Shopify vs Shopify Plus: What Works Best for Your Business

Platform comparisons
13mid read December 9, 2022
Platform comparisons
Shopify vs Shopify Plus: What Works Best for Your Business
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In the ecommerce world, growing out of your platform is like growing out of your clothes: technically, your body is covered and warmed, but your movement is stiff, to say nothing of the ridiculously cropped look. And you definitely won’t impress anyone with your exquisite fashion taste. 

The same with the platform. 

As your business expands, so should your IT infrastructure to function properly and maintain growth and allow further market advances. And businesses solve this issue in multiple ways. 

Some will replatform to a different ecommerce solution, while others will consider upgrading to a new, more suitable plan. In every case, Shopify has something to offer for every budget. 

This article will focus on the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus. As a trusted Shopify Plus partner and an ecommerce development agency with 13+ years of expertise, Elogic will answer all your questions on whether you should upgrade and how to do it.

First, let’s find out what solution would be the best fit for your business.

How to Decide Between Shopify and Shopify Plus

Shopify has the following plans: Shopify Basic, Shopify Standard, Shopify Advanced, and Shopify Plus.

The first three are standalone, low-code plans, while Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level solution that might require a developer’s help. For the sake of clarity, in this article, we’ll distinguish between Shopify as a collection of those three plans and Shopify Plus.

Read more: Magento 2 vs Shopify Plus: Impactful Differences Commerce Enterprises Should Know About  

We might do a complex, algorithm-based diagram with many questions about your business to suggest you the best solution. But from our experience when choosing between Shopify and Shopify Plus, you only need to answer two questions:

  • Are you ready to pay more than 2,000 USD/mo annually?
  • Is your business a large enterprise? 

If your answer is a No to the first one, you should proceed with Shopify Basic and disregard the question #2. 

With Shopify, the more feature-packed plan you choose, the more you should pay for it. However, it doesn’t mean you should opt for every functionality there is — you just need to choose something that matches your business needs and budget. 

As a rule of thumb, low-code Shopify plans are usually the primary choice of startups and small-to-medium businesses that need the basic feature menu that can be easily set up (even on their own) and run right away. The enterprise-level companies opt for the Shopify Plus plan as it allows them to customize design, functionality, storage, among other things.

Obviously, you need to consider both options in more detail and see what each has to offer. Check out the table below to find your business needs and see how they may or may not be covered by the chosen plan. 

A business needShopify plansShopify Plus
You’re looking for branded designs, changing themes, and custom functionalityShopify plans come with free and paid themes for various design purposes and functionality. But they will require some workarounds to customize them.Shopify Plus has a customizable checkout, Script Editor, and different API integrations that allow you to brand the storefront as you like. It also supports free and paid themes available in other plans. Bonus for Shopify Plus-only clients: you can change and save themes as often as your marketing campaign requires you to. 
You have a B2B storeCurrently, Shopify plans only allow wholesale selling through the Handshake marketplace for businesses located in the USA. However, if you want to open your own B2B store or channel, you’ll need to upgrade to Shopify Plus. The most significant advantage of Shopify Plus is that you can set up both B2C and B2B accounts and run wholesale and retail management from the same platform (if they’re used in the same country). Shopify Plus has a Wholesale channel for creating a storefront and managing the B2B sales and transactions separately.
You need to set up inventory management in many locationsWith Shopify Basic, you can set up to 4 inventory locations, with Standard — 5 and with Advanced — 8. This might be a solution for businesses that have just started selling digitally overseas.If you compare store management in Shopify Basic vs Shopify Plus, you’ll see that Plus offers up to 20 inventory locations per account, which is an ideal solution if you sell in many countries.Moreover, you’ll have up to 9 expansion stores, which comes in handy for localizing your land-based stores.
You need to squeeze into a limited budgetShopify plans range from $29 to $299/mo if billed annually + payment transaction fees (from 2.9% + 30 cents per each card transaction+ 0.5%-2% per transaction if you use a third-party processor)+$89/mo POS Pro fee (if their standard POS is not enough)Shopify Plus starts at $2,000/mo billed annually + quote-based payment processing fee + 0.15% if you use a third-party processor). 
Shopify Plus users get POS Pro free of charge.
Please, note that the price may vary depending on your business model, revenue, etc. 
You need to set up your ecommerce platform fast, preferably on your own. You can set up Basic, Standard, and Advanced plans with basic functionality without any help by following their guides. There are plenty of benefits of Shopify Plus that you can achieve by configuring third-party solutions and APIs. However, you’ll need to hire Shopify Plus developers to do it.
You need multi-currency checkout and multi-language websites You can sell in 133 currencies in each plan. Plus, you get 2 (Standard) to 5 (Advanced) languages to enable on your website. With Standard and Advanced, you also get international domains for better SEO optimization. Shopify Plus will automatically set customers’ country and currency based on their IP address. You will also have international domains with this plan, and you can set up to 20 language versions within one account. 
You need to test the solution before investing in itBasic, Standard, and Advanced plans come with 30-day free trial options, which is very convenient if you’re new to the platform.One of the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus is that Plus doesn’t have a free trial. But those upgrading from other plans don’t need to test it as they’re familiar with the functionality. 
You need to show duty and tax calculations during the purchaseThis feature is only available in the Advanced and Plus plans. Your international clients will enjoy more transparency when it comes to product costs, which is especially important for B2B clients.

You’ll find a more detailed description of Shopify vs Shopify Plus and pricing of each plan on the Shopify Upgrade page. Now, let’s zero in on key Shopify Plus features that might be of particular interest to you if you’re a mature business with a stable income and a large pool of clients.

Shopify Plus Key Features

When comparing Shopify vs. Shopify Plus or deciding between various enterprise-level ecommerce platforms, you need to pay attention to a few things associated with running an enterprise, such as

  • Possibility to manage multiple storefronts from a single platform
  • Customization and integration capabilities
  • Option to run ecommerce and physical stores with the same software
  • Workflow automation and in-depth, detailed analytic tools
  • Tools that facilitate migration 

Read more: The Guide to Shopify Plus: Benefits and Core Features 

Here are a few Shopify Plus features you should pay attention to if you want to equip your employees with the best management tool.

Shopify Plus organization admin panel

Shopify Plus is a go-to option if you’re looking for a solution that allows managing different storefronts from a single platform via different accounts. It offers Users, Stores, and Shopify Flow settings that help you control, add, and modify users and stores. Additionally, it gives you an organization-wide view of your stores and allows you to automate processes across them.

Shopify Plus organization admin panel
Add multiple storefronts under a single admin panel in Shopify Plus

Unlimited staff accounts

Large-scale businesses require more people to manage them, and Shopify Plus provides all the tools to do it hassle-free. You can set up multiple accounts with different access and permission control levels based on employees’ roles and responsibilities. This option is important to enhance cross-team collaboration and ensure data safety.

Adding Shopify Plus staff accounts.
Adding Shopify Plus staff accounts.

Simplified wholesale management 

Wholesale businesses have their management peculiarities, which is why it’s important to use special software that simplifies the work of wholesale teams. Such mundane tasks as custom quote creation or inventory management take a lot of time and are error-prone, so automation might be a solution. With Shopify Plus B2B suite, your wholesale specialists get everything they need to customize themes, discounts, payment, order processing, and other activities.

Shopify Plus B2B admin panel
Shopify Plus B2B admin panel

Advanced omnichannel sales and analytics 

Another important factor our Shopify vs. Shopify Plus comparison should note is Shopify Plus’s better omnichannel sales management. Not only can you link your store to marketplaces like eBay or Etsy but also to social platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, and others. 

The best part? 

You’ll be able to analyze data regarding customers, orders, and inventory and visualize them in various formats for a quick share. 

Shopify Plus sales overview and analytics
Shopify Plus sales overview and analytics

Shopify Plus POS Pro

Another feature that should be discussed during Shopify vs. Shopify Plus comparison is the POS hard and software. While the POS Lite is included in every plan free of charge, its premium, feature-packed POS Pro version will cost subscribers of all plans extra $89/mo. This rule doesn’t apply to Shopify Plus members, as they get the POS Pro package free of charge to every location. 

How can it be used?

  • Sell online and in physical stores and use the same inventory management tool for both, so you always know what’s going on in your stock
  • Streamline the “buy online pick up in store” that can save shipping cost
  • Attribute sales to analyze store manager and salespeople performance
  • Brand your receipts
  • Define staff roles and access permissions 
Shopify Plus POS
Shopify Plus POS

Network and resources for company growth

Shopify Plus Academy, Shopify Plus Partners, Merchant Success Program, Shopify Plus Certified App Program — all these resources are included in Shopify Plus subscription for free. With them, you can find certified app developers, learn how to scale your business and manage paperwork, share your experience and learn from other community members, and get 24/7 support with any issue that may arise while using Shopify Plus.

Elogic Commerce registered in a Shopify Experts program.
Elogic Commerce registered in a Shopify Experts program.

Comparing Shopify vs. Shopify Plus, you may already see where your business needs a technical upgrade and want to talk to a tech vendor before replatforming. The Elogic team is always here to help. Here’s how we can be useful to your business.

What If I Need Shopify Plus Customization?

Elogic team has 13 years of expertise powering businesses with ecommerce software that helps companies grow their revenue, improve customer relationships, and manage the business with speed and ease. Configuring and customizing ecommerce platforms is among our most requested services at Elogic, so we proudly call ourselves a pro team.

As a certified Shopify Plus partner, we’ll help to get the max out of Shopify Plus native capabilities and:

  • Set up and customize checkout pages
  • Create a custom Shopify Plus theme based on your buyer’s journey
  • Use Shopify Plus API resources to integrate any third-party tool
  • Build a custom feature and extend store’s functionality to meet specific needs, and much more

…and much more!

When partnering with Elogic, you’ll get access to a large pool of qualified Shopify Plus developers who know the ins and outs of the platform. A dedicated project manager will oversee the development process, and you can enjoy flexible engagement models (pay based on time and materials, a fixed price, or the mix of both).

You probably want to know how much our services will cost. The most accurate answer is it depends: on your needs, existing IT architecture, desired functionality, and so on. But we understand that you need at least a ballpark figure to estimate the upcoming expenses. 

Find an article explaining how much ecommerce website development costs and what can affect the grand total. But if you want to know about the estimate of your project, contact our team and eliminate the guesswork!

Final Thoughts

Comparing Shopify vs. Shopify Plus is a sound choice for businesses that want to make sure they choose the most optimal tool to manage their business without spending unnecessary fees for idle features. If you’re just starting or have never used Shopify, we recommend you try its regular plans for free and see whether they enhance your overall ecommerce management. 

However, if you’re a mature, high-growth business searching for a tool to support further market expansion, look no further than Shopify Plus. It gives you the needed freedom regarding customization, design, and integration. And if you need a helping, tech-savvy hand to set it up friction-free for you, our team is only a call away!

Not sure which Shopify plan matches your business needs?

Contact our team to consult and see what Shopify services you can order from Elogic!

I want my first free consultation

Frequently asked questions

When should I upgrade from standard Shopify plans to Shopify Plus?

The short answer is when your current Shopify plan doesn’t satisfy your business needs anymore. For example, you need more staff accounts or physical locations, and you reached the plan’s limit. Alternatively, you should upgrade to Shopify Plus when you see that the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus plans will cover your business needs that will arise as your business grows. 

Does Elogic work with platforms other than Shopify Plus?

Yes. We at Elogic help set up, develop, and customize various ecommerce platforms, such as Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento), Salesforce Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce, commercetools, and SAP Commerce Cloud. Since we’re experienced in these solutions, we can advise which will work best for your business.

How much does Shopify Plus cost?

Shopify Plus starts from $2,000/mo and can be billed annually, biennially, or monthly. In addition, the company charges you a quote-based payment processing fee and 0.15% if you use a third-party processor. It also provides discounts if you pay the annual fee upfront in full. 

What are the alternatives to Shopify Plus?

Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento), Salesforce Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce Enterprise, commercetools, and SAP Hybris are usually considered alternatives for Shopify Plus. Learn more about them and compare various enterprise-level ecommerce platforms to make sure you choose the functionality you need.

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