Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Comparing Shopify vs. Shopify Plus (the enterprise version of the e-commerce platform)? This review will help.
Jul 11, 2022

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Shopify offers two types of plans for e-commerce businesses: regular Shopify plans and Shopify Plus plans. Regular Shopify plans are best for smaller e-commerce businesses that are focused on inventory management and competitive payment processing fees, while Shopify Plus plans — which are much more costly — are a better fit for larger companies that are looking for an option that integrates with shipping fulfillment and tracks analytics for omnichannel sales.

Deciding factors

Shopify

Shopify Plus

Software cost

$5 to $299 per month.

Starts at $2,000 per month with a variable fee depending on business needs.

Payment processing cost

2.9% plus 30 cents for online card sales on the Basic plan. Transaction fee of 0.5% to 2% if using a third-party processor.

Quote-based. Or, if you're using a third-party processor, an additional 0.15% transaction fee.

Contract length

Monthly or annually.

Monthly, annually or biennially.

Live support

Yes. 24/7 support is available by phone, email and chat.

Yes. 24/7 support is available by phone, email and chat.

Ease of use

Easy. Users say it has an intuitive interface and is easy to use.

Takes some learning. Users say there are some restrictions in how it can be used and extra help is needed at times.

Shopify: Better for small e-commerce stores

When compared with Shopify Plus, Shopify’s other plans offer small businesses more relevant features with more affordable costs. Each plan has a monthly fee, but the features are scalable and allow small businesses to grow without jumping straight to the Shopify Plus plan.

Competitive inventory management features

Shopify offers inventory management with each of its plans, but what you can do and with how many locations depends on the plan you choose. Shopify Starter includes basic inventory management features, while the other three plans offer inventory management for multiple locations.

  • Shopify Starter. One location.

  • Basic. Up to four locations.

  • Shopify. Up to five locations.

  • Advanced. Up to eight locations.

With these plans you can assign your stock to individual stores, pop-up locations, warehouses and more. For businesses that don’t need additional locations but want advanced tools for inventory management, an add-on is available for the Basic, Shopify and Advanced Plans for Shopify POS Pro, which adds more staff permissions, better inventory management and faster workflows for $89 per month per location.

Shopify Plus lets businesses set up 20 locations, leaving more for multiple stores and warehouses for larger businesses.

Reasonable payment processing fees

Shopify offers competitive payment processing fees that differ with each plan. Similar to other payment processors with paid plans, the more expensive the plan, the cheaper the processing rate. For small businesses that process higher transaction volumes each month, the investment in the more comprehensive plans might save money with the cheaper transaction rates.

Online transactions

In-person transactions

Transactions without Shopify Payments

Shopify Lite

2.9% plus 30 cents.

2.7%.

2%.

Basic

2.9% plus 30 cents.

2.7%.

2%.

Shopify

2.6% plus 30 cents.

2.5%.

1%.

Advanced

2.4% plus 30 cents.

2.4%.

0.5%.

While the payment processing rates for the Shopify Starter and Basic plans are identical, the Basic plan comes with extra features for a more active business, including a more customizable e-commerce setup.

Shopify Plus offers businesses customizable processing rates that are based on individual needs. While this might save some businesses money with cheaper processing rates, it won’t be a good option for all businesses. It also makes it difficult to compare the plan’s rates with other options.

Multiple user accounts

Shopify’s plans vary in how many admin accounts are available for individual users. While its cheapest option, Shopify Starter, doesn’t provide multiple user options, the other three plans let you set up unique logins for the admin and POS features.

The Basic Plan provides two admin accounts, which might be sufficient for many small businesses. Businesses with more employees might appreciate the five user accounts available with the Shopify Plan. The Advanced Plan tops out at 15 accounts.

Shopify Plus has unlimited user accounts to create a team of employees within the POS. This will likely be a bonus for larger businesses but might be an overload for small businesses.

Shopify Plus: Better for medium-size and large e-commerce stores

Better omnichannel sales features

Businesses using Shopify Plus can track data for every channel’s sales and see how each relates to the other with omnichannel analytics. You can view orders, inventory, customer data and more for all channels to understand how customers are interacting with your business.

Shopify’s other plans help small businesses sell on multiple channels, including social media channels like TikTok and marketplaces like eBay, but none of the plans connect the data to make it easier to digest together. These plans allow small businesses to focus on customer retention and track data related to individual channels, but the full analytics picture isn’t clear until the Advanced plan, which shares analytics features with Shopify Plus.

Better features for large operations

For large companies, Shopify Plus is worth the cost. Through the Shopify Fulfillment Network, high-volume customers can use Shopify to manage large inventory and shipping fulfillment with the United States Postal Service, UPS and DHL. Businesses can also automate certain steps in the management process — such as scheduling sales and marketing campaigns as well as automating inventory decisions — and add artificial reality and 3D product videos to their websites.

Other e-commerce options to consider

Stripe

Stripe’s standard pay-as-you-go setup only charges transaction fees without a monthly fee. It includes checkout flows to guide customers through a customized checkout experience, online transactions in more than 135 currencies, real-time reporting, roles and permissions for multiple users and 24/7 customer support. Payment processing fees for Stripe’s free plan start at 2.9% plus 30 cents. Customizable paid plans are available to help businesses with higher transaction volumes.

Square

Square offers an alternative to Shopify’s paid plans with a pay-as-you-go setup that only charges you payment processing fees when you run a transaction. And without paid plans, all businesses get the same basic POS features, including reports, inventory management with alerts and sales tracking. Businesses can set up a website with Square for free that allows them to sell online, schedule delivery and shipping, sell on social media channels and more. Paid e-commerce plans have additional features that include — among others — product reviews, abandoned cart management, accepting PayPal and lower processing fees. Payment processing fees start at 2.6% plus 30 cents.

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