Shopify is the world’s
leading platform for
building ecommerce
enterprises.

In 2019, companies on Shopify generated over $1.5 billion worldwide. Furthermore, Shopify stores recorded a 50% rise in online sales during that same year.
By contrast, the wider global e-commerce market grew by just 21% during the same period. Given such statistics, it’s easy to see why more and more brands are turning to Shopify to power their e-commerce stores.
But once you’ve chosen Shopify as your platform of choice a few more important decisions still lie in wait. You will need to decide the winner of a key matchup before setting off on your path towards ecommerce success – Shopify vs Shopify Plus. Both options offer a range of impressive features. This means picking the right one depends upon your specific requirements. To help you make the best decision for your brand, we highlight the main differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus in the following article.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: A General Overview

When you opt for the core Shopify package, you have the option to choose between Shopify Lite, Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify, and Shopify Plus. The first four levels are being categorised under Shopify for the purpose of this article. These packages provide the key elements that a developing online business needs, such as an ecommerce website and blog. Starting from Basic Shopify, they also provide free SSL certificates, abandoned cart recovery, gift card functionality, and allow for unlimited products among other important features.
Shopify Plus is the standalone enterprise-grade solution. It includes all the features available in the other plans plus a whole lot more. These additional elements will form the basis of the comparison between Shopify and Shopify Plus. The analysis will be key to making your final decision. Without further ado the main differences to consider are detailed below.

1) Customizable Checkout

Customizable checkout is one of the first answers to the question, “what is the difference between Shopify and Shopify plus?” One of the reasons that Shopify has been so successful in the e-commerce market is its highly functional out-of-the-box nature. The core Shopify package offers a ready-to-use checkout system for Shopify merchants that are just launching a new business. In addition to this, store owners are afforded the ability to customize elements of the checkout’s visual style.
But for merchants that require a higher level of flexibility with the checkout process, Shopify Plus is a must. On this package, you get full control over the checkout experience. For example, you can tailor checkouts according to certain shopping cart values. You can also incorporate A/B testing to maximise conversions.

2) Scripts and Script Editor

The greater scope for customizing your website isn’t limited to the checkout for Shopify Plus users. With the Scripts and Script Editor feature, merchants can also personalize customers’ shopping carts.
This highly useful functionality can be used to generate discounts for a customer according to specific conditions, such as the contents of their shopping cart. It can also be used to present customers with unique shipping and payment options. What’s more, Shopify Plus merchants can write and edit scripts using the Script Editor. To cater to people with different experience levels, the Script Editor provides templates to help you get started. There is also a debugger function, which allows you to test the scripts once you have written them.

3) Enhanced Customer Support

Shopify already provides its customers with access to a very helpful customer support team that is available 24/7. For many businesses, particularly the smaller ones, this will be a sufficient level of assistance.
However, some e-commerce stores have more complex needs that require a higher level of support. Shopify Plus really shines in this regard with merchants benefiting from a dedicated Launch Manager. These agents are always on hand to offer assistance whenever it is needed. This is regardless of whether it’s a brand new ecommerce launch or a migration from another platform to Shopify. The support covers everything from giving advice on the best third-party integrations, to locating useful tools and finding suitable partners.
Shopify Plus customers also get access to a Merchant Success Manager who will continue to provide support after website launch. With this comes on-going training and 24/7 access to advise on different products and industry developments.

4) Unlimited Staff Accounts

When comparing Shopify vs Shopify Plus, it is important to note that this feature has a greater appeal to larger enterprises. Depending on the exact package merchants use, Shopify offers a different number of staff members access to the Shopify admin panel and Shopify POS. The lower levels of Shopify plans offer up to 15 staff accounts and logins.
Alternatively, Shopify Plus comes complete with access to an unlimited number of staff accounts. This gives you more flexibility with team roles and can help to increase operational efficiency as well. You also gain greater control over the permissions different staff members are granted for their admin accounts.

5) Wholesale Sales Channel

Another key difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus is the wholesale sales channel. This feature is only relevant to certain businesses, but for those it does apply to, it is a powerful boon. Merchants using Shopify Plus have the option to build a separate wholesale sales section on their website. Customers that need to buy in bulk can then access this password-protected area.
With the wholesale sales channel, merchants can offer exclusive prices to select wholesale customers. Simultaneously, normal prices will still be displayed throughout the rest of the website for all other customers. Store owners with a mix of a B2B and B2C model will find the wholesale sales channel particularly useful.

6) Store Automation

Shopify Plus provides some powerful tools that merchants can use to automate aspects of their online stores. Shopify Flow is a tool, which provides templates that help automate almost every area of your business. This includes customer experience and management, inventory and order management, risk management and much more. As an example, you can set up a ticketing system, enabling staff to respond to customer queries promptly with Shopify Flow. But this solitary example barely scratches the surface of what’s possible with such a versatile tool.
Launchpad is another useful solution that facilitates scheduling changes to inventory and website content. For example, if you have a planned price-change in the future, Launchpad automatically updates your website at the required time. Tools such as this help to free up more of your precious time so you can deal with more important tasks.

7) Organisation Management (Manage Multi-Stores from a Single Location)

Shopify Plus also has certain elements that are invaluable to larger enterprises, such as the Organisation Management admin function. This feature allows merchants with multiple stores to administer their company at an organizational level. It saves you from having to implement the same changes to each store individually.
Shopify Organisation Management has an impressive range of functionality. It can give access to analytics for the whole company, allowing for comparisons between different stores. Merchants also get access to Shopify Flow Management, which grants the ability to create and edit organization-wide workflows. There are also sophisticated user and store management features available.

8) Import Data with Third-Party Apps (Transporter App)

For many companies, the ability to easily import large amounts of data is essential. Whether migrating website platforms, dealing with mergers, or simply running a data-heavy company, this can be a vital task. This is yet another area where Shopify Plus customers have a clear advantage.
The Transporter App enables Shopify Plus users to import comma-separated values (CSV) files to create records on customers and products. If your company deals with many different forms of data, this won’t be a problem. The Transporter App comes with a ‘command line tool’, which can extract and convert data into a Shopify-compatible type. This excellent feature makes data-centric tasks a lot more manageable.

9) Point of Sale

Multi-channel selling is an important strategy for many companies. Shopify facilitates this through their Point of Sale (POS) feature, which enables merchants to sell goods in person and online. POS allows you to integrate your online and offline sales, combining all your data on aspect such as inventory.
While the core POS service is available to all Shopify merchants, some special features are only available to Plus users. These include unlimited store staff and registers, smart inventory management, omnichannel selling features and much more. This powerful functionality really helps to streamline your in-person and online business activities.

10) Pricing

The most popular difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus is generally the price factor. While Shopify Plus provides a plethora of benefits over Shopify, it’s always important to consider its cost. Below is a breakdown of the different prices (keep in mind that the first four tiers are categorized under the Shopify bracket for the purpose of this article):
  • Shopify Lite – $9 monthly fee
  • Basic Shopify – $29 monthly fee
  • Shopify – $79 monthly fee
  • Advanced Shopify – $299 monthly fee
  • Shopify Plus – $2,000 monthly fee or a variable price for businesses with higher sales

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Final Thoughts

And there you have it. That’s Shopify vs Shopify Plus explained. As can be seen, the choice between the two options comes down to your business’s unique circumstances. Shopify will suffice for most ecommerce stores but Shopify Plus delivers a range of additional features and benefits. This includes customizable checkouts, enhanced customer support, unlimited staff accounts, the whole sales channel and store automation among others.
Ultimately though, the price must be taken into consideration before settling on a winner between Shopify and Shopify Plus for your ecommerce store.

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