Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: Key Differences

It’s a fascinating time for ecommerce, a sector that continues to expand throughout the world. In the US alone, ecommerce sales are expected to cross the $1 trillion mark for the first time in 2022.

This milestone was only expected to be crossed in 2024. However, the reality is that the pandemic fast-tracked the growth of ecommerce with more businesses moving online. Coupled with the continued adoption of digitalization across all sectors, ecommerce is booming.

To meet this growing demand, scaling DTCs need to ensure they have robust software that will effectively manage their inventory, customer success, marketing, and fulfillment. If not, they can bet their bottom dollar that their competitors will be doing so.

One platform that enables such businesses to capitalize on the growth of ecommerce is Shopify. In this blog article, we will look at key platform features that address the Shopify vs. Shopify Plus debate and help you be set up for ecommerce success.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a cloud-based ecommerce platform that helps businesses of all sizes to create an online store. Shopify has everything you need to set up and manage your business, from hosting and payments to marketing and shipping.

Since it was founded in 2004, Shopify has become one of the most popular ecommerce platforms, with over 1 million active stores globally. In 2019, Shopify’s revenue reached USD 1.58 billion, a 41% increase from 2018.

Shopify is an excellent solution for small businesses that want to sell online or in marketplaces like Etsy. If you are a larger enterprise looking to make significant sales, you’ll need a customized solution. That’s where the benefits of Shopify Plus come in.

What Is Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus, the enterprise version of Shopify, is the gold standard when it comes to ecommerce platforms. It’s a platform designed for businesses making over $1 million in sales per year.

One of the most highly scalable platforms can accommodate businesses as they grow. It’s also fully customizable, so businesses can create a unique experience for their customers.

Some of the world’s biggest brands use Shopify Plus, including Heinz, Unilever, Tesla, and Budweiser.

Spotify Plus has two key features: Flexible APIs and headless commerce technology.

Shopify Plus Dashboard
Shopify Plus Dashboard

Flexible APIs

Shopify Plus’ flexible APIs allow businesses to integrate with any third-party software they use. This also gives businesses the freedom to choose the best software for their needs without being locked into Shopify’s ecosystem.

Headless commerce technology

Headless commerce is a decoupled architecture that allows businesses to separate their front end from their back end. This means businesses can build their own unique customer experience using any technology they want while still using Shopify Plus to power their ecommerce backend.

Shopify Plus also has a variety of integrations, such as MESA, that can help extend its capabilities. Using automation on Shopify Plus goes a long way to saving time so you can focus on growing your store. MESA already has workflow templates to get you started:

What are the benefits of Shopify Plus

If you have been using the standard Shopify but feel that it isn’t giving you all the features you need as your business is expanding, it’s time to upgrade to Shopify Plus.

The benefits

A common question when considering Shopify vs. Shopify Plus is whether the latter is a scalable ecommerce platform for enterprises. Quite simply put, absolutely.

Enterprises have far more complex operations than SMMEs, which means they need a far more robust ecommerce platform. With this in mind, Shopify Plus was designed to enable businesses in a high-growth phase to quickly scale.

High traffic optimization

Shopify Plus is built to handle high traffic volume, so if you are planning on running a marketing campaign or launching a new product, you can be confident that your store will be able to handle the increased traffic.

This is especially true for enterprises. As they scale up, they need a site that can handle high traffic and surges in sales. They also need a site that can manage sales and inventory across various channels as they grow.

Launchpad meant to handle traffic volume with product launches

With Shopify’s Launchpad, you’ll be able to schedule product visibility, discounts, themes, and more. For each of these, you’ll be able to set the start and end times. This means that you’ll be able to ensure your Shopify store is ready for anything.

Launchpad Campaign Editor
Launchpad Campaign Editor

Schedule multiple campaigns

You can also schedule multiple campaigns in advance and have them automatically go live at the set time. This is perfect for businesses that are running a sale or promotion.

An enterprise that tried to do this manually would be against a monumental task. With Shopify Plus’ automation, you’ll be able to let the platform do the work for you while you focus on other aspects of your business.

Of course, these are just a few of the many benefits you’ll receive by upgrading to Shopify Plus. Let’s quickly look at the key differences between the standard Shopify and Shopify Plus.

Shopify vs. Shopify Plus: What’s the Difference

What are the main differences between Shopify vs. Shopify Plus? By upgrading to Shopify Plus, you’ll get all the benefits of the standard version plus the following:

Dedicated Account Manager

Each Shopify Plus store comes with a dedicated account manager. This means that you’ll have someone to help you with any questions or problems.

This is especially beneficial to those who are new to the platform. Also, if you lack a specialist in your team that can handle the power of Shopify Plus, an account manager is handy. They are also handy if you are simply looking to explore all the store’s opportunities.

Also, if you are migrating to Shopify Plus from another platform, your dedicated account manager will facilitate the process to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. These are just a few benefits you’ll get from direct contact at Shopify.

More theme customization with access to Liquid

Shopify Plus gives you more control over your store’s design and layout. You have access to the Shopify Liquid code that powers the themes.

Liquid is sometimes referred to as a template engine, while at other times, a template language. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter which one you call it – they are, in a way, both accurate. At its core, Liquid loads dynamic content on the pages of online stores.

With Liquid, you’ll be able to change your store’s design without relying on a developer. You’ll also be able to create custom themes for your store.

Unlimited staff accounts

With Shopify Plus, you can create an unlimited number of staff accounts. This is perfect for businesses with a large team or growing quickly.

Additionally, each staff member will be able to access the Shopify admin and perform specific tasks relevant to their role. This helps to keep your store organized and running smoothly.

More control over the checkout

Shopify Plus gives you more control over the checkout process. This is important because it allows you to optimize the checkout process for your business.

For example, you’ll be able to add custom fields to the checkout form and collect additional information from your customers. You’ll also be able to create customized thank-you pages and order status pages.

More API integrations

Shopify Plus comes with more built-in integrations than the standard Shopify plan. This means that you’ll be able to connect your store to more apps and services.

What Else Does Shopify Plus Offer vs. Shopify?


If you are looking to scale your business and incorporate more automation into your workflows, then you’ll want to hear about some of the features and benefits of Shopify Plus. To start, there is multi-channel integration.

Multi-Channel Integration

Shopify Plus gives you the ability to sell through multiple channels. This means you can reach more customers and increase your sales. With Shopify Plus, you can sell on marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. You can also reach new customers by selling through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

This will allow you to reach more customers, but it will also help you increase your conversion rate.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Did you know that nearly 86% of mobile shoppers leave a website while items are in the cart?

Shopify Plus comes with a built-in abandoned cart recovery feature. This built-in feature allows you to recover lost sales and boost your revenue. It’s a highly-rated feature.

Multi-Currency Selling

Indeed, this is an excellent feature for businesses that sell internationally. With Shopify Plus, you can offer your customers the ability to pay in their local currency. This will help to increase your conversion rate and boost sales, no matter where your buyers are from.

Shopify Flow

As we mentioned earlier, Shopify Flow is another tool that allows you to offload everyday tasks into automated workflows. You can use pre-made workflow templates to improve the overall customer experience or build them yourself.

Script Editor

A script editor is a tool that allows Shopify Plus merchants to customize their stores down to the most minor details. With the script editor, you can, for example, create personalized experiences at the shopping cart stage of the customer journey.

You’ll be able to upsell other products, create custom fields, and many more.

Shopify Plus Scripts Editor
Shopify Plus Scripts Editor

Wrap-up: Is Shopify Plus Worth the Extra Cost

In conclusion, Shopify Plus is a powerful platform that offers many features and benefits not available on the standard Shopify plan. It’s the platform of choice for anyone truly serious about dominating the online space.

Shopify Plus is favored by top ecommerce brands, and for a good reason. Let’s take a look at one example. Online jewelry shop GLDN, which provides personalized, handmade jewelry, took advantage of Shopify Plus’ expansion pack, MESA, to improve automation and processing. Through Shopify Plus and MESA, GLDN decreased processing time by 85%.

That is just one of the many examples of how businesses are taking advantage of Shopify Plus’s power.

Level-Up Your Shopify Store With MESA

If you upgrade to Shopify Plus, you should consider MESA. Together, Shopify Plus and MESA are a powerful combination. You’ll be able to quickly manage orders, boost productivity or reduce the operational errors of your store.

Take a look at what solutions MESA offers and significantly improve the efficiency of your store. So, what are you waiting for? Take your Shopify store to the next level with Shopify Plus and MESA.

So, what's next?

  1. Add MESA from the Shopify App Store. Enjoy a 7-day free trial to start.
  2. Ask the experts if you need help personalizing any workflow, or ask us to build one for you. We're happy to help!
  3. Discover pre-made, customizeable automation templates.
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