If you’re involved with eCommerce, there’s a pretty good chance you’re either already using or planning to use Shopify. Indeed, 20% of all eCommerce sites across the entire internet use Shopify, according to BuiltWith, making it second only to WooCommerce in terms of market share.
Plus, it’s the most searched-for eCommerce solution on Google, so even if you’re not already on it, chances are you’re considering it.
And that’s why you’re here. Whether you’re just starting out with eCommerce and don’t know where to begin with Shopify, or you’re already established and debating whether it’s worth upgrading, we’ve got you covered. In this short guide, we will go over the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus.
The Big Picture: Who Is Shopify Designed For?
Before we get into the specifics of the different features, let’s take a bird’s eye view of the situation and answer an important question: what type of business is each version designed for?
In short, Shopify is designed for small and medium-sized businesses, and Shopify Plus is designed for large companies and enterprises, like Staples, Heinz, and Lindt, to name a few companies that use it.
Essentially, both platforms offer the same core features. Still, Shopify Plus adds a few more that are particularly useful for enterprises, such as dedicated customer support and the ability to edit Shopify’s proprietary Liquid code.
For most people, knowing just this will be enough to make a decision. But let’s take a look at some of the discrepancies between the two platforms to get a more solid idea of what each does differently.
The Differences Between Shopify and Shopify Plus
Now that we have the background information let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Here are the main differences between the two platforms.
Dedicated Account Manager
Both Shopify and Shopify Plus offer customer support via phone, email, and live chat. On the other hand, Shopify Plus gives you access to a dedicated account manager, aka Launch Engineer, to help you launch and guide you through everything you need to get up and running.
Having a dedicated account manager is helpful because you can build up a rapport with them over time, which means they’ll understand your business needs better. You won’t need to repeat your situation to every rep you get passed on to.
A Larger Number of API Integrations
API is a technical term that stands for application programming interface. As the name implies, it’s tech that allows different applications to talk with each other and expand their functionality. Shopify Plus users get access to GiftCard, User, and Multipass.
Shopify has a pretty extensive app store with over 4,200 apps as of May 2020. However, not every app is available to every user. In fact, there are actually several applications that are only available on Shopify Plus.
The checkout page is a very important part of your website. When your customers are ready to make a purchase, this is the last screen they see. If something goes wrong here, you can usually kiss your sale goodbye.
With Shopify Plus, users can more easily brand their checkout experience. But beyond mere aesthetics, Shopify Plus also lets you trigger different offers and upsells based on cart size, which you can’t do with regular Shopify.
Unlimited Staff Accounts
If you’ve got a large team, going with Shopify Plus is a no-brainer. While regular Shopify only allows for a few staff accounts, Shopify Plus turns this into an unlimited amount, aka however many you need.
Again, this is a feature that will only really be useful for enterprises, as a smaller business won’t typically have the same staffing requirements.
Both Shopify and Shopify Plus provide analytics. However, Shopify Plus’s analytics tools go more in-depth and tend to provide more actionable insights.
Merchant Success Program
The Merchant Success Program is available to Shopify Plus users that want to get the most out of the platform. It’s essentially a customer service program. The program guarantees 24/7 support for any issues that arise, such as working with integrations or finding Shopify Plus Partners.
Shopify Plus users make up a sort of club thanks to their relative rarity. If you decide to take the dive, you’ll gain access to a Facebook group dedicated to Shopify Plus, a partner’s directory, beta access, and the Shopify Plus Academy.
If you manage multiple stores, Shopify Plus will make your life easier by saving you a lot of time on clerical tasks. You can easily manage several stores from a single dashboard view.
Additionally, the Shopify Plus dashboard also lets you manage your staff, automation, user permissions, and analytics from the same place.
Shopify and Shopify Plus are both exceptional and powerful platforms. However, their use cases are different: Shopify is designed for SMBs, and Shopify Plus is built for enterprise-level companies.
If you’re not operating at an enterprise level, Shopify will be more than enough. However, if the enterprise is where you’re at, then Shopify Plus is your best choice.