Shopify vs Shopify Plus: How To Choose The Right Shopify Plan

April 25, 2018 Allison Hess


Shopify vs Shopify Plus: How To Choose The Right Shopify Plan

Shopify is an extensive platform for creating and managing your own e-commerce store. You don’t need to know how to code or develop in order to build a beautiful, functional online store. Shopify is an option for solo-preneurs and small businesses as well as large enterprises and wholesalers.

More than 375,000 stores use Shopify for simple, effective, and customizable store management. If you’re considering using Shopify for your online store, you’re among an extraordinary crowd of users.

Shopify offers a number of plans with varying resources, tools, support, and pricing. Below we’ll go through the five types of Shopify plans, starting with the three most basic and focusing especially on the Shopify Advanced and Shopify Plus plans.

Check out Shopify Website Design services here.

The 3 Basic Plans

1. Shopify Lite

Shopify Lite is the most basic Shopify account. It doesn’t offer a fully functioning eCommerce site, but it enables you to sell through other channels like Facebook. You can’t offer a shopping cart, but you can place “Buy” buttons throughout your site. You can accept credit card payments and invoice your clients. 

Price: $9/month

Accounts: 1 staff account

Who should use Shopify Lite?

Shopify Lite is best for small businesses or individuals testing their e-commerce business. This is a common plan for those in the process of market and product research who want to get the feel of hosting their own online store. You can later upgrade to other plans if you choose to launch your e-commerce store fully.

2. Shopify Basic 

Shopify Basic is one step up from Shopify Lite. It offers a shopping cart and discount engine to create a more functional storefront. If you have a physical store, you can use Shopify POS to create a more integrated system in the cloud. Shopify Basic also provides fraud analysis to prevent online fraud. You also have unlimited product uploads and file storage. This means you can sell hundreds of products on your site.

However, the customization options for selling are low. The Basic plan does not have professional reports, gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, or other store personalization. The Basic store allows you to provide a full e-commerce store but at an elementary level.

Price: $29 per month; transaction fees of 2.9% + 30 cents

Accounts: 2 staff accounts

Who should use Shopify Basic?

Shopify Basic is best for small businesses who want to sell a number of products through their site. The focus here is on the product rather than on order management, customer interaction, or marketing resources.

Read: The 5 Best Resources For Online Marketplace Sellers

3. Shopify Professional

Shopify Professional offers all of the tools from the Basic plan as well as professional reports, gift cards, and abandoned cart recovery. This has all of the tools needed for strong customer interaction and streamlined shopping methods. The Professional plan creates a more interactive storefront for customer engagement.

Price: $79/month; transaction fees of 2.6% + 30 cents

Accounts: 5 staff accounts

Who should use Shopify Professional?

Shopify Professional is a great option for businesses looking to scale and track their growth. With professional reporting, this is a great way to manage orders and analytics without too much effort.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: How To Choose The Right Shopify Plan

Shopify Advanced

Shopify Advanced is the first option of the non-basic plans. This is recommended for sellers looking to grow and scale at a consistent rate. It includes all of the features of the basic plans, like fraud analysis, professional reports, gift cards, and abandoned cart recovery.

Benefits include an advanced report builder, so you can quickly and easily pull together management, marketing, and website reports. You also have advanced storage and product uploads and 24/7 technical support via email, phone, and live chat. This support becomes especially useful if you don’t have a technical staff on-hand.

For shipping, Shopify Advanced also offers real-time carrier shipping and calculated shipping updates. Advanced offers greater payment options, including discount codes, manual order creation, and integration with over 70+ payment gateways.

The Advanced plan is especially differentiated due to its unlimited storage for marketing tools like videos, photos, and blogging. This makes it ideal for businesses that want to use their e-commerce site to connect and engage with their customers. The built-in blogging capacity is ideal for sellers who want to utilize strong content marketing.

Price: $299/month; transaction fees of 2.4% + 30 cent

Accounts: 15 staff accounts

Who should use Shopify Advanced?

Advanced is the best option for those businesses with a content-heavy focus for online marketing This streamlined process along with customer-facing tools enables a clean and attractive storefront.

Shopify Advanced is also great for businesses that are consistently launching new products and marketing to their customers. Small and large businesses alike can benefit from the automation of order monitoring and comprehensive reporting.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: How To Choose The Right Shopify Plan

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is the most sophisticated and comprehensive Shopify plan with a fully hosted website. This is best for large companies that want to focus on marketing and design rather than order management. With over 200TB of storage, it offers nearly unlimited storage options for products, files, and content. Because of this extensive platform, a number of large brands use Shopify Plus, like Tesla, Redbull, Nestle, Herschel, and Kylie Jenner Cosmetics.

24/7 priority technical support via email, phone, or live chat is one of the greatest features with Plus. Shopify Plus offers priority support over Shopify Advanced, which is especially important during the holidays; if your site goes down, you are the first that Shopify technicians will focus on.

You also have a dedicated launch manager to enhance your website from the get-go. You also receive a merchant success manager to provide ongoing support. They will reactively and proactively look at your products, marketing, and reports to ensure you are always moving along the right path towards profits.

Shopify Plus also offers up to 10 “clone” stores. This allows you to create multiple versions of your store on one account. Whether a wholesale or retail store, you can expand your site to international markets with translation and multi-currency services.

Shopify Plus provides strong integration with other platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Amazon. This provides visibility to a wider range of customers and capabilities to boost brand awareness, engagement, and sales.

Plus also has the highest level of customization of all the Shopify platforms. You can customize everything from product pages to checkout pages to payment processing features. You can make your storefront completely to your specifications in an easy, functional way. 

Other Shopify Plus tools:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited transactions
  • Custom checkout SSL certificates
  • Access to exclusive APIs
  • Discount and gift card APIs
  • User APIs
  • Multipass/SSO
  • Discount scripts for custom promotions
  • Shipping scripts for customized shipping options
  • Tax integration
  • 200+ professional apps
  • Payment integrations
  • Back office integrations

Price: contact for specific quote based on sales volume and site needs (usually over $2,000/month); transaction fees lower than 0.2% and often as low as 0% (credit card processing fees still apply)

Accounts: Unlimited staff accounts

Who should use Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level system that’s best for larger companies. If you wholesale products and want automated order management, Plus is the right option for you. This allows you to focus on marketing, design, and customer engagement rather than the hosting of your site. 

Shopify Plus is also ideal for organizations that would otherwise need a technical staff and order management staff; Plus makes these jobs virtually unnecessary.

Who should not use Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus is generally not necessary for small to medium-sized businesses. It also doesn’t have the same emphasis on content and blogging as Shopify Advanced. If you are focused on content, Shopify Advanced is the best choice; if you are focused on products, Shopify Plus might be the better option.

If you’re looking for backend customizations, Shopify isn’t the best option for you. You might want to consider a separate server.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus: How To Choose The Right Shopify Plan

The Bottom Line

Shopify is one of the best e-commerce platforms with customization, marketing, reporting, engagement, and other resources. Shopify’s three basic plans offer great solutions for sellers getting their feet wet in the e-commerce sphere. Shopify Advanced is ideal for small to mid-size businesses with an emphasis on content marketing. Shopify Plus is a great option for large businesses and wholesalers with a high volume of orders and interactive marketing.

Ready to start designing a Shopify website but not sure where to start? Our Shopify website design services to create a beautiful, functional, and engaging site for your brand!

Contact us now to start building a successful Shopify website for your business!

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