Shopify Plus: Pros & Cons
Shopify Plus is Shopify’s answer for enterprise-level eCommerce businesses. While Shopify’s plans are made for small to medium-sized businesses, Shopify Plus handles high-growth, high-volume online stores and brands. Promising a platform that’s flexible, fast to launch, and scalable, Shopify Plus can give larger brands the foundation they need to grow bigger and faster. The Shopify experts at Webinopoly are sharing Shopify Plus’ offerings as well as whether or not it’s right for your business.
Oftentimes, when a business makes its way to enterprise-level, it may hit a wall when it comes to evolving and changing its infrastructure. Too much time is spent maintaining old ways of technology, making it harder and harder to focus on new strategies. This is where Shopify Plus comes in. This cloud-based, fully hosted software is the solution your brand has been searching for to break the rules of commerce. With popular household names like Budweiser, Steve Madden, and RedBull using Shopify Plus, you can understand why some of the fastest-growing brands choose it.
What Is SaaS?
Software-as-a-Service, also known as cloud-based software or on-demand software, is a method of software delivery where the software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. An ecommerce platform can be self-hosted or hosted. Many websites are self-hosted and built from the ground up, running off of software installed on a server that you own. This puts you responsible for running and maintaining your website. Hosted platforms, like Shopify Plus, use software vendors to maintain the servers, databases and any coding that makes up your application, without the need for extensive hardware and upfront paid, continual licensing. Hosted platforms typically include the software license, ongoing support, and most other fees, making them more cost-effective than a self-hosted system. When choosing a service like Shopify Plus, you are in charge of design, marketing and dealing directly with your customers.
Shopify Plus Advantages
As with any hosted eCommerce enterprise platforms, you will find advantages and disadvantages unique to your brand and needs. Here we will look at the advantages of using Shopify Plus:
- Scalability - Shopify Plus provides unlimited capabilities and capacities for your brand. From unlimited bandwidth and sales capacities with a near-perfect uptime, your website can expand without worrying about technical roadblocks.
- Affordable and Predictive Pricing - if website development isn’t your forte, you’re likely paying an outside company to do the work for you. This wastes valuable time and resources that could be dedicated to product, marketing innovation, and overall experience. Many SaaS platforms’ (Shopify Plus included) pricing is upfront. Shopify Plus starts around $2,000 a month and stays constant from the moment you sign up. While this price can go up based on several variables, your fees per month are always the same and predictable.
- Reliability - ensuring your business is running smoothly and successfully while hundreds of thousands of visitors are using your website is essential. Shopify Plus enables your site to be fast, secure, and efficient experience for your customers.
- Built-in Tools - Shopify Plus comes with a host of built-in tools and integrations at your disposal. From robust API’s to plenty of apps (over 1,500) and extensions to choose from, Shopify Plus has tons of prepackaged features to customize your store.
- Customer Support and Account Management - with Shopify Plus, you get unmatched customer support. From the very beginning, you get a dedicated Launch Manager, who manages your account from development, deployment, and any bug fixes or technical difficulties you encounter along the way. You also work with your dedicated Merchant Success Manager who helps your business grow.
Shopify Plus Disadvantages
And with the advantages comes the disadvantages to consider. Here, we will take a look at a few disadvantages of using Shopify Plus:
- Limited Backend Customization - while flexibility on the frontend is unbounded, any integration on the backend has to work with their API. This poses a risk for some brands that use a specific inventory or fulfillment provider.
- Content Management Limitation - publishing is not Shopify’s core competency. While an information-rich website is achieved, the brand’s looking for a feature-rich content management system may feel that Shopify Plus falls short. Shopify is built for eCommerce, whereas if you’re coming from WordPress, you may feel at a disadvantage.
- Platform Lock-in - if your store is self-hosted, backing up and moving to another company is fairly easy. As a hosted platform, you do not have access to the FTP or database, posing a disadvantage to some.
- Expertise - Shopify Plus does require a certain level of expertise which can require additional training.
- Payment Gateways – payment gateways are important for every online store, allowing you to take customer payments. Shopify payments are not available in every country and they must comply with their terms and conditions. Shopify also charges you a fee when chargebacks occur, which can suddenly freeze your funds while they investigate the errors.
There are hundreds of hosted SaaS platforms to choose from for enterprise-level businesses. Two of Shopify Plus’ biggest competitors, Magento and BigCommerce Enterprise, are of the most regarded.
Shopify Plus vs. Magento Enterprise
Magento is one of the most well-known and popular open-source eCommerce hosting platforms in the network. Magento offers a plan, named Magento Enterprise, which is Shopify Plus’s direct competitor. Magento Enterprise gives you great flexibility and customization to build your store while being priced similarly to Shopify Plus. The biggest difference between Magento is that it is self-hosted. This means you will need to dedicate time and resources to manage the technicalities of your store.
Shopify Plus vs. BigCommerce Enterprise
BigCommerce Enterprise is a newer but rapidly growing platform used by many mid-sized eCommerce stores. With pricing similar to Shopify Plus and Magento Enterprise, they differentiate themselves by offering advanced functionality and growth without limits with built-in integrations and apps already featured on your store dashboard.
If a hosted platform sounds like a good fit for your brand or you’re planning to migrate to a different platform, weighing the advantages and disadvantages before jumping in headfirst is a smart idea. By outsourcing with Shopify Plus, you can save valuable time and resources, while reducing cost and technical overhead. Shopify Plus is a great option if you’re looking to scale your eCommerce store and take control of your sales.
Shopify Plus vs. Shopify
One of Shopify’s biggest competitors is Shopify’s main plan. While Shopify Plus is designed for larger enterprises, Shopify is great for small to mid-sized brands. With both plans, you use the same dashboard and editor but some of the main differences are with Shopify Plus, you get higher-level tools, features, customization, and a dedicated staff. With Shopify Plus, you can also clone your store to target different countries, which isn’t available with Shopify’s main plan.
How Webinopoly Can Help
Here at Webinopoly, we are your Shopify experts. From the initial, custom store setup through to launch day, we will be here for you every step of the way. Our team of Shopify Designers, Developers, and Engineers are masters in their craft— providing solid methodology, industry best practices, and high quality, innovative solutions quickly and efficiently. If you’re ready to adopt modern software that is flexible, functional, and cost-effective, let us rock your world with our Shopify capabilities. Contact us today to request a free quote so we can start improving your online business!