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