: Which Platform is Right for Your Business?

Are you finding it a challenge to choose between Shopify and Shopify Plus for your online store? As a business owner, picking the right platform for your e-commerce venture is critical. We, at ‘Captains & Cowboys,’ understand the difficulties you might encounter when weighing options such as ease of use, cost, scalability, and the level of customer support. Therefore, know what each platform can offer, and likewise, what your business truly needs.

Shopify is a versatile, user-friendly e-commerce platform designed to cater to businesses of all sizes. From budding entrepreneurs just starting up to fully established brands looking to branch out, Shopify’s robust features and tiered pricing structure are purposely designed to accommodate a wide range of business needs.

On the other side, you have Shopify Plus. Reserved for enterprise-level operations, this advanced tier is more than just a Shopify plan at a higher price point. Armed with exclusive resources, additional API calls, the Merchant Success Program, and a host of other features, Shopify Plus aims to equip businesses that have substantial revenue and greater support needs.

Here’s a brief comparison to provide a snapshot:

**Features **ShopifyShopify Plus
CostStarts at $29/monthStarts at $2,000/month
Sales VolumeSuggested limit of 100,000Unrestricted
Support24/7 via email, phone, or chatPriority 24/7 Support
Ideal ForAny size, under $1 million annual revenueEnterprise-level, over $1 million annual revenue
Comparison of features in Shopify and Shopify Plus - Shopify Plus vs Shopify infographic comparison-2-items-formal

Navigating through the details of ‘Shopify Plus vs Shopify’ might seem daunting, but don’t fret. We’re here to dive deep into these platforms, dissect their features, and help clarify which one aligns best with your e-commerce needs and aspirations.

Overview of Shopify: Ideal for Small to Midsize Businesses

As a leading e-commerce platform, Shopify caters to businesses of various sizes and sectors. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established business, Shopify offers a user-friendly interface and customization options that let you create an e-commerce store that fits your brand image and meets your specific needs.

Shopify’s User-Friendly Interface and Customization Options

Shopify is known for its intuitive interface, making it a friendly platform for beginners. It doesn’t require any previous technical or coding expertise. With its drag-and-drop website builder, you can create a professional-looking website without needing to hire a designer. This feature allows you to focus on building your business without getting bogged down by technical complexities.

Shopify’s Pricing Structure: Fixed Plans for Different Business Sizes

Shopify offers three different pricing tiers to accommodate different business sizes. The basic plan starts at $29 per month, the Shopify plan at $79 per month, and the advanced Shopify plan at $299 per month. Each plan offers a different set of features, providing flexibility for businesses to choose what suits them best. While these costs might seem significant, they’re quite reasonable considering the array of features and benefits that come with each plan.

Shopify’s Key Features: Storefront Creation, Shopping Cart Options, Marketing and SEO Tools

One of the biggest advantages of using Shopify is its robust set of features. With Shopify, you can sell unlimited products, including digital ones. There’s also a feature for abandoned cart recovery, which can help boost your sales by reminding customers to complete their purchases. Shopify also supports gift cards and provides professional reports to help you track your business performance.

In terms of marketing and SEO, Shopify offers built-in SEO features and integrates with major social networks, allowing you to reach your target audience more effectively. Shopify’s shopping cart is also highly customizable and supports over 100 different payment gateways.

Shopify’s Customer Support: 24/7 Assistance for Merchants

Customer support is a crucial factor in choosing an e-commerce platform. Shopify excels in this area by providing 24/7 live support via email, phone, or chat. It also has a community forum and an intensive online Help Center to support users. This means, as a merchant, you can get assistance anytime you encounter issues or have questions about using the platform.

All these qualities make Shopify a great e-commerce platform for small to midsize businesses. However, if your business is consistently selling hundreds of thousands of products and pulling in over $1 million annually, you might want to consider Shopify Plus. In the next sections, we’ll delve into the features and benefits of Shopify Plus and help you understand when it might be time to upgrade.

Overview of Shopify Plus: Catering to Larger, High-Growth Businesses

Shopify Plus, as we at Captains & Cowboys have experienced, is an enterprise-level e-commerce platform designed specifically for businesses with high-growth momentum and large sales volumes. It has a host of advanced features and tools that go beyond what the basic Shopify offers.

Shopify Plus’ Advanced Features: Custom App Development, B2B Selling Capabilities, Audience Targeting

The advanced capabilities of Shopify Plus are what truly set it apart. It offers checkout extensibility that lets you customize your checkout experience to reduce cart abandonment and increase conversions. It also allows for the creation of unique commerce experiences through Shopify Functions, which gives you the flexibility to design and deploy personalized features in your own app.

In addition, Shopify Plus has a built-in B2B functionality, allowing you to sell directly to businesses and consumers from one place. This includes features like customized product and pricing publishing, quantity rules, and payment terms.

Shopify Plus also provides access to Shopify Audiences, a tool that uses commerce insights to make your advertising more effective across multiple platforms. This tool can help find more customers, cut customer acquisition costs, and optimize your advertising strategy.

Shopify Plus’ Pricing: Customized Based on Sales Volumes

The pricing structure of Shopify Plus is customized based on sales volumes, making it suitable for businesses with high sales. This flexibility in pricing ensures that you’re only paying for what you need, and as your business grows, Shopify Plus can scale with you.

Shopify Plus’ Exclusive Tools: ShopifyQL Notebooks, Launchpad, Organization Management Tools

Shopify Plus comes with exclusive tools designed to help you manage and scale your business. ShopifyQL Notebooks is an intelligent query language that helps you access and analyze your commerce data, visualize your growth, and create custom reports.

The Launchpad tool is designed to help you manage product drops and flash sales without your site slowing down or crashing. It offers higher checkouts per minute, built-in bot protection, and automated event scheduling.

The Organization Management tool lets you manage all your stores from a single location, making it much easier for businesses with multiple stores.

Shopify Plus’ Priority Support and Access to a Network of Partners

One of the significant advantages of upgrading to Shopify Plus is the access to priority support and a network of partners. This means you get faster response times and more personalized assistance. In addition, you join a community of experts who can provide guidance and advice, helping you to leverage the full potential of the Shopify Plus platform.

In conclusion, when considering Shopify Plus vs Shopify, it’s clear that Shopify Plus is not just another version of Shopify. It’s a more advanced, customizable, and scalable platform that’s designed to support the needs of larger, high-growth businesses.

Comparing Shopify and Shopify Plus: Key Differences

Navigating the landscape of Shopify Plus vs Shopify can be somewhat challenging. Each platform offers unique features, pricing structures, and customization options tailored to different business needs. Let’s delve into the key differences between these two platforms.

Pricing: Fixed vs Customized

One of the fundamental differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus is the pricing structure. Shopify offers three fixed pricing tiers: Basic at $29 per month, Shopify at $79 per month, and Advanced at $299 per month. This straightforward pricing model is ideal for small businesses, as it allows you to predict your monthly costs and select a plan that fits your budget .

On the other hand, Shopify Plus adopts a more complex approach to pricing. The fees are mainly based on sales volumes, with a minimum monthly cost of $2,000 for standard setups and integrations. Once your sales reach $800,000 per month, the pricing switches to a revenue-based model, which can go up to $40,000 monthly .

Features: Basic vs Advanced

In terms of features, Shopify provides a robust platform with a user-friendly interface, customization options, and a myriad of tools to manage and grow your business. From storefront creation to shopping cart options, and from marketing and SEO tools to customer profiles and refunds, Shopify has got you covered .

On the flip side, Shopify Plus offers all the standard features of Shopify and much more. Shopify Plus users benefit from advanced features such as custom app development, B2B selling capabilities, audience targeting, and exclusive tools like ShopifyQL Notebooks, Launchpad, and organization management tools .

Customization: Limited vs Extensive

When it comes to customization, Shopify allows users to personalize their online store using professional themes. However, the customization is limited to what the theme editor provides. With Shopify Plus, users have access to Shopify’s theme language, Liquid, allowing for extensive customization at the code level. This level of control can be a game-changer for businesses that desire a unique storefront .

Support: Standard vs Priority

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus offer reliable customer support. Shopify provides 24/7 support via email, live chat, and phone, ensuring that help is always available when you need it. Shopify Plus, however, takes this a step further by offering priority support. Each Shopify Plus user is assigned a Launch Engineer to guide them through the entire store setup or migration process, offering personalized and dedicated support .

At Captains & Cowboys, we understand that choosing between Shopify and Shopify Plus is a significant decision that will directly impact your business. Our team of Shopify experts is ready to guide you through this process, ensuring that you select the platform that best fits your business needs. Whether you’re just starting out or ready to scale, we’re here to help you make the most of your Shopify journey.

When to Upgrade to Shopify Plus: Factors to Consider

Choosing between Shopify and Shopify Plus often comes down to analyzing specific factors that reflect the current status and future goals of your business. Here are some key points to consider:

Annual Sales Revenue: The $1 Million Threshold

One of the most straightforward indicators of whether you should upgrade to Shopify Plus is your annual sales revenue. If your annual sales have surpassed one million dollars, it’s likely time to consider upgrading (Forbes). Shopify Plus offers more resources to support higher levels of growth, making it an ideal choice for high-growth businesses.

Business Size and Scalability Needs

The size of your business and your plans for future growth are equally important factors. If your business is expanding rapidly and you anticipate a significant increase in sales volumes, it might be wise to invest in Shopify Plus. With the ability to handle unrestricted sales limits, this platform is built to support businesses that are scaling up.

Need for Advanced Features and Customization

Shopify Plus provides access to advanced features and greater customization options than standard Shopify, including advanced report builders, real-time carrier shipping, and more (Forbes). If your business requires these advanced functionalities or if you need more control over your store’s code, Shopify Plus would be a suitable option.

Importance of Dedicated Support and Access to Partners

Finally, consider the level of support you need. Shopify Plus offers 24/7 top-tier technical support and a dedicated merchant success program. You’ll also have access to Shopify Plus Partners who can help you scale your business, build custom apps, or rebrand. If you need this level of support, and the ability to connect with a network of partners, Shopify Plus might be the right choice for your business.

Remember, we at Captains & Cowboys are here to help guide you through this decision-making process. Our Shopify experts can provide insights and recommendations tailored to your specific needs and goals, ensuring you make the best choice for your business.

Case Studies: Success Stories of Brands Upgrading to Shopify Plus

One of the most effective ways to understand the benefits of Shopify Plus is to look at the success stories of brands that have upgraded from Shopify to Shopify Plus. These real-world examples can provide valuable insights into how Shopify Plus can help businesses scale and achieve next-level growth.

Take for instance, Jungalow, a home decor and lifestyle brand that upgraded to Shopify Plus. By personalizing their checkout experience, they were able to improve their conversion rate by 12%. Sales increased by a whopping 61% and customer retention also rose by 26.5%. This is a clear illustration of how the advanced features and customization options offered by Shopify Plus can drive growth and customer loyalty.

Moreover, utilizing Shopify Plus’ exclusive tool, Shopify Audiences, has proven to be a game changer for some brands. This tool uses commerce insights to enhance the effectiveness of advertising across major ad platforms. One brand reported that Shopify Audiences improved their campaign performance, with return on ad spend as high as 6x. They also reported a reduction in customer acquisition costs by up to 50% thanks to the tool’s powerful algorithms.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Shopify Plus isn’t just for B2C businesses. B2B merchants have also found success with this platform. Shopify Plus allows them to sell both B2B and direct-to-consumer (DTC) from the same platform and tailor the end-to-end experience for each buyer. This flexibility, coupled with automated order processing, has helped B2B brands streamline their operations and focus on growth.

In conclusion, whether you’re a B2C or B2B merchant, Shopify Plus offers a range of advanced features and tools designed to help you scale. As these success stories illustrate, upgrading to Shopify Plus can lead to significant improvements in conversion rates, sales, and customer retention.

In the next section, we’ll wrap up our comparison of Shopify Plus vs Shopify and offer some final thoughts on choosing the right platform for your business.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business

Deciding between Shopify and Shopify Plus ultimately comes down to your business’s specific needs and growth plans. If you’re a small to medium-sized business that primarily relies on online sales, with annual sales under one million dollars, then Shopify’s user-friendly interface, robust feature set, and fixed pricing structure may be the perfect fit for you.

However, if your business is growing quickly, with annual sales surpassing the one million dollar mark, you may find the advanced features, extensive customization options, and dedicated support of Shopify Plus worth the higher price point. The ability to manage both B2C and B2B operations from a unified dashboard, access to more in-depth analytics, and priority support can significantly enhance your e-commerce operations and customer experience.

Though, that while Shopify Plus offers considerably more functionality, it also comes with a higher cost. You’ll need to weigh the benefits of these additional features and resources against the increase in expense.

At Captains & Cowboys, we have extensive experience with both Shopify and Shopify Plus. Our expert team can provide guidance on the best platform for your business, help with Shopify migrations, and offer Shopify web design and development services to create a storefront that perfectly matches your brand. We also offer Shopify conversion rate optimization services to help improve your store’s metrics and drive sustainable growth.

Deciding between Shopify Plus vs Shopify is a significant decision that can greatly impact your business. By carefully considering your business’s needs, growth trajectory, and the features and resources each platform offers, you can make an informed choice that will best support your e-commerce goals. It’s not just about choosing an e-commerce platform; it’s about choosing the right partner to support your business as it grows.

For further reading, you can check out our blog posts on why Shopify could be a great choice for your business and the benefits of using Shopify Plus.