The difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus (and do you really need it)

The difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus (and do you really need it)

If you're looking at moving your ecommerce store to Shopify, or aren't sure what plan to choose when you set up a new Shopify site, or if you're even considering upgrading your existing Shopify plan, then here we try and outline the differences between Shopify Plus and standard Shopify plans.

Shopify Plus is Shopify's enterprise level plan, aimed at large, global businesses (think Gymshark, Kylie Cosmetics, Huel, Heinz etc), with multi-million turnovers. For micro/small and even medium size businesses, Shopify's standard plans are available and a more than likely to meet all requirements. 

To put it into context, monthly Shopify plans range from £25 - £344 per month whereas Shopify Plus plans start at £1600 (approx) per month. Once £650,000 (approx) per month in sales are reached, Shopify Plus switches over to a revenue-based model, which maxes out at £33,000 (approx) monthly.

What you get with Shopify Plus

Essentially, Shopify Plus has everything in the core Shopify plans, plus the following:

  1. Unlimited staff accounts
  2. Unified dashboard to manage multiple stores
  3. Up to 10 expansion stores under one account (subject to approval)
  4. More in-depth analytics
  5. Access to Liquid - the ability to fully customise your store, including the checkout
  6. Exclusive apps
  7. More API integrations
  8. Wholesale channel
  9. A dedicated account manager
  10. Merchant success progamme - access to advanced resources
  11. Favourable processing and transaction fees
  12. Dedicated servers for faster load times.

Do you really need Shopify Plus?

When you're looking at which plan to choose, then Plus may be a suitable option if:

  • You have a very high volume of sales, as Plus offers lower transactions fees
  • You need to process a huge number of sales in a short period of time (again think Black Friday on the biggest brand stores you can imagine!)
  • You have multiple stores that you all want to run from one plan (Plus allows up to 10 expansion stores under one subscription)
  • You need to customise your checkout
  • You want to manage wholesale natively, without an app
  • You're happy to be tied into a minimum 12 month contract (as Plus requires a minimum term)

All of the above benefits and requirements are only really suitable for a small selection of businesses. Any of the advanced features on Shopify can be achieved in different ways, so not being on Plus doesn't mean you can't achieve everything you want to do on your store. With a vast array of excellent apps on Shopify, all at affordable costs, you can achieve most, if not all of the features that used to be exclusive to Plus.

So, with the ability to achieve the desired functionality now open to pretty much all Shopify plans, then the main decision is likely to come down to cost. Make a cost comparison with a Plus contract vs a standard Shopify plan, include all additional app costs each month, plus any developer set up costs or customisations and compare transaction fees based on your average monthly turnover, and then ask yourself - do you really need Shopify Plus? 

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