Shopify Plus vs. Shopify: What’s the Difference?

Among all US ecommerce websites, Shopify holds a market share of 31%—2.6% of the top one million websites visited each day are Shopify sites. Most of these stores are using one of Shopify’s three main plans (Basic, Shopify, and Advanced), however, some opt for the enterprise Shopify Plus plan.

Curious about Shopify Plus vs. Shopify? While regular Shopify plans are excellent choices for small business owners looking to include ecommerce in their business plans, a more experienced online retailer may need a more customizable experience.

Shopify Plus includes the same core features and advanced dashboard as regular Shopify but offers dedicated support options, advanced features, access to your store’s underlying code, additional integrations, and more.

Keep reading for an overview of Shopify Plus vs. Shopify before you make the decision to upgrade.

What Is Shopify Plus vs. Shopify?

If you’re on a regular Shopify plan, you receive access to core features such as:

  • a standalone online store
  • multilingual selling tools
  • dropshipping tools
  • multi-currency selling tools
  • point-of-sale functionality
  • unlimited products and transactions
  • free SSL certificate
  • abandoned cart recovery

… and more. However, if you’re an enterprise-level ecommerce retailer, you may be interested in a premium version of the platform called Shopify Plus. The Plus level adds to these features and targets retailers that need a high-powered platform to cater to a more extensive catalog and sales volume.

Shopify Plus homepage

Shopify Plus is regular Shopify on steroids. It offers considerably more advanced functionality than the regular version of the software—but are they actually different platforms?

No, Shopify Plus is not a separate platform. Both versions use the same basic technology, have interchangeable themes, and provide the same dashboard and core functionality. The differences between the plans come down to enterprise-level features that you unlock with Shopify Plus, including reduced payment processing fees, more staff accounts, additional inventory locations, and more.

What Are the Key Differences Between Shopify Plus vs. Shopify?

Before diving into a more detailed comparison of the two levels of Shopify plans, let’s look at a quick snapshot of the main differences between Shopify Plus vs. Shopify.

ShopifyShopify Plus
CostStarts at $9/monthStarts at $2,000/month (fees vary based on business needs)
Payment processing feesFees start at 2.9% plus 30 cents for online card sales — add a transaction fee of 0.5% to 2% for third-party payment processorQuote-based — tack on an additional 0.15% transaction fee when using a third-party payment processor
Contract optionsMonthly, annual, or biennialMonthly, annual, or biennial
SupportLive, 24/7 support is available by phone, email, and chatLive, 24/7 support is available by phone, email, and chat
EaseEasy, intuitive interfaceModerate. If you’re not an experienced Shopify merchant, you may need help performing certain tasks.

Merchant Success Program

When it comes to customer support, there are fundamental differences between the Shopify and Shopify Plus offerings. Regular Shopify plans are great for ecommerce retailers with a basic understanding of the platform. When you’re on a Shopify Plus plan, you gain access to a Launch Team that will hold your hand, enabling you to launch faster and assisting with integrations and migrations. There’s also a Merchant Success program that can help you with an ongoing strategy for your online business.

With access to this specialized launch team, Shopify promises to get enterprise customers up and running with a Shopify Plus store in 90 days or less.

More Theme Customization

To attract new customers, increase brand trust, and provide a better, seamless experience, you need a professional Shopify theme customized to your brand. Shopify’s Theme Marketplace is available to all sellers, regardless of plan, but Shopify Plus provides you with access to Liquid.

Liquid is the Shopify platform’s templating language. You can use this to access your store’s back-end code and further customize your theme to your needs.

Unlimited Staff Accounts

The number of admin accounts you can create for your Shopify store varies by plan. The cheapest option, Shopify Lite, doesn’t provide the ability to create multiple user accounts. However, the higher plans allow you to set up more than one unique administrator login for your store.

The Basic Shopify plan comes with two admin accounts, which is enough for more small ecommerce businesses. If you have more employees, you may be happier with the Shopify plan, which allows five accounts. If you need to provide more employees access to your POS, the Advanced Plan allows you to create 15.

With Shopify Plus, you receive unlimited user accounts so you can create logins for all of your employees. While this may be overkill for smaller businesses, it’s a bonus for larger teams. Shopify Plus also allows you to assign advanced permissions to users, which gives you more control over staff access to your store’s backend. For example, you can grant certain export permissions to advanced analytics reports that are not available on the lower plans.

More Control Over Checkout

The customer checkout experience is a critical aspect of any online store. You can’t make money if your customers don’t complete checkout, so you want to make sure people enter their credit card information. If someone abandons their cart, they likely won’t come back to make a purchase.

There is one very important difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus, and that is that Shopify Plus offers fully-customizable checkout pages, while regular Shopify does NOT. With a standard Shopify Plan, you’re limited to customizing the checkout experience by the parameters of your chosen store theme.

Shopify Plus gives you access to the checkout page and theme language using Liquid. You can also access Shopify Scripts, which provides additional coding functionality, and the platform’s script editor, which enables you to add the following features:

  • Precalculated shipping costs
  • Free shipping thresholds
  • Automated promotions and discounts

If your goal is to provide a fully-optimized and custom checkout experience, you’ll need Shopify Plus. With Shopify Plus, you have significantly more control over checkout and additional shipping options. If it’s not in the budget, you can integrate your store with other third-party apps to add more features to the standard Shopify checkout experience.

Advanced Multi-Currency Features

If you need to be able to sell in multiple currencies, you should strongly consider Shopify Plus. The premium version of Shopify includes an automation tool that sets your customers’ currency and country based on their IP address. This means that customers will see your pricing in their familiar currency. If they don’t need to select the currency manually, your store is easier to use.

Automatically updating currency also eliminates the risk of customers being leery of purchasing from a foreign website, which can increase your conversion rate.

The supported currencies are:

  • United States $
  • Euro €
  • Australian $
  • Canadian $
  • Danish Krona
  • Hong Kong $
  • Japanese yen ¥
  • New Zealand $
  • British £
  • Singapore $
  • Swedish Krona

When using Shopify Payments as one of your accepted payment methods, you can also set custom product prices for specific territories. While Shopify Payments is available on all Shopify Plans, these exclusive features are only available to Plus plan users.

Exclusive Apps

All Shopify users have access to over 8,000 apps found in the App Store. However, Shopify Plus users can choose from an even wider range of applications.

Shopify app store
Marketing apps available on the Shopify App Store

With more applications, you have access to more advanced functionality, which means greater control over content management, fulfillment, digital marketing tools, shipping options, task automation, customer rewards, the checkout process, and more. Some of the most popular Shopify apps for enterprise-level businesses include:

  • Wholesale Channel: Interested in the wholesale business model? This allows retailers to cater to wholesale customers by creating a separate, password-protected wholesale channel and storefront that is fully accessible from your Shopify admin dashboard.
  • Shopify Flow: A code-free automation tool that streamlines the creation of “if this then that” (IFTT) rules. You can use Shopify Flow rules to automate certain actions, such as sending an email to a specific supplier when inventory levels are low.
  • Script Editor: Create personalized experiences and custom discounts and promotions for customers to increase conversion rates, advanced payment options, and more.
  • Launchpad: This is a scheduling tool that exists within Admin that enables retailers to schedule Shopify Scripts, product visibility, discounts, storefront themes, and more. You can set a start and end time for each event.
  • Transporter: Migrating your store? Use this app to import products, price lists, customer information, and order data into your new Shopify store.
  • Bulk Account Inviter: A tool that lets you invite customers to activate accounts for your online store using their email address, which is useful if you’re migrating your store from another ecommerce platform or Shopify site.  Shopify store.

Additional Inventory Locations

If you’re a multichannel merchant, you likely source products from more than one location. With a Shopify Plus plan, you can store and manage inventory in more locations than you can on a regular plan.

With a Basic, Shopify, or Advanced plan, you can have four, five, and eight locations. Upgrading to Shopify Plus allows you up to 20 inventory locations and advanced inventory tracking features.

Wholesale Channels

If you dream of expanding to wholesale retail, Shopify Plus can help you boost order volume and reach new audiences. As your brand grows, you can start experimenting with wholesale sales campaigns with a wholesale channel that allows you to create a password-protected wholesale storefront. With this B2B functionality, you can do the following and more:

  • Create custom bulk discounts
  • Set custom, tiered pricing for retail partners
  • Add wholesale-only products to your sales catalog
  • Configure custom shipping requirements
  • Review and edit orders before sending invoices
  • Configure third-party payment provider settings custom to B2B customers

Additional Customer Discount Options

Another way Shopify sets retailers up for success is by allowing you to optimize your checkout process for higher conversion rates. One way to do this is by providing promotional discounts to customers at the checkout stage. 

There are hundreds of third-party apps in the Shopify app store that can help you create discounts to increase conversion rates. Using Shopify’s standard plans. you can easily create promotions and discounts from your Shopify admin dashboard. By using the integrated point-of-sale system, you can allow shoppers to redeem discounts in-store, as well. You can create the following discounts with a standard Shopify plan:

  • Percentage: provide customers with a discount code that grants them a percentage off of their order total
  • Fixed-value: allow customers to redeem coupons with a fixed amount off of their order (such as $10 off of $25)
  • Buy X Get Y: Give customers a bonus item or gift with specific purchases
  • Shipping discounts: Offer free or reduced shipping with customers’ carts that meet specific parameters

When you create a promotional discount campaign, you can track its progress through Shopify’s “Sales by Discount” report. Tools for monitoring business like this can show you what is working and what isn’t, then you can use campaign data to run future marketing campaigns.

Shopify Plus allows you to take promotional campaigns a step further with tools like Launchpad, which is an exclusive app available to Plus users. Online sales promotions usually require tedious, manual labor. Launchpad allows retailers to automate many steps associated with these campaigns, such as flash sales, discounts, and product releases. This app makes it easier to launch a campaign and lowers the risk of human error associated with repetitive tasks. 

Manage Multiple Stores

If you’re building an ecommerce empire, you won’t be able to do it with a regular Shopify plan. With a Shopify Plus subscription and access to the organization admin, you can create up to ten stores. With these expansion stores, you can cater to stores with different physical locations, create more selling opportunities, or use them for internal processes.

Shopify allows users to add more expansion stores beyond the limit of ten for an additional premium of $250 per month.

Create Sandbox Stores

With Shopify Plus, you and your developers can also create sandbox stores. Sandbox stores allow you to experiment with Shopify features and themes or create demos for others. Using sandbox stores, you can make dummy purchases through fake payment gateways, allowing you to process an unlimited number of test orders.

If you want to test apps before installing them on your main store, sandbox stores are a great way to do this. You can add any app from the Shopify app store to a sandbox store.

Exclusive Access to Other Resources and Advanced Support

Retailers using Shopify Plus have access to a wide range of exclusive resources and tools that aren’t available to those on regular Shopify plans. These resources include dedicated account managers, in addition to:

  • The Facebook Shopify Plus Community: A shared community for retailers on Shopify Plus to collaborate, network, offer strategic coaching, and share ecommerce experiences
  • The Shopify Plus Academy: A collection of documents and self-guided training resources for Shopify Plus retailers
  • The Shopify Plus Partners Program: Access to select agency, technology, and solution partners for business growth
  • Shopify BETA Programs: Preview new features and influence Shopify Plus’ shared vision and direction

More In-Depth Analytics Options

All of Shopify’s plans offer access to an invaluable analytics dashboard. Here, you can access reports related to top products, conversions, and most popular referrers. However, Shopify Plus provides an advanced report builder and more functionality thanks to partnerships with Looker and Glew, two leading analytics companies.

When it comes to reports, what are the biggest differences between Shopify vs. Shopify Plus?

Standard Shopify plans have varied reporting and analytics capabilities, based on the plan you choose. Shopify Lite, for example, offers access to the overview dashboard which provides key financial reports on data points related to payments and taxes.

Basic Shopify is the next step up and includes access to acquisition reports, live view, several behavior reports, and one marketing report.

The Shopify plan includes all of the previously mentioned reports in addition to all five marketing reports, all six behavior reports, ten out of eleven sales reports, profit reports, retail sales reports, and five out of seven customer reports. Choose an Advanced plan and you can access all customer reports and unlock access to custom reports, as well.

Analytics and ReportsShopify LiteBasic Shopify  ShopifyAdvanced ShopifyShopify Plus
Analytics page
Finances reports
Product analytics
Live View
Acquisition reports
Inventory reports✓ (5/7)✓ all✓ all✓ all
Behavior reports✓ (5/6)✓ all✓ all✓ all
Marketing reports✓ (1 of 5)✓ all✓ all✓ all
Order reports
Sales reports
Retail sales reports
Profit reports
Customers reports✓ (5 of 7)✓ all✓ all
Custom reports

High-growth merchants will prefer Plus, which offers access to all available in-depth reports, including “average order value over time.” This valuable report shows you how your average order value has evolved over time. With this report, you can make more strategic, informed business decisions.

Shopify Plus vs. Shopify: How Do Costs Compare?

So far in our Shopify vs Shopify comparison, we’ve looked at the key features and notable differences between the two platforms.

What about the differences in pricing? Shopify’s pricing is pretty straightforward. There are four available plans, which range in affordable cost from $9 to $299 USD per month.

  • Shopify Lite — $9 per month
  • Basic Shopify — $29 per month
  • Shopify — $79 per month
  • Advanced Shopify — $299 per month

With Shopify Plus, two pricing tiers are available:

  • Standard pricing: $2,000 USD per month (for ‘normal’ setups and integrations)
  • Variable fee: a negotiated percentage of monthly sales

If you want to take advantage of either pricing option, contact the Shopify Plus team so they can discuss your requirements and give you a quote and ceiling price for your project.

Shopify pricing plans

While it may be worth it, Shopify Plus isn’t cheap, so you’ll need to be very sure that your business requires its advanced features before choosing it as your online store platform.

Which Shopify Plan Is Right for You?

Since the regular version of Shopify offers users basic ecommerce features, many merchants wonder if they need to use the Plus version of the Shopify platform to successfully run an online store.

There isn’t an easy answer to this because every ecommerce project is unique. You may not need the superior features offered by Shopify Plus. If you’re considering Shopify Plus, then I’d generally view it as being worth serious consideration if you:

  • have a large number of brick-and-mortar locations where you want to offer point-of-sale (POS) functionality
  • have advanced API requirements and a need to develop custom tools or integrate several third-party applications for your Shopify store
  • have a large, international customer base that requires automatic currency conversion
  • need a platform that allows the use of multiple inventory locations
  • desire total control over the customer checkout process
  • have a need to manage multiple Shopify stores under one organizational umbrella
  • have a very large ecommerce team that requires access to more than one Shopify store.

Unless you meet more than one of the criteria above, one of the cheaper Shopify plans is likely a better option for your business.

Shopify vs. Shopify Plus FAQ

What are the main differences between the regular Shopify plans and Shopify Plus?

With Shopify’s regular choice of plans, you get access to a suite of basic ecommerce tools that are appropriate for smaller or medium-sized businesses. However, with Shopify Plus, you get a variety of enterprise-level features, including increased access to the Shopify API, better multi-currency selling features, an unlimited number of user accounts, the full set of Shopify point-of-sale tools, and a fully-customizable checkout process.

How many stores can I build and manage with Shopify Plus?

You can build up to ten Shopify stores with Shopify Plus. If you need to expand to additional stores, a fee of $250 per store applies.

How much does Shopify Plus cost?

Shopify Plus costs $2,000 per month for a typical setup. Alternatively, you can negotiate a fixed fee with Shopify based on your requirements and the complexity level of your ecommerce project

How do I purchase a Shopify Plus plan?

To start using Shopify Plus, you will need to contact the Shopify Plus team. They will ask you to outline your specific requirements and provide a quote for your project.

Take Shopify to the Next Level With Flxpoint

If you’re interested in the advanced and innovative features we’ve discussed, Shopify Plus is a powerful platform and a worthy choice. If you don’t have enough monthly sales volume to justify the $2,000 per month price tag, it may be best to wait until your order volume increases.

Whether you’re on a regular plan or choosing to upgrade to Shopify Plus, you can automate common workflows and scale your ecommerce operations with Flxpoint. Talk with an expert to learn more about how the two platforms can work together to grow your business.

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