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

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.

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

So, whether you're a current business owner looking to rapidly grow into the ecommerce space, or you're working in a larger company and would like to propose a more intuitive way of expanding into the world of online selling, this Shopify Plus review is for you. For most small businesses, the Shopify Plus plan doesn't make much sense. Sure, it promises solid growth, but Shopify also has several plans that are much cheaper and fitting during those startup periods.

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 Review: It's Super Scalable

Whether it’s a massive flash sale, Black Friday, or just a normal high volume of shoppers, the Plus plan is built to handle 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.

And because there is no limit to sales volume, the number of products, bandwidth, and no transaction fees, you can keep growing on Plus without worrying if your ecommerce software can handle it or if you’re going to be taxed for your 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 totally smoothly. The website didn’t even blink. Our customers checked out smoothly and calmly and it was happy days.”

Shopify plus brands

Shopify Plus Review: Extreme Customization and Integration Options

Each merchant is unique, so Shopify Plus allows merchants to have complete control over the look and feel of their website, allowing them to define 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 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.

And if that isn’t 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.

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

Shopify Plus Review: Ecommerce Automation

An excellent part of Shopify Plus involves freeing up your time to spend it 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.

This 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. For instance, 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 tricker than simply 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, and it all starts with offering your customers the option to quickly purchase, track, and reorder when needed. You can also give the option for 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 reward 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 site. The goal is to improve the performance of a few products during the month of 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 difficult 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 sale again, since the automation does it for you.

Shopiy Plus is Compliant

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 Review: The White-glove Treatment in 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.

Is Shopify Plus for Best for Your Business?

While Shopify will always be a great solution for small and medium-sized businesses, Shopify Plus (Enterprise) 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 excellent expansion products with Shopify Plus that make it particularly useful for niche industries and companies. For instance, you can run a powerful 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.