Shopify vs Shopify Plus: 6 Key Differences

Shopify Plus makes it easier for larger enterprises to do business online. Compared with its simpler version, Shopify ‘Standard’, Shopify Plus is superior in many ways.

Right now, it’s possible to do business online in quantities not imaginable a few years ago.

With its several custom features, Shopify Plus makes eCommerce selling easy for large enterprises.

But what makes Shopify Plus different from the standard Shopify? Why do big businesses choose to move to Shopify Plus? Should you make the move? What benefits would you get if you did?

It can be hard to understand how the different platforms work. And even harder to understand which one suits your business. Today, we’ll explain the key features for you so that when you decide to explore Shopify Plus, you know exactly what you are getting.


This refers to all the original plans of the Shopify online store. It has three 3 different plans you can choose from. These are priced differently depending on the features and functionalities of each plan.

Shopify offers a 14-day free trial before one can choose which plan suits their business best.

These plans include:

  • Basic Shopify
  • Shopify
  • Advanced Shopify

The prices are as shown in the picture below.

Set up your store, pick a plan later

Source: Shopify

Basic Shopify Plan

This is the simplest and cheapest plan (apart from Shopify Lite).

The basic plan charges you 2.9% credit card rates and 30 cents for each transaction.

The plan is limited to 2 staff accounts. If you use other payment providers you pay an additional 2% fee.

This Basic Shopify eCommerce site works well for those who are just starting out and have only 2 staff members.

Shopify Platform

This is the most known and commonly used Shopify plan for small online stores. It supports up to 5 staff accounts. It also offers a  few themes for free. You can customize the themes too.

The credit card charges are 2.6% and 30 cents for each transaction. You’ll pay a 1% additional fee if you use third-party payment providers.

Advanced Shopify

For businesses that have grown to medium size, this plan works well.  It allows you to create up to 15 staff accounts.

You’ll be charged 2.4% on credit cards and 30 cents per transaction. As with all other plans, you are not charged if you use Shopify Payments. But if you choose to go with third-party payment facilities, you’ll pay an extra 5%.

It’s fair to say that the Advanced plan works really well and you may choose to remain there if it suits you. You can even alternate between the three plans to see which works best.

Also, if your business grows to $800,000 per year, then Shopify will start to charge you $2,000 per month

But the superior functionalities and customization that come with Shopify Plus are worth taking a look at and giving a try.

Let’s look at what makes Shopify Plus a better eCommerce platform for businesses that are doing over $1M a year.

What Makes Shopify Plus Superior?

  • Wholesale functionality
  • Lower transaction fees
  • Ability to handle a flash sale
  • You can do business across borders in different languages and currencies
  • 24/7 dedicated account manager

At its core, the Shopify platform works almost the same across all plans. The clearest difference between the two is Shopify pricing. That’s why the debate about Shopify vs Shopify Plus has persisted.

But as mentioned in the beginning Shopify Plus takes things to another level. It has better and unique features and functionalities.

The charges for Shopify Plus start from $20000 a month and are capped at $40000. It’s not possible to tell you exactly how much you’ll be paying monthly. That will depend on your turnovers and any additional services you will require.

You’ll discuss those with your dedicated account manager at Shopify Plus.

Wholesale Functionality and Ability to Sell Online

You can create an extension to your store that sells wholesale. This allows you to make large sales and track orders from the same admin. You don’t need a separate Shopify site.

Your clients are still password protected when they buy through your wholesale channel. You don’t have that functionality with other Shopify plans.

You can also use Shopify Plus’ launch pad to sell directly on social media like Facebook, Instagram, and others. Once you connect your social media accounts to the Shopify store, you are all set. This way you are able to reach many audiences through different channels.

To achieve this you need unlimited staff accounts. Only Plus offers you the freedom to create as many staff accounts as you need. Every staff member will be hands-on making large sales happen.

Lower Transaction Fees (Plus You Save with Shopify Payments)

Shopify Plus offers lower transaction fees. Just 0.15% transaction fee compared to Shopify’s 0.5%. That’s a huge saving considering the number of transactions you have in a year.

The truth is that higher monthly payments may drive away small businesses. However, if your business is growing and you want to improve your store, you may want to make the move. When you do, you’ll realize that you may be cutting costs.

For enterprises, do you see how you can recover some of that money, especially if you don’t use third-party payments? Instead of using third payment facilities, you can opt for Shopify payments. There are no extra charges when you do.

Online Store Flash Sales

Shopify Plus can handle over 10,000 transactions in a minute: Meaning your site won’t go down during those moments when people are racing to buy from you.

Think Black Friday. Promotions or your ads worked really well and now people have come to buy from you. You don’t want your site going down as would happen with the normal Shopify plan.

You want to be able to handle as many customers as possible in the shortest time possible. And that’s what Plus gives you.

Plus has a unique feature called Shopify flow that it can use to track and reward loyal customers. Shopify Plus is also great for when you have sales campaigns.

Beyond Borders (Languages and Currencies)

Think about the possibility of being able to do business in multiple countries, speaking multiple languages at the same time. You can clone your single store into different sites and languages. For instance, you can have your store as .com, .au, .uk, and so on.

When you are on Shopify Plus, you can have different languages set up so that your single store can be accessed by multi-lingual groups.

You can also set your store to accept different currencies and with simple customization localize your prices.

Of course, that means more sales. That’s something every business wants.

Dedicated Shopify Plus Support

With Plus you can rest easy knowing you get a dedicated account manager. Meaning you get someone taking care of your account full time. 24/7.

You can rely on them to answer any questions you may have and to solve any issues. They are there to help with product launches too.

That’s pretty amazing considering how difficult it can be to get someone to take a look at your eCommerce platforms only to find out they have no idea what they are doing.

And that’s not all, they’ll help you find approved Shopify developer experts to make migration a smooth process.

Unlimited Customization

Access to several customization features is certainly one of Shopify Plus’ greatest strengths. It’s perhaps the biggest argument in the debate about Shopify vs Shopify Plus.

You want your eCommerce store to look nice. When selling online, presentation can mean sales or no sales.

If you go with Shopify, you could still select different Shopify themes to work with. But if you want to brand your store and brand checkout, your only option is Shopify Plus.

Plus gives you access to Liquid editor which allows you to change how your site looks without interfering with the content.

Granted, you’ll require a developer to help with all this. Someone who understands Shopify’s theme language. It helps that you aren’t limited to a few theme choices. Only your imagination limits you.

Shopify Plus Partners

Source: Shopify

Shopify Plus also offers you flexible customization at checkout. The customized checkout page offers numerous possibilities.

With unlimited customization, you have the flexibility, especially when working with repeat or bulk customers. You could group customers together depending on purchases or loyalty and reward them or treat them differently at checkout.

Shopify Vs Shopify Plus: The Verdict

Having considered what makes Shopify Plus superior, you may want to give it a go. Why? Because your business has grown to over $1M. You want to make more money.

Or because you don’t want your site going down during high sale moments. You also want your shop to look great and you want all that checkout customization that comes with Shopify Plus.

Photo by Flickr

Katrina McKinnon

Post by Katrina McKinnon

Katrina is a Charter Member of eCommerceFuel and leads an eCommerce content creation agency. Need content? Blog posts, product descriptions, category content, buyers guides, product reviews and more. Get in touch –

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