Shopify Plus Review (December 2019): An In-Depth Guide to the Best Enterprise Ecommerce Platform

In this Shopify Plus review, we'll explore how the offering provides enterprise-grade selling capabilities without the headaches, timeframes, or hefty price tags of traditional enterprise applications.

It's time to kill the myth that Shopify is only suitable for small or medium-sized businesses.

I’m sure you’ve heard that Shopify is for “mom and pop shops” and while that’s not wrong — it’s half of the story. It’s true that Shopify is known as the best platform on which to create and manage an ecommerce store, but it’s not just for small or medium-sized businesses (read our full Shopify review).

With the Shopify Plus plan, high-growth, high-volume merchants are also able to grow and nurture on the platform.

Let's discover if Shopify Plus is right for you.

🗒️ What is Shopify Plus?

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.

Shopify Plus review - the dashboard
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.

And this is only the start of it. Keep reading this Shopify Plus review to learn more about our experience with it.

🏗️ Shopify Plus Key Features

Shopify Plus Homepage
So, what makes Shopify Plus an excellent choice for your business?

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
  • JavaScript and CSS support
  • 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

Try Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus Review: It's Super Scalable

Whether it’s a massive flash sale, Black Friday, or just a normal high volume of shoppers, Shopify Plus handles the intense traffic that only enterprise-level businesses experience.

The infinitely scalable Plus platform handles thousands of transactions per minute, so your site stays up and running and customers always have a fast and enjoyable browsing experience.

There's no limit to sales volume, the number of products, bandwidth, and no transaction fees. So you can keep growing on Plus without worrying if your ecommerce software can handle it.

Shopify Plus held up against 200,000 people flooding the Kylie Cosmetics store in a New York pop-up event. It also helped Deathwish coffee earn $2,083 per minute after their Superbowl ad was a roaring success.

Shopify Plus: BlackMilk
For retailers like Black Milk Clothing, Shopify Plus’s ability to handle heavy traffic was a relief.

“Before we moved onto Shopify Plus, our website was crashing on every launch,” recalls Cameron Parker, Head of Marketing at Black Milk. “But when we switched, it was like, ‘Hallelujah.’ Our first release just ran smoothly. The website didn’t even blink. Our customers checked out smoothly and calmly, and it was happy days.”

Shopify plus brands

🎨 Shopify Plus Web Design and Templates

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus provide a range of more than 60 themed templates to work with.

There are 10 free themes available, and another 59 paid options.

Some of the templates are pretty pricey – but you are investing in your brand's image – so take that into account.

The templates you can get for your Shopify Plus web design are also available in a host of different languages. That's pretty useful if you want to reach customers from different locations.

The basic customization for your site happens through the Shopify web editor. You upload a list of your products, decide where you want them to be displayed, and divide them up into their respective categories.

Simple.

Shopify Plus is intended for enterprise companies who need a deeper level of control. Unfortunately, that does mean that you need to know a bit about coding, and Shopify's theme language – Liquid.

Don't panic – it's not as complicated as it sounds.

There are plenty of guides out there that can show you how to play with Liquid to change the appearance and functionality of your store.

One particularly handy feature of Shopify Plus for web design is that you get your own dedicated launch manager. They're there to make sure that you can integrate your new website fully into Shopify.

If you have any issues, Shopify's team will help you to write your lines of code and get yourself up and running on a custom theme.

Even better?

Shopify plus also lets you edit your checkout – unlike the traditional Shopify app.

⚙️ Shopify Plus Review: Extreme Customization and Integration Options

Shopify Plus Integrations
Each merchant is unique, so Shopify Plus allows merchants to have complete customization control.

What does that mean for you?

You get to control the layout, content, and branding in any way they like. In addition, Shopify Plus can enhance a store’s capabilities by offering thousands of professionally built apps at exclusive prices in the Shopify App Store.

Apps like Klaviyo and Rare.io allow Shopify Plus merchants to integrate targeted email marketing campaigns, while LoyaltyLion offers a customer rewards program to keep them coming back.

Businesses can also connect their store with existing IT platforms to create a seamless, integrated solution using the Shopify Plus API. That includes any ERP, CRM, and accounting systems, plus other software you might be using.

Still not enough?

Shopify Plus has a fleet of hand-picked, expert designers, developers, and partners who can create custom experiences or personalized features on the Shopify Plus platform. So whether a business needs an award-winning design, custom features, or a far-reaching social media plan, Shopify Plus provides enterprise merchants with the support they need.

 

ShopifyPlus

Shopify Plus Review: Multi-channel Selling

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For business owner Neil Waller, co-founder of watch brand Shore Projects, the Shopify Plus multi-channel sales functionality was vital to growing his business:

“As we started to transition to brick and mortar, the fact that Shopify has a POS system that links up to our online store gave us an impressively slick operation.”

For business owner Neil Waller, co-founder of watch brand Shore Projects, the Shopify Plus multi-channel sales functionality was vital to growing his business:

“As we started to transition to brick and mortar, the fact that Shopify has a POS system that links up to our online store gave us an impressively slick operation.”

In other words, Shopify Plus allows businesses to sell online and in-store with Shopify’s POS system (read our Shopify POS review).

Additionally, Shopify Plus allows enterprise merchants to quickly sell across social networks like Facebook and Pinterest ensuring maximum reach for their products.

What about taking those crucial payments?

Shopify Plus accepts over 70 different payment gateways, including PayPal and Bitcoin, allowing stores to sell in multiple regions and different languages. This ability to meet customers whenever and wherever they are is critical for any business looking to expand their clientele and find new customers.

You may also like:

Shopify Review – Read real Shopify reviews on costs, functionality, SEO, security, and more to get a quick idea!

Shopify Pricing – A super quick guide to choose the best Shopify pricing plan.

Shopify Themes – The 30 best Shopify themes for 2019

Shopify Plus Review: Ecommerce Automation

Shopify Plus Ecommerce Automation
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.

So, how does that help you?

It means you don't have to work as much with apps and add-ons since all of the automation tools are there in the Shopify Plus system and customized for your own business.

The automation section has tools for you to improve your customer service workflow. You can also manage inventory, orders, and products with automation tools. I particularly enjoy the options for tagging and segmenting customers, since doing this manually would take way too much time.

A good example of this would be with a VIP customer program you might want to make. Typically, you would have to go through the customer list and decide which of the people are buying the most from your store. After that, you'd tag them as a VIP and maybe send out the occasional discounts.

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.

Shopify Plus Review: Wholesale

Traditionally, selling to businesses is a little trickier than going to regular consumers and peddling the same merchandise over and over.

Business customers often want a little extra, with custom orders, wholesale pricing, and more. Shopify Plus does a solid job of taking these customized, unique situations and allowing wholesalers to clean up the selling process.

In short, wholesale gets much easier through the Shopify Plus dashboard.

To start, you're able to create a password-protected website for some of your bigger customers (or those businesses that have negotiated deals with you).

Much of your high-volume selling can be done on this website, and it comes with a mobile responsive version so that you don't have to do any of that coding yourself.

The features inside of the B2B dashboard seem endless

It all starts with offering your customers the option to purchase, track, and reorder when needed quickly. You can also allow them to review orders before you invoice for the negotiated deals.

Furthermore, the integration with loyalty and rewards programs are done automatically, so all you have to do is set up how much of a bonus you're going to give your customers.

A big part of the wholesale website from Shopify Plus is automation. We talked about this a bit before in the standard Shopify Plus plan but running a wholesale site requires lots of automation. During my Shopify Plus review, I noticed several options for setting minimum, maximum, and quantity increments for all of your products.

It also provides an option to require minimum purchase amounts for certain customers. Or, you could activate this type of minimum for the entire store. Along with syncing options for inventory, integrations with systems like 3PL, and tools for customizing your navigation, the Shopify Plus wholesale package is quite intriguing.

Shopify Plus Review: Campaigns and Flash Sales

Let's say you want to run a sale on your ecommerce website.

The goal is to improve the performance of a few products during April, seeing as how sales are usually lower around then for your company.

Generally, with a flash sale or promotion, lots of legwork is involved before, during, and after the sale. Not only that, but it can be challenging to optimize and monitor the sale throughout.

Shopify Plus provides a wonderful campaign and flash sale module filled with automation tools, real-time monitoring, and more. It has options for checking in on top-selling products, along with stats for transactions, acquisition channels, and conversion rates. All of these numbers come in minute-by-minute. Therefore, you don't have to wait around until after the sale is over to make changes or predict how everything is going to go.

This is an incredible command center that everyone in your organization can view (at least those you give access to). This part of Shopify plus is called Launchpad, and it's designed to increase revenue, drive urgency, optimize performance, and send some of these sales to other sales channels.

And since so many of these promotional tasks are done multiple times in the workflow, the automation ensures that you're not repeating the same task over and over. For example, if you think about making a sale for the season and it's a success, there's no need to go in and reboot the deal again since the automation does it for you.

Shopify Plus is Compliant & Secure

Shopify Plus is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, which means that customer data — including credit and debit card information — is protected by the same level of security offered by banks.

From annual on-site assessments to continuous risk management, Shopify Plus makes sure that their shopping cart software and ecommerce hosting is protected from hackers and fraud. So not only can a business rest easy knowing that their site won’t crash, but online shoppers can be assured that their information is secure and protected.

Shopify Plus is a highly secure SaaS platform that's designed to give you more peace of mind than Magneto and other competitors.

You can't access the codebase behind your online shop, which makes it a lot safer end-to-end.

Shopify Plus Review: The White-glove Treatment in Support

shopify plus support

Shopify Plus is all about helping merchants be world-class. The Plus Account Managers are there to provide dedicated and personalized assistance to Plus merchants helping them get the most out of their investment. Not only do the account managers oversee a store’s daily operations, but they work closely with each client to improve their business.

Likewise, businesses on Shopify Plus receive instant access to Shopify’s 24/7 support service with the Shopify Plus priority support phone number and email address.

How Does Shopify Plus Compare to Other Enterprise Level Solutions?

So, how does Shopify Plus rank against the other enterprise-level competitors out there?

Let's take a look

Shopify Plus vs. BigCommerce Enterprise

shopify plus vs bigcommerce enterprise

From a high-level perspective, both of these tools are very similar. They both promise to reduce your maintenance overhead, and cost of ownership, while speeding up time to market.

Here's the thing though – Shopify Plus is more proven at different enterprise levels and has a wider customer base. The more sophisticated the merchant, and the more complicated their business needs, the more likely they are to use Shopify Plus.

Shopify Plus gives you a handful of things you just can't get from BigCommerce Enterprise, including:

  • Over 20 sales channels, including the option for wholesale commerce.
  • Shopify Scripts for ultra-relevant and personalized checkout options
  • A range of autopilot solutions that improve customer conversion rates
  • 24/7 priority support from a dedicated success manager
  • Time-saving ecommerce automation tools like Shopify Launchpad and Flow
  • The world's largest ecosystem of apps and partners

While smaller brands will definitely get by with the solutions they get from Big Commerce, there's nothing quality like the comprehensive experience you get from Shopify Plus.

Shopify Plus vs Magneto Enterprise

magento enterprise

Magneto is one of the most popular Ecommerce platforms out there for enterprise-level companies.

It's probably the biggest competitor that Shopify has.

So, is it better than Shopify Plus?

Not necessarily. Both of these tools have some big companies on board, and they both give you a lot of flexibility that assists with building a better eCommerce store. However, while Magneto is intended for the more complex stores on the market, Shopify Plus is intended for anyone, anywhere.

Magneto is nowhere near as user-friendly as Shopify Plus.

Why?

  • First of all, Magneto is self-hosted, unlike Shopify which includes hosting. This means you need to put more time aside to manage the technical aspects of your store.
  • Maintaining compliance and security on your servers is your responsibility.
  • PCI security compliance isn't offered as part of the package on Magneto, but it is on Shopify Plus.
  • Shopify has designed its solution specifically for marketers so you can focus on building the best possible online store.

What's more, making changes to your solution in Shopify doesn't require months of complex training and coding knowledge.

You can adapt and transform your store without paying for the expert developer you would need in Magneto.

Shopify Plus vs. Volusion Prime

volusion prime

Both Shopify Plus and Volusion are platforms that help businesses create an awesome online store.

Both of these options are “hosted,” so you don't need to manage the backend yourself.

Additionally, the two services run in your browser, so there's no software that you need to install and manage locally.

So, which is better?

Shopify Plus is significantly easier to use than Volusion, gives you a lot more themes to choose from, and ensures that you can sell an unlimited under of products on each plan. Additionally, unlike Volusion, blogging support comes built-in, and there is a wider selection of payment gateways to choose from.

Other benefits of Shopify Plus over Volusion include:

  • Access to the Shopify Payment system with no fees or transaction costs
  • Point-of-sale functionality support and customization
  • Wider selection of integrations and apps to choose from
  • Abandoned cart functionality available at a low price point ($29 package for Shopify plus compared to $79 for Volusion)
  • Easy to use features like AMP and SEO

Shopify also has a larger userbase, which means that you can always turn to the community for support if you need help.

Of course, Volusion has benefits to offer too – such as no transaction fees on any plans, and built-in affiliate programs and CRM integrations. However, it's safe to say that Shopify Plus once again comes out on top.

Shopify Plus vs Advanced Shopify

So, if you want to upgrade your Shopify experience – why not just use the Advanced package?

The Advanced service gives you access to 15 staff accounts, some of the best Shopify shipping rates, and an advanced report builder so you can track your success.

There's also the option for third-party calculated shipping rates – which is useful if you're sending goods to customers internationally.

However, Shopify Plus is the only dedicated enterprise-level tool from Shopify.

It's used by some of the biggest stores in the world – and it's downright incredible compared to anything else offered by Shopify.

While Shopify Plus is a lot more expensive than the Advanced option, it gives you upgraded features that you can't get anywhere else. For instance:

  • The ability to support 10,000 checkouts per minute
  • A dual content delivery network for next-level reliability
  • Standardized APIs for quick and easy data management
  • Support for social commerce with Buyable pins and Facebook shopping
  • Dedicated software development kits for your mobile apps

If your eCommerce business reaches a point when you're raking in the high-level sales – then Shopify Plus is a tool that simply can't be beaten.

It's not ideal for companies who are just starting – or even businesses that seem to be chugging along nicely. Instead, Shopify Plus is for those huge, mature, and large-scale merchants who want to stay on top.

Shopify Plus Pros

Let's focus on where Shopify Plus shines:

  • Shopify Plus saves you a ton of time – you don't have to deal with things like running the backend of the website, implementing new features, or managing bandwidth
  • The price is really good for what you're getting. It's way cheaper than paying for a developer retainer, plus hosting fees.
  • On an enterprise-level, Shopify Plus is one of the most reliable tools out there. The uptime is incredible.
  • Shopify Plus exceeds at exceptional customer service. You'll get a success manager that's dedicated to making your business shine.
  • Shopify Plus is incredibly scalable – it can handle everything from considerable sales to lulls in business. There's no limit on sales volume or bandwidth
  • Shopify Plus is exceptionally customizable with a host of integrations and changes to choose from. You can even adjust the look and feel of your checkout
  • Marketing support is excellent – you'll have no problem with everything from SEO to infusing your marketing strategy with social media.
  • The SDKs and APIs available from Shopify Plus are incredibly easy to use – whatever your strategy might be.

Shopify Plus Cons

No platform is perfect.

Shopify Plus has its limitations too, including:

  • Content limitations – It's not great at content management, even if there are built-in blogging tools
  • Platform lock-in – If Shopify ever runs into problems financially, then you'll be in trouble. Still, that's the same issue with any hosted platform.
  • Learning curve – Using Shopify Plus requires some knowledge of the Shopify Language Liquid, although it's relatively easy to learn

The Best Examples of Stores Using Shopify Plus

So, let's take a look at what you can create with Shopify Plus.

Shopify Plus Store Example: Bombas

shopify plus store example: bombas
Bombas is an excellent eCommerce store, complete with pop-ups that provide quick offers to get customers shopping in an instant. The color theme is clean and attractive, and the shopping cart feels incredibly modern as it slides into view from the right-hand side of the page.

Shopify Plus Store Example: Allbirds

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shopify plus store example: allbirds
Another excellent example of a wonderful store from Shopify Plus. The Allbirds shop looks modern, clean, and easy to navigate. You can set up an account, change the language of the page, and even adjust your currency too. Once again, this site uses a sliding checkout feature that makes it easy for users to enjoy simple, secure purchases.

Shopify Plus Store Example: Italic.com

shopify plus store example: Italic
Italic.com is straightforward and stunning – even on mobile, the Italic store is a minimalist website that demonstrates the expert functionality of the Shopify Plus tool. Clicking into your cart feels seamless and exploring the product sections in the store is a breeze.

Shopify Plus Store Example: John Elliot

shopify plus store example: john elliott
The best thing about the John Elliot store is how it immediately captures leads with a pop-up banner at the bottom of the page, asking for an email address. If you sign up, the Shopify Plus scripting gives you 10% off your first order. What's more, the pop-up isn't as intrusive as some of the alerts you'll find on other websites.

Shopify Plus Store Example: Carat London

shopify plus store example: carat london
Perfect for showing off the signature style of the Carat brand, this website is brimming with class and beauty. There's a pop-up at the bottom of the page for GDPR purposes and a free shipping offer at the top of the site. The checkout function on the store is also very straightforward and sleek.

Shopify Plus Frequently Asked Questions

Need more specific answers to your questions than you can get from most Shopify Plus reviews?

Check out this simple FAQ:

Is Shopify the best ecommerce platform?

Only you can answer that question. Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there, and the one with probably the most community support. However, the right platform for you will depend on your personal needs and preferences.

How many Shopify plus stores are there?

There are more than 500,000 active stores on Shopify, and another 2,500 merchants using the Shopify Plus tool to grow their enterprise company.

What is the difference between Shopify and Shopify plus?

Shopify is an eCommerce solution for small to mid-sized companies that need a flexible sales platform. Shopify Plus is a much larger and more complex enterprise-level platform for companies that are already selling thousands of products every day. If you're not part of the eCommerce elite, you'll probably be okay with Shopify.

Is Shopify Plus Easy to Use?

There's a bit of a learning curve with Shopify Plus, as you'll need some basic coding knowledge and an understanding of the Liquid language that Shopify uses. However, there are a lot of tutorials out there to get you started. Plus, when you sign up with Shopify Plus, you get a dedicated account manager to make sure that you stay on the right track.

🏆 Is Shopify Plus for Best for Your Business?

While Shopify will always be a great solution for small and medium-sized businesses, Shopify Plus is redefining how high-growth, large volume merchants purchase, implement and manage their ecommerce software. Shopify Plus gives customers all the power, without the headaches.

So, after my Shopify Plus review, I can conclude that it's an excellent solution for larger online businesses in general. There are also some superb expansion products with Shopify Plus that make it particularly useful for niche industries and companies. For instance, you can run a robust B2B ecommerce store with the help of Shopify Plus.

Multi-channel options are also available for selling in-person or getting your products on Amazon. Pop-up shops are encouraged to consider Shopify Plus, especially if you're seeing excellent growth. Along with that, Shopify Plus should work wonders for wholesale and global business.

The smaller online stores still have the advantages of regular Shopify, but it's nice to know that you have the chance to upgrade to a powerhouse like Shopify Plus, should the day come.

If you have any questions about this Shopify Plus review, let us know in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences about Shopify Plus if you have them.

Shopify Plus
Rating: 5.0 - Review by

Catalin Zorzini

I'm a web design blogger and started this project after spending a few weeks struggling to find out which is the best ecommerce platform for myself. Check out my current top 10 ecommerce site builders.