When we think of ecommerce, Shopify is one of the first platforms that comes to mind. Supporting more than 600,000 businesses and over a million users, the ecommerce platform is a hot-pick for merchants all over the world.
One big question that ecommerce merchants have is whether to stick with regular Shopify, or invest in the pricier Shopify Plus. With the latter sporting a base rate of $2,000 per month, the decision to use Shopify Plus isn't a small one. So, should you make the switch? Let's see what's in store (pun intended) by comparing Shopify vs Shopify Plus.
Subscription Plans and Pricing
The first major difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus is the pricing.
Regular Shopify has three standard plans, which are:
- Basic Shopify at $29/month
- Shopify at $79/month
- Advanced Shopify at $299/month
Naturally, as you pay up, the plans offer more features and functionalities. For example, Advanced Shopify offers professional reports, an advanced report builder, and third-party shipping rate calculations.
Shopify merchants also have to factor in the $14 annual cost for a domain. The transaction fees for Shopify plans are as follows:
- $0.3/transaction with Shopify Payments
- 2.4% to 2.9% through credit card with Shopify Payments
- 2% through credit card without Shopify Payments for Basic Shopify, 1% for Shopify, and 0.5% for Advanced Shopify.
Shopify plans are fixed, providing users with a clear idea of what to pay for each plan. With Shopify Plus, the pricing is a bit different – merchants negotiate directly with Shopify representatives.
To get an exact quote for Shopify Plus, you can fill in the contact form on Shopify's website and take it from there. The base rate for Plus is $2,000/month.
The transaction fees for using the platform depends on your sales volume. For example, the per-unit rate for transactions in the US is 2.15% + $0.30 on domestic Visa and MC. With international cards, there is an additional fee of 1%. So, if you're shipping a high volume of products internationally, the transaction costs are higher.
Users also can use third-party payment options like PayPal, 2Checkout, and Skrill, which come with their own costs. The costs you pay to use these third-party entities varies from country to country.
Shopify is well-known for its excellent, round-the-clock customer support, which is available to both Shopify and Shopify Plus users. There are some differences, though.
Shopify provides users with 24/7 support across different channels. You can get in touch with the Shopify support team through by phone, email, or through their live chat.
Alternatively, Shopify merchants can contact the team through social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Keeping multiple channels open for resolving issues helps Shopify's team keep on top of user problems.
Shopify Plus offers the same support features as regular Shopify, with a few Easter eggs. Each Shopify Plus merchant is assigned a Launch Manager. This team member helps Plus users prepare for a big launch in under 90 days.
Additionally, Plus users are assigned a Merchant Success Manager - a team member who's role is to help you succeed. Merchant Success Managers provide Plus merchants all kinds of strategic help, including coaching, guidance on using Shopify Plus, and even keeping you up-to-date with the latest trends.
Available Themes and Design Flexibility
Both Shopify and Shopify Plus hold a variety of themes to help you design your store. There are a total of 73 out-of-the-box themes – 9 of them are free, and the rest will cost you between $140 to $180 each.
Shopify's themes are highly customizable and help merchants design their ideal online store. Shopify's custom theme coding language, Liquid Language, lets you edit HTML and CSS to customize your design elements. If you're not familiar with these technical details, don't worry - your design team will be, or you can easily hire a developer to modify your Shopify template.
Some Shopify themes allow merchants to change the language, supporting English, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, French, and German. You can pick the right language depending on your target audience.
Customizing your theme with Shopify Plus is even easier – your Launch Manager takes care of it for you. A dedicated Launch Manager writes the code for you, a service that is offered exclusively to Plus merchants.
Plus users can also customize their online store’s checkout page with the Script Editor. Shopify Scripts help merchants take control of their customers' checkout experience through the use of Line-item scripts, Shipping scripts, and Payment scripts. These scripts allow store owners to customize product discounts, promotions, and several shipping options.
Given that Shopfiy is an ecomerce platform, the ecommerce features that it offers are obviously something to consider. But what features does Shopify Plus get you that regular Shopify doesn't?
For merchants targeting a global audience, multi-currency functionality is essential for your online store. Fortunately, both regular Shopify and the Plus version offer the multi-currency feature.
If you're unfamiliar with multi-currency, it just means that international customers can buy from your store in their own currency. For example, if your store is based in the US, someone ordering from the UK can make purchases using GBP or euros.
With regular Shopify, merchants have to manually configure the currencies for different regions. Shopify Plus does this automatically thanks to the Shopify Geolocation app.
Currently, Shopify doesn’t have support for languages other than English. However, there are ways to set your store to a different language. You can try:
- Using third-party integrations like Langify, a language translation application.
- Installing a theme that offers multi-language support. If you’re using a third-party theme, contact the theme providers and ask if they offer multi-language support
- Shopify currently has three themes that come with a language selector. These include the latest versions of Express, Brooklyn, and Debut themes.
Both Shopify and Shopify Plus users can enjoy the language selector with these themes. However, while regular Shopify users only have access to five languages, Plus merchants can take their pick from twenty.
Tax calculation and filing
Of course, there are some differences in how taxes are filed between Shopify and Shopify Plus.
Shopify’s platform automatically calculates common sales tax, including tax overrides for particular instances. However, store owners have to routinely check the sales tax rates to ensure they are up-to-date and correct. With Shopify, you can even override these taxes in some situations.
Shopify’s tax reports and calculations help you fill out your taxes – however, regular Shopify will not file your sales tax for you.
For tax calculation and filing, Shopify Plus offers the same features as regular Shopify with some added functionalities. The Plus plan uses Avalara AvaTax – a paid service - to automatically file your sales tax. Avalara AvaTax is compatible with Shopify POS on iOS and Android devices.
Avalara AvaTax collects and uses up-to-date tax codes from 12k+ jurisdictions and modifies the tax rules to be compatible with your business. It also produces accurate sales tax reports for ecommerce businesses.
Integrations and APIs
Shopify merchants can expand the functionality of their online store through API and integration with other apps. The Shopify APIs have stable, defined rates, meaning that they are rate-limited. However, the are some differences among API for Shopify vs. Shopify Plus.
The standard limit is 50 points/second for Admin API (GraphQL) and 2 requests/second for Admin API (REST).
The standard limit is 100 points/second for Admin API (GraphQL) and 4 requests/second for Admin API (REST).
Shopify Plus has all the API features that Shopify offers. The Plus plan also lets merchants integrate their stores with custom apps, or build their own applications.
Shopify Plus comes with additional API resources, including:
- GiftCard, which is an alternative payment method.
- User, which gives store owners access to information about staff accounts.
- Multipass, which redirects website visitors to the Shopify store seamlessly, without requiring separate login credentials.
Shopify Plus Sales Features
Shopify Plus has two exclusive management tools:
Launchpad is an automation tool that handles event organization tasks like scheduling, coordinating, and executing events. It helps you efficiently manage flash sales, promotions, product drops, and restock inventories. The real-time analytics on the app dashboard allow you to monitor the events and their performance.
Shopify Flow automates important business operations, including inventory tracking, order management, risk management, marketing, and customer service. It also allows Shopify Plus merchants to optimize their store’s workflow.
Analytics and Reporting
Shopify has a dedicated analytics dashboard that makes merchants privy to live reports about business and customer data. The detail of the reports increases with an increase in the fees.
All Shopify plans have an overview dashboard, access to financial reports, and products analytics. However, what makes Shopify Plus stand out are custom reports and up-to-date data insights by leading analytics Glew and Looker.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about Shopify and Shopify plus.
How much traffic can a Shopify store handle?
Shopify stores load within 80 milliseconds of an attempt by a global visitor, regardless of how much traffic there is. There isn’t a traffic limit for Shopify stores. In 2020, Shopify stores had more than 58 million site visits.
How do you qualify for Shopify plus?
Shopify recommends Shopify Plus to brands with a high outflow of products. According to the estimate by Shopify, brands usually upgrade to Shopify Plus when their online store’s revenue crosses $80,000 per month. However, Shopify generally recommends contacting a Plus sales representative to figure out the right time to upgrade.
Is Advanced Shopify the same as Shopify plus?
No, Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus are different plans by Shopify.
The Advanced Shopify plan is an upgraded version of the regular Shopify plan. It comes with the features and accessibility of Shopify, with added features like more staff accounts, advanced report builder, and third-party shipping. Advanced Shopify starts at $299/month.
On the other hand, Shopify Plus is for businesses whose annual revenue exceeds $1 million. The Shopify Plus plan includes upgraded API access, unlimited bandwidth, exclusive apps, and customizability options. Shopify Plus starts at $2,000/month.
Who should use Shopify plus?
Shopify Plus plans are recommended for businesses with a large outflux of products. So, they’re typically suited for B2B brands. Plus is also recommended for companies with larger teams because it offers advanced features like unlimited staff accounts and customizability options.
Shopify offers plenty of features and functionality to its merchants. You can have a fully-functioning, successful store with high conversions by sticking to Shopify Regular.
However, Shopify Plus brings some game-changing functionalities and features to the table. Of course, with a base rate of $2000 per month, swapping to the Plus plan is far from a no-brainer.
If your business has grown to an impressive size, and you're looking to automate parts of your workflow and gain access to more powerful features, then Shopify Plus is the way to go. Otherwise, for businesses that are newer to the game, regular Shopify offers you enough features to succeed.
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