Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: What are the key differences?

Last Updated: April 6, 2021

Shopify is a hugely popular e-commerce platform, but there’s also their premium offering called Shopify Plus. 

Shopify Plus is Shopify’s enterprise solution for fast-growing businesses. It’s got some amazing features that Shopify doesn’t provide on its lower pricing plans.

Online retailers may have a dilemma of whether to choose the regular Shopify plans or the new Shopify Plus.

In this blog, we’ll deep dive into these two popular Shopify offerings, how they compare, and we’ll help you determine which one is right for your business.

General Benefits of using the Shopify Platform

Regardless of whether you use Shopify or Shopify Plus, here are some key benefits of using the Shopify platform:

  • Fast Setup: It is extremely easy to get up and running. Shopify’s builder is simple and intuitive and requires no coding knowledge.
  • Access to Data and Analytics: To make decisions that propel your organization to greater heights, you require access to data. Shopify ensures that relevant data and analytics are readily available.
  • Multi-Currency Support: It’s not enough to just launch your online store. Selling on two marketplaces can nearly double your revenue, and Shopify has multi-channel capabilities.
  • Multi-Channel for Sales: Shopify enables you to sell on online marketplaces and social media.

Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: Pricing

Shopify pricing comes in at a lower overall price segment than Shopify Plus. Shopify’s pricing is explicitly listed on their website, whereas Shopify Plus only provides pricing quotes during sales conversion. Let’s have a close look at Shopify’s standard pricing plans:

  • Basic Shopify: This pricing plan has all the basics for starting a new e-commerce business. Bundled features/services include Online Store, Unlimited products, 2 staff accounts, 24/7 support, Manual orders, Discount codes, and free SSL certificates. Cost: $29 per month.
  • Shopify: The Shopify plan is best suited for a growing medium-sized business. It includes everything in the Basic Shopify plan plus features like gift cards and professional reports. You can create up to 5 staff accounts in this tier. Cost: $79 per month.
  • Advanced Shopify: The Advanced Shopify tier comes with advanced features that help businesses scale. It includes everything in the Shopify plan plus features like advanced report builder, Third-party calculated shipping rates, etc. You can create up to 10 staff accounts in this tier. Cost: $299 per month.

Shopify also offers Shopify Lite, a dashboard that lets you sell your products on Facebook. The cost for this is $9 per month and is best suited for merchants who only want to sell their products on social media. Shopify also has an exclusive pricing plan – Shopify Gold – for large enterprises based in India.

Shopify Plus provides more customization, scalability and higher-order volume opportunities ideal for merchants with million-dollar revenues. Therefore, Shopify Plus naturally comes in at a higher price point. 

Extra Features that you get with Shopify Plus

Shopify plus pricing tier gives you all the features you’d get from the Shopify plan plus some additional functionalities. Here are some new features that you get with Shopify Plus plan:

1. Dedicated Launch Engineer (Customer Success Manager)

After you sign up for the plus plan, Shopify assigns a dedicated launch engineer to help define timelines, roles, and responsibilities across your team, third-party agencies, and Shopify Plus Partners. The launch engineer also helps in gathering technical specifications and outline your specific business struggles with potential solutions.

2. Customizable Checkout with greater control

Shopify Plus also offers customizable checkout options to personalize your e-commerce experience. The Script Editor gives you granular control, and you can customize shipping methods, custom fields, and payment options. That’s not the case with Shopify – you’ll need third-party apps to customize checkout experience.

3. Access to Advanced Native Shopify apps 

Shopify Plus customers get access to some exclusive Shopify apps (Designed for high-growth merchants) that aren’t available to regular Shopify customers::

  • Shopify Flow: Shopify Flow is an e-commerce automation platform that helps you reclaim your time and focus on growing your business. With Flow, it’s easy to automate tasks and ideas within your store and across your apps. 
  • Organization Management: The Shopify organization admin is an enhancement to the standard Shopify admin. It lets you operate as an organization by managing tools that affect multiple stores at one time. 
  • Launchpad: Launchpad is a scheduling tool that lives inside your Shopify admin allowing you to schedule product visibility, Shopify Scripts, themes, discounts, and more with a defined start and end time.
  • Script Editor: Shopify Scripts are customizations written in Ruby that allow you to create personalized customer experiences. Using line item, shipping, and payment scripts you can implement custom logic and tailor the user experience during a customer’s checkout journey.
  • Transporter: The Transporter app is part of a suite of tools that makes it easier to migrate online stores from other platforms to Shopify Plus.
  • Bulk Account Inviter: A simple, two-click tool to send bulk email-invites to your customers.

4. Flexible APIs for custom integrations

Shopify Plus provides you with additional API calls that let you integrate with custom apps. The following API resources can be used by Shopify Plus merchants only:

  • GiftCard: A gift card is an alternative payment method. Each gift card has a unique code that is entered during checkout. Its balance can be redeemed over multiple checkouts
  • Multipass: Multipass login is for store owners who have a separate website and a Shopify store. It redirects users from the website to the Shopify store and seamlessly logs them in with the same email address they used to sign up for the original website.
  • User: The User resource lets you retrieve information about staff accounts on a Shopify shop.

5. Merchant Success Program

The Merchant Success Program helps you get the most value out of Shopify Plus. This program helps you define a clear roadmap for your goals—then connects you with the right support and training to take you there. You get access to support and online courses in key business areas pertaining to Shopify and its ecosystem.

6. Unlimited Shopify Staff Accounts

Shopify Plus also provides you with unlimited staff accounts to allow you to grow your personnel without the risk of additional costs, unlike standard Shopify plans. Additional permission settings for more control over the actions your staff can take in your Shopify admin, including separate report export permissions and permissions to specific apps are also available in this tier.

7. Membership to premium Shopify communities

Being part of the Shopify Plus tier also grants you access to some exclusive Shopify communities:

  • Membership to the Shopify Plus Community on Facebook to share strategies and experiences with other high-volume merchants
  • Access to the Shopify Plus Academy for self-guided training on key topics related to growing your business
  • Access to technology, agency, and solution partners with Shopify Plus Partner Program.
  • Sneak peek into exclusive beta programs to preview and influence the product roadmap of Shopify Plus.

8. Separate Wholesale channel

Shopify Plus grants you access to a wholesale channel that lets you create a separate, password-protected wholesale store. With this feature, you can offer the same products at competitive prices to wholesale buyers. You can also list wholesale-only products or services.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Verdict

Shopify and Shopify Plus have similar offerings when it comes to essential eCommerce functionalities and analytics. The underlying difference between the two is that Shopify Plus gives you a lot more versatility with advanced features, enhanced support options, and greater access to code-level customizations.

If you’re new to online e-commerce, the standard Shopify plan has enough features to help you grow a successful online business. It is also easy to upgrade your Shopify pricing plans as your company grows.

To summarize, Shopify is best suited for smaller businesses, whereas Shopify Plus caters to merchants with high-velocity sales and lots of potential for year-on-year growth.

HappyFox is an omnichannel helpdesk, with integrations with popular e-commerce providers such as Shopify and BigCommerce. Want to know more? Schedule a demo with us to see things in action!