Shopify or Shopify Plus? What do you need?

As Shopify partners, we are often asked one key question by a lot of our clients: Shopify, or Shopify Plus?

Most of you already know that Shopify has two separate versions. There’s Shopify – a fantastic platform for most ecommerce merchants. Then there’s Shopify Plus – the juggernaut of functionality for retailers with global ambitions.

Everyone wants extra functionality. Afterall, like colours on a painter’s palette, the more features in your software, the more you can do with it. That being said, if you’re here simply to confirm your suspicions that Shopify Plus is in fact a more lavish platform, you might want to check out these articles by other authors that go into detail on exactly why:

We won’t be looking too much into the functionality specifics here. It’s safe to say that Shopify Plus has far more bells and whistles (although some do argue that it’s not as good for content-rich sites that need a solid CMS). Instead, we’re going to take the lid off of the most important selection criteria for any up-and-coming ecommerce business: the price tag.

Commission structures

All Shopify packages are charged a few separate fees.

The Plan Fee

A static, rental payment for the privilege of using the powerhouse that is Shopify.

The price varies wildly depending on what you choose. Basic Shopify is just $29 a month – Standard Shopify is $79 a month. Advanced Shopify will cost you $299. Shopify Plus, on the other hand, is a much more substantial $2,000. It can be tempting sacrifice the added features if you’re looking to save almost $1,971 a month. 

Keep in mind, however, that Shopify Plus costs significantly more because it does significantly more. Features like Flow, for example – which streamline your processes through clever automation – can save you serious amounts of money.

Transaction Fees

If you do choose to process your payments through a third-party payment gateway (such as Paypal), you will be charged an additional 0.15% transaction fee. But keep in mind that Shopify have their own payment gateway, Shopify Payments, which you can use at no extra cost.

(You can find more information on transaction fees here).

But much more importantly, however, each package also charges a different commission. There’s a third fee you need to consider.

Sales Commission

Now things begin to get interesting. Shopify charge a small percentage of your revenue in the form of a sales commission.

As the price of your plan goes up, this rate goes down. Those on the Basic Shopify plan will be paying 2.9% commission, whereas Shopify Plus members will only pay 1.6%.

So as the cost of your plan increases, you save on commission. And as your revenue rises, there comes a point on the ol’ cartesian plane of accounting that the two intersect. Once you’ve started earning a certain amount, sales commission outweighs the cost of your plan fee.

I.e: the cost of your Shopify Plus Plan will eventually become less than extra commission you’re paying for a basic Shopify Plan.

Long story short; you could be paying more for less.

The verdict

Whenever a client asks us which version of Shopify we recommend, we always have the same answer:

“What is your monthly average revenue?”

Your revenue, not the functionality you need, should be the main influence on which Shopify platform you choose. Take a look at your accounts, and head on over to Shopify’s Pricing Page, or get in touch with us, and we’ll show you how you can ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Hi, I’m Jackson; Andzen's Digital Content Producer. I write copy for our client businesses - whether it be email campaigns, blog posts, social media posts or something new. It's my job to write stuff that converts, boosts engagement and pushes brands to new heights. In my spare time, I enjoy piano, reading books, and writing short stories.

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