Is Advanced Shopify not enough for your business? There’s another option nestled beneath the standard pricing plans: Shopify Plus. Since its debut in 2014, Shopify Plus has undoubtedly transformed into the gold standard of premium high-volume eCommerce platforms. But what makes this plan so much better than Advanced Shopify? What can Shopify Plus do for your business that none of the other Shopify plans can?

Unsurprisingly, Shopify Plus has a lot to offer, but these exclusive premium features aren’t for everyone.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus in a Nutshell

In short, Shopify is for individuals and small businesses, while Shopify Plus is for enterprises.

Individuals and small businesses that use Shopify Plus will be paying for features they can’t fully use–that’s a huge waste of money. Even worse, enterprises that stick with the basic version of Shopify will bottleneck their entire operation and lose valuable customizability. To make your eCommerce website even remotely worthwhile, you must choose the right option.

But the line between “enterprise” and “small business” is beginning to fade. Thanks to the internet, companies can have very high revenue without many employees. Plus, some companies aren’t easily pigeon-holed into the “small startup” and “huge corporation” boxes; many companies have revenue somewhere in between with lots of potential for growth.

If you fall somewhere in the middle, which option is best for you? Are the bonus features of Shopify Plus worth the investment? What are the bonus features, anyway?

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Sales Volume

Let’s cut to the chase: Shopify Plus can handle way more transactions than even Advanced Shopify. In fact, Shopify Plus supports over 10,000 transactions every minute. For comparison, Amazon had about 306 transactions per second at its peak in 2012, or about 18,000 transactions per minute. Unless your company has Amazon-level traffic, 10,000 transactions per minute is probably a bit overkill. Nevertheless, it’s very important that this number is massive. If your website surges in popularity, Shopify Plus can handle every single transaction without trouble. Your website has lots of wiggle room to grow and prosper.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Staff Accounts

If you have lots of staff, you need Shopify plus because let’s face it: your standard Shopify plans do not give you enough staff accounts.

The Shopify Lite plan only gives you one account (but if you’re reading this article, you’ve probably ruled out Shopify Lite long ago). The other plans aren’t much better. Shopify Basic only provides two staff accounts, Shopify provides five staff accounts, and Advanced Shopify provides 15 staff accounts. Shopify Plus, on the other hand, has unlimited staff accounts.

That’s right. Shopify Plus has unlimited staff accounts.

If you have more than 15 people who need to access your Shopify Admin, just switch to Shopify Plus. It’ll make everything so much easier.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Automation Support

Take your business operations to the next level with automated workflow tools that scale as fast as you do. Once you automate the tedious tasks that bottleneck your operations, your business is freed to scale beyond your wildest dreams.

Launchpad

Launchpad is awesome! It empowers you to schedule all-important sales tasks, such as multi-channel promotions, automated discounts, restocks, and flash sales. It’s a merchant’s best friend for launching automated sales campaigns.

At its core, Launchpad is a scheduling system. Its interface is friendly and straightforward, yet deceptively simple. Underneath the hood is a vast array of tools and features that make event scheduling easier than ever.

Shopify Launchpad

One of the main benefits is that it’s built right into Shopify. Of course, third-party solutions fit seamlessly into Shopify Plus, too, but Launchpad also integrates directly into other Shopify Plus programs, like Shopify Scripts. That way, you can run specific scripts during and aver your scheduled sales event. Pretty neat, right?

But as great as Launchpad may be, it doesn’t hold a candle to Shopify Flow: one of the greatest features of Shopify Plus.

Shopify Flow

We cannot stress it enough: get Shopify Flow ASAP. Shopify Flow alone is worth the Shopify Plus price tag.

In fact, when asked about Shopify Plus, our team immediately started glowing about Shopify Flow. It’s a complete game-changer that we cannot recommend enough.

What makes Shopify Flow so amazing? It empowers you to automate your workflows.

Unlike many other eCommerce platforms, you don’t need to be a tech wizard to automate your Shopify Plus workflows. With Shopify Flow’s easy-to-use interface, you can build, test, and launch automated workflows in minutes.

The automation is fairly straightforward. You set a condition that triggers an action. However, there’s more than meets the eye. By strategically stringing together steps, you can create surprisingly powerful workflows.

Shopify Flow

Visual builders aren’t your thing? That’s okay! Import existing workflows or choose templates from a library and tweak it to fit your exact specifications. The possibilities are endless, but these are some of the best applications of Shopify Flow

  • Customer Management: track customer behavior, organize your users, and give them exactly the personalized services they need without lifting a finger.
  • Inventory: Forget about manually sorting, tracking, and reordering inventory. Automate all those workflows to increase efficiency, manage risk, and boost profit.
  • Orders and Logistics: Internal orders can be automated, too. Automatically move the numbers to a spreadsheet and keep your team up-to-date with automatic notifications.
  • Sales and Marketing: You can even automate your promotions! Send customers discounts, gifts, and promos when they trigger certain events, and tag low-stock items on your website to boost sales.

Basically, if you can think of a triggered action, Shopify Flow can automate it for you. This is huge because it lets your team focus on less tedious tasks, boosting productivity and overall efficiency. Automation is a game-changer, and Shopify Flow does it right.

Shopify Flow is easily one of the best Shopify Plus-exclusive apps available, and we highly recommend it without any hesitation.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Headless eCommerce

Headless eCommerce is, without a doubt, the holy grail of Shopify development. In a nutshell, it removes your frontend from your backend, which lets you connect the Shopify Plus backend directly to any device.

Headless ecommerce: Shopify Plus backend and Storefront APIs and SDKs connect directly to custom frontends for each device.

A diagram of headless eCommerce from the Shopify Plus website

Developers love headless e-commerce because it empowers them to go all-out on your web store. But what can a skilled developer do with headless eCommerce?

Integrate

Headless eCommerce opens up lots of room for your most powerful tools and systems. Connect any CRM, CMS, ERP, or other software directly to your website for seamless performance and unparalleled customer experience.

Iterate

A/B testing is a breeze with headless eCommerce. You can make changes on one frontend for one device without spending extra time on the backend. Just perform your edits and make an API call to the Shopify Plus backend. Deploy those changes at lightning speed and perform your tests with ease.

The opposite process is also possible; instead of tweaking a single frontend without impacting any other frontend, you can deploy backend changes to all the sites at once. This nifty feature makes updates a breeze.

Customize

Headless eCommerce enables developers to build custom frontends for each platform. Of course, this boosts performance, but it also frees you to customize every single user experience. In the age of IoT, this flexibility is crucial. Your users should be just as comfortable shopping on a smart fridge or smart home device as they are on a computer or phone, and headless eCommerce makes it happen.

One of the biggest advantages of Shopify Plus is the freedom and power you gain from headless eCommerce. And once your website looks and functions exactly how you like it, you can take it worldwide.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: International eCommerce

Sure, standard Shopify websites can go worldwide–to an extent. Shopify supports multiple languages and currencies, but your website won’t be fully optimized for a completely global audience.

Shopify Plus, on the other hand, provides valuable features critical for any international enterprise. Three stand out as especially brilliant:

Global CDNs

If servers are too far away, websites take a while to load. That’s why Shopify Plus gives you access to Fastly’s global content delivery networks, or CDNs. A CDN is a special server that’s located near your customer’s geographic location. That way, British customers can connect to one of three London servers instead of an American one. Japanese customers can connect to one of two Tokyo servers. Shopify Plus uses Fastly, whose network map looks like this:

A network map of Fastly's strategic locations

Since the servers are geographically local to your international customers, the performance is much better.

Localized Storefronts

Mere translation is impersonal. Words and phrases in English don’t always map perfectly to words and phrases in other languages, leaving international customers feeling distanced from your brand. Wouldn’t it be nice to provide different audiences with different storefronts?

Well, with Shopify plus, you can. Once you upgrade, you get nine free expansion stores for wholesale, retail or local experiences, enabling you to caster directly to different cultures, linguistic and design conventions, and customer needs. Or, you can localize your sales and discounts based on the customer’s country.

A shipping banner that changes in each country

Image of the Erstwilder banner from Shopify

No matter how you use it, localized storefronts will boost your international business efforts.

Support for Scaling

Chances are you probably want to expand at some point. Why not let Shopify Plus do the legwork?

Shopify Plus gives you built-in analytics tools to help you find where to sell next. And once you start expanding, Shopify Payments will help you test multiple markets, all from a single store.

Concerned about the finances? Don’t worry! International taxes are all handled through Avalara AvaTax, so you don’t need to sweat it. If you want to expand your brand, Shopify Plus has your back.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Wholesale/B2B

Shopify Plus wholesale page

Don’t sell directly to consumers? That’s okay. Shopify Plus comes with a built-in wholesale channel to sell in huge quantities directly to businesses. Add your own bulk discounts and set reorders and minimum purchases that fit your business model. Set it up at lightning speed and manage the details from the same hub as your D2C store. Wholesale has never been easier.

The built-in wholesale channel is especially brilliant when paired with Shopify Flow. If you set things up just right, you should be able to automatically manage large-volume bulk and wholesale orders. Automatically restock and flag high-risk orders without batting an eye. All these Shopify programs have great synergy, so choose a developer that knows the ins and outs of Shopify Plus.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Support

One of the most valuable benefits of Shopify Plus is the near limitless support at your fingertips. Whether you need seasoned technical experts or a community of experienced professionals, Shopify Plus has your back.

With these experts, your migration and launch will be completely effortless.

Shopify Plus Experts

Shopify Plus provides a team of experts to work directly with your own team or web development agency. That way, every single piece of your business puzzle fits together as snugly as possible. There’s no need to worry about integration. Between your team or agency and Shopify’s experts, your website experience will be seamless from ideation to launch.

Merchant Success Consultant

Your Shopify Plus consultant keeps your business needs at heart. They evaluate everything that makes your business unique to give you a custom Shopify Plus experience to maximize your growth.

Solutions Engineer

These tech gurus guarantee that all your third-party tools fit snugly into the Shopify Plus system. They do the final polish and review to check that everything fights lightly together and runs smoothly.

Launch Engineer

Dreading migration? Let your launch engineer help. Not only do they help plan your growth; they also help set up SSL, custom checkouts, sales channels, and more.

Shopify Plus Resources

Experts are only half the package. You also gain access to a valuable array of communities and resources that will hone your skills and help maximize profits.

The Shopify Plus Partner Program

Shopify partner filters

Need help finding the best Shopify Plus support around? Shopify Plus has your back. Whether you need help with payments, integrations, taxes, EDI, or even 3D modeling, Shopify Plus has a partner for you.

The Shopify Plus Academy

The Shopify Plus Academy

A screenshot of the shopify plus academy from Shopify (a login is required to view the Shopify Academy website)

Want to grow your business at your own pace? Of course you do. That’s why Shopify Plus offers self-guided courses and training materials with your membership.

The Shopify Plus Community

Shopify Plus Community facebook

Want to get connected with other business leaders? All Shopify Plus members get access to the exclusive Shopify Plus community, where they can network with other growth-minded leaders.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Price

You guessed it! Shopify Plus costs more than your standard Shopify plans. All those extra features don’t come for free.

Advanced Shopify, the most expensive and feature-rich of the standard Shopify plans, costs $299 per month. It, obviously, lacks all the above features of Shopify Plus.

Shopify Plus comes with all the above features for a minimum of $2,000/month. If you make more than $800,000 per month, the pricing changes to 0.25% of sales volume per month. However, the monthly fee caps at $40,000 per month, so if you make more than $16 million in revenue each month, Shopify Plus is the obvious choice.

Transaction fees vary depending upon whom you ask. The standard transaction fee is about 0.15%, although fees are negotiable.

It should come as no surprise that Shopify Plus is more expensive than Advanced Shopify. After all, Shopify Plus comes with so many more state-of-the-art features than Shopify Advanced that it’s bound to cost significantly more.

When Do I Switch?

If these features seem like an enticing addition to your business, Shopify Plus may be the right fit for you. These features have huge potential to expand your operations to heights that were previously impossible, so give it a shot if you can.

However, if $2,000/month is well outside your comfort zone, even after considering the features, Shopify Plus probably is not right for you. After all, Shopify Plus is for businesses with a high purchase volume.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you have more than eight store locations, more than fifteen people working on the admin, or more than one million dollars in annual revenue, Shopify Plus is probably a wise choice for your business. However, do remember that every company is different. What’s right for one eCommerce store may not be right for another. If you’re unsure, talk to one of the Shopify Plus sales experts or a third-party eCommerce developer well-versed in the intricacies of Shopify vs Shopify Plus.