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Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Today we are going to discuss Shopify vs Shopify Plus.

With online shopping growing every year, it’s only natural to think about starting your own E-commerce business or moving your existing retail store online.

The good news is that e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Shopify Plus allow you to build and launch your online store without writing a single line of code.

But between Shopify and Shopify Plus, how do you decide which e-commerce solution is the right fit for your business?

While both solutions offer powerful tools to help you create and manage an online store, they do have some key differences.

In this post, we’ve compared Shopify and Shopify Plus to help you determine which one is the best fit for your business. We’ll look at features, ideal business sizes, costs, and more.

Let’s jump in!

Overview Of Shopify

Shopify on a phone

If you’re looking for an easy way to create an online store, Shopify is a great starting point. Since launching in 2006, Shopify has helped over 1 million businesses sell online.

The core Shopify platform is designed for small to medium-sized businesses, especially those just getting started or currently generating less than $1 million in annual sales. 

The intuitive, drag-and-drop interface makes it simple to choose a template, add your products, and have a site up and running within days.

Some key benefits of using basic Shopify include:

  • User-friendly site builder and dashboard
  • Wide range of professional themes and designs to choose from
  • Secure hosting on Shopify’s servers so you don’t need to manage the technical backend
  • Built-in marketing tools like email marketing and abandoned cart recovery
  • Integrates with many apps, payment gateways, shipping carriers, and POS systems
  • 24/7 customer support available via live chat, email or phone
  • Automatic updates so you always have the latest features and optimizations

Shopify websites also offer transparent pricing plans to suit different business sizes and needs. 

The “Basic Shopify” plan starts at just $29/month and is good for startups. It’s cheaper than most of the paid Shopify alternatives. As your monthly Shopify sales volume increases, you can upgrade to the “Shopify” plan at $79/month, then the “Advanced Shopify” plan at $299/month to access additional features and lower transaction fees.

Overview Of Shopify Plus

Once your e-commerce business reaches over $1 million in annual sales, it’s time to start considering Shopify Plus. 

The key differences between basic Shopify and Shopify Plus include:

  • Unlimited staff accounts instead of just 5 admins
  • Advanced reporting features and customized data visualization
  • Tools for managing and localizing international stores
  • Wholesale channel capabilities for business-to-business sales
  • Ability to build custom workflows, scripts, and solutions
  • Volume-based discounts on shipping
  • Access to a dedicated Merchant Success Manager for personalized support
  • Faster hosting and support response times
  • Additional marketing capabilities like automated abandoned cart recovery

As far as the pricing is concerned, rather than pre-set monthly fees like basic Shopify, Shopify Plus pricing is customized based on each brand’s business needs, sales volumes, and platform requirements.

While this tailored approach comes at a higher cost, it also provides enterprise-level solutions beyond off-the-shelf software. 

In short, you should expect a minimum starting spend of around $2000/month for the Shopify Plus solution.

Shopify Vs Shopify Plus — Features Comparison


Now that you know the basics, let’s do a deeper comparison of some key features between these two platforms:

Features Shopify Shopify Plus
Themes And Customization Over 70 themes to choose from. Limited customization without developer. Full customization capability, including checkout process, product pages, etc. Requires developer expertise.
Abandoned Cart Capabilities Basic email reminders over 3 days. Advanced recovery program with detailed rules, product recommendations, dynamic discounts, etc.
Shipping And Fulfillment Integration with domestic shipping carriers, vetted fulfillment partners. Access to a wider selection of shipping partners globally, volume-based discounts, customizable 3PL integration.
Internationalization Basic tools for translation, limited optimization capabilities. Additional tools for localization, optimized taxes, payment methods, etc.
Payment Processing Support for common global payment methods, limited fraud analysis. Robust fraud analysis, enhanced security, integration with local payment options.
Reporting And Analysis Basic sales, traffic, and inventory reporting with limited customization. Advanced reporting tools with custom reports, additional insights, integrated analytics.
App Ecosystem Access to Shopify App Store with over 4,000 apps, mainly for small businesses. Access to exclusive apps tailored for high-volume merchants, custom app development services.

Themes And Customization

  • Shopify — With over 70 themes to choose from, Shopify makes it easy to quickly find and customize a design you like. Using the user-friendly Theme Store, you can preview and install a theme with just a few clicks. While you’re limited to Shopify’s theme selection, you can still tweak colors, fonts, and images to suit your brand.
  • Shopify Plus — Shopify Plus gives you more advanced design flexibility. Instead of being restricted to pre-designed themes, you can fully customize the checkout process, product pages, homepage and more. Shopify Plus lets you create unique page templates and build interactive elements like quizzes or calculators.

    However, this added flexibility means you’ll need a developer to help customize and code your store’s design.

Abandoned Cart Capabilities

  • Shopify — Abandoned carts are a huge missed revenue opportunity – statistics show up to 80% of online shoppers will abandon items in their carts. Shopify lets you send 3 basic email reminders over 3 days to abandoned cart visitors.
  • Shopify Plus — Shopify Plus takes it further with a built-in advanced recovery program. You can set detailed rules and conditions to target shoppers, customize messaging with product recommendations, offer dynamic discounts, and track ROI on your efforts. The customizable automation makes it easier to rescue more of those lost sales and positively impacts retention marketing efforts.

Shipping And Fulfillment

  • Shopify — Shopify integrates with many domestic shipping carriers in the US and Canada to automate label printing and tracking. For fulfillment, Shopify offers a network of vetted partners. 
  • Shopify Plus — Shopify Plus gives you access to a much wider selection of shipping partners globally. Plus, you can also get volume-based discounts and specially negotiated rates from major carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

    As for fulfillment, not only do you get access to the network of vetted partners, but Shopify Plus adds customizable integration with third-party logistics providers (3PLs) of your choice. This makes Shopify Plus better suited for established merchants with complex fulfillment needs.


  • Shopify — Shopify provides basic tools to help you sell internationally. You can translate your online store into multiple languages using the built-in translation engine. This allows you to create product descriptions, menus, and other content in different languages.

However, Shopify has limited capabilities for optimizing your store for specific countries and regions. You will need to manually set up localized pricing, taxes, shipping rates, and payment methods.

  • Shopify Plus — On top of all Shopify’s internationalization features, Shopify Plus provides additional tools to help you localize your online business globally. You can easily translate your product catalog for different regions.

    The solution also helps you optimize taxes, payment methods, pricing, and promotions for specific countries. This makes it easier to comply with regulations and appeal to international audiences.

Payment Processing

  • Shopify — Shopify provides basic tools to help secure online transactions and sell internationally. It includes SSL encryption for secure checkout as well as support for common global payment methods like credit cards, PayPal, and Apple Pay.

However, Shopify has limited fraud analysis capabilities and fewer options for local payment methods when selling in different countries. It does not include advanced security, risk management, or compliance tools suited for high sales volumes.

  • Shopify Plus — Shopify Plus offers an enterprise-grade solution suited for large transaction volumes. It offers robust fraud analysis to identify suspicious transactions. Shopify Plus also provides enhanced security tools like two-factor authentication and tokenized credit card storage.

    For international sales, Shopify Plus supports integration with numerous local payment options like popular digital wallets in Asia and Europe. It also enables automated tax compliance, currency conversion, and certifications like GDPR readiness.

Reporting And Analysis

  • Shopify — Shopify Basic provides basic sales, traffic, and inventory reporting to help you understand your store’s performance. It includes standard reports on orders, customers, top products, and other key metrics with limited customization options. 
  • Shopify Plus — Shopify Plus offers advanced reporting and analytics tools suited for large, complex merchants. It enables you to create custom reports with more segmentation options to analyze performance by product line, collection, channel, marketing campaign, and other factors.

Shopify Plus also provides additional insights beyond the standard reports. You can view margins, average order value, lifetime customer value, sales velocity, and other metrics. Data can be further segmented and filtered to identify trends.

Additionally, Shopify Plus enables integrated analytics by unifying your e-commerce data with other sources like POS systems, accounting software, and marketing platforms. This provides a single centralized view of your business.

App Ecosystem

  • Shopify — Shopify Basic provides access to the Shopify App Store which has over 4,000 apps and integrations. These allow you to add features like email marketing, accounting, and more. However, the app selection is mainly targeted at small businesses.
  • Shopify Plus — Shopify Plus offers a more robust app ecosystem optimized for large enterprises. It grants access to exclusive apps tailored for high-volume merchants like warehouse management and ERP integrations. Shopify Plus also offers a Partners program that provides custom app development services.

Additionally, Shopify Plus provides an API and SDK for advanced customization. Dedicated development team can build custom apps and experiences integrated seamlessly with your store’s backend. This level of customizability is not available with Shopify’s basic version.

Shopify Vs Shopify Plus — Figuring Out Which is Right For You!

By this point, you may already have an idea of which platform aligns better with your business. 

But let’s quickly summarize who Shopify and Shopify Plus are each best suited for:

  • Shopify is ideal for entrepreneurs, lean startups, small businesses, and anyone just getting their e-commerce presence off the ground. It’s beginner friendly, affordable, and can support you through early growth phases.
  • Shopify Plus is ideal for established brands doing over $1 million in annual sales, especially those with large/complex product catalogs, global reach, or a need for advanced customization. The enterprise-level features and custom solutions provide the power and flexibility high-volume merchants require.

The Final Verdict!

To make the right decision, think about your current business size and stage, future goals and scaling plans, and of course your budget. 

On one hand, Shopify can power your MVP launch and support steady growth for small to midsize merchants. Shopify Plus, on the other hand, can step in once you graduate to enterprise needs.

With the right platform choice, Shopify can help you simplify e-commerce and sell smarter at any stage.

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