If you’ve ever considered building an online shop, the name ‘Shopify’ has probably come to your attention. It is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms globally, claiming to work with “millions of businesses worldwide.” BuiltWith supports that claim, enlisting almost four million websites using Shopify, and the number continues to grow. Datanyze estimates its global market share among other e-commerce platforms at around 10%.
Shopify is renowned for its ease of use among novice e-commerce entrepreneurs. But what enterprises? For this category of merchants, Shopify Plus was created. In this Shopify Plus review, we will study why you should choose this plan and how it is different from regular plans to suit the needs of large businesses.
What is Shopify?
Before we discuss the benefits of Shopify Plus, let’s start with a brief overview of Shopify. It is an all-in-one e-commerce platform owned by the eponymous Canadian company. With its help, you can create and host your online shop, providing it with broad functionality to ensure a top-notch customer experience and effective business management.
Why is Shopify so popular? This platform is reliable, safe, user-friendly, and scalable. A business of any size can use it to create a suitable e-commerce solution. The beginners will value simple drag-and-drop options to develop their websites, reducing the time to market. Coding knowledge is not essential to start using the platform.
However, if you want something complex tailored to the needs of your enterprise-size business, you can also build it with Shopify. For instance, you can use this platform as the basis for your headless solution with a custom front-end. We will discuss this approach in more detail later in this article.
To accommodate a variety of customers, Shopify offers several different packages. The cheapest Starter plan, allowing you to sell through social and messaging apps, will cost only $5 a month. To start and grow an online business, you will need at least the Basic plan ($29 a month). It is followed by the Shopify ($79 a month) and Advanced ($299 a month) packages. The monthly fee for the most advanced enterprise-level option, Shopify Plus, starts at $2.000.
So, is Shopify Plus worth it? To illustrate the reasoning, let’s compare it to a standard medium-priced option, Shopify.
Shopify vs Shopify Plus
To begin with, whether you choose Shopify or Shopify Plus, you still use the same platform. That means the same technology as the cornerstone, the same core functionality, themes (templates), and interface for admins.
So, what is Shopify plus plan? It allows you to unlock some ‘enterprise-level’ features. In other words, this advanced plan offers everything the Shopify plan has ‘plus’ something extra. Here are some of the key distinguishing features in comparison to the standard Shopify plan:
- Lower transaction fees. Shopify will charge a fee for each transaction if you use a third-party payment provider. With Shopify Plus, this fee will be much lower (more details in the next chapter).
- More inventory locations. The maximum number for the Shopify plan is capped at five. For Shopify Plus, the upper limit is four times higher – 20.
- Advanced checkout customization options. With Shopify Plus, you can customize your checkout process the way you like. With full access to the page templates code and additional coding functionality via apps, you can add such features as automated discounts, free shipping thresholds, and precalculated shipping costs.
Moreover, Shopify releases a new Edition 2022, where the platform offers a collection of product updates, especially checkouts. Here is what Shopify claims “Shopify Plus merchants can now customize their checkout using apps. Add branding, loyalty programs, recommended products, and more. It’s secure, fast, and upgrade-safe, all while integrating with Shop Pay for the best-converting checkout on the internet”. To check all customization options, visit this page or contact us for a consultation!
- Progressive multi-currency features. Shopify Plus enables your e-commerce store to automatically set the customers’ currencies by analyzing IP addresses.
- Bot protection. With an advanced plan, you can prevent bots from purchasing products or crashing your online store.
- More point-of-sale (POS) features. Those features allow you to sell in physical locations too. With Shopify Plus, you can create purchase orders, provide custom receipts, facilitate exchanges, attribute sales to particular staff members. Many POS features are also included in the regular Shopify plans, but access to the premium ones will cost you $89 per month per location.
The Pros of Shopify Plus
Considering the Shopify Plus pros and cons, the pricing will surely be on the ‘cons’ list. What about the pros? We have figured out that Shopify Plus offers ‘premium’ options. Let’s discuss its advantages in more detail.
Unlimited Staff Accounts
With the basic Shopify plan, you can have only five staff accounts. While the Advanced package offers 15, it may still be not enough for large businesses. Shopify Plus allows you to provide as many team members with access to your online store as you like.
Moreover, additional accounts come with more control over their actions for admins. For instance, you can grant special app access rights and report export permissions.
Low transaction fee
Shopify will charge you for using a third-party payment processor, but the fees vary greatly. For Shopify Plus users, it is 0.15% per transaction. The platform claims that this fee helps them maintain PCI compliance and data integrity. Regular Shopify plans have a much higher fee of 2%.
Note that those who use Shopify Payments are exempt from these charges.
Access to more applications
Shopify Plus users get access to more than 1,500 additional apps. Therefore, they can wield a larger selection of tools that provide more features, such as Shopify Plus Xero integration, enhanced inventory management, customer service dashboards, etc.
Here are some of those extra apps that may be extremely helpful:
- Script Editor for personalizing the checkout stage. This tool will help you change the code to customize payment and shipping options or apply discounts. Those amendments can reduce the number of abandoned carts.
- Shopify Flow for e-commerce automation. It helps automate many customer-facing tasks and business processes across your store and apps. With Shopify Flow, you can set up combinations of triggers and conditions followed by specific actions. The latter might be sending reorder requests, tagging loyal customers, and so on. This tool works with a simple-to-use builder, you don’t have to code anything.
- Launchpad for scheduling and automating flash sales, sales campaigns or product launches. It allows monitoring performance in real-time to better analyze customer behavior during promotional events. When the event is over, you can easily revert all the changes. We will mention more perks of this app later.
- Transporte app for importing records (product, customer, etc.) into your Shopify store. With its help, sending customer records across stores becomes almost effortless. Considering that Shopify Plus allows multiple stores, this tool may often come in handy for the users of this plan.
Optimisation of intensive traffic
With Shopify Plus, you have unlimited bandwidth. Focus on growing your business without worrying that it will become a bottleneck. Still, sharp rises in traffic may be detrimental to the performance of your site.
However, another benefit of Shopify Plus is the additional tools it provides. One of them is the Launchpad app we mentioned earlier. It is designed for managing and scheduling sales events responsible for traffic spikes. It will help to protect your online store from crashing at the most crucial moments.
Advanced API resources
Shopify Plus provides access to advanced API resources. In particular, its users can employ options called User, Giftcard, and Multipass.
With User, you can add, remove, get or edit information about staff accounts. Multipass login allows redirecting site visitors to the Shopify store, no separate entering login credentials is required. You don’t have to synchronize a customer database for that. GiftCard is your alternative for payments.
If the extensive Shopify app store isn’t enough to satisfy your needs, you can use APIs to integrate third-party or custom solutions into your store. Note that Shopify Plus has a higher top limit for the frequency of requests to Shopify API. That may be essential for building some complex solutions.
Multiple stores in one account
A regular Shopify account can be used only for one store. A Shopify Plus account allows you to create and manage up to ten shops without extra charges. You can add even more (of course, if you are ready to pay $250 per month per store). That is an excellent option if you want to separate online shops for sales in different regions or to support various physical stores.
Note that Shopify Plus also allows you to create so-called ‘sandbox stores’ – test sites. They can be used for training purposes, trying out apps, or conducting demos for clients. You can make as many ‘dummy’ purchases as you like through a phony gateway payment provider and process an infinite number of test orders.
More theme customization options
With Standard Shopify plans, you have a theme editor that provides some degree of customization. With Shopify Plus, you get access to Liquid – platform’s theme language. Therefore, you have much more control over how your online store looks and works.
Surely, to use the full power of this instrument, you need to be familiar with programming. There are multiple guides on using Liquid, and you can always ask Shopify support for help. If you have something big and custom in mind, it is best to find a reliable tech partner.
This Shopify Plus tool helps businesses work effectively with customers who want to buy large quantities of products. With its help, you create a separate storefront, protected by a password. Thus, the store can sell exclusive wholesale-only products or offer regular products at special prices to wholesale buyers. You can offer discount codes or customized price lists.
All in all, the Shopify Plus users have one place to track orders, send invoices, use product data and integrations, and manage B2B and B2C operations.
Exclusive Access to Additional Resources
A Shopify Plus subscription makes available some resources that can foster the growth and development of your online store:
- Partners directory to link you with technology, solution, and agency partners.
- Facebook community to allow you to exchange experiences with other Shopify Plus merchants.
- Shopify Plus Academy to expand your expertise in using the Shopify platform.
- Exclusive beta programs.
Enhanced analytics options
Shopify Plus users have access to a detailed analytics dashboard. You can find information on sales volume, top products, returning customer rate, landing pages or referrers, etc. With all valuable stats in one place, you can get a comprehensive overview of how your online store performs. Also, this tool allows you to generate professional reports.
The Shopify Plus merchants get greater functionality and more assistance to cope with it. Each store has its Shopify manager. These professionals streamline the cooperation between the business and the platform. They know all the ins and outs of Shopify and will study your company in detail to be most helpful, answering questions and giving advice.
Once you buy a Shopify Plus subscription, you can access the Merchant Success program. The platform claims that its ‘Launch Team‘ will get your online store up and running ‘in less than 90 days.’
Shopify experts will assist you with migrations and custom integrations. You can also expect help in finding the most suitable Shopify Plus partners, third-party integrations, products, and training to ensure the top-notch performance of your e-commerce business.
What else does Shopify Plus offer?
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, there are some other essentials that come with the Shopify Plus plan:
- Access to Shop Pay. It is an accelerated checkout that allows customers to save their emails, credit card details, and shipping information. With Shop Pay, you can also offer them a choice of a local pickup or delivery option. In addition, it can boost customer satisfaction, serving as a time-saver during repeat purchases. Shopify claims it provides 60% faster checkout and up to 18% higher conversion.
- Video, Augmented Reality, and 3D media on product pages. Shopify Plus arms merchants with the ability to use state-of-the-art media to showcase their goods and engage customers. They can either choose a theme with the enhanced features or modify theme code themselves.
- Unlimited number of transactions, products, as well as 99.99% uptime. Shopify Plus provides your site with reliable hosting and the ability to cope with 10,000 transactions per minute. Together with tools for managing sales campaigns that result in traffic spikes, it allows you to rest assured that your online shop will avoid outages.
- Top-level security. Shopify Plus is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant. In other words, the platform offers the same level of customer data security (including credit card information) as banks. Shopify ensures that e-commerce hosting and shopping cart software are protected from cybercriminals. Thus, it gives more peace of mind to both merchants and shoppers.
Why is Shopify Plus a great choice for an enterprise-level business?
Shopify positions its Plus plan as a solution for large businesses. We’ve already mentioned its advantages in general, but let’s recap some of them with the needs of medium-size and enterprise-level companies in mind:
- Lower transaction costs. Businesses with large amounts of transactions that don’t plan to use Shopify Payments can save a lot of money by choosing the Plus plan. Lower fees alone can make paying for this more expensive package feasible in the long run.
- Advanced customization. More available apps, access to editing templates and checkouts are essential for large brands that want to stand out. Advanced API resources allow them to push customization even further, building custom front-ends.
- Enhanced automation. The benefits of such tools as Shopify Flow and Launchpad are especially evident for businesses with multiple sales campaigns and complex processes. Automating at least part of manual work will boost your team's efficiency.
- Opportunities to employ more human resources. For example, an unlimited number of accounts and advanced options for their management are must-haves in case of a large business.
- More options for international expansion. Multiple stores in one account and automatic localization options can streamline the operations of a company working in many different countries. Moreover, such a company will benefit from more inventory locations it can manage in one account.
- Personal support. Enterprises have to handle complex e-commerce solutions and solve any issues as fast as possible. Therefore, having Shopify experts at hand is an essential bonus.
Shopify Plus and Headless commerce: a great fit for your business
Shopify templates and other easy-to-use instruments to launch an online store swiftly are great for e-commerce beginners. However, as your business grows and becomes more complex, standard tool limitations become more evident. Upgrading to Shopify Plus alone won’t solve all the problems. The best option to scale your business up with Shopify is to build a headless commerce solution.
The name of this approach originates from the software architecture peculiarities. The back-end (‘the body’) is decoupled from the front-end (‘the head’). Those two elements are linked with the help of APIs. Headless commerce solutions unite an e-commerce platform and content management system via a custom-built front-end.
Building a Shopify-based headless solution is more time-consuming and costly than using the platform’s built-in instruments. Nonetheless, it has some essential benefits, such as enhanced customization, more flexibility in updating your website (and, hence, marketing), higher loading speed, omnichannel content management, and improved SEO. Read more about the advantages of this approach in our article.
Shopify Plus is the best package to build a headless commerce solution on. The custom front-end will request information from the Shopify API. We’ve mentioned earlier in this article that the Plus plan allows the highest frequency of such requests. Building a headless solution is feasible for a large e-commerce business, so it will likely generate a significant flow of requests only Shopify Plus can handle.
Reap the full benefits of Shopify Plus with DigitalSuits
Shopify offers great packages not only for start-ups but also for medium and enterprise-size businesses. Lower transaction fees, advanced customization and automation features, streamlined localization, and no limitations for the number of users or stores in one account – all those advantages can be put to good use in a large e-commerce company.
To benefit from enhanced customization or to build a headless commerce solution with a customized front-end you may need help from professional e-commerce developers. Our team has created and upgraded multiple Shopify online stores. We’ve learned this platform in detail. Our team knows how to build a custom app, edit a theme, or otherwise tailor it to the needs of your business.
Contact us! We’ll be glad to build a great Shopify-based e-commerce solution for you.