Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: Which E-commerce Solution Is Right for You?

shopify vs shopify plus

How to know when you’ve outgrown your current platform, and how Nogin can help.

Shopify is a household name in the ecommerce industry. 

With more than 2.1 million daily active users and over one billion orders, it’s a powerhouse in the world of retail. What’s more, it has democratized ecommerce by providing an accessible platform for businesses of all sizes to grow a D2C presence. 

Shopify’s platform is designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate, with intuitive tools and features that make it simple to create an online store from scratch. Additionally, its user forums, online documentation and support channels are incredibly helpful resources for those who need assistance or have questions about using the platform.

The company’s success can also be attributed to its commitment to innovation. Shopify is constantly updating and improving its platform, adding new features and integrations that help businesses stay competitive in the ever-changing world of ecommerce.

For smaller companies whose priorities are inventory management and competitive transaction fees, Shopify’s basic offerings are the way to go, providing a simple, cost-effective means to process and ship orders.

Shopify Plus is better suited for larger businesses and enterprises, with options for integrating shipping fulfillment and tracking analytics across multiple channels. 

In this article, we’ll explore the features and benefits of Shopify and Shopify Plus, and discuss what to do when you outgrow both. Most of all, we hope we’ll provide you with a framework for choosing the best tool to drive growth for your business in the ever-evolving online marketplace.

Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: What’s the Difference?

Every one of Shopify’s plans from basic to advanced offer the same core features. Shopify will help you:

  • Build an online store with no coding knowledge required.
  • Promote your product across multiple sales channels. Includes email marketing, social media integrations and discounts and promotions. 
  • Maintain a point-of-sale system with inventory tracking, staff management and more. 
  • Navigate any issues that arise with 24/7 support

From there, you can determine if you need the extra features from the next-level package, mostly depending on the amount of customization you need. 

Shopify Plus provides the most customizable experience — and if you’re already on Shopify Plus, you know that it comes at a higher price-point. 

Depending on the features you’d like to use, a Shopify subscription is a maximum of $399 per month. Meanwhile, the minimum cost for Shopify Plus software is $2,000 per month, or a variable fee for higher volume businesses. 

There are benefits that come along with the higher price point, particularly if you’re already putting up big numbers in the sales department. 

While all Shopify accounts come with 24/7 support, your Shopify Plus subscription includes a dedicated account manager to hold your hand through the entire migration process. 

You can also have unlimited staff accounts (versus the 15-user cap on normal Shopify). You’ll be able to customize more of the shopping experience, from the website theme to the checkout. 

Other advanced features include more API integrations, exclusive apps and the ability to integrate with existing platforms, as well as channels to add wholesale capabilities to your store. 

Shopify is a helpful tool no matter which plan you choose. But if you’re looking for more customization options, then Shopify Plus is the way to go.

When Should You Upgrade to Shopify Plus?

You may be thinking, “When should I actually level up?” After all, Shopify Plus does come with a higher price tag, and you don’t want to outrun your own business.

First, you’ll want to consider your business goals, budget and expected sales volume. 

Here are some guiding factors to consider when deciding if Shopify Plus is the right choice for your business:

  1. Sales volume: At some point, depending on sales volume, it will make more financial sense to move to Shopify Plus. That’s because of the transaction and credit card fees. With Shopify Advanced, you’ll pay 2.4% + $0.30 per transaction, on top of monthly platform fees. Shopify Plus fees are 2.15% + $0.30 per transaction on top of platform fees – meaning you’ll reach a point when the reduction in transaction fees with Shopify Plus will offset the higher monthly fee you’d incur to join the Shopify Plus platform. 
  2. Scalability: Is your business rapidly growing and expanding into new markets? Shopify Plus can handle high levels of traffic, ensuring your store can handle more users as you scale and continue to operate seamlessly.
  3. Customization needs: Shopify gets the job done for everyday ecommerce functions, but if you’re looking for more customization and APIs to distinguish your shop from the rest, Shopify Plus has you covered. On the flip-side, if you don’t need much more than the basics, Shopify is still a fantastic choice. 
  4. Budget: Shopify Plus is decidedly more expensive than Shopify, and takes a percentage of your monthly sales rather than a flat monthly fee. 

when you should upgrade to shopify plus

Keep in mind that Shopify and Shopify Plus have the same core offerings for basic ecommerce functionality. The main difference is that Shopify Plus gives you:

  • More flexibility
  • More support options
  • More access to your store’s underlying code

How to Know When You’ve Outgrown Shopify Plus

Maybe you have been using Shopify Plus for years, but you’re starting to wonder if you’ve outgrown it.

Does this sound like your business?

  • Sales volume has increased significantly over the last few months (yay!) but as a result, your page load speeds are going sloth-speed (boo).
  • You have your sights set on some integrations that aren’t available to use within Shopify Plus.
  • You have unique customization needs and currently feel a little limited.

If so, you may need a more powerful ecommerce platform that can handle larger volumes of traffic and transactions. 

Maybe you’re expanding your business to new countries (once again, yay!) and need extra support to navigate multiple languages, currencies and tax laws. But replatforming onto a traditional enterprise platform can be a headache and a half.

Training current staff on a new system, making sure all of your sensitive information migrates over, et cetera, et cetera, can feel like such a major undertaking, that we wouldn’t blame you if you got overwhelmed and just stuck with your current system, despite its difficulties.

Here are some of your options:  

Explore alternative integrations: If you’re unable to find the integrations you need within Shopify Plus, consider looking for alternative options that can meet your needs. Some third-party apps and integrations may be available that can help bridge the gap between Shopify Plus and your specific requirements.

Explore customization options: Shopify Plus offers some level of customization, but if you’re feeling limited by its capabilities, it may be worth exploring other platforms that offer more flexibility and customization options. Look for options that offer greater control over the design and functionality of your e-commerce store.

While apps and integrations are often the solution to some of the problems growing Shopify Plus users face, it’s a band-aid fix. The more apps you layer onto your site, the slower your page load speeds will be, and the more complex your site will be to maintain. 

What if we told you there’s a way you can avoid the costs of replatforming while amplifying the capabilities of your current Shopify Plus setup?

Introducing Nogin

Nogin isn’t a platform — it’s an enterprise ecommerce solution that maximizes the potential of your current resources, embracing and extending Shopify Plus, to scale and grow with you for years to come.

Our powerhouse, cloud-based enterprise ecommerce solution and Commerce-as-a-Service (CaaS) model helps you compete with Big Retail without the time, expense and headaches that come with traditional enterprise and DIY solutions.   

Intentionality is one of the core values of our business model. We’re not an agency that makes money implementing a million features you don’t need. Rather, we get paid as a percentage of sale so we are always aligned with your goals. We only deploy technology that drives revenue and profitability for your store.

It sounds too good, but it’s indeed true — it’s completely free to start scaling with Nogin.

If you think you need a little more than what Shopify Plus can offer, but you don’t have the time or money to re-platform right now, see what Nogin could do for you. We offer no-upfront-cost for companies who qualify.

Set up a free introductory convo with a Nogin nerd today. We can’t wait to meet you and help your ecommerce business reach its full potential! 


What are the features of Shopify Plus vs Shopify?

Shopify Plus offers advanced features like unlimited staff accounts, higher customization options, more API integrations, and dedicated account management, whereas Shopify provides essential ecommerce tools and support suitable for smaller businesses.

What are the benefits of Shopify Plus?

Benefits of Shopify Plus include advanced customization, dedicated account management, access to exclusive apps, lower transaction fees, and capabilities for managing high-volume sales and complex integrations.

Is it worth upgrading to Shopify Plus?

Upgrading to Shopify Plus is worth it for businesses experiencing high sales volume, needing advanced customization, or requiring dedicated support. The cost is justified by lower transaction fees and enhanced capabilities.

Why move to Shopify Plus?

Moving to Shopify Plus provides benefits such as better scalability, advanced customization, lower transaction fees, and dedicated support, making it ideal for businesses looking to grow and handle higher sales volumes.

What is the minimum cost of Shopify Plus?

The minimum cost of Shopify Plus is $2,000 per month, with variable fees for higher volume businesses.

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