One of the biggest decisions you have to make as an eCommerce brand is which platform to use for your website. While there are numerous options out there, most companies tend to stick to Shopify as a primary choice.
Why? For starters, it is one of the most robust eCommerce platforms available and includes hundreds of customizable features, both visually and on the backend. Simply put, it makes a solid base for your website, no matter how big or small you want your store to be.
But, while Shopify is great on its own, there is a secondary choice to consider—Shopify Plus. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus is Like Shopify with Extra Frosting
In essence, Shopify Plus is just like Shopify. Both include the same awesome basic features including an easy-to-customize platform, solid security, payment processing, and optimal reliability.
However, as the name suggests, Shopify Plus adds features that make it an even better choice for large eCommerce brands. Think of it like having a great double chocolate cake and then adding on a spoonful of extra fudge frosting with rainbow sprinkles. It’s that awesome.
Examples include advanced customizations and the use of scripts to help minimize the need for additional plugins. In turn, this creates a faster loading page that works better on mobile and keeps customers happy.
There’s also a super nifty launchpad function that makes it easier to automate flash sales, product releases, and other marketing programs. In short, it is everything you love about the basic platform with a few extra technical features for an improved shopping experience and an increase in sales.
The Super Extra Checkout Features of Shopify Plus
Where having Shopify Plus really comes in handy is the addition of super extra checkout features. For example, the expanded platform offers checkout customizations, such as upselling with product recommendations during checkout and address auto-fill through Google Maps API.
To take this a step further, Shopify Plus even allows for a completely custom checkout set up, giving your customers a fully unique experience. This is especially important for stores with numerous individual products or those who want to be able to segment special offers on checkout.
Wholesale Channel Options for Shopify Plus Stores
Another great benefit to Shopify Plus is the various wholesale channel options it adds. Instead of having to build an entirely separate site for your wholesale customers, the expanded platform allows you to create a password-protected section just for them.
In turn, this offers extra features, like the ability to set product and variant-specific prices or apply volume discounts. Furthermore, it also provides the option to set individual pricing for customers and/or wholesale shopper groups. For companies engaging in wholesale marketing, these added features are really a lifesaver.
Shopify Plus Support – Like Having Extra Sprinkles on Top
If everything we’ve mentioned thus far wasn’t enough, there’s an even bigger benefit available to Shopify Plus users. With this program, brands receive a dedicated account manager that can answer questions.
You also receive access to up to three hours of design or script work done by Shopify engineers for free—which, when combined with a quality web development team on your own, can turn your eCommerce site into an almost completely custom setup. This alone is one reason why so many large brands opt to use Shopify Plus.
The Biggest Difference? The Cost
As you can tell, the difference between Shopify and Shopify Plus is pretty big. Unfortunately, that also equates to a somewhat large difference in cost.
Shopify’s very basic program starts at $29 per month and goes up to $299 per month for the advanced features. Likewise, Shopify Plus starts at a whopping $2000 monthly and scales depending on the number of sales the brand makes.
This is a huge cost difference and makes Shopify Plus very restrictive to smaller companies or those who are just starting out. In the end, price is the reason why most people stick with Shopify Advanced and take their time building up to the need for Shopify Plus.
Wrapping It All Up
Keeping all that we’ve mentioned here in mind, it isn’t too difficult to make a decision between Shopify and Shopify Plus. It really just comes down to the need for advanced features—such as wholesale options—and your individual budget. However, making the leap to Shopify Plus is a choice you can make at any time. So for some brands, it is better to start at the lower level of features and eventually move on up.
Need assistance with choosing the perfect eCommerce platform for your needs? Our team of experts at CAKE Commerce is here to help. Please get in touch with us today to discuss your project.