Author: Olivia Greene
We want you to have the resources to make the best choice for your business, so we’re laying out the details on what a Shopify Plus store can do that a regular Shopify store can’t. Upgrading to Plus shouldn’t be taken lightly, but there are many advantages that Plus offers over a regular Shopify plan.
Shopify Plus does not come free — the monthly fee to own a Shopify store starts at $2000 a month — but if your business needs have outgrown even Advanced Shopify then we encourage you to consider some of the other less-known benefits of Plus that could be a deciding factor for you.
The main benefits fall into one of the following categories:
Transaction Fee Reduction
Extra Support and Resources
Plus-Only Apps and Channels
Lower Transaction Fees
If you don’t use Shopify Payments and instead use a third party payment processor (like Authorize.net, for example) the transaction fee from Shopify on Plus is 0.15% instead of 0.5%+.
This rate reduction usually isn’t enough to offset the monthly cost of Plus on its own, so we recommend doing some quick accounting to see how much of an impact this rate reduction would have on your bottom line.
Shopify LiveChat & Plus Support
Sometimes navigating through help documentation just doesn’t cut it. On regular Shopify, your options for getting in touch with Shopify Support is either via email (with a response time of max 24 hours) or via phone.
With Plus, you get access to a dedicated Plus-store support email with a faster response time, and Shopify LiveChat Support. In my personal experience with Livechat, the wait time for assistance is under 2 minutes. Additionally, a support agent can request access to your store admin to investigate data issues, or even assign a Shopify developer to assist with a fix.
A regular Shopify store has a few limitations on admin resources. For example, a standard Shopify store is limited to 5 staff accounts and 20 themes in its theme library. An Advanced Shopify store has more staff accounts — you have a max of 15 seats at this plan level. You’re still limited to 20 themes, though.
On Plus, you have no restrictions to the number of staff accounts, and your theme library limit is raised to 100.
If you use Shopify Point of Sale for brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll be limited to a maximum of 8 locations on Advanced Shopify. On Plus, that default maximum is raised to 20. If you have more than 20 locations and you want to use Shopify POS, Shopify asks that you get in touch with Plus Support.
Merchant Success Program
Select Plus merchants are assigned a Merchant Success Manager (MSM) in addition to access to prioritized Plus Support. Merchant Success Managers are strategists — they’re available to help guide you with resources and recommendations as your business grows — in everything from marketing, to globalization, to recommendations and resources for using Plus’s unique features like Flow and LaunchPad.
While an MSM can’t write a blog post for you, they can suggest what type of content expansion could be valuable for your business. They can point you in the direction of new marketing opportunities, and help identify gaps in your strategy. If you meet with your MSM every month, they can be an enormous help in growing your business and staying on top of competition.
Want to keep a running list of customers who purchase a particular item?
Want to monitor your D2C store for accidental wholesale purchases?
Want to segment customers who spend over a certain amount, or who repurchase?
Want to reduce the amount of work you need to do to create new products?
Shopify Flow could be your answer. Flow is a Plus-only app, built by Shopify. It’s entirely free with Plus. In short, Flow lets you automate certain tasks using automated workflows. Choose a trigger and pair it with an action, and your Shopify store will automatically run the action when the parameters for the trigger are met.
All workflows have an ‘If/Then’ structure. For example:
Trigger: [If a new order contains a particular product]
Action: [then tag the order with a particular tag].
Trigger:[If an order comes in that selected expedited shipping]
AND [the customer who placed the order is tagged ‘VIP’]
Action: [then send an email to your fulfillment contact with the subject ‘Expedited VIP Order’ and the order number in the body of the email.]
Flow can also give you a way to have apps automatically talk to each other. Select apps, like LoyaltyLion, Stamped.io, Klaviyo, Gorgias, and many others have made their platforms connectable via Flow. For example, if you’re tired of manually creating helpdesk tickets for negative reviews, Shopify Flow has a template that will automatically create a ticket in Gorgias if a review of 2 stars or lower is submitted in Stamped.io.
It’s usually best to approach Flow with something that’s frustrating or challenging for your business, and see if you can create an automated flow to assist with solving or smoothing the issue. Shopify has provided a bunch of templates that can easily be tweaked to your particular requirements. You can also build your own flow from scratch if none of the templates solve your particular need — with a little bit of research you can totally grasp creating flows on your own. If you have an MSM, they can assist with showing you the ropes and even advise on flows to add.
Flow does have some limitations. It can’t back-date actions, there are limits to the actions it can take based on what the trigger is, and some limitations on what fields or data can be selected to build the criteria for the trigger. But for the most part, Flow is useful for segmentation, useful for customer service, useful for merchandising, useful for fraud protection, useful for shipping and fulfillment, and many other challenges facing growing merchants.
Stayed up until midnight to press publish on a theme change to highlight a sale?
Been frustrated with challenges to coordinate your marketing with your website?
Had to issue a refund for a customer who purchased a product that was supposed to be hidden?
Had a customer complain that a coupon code they were sent in an email didn’t work, and later find it was because the code hadn’t been activated at the right time?
Launchpad can help save you from these headaches. Another Plus-only app, built by Shopify and free with Plus. First and foremost a sales tool, Launchpad lets you draft product, collection, discount, and website changes, and then publish them simultaneously as an ‘event’.
This means you can more easily coordinate sales or large product changes with marketing. If you have a product release schedule, Launchpad can help make the newest line drop be a huge success.
Launchpad will also provide some analytics on an event — conversions, attribution, discount code usage, and more.
In many ways, LaunchPad is what makes Plus feel like the grown-up version of Shopify. It can completely eliminate the bulk of the manual work that goes into running sales and product launches on regular Shopify. If you upgrade to Plus, make learning how to use LaunchPad a priority.
Want to apply an automatic discount for particular customers? Scripts.
Want to automatically apply bulk discounts to particular products? Scripts.
Want to offer discounted shipping for VIP customers? Scripts.
Script Editor is our last Plus-only app, and like the previous two Script Editor is created by Shopify and free with Plus. Script Editor opens the door to accomplish a ton of custom stuff with discounts, shipping, and payment processors, automatically.
If you’re supplying small to medium wholesale customers regularly, then the Wholesale Channel may be your answer.
The Wholesale channel isn’t for processing large-scale orders to behemoths like Whole Foods or CVS, but it does provide a dedicated portal for your small and medium wholesale retailers to stock up. If you supply boutique retailers and are tired of creating custom orders from POs for each little store, then the wholesale channel could be the answer to your frustrations.
The wholesale channel is opt-in — only customers you specify will have access to make purchases. That means if you have a wholesale application process or need to vet potential wholesale merchants, you can control the pacing of giving access to your products to new wholesale customers.
The wholesale channel gives you better control of pricing — both on the product side and the customer side. You can set up customer pricing profiles, offer blanket discounts on products for bulk purchases, provide volume or tiered discounts, and even run wholesale specific sales independent of your regular online store.
Most importantly for some merchants, the Wholesale channel lets you set up net payment terms for wholesale customers. You can even have some wholesale orders be submitted as POs and others be payment-authorized orders. From there, you can invoice wholesale customers using the wholesale channel admin.
The wholesale channel tracks sales in your Shopify admin, so your sales reports are unified. You can report on and filter orders based on channel, so if you need to report on wholesale earnings separately from your Online Store the options are there.
You can also specify some products available for wholesale and leave others as B2C only. For example if you have merch that’s only available for your regular customers, you can set those products’ sales channel as Online Store only.
The Wholesale Channel is a relatively newer addition to the Shopify Plus feature offerings, so there are some restrictions on it. If your business is mostly wholesale and you need to offer a fully-featured experience for your wholesale customers, then you may want to consider another method for handling wholesale merchants. For most merchants who need wholesale, though, the limitations aren’t a huge issue. The aesthetics of the Shopify wholesale channel are bare-bones; you have very limited layout customizations — your branding will be matched and…that’s about it. All the product pages will be identical, the collection pages are sparse, but your wholesale customers will always be able to find what they’re looking for.
Additionally, and more subtly, the Wholesale channel is exempt from apps. That means that your wholesale customers won’t have access to loyalty programs or be able to create wishlists like your online store customers. Since most wholesale programs don’t require these extra features this usually isn’t an issue.
Need to display a message at checkout for certain products but not others?
Need to display a message only for customers in California and Washington?
Want to collect customer birthdate at checkout?
Want to embed a form to collect info on what type of building an order is shipping to?
Want to require entering a company name in the company field for checkout?
If you have unusual business needs that extend beyond how Shopify’s default checkout normally works, then you’ll need to customize Shopify’s checkout code. And you can only do that in Plus.
Go buck wild. Want to change the way checkout looks so the steps are more prominent? Want to add a custom gif of the day to the Thank You page? Want to embed a form to collect info about llama handling? Checkout customizations is how you do it.
When you upgrade to Plus, you’ll need to request access to the checkout.liquid files. Once you’ve been given access, you or your Shopify Expert can begin making customizations. The only limit is that your store must continue to collect the basic data needed to process an order — customer information, shipping, and billing details. Beyond that, there’s no limit to how many or what type of customizations you make, only your imagination and your developers’ technical skill.
So, is upgrading right for you? Our team of experts can help you decide; get in touch with us at https://www.noticed.com/pages/contact.