Thinking of starting your online store on Shopify? So, which option do you choose – Shopify or Shopify Plus? Don’t worry, we can help you out.
Learn what Shopify and Shopify Plus is and what hosting platforms are best for your eCommerce store.
Some people think that Shopify Plus is an entirely different product. Not really; they are from the same brand. And yes, they are built with similar technology. Both these products use the Shopify theme and user interface to set up online stores.
The only difference is Shopify Plus offers more features and large-scale operational capability.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an eCommerce hosting platform that has earned its name beside the big heads of hosting platforms BigCommerce, Squarespace, and Site Ground. Small business heads mainly avail of the regular version of Shopify.
Some successful online eCommerce stores from Shopify are Negative, Naja, and Taylor Stitch.
Key features of Shopify
- Excellent online sales channels
- Safe and secure features
- Merchants can access the Shopify POS (Point of Sale)
What is Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus platform can be best said as an upgraded version of Shopify. This platform allows merchants to operate their online stores with advanced Shopify features. For example, it helps merchants of Shopify Plus to budget their spending effectively.
Key features of Shopify Plus
- Merchants can set up Admin features from where they can operate every store.
- Allows cross-binding your sales across all stores in Shopify Plus through the Shopify POS Plus.
- Merchants can customize permission settings.
- Wide range of added third-party payment processors and shipping rate calculators.
Key differences between Shopify & Shopify Plus
The fact that Shopify and Shopify Plus are not different is partially right. Some key differences still separate the upgraded version (Shopify Plus) from its base platform (Shopify).
- Small vs Medium/Large Businesses
Shopify provides all the tools and features you need to run a successful small – to a medium-sized online eCommerce store. The platform allows merchants to build their online store from scratch. In comparison, Shopify Plus is mainly for large-sized businesses which wish to operate at an enterprise level. The features on offer help merchants get access to all the data and features they need to run their business cost-effectively.
- Support Response
Since both hosted platforms are the same, it is no surprise that their support system comes from the same brand. Shopify has a chatbot system that is available 24/7. You can also get support from their forums and videos. However, Shopify Plus is a bit more advanced and provides a better support option to merchants through the Merchant Success scheme. With Shopify Plus, you, as a merchant, will get personal support specialists.
- More integrations
You will get only basic tools in Shopify to optimize your online store. But from Shopify Plus, you can access enterprise-level features with more advanced API integrations.
- No Trial
In Shopify, all new merchants have a free trial of 14 days. Merchants do not get this feature in Shopify Plus.
- Advanced Features
Shopify has easy designs and customizations to interact with. In contrast, the interface designs and all customization options in Shopify Plus are all advanced, with liquid systems, and merchants can even plant engineers to maintain them.
Shopify Vs. Shopify Plus – Pricing
Shopify Plus is comparatively more expensive than Shopify plans. Due to its advanced features and functionality, there is a huge difference in the pricing and features of both Shopify platforms.
If you are not delivering a bunch of orders or services to your customer via your online store, then you should be fine with the basic Shopify plans. In the Shopify platform, features like free and paid customizable themes, multiple selling potential, and abandoned cart saving options will help your business grow well.
Before you purchase any plan from either platform, discuss your business details with the Shopify sales team. They will tell you the perfect plan and the platform to go with.
Let us check the Shopify pricing plans in detail.
All the Shopify plans are below $299 per month, which is much cheaper than the Shopify Plus plans. In each plan of Shopify, you will get a wide range of third-party payment providers, and the transaction fees lower as the pricing increases.
Currently, there are four types of plans available on Shopify, and they are:
- Shopify Lite – the cheapest plan open at Shopify, and you can avail of this offer for only $9 a month.
- Basic Shopify – With this plan, you can successfully run your online eCommerce store at Shopify right from scratch. It is available for $29 each month.
- Shopify Standard – If you have migrated your online store from any self-hosted platform to Shopify, this $79 monthly plan could be the best for you.
- Advanced Shopify – This is currently the most advanced plan in Shopify; with each, you can access all the tools available in Shopify. In addition, it even has a very low transaction fee, which can be very handy for your start-up. It can be availed for $299 each month.
Shopify Plus Pricing
Shopify Plus offers many additional features with which merchants can customize their online store according to their needs. Despite being costly, Shopify Plus pricing is variable and justified. It will not charge any extra amounts as in transaction fees, site launch, and online store development-like features.
Currently, merchants can avail of two exciting Shopify Plus plans, and they are:
- The Standard Shopify Plus plan costs $2000 monthly, including all other extra charges.
- Variable Fee – On consulting with the sales team of Shopify Plus, you, as a merchant, can come to a negotiation. The unserviceable tools and features for setting up your online store at Shopify Plus can be removed, and the price can be dropped.
Shopify Vs Shopify Plus – Features
It is vital to understand both venues, from their core functionality to their marketing and support systems.
Listed below are some key features available for merchants in Shopify and how they work in both of the Shopify platforms.
1. Total Control of the Checkout Page
Customers will sometimes navigate away from the checkout page and probably will not return to complete the payment. But, you can always make some customizations in your checkout page to notify the customers about their abandoned cart, save them for future purchases or make some changes to the checkout page, so it helps customers to complete the shopping.
Unfortunately, the regular version of Shopify has no features where you can customize your checkout page. In Shopify, merchants can create a checkout page based on the online store’s theme, which might not be enough to convince customers to purchase items from the online store.
However, in Shopify Plus, merchants can access the Checkout.liquid page, where customization is possible. And the best part about the Shopify Plus checkout page is that the customizations are independent of the store theme. With the help of the theme.liquid page customizations, you, as a merchant, can give your customers the experience of your store theme.
In addition, merchants can also use the Shopify applications on the checkout page to make the checkout page more flexible.
2. API Integrations
The App Store of Shopify is one of the best features it gives its merchants. Using the applications developed by independent developers and Shopify, merchants can make their online store more adjustable.
There are over 7000+ applications on the App Store of Shopify, and only 28 of them are developed by Shopify. You will find the App Store in both Shopify and Shopify Plus platforms, but when it comes to API solutions, Shopify Plus gives its user better options to make their site more flexible.
Shopify users can use the ERP and CRM systems.
3. Staff Accounts
In the regular version of Shopify, the merchants can add only a few numbers of staff to their online store. However, that also depends on the plan they have purchased. For example, using the Shopify plans, users can add only up to 15 users to their online store dashboard.
The Shopify Lite accounts can only add one staff member to the admin dashboard and the owner. However, with the Shopify Plus hosting platform, you, as a merchant, can add as many staff accounts as you want. Shopify Plus is to organize a large-sized online store, so certainly, there isn’t any limit to staff user counts in the dashboard.
4. Support System
The support system in Shopify includes 24/7 call support, with emails, forums, and video tutorials. Though Shopify is best known for its excellent support system, merchants need access to dedicated account managers. This feature is not available using any of the plans in Shopify.
On the other hand, in Shopify Plus, merchants get to access the Merchant Success Program. Through this program, each merchant will have a private account manager. These merchant managers are responsible for easing things for the merchants and providing all-time support to the manager to run the store smoothly.
This is one of the crucial benefits that Shopify Plus users get, but the regular version of Shopify users doesn’t.
To run a successful online store, the merchants need to have reports of their online store.
It should include every data report, including the audience reports. Shopify Plus users can get a detailed report of their online store.
Surely, Shopify also offers a reporting system with data insights on the customer rate, average order value, and other conversion rates. The merchants can even graph all the metrics from the data reports, which is far more useful than any other reports.
However, the data reports shared with Shopify Plus merchants are much more advanced and share in-depth data.
In both Shopify platforms, merchants can design their online store with all the available paid and free themes. In addition, Shopify’s famed app store and API have made customization easier and more advanced. These features might seem very advanced, but Shopify Plus is far more advanced in design.
Shopify Plus users have access to Liquid theme pages, where they can change the eCommerce SaaS platform’s User Interface (UI). Due to the key of the Liquid Shopify Plus, license holders can customize the codes to make the Shopify Plus design more interactive.
7. Transaction Fee
Both hosting platforms can read all types of credit cards, and the transaction fees are charged on a percentage based on the total order volume. However, the main difference between these hosting platforms lies around transaction charges.
As of May 2022, there will be no transaction fee if the Shopify internal payment gateways are used. However, Shopify will charge merchants a transaction fee when a third-party payment provider is in use. The Shopify plans have different transaction fees as
- Shopify Lite / Basic Shopify Plan – Transaction fee of 2%
- Standard Shopify – 1% transaction fee
- Advanced Shopify – 0.5% charged on all transactions.
Like Shopify, there is no transaction fee for using internal Shopify payment gateways. But, when external payment providers are used for transactions, Shopify Plus will charge merchants certain percentages of the total order value. The charges included are
- Domestic Sales – 2.15% + 30 cents
- International/Amex – 3.15% + 30 cents
8. Promotional Discounts
Both Shopify platforms offer merchants different promotional discounts. Shopify’s standard plan’ add-in marketplace lets merchants offer discounts and promotional offers to customers and increase their conversion rates. In addition, with Shopify’s integrated POS system, buyers can redeem the available in-store deals.
Merchants can create several categories of discounts with Shopify’s Standard Plan. They are
- Fixed-Value: With purchases, shoppers can redeem the coupons worth discounts on the item or services.
- Percentage: These discounts can be in the form of discount codes or displayed on the product’s thumbnail.
- Shipping: These discounts are offered on the shipment of items. It can be either a free or reduced shipment rate.
- Buy X Get Y: Often referred to as a bonus or gift, which shoppers can avail of a specific purchase.
Once you run these discount campaigns as a merchant in Shopify, you can track down its progress report and use it accordingly. The Sales by Discount reports allow the merchant to track their discount insights.
However, Shopify Plus offers merchants far more advanced promotional discounts. Promotional campaign discounts and other flash sales usually consume a lot of time while strategizing and processing them.
But with the help of the add-on (Launchpad), merchants can handle the discounts and offers they want to deliver to their customers. With the Launchpad option, merchants can expect to
- Creates and updates the promotional themes
- Once the campaign ends, the items will drop back to their original amounts
- Generating predetermined offers
9. Benefits for International Sales
It is essential if your online store sells services and items in other countries. Standard Shopify Plan and Shopify Plus allow merchants to sell their items and services in other countries.
With Shopify’s standard plan, you, as a merchant, can sell your offerings in different countries using cross-border tools. It would help if you created a separate online store for the region where you want to sell your items. After creating other online stores for each region, merchants can select languages for the online store and the currency options available for that country.
Be it with Shopify’s standard or advanced plan; international sales are limited. On the other hand, Clone Store, or Multi-Store in Shopify Plus, will help you to create an extra 10 versions of your existing online store. In addition, you can even customize these versions separately to target a specific audience.
Shopify Plus is the best platform to sell your items from your online store if you are a wholesaler or an international seller.
10. Applications and Features
Both Shopify platforms offer plenty of features that can be useful for merchants to organize and grow their online business. However, the Shopify Plus platform provides some exclusive features which ease things for merchants. A few exclusive features of Shopify Plus include:
- Wholesale Channel
- Shopify Flow: Updates the main data sheets once something is purchased from the online store
- Users: Merchants can manage login and set permissions for your store
- Script Editor: Merchants can change the code of a particular customer segment
11. Bot Protection
Shopify protects the online store from several bots creating problems. It will immediately stop bot attacks from purchasing the products and crashing the online store. But Shopify Plus has some advanced bot protection methods.
Shopify Plus has some advanced user security controls with SAML and SCIM over the regular version of Shopify. The SAML is Security Assertion Markup Language, and SCIM is a System for Cross-domain Identity Management.
The SAML allows users to access the different web applications of the store using the same signed-up account. And the SCIM lets the admins manage the user data.
13. POS Features
Online stores are meant for selling items through the internet and delivering them to the address. But with Shopify, you can sell your items online, and the customers can pick them up from your store. This helps merchants to create additional custom pay receipts.
These are called POS features, and merchants can avail of this offer from the Shopify standard subscription. However, as usual, Shopify Plan offers much more POS features which can be pretty helpful in managing enterprise-level orders.
14. Regulate Themes
Both Shopify platforms allow merchants to change their online store theme. Even with the advanced plan of Shopify, some of the features of themes are restricted. In contrast, from Shopify Plus, users can,
- Edit and add more than a hundred themes to their Shopify account
- Regulate and change store themes seasonally
Video Comparison Of Shopify & Shopify Plus
Should I use Shopify or Shopify Plus?
Choosing the only option for your online store from Shopify and Shopify Plus depends on your business. You should first identify the sales range of your company. Depending on the scale of your company and items, you must consider the hosting platform for your online store.
Unless your online store is an existing eCommerce store, it’s best to use the basic Shopify-hosted platform. However, choosing to open your venue on the Shopify Plus platform can benefit you if you transfer your business to an enterprise or want complete control of your store.
Shopify and Shopify Plus FAQ
How many stores can I build with Shopify Plus?
As mentioned earlier, Shopify Plus is for enterprise-level businesses. So, it is clear that merchants can open up multiple online stores under their enterprise section.
It doesn’t end here! You can create more than 10 online stores under a single brand. Merchants can generate more than 10 online stores at Shopify Plus, costing an additional $250 per store.
How do I purchase a Shopify Plus plan?
You must connect with the Shopify Plus team to purchase a Shopify Plus plan and open your online store on this platform. Consult your business objectives and all other features. They will advise you on the best plan for your business growth.
You can even customize your Shopify Plus plan, with the help of the variable plan section, by consulting with the Shopify Plus sales team.
Is the basic Shopify plan enough?
It depends on your business requirements. If your business is not enterprise-level, you can launch your online store at Shopify using the basic Shopify plan. You, as a merchant, will get your hands on all the necessary tools to run a successful online store.
However, if your online store has branches, deals with wholesale items, or is an enterprise, you need the Shopify Plus plan. At the same time, you can funnel all your sales and transactions to a single admin section.
When should I switch to Shopify Plus?
You should only switch your hosted platform to Shopify Plus when your online business has other supporting online stores and you want to control all your online stores from a single operating system.
Shopify Plus gives merchants this useful feature, where they can operate all the business items from a single head and funnel sales and transactions to a single location.
How many stores can you have on Shopify plus?
With Shopify Plus standard plan, you, as a merchant, can add up to 10 online stores under your enterprise. However, you can still extend the number of additional stores by paying $250 per store.
What is the main difference between Shopify Advance and Shopify Plus?
Advance is the highest tier plan of the common Shopify hosting platform. With this plan, you will get all the regular features of the standard Shopify plan and some other report system, which helps merchants keep track of all their sales funnels.
Shopify Plus is separate from the regular version of Shopify, and with this, you not only get to see advance sale reports, but you can also have as many stores as you want with Shopify Plus.
However, the main difference between Shopify Advance and Shopify Plus is that you cannot add multiple stores under one account in Shopify, even using the Shopify Advanced plan.
Deciding to choose your online hosted platform can be tough. To resolve you even need to go through some trials. It would be best if you go for the Shopify 3 day trial and check the growth and the overall work system. If things look appealing and your company is at medium-level, you can host your online store using Shopify Plus. However, the Shopify standard and basic plans are also fine for hosting medium-sized companies.