Sean Richards July 29th, 2021

The 5 Key Differences Between Shopify and Shopify Plus

Shopify is one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms, featuring a comprehensive package with an intuitive user interface.

However, Shopify is geared toward small- to medium-sized businesses, and larger companies with a high volume of sales may not find that the platform is able to fulfill all their needs. 

Shopify Plus was designed to be a flexible, fast, and customizable eCommerce platform that is capable of handling the high sales volume and complexities of large enterprises. While Shopify and Shopify Plus share some basic features, there are key differences that make Shopify Plus more effective for enterprises that need additional options. 

Shopify Plus has an Overview Dashboard and Unlimited Staff Accounts 

One of the first major differences companies will notice between Shopify and Shopify Plus is the overview dashboard. The overview Shopify dashboard allows you to see how all of your stores are performing at a glance. Metrics, sales, and analytics are all displayed in a format that gives you an instant perspective on how your businesses are performing. 

Shopify Plus also has unlimited staff accounts and gives you the ability to assign more than just a username and login. Shopify Plus also lets you change each user’s permissions, so you can customize specific roles, and assign your employees varying abilities based on their position. 

There is a Shopify Plus Wholesale Channel

Shopify Plus has a wholesale channel, which is optimized for wholesale as well as business-to-business sales. If you’re in the United States, the wholesale channel lets you use Handshake to sell bulk products to other retailers.

With Shopify Plus, you aren’t limited to choosing only wholesale or retail options; you can create an entirely separate, password-protected section of your website dedicated to your wholesale customers. You never have to worry about a retail customer viewing your wholesale prices, and 

Shopify Plus Gives You Access to Dedicated Support and Exclusive Resources

Shopify Plus has a dedicated support team there to ensure that everything is running smoothly at all times. You can get in touch with someone via phone, email, or live chat, and there are even Shopify Plus experts available to hire hourly if you need someone to run your eCommerce site. 

The exclusive resources available to Shopify Plus enterprises include specialized educational content, playbooks, and checklists created by eCommerce experts, and the ability to create custom apps specifically for your online storefront, among many other useful tools and integrations. 

Shopify Plus store owners enjoy tax service integrations with Avalara Avatax, which has up-to-date tax rates from more than 12,000 jurisdictions. With Avalara Avatax, you are now able to customize your tax rules to better suit your needs, as well as create specific rules per product. You can also make current, accurate reports, quickly and easily. 

Shopify Plus has More Powerful Branding and Customization Capabilities

Compared to the standard version of Shopify, Shopify Plus has more powerful branding and customization capabilities that give you complete control over how your company is represented online. Starting with being able to use your own domain (without ending in “shopify.com”), you can begin to make your online store a reflection of your enterprise. 

With Shopify Plus, adding non-product pages is quick and easy, which makes setting up an FAQ, announcement, or onboarding page a seamless, stress-free process. Shopify Plus also allows you to translate your wholesale storefront into seven languages, giving you global selling power. 

Shopify Scripts are another great way to customize your Shopify Plus website. Shopify Scripts are small sections of code that can customize everything about your customers’ checkout experience, from automatically generating discounts, to changing shipping and payment methods. This leads to increased brand loyalty and lower rates of abandoned carts. 

Shopify Flow connects all of your businesses together, so you can make sweeping or individual changes easily, without logging into each storefront individually. Shopify Flow is used to do things like flag high-risk orders, track and modify inventory and merchandise, and even automate rewards and adding tags to customers. Managing multiple brands used to mean logging into each store’s system individually, but with Shopify Flow, changes can be made quickly on a system-wide or individual basis. 

Dynamic API Integrations and Apps are Included With Shopify Plus 

Shopify Plus allows you to use their API to take your brand to the next level. With the Shopify Plus API, you can do everything from creating and manage gift card codes, to allowing customers to enable a single login called a multipass for all of your businesses and storefronts. Shopify Plus has more ways to customize your online store than ever before. Appearance and themes, products, discounts, the checkout experience, and even payment options can all be changed in a variety of ways to suit your brand. 

Shopify Plus also gives you the opportunity to create custom third-party apps for your business, or you can take advantage of their thriving certified app store, where developers continually solve complex problems faced by large enterprises. With both backend and frontend solutions, and many free options available, the ability to use apps is one of the biggest draws to Shopify Plus.  

Is Shopify Plus Right for Your Enterprise?

While Shopify Plus comes with significant benefits, they come at a much higher cost than the standard Shopify platform. Options start as low as $2,000 a month, with unlimited purchases, a flexible, responsive platform, and accessible support, for many large businesses, Shopify Plus is incredibly affordable when compared to the competition. It offers even more perks if you happen to be involved in wholesale or B2B ventures.

 However, small to medium-sized businesses probably won’t find the higher price tag of Shopify Plus worth the investment, as they can’t take advantage of the ability to complete a high volume of sales, and probably don’t need unlimited user accounts, wholesale capabilities, or a feature-heavy backend. If you have an enterprise-sized business with high sales volume, or if you have a wholesale or B2B business, Shopify Plus may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Sean Richards

Sean Richards is the VP of Strategy & Partnerships for Vincit. Prior to Vincit, Richards provided business development, digital marketing strategy and partnership development at several reputable companies and marketing agencies in both California and Arizona. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Design Management from Arizona State University.

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