When we talk about e-commerce tools, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Shopify, and it is one of the top platforms for building an online store.
Initially, Shopify offered three plans in 2006. In 2014, however, they released Shopify Plus. As per the brand spokespeople, Shopify plus is a solution made for enterprises. Even so, it can be hard to differentiate the two at first glance.
If you have the same concern, then this article can help you. In the following sections, we’ll talk about the offers of Shopify and Shopify Plus. In the end, you can also expect an overview of the two’s key differences.
Features of Shopify Plan
The Shopify Plan is a basic version of the software. Hence, its features are for small to medium-sized businesses. Even so, expect that it will still cover all of your needs. Below, I will discuss the features that you can expect from it.
Storefront features focus on how your online site looks to the public. In addition, it comes with vast customization tools. What makes the tools distinct is you can use them for both web and mobile devices.
Some tools that you can expect include ready-made themes and templates, HTML/CSS Editor, domain manager, site builder, and blogging tools. Meaning, you can design both through codes and drag-and-drop functions.
2. Shopping Cart
Shopping cart features are for creating the checkout process. These include cart emails, automatic shipping rates, payment gateways, tax tools, and language settings.
Along with the tools, you will also get a free SSL Certificate, and you can also set a free shipping voucher for upsells. The main advantage that you will get from the features is the payment gateways setup.
3. Store Management
Along with an efficient site, you can also build reliable customer service. With store management tools, you will get a panel mainly for your transactions. Here, you can view and arrange your customers’ order status.
You will also be able to manage your stocks and inventory. On the same page, you can handle reviews, refunds, and returns.
For dropshipping businesses, Shopify also allows one-click integrations to sites like Ordoro and eCommHub.
4. Marketing & SEO
Marketing & SEO features will help you boost your sales. The app will provide you with on-site SEO tools like meta tags. You can also give discounts and gift cards to your loyal customers. Along with these, Shopify will provide you with $100 Google Ad Credits, and you will get it once you spend a total of $25.
One of its best offers is its Facebook integration. With this tool, customers can browse and buy your products even without leaving the app.
As an e-commerce tool, Shopify also has features for your store’s products. The built-in tools include inventory management, product organization, SEO tags, and subscriptions.
Unlike other apps, there is no limit to how many products you can sell, and it can also support physical and digital products.
6. Web Hosting
Another one of the best features of Shopify is its hosting network. It means that you won’t have to buy a separate hosting service to put your site up online.
It comes with unlimited bandwidth and email forwarding, and it also includes automatic updates. As for the site’s security, you will have a 256-bit SSL.
For better store handling, you will also find a set of tools for analytics. You can view all your sales, orders, returns, refunds, and site metrics like traffic on one board. Hence, it will be easier for you to know your store’s current status. You can even use Google Analytics for more in-depth reports.
Along with your site, you can also monitor each of your product’s stats. It will let you see which ones are earning a profit and which ones do not.
8. Mobile App
To make it more convenient, Shopify also comes in an app. From there, you can manage all the factors about your site.
Note that some features are only available in certain pricing plans. We will discuss that topic in the next section. For now, you can rest assured that Shopify stands by its claim of being an all-in-one tool for online businesses.
Shopify offers three main plans. Below is an overview of their prices and what you can get from each.
1. The Basic Shopify Plan
The Basic Shopify Plan is the most affordable out of the three. This package is mainly for starting businesses, and entrepreneurs who don’t want to focus on being a 100% online store will also find this helpful.
The plan at hand costs $29 monthly. It can handle up to 2 staff accounts and four inventory locations. It comes with the features we discussed earlier, and the only exception is the available reports.
If you’re operating a standard online store, then the Shopify Plan will fit you. It costs $79 per month. But, unlike the former, this plan already comes with basic reporting stats. It can also manage five staff accounts and five inventory locations.
3. Advanced Shopify
For online stores with extensive needs, then you should consider Advanced Shopify. With $299 monthly, you can have 15 staff accounts and eight inventory locations. You can also expect more advanced analytics. With this plan, you can also set international pricing rates for your products.
In choosing a plan, you need to consider your store’s size and needs, and doing so will let you land on the most cost-efficient plan. Also, note that the plans also vary according to transaction fees.
Pros and Cons of Shopify
Shopify is not famous just because it is easy to use, and it comes with a long line of pros. Of course, there are also occasional cons. To have a better view of this topic, we’ll dig deeper into Shopify’s offers.
First, here are the software’s pros:
- It comes with beginner-friendly tools
Shopify’s layout and tools are for beginners. Hence, it’s not an issue even if you find it hard to use the net. You can easily work your way around the app even without a guide.
- Offers vast and generous features
Although the app is beginner-friendly, its offers are not basic. It has very advanced features that will cover all your needs, and its broad focus will ensure a functional online store. What’s better, you will get most of the features even if you buy the cheapest plan.
- Has flexible plans
No matter if you’re a small or large business, there is a Shopify plan for you. The app distributed the right amount of resources for each package. Meaning, you won’t need to worry about paying for too little or too much.
The cons, on the flip side, include:
- Can be pricy
Even if Shopify has cost-efficient plans, it can still come off pricy to starters. It’s a big drawback, especially for stores with small capital.
In addition, some features are available for separate subscriptions. Hence, beginners may not be able to make the most out of the app.
- Unfit for enterprises and corporate sites
Despite the flexible plans, Shopify can’t cater to the needs of enterprises. The resources won’t be enough for their business and marketing needs. Shopify will give your business an advantage. Its main problem, though, lies in the price.
Who Should Use Shopify?
All in all, Shopify will be perfect for the following:
- Small to medium-sized online stores
- Large shopping sites with average-level needs
- Physical stores that are starting to venture into the online world
- Existing online stores that want to expand nationally
- E-commerce figures who wish to offer services worldwide
- Dropshipping businesses
Note that the type of product that you’re selling won’t matter. Mainly, you have to refer to your business’ size. If it’s a starter store up to large and existing ones, you should use Shopify.
However, if you have extensive needs, then you may need to consider Shopify Plus. It’s most especially if you have multiple domains and branches. We will discuss this choice more in the following sections.
What is Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus is a sub-service of Shopify. Unlike the original, though, Plus focuses on bigger needs, and it is mainly for corporations, and it will also fit enterprises. Simply speaking, this app covers the limitations of Shopify alone.
With the same founders, this version came out eight years after Shopify. It first started offering its services in 2014, and it also gathered hype because of its high-end tools.
Of course, Shopify Plus has the same goal. It stays as an all-in-one tool for e-commerce sites, and the only difference is the size and type of target market. All in all, you can expect the Plus version to be a comprehensive yet more extensive tool.
Features of Shopify Plus
Unlike Shopify, Shopify Plus focused on industries rather than needs. Thus, expect high-tech features. See the following:
1. Global Selling
The features included in Global Selling are for those who want to expand their services worldwide. It comes with a full set of tools, and to be specific, you can expect conversion and automation tools.
In addition, you will also have custom promotions and checkout. These will help you make your brand more. Hence, it will be easier for you to build a globally available store.
2. Online Store
Online Store features are for e-commerce corporations. This set comes with design tools, sales boosters, cart, and analytics. Initially, you may think that these are similar to Shopify, and however, these tools are more innovative.
For instance, you can make 3D models of your products. You can also have a custom app just for your brands, and these are not possible in the regular version.
3. International E-Commerce
For already international stores that want to expand more, then International E-commerce Tools will help. With these, you will be able to extend currencies and languages. Not only that, but it will also let you use your customers’ local payment methods.
Along with the tools, your reports will also be more specific, and the program will sort them depending on the countries and regions.
4. Omnichannel Commerce
In particular, you can use a dashboard containing all of your markets’ stats. Meaning, you won’t have to switch in between apps just to manage orders. In addition, it will let you connect the transactions of your physical and digital stores.
5. Headless Commerce
For tech-savvy store owners, Headless Commerce tools will be your holy grail. With this set, you will have a developer kit. You can use codes to transform your channels into your selling sites, which means more possibilities for your store, market, and stats.
Headless Commerce also has a built-in CMS, and it will manage your overall content. Hence, you can expect more improved marketing.
6. Campaigns and Flash Sales
The tools for Campaigns and Flash Sales are for boosting your products’ sales. Here, you can schedule your promotional events, and you can set timed discounts and sales.
Aside from boosters, you will also have bot protection. With it, you can avoid fake sales during your flash sale events.
7. Retail & Point of Sale
Retail & Point of Sale focuses on improving the sales of retailers. With this set of features, you can manage all of your pending orders online, and it applies even when it involves your physical stores. You can handle the shipping, returns, exchanges, refunds, and even email tools.
8. Whole E-Commerce
Apart from retailers, wholesalers will also have an advantage with Whole E-commerce tools. With these, you can leave the custom service to your buyers, and it will be easier for you to manage the orders. You won’t also have to go through complex processes just to have bespoke purchase settings.
9. B2B E-Commerce
Lastly, have B2B E-Commerce Tools for suppliers. With these, you can set custom prices, discounts and manage your stocks. Like wholesalers, you will also get features that won’t need you to lengthy codes.
In addition, expect that B2B tools will also fit the needs of D2C stores.
The main difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus is that you will have the chance to choose the features you want to have in Plus.
Shopify Plus Pricing
Unlike the regular version of Shopify, Shopify Plus does not have certain plans. Instead, you need to apply for a quote on the website itself. The lowest monthly fee available is $2,000.
Of course, the price will come off as expensive at first. However, it’s reasonable considering that the tools are for high-end businesses. Shopify Plus will also surely meet the needs of large sites. To be specific, enterprise-level stores find this plan most cost-efficient.
In applying for a quote, the site will ask you for details like your full name, business email, and number. You also need to enter your company name, URL, country, and annual income, which will play a role in the quote.
Give an allowance of a few business days for their response.
If you’re not sure about the right price level, Shopify has an in-site sales expert. You can talk to them via chat on the website.
Pros and Cons of Shopify Plus
Now, let us talk about the pros and cons of Shopify Plus.
First, here is a list of the pros:
- Can handle huge transaction loads
Unlike Shopify, Shopify Plus can support up to 10,000 orders per minute, and it does not yet include the ongoing transactions that it can handle. Meaning, you won’t have to worry about laggy systems even during flash sales. Moreover, you can expect to be able to cater to more customers at once.
- Wider coverage of features
Because Plus focuses on industries, it has a wider coverage in terms of tools. You won’t have to settle for what’s in the plan you purchased. You can also expect Shopify Plus to fit the needs of whatever business type is at hand.
- High-tech tools
Plus, it has high-tech features, and it allows more possibilities. For instance, Plus has developer kits. It means that you will have more options for customization. You can basically add any feature to your site with an experienced programmer.
For the cons, refer to the following:
- High minimum license fee
Of course, enterprise-level sites won’t find $2,000 that pricy. However, it can still hurt your budget if you’re newly upgrading to Plus. There are evidently cheaper alternatives that you can turn to, even for high-end sites.
- Has more limited capabilities for CMS
Shopify Plus mainly optimized sales and marketing. Although it comes with a built-in CMS, except that it has limitations. It may be difficult for you to fully manage your blogs and social media posts.
If you belong to Shopify Plus’s target market, you won’t have to worry about the cons. Also, the pros aren’t that different from the regular Shopify, and they just have distinct offers feature-wise.
- Who Should Use Shopify Plus?
The layouts, features, and overall offers of Shopify Plus will fit the following:
- Shopify users who are looking into getting more resources
- High-end businesses with enterprise-level needs
- Stores that want to expand globally
- Businesses with both online and physical stores
- Multi-channel businesses
- Existing corporations who want to switch to an online platform
Unlike Shopify, you may need to take your field of work into account, and doing so will give you the necessary e-commerce features for management. Considering the industries, it’s likely that stores with physical products will have higher leverage.
Key Differences of Shopify and Shopify Plus
To get to our main discussion, let’s take an in-depth look at the key differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus. Here are the factors that you should look out for:
As evident as it is, Shopify Plus is much pricier than Shopify. Of course, it’s valid since the former has more high-end features. In fact, you can even see it as cost-efficient. You also have to wait for Plus to give you a quote before you can purchase.
On the other hand, Shopify runs on direct subscriptions, and it has three fixed plans that you can easily compare.
In terms of features, Shopify Plus has more in terms of coverage and quantity. It also categorizes its tools by field. In addition, Plus mainly comes with unlimited resources. You can choose a certain toolset according to your business type.
With Shopify, you will get the features included in each plan, and you can’t customize them depending on your needs. Although still innovative, expect that the tools of Shopify are for non-extensive needs.
Shopify Plus caters to enterprise-level stores, and it means stores that are already earning probably tens of thousands a month. It is suitable for those that need unlimited resources and high-tech features.
Shopify is best for average stores. To be specific, it will fit beginners, growing, and established online stores.
Shopify Plus supports more apps than Shopify, and the former also partners up with exclusive ones like Wholesale Channel and Shopify Flow. The latter, on the flip side, focuses on basic and famous e-commerce apps.
In terms of the layout and ease of use, you can expect both apps to be similar. You will also use the same tools, and they will also give the same board for monitoring your site.
Should You Use Shopify Plus or Shopify?
The question as to whether you should use Shopify Plus or Shopify will depend on your business. It’s not about preference. And rather, you should evaluate your needs. To be specific, find out your store’s size, the resources you need, and how long you will use the app.
Apart from your business, you should also take your goal into account. Simply, if you own a small, medium, or large business, opt for Shopify. However, if you are on the enterprise level, you need Shopify Plus.
Summary: What Is the Difference Between Shopify Plus and Shopify?
All in all, Shopify Plus and Shopify have evident differences. The main one, though, lies in their target market.
Feature-wise, Shopify Plus has more advanced features, and it revolves around enterprise solutions. Hence, the app can aid in sales, complex marketing, and vast migrations.
Shopify, on the other hand, is a more basic form. Small businesses will find the latter more helpful.
Of course, the apps also vary in terms of plans. Shopify Plus is a lot pricier than Shopify, and the cost, however, is reasonable.
Simply speaking, the former is is best for businesses with extensive needs, and the latter, on the flip side, will fit small businesses.
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