Today’s eCommerce landscape owes a lot to Shopify. The platform’s out-of-the-box online selling solutions have made it easier than ever to start your eCommerce business, with apps and add-ons allowing you to personalise your customer experience either yourself or in collaboration with a Shopify design agency.
Not to mention, Shopify’s entry-level integrations with other platforms like social media marketing channels and popular CRMs makes it a future-proof option for most eCommerce businesses.
But there comes a time in a business’s growth where their needs might begin to outstrip Shopify’s capabilities. For these high-volume businesses, an enterprise solution is needed – and that solution exists as Shopify Plus.
Offering a scalable and customisable framework for larger businesses, Shopify Plus has strong appeal for those mid-tier eCommerce brands looking to take their online presence to the next level. But with a minimum $2,000USD pricetag per month, making the move to Shopify Plus can be a big financial commitment for the future of your business.
If you’re flirting with the idea of upgrading to Shopify Plus, or just want the lowdown on where your business should be at to maximise the benefits of the platform, then here’s a few tips from our experience as a Shopify development agency.
When should I upgrade to Shopify Plus?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to making the move to Shopify Plus. There’s no initiation process, no invite to the fancy club – it’s dependent on your experience as a business owner, and what makes sense for where you’re at and where you’re headed.
There are a few signs that might suggest you’re ready to make the leap:
• You’re beginning to ship internationally, and you need more customisation in both the front-end experience and shipping and tax options by region
• Your current site can’t keep up with traffic, and you’re requiring more and more IT support
• Your monthly transaction fees are beginning to climb into the four-figure range
• You’re spending too much time on manual processes like order management and shipping, and not enough time on innovating
A general rule of thumb for moving to Shopify Plus is when your business cracks the $1 million in annual revenue milestone. This is broadly accepted as the ‘tipping point,’ where the cost of Shopify Plus makes sense financially in the context of your revenue, and it actually works out cheaper to be on the Plus model than standard Shopify.
What does Shopify Plus include?
If you’re already a high volume business with a $1m turnover, in our opinion as a Shopify development agency it’s a no brainer to make the switch to Shopify Plus.
But if your brand is on the cusp of this figure, or you’re not quite there yet, then it can be a tougher decision to make. Considering the pretty significant price jump from Shopify’s advanced tiers up to Plus, the benefits for you as the business owner need to outweigh the increased cost.
So, what do you actually get with Shopify Plus? Given that it’s an enterprise solution used by the likes of Gymshark, Pepsi, Nestlé and the million businesses that Kylie Jenner has started, the answer – a pretty powerful array of eCommerce tools.
You can generally tell that a retailer’s running Shopify when you get to the checkout. While Shopify lets you customise the cart experience to match the look and feel of your site, any customisation is lost when your customer hits the standardised Shopify checkout process.
Shopify Plus gives you access to the checkout.liquid file, giving you the power to customise this section of your user experience. We’re not just talking about aesthetics here – your Shopify design agency can help you implement a custom breadcrumb, integrate with social media logins and Google’s Autocomplete API to streamline data entry and create personalised discounts and upsell opportunities based on your customer’s cart.
Easier promotion scheduling and management
Shopify Plus gives you access to Launchpad, a scheduling tool that makes it easy to plan and automate things like theme changes, discounts and product visibility in just a few clicks.
There’s also a native solution for functionality like auto-applying discounts, running BOGOF sales and customising shipping and payment based on a customer’s region.
One of our favourite features of Shopify Plus is its automation tool, Shopify Flow. You can use this to remove heaps of manual processing from your day to day operations, giving you back valuable time to work on your business.
You can automate things like:
• Notifying your team when an order is placed or refunded
• Temporarily removing any products that are out of stock
• Automatically adding new products to existing collections
• Flagging or cancelling high risk orders
• Adding tags to customers based on anything from their order history and shopping trends to postcode
Support for international growth
If you’re looking to tap into international markets, Shopify Plus makes a pretty strong case for itself when it comes to support in this area.
This includes native multicurrency, where users can shop in local pricing; multilingual support; and up to 9 expansion stores to create a personalised regional experience. This means you can customise things like seasonal messaging based on a user’s location – an important one if you’re Australian based, but selling in the northern hemisphere for example.
With the announcement recently of Shopify Markets, non Shopify Plus users now also have a range of tools at their disposal worth researching.
With that hefty monthly price tag, Shopify does offer dedicated support to its Plus merchants. Available 24/7 by either chat or phone, you can lean on that instant support when you need it.
If your business is at Shopify Plus size, it’s also likely that you’ve been working with a Shopify development agency who’ll have that intricate knowledge of your site and its set up; but when those unexpected issues arise, it’s good to know you’ve got a direct line to Shopify to get it sorted.
How do I upgrade to Shopify Plus?
Working at such a large scale, an out-of-the-box theme generally isn’t suitable for a Shopify Plus store. To maximise the benefits of making the switch and make sure you’re utilising all the customisation options at your disposal, we recommend creating a future-proof, scalable custom website design for your launch with Shopify Plus.
That’s where working with a Shopify Plus partner comes in – a Shopify development agency that’s recognised by the platform itself for their world-class industry and platform expertise.