Shopify is a force to be reckoned with in the small-to-mid size eCommerce market. With over 800,000 merchants currently using the platform, it’s difficult to argue with their success.
But Shopify is also hard at work on their enterprise solution, Shopify Plus, which is designed for high growth, high volume businesses that need the power and support necessary to scale. To know if your business is prepared for the jump to the big time, it’s important to understand the distinctions between the two.
“Shopify is for small to medium sized ecommerce businesses who need a powerful platform that can grow with them. Shopify Plus is for enterprise-level businesses who already need to sell thousands of products every single day.”
-Carmichael, Ecommerce Website Builders, 2019
The first question is usually about cost-feasibility. Here’s the breakdown:
Shopify has three tiers of monthly subscription pricing available. Shopify Basic starts at $29, Shopify (standard) at $79, and Shopify Advanced at $299 with a 14-day free trial applying to all new merchants. Features and benefits of each plan increase respectively.
Shopify Plus pricing is slightly more complex, as it’s designed to scale with the sales volume of each client.
The flat minimum monthly price is $2000, then after $800,000 in monthly revenue, the percentage model takes over. The fees for the service are calculated as 0.25% of gross monthly sales, with a cap at $40,000. So a business with $1 million in sales would pay $2500, then anything beyond $16 million would pay $40,000.
Previously Shopify Plus was priced on a by-quote basis, but in the spirit of equality and transparency, the percentage-based price was implemented for all enterprise merchants.
Shopify suggests that businesses with at least $1 million in annual sales are ready to make the leap from Shopify Advanced to Shopify Plus.
Although there are thousands of applications and extensions available for regular Shopify merchants, Shopify Plus is a clear winner based on its flexibility and development potential. Plus merchants can enhance their store through software development kits (SDKs) or even receive assistance from experts or partners in creating tailor-made applications.
Exclusive pricing on many plug-ins from the Shopify app store are another perk, and with APIs businesses can connect to their preferred accounting, CRM and ERP systems among other software.
Shopify Plus definitely emphasizes going international more-so than the core platform. To assist with this, Plus merchants receive unlimited bandwidth, super fast servers, 200TB cloud storage, multi-language and true multi-currency support (as opposed to currency conversion).
In addition, enterprise businesses get 9 additional domains/storefronts so they can create specific marketing campaigns for different regions. If the company goes beyond the 9 available, there is a $250 charge per additional site.
Shopify Plus also partners with leading analytics companies like Glew and Looker to provide comprehensive, detailed reports based on the stores data to help businesses make the best informed decisions for growth.
All Shopify merchants enjoy an extensive support network. At all tiers, there is the free Shopify Academy, 24/7 multi-channel support, tutorials, experts, forums and the list goes on. Plus merchants, however, receive a boosted version of this with dedicated, personalized support in the form of a Launch Manager and Merchant Success Manager (MSM), the latter in perpetuity.
The Launch Manager is intended to ensure that there are no hiccups in there launching or replatforming processes. Depending on the size of the business, this can mean a considerable amount of attentive work, so having an expert at your side is a big plus.
The MSM is there to support a small group of brands (typically less than 6) in anything from platform guidance to strategic coaching.
Both iterations of the Shopify platform offer multi-channel integration, abandoned cart recovery, and are generally quite feature-rich. Shopify Plus sets itself apart with powerful automation and productivity tools.
Shopify Flow allows users to automate specific tasks that are determined using an “if this, then that” sequence. These workflows can range from commencing win-back activity on customers with lower reviews to triggering loyalty communications for repeat customers and everything in between.
Shopify flow can be integrated with other productivity applications and has 84 useful workflow templates at the time of writing.
Check out our eCommerce automation article for greater detail on Shopify Flow.
Scripts gives merchants full control over their checkout, something that is standardized on all other Shopify plans. This has a number of advantages for:
- Automated discounts and promotions
- Precalculated shipping costs
- Free shipping thresholds
- Fewer clicks, steps, and screens
- Or, simply building trust
LaunchPad is another plug-in that is exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants that can be used in conjunction with Shopify Flow. It allows users to schedule high-revenue driving events and more automatically:
“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. You can now prepare your Shopify store for any event, without all the headaches.”
For high growth, high volume merchants looking for dedicated support and guidance within a feature-rich platform, Shopify Plus should be a significant consideration. As this platform is relatively new, continuous improvements should absolutely be expected, adding greater value to enterprise merchants.
SmartOSC is a top trusted Shopify Plus partner in APAC and around the world. We specialize in eCommerce development and management as well as emerging trends including automation. Get in touch with us today to start a conversation on Shopify!