7 May 2019

Shopify Vs. Shopify Plus: Are You Ready To Move On Up?

Shopify comes in many different flavours, and you may be wondering - which level is right for me? If you're turning over millions in your store - you may be looking at the investment of Shopify Plus. Allow us to explain the key differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus, so you can make an informed decision about whether you're ready to move on up to the next level.

Why so many levels for Shopify?

There are 5 Shopify plans available:

  • Shopify Lite is $9 per month - This represents one of the cheapest ways to sell products online - but technically it doesn’t provide you with a standalone, fully-functional online store. you get a ‘buy button’ - this works in a similar (but arguably better) way to Paypal, in that you add a snippet of code to your website and your product’s details (photo, price, description etc.) along with an option to buy that product, appear on your website.

  • Shopify Basic is $29 per month (and 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction) - Great for anyone who wants all the standard functionality of an online store but isn’t bothered about all the fancy features that can come on top. It also is a fantastic way of creating a fully-fledged online store if you’ve had some initial success with the Lite Plan and want to make the step up.

  • The Shopify plan is $79 per month (and 2.6% + 30¢ per transaction) - A smart choice for those who are really invested in growing their business. If your site currently returns around $5000 in monthly revenue, then this is the plan for you. This plan costs $79 a month but gives you added features such as an abandoned cart recovery tool, which is proven to increase sales without adding to your workload.

  • Advanced Shopify is $299 per month (and 2.4% + 30¢ per transaction). Designed for companies with monthly revenues in excess of $10,000 and costs $299 a month. Shipping is handled by a third party and the plan also allows you to create advanced reports. This is an excellent feature for those looking for more accuracy when testing and projecting.

  • Shopify Plus starts at $2000 per month. In this article, we take a deeper look into what the Shopify Plus plan really is and how to gauge whether it is a fit for your business.

You can click here to see the actual pricing table on Shopify’s website. To get a quote for Shopify Plus (not listed in the table above), you have to speak to Shopify directly. This is because it’s an enterprise-level eCommerce plan targeted at big businesses.* If you decide to go on the 1-year or 2-year plans, you save 10% or 20%, respectively.

Is Shopify Plus the right fit for you?

If you’re in the big leagues and your business generates 6 to 7 figures in sales per year, Shopify Plus can help you grow even more. Shopify Plus is for businesses who have:

  • an extremely high volume of sales

  • a need to create very bespoke connections between Shopify and internal systems (CRM tools etc.)

  • a desire to automate workflows

  • very particular requirements regarding security and uptime

  • a decent budget and time to dedicate to driving long-term eCommerce strategy

Shopify Plus costs a lot more, why is that?

Shopify is geared towards eCommerce stores turning over $5 million or more per year. For these larger eCommerce stores, downtime starts costing a lot of time and money. With Shopify Plus there's no need to worry about server speed issues. Plus, compared to a retail outlet, the cost of Shopify Plus is actually considerably less than the equivalent retail space.

What does Shopify Plus do differently?

Shopify is built for businesses getting started with commerce and looking for a simplified, streamlined experienceShopify Plus offers these same core attributes but provides more opportunities for customisation, scalability and higher order volumes. Where the basic version of the platform begins to hit limitations is at the higher volumes and more stringent demands of growing brands. This is where Shopify Plus comes into play.

Shopify Plus comes with service and support benefits that ensure a smooth experience on the platform. In particular, the Launch Manager and Merchant Success Manager solution empowers merchants to get the strategic support they need to get the most out of their sites.

Transaction Fees Are Lower with Shopify Plus. A great advantage of Shopify Plus is its lower transaction fees. The fee per transaction is lower than 0.2 per cent, depending on your store’s revenue. It can even be as low as 0 per cent, however, credit card processing fees still apply. This can be compared with Shopify’s standard 0.5 per cent to 2 per cent transaction fee. So it’s definitely a “Plus” when you have a high volume of transactions happening in your store. Pricing and fees vary depending on the volume of your sales as well as the needs of your business. This could include design needs, tech and growth variables. The advantage here is that you can budget for a fixed cost every month once you have your quote.

Shopify Plus key features

  • The ability to handle as many as 10,000 checkouts per minute.

  • A dual content delivery network connectivity system to ensure reliable connectivity.

  • Standardised APIs that allow for quick and easy data integration with ads and applications within a company’s eCommerce strategy. For example, with Shopify Plus, you can access a shipping script to configure more precise rates. This means you can change your shipping options based on customer tags, the contents of a cart, or even minimum order value.

  • Shopify Plus partners with industry-leading analytics companies, like Glew and Looker, to bring you up-to-date, expert data and insight. This arms eCommerce giants with the detailed information they need to make big business calls in a split second.

  • Support for social commerce with Facebook Shop and Pinterest Buyable Pins.

  • Responsive themes for mobile commerce.

  • A dedicated software development kit for native mobile app development.

  • Amazon integration.

  • Software development kits for a variety of sales channels.

  • Rapid service delivery through a cloud configuration that allows for an average build-to-launch timeline of between 90 and 120 days.

  • Unlimited staff accounts.

5 Key benefits of Shopify Plus over the Shopify Basic Plan 

  1. Efficient Transaction Management and support to sustain heightened sales success.

  2. Dual-channel sales capabilities, allowing organisations to easily differentiate between their business-to-consumer shoppers and their business-to-business wholesale customers. This means the entire shopping experience is unique based on which channel is being used, all without having to build separate sites. Shopify Plus doesn’t just improve checkout performance, it also helps companies manage compliance and serve different customer types with greater ease.

  3. (Discuss Avalara integration for managing sales tax) https://www.avalara.com

  4. Creating a custom, branded checkout experience and new opportunities to engage users with marketing.

  5. Shopify Flow lets you tailor that first impression individually to your customers. Once they’ve signed up to your site, you can track their purchases and alter your homepage to match the products they may be interested in.

  6. Script Editor. Beyond greater control over shipping, you can also create scripts for line items and payment methods. Being able to customise every aspect of your online store down to the tiniest detail gives you total control.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Shopify Plan

  • The right way to evaluate each Shopify pricing plan is to consider how the additional tools can help you grow your business, and make more money! It’s all about how effective the tools are to help you grow your e-commerce online store. The Abandoned Cart Recovery tool is available only to the Shopify and Advanced Shopify plans. Did you know, that on average, 67.89% of your prospective customers/shoppers who actually added your products to the shopping cart, ready to pull the trigger, end up not purchasing? That’s 2 out of 3 people!

  • If creating and selling gift cards is important to you, you’ll want to look at either the Shopify or Advanced Shopify plans

  • Advanced Shopify also gives you more insight. You can get professional reports and third-party calculated shipping rates. If you’re looking to scale up fast, they’re definitely two key features that will help you.

  • Content-rich sites that need blogs are the first type that will lose functionality with Shopify Plus. It does have blogging tools, but it’s primarily built for eCommerce.

Tell us what you think! If you would like to talk to us about this article, drop us a line at greg@lamb.com.au.

Greg is the Managing Director of Lamb Agency, a digital agency focused on creating industry-leading websites.

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