Founded in 2006, Shopify is a big name in eCommerce. In just fourteen years, it has grown from a company of two to over 3,000 employees. Shopify, as a whole, has dealt in $55 billion in sales, and 600,000 businesses use Shopify for their online stores. Shopify Plus itself hosts over 3,600 merchants currently.
Shopify Plus is the “white-glove” enterprise version of Shopify, intended to take the hassle out of running an online business. It handles the “online” part of your online business, so you can take care of more important things. With Shopify Plus you have unlimited bandwidth and your very own Merchant Success Manager at your disposal. Say goodbye to sweating over difficult code; Shopify Plus’s team of experts have got you covered.
Shopify Plus is a state-of-the-art eCommerce platform, specifically designed for high-volume enterprise brands. Its core advantage is that it provides more control, customization, and automation for your standard commerce setup, combined with faster speeds, and better omnichannel services.
Shopify Plus is a next-generation, fully hosted, SaaS ecommerce platform. Unlike traditional self-hosted platforms such as Magento Enterprise or SAP Hybris, hosted solutions like Shopify Plus are infinitely more reliable because the solution is constantly monitored and upgraded to ensure maximum efficiency and robustness.
In Addition, since Shopify Plus is hosted, you get to tap into a fast, secure, and powerful hosting network that’s meant to improve your search engine optimization, maintain fast speeds (even during traffic boosts,) and eliminate the need to run your own server or locate a hosting company that can handle your website.
Needless to say, Shopify Plus is not cheap, nor is it intended for small businesses or start-ups. Shopify Plus is specifically geared toward large companies.
Shopify’s highly scalable SaaS platform assures 99.97% uptime for your website and gives your visitors a fast and enjoyable experience. The SaaS model reduces your IT hardware and manpower costs, meaning you can concentrate on your business, rather than IT.
Shopify Plus can handle thousands of orders per minute with ease. With Shopify Plus, there’s no limit to your sales volume, the bandwidth you require, or the number of products you can sell.
You can sell online, in-store and through any channel you wish. It’s possible to accept payments from Bitcoin, PayPal, and more than 70 other payment gateways. You can sell in multiple regions and in different languages. Plus, you can negotiate credit card rates by accepting payments directly with Shopify Plus.
Shopify Plus is certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, and uses continuous risk management and annual on-site compliance.
Shopify Plus offers responsive designs for any brand and any screen. The software gives you complete control over the feel and look of your website. You can define your layout, branding, and content in any way you like. The fully responsive platform allows you to create beautiful customer experiences that work on any screen and any platform.
Shopify Plus’ advanced reporting and analytics features, boosted by Google’s Enhanced Ecommerce Analytics engine, help online retailers get deep insights and understand customers better.
You can use Shopify Plus’ ready-to-go app integrations with Ordoro, Brightpearl, Stitch Labs, and Channel Advisor, or create custom apps to link your sales channels. It’s also possible to use the software’s open APIs to perfectly fit your e-commerce presence with your current multichannel operation.
Shipwire, Webgistix, and Fulfillment by Amazon are already built in for Shopify Plus customers. You can also use the robust API to create a custom fulfillment app to connect to other solutions you use.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The vendor’s large network of servers located around the world ensures your customers can load your online store at fast speeds wherever they are.
There are plenty of features to explore, including:
- Unlimited bandwidth – focus on growing your business without limitations
- Support for processing up to 8,000 orders per minute, per store.
- Highly scalable SaaS Shopify Plus cloud software
- Easy management of up to 10 stores at once
- Simple flash-sale management with the Shopify Plus Launchpad tool
- Automatic task management
- Easily create complex scripts (gifts with purchase, free shipping, etc)
- Watch your campaign with a real-time event dashboard
- Wholesale channel management
- Review orders easily before invoicing for specific details
- Complete customization for your Shopify Plus eCommerce store
- Advanced security with SSL certificates and Level 1 PCI DSS compliance
- Shopify Flow for custom back-end workflows
- Integrations with other 1,500 apps
- Customizable discounts with Shopify Plus Scripts
- Dedicated success manager available
Ease of Use
Shopify Plus is elegant, simple, and easy to navigate.
You can test out the software with a free 14-day trial, no credit card required. All you have to do is enter some contact information and answer a few questions about your store, and they’ll set you up with a trial account.
Although there was no beginner’s tutorial to get started but it isn’t a huge deal because, as it turns out, the Shopify dashboard is a thing of beauty.
All of the most important features (orders, products, customer records, analytics, discounts, apps) can easily be found in the dashboard’s sidebar. Other settings, like payment methods, adjustments to the checkout page (including language selection), tax and shipping settings, and email notifications, can be found at the bottom of the sidebar under “Settings.”
Adding a product takes only a few clicks.
You can use Shopify’s discount features to create specific discounts that apply to an individual product or category. You can also set limits to those discounts so that they can be used only a certain number of times or at a certain price point. ‘Buy One Get One’ discount features are also now available.
As a whole, Shopify’s dashboard does an excellent job. If you can use a WordPress dashboard or even a Facebook account, you can operate a Shopify store.
One of the things that make Shopify Plus so impressive is how much it free time it gives you. When your eCommerce store can automate hefty parts of your sales cycle for you, it means you can focus on other tasks. That’s where the ecommerce automation module comes into play. This product consolidates the complicated workflow from the backend and frontend. It helps you automate those processes with the help of “trigger, condition, action” formulas.
The automation section has tools for you to improve your customer service workflow. You can also manage inventory, orders, and products with automation tools.
With the Shopify Plus automation tools, you would set a parameter that anyone who spends over $100 in one month would be labeled a VIP customer automatically. The same can be done for reordering low inventory or assessing the risk level for a potentially fraudulent transaction.
These automations are completed as campaigns, where you place certain triggers into the workflow and customize the results that would happen because of those triggers.
Improved marketing and SEO
A great ecommerce site is of little use if you can’t get any customers there. One of the benefits of Shopify Plus is that it’s optimised to grow the customer funnel and improve the customer journey from start to finish. Even without a technical background, Shopify Plus is super simple to navigate. Some of the inbuilt benefits of Shopify Plus that will make your marketing team smile include:
- Make changes easily – all of the key functions to your site are available in the admin panel so changes to copy or design can be made instantly.
- Conversion tracking – it’s easy to build in conversion pixels which allow you to track your social media efforts and marketing campaigns.
- Advanced analytics – see who’s buying, where they came from and where they go next with Shopify Plus’ advanced analytics panel and free Google Adwords credits.
- Discount code generator – design your own marketing campaigns and entice customers with discounts and promotions.
- Market testing – the Shopify Plus admin panel allows you to create targeted email campaigns and optimise for success with features such as A/B testing.
Another benefit of Shopify Plus is that it’s been built with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in mind – a clear driver of traffic to most ecommerce sites. Shopify Plus allows you the use of independent URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, image alt tags and headings – all of the ingredients needed to optimise a site for more traffic and search engine results page positions. Shopify Plus also allows blog integration and social media sharing, helping you to gain further reach.
Lastly on the marketing side, Shopify Plus offers a huge benefit for those looking to migrate their store from another platform. Its Traffic Control App allows you to direct the traffic you’ve already built without losing any SEO.
Examples of Stores That Use Shopify Plus:
- The Economist
- Penguin Books
- Tesla Motors
- New York Stock Exchange
It’s not that they’re all famous, successful organizations. They are all examples of stores that use Shopify Plus. These successful brands show the Shopify Plus plan is tailor-made for big businesses. They may be the banner companies, but over 2,500 high-growth merchants use Shopify Plus. These are impressive numbers from Shopify. They explain why many large ecommerce retailers have chosen Shopify Plus as their enterprise solution. In some cases over more established providers like Magento enterprise solutions.
Included in Shopify Plus’s price is premium level support. We think it’s the best support available on the market. The more support you get, the more chance your business continues to grow. Once you’re subscribed to a Shopify Plus plan, you’ll get one-on-one support from:
- Merchant Success Manager – helps you grow your store by recommending apps and features to integrate.
- Launch Manager – makes sure your launch with Shopify Plus is a success. This is especially useful if you’re moving from another platform, such as Magento.
This is not a conventional level of support: it’s miles away from a typical call centre. In our opinion, it’s better than the support provided by any other ecommerce platform.
Pricing for merchants on Shopify Plus is either $2,000 USD per month or 0.25% of eligible platform transactions, whichever is higher. For example, if you sell $900,000 of merchandise in a month, your fee for that month will be $2,250 ($900,000 x 0.25% = $2,250), but if you sell $500,000, your fee will be $2,000 ($500,000 x 0.25% = $1,250). Pricing adjusts each month based on these calculations.
Those “eligible platform transactions” are the net value of any online or POS transactions that you process through your Shopify store and do not include any imported orders.
Also, if you choose to process payments through a third-party payment gateway, you will be charged an additional 0.15% transaction fee. This transaction fee will be waived if you choose to use Shopify Payments for your payments instead (read our review of Shopify Payments for pros and cons).
With Shopify Plus, you get greater freedom to customize your discounts and sales. Through Shopify Discount API, you can offer customers who hit a set shopping balance ($100, for example) a special percentage off. You can build in tiered pricing or add buy-one-get free and bundle offers.
Customers can pay using a gift card because of Shopify Gift Card API. These two APIs are exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants. This is an easy way of making your store’s sales stand out from the crowd.
Shopify Plus vs. Magento Enterprise
The oldest and most renowned ecommerce platforms is Magento. An open source software that is most common between the developers and a range of ecommerce stores is their main product which is self-hosted. It also offers a Magento Enterprise, which is basically the Magento software deployed on a custom hosting solution with account support all bundled together. It’s priced out at $18,000 and up per year, which is right in line with Shopify Plus pricing.
Shopify Plus vs. Big commerce Enterprise
Big commerce is Shopify’s main competitor in the hosted online store space. They are smaller, but growing rapidly. They differ from Shopify with a core centralized on online stores (vs. Shopify’s offline initiatives) and integrating lots of features directly into your dashboard (vs. adding them with Apps). Large scale enterprise pricing also starts around $1000/ month, but can also go up depending on needs.
Shopify launched Shopify Plus in September 2014 to satisfy its larger clients who were outgrowing its original e-commerce platform. Shopify did manage to handle some large volume business, but it wasn’t designated to do so.
If you’re already a Shopify client and you’re confused to switch on Shopify Plus, here are the four-major extra Plus points that Shopify Plus has:
- You will have your own brand and domain name with the checkout
- For support & customized, a dedicated account manager when you are at very high levels of traffic.
- customized integration with inventory and management platforms
- the ability to create clones of your stores for different target countries
If you already have an online store elsewhere and want to move to an enterprise-level platform, Shopify Plus provides a turn-key solution you can move right in to. Although it’s relatively new, Shopify Plus already has some heavy clients and is usually mentioned in the top three of any enterprise e-commerce platforms. User reviews of this software have given an overwhelming response and have been really positive about it.