May 10, 2024

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: 2023 Comparison Guide

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: 2023 Comparison Guide

Running an ecommerce store on Shopify can be a game-changer for Shopify users, but choosing the right Shopify app with the right Shopify features is crucial. In the world of e-commerce, two popular options for an ecommerce platform stand out: Shopify and Shopify Plus. These platforms offer robust checkout pages and checkout extensibility, resulting in an exceptional checkout experience for online shoppers.

Shopify is a widely-used ecommerce platform that allows companies to create their own online stores with ease. It is beginner-friendly and supports headless commerce, making it a popular choice for businesses. With Shopify, companies can easily manage orders and streamline their order management process. On the other hand, Shopify Plus is an advanced ecommerce platform designed specifically for high-volume merchants and store owners who need more robust features and scalability for their expansion stores.

Both ecommerce platforms, Shopify Plus and headless commerce, offer a range of tools and features to help stores sell products online. However, Shopify Plus stands out with its dedicated support, enhanced customization options, and better scalability for growing businesses that use ecommerce.

Whether you're just starting out in ecommerce or looking to take your online store to the next level, understanding Shopify features will help you make an informed decision that suits your business needs. Shopify users on the basic Shopify plan can benefit from these features.

Key differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus features

Basic E-Commerce Functionality vs. Advanced Features

Shopify and Shopify Plus both offer basic ecommerce functionality, allowing merchants to use and set up online stores to sell products. However, the main difference lies in the advanced features ecommerce stores use offered by Shopify Plus. While regular Shopify provides essential tools for running an ecommerce business, Shopify Plus takes it a step further with additional capabilities for ecommerce.

Automation Workflows and Custom Checkout Experiences

One of the standout features of Shopify Plus in the ecommerce industry is its automation workflows. This feature allows ecommerce merchants with a Shopify store to automate various tasks in their standard Shopify plans, such as order processing, inventory management, and customer engagement. By streamlining these processes in a Shopify store, businesses can save time and improve efficiency. This applies to both standard Shopify and core Shopify plans.

In addition to automation workflows, Shopify Plus also offers custom checkout experiences. This means that merchants using the core Shopify plans have more control over the design and functionality of their checkout process. They can create a seamless and personalized experience for customers, leading to higher conversion rates.

Unlimited Staff Accounts for Larger Organizations

Regular Shopify plans come with limitations on the number of staff accounts that can be created. However, with Shopify Plus, merchants enjoy the benefit of unlimited staff accounts. This is particularly advantageous for larger organizations with multiple team members who need access to the platform.

Having unlimited staff accounts allows businesses to delegate tasks effectively and ensure smooth collaboration among team members. It eliminates any restrictions on user access and enables everyone to contribute efficiently towards managing the online store.

Exclusive APIs and Integrations

Another key difference between regular Shopify and Shopify Plus is the access to exclusive APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and integrations. With regular Shopify plans, users have access to a wide range of third-party apps through the app store. However, some advanced integrations may not be available for regular plans.

On the other hand, Shopify Plus offers exclusive APIs that enable seamless integration with various third-party tools tailored specifically for larger enterprises. These integrations enhance functionality across different aspects of the business, such as marketing, analytics, and customer support.

Pricing Structure

The pricing structure is a significant differentiating factor between Shopify and Shopify Plus. Regular Shopify plans have fixed monthly fees based on the plan chosen. The pricing tiers cater to businesses of different sizes and budgets.

In contrast, the pricing for Shopify Plus is negotiated individually with each merchant. This personalized approach allows businesses to tailor their plan according to their specific requirements and scale. While this makes Shopify Plus more expensive than regular plans, it provides enterprise-level features and support that cater to larger organizations.

Factors to consider when choosing between Shopify and Shopify Plus

Business Size

The size of your business plays a crucial role in determining whether regular Shopify or Shopify Plus is the right fit for you. If you run a small or medium-sized business, regular Shopify may be sufficient for your needs. It offers a range of features and functionalities that can help you set up and manage your online store effectively. However, if you operate a larger enterprise with complex requirements, Shopify Plus may be more suitable. This advanced platform provides scalability and flexibility to accommodate the demands of high-volume sales and traffic.


Another important factor to consider is your budget. Regular plans on Shopify are generally more cost-effective, making them ideal for businesses with smaller budgets. These plans offer competitive pricing options that include various features such as unlimited products, 24/7 customer support, and access to numerous apps and integrations. On the other hand, Shopify Plus comes with custom-priced plans tailored specifically for large-scale enterprises. While these plans may have a higher price point, they often justify it by offering advanced features like dedicated account management and enhanced customization capabilities.

Growth Potential

If your business has ambitious growth goals or expects significant increases in traffic/sales volume, upgrading to the scalable infrastructure of Shopify Plus can be advantageous. Regular Shopify plans are designed to handle moderate levels of traffic and sales volume efficiently. However, as your business expands, you might encounter limitations in terms of performance and capacity. In contrast, Shopify Plus provides robust infrastructure capable of handling substantial growth without compromising on speed or stability.

Support Needs

Consider your support needs when choosing between regular Shopify plans and Shopify Plus. Regular plans offer reliable customer support through various channels such as live chat, email, and phone during standard business hours. However, if you require 24/7 priority support or dedicated account management provided exclusively by the higher-tiered plan, then opting for Shopify Plus would be more suitable. Shopify Plus offers dedicated support to ensure that any issues or concerns are promptly addressed, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Upgrading to Shopify Plus: Steps and considerations

To upgrade your Shopify store to Shopify Plus, there are a few important steps and considerations you need to keep in mind. Let's dive into the process and explore what you need to do.

Contacting the sales team at Spotify

The first step towards upgrading to Shopify Plus is reaching out to the sales team at Shopify. They will guide you through the process and discuss your specific business requirements. This initial contact is crucial as it allows you to gather all the necessary information about the features and benefits of Shopify Plus.

Migrating data from regular Spotify

Once you've made the decision to upgrade, migrating your data from regular Spotify to Shopify Plus is an essential part of the process. This involves careful planning and execution to ensure a smooth transition. If needed, don't hesitate to seek assistance from experts who can help with data migration.

Customizing your store design

During the upgrade process, customizing your store design becomes an important consideration. With Shopify Plus, you have access to themes that are tailored specifically for this advanced platform. These themes offer enhanced functionality and flexibility, allowing you to create a unique and visually appealing store that aligns with your brand identity.

Testing and optimizing before going live

Before making your upgraded store live on Shopify Plus, it's crucial to thoroughly test and optimize it. This step ensures that everything functions smoothly without any glitches or issues. Test all aspects of your store, including product pages, checkout process, payment gateways, and any additional functionalities specific to your business needs.

Optimizing your store for speed is also vital as it impacts user experience and conversion rates. Make sure images are optimized for web use, enable caching mechanisms, minimize unnecessary plugins or scripts that may slow down page loading times.

Take advantage of built-in SEO features offered by Shopify Plus such as customizable meta tags and URLs. These optimizations will help improve your store's visibility in search engine rankings, driving more organic traffic to your site.

Access to Merchant Success Program in Shopify Plus

The Merchant Success Program offered exclusively in Shopify Plus provides personalized support and guidance from e-commerce experts. Merchants enrolled in the program receive strategic advice, access to exclusive resources, and assistance with technical aspects of their online stores.

With the Merchant Success Program, businesses gain a dedicated Merchant Success Manager who serves as their go-to person for all things related to their Shopify Plus store. This manager is well-versed in the platform's features and can provide tailored recommendations based on the merchant's specific goals and challenges.

One of the key benefits of this program is the access it provides to a wealth of exclusive resources. These resources include educational materials, best practices guides, and case studies that help merchants optimize their online stores for maximum profitability. By leveraging these resources, businesses can gain valuable insights into industry trends and implement strategies that have proven successful for other Shopify Plus merchants.

In addition to personalized support and exclusive resources, the Merchant Success Program also offers assistance with technical aspects of running an online store. Whether it's setting up custom checkout experiences or integrating third-party apps and tools, merchants can rely on their Merchant Success Manager to provide expert guidance every step of the way.

The aim of the Merchant Success Program is clear: to help businesses maximize their potential on the Shopify Plus platform through tailored strategies and ongoing support. By partnering with experienced e-commerce professionals, merchants can tap into industry expertise that might otherwise be out of reach.

This program is particularly beneficial for merchants who want to leverage the full capabilities of Shopify Plus for growth. With personalized guidance from a dedicated manager, businesses can navigate complex decisions more effectively and make informed choices that align with their long-term goals.

Furthermore, having access to a Merchant Success Manager means that businesses don't have to figure everything out on their own. They have a trusted advisor who understands their unique needs and can provide solutions that are specifically tailored to them.

Enhanced control over checkout process with Shopify Plus

With Shopify Plus, merchants gain enhanced control over the checkout process, allowing them to create a seamless and branded experience for their customers. Let's dive into some of the key features and benefits that come with this advanced version of Shopify.

Customizing the Checkout Experience

One of the major advantages of Shopify Plus is the flexibility it offers in customizing the checkout experience. Merchants can tailor every aspect of the checkout process to match their brand identity and meet specific customer needs. By creating a seamless and branded checkout page, businesses can leave a lasting impression on their customers, increasing trust and loyalty.

Script Editor for Custom Scripts and Integrations

Shopify Plus provides an advanced feature called Script Editor, which allows businesses to add custom scripts or third-party integrations directly into the checkout page. This opens up a world of possibilities for enhancing the functionality and user experience at checkout. Merchants can implement dynamic pricing rules, personalized upsells, or even integrate with external fraud prevention tools to ensure secure transactions.

Multiple Customized Checkouts

Another powerful feature offered by Shopify Plus is the ability to create multiple customized checkouts. This means that merchants can have different checkout experiences tailored specifically to different customer segments or regions. For example, they could have one optimized for mobile users while another caters to desktop shoppers. This level of customization allows businesses to cater to diverse customer preferences and optimize conversions.

Additional Security Measures

Security is paramount. With Shopify Plus, merchants have access to additional security measures that can be implemented at checkout. Two-step authentication adds an extra layer of protection by requiring customers to verify their identity before completing a purchase. Fraud prevention tools enable businesses to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions in real-time, safeguarding both themselves and their customers' financial information.

Extensibility for Headless Commerce

Shopify Plus also offers extensibility options for headless commerce, allowing businesses to decouple the front-end and back-end of their online store. This enables greater flexibility in designing and implementing unique checkout experiences that align with specific business needs. Merchants can leverage custom apps or build their own solutions to create a truly tailored checkout process.

Advanced analytics options in Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus takes analytics to the next level, offering advanced capabilities that go beyond what regular Shopify provides. With these enhanced analytics features, merchants gain deeper insights into customer behavior and sales performance, enabling them to make data-driven decisions for their business.

Customizable Reports for Business Goals

One of the standout features of Shopify Plus is its customizable reports. These reports allow merchants to track specific metrics that are relevant to their unique business goals. Whether it's monitoring conversion rates, average order value, or customer lifetime value, merchants can create tailored reports that provide them with the exact information they need.

By having access to these customizable reports, merchants can gain a better understanding of their customers' purchasing behavior and identify areas where they can optimize their marketing strategies. For example, if a merchant notices a high cart abandonment rate, they can use the analytics data to pinpoint the stage at which customers are dropping off and take steps to improve the checkout process or offer targeted incentives to encourage completion.

Integration with Google Analytics

In addition to its built-in reporting capabilities, Shopify Plus seamlessly integrates with Google Analytics. This integration allows merchants to have comprehensive tracking of website traffic, conversions, and user behavior across various channels. By combining Shopify Plus's internal analytics with Google Analytics data, merchants can get a holistic view of their online store's performance.

Merchants can leverage this integration by setting up custom goals and funnels in Google Analytics that align with their business objectives. They can track key metrics such as bounce rate, time on site, and page views per session to evaluate user engagement and identify areas for improvement. Armed with this valuable information from both platforms working together harmoniously, merchants can make informed decisions about marketing campaigns or website optimizations.

Real-Time Reporting for Timely Insights

Real-time reporting is another powerful feature offered by Shopify Plus. Merchants no longer have to wait for scheduled updates or rely on outdated reports to make critical business decisions. With real-time reporting, they can access up-to-the-minute information on sales trends, inventory levels, and other key metrics that are crucial for effective decision-making.

This real-time data empowers merchants to respond quickly to changing market conditions or customer demands. For example, if a particular product is selling rapidly, merchants can instantly adjust their inventory levels or launch targeted promotions to capitalize on the trend. Real-time reporting ensures that merchants stay agile and proactive in managing their online store.

Making the right choice for your business

Now that you have a clear understanding of the key differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus, as well as the factors to consider when choosing between them, it's time to make an informed decision for your business. Remember, Shopify is a great option for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a reliable and user-friendly e-commerce platform. On the other hand, if you're an enterprise-level business with high-volume sales and complex needs, Shopify Plus offers enhanced features and capabilities tailored to meet your requirements.

To ensure you make the best choice, take into account your current business size, growth potential, budget, and specific needs. Consider how much control you want over customization options, checkout processes, analytics insights, and access to additional support through the Merchant Success Program. By carefully evaluating these factors against your unique business goals and requirements, you'll be able to confidently select either Shopify or Shopify Plus.

So go ahead and choose the platform that aligns with your aspirations and empowers you to take your online store to new heights!


Can I switch from regular Shopify to Shopify Plus?

Yes! If you find that your business has outgrown regular Shopify and requires more advanced features and capabilities offered by Shopify Plus, you can definitely make the switch. The process involves upgrading your existing store to Shopify Plus seamlessly without any major disruptions.

Is there a trial period for Shopify Plus?

No, there isn't a trial period specifically for Shopify Plus. However, regular Shopify does offer a 14-day free trial which allows you to explore its features before making a decision. If you're considering upgrading to Shopify Plus but unsure about its suitability for your business needs, it's recommended to reach out directly to their sales team who can provide personalized guidance.

Can I use custom themes in both regular Shopify and Shopify Plus?

Yes! Both regular Shopify and Shopify Plus allow users to utilize custom themes. Whether you're on the basic Shopify plan or the advanced Shopify Plus plan, you have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of pre-designed themes or create your own custom theme to match your brand identity and aesthetic preferences.

Are there any transaction fees with Shopify Plus?

No, Shopify Plus does not charge any additional transaction fees beyond the monthly subscription cost. This can be a significant advantage for high-volume businesses as it helps reduce overall costs and increase profit margins compared to regular Shopify plans that do charge transaction fees unless using their in-house payment gateway, Shopify Payments.

Can I integrate third-party apps with both regular Shopify and Shopify Plus?

Absolutely! Both regular Shopify and Shopify Plus offer extensive integration capabilities with numerous third-party apps and services. These integrations allow you to enhance your store's functionality, expand marketing efforts, streamline operations, and more. From email marketing tools to inventory management systems, there are countless options available to tailor your e-commerce experience according to your specific needs.

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