Shopify Plus VS Shopify Advanced: Choose the Best Plan for You

The right eCommerce platform can mean the difference between a thriving business and one that struggles to keep up. 

If you are a successful brick-and-mortar store owner who is finally looking to enter the eCommerce world, this is the perfect time to do so. By 2027, eCommerce sales are expected to surpass eight trillion (Source: Statista).

Indeed, the time is perfect, but with the numerous eCommerce options available, beginning your eCommerce journey can seem overwhelming. Moreover, choosing the right Shopify plan isn't just about picking a platform; it's about building a foundation that supports your business's growth and evolution. 

So, if you are confused about choosing between Shopify Plus VS Shopify Advanced, we have got you covered. In this blog post, we will break down their key differences, benefits, and use cases to help you make an informed decision.

What Are the Available Shopify Plans?

 

Source: Shopify Pricing 

The best part of using Shopify is that it has a pricing plan for businesses of all types and sizes. Additionally, you can start your eCommerce journey with the free Shopify themes that are available across all plans, making it easier to design a professional-looking store without additional costs.

We will briefly examine each of Shopify's pricing plans to better understand them.

Shopify Starter

You might not spot this plan on Shopify's standard pricing page, but it is the most economical plan they offer. The Shopify Starter plan (replacing the Shopify Lite plan) is priced at $5 monthly. 

In this plan, you can sell products online on social media platforms without the need to build a fully functional online store. This plan is perfect for creators and influencers with an established online audience.

Shopify Basic

Priced at $19 per month, this is the perfect plan for small businesses looking for rapid growth. With this plan, you can build a full-featured online store, sell unlimited products, and enjoy features such as 24/7 support, the ability to track inventory, fulfill orders, and sell products across multiple locations, and many more.

Shopify

A perfect plan for small teams, priced at $49, offers all the features as the Basic plan, plus API PII access included, staff accounts of up to 5, and the Shopify transaction fee is only 1% compared to the 2% in the Basic plan. It also supports Shopify one-page checkout, streamlining the purchasing process to reduce cart abandonment and increase conversions.

Shopify Advanced

For a rapidly growing organization and large-scale businesses, the Shopify Advanced plan goes the extra mile compared to the other three plans. You can get custom reports and analytics, enhanced support, and many more features. We will discuss them in detail in the upcoming sections.

Shopify Plus

Currently, the most advanced plans offered, this one is for the industry giants. The pricing is not fixed and can be considered as competitive. Also, it is only available on a one or three-year term. It offers scalable and customizable solutions for high-volume businesses, complemented by expert strategic guidance and technical support from Shopify.

Enterprise Commerce

A custom plan offered by Shopify for enterprise businesses only. For more information on this plan, including the price, you can get in touch with the Shopify team. 

We will dig more into Shopify Advanced and Shopify Plus as the two most highly valued plans, examining their unique features, benefits, and suitability for different business contexts.

Currently, you can get the Shopify Basic, Shopify, and Shopify Advanced plans for $1 for the first month.

Shopify Advanced VS Plus: Which One Is Meant For You?

Source: Canva

Choosing between Shopify Advanced and Shopify Plus can be a pivotal decision for your business. Both plans are designed to support businesses at different stages of growth, but they cater to varying needs in terms of scale, features, and future potential. Here's a detailed comparison to help you determine which plan is right for you.

Business Size and Scale

  • Shopify Advanced: Typically suited for mid-sized to large-sized businesses with moderate to high sales volumes. If your business outgrows the basic plans and requires more advanced features to manage its operations efficiently.

For instance, if your business generates annual revenues between $500,000 and $1 million and wants to sell both online and offline, this plan will work for you.

  • Shopify Plus: Designed for large-scale enterprises with high sales volumes and complex operational needs. These businesses often have annual revenues exceeding $1 million and require extensive customization, advanced features, and high checkout capacity.

Feature Requirements

Both models offer plenty of features. Here's how each plan caters to these needs:

Custom Features in Shopify Advanced:

  • You can build a custom storefront with Shopify's React-based toolkit, Hydrogen, and even deploy it on Oxygen, Shopify's free global hosting solution.
  • Custom reports and analytics apart from the 60+ standard analytics in the other paid plans.
  • With API access to personally identifiable information (PII), you can build custom apps that include customer names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails.
  • Target specific countries or regions and offer a customized, high-converting shopping experience through Shopify Markets (up to 3 included; additional is charged at $59/month), managing all global sales from your online store.
  • You can also assign custom web addresses for each market that are optimized for search results.

Custom Features in Shopify Plus:

With Shopify Plus, you get all of the above (with slight modifications) and more.

  • Build up to 25 custom storefronts using Hydrogen.
  • Unlimited staff accounts.
  • High checkout capacity of up to 40x.
  • Shopify POS Pro for faster workflows and better control over staff permissions. You get up to 20 locations included or 200 with Shopify Payments.
  • Fifty markets are included for localized selling compared to three in Shopify Advanced.

Some other features exclusive to Shopify Plus include:

  • Checkout extensibility to convert more buyers with advanced customizations to Shopify Checkout.
  • You can sell both wholesale and DTC integrated into one store.
  • Access to Shopify Audiences to find high-intent customers at a lower cost.
  • Have up to 9 additional stores to sell in different currencies and languages, all under the same brand.
  • Visualize and analyze data from multiple business domains in a single interface using the ShopifyQL Notebooks app.
  • Boty protection to save your store from bot checkouts during flash sales.
  • Feature Test Drives to test new features before they are released to all stores.
  • Shopify Plus Certified App Partners for hand-selected apps that solve complex needs.
  • Shopify Plus Academy gives you access to lessons and courses to help you scale on Shopify Plus.

Future Growth

  • Shopify Advanced: Suitable for businesses planning moderate growth. It supports scaling up to a certain level with features that can handle increased traffic and sales volumes.
  • Shopify Plus: Ideal for businesses with aggressive growth plans. It offers scalability and advanced tools to support rapid expansion and manage complex operations.

Shopify Plus VS Shopify Advanced: Pricing Plans

Let's take a deeper look into Shopify Plus VS Shopify Advanced pricing and understand which one is worth it.

  • Shopify Advanced Pricing Details: Shopify Advanced costs $299 per month. This plan offers reduced credit card processing fees at 2.4% + $0.10 per Shopify transaction fees for online payments. For third-party payment providers, the fee is 0.60%.
  • Shopify Plus Pricing Details: Shopify Plus pricing starts at $2,300 per month, billed annually. This plan features lower credit card processing fees at 2.3% + $0.10 per transaction for online payments and a reduced third-party payment provider fee of 0.20%.

As we discussed before, the pricing is not fixed and can increase based on the size and complexity of the business, with some businesses paying more depending on their specific needs and customization requirements.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

  • Shopify Advanced: For growing and mid-sized businesses, Shopify Advanced offers a strong balance of cost and features. The lower monthly fee compared to Shopify Plus makes it accessible for businesses that are growing but do not yet require the extensive capabilities of Shopify Plus. 

At the same time, Shopify Advanced offers all the features as the other lower priced plans, some in higher capacities (such as 10x checkout capacity, Shopify Markets, etc.) and even a third-party calculated shipping feature, along with duties and import taxes feature which aren't available in the other plans. If these features can cut the way for you, then Shopify Advanced is the perfect plan for you. For businesses on a budget but in need of a robust system, consider exploring free Shopify themes to reduce costs further.

  • Shopify Plus: While significantly more expensive, Shopify Plus delivers value through its extensive feature set designed for large-scale operations. In the above section, we discussed a range of benefits that are exclusive to Shopify Plus, which can prove the benefits of this plan.

These features are focused not only on higher conversion rates but also on continuous improvement in operations, better customer experiences, and more. If you are on Shopify Advanced and want features like Shopify organizational admin to manage multiple stores from one location, simply want to expand with more stores under the same brand, or the Launchpad feature for setting up automated promotions and store updates, then you must upgrade to Shopify Plus. Additionally, Shopify Plus provides an enhanced Shopify one-page checkout that streamlines the buying process, crucial for converting high volumes of traffic during peak sales periods.

Additional Fees on Shopify Plus and Shopify Advanced Plans

Shopify Advanced: Features as follows comes at an additional cost:

  • Tax platform to calculate taxes on every order
  • Shopify POS Pro at $89 per month per location.
  • Localized selling with Shopify Markets in over three markets is charged at $59 per month per market.

Shopify Plus: The following feature is the only add-on for this plan:

  • Tax platform where you can calculate taxes on every order based on the most up-to-date tax rules.

Return on Investment (ROI): Which One is Better?

  • Shopify Advanced: Shopify Advanced's ROI is often realized through improved operational efficiencies and increased sales volumes due to advanced reporting and enhanced shipping options. 

 

A perfect example of this is Klean Kanteen. This leading manufacturer of reusable containers upgraded to Shopify Advanced to manage rapid growth. This transition also enabled them to handle increased traffic and orders efficiently.

  • Shopify Plus: The ROI can be substantial for Shopify Plus due to its ability to support large-scale operations and global expansion. But it only makes sense to go for this plan if you have a plan for it, as most of the features are focused on it. This is because Shopify Plus is ten times more expensive than Shopify Advanced, so it is important to analyze the features and your business needs before making a decision.

 

A prime example is N├ękter Juice Bar, which transitioned from a single store to a nationwide presence. Their initial e-commerce platform struggled to keep up with rapid growth, but Shopify Plus allowed them to create a scalable, visually appealing online store that embodied their brand. With the powerful integrations and marketing automation tools offered by Shopify Plus, the store successfully expanded its footprint across the country.

Benefits of Shopify Advanced for Merchants

Shopify Advanced offers plenty of benefits. This includes:

Economical & Feature Packed

Shopify Advanced is a cost-effective solution for growing businesses compared to Shopify Plus. It comes with all the features you'd need to run the business smoothly, including enhanced live chat for constant support, custom reports, analytics, and 10x more checkout capacity so your customers have the best possible experience, even during the busiest sales. All these come at no additional cost, making it extremely beneficial for mid-size businesses.

Expand Business Along with Your Physical stores

If you want to sell both online and offline hassle-free, then Shopify Advanced has got you covered. With Shopify POS, you can seamlessly sell at markets, pop-ups, physical stores, and more. For example, Oz Hair and Beauty significantly enhanced their retail strategy by leveraging Shopify POS. Furthermore, this enabled them to expand new locations with just a click (seven new stores within 18 months), demonstrating its effectiveness in supporting rapid expansion.

Consistent Support

Shopify Advanced users benefit from 24/7 support, which might seem like a feature in all the other plans. With Shopify Advanced, you get enhanced live chat support, meaning apart from support via email, where responses can be delayed, you can get instant, priority support in the chat option. While not as extensive as the dedicated support offered with Shopify Plus, the support provided with Shopify Advanced is reliable, ensuring that your business can operate without major disruptions.

Benefits of Shopify Plus Plan for Merchants

Here are some of the benefits of using the Shopify Plus plan:

Amplified Sales through Promotion

Sales is one of the main focus points for large and growing businesses. Having a reliable and suited eCommerce platform is important for a business to scale its sales along with expansion. Shopify Plus makes this happen with its Launchpad feature by actively promoting and marketing your brand. 

 

For instance, Snuggy Hunny, an Australian brand for baby accessories, used Shopify Launchpad to schedule and execute sales on a frequent and regular basis. Moreover, the Shopify Plus app ecosystem helped the brand implement an eCommerce retention marketing platform called Yotpo for their customer reviews and rewards capabilities. 

Exponential Growth through Expansion

Shopify Plus has tons of features supporting growth. For businesses targeting global expansion, Shopify Plus supports multi-currency and multi-language capabilities, allowing for localized shopping experiences. 

The plan also offers free expansion stores, enabling up to nine additional stores under the same brand for different languages or currencies. Shopify Markets, another highlight of the plan, allows merchants to manage global sales from a single store, offering customized shopping experiences for specific countries or regions.

 

Shokz established an online presence in North America, Japan, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Each of the eight new market-localized websites benefits from rich plug-in functionality, providing personalized user experiences with currency localization. This led to the successful launch of eight fully optimized, market-localized websites in three years.

Boost Customer Reach & Engagement

 

Shopify Plus enables businesses to expand their customer reach and improve engagement significantly.

 

Businesses like Cheak scaled and expanded effectively using Shopify Plus. They streamlined operations with LaunchPad for rapid product launches, while Shopify Scripts and Flow automated discount management and product bundling, improving customer engagement and operational efficiency. 

Moreover, the brand launched localized sites in Malaysia, Hong Kong, SAR, and Indonesia, enhancing its regional presence. 

Final Verdict

Choosing between Shopify Plus and Shopify Advanced hinges on your business's current scale, growth plans, and specific needs.

Shopify Plus is a popular choice among merchants, and in fact, it contributed $46 million to the $149 million revenue in 2023 (Source: Investors.Shopify). Shopify Plus also excels over the other with advanced customization, dedicated 24/7 support, enhanced security, and exclusive tools like LaunchPad and ShopifyQL Notebooks. It's ideal for businesses with high transaction volumes and complex requirements.

However, for businesses that don't have the budget for Shopify Plus but wish to have an equally good feature set at a lower cost, Shopify Advanced is the best option. Also, if your revenue falls below $1 million, the ROI won't be justified if you take up the Shopify Plus plan.

Consider your current sales volume, growth trajectory, need for advanced features, and budget when deciding. If you have ambitious expansion plans or complex operations, the investment in Shopify Plus can provide a significant return.