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Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Which is Better for Your Business?

If you wonder which Shopify package would be the best fit for your eCommerce business, you have quite a few options. 

Whether your business is a Start-up, Small Medium Sized Business, or Large Enterprise, Shopify has distinctive packages that will provide you with all the necessary features your business needs. 

So, they have five plans to choose from, which include:

The most interesting thing is that they have designed each package so it’s feasibly affordable for businesses of all sizes. 

Choosing which package is the best fit mainly depends on the size of your business, its ROI, and how much you can invest in subsidizing its growth. 

This article will discuss the features of all these packages, their pros, and cons, and the monthly subscription price. 

This will be an intuitive guide to help you decide on the Shopify package your business needs to provide a better customer experience and enhance its growth.

Short Guide to Help You Pick the Best Shopify Plan:

Shopify has designed its packages for businesses of all sizes. Not to mention, every business has its own set of goals and objectives. So, you need to understand the features and benefits of each of these plans. 

To pick the right Shopify plan, you need to ask yourself, “can I afford it? And, “does it go with my business plan?”

Shopify Lite is their most budget-friendly plan at $9 per month. It includes all the basic features to transform your WordPress site, blog, or social media page into a functional e-commerce site. 

This is the perfect plan if your business is a start-up or a small company that needs the basic e-commerce features to start selling. 

The most significant limitation of the Shopify Lite plan is that you cannot own or operate a Shopify website with this package. 

But you get access to their user-friendly dashboard and the auto-generation of a few business reports that include AnalyticsFinance Reports, Customer Profiles, In-Store Inventory Management, Order Management, Product Management, and more. 

The core Shopify plans include Shopify Basic, Shopify & Shopify Advanced. These three packages will cost you $29, $79 & $299, respectively. 

The basic plan includes all the lite plan features and the option to avail your own Shopify domain. The plan includes everything you need to build an e-commerce website. 

You even get access to multiple ready-made themes that you can integrate into your Shopify Dashboard, along with more automated business reports. 

Upgrading to Shopify and Shopify Advanced will give you access to the automation of more complex business reports with much more customization options.  

The Shopify Lite and Core Plans will allow you to operate only one e-commerce business. But with Shopify Plus, you can manage up to 10 e-commerce stores. 

The subscription price of Shopify Plus starts at $2000, but if you want more features, then you can pay a higher custom price to avail everything that your Shopify stores need. 

In a nutshell, the Shopify Lite and Basic Plan are ideal for trades such as drop shipping or a small local e-commerce store.

If you have a medium-sized e-commerce business and are now focusing on expanding your business to new heights, we recommend the Shopify and Shopify Advanced plans.

Not only will it help you automate multiple business processes, but it will also help you with a wide range of customizations. The Shopify Advanced is typically a miniature version of the Shopify Plus. 

If your business is a large enterprise, then you need custom e-commerce solutions. Certain limitations can bind your business output and bottleneck various operations. 

Therefore, Shopify Plus is only recommended for large businesses that need tailored packages to facilitate features suited to their needs.

Plus, as you can manage multiple stores in a unified dashboard, it should help you monitor and regulate business operations more transparently. 

To learn more about the Shopify plans, you can read the rest of the article that describes each of these packages in extensive detail. 

Shopify Lite

If your business is a start-up or a small business with a limited budget, you probably don’t have the funds to invest in a full-fledged e-commerce site. 

If you are looking for a super budget-friendly solution, this package is for you. Their subscription price is only $9 per month. 

They even have a 14-days free trial program, so you can put it to the test whether availing this package is worth it. 

Shopify Lite

Right now, all you need to do is to make sure that your website, social media page, or blog has all the basic functionalities an e-commerce business requires. 

With Shopify Lite, you can turn your existing website, blog, or social media page into a functional e-commerce store. Just having that buy button and checkout process can help you secure the sales of your product/services. 

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It’s not easy to integrate e-commerce features into a site or page. If you need help setting up Shopify Lite on your site or page, our eCommerce SEO Experts can help you out. 

The main reason e-commerce stores have become a top choice for many customers is because it’s highly convenient and less time-consuming. Customers these days want a hassle-free shopping experience.

Shopify Lite

You will have more control over your newly converted e-commerce store. You will have a super user-friendly dashboard and multiple customization options to make your page more lucrative and appealing. 

Plus, you won’t even have to worry about inventory management; it will automatically sync each sale instantly and update the inventory.

Tracking and recording each sales transaction can be a tediously time-consuming task. You can use their Analytics tool to track each product’s sale automatically.

Analytics Tool

Moreover, you can generate detailed Finance Reports. And with their Product Analytics, you can track the customer demand for each of your products based on the sales statistics in the last 90 days. 

They have even got your payment solutions covered. You can set up your preferred payment methods, and your customers can seamlessly pay using their debit/credit card or through payment gateways such as Paypal

Some customers prefer to make their payment by swiping the debit/credit card; you can use Shopify’s Card Reader

Shopify Card Reader
Shopify’s Card Reader

This package is even more impressive because you can create custom orders. This can be very useful, especially for events or seasonal sales in which you can offer attractive coupons and discounts for specific products in your inventory. 

You can even target a particular niche; for example, only students get 15% off on t-shirts. 

And that’s not all. Other features that can help optimize your e-commerce store and provide your customers with a good shopping experience. 

Although the package comes with many attractive features, it also has a major limitation when it comes to accessibility. You only get one staff account with this subscription, meaning only one user gets access to the admin panel. 

The list below includes all the features you will be getting with the Shopify Lite package, 

  • Overview dashboard
  • Finances reports
  • Customer profiles
  • Order management
  • Product management
  • Mobile POS and hardware accessories
  • Email carts
  • QR code product details
  • In-store inventory
  • Gift cards
  • Split bill
  • Custom discounts and discount codes

If you are interested, learn more about Shopify Lite.

Shopify Basic

Shopify Basic is the ultimate budget-friendly package e-commerce solution that includes all the Shopify tools that you need to run an SME.

Their subscription package will cost you $29 per month. Just like Shopify Lite, it also has a 14-days free trial offer. 

Their dashboard is highly user-friendly with multiple themes and customization options to modify your website the way you want. You can simply drag and drop menu bars and other website elements like the buy button, search box, cart icon, etc. 

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Setting up a Shopify Store can be quite complex, especially if you don’t have much experience. Our eCommerce experts can help you build a lucrative Shopify website. 

The biggest advantage of the Shopify Basic package is that you don’t need to have extensive coding knowledge to customize your website. 

You can add up to 20 themes on your site and use whichever best fits your business. You can even change or customize the themes for particular events to attract customers during seasonal sales. 

Shopify Themes

You even get to use their built-in blog engine. With your very own blog page, you can write articles to educate your target audience about your product/services. 

Moreover, you can create interactive posts to encourage your customers to engage with you and receive feedback that can help you provide a superior customer experience. 

Suppose you are concerned about website security. The website’s built-in features include the HTTPS site and SSL Certificate. This means your website’s information is encrypted, and the information is just shared between the store and the customer. 

These two security protocols are barriers that prevent third-party interference. 

If the web browser shows the lock icon where the web address is specified, your website is SSL certified.

Secure Website

If your website does not have an SSL certificate, there will be a red mark on the lock icon on your website, as it’s portrayed in the image below. 

Not Secure Website
Source: Hubspot

If you were impressed with Shopify Lite for the automated reports, this pack includes additional automated reports and monitoring tools that include,

  • Live View – You will be able to track your online store instantaneously. You can monitor your store activities in a 2-dimensional map view and a 3-dimensional globe view.
    You can see your target audience’s action every step of the way, starting from the moment they enter your website to the point where they add items to the cart and confirm checkout.

    This will help you identify potential bottlenecks that may drive the customer away from your site. This feature is handy when running seasonal campaigns like Black Friday or Summer Sale.

  • Acquisition Report – This report shows the number of people that have visited your website. It is essentially useful because it draws out a comparison statistic between the number of new visitors and old visitors.

    It will be helpful for you to identify your existing customers and potential customers.

  • Inventory Report – The inventory report will show the number of items sold per month. You can even track the exact quantity of goods/services sold per day. If you want, you can even see the metrics in percentage.

    In this way, it will be easy for you to compare sales statistics daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Behavior Report –  Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could track how your customers are interacting on your website? And have a report generated on it.

    The behavior report is a built-in automated feature that records customer interactions on your website.

    This will help you strategize and optimize your Shopify store accordingly to meet customer wants and needs. Plus, it will also help you provide a more convenient shopping experience.

    For example, you can focus on what your target audience is looking for by using the search bar on your site. Products/services that have the highest search volume can be featured in the most visible areas of your website for improved traction.

    The report will also contain specific data per session that include,
    -Average time customers spend on your website
    -Number of product/services each customer have added to the cart
    -The total number of sales conversions; products that were checked out and purchased
    -All statistics are generated in percentage figures

  • Marketing Report
    The marketing report can help you understand the performance of your marketing strategies and the results of your campaigns. It will show you the source of your website traffic and the number of visitors converted.

    The most common sources of website traffic are,
    Direct: These are the visitors that know about your store and its web address. They are usually returning customers or through recommendations (word of mouth marketing).

    -Search Traffic: They have found your website on search engine results. The search result can be either from organic or paid search traffic.

    The report will show the statistics and data figures to determine how effective your SEO and PPC strategies are.

    -Social Media: This will help you determine which social media platform is most effective in bringing traffic to your website.

    Major social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.Just because they are very popular with a considerable number of users, doesn’t necessarily mean that all these social media will bring high traffic to your website.

    You need to understand on which platforms your target audience engages the most.

    The report will help you understand which social media platform(s) will most effectively secure traffic to your site and ensure sales conversions.

    -Referral: Bloggers or authority figures can refer to your Shopify store on their website or social media. The marketing report will help you understand how effective your referral program is. And the number of leads and sales conversions coming from referral traffic.

    -Email: The number of website visitors and conversions from emails will determine how successful your email marketing campaigns have been.

    Based on the report, you can set strategies and figure out ways how you can improve your email marketing tactics for more successful conversions in the future.

Shopify

The Shopify Basic plan is great to help you set up your own Shopify store. But as your business grows, you will need greater admin accessibility and additional features. 

The subscription price of the Shopify Plan will cost you $79 per month along with the provision of a 14-days free trial, just like Shopify Lite and Shopify Basic.

Shopify

Do you need help building or modifying your Shopify Store? We can even help you set up your automated business reports. Book a Free Consultation today.

The Shopify Plan has been specifically designed to help businesses grow. It includes all the basic plan features and built-in professional reporting that will help you get detailed insights on your sales trend.

Shopify Plan

To increase business efficiency, you should assign admin privileges to more highly skilled people in your company. By upgrading to the Shopify Plan, you get up to 5 staff logins. 

If you want to optimize the highest scope of sales conversion, then you must keep everything on record. Creating reports is the most effective way for businesses to refer to past and current data. 

Report Generation

Based on these additional reports, you can formulate strategies that will help your business grow and earn higher sales revenue. 

Additional Professional Reports that you will be getting in the Shopify Plan include,

  • Order Report – You need to keep track of every order and monitor its status from the point of checkout to its delivery. Some orders might even get canceled or returned.The order report will have an active log of all the orders, and it will even specify the orders that have been shipped, delivered, canceled, or returned.

    Order Report

    With this report, you will be able to analyze the total number of orders and the time taken to deliver them.
    Most importantly, you will be able to see the actual number of completed orders.

  • Sales Report – Maintaining an accurate sales report is crucial because that’s the primary source of your business’ income. The biggest advantage is each sale will get tracked and recorded automatically by the algorithm. You don’t have to worry about spending hours recording and putting them in distinctive categories.

    Sales Report

    Typically the system will record a sale whenever an order is placed. And it will categorize each sale based on its SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), the client’s name, and its selling price.

    It will also record the discounted selling prices and document both cash and credit sales. However, it can take from 12 to 72 hours to reflect the discounted sales data.

    The sales will be recorded hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly. The biggest advantage of using Shopify’s auto-generated sales report is that there is no scope for trial and error.

  • Profit Report – A profit report will showcase detailed information on your business’s income, expenses, profitability, and debt load. The algorithm will generate a profit report based on the cost price of each product. You will have to add the cost price manually.

    To add costs manually, follow these steps below:
    -Login to Your Shopify Account
    -Navigate to the Admin Panel
    -Select the Product’s name and add the Cost Price excluding taxes, shipping charges, and other costs.
    -Click Save
    It will consider each product’s discounted price, which will be reflected in the net profit. Product returns and refunds will affect the net profit proportionately.

    Profit ReportIt will also compute and include marginal statistics such as gross and net profit margins.

    If your business has multiple costs to account for, it is better to use a separate Accounting or ERP Planning System for more accurate results.

    It is recommended to calculate the total income, costs, and profits manually to avoid any scope of errors.

    You can use the Shopify Profit Report for the auto-generated margin statistics. You will be able to see profit statistics by SKU, Product, and Point of Sale Location.

  • Customers Report – You need to prioritize every customer based on their level of interaction and purchase history. You shouldn’t use the same strategy to attract and retarget your customers.Customer Report

    If you treat your platinum customers and bronze customers the same way, you cannot establish brand loyalty and expect recurring purchases in the long run.With Shopify’s Customer Reporting, you will be able to distinguish every customer based on the following criteria:
    -Seasonal Customers
    -First Time Customers
    -Returning Customers
    -Long-Term Customers
    -One Time Customers
    -Geographical Location

    The customer reporting is limited to 250,000 customers for the Shopify Plan. If you need to analyze more than 250,000 customers’ data, then you can use Google Analytics instead.

    Or upgrade to more premium Shopify Plans which we will discuss later in this article.

    There are Customer Reporting that is exclusively limited to Shopify Advanced and Shopify Plus that include,

    At Risk Customers: Returning Customers who haven’t purchased in a while. There is a possibility that they may no longer purchase from your store.

    Or perhaps they have shifted to a competitor. It is important to retarget them and offer attractive discounts to recreate the customer appeal.

    Loyal Customers: Loyal Customers are your platinum class customers, you should always treat them with exclusive offers with superior customer service so that they feel entitled to stay loyal to your brand.

Shopify Advanced

If you are looking for the perfect plan tailored to accelerate the growth of your e-commerce business, then nothing comes second to the Shopify Advanced Plan. 

Especially if you have a rapidly growing business transitioning from a medium-sized business to a large enterprise, you will have to increase your capacity to meet higher customer demand.

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The advanced feature contains a whole range of customizations. If you want to make your Shopify store appealing and user-friendly, our eCommerce experts can help you out.

The Advanced Plan contains more additional features to help you leverage the best growth opportunities for your business. You will be getting up to 15 Staff Logins. Plus, you can offer your customers the lowest credit and transaction fees.

Shopify Advanced Plan

The subscription price per month is still within a friendly budget. It will cost you $299 per month to upgrade to a plan that offers you more custom options with their premium service facilities. 

Shopify offers various business reports, and each of them is super important, but what if you could customize the content of these reports. 

It would save you an ample amount of time if you could get specific data and statistics in all these reports. With Shopify’s Custom Report Builder, you can now edit and filter parts of the report, relevant to your business. 

And that’s not all; if you integrate third-party shipping carriers into your Shopify store, their algorithm will instantly compute the shipping charges to customers during checkout.

Shopify Advanced Plan Shipping

Plus, your customers will get the option to select their preferred shipping deadline. The options include standard and express delivery. Standard delivery should take up to 3 business days whereas the express delivery should take 1 day. 

The shipping charge of the standard and express shipping charges will be displayed on the screen accordingly. 

If you are a US merchant, you can offer your customers discounted shipping rates.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is the ultimate e-commerce solution. It includes all the features of the core Shopify plans along with various additional features with the scope of a wide range of customization options.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus has been exclusively designed for large enterprises with unlimited features and numerous benefits, but it comes at a much higher price. 

Shopify Plus subscription price starts at a minimum of $2000 per month. The higher you pay, the fewer the limitations with more features and benefits. That’s why Shopify Plus has no limit but at the cost of your investment on the Shopify Plus plan.

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Shopify Plus is a custom mega pack, and it is totally up to you to leverage the most out of this plan. But if you don’t have a proper design plan or don’t know how you can best utilize all these features, you might want to consider resorting to our eCommerce experts. You can even book a Free Consultation.

The core Shopify plans have one thing in common: you can manage one store. But, with Shopify Plus, you can manage up to 10 stores. 

This is very essential for e-commerce enterprises because they have active sales operations in multiple geographical locations. It can be different towns, cities or even countries.

Shopify Plus Global

Plus, it gives your business more options to diversify. Your business might have more than one subsidiary under a central parent company.  You can easily diversify each Shopify store with distinctive product lines. 

One of the biggest advantages of upgrading to Shopify Plus is that your business will no longer be bound by limitations, unlike the core Shopify plans. 

You get unlimited staff logins with greater admin accessibility. These admin panels will allow you more control in the dashboard. 

You can now seamlessly control multiple Shopify stores with a single unified dashboard. You can use Shopify’s built-in Analytics tool to monitor, track and regulate multiple business operations from your central dashboard. 

This will make it easier for you to keep tabs, as you don’t have to switch between multiple platforms to regulate your e-commerce websites.

Shopify Plus Automation

The built-in features are not the only exclusive upgrades in Shopify Plus. Now you can automate your sales operations by using Shopify Flow

With Shopify Flow, you can set specific task instructions on your website. You can even limit these operations during particular hours or for a certain time. 

The Shopify Flow will be essentially helpful for events or to regulate purchases that require meeting certain conditions. 

For example, you can set an instruction to Shopify Flow to only allow purchases over $300, or it could even be multiple units that should be priced at least $300.

To prevent excess ordering, you can even limit the number of orders per customer. So, if you set a limit of 5 units max for certain products, then each customer won’t be able to order more than 5 units per order. 

Shopify Flow can also be used for particular sales events as you can even set specific instructions to roll out discounts, exclusive offers, and much more. 

We recommend you use Launchpad, a Shopify app that will help you add certain conditions to automate sales during events. After the event is over, it will instantly roll back the changes to your original Shopify store.

Shopify Plus Launchpad

If you think that you need more tools to regulate your e-commerce business, you can use multiple third-party tools. You will find many useful apps in the Shopify app store. You can use the app store’s search bar to find the tools you need.

You can consider including advanced tools such as, 

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Warehouse Management Software (WMS)
  • Inventory Management System

A well-designed website can create a strong customer appeal to check out your products/services. With Shopify Plus, you can integrate up to 100 themes, and you can use their theme editor to make significant changes that portray strong brand resemblance. 

Shopify Plus Theme Editor

With Shopify Plus, your website’s theme isn’t the only thing you can modify. You can even modify your store’s checkout section. Your priority should be to customize it in such a way so that it becomes even more user-friendly and easier to checkout. 

To edit, customize and make such changes to the checkout section, you will have to use Shopify’s Script Editor

If you are impressed with all these unlimited features, you will be surprised to see what else Shopify Plus has in store. 

If you intend to sell in bulk to B2B businesses, you should sign up in Shopify’s Wholesale Channel, known as the Handshake Marketplace.

Shopify Plus Handshake Marketplace

 

You will find many large-scale retailers and wholesalers in the Handshake Marketplace. If you are selling in bulk amounts, you may want to consider using Shopify’s Bulk Account Inviter.  

With the Bulk Account Inviter, you can invite numerous customers to register or sign in to your Shopify store. This will help you increase your customer base on a mass scale. 

This feature is super useful to help you migrate customers from one platform or store to another. 

If you have a separate website and a Shopify store, then you can use Shopify’s Multi-Pass Login feature so that your target audience can log in using the same account across multiple sites that you own. 

This will help you retain your existing customers and also help you acquire potential customers. For example, there might be people actively engaging on your forums. They can seamlessly sign in to your Shopify store and start purchasing. 

That’s not all; if you need help to acquire more customers or need help with strategies to grow your e-commerce business, then you can sign up for their Merchant Success Program. This program is exclusive to Shopify Plus subscribers.

Shopify Plus Merchant Program

 

You can even join Shopify Partner’s Community to help you find Service Partners or Certified App Developers. Exclusive community access for Shopify Plus merchants is not just limited to the Shopify Platform. You can also join Shopify Plus Community on Facebook.

Recommendation

If you have read this far, you are aware of the distinctive differences between all five Shopify plans. 

Shopify has segmented its packages into three groups; Shopify Lite, core Shopify Plans, more commonly known as Shopify, and Shopify Plus.

Shopify Packages

If you have a start-up business and right now your business only needs the basic e-commerce features, then Shopify Lite might be the best option for you. It’s super cheap as it will cost you only $9 per month. 

If you are running a small or medium-sized business, you consider one of the Shopify core plans that range from $29 – $299. 

Only large enterprises should go for the Shopify Plus plan, starting at $2000 per month. Shopify Advanced should be more than enough, for medium-sized businesses, as it contains multiple Shopify Plus features at $299 only.

Shopify Advanced is like the mini version of the Shopify Plus plan. We will only recommend the Shopify Plus plan for businesses that have multiple stores operating in multiple geographical locations.

You can find all the Shopify Plans and details of the pricing here.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the decision is yours to make. You might have the budget to avail Shopify Plus, but remember to consider some basic factors. 

Ask yourself whether your business needs all these features. And go for the subscription plan that will bring your business the maximum benefit. You can always upgrade to better packages. 

But if you are still confused and need help deciding which Shopify plan will be best for your business, then you can consider consulting with our eCommerce experts. Sign up for a Free Consultation today, and we will contact you soon.

Although Shopify comes in with a super user-friendly dashboard, you still need some coding knowledge and experience to use some of these features. So, if you need help with coding and other technical aspects, you can look into our IT solutions.

Author Details

Mahir Ashraf

Mahir Ashraf

Mahir is a graduate of International Business. He is sharing his findings through carefully crafted guides for a few years. He is also well aware of the global dynamics of the B2B Digital Marketing business aspect. He loves to study Digital Marketing and specializes in writing highly research-based business guides. He has proficient knowledge and expertise in conducting extensive market research. He is well aware of the global trends, the geopolitical business situations with extensive experience in cross-cultural analysis.

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