Is Shopify Plus Worth It?
November 19, 2020
Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms around. But with several different plans on offer, it can be difficult to know which is right for your business.
Shopify Plus is the priciest option, but also offers the most capabilities, which poses the question: is Shopify Plus worth it? In this post, we break down the best features, benefits and cost to help you decide.
What is Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus is the most advanced of all the Shopify offerings, providing the most freedom in terms of scalability and customisation. With access to all of Shopify’s premium features, you’ll be able to do things that other versions of the platform won’t allow or aren’t capable of. With perks like unlimited staff accounts, B2B functionality, custom checkout options and unrestricted use of apps like Launchpad and Shopify Scripts (more on these later), it’s not hard to see why Shopify Plus is perfect for large businesses with complex, ever-growing requirements when running their stores.
For a breakdown of the differences between Shopify Plus and more basic versions of the platform, see our Shopify vs Shopify Plus blog.
What are the benefits of Shopify Plus?
Companies who operate in multiple countries or have plans to start shipping internationally can create up to nine store clones (.com, .au, etc), making it much easier to deliver a tailored experience for different languages and currencies. You can also use localised marketing to keep up with location-specific trends, as well as slim down your product catalogue.
Lower transaction fees
Shopify Plus users are only charged 0.15% per transaction, as opposed to Shopify Advanced users who are charged 0.5%. This means that for a £100 transaction, you would pay a 50p fee with Shopify Advanced, as opposed to 15p with Shopify Plus. However – if you use Shopify’s own payment platform, you won’t be charged transaction fees at all.
Flexible APIs and Shopify Partners allows you to seamlessly integrate the tools and systems your team relies on the most. You also have the option to use headless architecture to create completely custom storefronts across all devices with no default front-end system that determines how your content is presented to website users.
Anyone working in ecommerce has probably heard about, if not experienced first hand, the horror stories about websites crashing during big events such as Black Friday due to sheer volume of sales. Many of these businesses have moved to Shopify Plus – $1 billion brand Gymshark being just one example. One of the reasons Shopify Plus is favoured by so many larger businesses is because of its ability to handle over 10,000 transactions per minute, meaning you don’t have to worry about your website crashing when you need it most.
What do you get with Shopify Plus?
Upgrading to Shopify Plus grants merchants access to a range of innovative features, which can be utilised to create a unique, branded and flexible ecommerce experience. The most useful of these features (in our opinion) are listed below.
Custom checkout pages
Whilst many opt for Shopify over open source platforms due to ease of use, ecommerce stores of all sizes will no doubt employ developers to make some custom changes to suit their customers’ specific needs. However, the one aspect you cannot customise (beyond aesthetic) with the majority of Shopify plans is the checkout – to do this you will need to upgrade to Shopify Plus.
But why customise your checkout in the first place? Firstly, it allows you to create a fully branded checkout experience. Secondly, you can decide how many pages your customers need to go through to complete the checkout process, allowing you to perform A/B testing to decipher which experience generates the highest conversion rate.
The Launchpad tool
Part of running an ecommerce website is launching sales, and of course, product launches. The Launchpad tool is designed to allow merchants to easily set up and track these events, whether you’re launching a flash sale or a new collection. The Launchpad app is only available to Shopify Plus users, but can make life a lot easier, offering the ability to schedule a start and end date for an event with correlating price changes. You can also trigger theme changes during these events which is very handy for seasonal flash sales or themed campaign launches. There’s also an analytics dashboard to track the performance of your scheduled events in real-time.
Script editor access
Expanding further on the customisation options already touched on, Shopify Plus allows script editor access for full control over your shopping experience. Whilst Shopify customisation is generally achieved through third party apps, Shopify Plus allows you to develop and edit custom scripts that are hosted and run by Shopify. This is great for those who want specific functionality but can’t find an app that does exactly what they need it to.
Unlimited staff accounts
Enterprise level businesses usually hire large teams – potentially across different territories. Shopify Plus makes collaborating a breeze by not limiting the number of staff accounts you can create for your store. Shopify Advanced is limited to 15 staff which can be restrictive and less convenient for larger teams.
Wholesale & B2B functionality
Shopify Plus offers a wholesale channel which can be accessed by buyers via the use of a password-protected B2B store. It also allows for tiered and custom pricing per buyer, bulk discounts, shopping rules, wholesale only products and more.
Who uses Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus is generally used by enterprise-level, high-revenue ecommerce businesses, or large businesses looking for flexible scalability. Expanding Shopify Advanced users may also want to upgrade to Shopify Plus if they feel they’ve outgrown their current platform.
Some examples of high profile brands hosted by Shopify Plus are Kylie Cosmetics, Fashion Nova and Rebecca Minkoff. Fashion brands tend to favour the Shopify platform – read our Magento vs Shopify blog to find out why.
How much does Shopify Plus cost?
Shopify Plus plans begin at $2000 (approx £1504) per month for standard setups and integrations. However, businesses with more complex structures and a high volume of orders will be charged a variable fee, which depends on their own specific requirements. Shopify’s team can advise you on this.
Shopify doesn’t charge you to migrate, though your current platform may enforce migration costs, so be careful to check the small print if you do decide to switch to Shopify from another platform. Remember that transaction fees will be applied if you use a third-party payment processor.
So, is Shopify Plus worth it?
The answer ultimately depends on a few factors – the size of your business, the size of your team, your budget and your goals. Whilst there is a considerable jump in cost from Advanced to Plus, the features you’ll gain access to have the potential to substantially increase revenue if used to their full potential.
If you don’t have development experience or the budget to hire a developer, a number of the Shopify Plus features may be rendered useless. But if you have the means to invest in the tech side of your business, which is always recommended if you’re looking to grow and expand, then Shopify Plus offers the best of both worlds with plenty of useful apps and the ability to fully customise your ecommerce store.
If you’re a larger business selling a high volume of products each day, you could actually save money by switching to Shopify Plus due to fewer costs relating to hosting, down time, security updates and fixes. Investing in a platform that caters to your needs is more cost-effective in the long run.
Shopify Plus Development at Venture Stream
Whether you’re looking to place your existing Shopify Plus store in a safe pair of hands, or want to build a bespoke store from scratch, Venture Stream’s team of Shopify developers can help. Get in touch for more information about our Shopify development and ecommerce consultancy services. Or, take a look at some of our previous work with Shopify here.