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Shopify vs Shopify Plus: What are the key differences?

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Shopify is the fourth leading ecommerce platform globally, after WooCommerce, Squarespace, and Woo Themes.

Ecommerce platforms by market share
Image via Statista

With a 29% market share, Shopify is a top choice in the US, coming close to the global leader, WooCommerce.

With such an impressive performance, it’s easy to assume that Shopify is a one-stop shop for any online store. However, businesses that aspire to scale beyond their initial stages must consider Shopify vs Shopify Plus.

Here’s where things get interesting.

Both platforms share Shopify’s core functionality. However, Shopify Plus unlocks a treasure trove of features designed to empower ambitious businesses, regardless of size. The only downside is that it comes with a comparatively hefty price tag.

For rapidly growing SMBs and seasoned enterprises, looking at Shopify vs Shopify Plus is crucial. 

This guide dives deep into Shopify vs Shopify Plus features and how they compare. By the end, you’ll be able to choose the platform that perfectly aligns with your ecommerce journey.

Get the ecommerce-focused email & SMS marketing platform with one-click integration with Shopify and Shopify Plus

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: 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 an appropriate investment for your business at this stage.

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 four plans: Basic, Shopify, Advanced, and Plus. Here are the pricing details.

Shopify pricing plans

Below are the key features these plans offer with varying usage limits. This means all plans provide 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 chat support
  • 2-15 staff accounts based on the plan
  • 10 inventory locations 
  • 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 the pricing options offered by Shopify Plus.

Shopify Plus pricing

The pricing for Shopify Plus starts at $2,300 per month with a three-year contract or $2,500 per month with a one-year contract. Variable platform fees are available for complex business structures.

Shopify Plus pricing

Here are the extra 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 and Shopify Plus apps

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

Integrations

One advantage 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 invite: 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, not at the store level
  • Wholesale channel: 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: Lets you 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 lots of 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 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: 0.6%
  • Shopify Plus: 0.2%

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

Design flexibility and themes

Shopify offers 13 free themes and 181 paid themes in different categories. Whether you run a clothing store, electronics store, or something else, there’s a theme for you.

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

Shopify themes

The paid themes are priced anywhere from $140 to $400, depending on the complexity and features.

With Shopify, you can customize your chosen theme as much as you like, but switching to a different theme later is difficult.

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, which is set to be replaced by checkout extensibility in August 2024. 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 they offer.

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus offer 24/7 customer support. However, while Shopify’s Basic and Shopify tiers have 24/7 chat support, its Advanced tier offers enhanced live chat.

What about Shopify Plus?

On top of priority live chat support, Shopify Plus offers priority phone support. Additionally, 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 are the analytics and reporting capabilities each offers.

Shopify provides numerous helpful default Shopify reports across all plans, including reports for: 

  • Profit 
  • Sales 
  • Order 
  • Fraud 
  • Finance 
  • Behavior 
  • Inventory
  • Acquisition 
  • Retail sales
  • Customers
  • Marketing

With the Shopify Advanced and Plus plans, you get these analytics and reports as well as predicted trends based on your previous 24-month store performance. Custom reports and analytics are also available. 

Here’s 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

Shopify creates the default reports available in your Shopify admin and provides users access based on their subscription plan. 

Here’s a sample of some of these reports:

  • Acquisition: There are three types of acquisition reports that show you how visitors come to your store and how long they stay: sessions over time, sessions by referrer, and sessions by location 
  • Inventory: This shows you a monthly snapshot of your inventory and tracks metrics like inventory sold per day, enabling better inventory management
  • Behavior: These 11 reports help you understand customer behavior on your website and give you opportunities to improve your customer touch points, which in turn can increase conversions
  • Marketing: The five marketing reports help you assess the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and track conversions
  • Sales: These reports will give you all the information you need about customer orders by product, channel, or time. For POS data, you can access retail sales reports
  • Customers: There are seven customer reports that provide an in-depth analysis of your customers and their history with your brand. With Advanced and Shopify Plus plans, you get a predicted values feature that  estimates average customer spend 

Advanced and Shopify Plus users also get access to custom reports, allowing you to choose the format and the metrics you want to track.

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 Advanced 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 enables you to completely customize your checkout process through a game-changing feature called checkout extensibility

Compared to checkout.liquid templates, it’s a seamless and easier way to customize the in-checkout experience in an app-based manner.

This upgrade-safe solution allows Shopify Plus merchants to make code-free customizations to their information, shipping, and payment pages.

Additionally, it provides the flexibility to develop custom apps for further customization. This means you can include checkout customization options to improve the customer journey.

The best part is that customizations made with the checkout extensibility feature integrate seamlessly with Shop Pay. As a result, you get higher conversions.

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 addon 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. 

  • Shopify Plus allows you to sell in 133+ global currencies
  • Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus plans allow you to control international prices with a fixed exchange rate. Except for Shopify Lite, all plans allow you to sell in up to 20 languages
  • All plans allow you to create country-specific domains to improve your local SEO in various countries

Here are the features only offered by Shopify Plus:

  • Avalara tax automation, which automatically calculates taxes at checkout according to the latest tax rules in different countries
  • Access to Oxygen, Shopify’s global hosting solution, where you can host 25 headless Hydrogen stores for free
  • Clone stores or multiple versions of your stores that you can create to target specific customer segments

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

Now that you know when to upgrade, let’s look at 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 self-explanatory prompts 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:

  • Watch the Shopify Plus onboarding webinar to learn about the benefits and features of Shopify Plus and how to set up your Shopify stores
  • Check out the Shopify Plus Academy to access tons of learning resources and get 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 is reflected 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
Bernard Meyer
Article by
Bernard Meyer

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