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Shopify vs Shopify Plus: What are the key differences?

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Shopify is one of the best ecommerce solutions on the market. In fact, it’s the fourth leading ecommerce platform globally.

In the US, however, it holds first place and over 29% market share among ecommerce platforms, even more than WooCommerce, the global leader.

So it makes sense to use Shopify to build your online store. The true dilemma is deciding between Shopify and Shopify Plus. This article provides a solution to your Shopify vs Shopify Plus conundrum.

But first, what are Shopify and Shopify Plus?

These are the two plans offered by Shopify to cater to different clients. Shopify is great for small and medium-sized ecommerce businesses while Shopify Plus is excellent for large enterprises.

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus are built on the same technology and have the same core functionality and user interface, but Shopify Plus has more features.

So, which of these should you choose and what is the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus?

Let’s find out in this detailed guide. And if you want to combine the power of email & SMS marketing with ecommerce, sign up to Omnisend with your existing Shopify account.

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Shopify vs Shopify Plus: the key differences

Before comparing Shopify vs Shopify Plus, please note that Shopify Plus features everything Shopify does and more.

So, the question is not whether Shopify Plus is better, because it is. Rather, it’s whether you need those extra features and if it’s worth the money for you.

Check out some of the key differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus and then make an informed decision.

Plans and pricing

The first point of comparison between Shopify Plus vs Shopify is, of course, price. It will also be a key deciding factor, given the huge price difference between the two.

Let’s go through Shopify vs Shopify Plus pricing in detail.

Shopify pricing plans

Shopify offers a tiered pricing structure with three plans: Basic, Shopify, and Advanced. Here are the price details.

Shopify pricing plans

Below are the key features offered by these plans, with varying usage limits. This means all plans offer these features to different degrees, with the Advanced plan offering the highest range.

  • An ecommerce website, including a blog
  • Ability to sell unlimited products
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 2-15 staff accounts based on the plan
  • 4-8 inventory locations based on the plan
  • A free SSL certificate
  • Discounts and gift cards
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Customer segmentation
  • Marketing automation
  • Shipping and payment features
  • Point of sale feature
  • International commerce

To get a fair Shopify vs Shopify Plus comparison, check out these pricing options offered by Shopify Plus.

Shopify Plus pricing

The prices for Shopify Plus start at $2,000 per month and vary according to business volume.

Shopify Plus pricing plans

Here are the additional features you’ll get with Shopify Plus:

  • 60% faster checkout and 18% more conversions with Shop Pay
  • Visually rich product pages with 3D visuals, AR, videos, and more
  • Truly global ecommerce business with multiple currencies, Shopify stores, and languages
  • Advanced shipping options and discounts
  • Access to Shopify Audiences for more targeted ad campaigns
  • Advanced automation options
  • Unlimited staff accounts
  • Quick integration with your entire tech stack
  • More API integrations
  • Access to exclusive Shopify apps

Now that you understand Shopify vs Shopify Plus cost, let’s compare additional features.

Integrations

One of the advantages of Shopify Plus over Shopify is that it offers more seamless integration across a business’s tech stack.

It provides native integrations with leading email marketing platforms like Omnisend, ERP and CRM systems, and more.

Here are some exclusive native integrations that Shopify Plus provides:

  • Shopify Flow: Allows complex ecommerce workflow and process automation that make running a store seem like a breeze.
  • Bulk Account Inviter: Invites your customers in bulk to activate their accounts for your Shopify online store.
  • Shopify organization: Helps you manage multiple online stores on an organization level and not at the store level.
  • Wholesale channel: This allows you to create a separate wholesale storefront for your B2B customers.
  • Launchpad: Enables you to create automated sales campaigns by scheduling product visibility, discounts, etc. for a specific period.
  • Transporter: This app allows you to easily migrate to Shopify Plus from other platforms by importing your customer, product, and other data records.

Other than these native integrations, Shopify Plus supports numerous API integrations with third-party apps. Additionally, you may use API connectors to build your own apps or connect them to other bespoke apps.

Omnisend is available as a native integration on Shopify and can help you leverage the power of email marketing to grow your ecommerce business.

Transaction fees/payment processing fees

One key difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus is the transaction fee charged for different plans. 

If you use external payment gateways, here are the transaction fees charged by the various Shopify and Shopify Plus plans:

  • Basic: 2%
  • Shopify: 1%
  • Advanced: 0.5%
  • Shopify Plus: 0.15%

However if you use Shopify Payments, the transaction fee will be waived off for all plans.

Is there more to the Shopify vs Shopify Plus debate?

Keep on reading to find out.

Design flexibility and themes

Shopify offers 9 free themes and 82 paid themes in different categories and for all types of businesses like clothing stores, electronics stores, and so on. 

You can find a theme that’s most relevant to your business and customize it to create your ecommerce store.

Shopify themes

The price of the paid themes ranges from $180 to $350, depending on the complexity and features offered. 

With Shopify, you can customize your chosen theme as much as you like, but it’s difficult to switch to a different theme later.

Here, Shopify Plus has an edge as it makes theme customization and switching easy. 

How?

Shopify Plus account holders get access to Liquid—the theme language used by Shopify. Think of it as having the developer access to Shopify themes, making it possible to do advanced customizations at the backend.

Pro tip: Get help from your developer to fully utilize the theme customization options offered by Liquid and create a unique Shopify store that stands out.

Customer support

Next in our comparison of Shopify vs Shopify Plus is the customer support offered by both.

Both Shopify Plus and Shopify offer 24/7 customer support through various channels like live chat, phone, and email.

What’s the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus in terms of customer support?

Shopify Plus offers quicker and more personalized customer support. Shopify Plus users get access to the Shopify Merchant Success program that offers the following benefits:

  • Dedicated 24/7 access to highly-trained experts, not the low-tier customer care executives.
  • Access to Shopify Plus Academy, which has tons of online videos and other training resources.
  • A dedicated account manager to act as your point of contact for all your needs.
  • Access to an online community of merchants via social media and educational channels.
  • Support in growing your business using Shopify’s proprietary Merchant Growth Model.

When you run a million-dollar business, you can’t afford to wait in a queue to get your issues resolved and lose tons of money. That’s why Shopify Plus offers expedited custom support to its customers.

Analytics

Next on our list of differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus is the analytics and reporting capabilities offered by each.

Shopify offers analytics capabilities even with its most basic plans, but it’s not as good as the analytics features offered by Shopify Plus or the Shopify Advanced plan.

Let’s discuss the analytics capabilities you’ll get with each plan and some key types of reports.

Reports available with different plans

Here is an overview of the reports you can get with each plan

  • Basic: A basic overview of key metrics and access to basic financial reports, product analytics, acquisitions reports, etc.
  • Shopify: Access to some of the more advanced analytics reports with data on sales, orders, customer behavior, profits, marketing campaigns, etc.
  • Advanced: With this plan, you get all the reports, along with the option to prepare customized reports.
  • Shopify Plus: It offers everything you get with the Advanced plan, with one additional report on average order value over time.

Here is a complete breakdown of the reports you’ll get with different plans.

Now, let’s understand some of these reports in more detail

Types of reports and their importance

The Shopify Plus and Advanced plans give you access to all the available reports, including:

  • Product analytics: Tracks product performance for 90 days including who bought your products and how. This helps you understand which products and sales channels are performing well.
  • Inventory: Shows you a monthly snapshot of your inventory and tracks metrics like inventory sold per day. It enables better inventory management.
  • Behavior: These 6 reports help you understand customer behavior on your website and give you opportunities to improve your customer touch points. You can use these insights to create better marketing communications and offers that get more conversions.
  • Marketing: The 5 marketing reports help you assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and track conversions. You can get access to reports like conversion tracking and marketing activity to boost your marketing efforts.
  • Sales: These reports will give you all information you need about customer orders by product, channel, or time. For POS data, you can access retail sales reports.
  • Customer: There are 7 customer reports that provide an in-depth analysis of your customers and their history with your brand. With Advanced and Shopify Plus plans you also get access to information about at-risk and loyal customers.

Apart from these, you will also get access to custom reports, which let you choose the metrics you want to track as well as the format.

Customization options

The level of customization available for your shop is the last differentiator in this Shopify vs Shopify Plus comparison.

Overall, Shopify Plus offers more customization options than even the top-tier Shopify plan. Let’s check out some of the aspects where Shopify Plus really shines through and has an edge over Shopify.

Checkout

Shopify Plus offers you the ability to completely customize your checkout process by giving you access to checkout.liquid templates.

What does this mean?

Well, Liquid allows you to make changes at the backend to change your theme as you like, thus providing lots of checkout customization options

This implies that you can add additional elements to your checkout process to improve customer experience and streamline the checkout procedure.

You can add countdown timers, shipping details, trust badges, customer reviews, and even a live chat option to your checkout page.

You can also boost your average order value by using upselling and cross-selling tactics at checkout. For example, you can add personalized promotions, discounted product bundles, free gifts, and more at checkout using Shopify Functions

Here’s an example:

The best part is that you can automate all these functions and let your website work harder for you to generate more sales revenue. Shopify Functions enables you to create automated custom discounts for your customers.

And you can use Shopify Flow to tag and segment customers to target each segment more efficiently throughout the customer journey.

What’s more?

You can add Google Tag Manager to get checkout analytics that can help you optimize every step of the checkout process. This, in turn, leads to higher conversions.

Pro tip: Recover your abandoned carts with the Shopify abandoned cart apps that are available for both Shopify and Shopify Plus.

Point of sale

While Shopify provides its users with access to Shopify POS Lite, Shopify Plus comes with free access to Shopify POS Pro, which is available for $89 per month as an add-on to Shopify plans.

What does it offer?

It provides you with everything you need to sell your products in person through brick-and-mortar stores. The POS software solution turns any mobile device into a powerful POS solution.

It syncs your offline and online stores and integrates all data to give you all the information you need from a single dashboard.

It also allows you to provide multiple buying options to your customers including:

  • Browse in-store, buy online
  • Buy online and pick up in-store
  • Buy in-store and get it home-delivered
  • Buy anywhere and return anywhere

This level of customization was formerly reserved only for the top retail giants but is now accessible to your business as well.

That’s not all!

It also syncs custom data across stores to provide your in-store employees with detailed customer profiles that help them build better customer relationships. This, in turn, boosts customer retention and loyalty.

B2B

Shopify Plus has a whole suite of features for B2B businesses including setting up a separate wholesale channel. In fact, you can have B2C and B2B stores on the same platform and sell to all types of customers.

What are the advanced customization options that you can get?

You can create customized price lists for different clients, set custom payment terms, and use multiple currencies. From the same store, different clients will see different prices and payment terms once they log in to their accounts.

It also allows you to create advanced wholesale discounts that differ for each client.

Basically, Shopify Plus brings all the B2B functionalities without the need for any third-party apps or coding.

International selling

When comparing Shopify vs Shopify Plus, we can’t skip the international selling features that Shopify Plus offers.

Let’s first start with the common Shopify vs Shopify Plus features. 

  • All Shopify plans and Shopify Plus allow you to sell in 133 currencies
  • Except for the Basic plan, all plans allow you to control international prices with a fixed exchange rate
  • Except the Basic plan, all plans allow you to sell in multiple languages
    • Shopify – 2 languages
    • Advanced – 5 languages
    • Shopify Plus – 20 languages
  • Except the basic plan, all plans allow you to create countries-specific domains to improve your local SEO in different countries

Here are the features only Shopify Plus offers:

  • Avalara tax automation that automatically calculates taxes at checkout according to the latest tax rules in different countries.
  • Access to Oxygen, Shopify’s global hosting solution on which you can host your headless Hydrogen stores for free.
  • You can also create clone stores or multiple versions of your stores to target specific customer segments.

That brings us to the end of our Shopify vs Shopify Plus comparison. 

You know by now when to upgrade, so let’s understand how to upgrade from Shopify to Shopify Plus.

How to upgrade from Shopify to Shopify Plus 

If you want to switch to the Shopify upgrade plan, simply go to the upgrade page, click on the upgrade button, and log in to upgrade.

You’ll be taken through a series of prompts that are self-explanatory and you’ll be able to switch to the Shopify Plus plan. 

Once you switch to the Shopify Plus plan, here are some Shopify tips for you:

  • Go through the Shopify Plus onboarding webinar to understand the Shopify Plus benefits and features, and understand how to set up your Shopify stores.
  • Check out the Shopify Plus Academy to get access to tons of learning resources and get yourself acquainted with all you can do with your upgraded plan.
  • Leverage the dedicated solutions engineer for your account to customize your store and the checkout process.

The best part is that Shopify Plus provides dedicated support to its customers, so you will have plenty of help throughout the onboarding process. 

Ready to make a choice?

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus offer great features for ecommerce businesses to run high-converting online stores.

The sole difference is that Shopify offers plans for small and mid-sized businesses, while Shopify Plus is designed for enterprises. This reflects in their pricing.

Shopify Plus is far more expensive than Shopify, but it provides more advanced features for running truly global, large-scale businesses. 

Understanding your business needs is the key to resolving the Shopify vs Shopify Plus conflict. You can always start with Shopify and switch to the upgrade plan as your business grows.

Irrespective of which one you choose, you’ll need a great ecommerce marketing automation solution to market and grow your business. Omnisend offers unmatched omnichannel ecommerce marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes and types.

Omnisend’s email & SMS marketing directly integrates with Shopify & Shopify Plus, so you can generate more sales, more quickly
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Bernard Meyer
Article by
Bernard Meyer

Bernard is the Director of Content at Omnisend, with a passion for good research, helping ecommerce businesses with their marketing automation needs, and beating absolutely everyone in Mario Kart 64.


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