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Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is an enterprise solution for businesses that break the barriers of the highest standard plan “Advanced Shopify”. So before considering stepping into the big league of ecommerce, you should have a quick look at their standard plans. They are considerably less expensive and you can always upgrade to a higher plan.

If you want to learn about some of the basic features, don’t miss our detailed Shopify review.

7 reasons to upgrade to Shopify Plus

Ok, so you are a high volume merchant and have a pretty significant business. In other words your store makes about $500k+ per year in revenue or has a high-growth trajectory. Where can Shopify Plus make your life easier? Let’s start with some typical problems that you might experience:

  • Scalability and reliability issues – Your current hosting environment has reached its limits. High traffic peaks bring your online store down.
  • Costs are high – Your hosting and development costs shoot through the roof.
  • Not enough time – There’s only a little time window to set up the online store.
  • Channel restrictions – Your online store can’t be integrated directly into other on- /offline sales channels (e.g. Facebook, other websites, store offline payment).
  • Lack of flexibility – Your ecommerce platform is too restrictive. Adding new features is rather complicated, expensive and time consuming.
  • Design restrictions – The platform you use is powerful, but it comes with many design restrictions.
  • Poor support – You pay a lot of money, but you don’t feel happy with the support you receive.

Does one or more of these issues sound familiar? Well, then let’s see what other requirements get covered exclusively in this enterprise solution.

What you will get only in Shopify Plus

Not only can Shopify Plus easily handle these issues, it also comes with some exclusive features that you might need. Let’s give you a brief overview:

  • Cart Scripting – You’ll have full access to the cart scripting logic. Implementing complex or special rules (individual discounts, etc) for the checkout can be done.
  • High-performing APIs – You will have access to exclusive APIs like Multipass. This makes selling articles via several websites even easier since users have to login only once.
  • Checkout customization – Buyers will checkout on your domain and you can also customize the whole look via the Liquid template language.
  • Internationalization – The standard plans are basically made for online shops in one language. You can only add a translation through an app. However, this is not very elegant. The Plus plan will give you two additional installations that can be synced with each other via the API.
  • Avalara Tax integration – Taxes are complicated and there are too many. This tool, however, makes it much easier to do it right if your business is in the United States.
  • Enterprise Roadmap – Shopify never stops adding new features to its ecommerce platform. As a Plus customer they will be automatically available. No need to upgrade!

What do the experts say?

In 2015, Shopify launched their Shopify Plus Experts initiative to certify expert agencies who are able to consult store owners on everything Plus. We asked Shopify Expert Dan McIvor (Director of SwankyApple, one of the first Shopify Plus partner agencies) to share what he thinks are the most important features of this increasingly popular platform upgrade.

The expert’s 3 favorite Shopify Plus Features

Shopify Flow: This feature provides a toolset which allows businesses to automate a lot of the work that other store managers would have to be doing manually, including automatically tailoring marketing emails and customer support to specific shoppers based on what they tend to purchase.

For example, a clothing or apparel store such as SoleHeaven.com, which sells a wide range of footwear brands, could use Flow to automatically tag a customer’s account with the shoe brands that they have previously purchased, and could therefore make sure all of their shoppers receive emails promoting the shoe brands and styles that they are most likely to be interested in, encouraging more return visitors to the store.

Launchpad: This tool allows you to automate switching between Shopify themes for a set period of time. This is ideal for multi-brand retailers wanting to host a temporary brand takeover on their site and change all of their banners and product menus to advertise certain promotions, as this process is much more time-consuming when working with regular Shopify theme settings.

Last Black Friday, for instance, retailers such as DirtBikeBitz.com used Launchpad to prepare for their sale by launching store-wide product discounting, a new promotional banner and shipping price cuts at a specific scheduled time, and also programmed these changes to disappear automatically by the end of Black Friday.

Increased control over website design and functionality: For example, with Shopify Plus, we can fully customize the entire checkout flow, which cuts down costs for both us and our clients.

One project we’ve worked on, which showcases the power of Shopify Plus’ enhanced customization tools, is StylTom.co.uk (the 2011 winner of the Apprentice UK). While working on this project, we’ve been able to overcome the obstacle of Shopify’s current limited multi-currency functionality and internationalization features by creating a custom application which has allowed StylTom to display exact price points for multiple different currencies and let customers check-out in the same currency they had been surfing in, which is a major conversion rate booster for online stores.

Are there any drawbacks to using Shopify Plus

Dan McIvor, Director at SwankyApple, has identified one potential area for improvement. He hopes to see Shopify Plus offer more region-specific VAT controls, and Verified by VISA checks, throughout Europe and particularly in the UK. This would reduce credit card fraud significantly, which should be an important concern for every online merchant.

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that because the introduction of these fraud reduction features would make the checkout process a little longer, they would also be likely to negatively affect your store’s conversion rate.

According to Dan, there are also some important considerations to keep in mind when migrating to Shopify Plus from other ecommerce platforms. For example, during the migration process, you need to be mindful of your store’s existing storefront functionality, which needs to be replicated before being enhanced, as well as your current business operations and backend admin system functionality.

That being said, Shopify is far more flexible and quicker to build on than most ecommerce platforms, making it ideal for enterprise businesses looking to transition smoothly into owning a more usable and better performing online store.

How’s the setup process for Shopify Plus?

First of all, it doesn’t matter if you already have a Shopify store or you want to open a new one. Feel free to ask the Shopify Gurus any question. When you think that their solution is the right choice, Shopify will accompany you in all three phases:

  • Transition – a dedicated team will help you to make the transition as smoothly as possible. They will help you avoid typical technical traps and minimize your development time.
  • Success – Merchant Success Managers will help you maximize potential and develop an ongoing success strategy.
  • 24/7 Priority Support – You have any question? Ask support. As a Shopify Plus customer you’re always on the priority list to get the fastest response.

Tell me about the Shopify Plus pricing now!

This powerful platform and service have, of course, a price. As mentioned in the intro, you have to expect a whopping increase of at least $1700 added to the highest standard plan. This means that your store will cost at least $2000 / month. This can vary depending on your project.

However, the formula is easy. The reliability and Shopify service guarantee no lost sales on a game day. Exclusive APIs and implementations like Avalara make selling even easier, since you can focus more on other things like SEO strategy, pricing optimization, campaigns etc.

More than 1000 companies and brands use Shopify Plus (e.g. Procter & Gamble, WWF, Subway, Tesla, Red Bull).

So is Shopify Plus worth your money?

SwankyApple’s Shopify Expert Dan believes that although this upgrade may not be ideal for every business, if you are a larger business currently operating and hosting your own ecommerce platform, chances are you could actually save money by switching to Shopify Plus.

This is because, with non-managed platforms such as Magento, even when direct monthly hosting costs may seem very low, the extra costs of paying for your website downtime, support, security updates and fixes can actually result in significantly higher expenses. Furthermore, these tend to be hidden and unexpected, whereas on Shopify Plus all fees are upfront and easy to plan for.

Shopify Plus Showcase

Since we have talked so much about what you need and what you get, it’s time to talk about some real projects that use Shopify Plus.

LA Lakers Store

The basketball team partnered up with AEG Merchandise, which takes care of all their sales. They were struggling with a platform that reached its limits, so they needed a quick solution and a smooth transition with the season starting in 2013.

Visit the LA Lakers Store

Wikipedia Store

Shopify Plus Example - Wikipedia ShopEven though Shopify Plus is made for stores that make more than half a million a year, the enterprise solution was a perfect match for the famous encyclopedia. Wikipedia’s editor base was declining, so they wanted to offer merchandise to its community for a low price. This would help the non-profit organization create better brand awareness.

Visit the Wikipedia Store

Zagat Awards (by Google)

Zagat Awards - Shopify Plus ExampleThe search engine giant Google acquired the restaurant reviewer Zagat in 2011. However, the company needed another online shop system since their security and privacy requirements were quite restrictive. Shopify’s team could clarify all doubts and managed to set up a future-proof online store with Google.

Visit the Zagat Awards Store

If you want to know more about Shopify Plus, we also recommend you have a look at their website. hey will explain even more about their enterprise solution and you can live chat with the staff for further enquiries.

More information about Shopify Plus

Last update: 25 Oct 2017 | Armin Pinggera

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