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Shopify Vs. Shopify Plus: All features compared in 2022

By James LePage
 on March 22, 2022
Last modified on March 25th, 2022

Shopify Vs. Shopify Plus: All features compared in 2022

By James LePage
 on March 22, 2022
Last modified on March 25th, 2022

Building an online presence is not complete without a thriving eCommerce store. ECommerce is one of the largest markets, generating billions of dollars annually as brands transition from traditional retail outlets into the online world. If you are thinking of launching your own eCommerce store and you want to use Shopify, knowing the difference between both a default Shopify account and Shopify Plus can come in handy. 

What is Shopify?

Shopify is one of the largest eCommerce storefront hosts online today, holding nearly a quarter of the market share throughout the eCommerce platform industry. Shopify is only second to WooCommerce (see comparison here), which is an add-on to the official WordPress CMS, or Content Management System.

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Shopify provides users with the ability to design, build, launch, and manage their very own online stores without programming or coding knowledge. Using Shopify is as easy as selecting a premade template for your storefront, uploading photos of your product, and setting prices. With the use of Shopify, selling online goods and attracting a digital following has never been easier for the retailer with little to no experience with selling online. 

What is Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus is a version of Shopify that offers premium features for an upcharge compared to traditional Shopify plans. Shopify Plus is designed with enterprise-level clients in mind. Additional features, API features, and integrations for large-scale organizations are all available with Shopify Plus. 

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Feature Comparison

Before getting started with either Shopify or Shopify Plus, it is highly advisable to review the features that come with both packages and plans. Comparing the features of both Shopify and Shopify Plus can provide you with valuable insight into each solution to help with making the decision that is right for your online store venture. 

Themes

Shopify is a great option for those who are interested in creating an eCommerce store that offers premade templates and redesigned layouts. If you are not a designer, using one of Shopify's store templates can be done by simply accessing the official Shopify library once your account has been activated. 

The same theme options are also available for those who are Shopify Plus users. With any Shopify account, users immediately gain access to more than 10 themes that can be applied. These themes range from personal shops to beauty parlors and megastores. Shopify and Shopify Plus also provide users with access to premium themes that range from $140 to more than $180 in price.

For those who are also seeking complete customization of themes and the look of their Shopify storefront, Shopify Plus users also have access to Liquid. Liquid is an array of editing tools that can help create a truly individualized and unique eCommerce store template for your online sho

If you are interested in integrating your current online presence and your company is international or at an enterprise level, Shopify Plus does offer a dedicated and fully customizable launch manager. Using a dedicated launch manager can be optimal for those in need of a website transfer or integration that is done directly by Shopify.  

Customization

With both Shopify and Shopify Plus, users have access to the basic templates that are freely provided by Shopify using Shopify's main template library. Both Shopify and Shopify Plus users also have the ability to purchase additional premium themes starting at $140 each. Shopify Plus does not currently offer subscribed users additional themes or access to themes that are exclusive to Shopify Plus members only.

The use of Shopify Plus, however, does provide additional customization options that are not available with a standard and basic Shopify account. Using a Shopify Plus account provides API access that allows for multiple site integrations as well as the ability to integrate your Shopify account with additional third-party websites or existing online communities. With Shopify Plus, users can also manage member/staff accounts outside of the standard platform of Shopify, expanding accessibility. 

API Integration

Using traditional Shopify plans does provide users with API access. However, it is important to keep in mind that users who have lower packages from Shopify will have an API access call limit.

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If you are an enterprise client in need of an API limit that is increased, Shopify Plus is likely to be ideal for you. Using Shopify Plus for API integration also provides access to additional features including:

  • User account management: With Shopify Plus, you will have the ability to manage users and accounts using third-party platforms and websites.
  • Gift Cards: Shopify Plus subscribers will also have the ability to use an external platform to manage gift cards, away from the official native Shopify platform.
  • Multipass: One of the biggest features of Shopify Plus is the ability to both integrate and merge any Shopify storefront with existing online communities and websites. This feature is also ideal for larger corporate entities and enterprise clients.

If you are planning to use your Shopify account with standard API integration and you do not require an increased access call limit, a standard Shopify package will suffice. 

Accounts/Managers

All Shopify users, regardless of package type, receive access to Shopify support via email, live chat, and phone. For standard Shopify users, it is also possible to hire Shopify Experts for additional assistance, such as theme installation or launching a promotional campaign.

With Shopify Plus, on the other hand, you are provided with a dedicated support system that is designed with your store's needs and target demographics in mind. Shopify Plus users will have access to Shopify's own Launch Engineer, a special feature exclusively available to Shopify Plus users.  

The Shopify Launch Engineer is designed to provide walkthroughs and live advice for users in need. From installing and customizing your storefront's theme to working with specific API integrations or plugins, the use of the Shopify Launch Engineer can be extremely useful for enterprise clients. 

Checkout Control

If you want a custom checkout or if you want to implement custom options or scripts in your checkout process online, you can do so with Shopify Plus. Currently, a standard Shopify account does not offer checkout control or the ability to implement scripts or add-on features to the process.

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If you choose to use a Shopify Plus plan, you will have the ability to edit the layout of your checkout process, various content objects used throughout the checkout process itself, as well as specific checkout requirements. With a Shopify Plus plan, it is also possible to implement various page events, such as a page loading or a page change event, which can help with ongoing campaigns or the tracking of current promotions. 

Using Shopify Plus to customize your website's checkout process is optimal for enterprise clients who are seeking a branded and seamless checkout process from start to finish. In addition to branding your checkout process, you can also implement conversion tweaks that will help with the overall optimization of your checkout page and sales funnel.

ECommerce Features

Some of the most notable differences between Shopify and Shopify involve eCommerce features. While both Shopify plans obviously offer users the ability to build and launch their very own eCommerce stores, there are significant differences in the eCommerce features and functions that come with each.

For those who are seeking multi-channel integration, both Shopify and Shopify Plus packages deliver. Selling your Shopify products on different websites and various marketplaces can drastically increase your chance of generating sales and, ultimately, revenue. You can also integrate both Shopify and Shopify Plus storefronts into various websites and locations around the web, helping to create a seamless experience for all of your customers. 

It is also possible to enjoy multi-currency selling if you choose to implement the payment process from Shopify directly. You can use multi-currency features to appeal to a broader audience on an international scale. This feature is built into Shopify and is available for standard and Plus Shopify accounts.

If you want to keep better track of the abandoned carts on your site, you can do so with either a standard or Plus account on Shopify. All Shopify accounts have the ability to track abandoned carts to follow up with future email campaigns and direct contact.

Tracking abandoned carts and launching abandoned cart email campaigns can be done through Shopify, regardless of the type of membership you have with the service. 

ECommerce Features (Exclusive to Shopify Plus Users)

If you are thinking of subscribing to a Shopify Plus account but want to know if there is a difference with the included eCommerce features, here are the top eCommerce features that are only available to Shopify Plus users: 

  • Script Editor: Using a script editor, which is only available to Shopify Plus users, is a way to truly customize the overall shopping experience for your online users. You can use the script editor from Shopify to also integrate a range of plugins and add-ons that can help to make your eCommerce store stand out from the rest. 
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  • Shopify Flow: For Shopify Plus users, you will gain access to Shopify Flow, an integrated real-time tracker of how your customers use and browse your online store. With the use of Shopify Flow, learn how to create a custom-tailored experience for each user who visits your storefront, especially if they have visited your website in the past. Create campaigns that are highly personable and customized for individual visitors, based on past purchases and browse items with the use of Shopify Flow, available only for Shopify Plus premium members. 

Support and Customer Service

Shopify is a leading eCommerce service platform that also offers top-tier customer support and service to all users. Whether you are using a standard Shopify account or if you have registered for Shopify Plus, you will always have access to the following customer support services:

  • Email
  • 24/7 Live chat
  • Phone support

However, if you are looking for something a bit more, you may want to consider upgrading your current Shopify plan to Shopify Plus. As you might have guessed, users who have a Shopify Plus account will have access to all of the current support services available in addition to the following:

  • Access to the Shopify Launch Manager, where you will be guided through the process of setting up and/or migrating your website to your Shopify website and account.
  • Use the Shopify Launch Manager to help assist you in the process of managing your online store and getting it ready for a live launch to the public.
  • Access to your very own dedicated MSM, or merchant success manager. Your MSM will help you through any issues that may arise when managing your eCommerce Shopify store. 

Although some of the exclusive Shopify Plus features for eCommerce are unnecessary for individuals and smaller businesses, they can be crucial to maintaining the overall infrastructure of a massive organization or international corporation. Determine whether or not your company will need Shopify Plus in order to maintain its operation or to scale. 

Data and Analytics

A great feature that comes with allShopify accounts is the built-in analytics dashboard. With analytics for your storefront available in real-time, keeping track of your followers and loyal customers has never been easier. The built-in data and analytics dashboard that is available through Shopify is accessible to all users, including those with standard Shopify accounts. 

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However, if you are seeking even more insight into the analytics of your eCommerce storefront, Shopify Plus does offer additional features. Some of the analytics and data-capturing features that are only available to Shopify Plus users include:

  • Access to additional analytics services that are built-in to the Shopify dashboard, including both Looker and Glew
  • Detailed eCommerce insights from various sources for optimal results 

Cost of Shopify and Shopify Plus

Currently, Shopify has 3 major plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Shopify Plus. Basic Shopify is optimal for individuals and those who may just be getting started with Shopify for the first time. The cost of basic Shopify is $29.99 USD per month.

For Shopify (standard), the cost is $79.99 per month. This plan is best for selling online (as well as in-store) and for growing businesses. With this plan, the following features are included:

  • Up to 5 staff accounts
  • Up to 5 inventory locations that may include warehouses, pop-up locations, or retail stores 
  • Standard reports and analytics 
  • Up to 88% discount on shipping with DHL, USPS, and UPS with competitive rates 
  • 2.6% + 30¢ USD online credit card rate
  • 2.5% + 0¢ USD in-person or debit card rate
  • 1.0% transaction fee (when not using Shopify Payments)

For Shopify Plus, the starting cost of the Advanced plan begins at $299 monthly and includes the following features:

  • Up to 15 staff accounts
  • Up to 8 inventory locations that may include warehouses, pop-up locations, or retail stores 
  • Advanced reports and analytics 
  • Up to 88% discount on shipping with DHL, USPS, and UPS with competitive rates 
  • 2.4% + 30¢ USD online credit card rate
  • 2.5% + 0¢ USD in-person or debit card rate
  • 0.5% transaction fee (when not using Shopify Payments)

Pros and Cons of Shopify

Using a standard Shopify account provides access to free themes and the ability to sell on multiple channels. It is also possible to easily manage inventories, track sales, and monitor data with analytics in real-time with standard Shopify accounts. 

Some of the drawbacks of a standard Shopify account include design and customization limits. API callbacks may also be limited with a standard Shopify account. 

Pros and Cons of Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is optimal for large corporations and organizations, and is considered ideal for enterprise clients. Some of the advantages of using Shopify Plus include:

  • Increased customization options 
  • Implementation of additional API integrations that are unavailable with standard Shopify accounts
  • Additional staff accounts
  • Additional inventory locations
  • Highly personalized and custom support
  • Built-in launch manager to help guide throughout the entire eCommerce hosting and selling processes

One of the biggest drawbacks of using a Shopify Plus account is the price tag. Starting at $299, a monthly Shopify Plus account is not cheap, and it is not suitable for small businesses or those just getting started with eCommerce. 

Who Should Use Shopify?

For those who are building a business and looking to expand it online, Shopify (standard) is likely your best option. If you are new to eCommerce and just getting started, Shopify Basic may also be a suitable choice. 

Who is Shopify Plus Best For?

Shopify Plus is designed with enterprise clients in mind. This may include celebrities, large brands such as Apple, or even major international corporations who are interested in expanding even more. Shopify Plus is optimal for stores that are operating at a much higher volume than small or boutique-sized entities. 

Whether you're expanding your existing eCommerce store or building an online storefront for the first time, knowing the differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus can go a long way. When you're familiar with what each version of Shopify has to offer, you can choose a solution that is suitable for your budget as well as the type of functionality you require for your eCommerce shop with ease. 

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James LePage
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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!
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