Shopify vs Shopify Plus: What is the Difference? (July 2020)

What are the Key differences between Shopify and Shopify Plus?

Shopify is known around the world as one of the best ways to create and manage your own ecommerce store. This ecommerce platform delivers a range of sensational tools, without requiring custom coding and development. In fact, over 100,000 stores use Shopify to manage and sell products online. The online store platform is the full package, with a store management dashboard, highly customizable product pages, coupon codes, domains and hosting, and direct shopping cart and payment processing support.

That’s all fine, and it’s clear that Shopify is a wonderful option for just about any store type and size, but what happens when you finally decide to opt for the Shopify platform?

Understanding the Pricing for Shopify

The company offers five different pricing plans, it sells domains and you can even choose to pay for additional apps to improve your store.

With all of these options, where do you start? Is the starter plan too basic or are you just getting started with a few products? This is your guide for everything you need to know about choosing a pricing plan through Shopify, so let’s have a close look.

Just before you start though, you might want to take a look at our Shopify reviews and Shopify Pricing guide.

In those articles, we’ll go more in-depth into the experience that you get with Shopify, and what you can expect from each pricing solution.

Btw, I've done a video version of the Shopify Pricing guide for you in case you want to hear my voice 🙂

YouTube video

Shopify’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

It’s a complicated time for all business owners right now. However, you don’t have to wait until the pandemic is over before you begin building a presence online.

As one of the leading providers of ecommerce technology, Shopify has implemented a range of strategies to support small businesses in the month to come.

For instance:

  • Digital and physical gift cards are available on all Shopify plans: This means that your customers can continue to support you without purchasing physical products.
  • Small business funding is available in the US: If you’re located in the US, $200 million in Shopify Capital is now available for small businesses.
  • Community support and live webinars are now supported: You can access a host of virtual meetups with other members of the Shopify community for help with growth.

Comparing Shopify Pricing Plans

There’s more than one way to begin building your online store on Shopify. Depending on the kind of checkout experience and storefront you want to create, you’ll need to consider the various pricing options from Shopify.

You can opt for one of five Shopify pricing plans: Shopify Lite, Basic Shopify, Shopify, Advanced Shopify and Shopify Plus. Each of them has varying features, and naturally, as you upgrade to the higher priced options, you receive more powerful tools.

We’re going to start by giving you an overview of the various Shopify plans available today. However, we’ll also be taking a closer look at the difference between the basic Shopify experience, and Shopify Plus.

Keep reading to figure out which one is right for you.

Shopify plans
Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify Shopify Plus
Total Price
Plan Fee 10% discount for annual plans $29 $79 $299 $2000
Fee estimate
Credit card rate 2.9% + 30¢ 2.6% + 30¢ 2.4% + 30¢ 2.15% + 30¢
Transaction fee None None None None
Features Included
Staff accounts 2 5 15 Unlimited
Numbers of products Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
File Storage Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Shopify Shipping discount up to 64% up to 72% up to 74% Outstanding
Print shipping labels Yes Yes Yes Yes
Discount Codes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fraud analysis If you use Shopify Payments the fraud analysis tools are included. If you choose an external payment gateway, you need to upgrade to Shopify or Advanced Shopify for fraud analysis tools. Yes Yes Yes Yes
24/7 support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Website and blog Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free SSL certificate Yes Yes Yes Yes
Abandoned cart recovery Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gift cards - Yes Yes Yes
Professional reports - Yes Yes Yes
Advanced report builder - - Yes Yes
Third-party calculated shipping rates - - Yes Yes

Shopify Lite

The first plan is not recommended for everyone, but it offers options for selling on Facebook, accepting credit card payments and using Buy buttons. You don't get your own shopping cart, but you can copy and paste the Buy buttons anywhere on your website. Invoicing is provided as well, so it's not a bad deal for those just getting started out.

Price: $9 per month

Who is This Plan Best For?

Running a full ecommerce site is not really possible with this plan. It's nice for young entrepreneurs and small businesses just trying to test the water. It's also not a bad plan for those with just a handful of products to sell. Keep in mind that you can only have one staff account for this plan.

Basic Shopify Plan

With the Basic Shopify Plan you can upload unlimited products and unlimited file storage, but you get hit with the 2.9% + 30¢ credit cards fees. You also have the opportunity to use the Shopify POS if you run a physical store as well.

Shopify Pricing: Basic

The discount engine and fraud analysis tools are the primary features that aren’t offered in the Starter package, but you’re still missing some other components like professional reports, gift cards and abandoned cart recovery. Two staff accounts are given with this plan.

Price: $29 per month

Who is This Plan Best For?

The Basic Shopify Plan is for the company that may not have two or three original products to sell, but they want to post and sell hundreds of items without any limitations. Once again, this is still a starter pack, so you miss out on gift cards and reports (tools that top ecommerce stores must have,) but the discount engine is a nice way to keep people coming back for more.

In my opinion, this is for the company that plans on drop shipping hundreds of items and they don’t quite want to make the jump to the Professional plan.

Shopify Plan 

The Shopify Plan adds on professional reports, gifts cards and abandoned cart recovery, which are all tools for managing a burgeoning online business.

Shopify Pricing: Professional

The big advantage here is the discounted credit card rates (2.6% + 30¢). Five staff accounts are provided with the plan.

Price: $79 per month

Who is This Plan Best For?

The Shopify Plan is for the company that has hundreds of products to sell, and they plan on scaling fast. It provides all the tools you need to understand how customers interact, and you can always upgrade if you feel your company outgrows the plan. If you expect large sales numbers, it’s worth the smaller credit card fee.

Advanced Shopify

The description is all in the name of this plan, since you get advanced storage and product uploads, along with the additions of the advanced report builder and real-time carrier shipping. Not only that, but your credit card fees decrease even more, at 2.4% + 30¢.

ShopifyPlus

Price: $299 per month

Who is This Plan Best For?

The Advanced Shopify plan works well for the company that plans on rolling out new product lines and ideas on a regular basis. The unlimited storage is nice for uploading numerous videos and photos, so I figure a large clothing or even consumer technology store would find this useful.

The plan has a limit of 15 staff accounts, but this is pretty solid for most larger businesses. If you need more, jump to the Shopify Plus plan.

The advanced report builder is an interesting component because this tells me that the companies who use this plan have an analytics wiz on the team, constantly figuring out new ways to test and move customers through the store.

Shopify Plus

One of the biggest decisions that any growing ecommerce business needs to make, is whether they need Shopify or Shopify Plus. While Shopify Plus pricing can be quite steep, it’s also the best way to get the most functionality out of Shopify, as well as complete control over your backend.

Shopify Plus is the enterprise level system when you need resources to focus on things like marketing and design, as opposed to order management. Your site is fully hosted, and you don’t incur any transaction fees. The 200 TB of storage is more than enough to handle the most robust stores.

Price: You must contact Shopify to receive a quote, but it’s going to be higher than $179 per month.

Who is This Plan Best For?

Huge companies like DodoCase or the Los Angeles Lakers. This doesn’t negate smaller companies, but if you have a large team, and you don’t want to spend too much time on managing your orders, this is the way to automate that.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus

Obviously, Shopify Plus is the biggest and most comprehensive plan from Shopify. For most people, a basic Shopify plan will be more than enough. If you’re a small to mid-sized business that wants a launchpad for your online sales platform, and you’re not a fan of the functionality that you get from competitors like Magento, then Shopify will make it easy to manage high volume sales.

However, if you really want to take your business to the next level, or your definition of high volume sales goes into millions of customers, then Shopify Plus can handle much more than a standard plan. In fact, you can process over 10,000 transactions a minute with Shopify Plus.

When it comes to making the decision between Shopify vs Shopify Plus, Shopify does give you a better insight into the initial Shopify flow. You can sell across multiple channels, including Amazon and Facebook, and you get an amazing inventory system too. Shopify also delivers extra features like shopify payments, low shipping rates, and better eCommerce features than any other builder. You can make the most of all your sales channels, launch flash sales, and even deliver discount codes to customers.

However, Shopify isn’t perfect. Transaction fees will be enforced if you’re not using Shopify Payments, and you can’t switch out themes unless you reformat your content too. Additionally, you may struggle to find some of the integrations you need.

Alternatively, Shopify Plus can give you the ultimate online selling experience when it comes to Shopify Plus pricing. You get more with this plan than any other solution from Shopify, ideal for big businesses that are looking to grow. That includes unlimited staff accounts, access to a merchant success manager for personalized support, and high-level selling performance.

If you have the know-how you can access the script editor with Shopify Plus, experiment with the launch manager, and create your own wholesale channel . It’s the ultimate way for a large online business to thrive. However, there’s no set-price, which means you could end up spending a fortune. Additionally, the Shopify Plus experience is likely to only be sustainable if you’re a large enterprise business.

How Much You’re Going to Spend on Domains and Hosting with Shopify?

Whether you’re choosing between Shopify vs Shopify Plus, or you’re trying to decide on the perfect plan from the wide range of alternative selling packages from Shopify, you need some more information. It’s worth noting that although the Shopify pricing plans do come with a lot of great features, they’re also lacking some essential components for an ecommerce platform too.

None of the Shopify plans outlined above include domains. That said, you have a chance to buy a domain for $9 per year through Shopify. This is fairly reasonable, considering I just paid around $14 through Bluehost for a yearly domain renewal, but other domain providers like GoDaddy and NameCheap might give you some better rates.

When you pay for a plan you also receive reliable and unlimited web hosting. This is a huge plus since it can save you over $100 per year. The fast servers have around a 99.94% uptime, and the unlimited email forwarding gives every person in your organization an email address with your domain name in it.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus – What About Shopify Apps and Themes?

You should also consider how much you’re going to spend on expanding and improving your online store with new functionality.

When you start building your Shopify store you may notice that it’s missing some tools or functionality that you think would help your company. Maybe you need a better email newsletter system or an out of stock preorder tool. You also have the option to design the site frontend with a pre-built theme.

Go to the App Store or Theme Store to browse through your options. In short, the more powerful themes and apps cost money, and the basic ones are free. The highest priced theme is $180, but keep in mind that this is a one-time fee.

The apps are a little tough to hammer down a price for, but many of them are free, some have small one-time fees, and I even noticed one (an affiliate tracking platform) that was $179 per month.

Further reading:

Shopify Pricing Plans and Fees: Which Shopify Plan is Best for You? Basic Shopify vs Shopify vs Advanced Shopify

What is Shopify & How Does Shopify Work? – Learn from scratch how to start selling on Shopify in these 8 simple steps.

Shopify Reviews: Is Shopify the Best Ecommerce Platform? Shopify Pros and Cons

Basic Shopify vs Shopify vs Advanced Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Which Shopify Plan is Right for You?

Store owners have plenty of options available when it comes to choosing the perfect Shopify experience for their needs. Depending on the features and functionality you need, the price tag for Shopify can sometimes be quite high. However, the value that you get in return can definitely be worth it if you're looking for advanced features.

The more you spend on your Shopify experience, the more you can go beyond the basic checkout page and backend functionality of the standard shopify solution. The higher tier plans allow you to do everything from creating a clone store, to adding extra features for your product launches. While the regular shopify plan will still give you access to a range of features like payment gateway options and store management, there’s definitely more functionality available the more that you’re willing to pay.

Do you know what plan to choose with Shopify? If not, shoot me an email on czorzini@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to help you out. In case you want to learn more about Shopify, here's my full Shopify review.

Btw, I've done a video version of the Shopify Review for you in case you want to hear my voice 🙂

YouTube video

Joe Warnimont

Joe Warnimont is a freelance writer who creates tools and resources to help other writers get more productive and market their work.