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Shopify vs Shopify Plus? Which Platform Is Best For Me?

Selecting an ecommerce platform can be a daunting task; getting it wrong will haunt you for the foreseeable future! Thankfully, both Shopify and Shopify Plus are high-performing and reliable platforms, well suited to ambitious retailers looking to grow quickly. So making a decision comes down to identifying which of the two best meets your brands’ current and future needs.

In this post, we’ll explore:

  1. the differences and similarities between Shopify and Shopify Plus,
  2. the extra tools and features exclusive to Shopify Plus, and
  3. what to do next.

 

What’s The Difference Between Shopify and Shopify Plus?

In a nutshell, Shopify is an ecommerce platform aimed at small to medium sized brands looking to get online with no hassle and minimal support. Shopify Plus is a platform aimed at bigger, enterprise-level brands that need to manage much larger volumes of business. As such, it offers extra tools and features that are essential to merchants operating at that level.

 

What’s The Same With Shopify and Shopify Plus

As mentioned above, it’s the same platform but Shopify Plus has extras. Think of it as a car – Shopify is the standard model whereas Shopify Plus has upgrades fitted like fancy tires, a surround sound system, and plush leather seats.

So both Shopify and Shopify Plus use the same dashboard, editor, and help centre. In addition, merchants choose from the same 60 plus themes, can access multi-channel integration, enable multi-currency selling and abandon cart recovery.

 

shopify plus partners

 

The Extras You Only Get With Shopify Plus

Shopify is an outstanding platform, there’s no doubt about that! But with Shopify Plus, there’s a whole host of additional, more advanced tools and features designed to power brands at the enterprise level. Let’s take a closer look.

 

1. Unlimited Staff Accounts

If your business is growing exponentially, you’ll obviously need more staff accounts to run your online store. Shopify limits the number of staff accounts up to 15 (depending on what plan you’ve chosen) whereas, with Shopify Plus, you get an unlimited number.

 

2. Dedicated Launch Support

If your brand is operating at an enterprise level, you’re likely to already be operating online and be migrating to Shopify Plus. But even if you haven’t (think of Lindt who recently launched on Shopify Plus in record time), you’ll need assistance simply due to the volume of business you’re managing. With Shopify Plus, you’ll be allocated a launch engineer to ensure your website is properly prepared for takeoff. Your engineer will assist with everything from coding queries, to theme preparations, to deciding on the right integration partners.

 

3. Merchant Success Programme

Post launch, Shopify Plus offers ongoing support with their Merchant Success Programme. You’ll get day-to-day operational support for any queries which is a priority support is crucial for enterprise level businesses. Shopify Plus will help you define a clear roadmap to reach your goals and help with training in key areas such as: acquisition, conversion, retention, brand strategy, technical solutions and integrations, and business operations and management.

 

4. One Dashboard For Multiple Stores.

With Shopify Plus you get one handy dashboard to manage multiple stores as well as staff accounts, user permissions, automation tools, and analytics. For enterprise level businesses, the efficiency this offers is a great bonus.

 

5. Automation Tools

Shopify Plus offers two automation tools exclusive to Plus users: Launchpad and Shopify Flow. Both tools enable merchants to streamline and automate repetitive tasks, saving you time and money.

  5.1 Launchpad

Shopify Plus’ Launchpad tool automates frontend processes for merchants. For example, scheduling a flash sale, new product release, and content changes.

  5.2 Shopify Flow

The Shopify Flow tool automates backend processes for merchants. For example, setting low stock notifications, tracking negative reviews, and personalising marketing by tagging customers based on their purchasing behaviour.

 

6. Script Editor

Shopify’s Script Editor is also exclusive to Plus merchants. Using this app, you can create personalised customer experiences using line item, shipping, and payment scripts. For example, you can offer automated BOGO discounts and free shipping methods.

 

7. Detailed Analytics.

Shopify users can access a range of statistics in the analytics dashboard. This includes everything from finance, product, and acquisition to behaviour, sales, and marketing reports. With Shopify Plus, merchants get additional analytics including more customer reports and, importantly for enterprise retailers, bespoke reports.

 

shopify-plus-pricing-cost-uk

 

Decision Time

After reviewing the differences and similarities of the two platforms, plus the additional features of Shopify Plus, the next step is an honest review of your brand’s current and future needs.

Can Shopify handle the volume of business you’re generating right now? Will this be the same in 6-12 months time? If you’re generating over £1 million revenue a year, or looking to achieve that, Shopify Plus is generally the best option for you. Also, of the seven Shopify Plus extras listed earlier in the article, how many do you need in the short to medium term to grow your business as quickly as possible?

 

Once you’ve answered these questions, contacting a reputable Shopify or Shopify Plus partner agency to discuss your requirements is your next step. At blubolt, we’ve been trailblazers for beautiful, bold and technically brilliant ecommerce stores since 2006. We deliver stunning new websites, data-driven optimisation, innovative app development and a clear path for growth with our bluprint for success programme.

 

If you’ve got questions about Shopify Plus, or want to discuss your own project, do get in touch for an obligation free chat here. We’d love to hear about your plans!

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Customer Recovery: How to Recover More than Just Abandoned Carts

Some things in eCommerce never change. Amazon constantly upping the delivery game, consumers wanting more bang for their buck, Christmas trends sending everyone into a frenzy, and abandoned carts happening at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

 

But, what has changed is what you can do with those abandoned carts.

Ecommerce customer recovery software has advanced significantly, from a basic post-abandonment campaign targeting a single portion of the buyer journey, to a multi-touchpoint strategy that stages a full-funnel attack on all of your website visitors.

And this change in tact is leading to a change in what you can recover.

 

No longer is your customer recovery campaign restricted to shoppers who stumbled at the final hurdle on the checkout page; instead, you can run a multi-channel campaign that recovers:

 

  • Active customers before they exit your website;
  • Browsing customers who didn’t make it to the checkout page; and
  • High-intent customers who are willing to not only come back, but spend more when they do.

 

So, while waiting for this year’s holiday trends to emerge, why not join us as we explain how to build a customer recovery strategy that recovers more than just abandoned carts.

 

The Current State of Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment happens – it’s a fact of ecommerce life. Seven out of ten visitors to your website won’t make it through the checkout, for reasons including:

 

  • Distraction – from other websites, social media, and the cat.
  • Risk – of spending money on a product you can’t touch or try.
  • Indecision – on who to buy the same product from.
  • Complexity – navigating through the website to the checkout page.

 

However, that isn’t to say that cart abandonment is a problem.

By the time someone abandons their cart or your website, you’ve already done the hard work of engaging them, and they’ve already demonstrated an intent to purchase. Furthermore, the top reasons for cart abandonment aren’t anything to do with you, your brand, or your products.

The person leaving your website isn’t a lost customer – they’re a lead, ready to be saved using the “four Rs”:

 

  • Reminding them about your website.
  • Reengaging their appetite for your products.
  • Returning them to where they left off.
  • Recovering their purchase through the checkout.

 

The Current State of Customer Recovery

However, despite online sellers using the four Rs to target abandoning customers, overall cart abandonment rates aren’t decreasing. This is because basic campaigns only target customers upon the point abandonment, which is a tiny event in the customer journey and, accordingly, recovers a tiny pool of potential customers.

To explain what we mean, we must look at the customer journey and checkout flow.

shopping cart abandonment - checkout flowAs you see, the beginning of a customer journey has three stages, supported by the checkout flow:

 

  1. Awareness – when a customer discovers your brand and products on your website.
  2. Consideration – when a customer adds products to their shopping cart and heads to the checkout.
  3. Acquisition – when a customer finalizes their purchase.

 

A basic cart abandonment campaign targets customers at that very final point, when they fail to move from consideration to acquisition. It completely ignores anyone else in or leaving the customer journey. That’s a pretty significant proportion of your customer funnel that you’re losing.

 

To widen your approach, you need a customer recovery strategy.

 

How to Recover More Than Just Abandoned Carts

A customer recovery strategy uses a suite of tools and tactics to enhance the checkout flow and retain or recover visitors, regardless of where they are in the customer journey. We like to call this a full-funnel attack.

A full-funnel attack

A full-funnel attack targets your three website visitor:

Cold leads

Cold shoppers are the visitors actively browsing your website but not yet demonstrating a particular interest in your brand or products. These shoppers typically take longer to progress to the consideration and acquisition stages – often requiring multiple touchpoints with your brand and time out to compare prices.

A full funnel attack nurtures these leads, appreciating that they might not be ready to convert on their first visit. By providing them with the information and touchpoints they need, you can establish trust and be the first point of call when they are ready to convert.

Warm leads

Warm leads are visitors showing a keen interest in your store. They might spend a lot of time on particular product pages, save products to their wishlist, or sign up to your newsletter. Warm leads typically have a higher purchase intent but are often pulled away from your website before adding anything to their shopping cart (known as browse abandonment). This can be for reasons of distraction, further research, social proof, or bad timing.

A full funnel attack engages these visitors before the point of abandonment to acquire their contact details. When abandonment occurs, these details are used to remind, reengage, return, and recover.

 

Relevant reading: Browse Abandonment Email Best Practices & Subject Lines

Hot leads

Hot leads are visitors showing the highest level of purchase intent by adding products to their shopping cart. These shoppers should sail through the checkout flow to complete their purchase but, as you know, sometimes they don’t make it. This is typically because of purchase blockers that occur later in the customer journey, for example the final price, shipping fees, and payment options.

A full funnel attack reengages these visitors using cart abandonment techniques to overcome purchasing barriers and recover their shopping cart.

 

Customer recovery tools - shopping cart recovery

 

Cart Recovery tools and tactics to help

To stage a full-funnel attack, you need a full suite of tools to engage leads on-site, prevent abandonment from happening, recover customers if it does, and utilize any lost leads. Tools, such as the following:

Real-time lead capture

Real-time lead capture records a visitor’s contact details as they’re typed onto your website – allowing you obtain crucial information before the checkout page and engage customers while you’re at it. Popular tools for helping include:

 

  1. Delayed pop ups that provide visitors with something of value in return for their details – such as a buying guide, newsletter signup, or competition entry.
  2. Exit-intent pop ups that disrupts someone about to exit your website by providing a discount coupon or special offer delivered to their inbox.
  3. A one-page checkout that records a customer’s email address before any thoughts of abandonment occur.

 

 

Attention-retention tools

Attention retention tools are on-site ecommerce recovery campaigns that retain a visitor’s attention throughout the customer journey, reducing the chances of abandonment. Common attention-retention tools include:

 

  1. Conversion nudges that pop-up relevant information or discounts for customers to use without entering their email address.
  2. Abandoned tab notifications that alert customers who mindlessly open a new tab by sounding an alert and changing your website’s favicon and tab headline until they click back.
  3. Exit-intent pop ups that overcome last-minute purchase blockers by providing information on fast shipping, money-back guarantees, and different payment methods.

 

Customer recovery tools

Customer recovery tools target visitors who left your website without purchasing – attempting to recapture abandoned sales using a variety of different communication channels, including:

cart abandonment emails and notifications

Browse abandonment emails to reengage warm leads who left before adding to their cart, using tactics such as:

    1. Offering help and assistance via your customer care team.
    2. Providing reassurance with money-back guarantees and warranties.
    3. Sending personalized recommendations based on browsing history.

 

Cart abandonment emails to recover hot leads who left after adding to their cart, targeting:

    1. Scarcity and loss aversion by detailing falling stock levels.
    2. Emotional triggers by including images and details of products in the cart.
    3. Common reasons for abandonment by including discount codes, shipping information, or social proof.

 

Push notifications that pop up in a visitor’s web browser after abandonment, reminding them about their visit and providing them with an easy way back.

Recovery SMS messages that utilize the power of m-commerce to encourage shoppers back via your mobile website or app.

Abandonment alerts that alert you or your sales team when abandonment meeting a specific criterion happens. You can then implement manual outreach steps for expensive or risky purchases, for example.

Lost lead utilization tools

 

Lost lead utilization tools use leads that fail to convert or respond to your abandonment campaigns to help you improve and perfect your customer recovery strategy.

These tools include:

  1. Visitor journey tracking that records abandonment as it happens, allowing you to determine the common reasons behind it.
  2. A/B testing that tests two different versions of an email or pop up to see which generates the better response.
  3. Zapier that automatically transfers cold, warm, and hot leads into your future marketing campaigns.

 

Conclusion

Basic cart abandonment models work, but you can do so much better. A full-funnel customer recovery strategy maximizes the number of customers you can recover, naturally increasing the number that you do recover.

All you need to do is ship products to them….but we’ll let Huboo explain that one.

 

About CartStack

CartStack powers you to recover more than just abandoned carts. The full suite of customer recovery tools give you everything needed to minimize cart abandonment and maximize results.

See how the CartStack suite of tools can help your online store, with a free 14-day trial.

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The only thing that’s been predictable about 2020 is its unpredictability – and it’s not over yet! In fact, Q4 is the time when all eyes fall on retailers, both physical and digital. That said, there are also huge opportunities – for marketplaces like OnBuy, for eCommerce fulfilment businesses like Huboo, and for your own online business too.

 

Besides being the season of OnBuy’s biggest expansion push ever, seeing ready to light up TVs and expand across the world along with a major marketing push unlike anything we’ve ever done, Q4 2020 is also a period of consumer doubt and confusion unlike anything any business has ever witnessed before.

 

onbuy tv ad 2020 Itv de

 

Today, we’re exploring the general feeling among consumers in the tail-end of 2020, the expectations they have now that eCommerce growth has proven so immense, the ways sellers can optimise their listings and marketplace choices to excel throughout and beyond Q4 2020, and the products tipped to be the must-haves of the season.

 

eCommerce just keeps getting bigger – and broader

Analysts worldwide can agree on one thing – that the global health crisis of 2020 accelerated the rise of online shopping as never before. In fact, the August 2020 McKinsey Periscope report, Retail Reimagined, remarked that digital adoption by both businesses and consumers sprang forward the equivalent of 10 years in just 90 days.

 

Brand loyalt and swithing behaviour

 

The UK Office for National Statistics similarly recognised that summer saw a sharp rise in British shoppers looking online no longer just for technology, clothing or luxury purchases, but more and more for essentials, groceries and ways to stay entertained.

 

Why multichannel marketplace sales matter in Q4

The upsurge in eCommerce and online shopping is a trend that’s here to stay, with consumers enjoying the convenience, choice, efficiency and safe feeling of shopping online.

 

Keep in mind that consumers are bargain hunting like never before, too – often leaving brand loyalty or preference of platform aside in order to get the best price. Offering your products for competitive prices ahead of Q4 has likewise never been more important.

 

OnBuy’s competitive seller fees and complete lack of listing fees were designed to help vendors enjoy healthy margins while still offering their products to consumers for less than the competition. OnBuy’s investments in improving its guest checkout process for speed and safety, as well as championing PayPal Protection for both its buyers and sellers, have done much to grow both its users and merchants in the run-up to Q4.

 

On the consumer side, much of that growth is because of that need for a good deal from a trusted, reliable, transparent platform, as we just discussed. For eCommerce businesses, retailers and sellers, however, diversifying how many marketplaces your products are being sold through has seen vendors and big brands alike signing up to sell via OnBuy.

 

It makes sense to protect your interests in this way. Third party sellers on other platforms were famously left out in the cold without warning when the crisis first made the enormity of its impact known, and putting all your inventory online via just one marketplace – while convenient – creates a potential single point of failure. Using multiple marketplaces can sidestep that problem easily.

 

Instead, smart businesses today diversify the marketplaces with whom they work, creating listings and accounts across several to ensure any slack in one is picked up by an uptick in another. The reach and growth opportunities of these marketplaces is often unparalleled, and OnBuy’s ongoing internationalisation strategy, particularly, is poised to promise tremendous growth opportunities as never before throughout Q4 2020, into 2021, and beyond.

 

Consumers in Q4 need trust, confidence and convenience

While growth has remained steady, even impressive, in eCommerce across autumn, the eyes of many are already on a Black Friday unlike any other in the history of our industry. Consumers are frustrated, confused and weary of the year and its events, with Black Friday warned to be the most competitive in eCommerce history in Q4 2020.

 

In short, that means that eCommerce businesses need to be prepared to stand out in a period in which consumers will be likely bombarded with media from all sides. Differentiation will be key here – OnBuy already plans to outperform its stellar Black Friday 2019 Price Crash this year – but so will recognition of the fact that consumer spending power and confidence is severely diminished.

 

To restore that confidence, and to steer customers to your business, trust is paramount. Customers need high quality images and product descriptions to replace the confidence in a product they’d otherwise gain from seeing it physically. Creating consumer confidence from the moment they click on your listing is absolutely vital, plus also helps you stand apart in a crowd of online sellers.

 

That means on-point customer service, a smart fulfilment solution that gives buyers the products they ordered swiftly and safely, as well as prices and products that raise eyebrows for only the right reasons.

 

What consumers will be buying in Q4 2020

Marketplace buying trends Q4 2020

OnBuy’s perspective on consumer spending throughout the initial nine months of 2020 made clear that the public health crisis caused a tremendous upsurge in the sale of household hygiene products, together with personal protective equipment, face masks and hand sanitiser products.

 

As stock of what households came to quickly regard as essential purchases evened out, so did buying habits and competitive pricing. Going forward, it’s unlikely the demand for these goods will be anything less than consistent, and the UK may well join the likes of several Asian countries in wearing face masks as a societal norm, long after the pandemic has ended.

 

However, while garden furniture, gazebos, toys, entertainment and outdoor games were highlights of online shopping during the famous summer of lockdown, the move to Q4 is already showing that consumers have a much broader appetite for the products they want today.

 

Home furniture is a clear winner that has remained consistent throughout 2020, as has media and entertainment, spurred on by people spending more time indoors. Video games, already the world’s biggest entertainment medium, trod on the toes of a stifled movie industry all the more during 2020, and this explosive growth will continue into Q4 – boosted even more by the launch of new video game consoles in and around November 2020.

 

Besides this hotly competitive space, OnBuy anticipates that the gift-giving season will cause the historic slumps experienced in the sales of jewellery and clothing during lockdown a chance to enjoy a little more of an upswing in Q4. However this, much like the ever-festive wine and spirits sales that climb in Q4, will be much more of a seasonal shift for Q4 alone.

 

For a long-term strategy, the best bet is to offer value, convenience and access to swift fulfilment for products consumers are going to need going from Q4 into 2021 and beyond. A shrewd move here is into laptops, webcams and business goods that customers will be on the hunt for as working from home becomes, for many, the new normal workday.

 

Safety, trust, convenience, health and happiness – everything a harrowed public wants after a gruelling year that will hopefully be capped off by a sensational Q4 for marketplaces, for eCommerce players and for logistics. Are you poised to reap the rewards of the season?

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