When to Upgrade to Shopify Plus: Pros and Cons

Shopify is a giant in the e-commerce platform industry, and you may already be taking advantage of its innovative features to help your online business. If you are using one of the Basic Shopify offerings, you’ve no doubt heard of their upgrade option Shopify Plus. In this post we’ll look at some of the features of Shopify Plus and hopefully help you decide if this more comprehensive – and more expensive – SaaS is right for you. 

And should you choose to upgrade or not, certain issues like cart abandonment are unavoidable. If you’re serious about reaching out to your customers who abandon their carat before purchase, you should look into a partnership with LiveRecover, an innovative company that specializes in converting the abandoned cart into a sale by reaching out to those customers over text from a real person.

What Is Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus is a fully hosted, highly scalable, and customizable e-commerce platform option. It’s also noteworthy that the unique upgrade option is growing in the online marketplace. Currently over 10,000 merchants use Shopify Plus, and that number comes out of the over 1 million who use some form of Shopify. The Shopify Plus platform is designed to take site and transactional management worries away from the business team so you and your team can focus on other tasks. As a result, you give your company a better chance to achieve continued and sustained levels of growth.

Are We There Yet?

Shopify Plus is not for everyone. Its comprehensive design and features are meant for high-volume sellers, and its benefits cater to companies that fall into that larger-sized, larger-scale category. If your business is not yet what’s called enterprise-grade, you’ll have to hit some future growth goals first to justify the cost of Shopify Plus. However, if you are well on your way to achieving that level of revenue, becoming a Shopify Plus merchant early can help lay the groundwork for your continued and sustained success. Then when you become enterprise-grade, this aspect of your business upgrade will already be taken care of.  

Advantages of Shopify Plus

If your business is a good candidate for Shopify Plus, there are distinct advantages that can help you grow and succeed. Here are just a few that hopefully will help you decide if Shopify Plus is right for your business.

Reliability

When you reach enterprise-level business, your e-commerce world takes on a whole new level of complexity. Just the number of transactions per day (or per minute!) alone may have you rethinking strategies and operations that have become second nature to you. As a result, having a centrally-hosted option can go a long way to relieve stress and headaches. With Shopify Plus, your online store will be managed and updated by the Shopify Plus team. That means your team members can spend their time paying attention to other, more important things that will help run and grow your business. 

Even the most reliable, well-managed sites can’t eliminate all problems. Take cart abandonment, for example. Believe it or not, this is an online shopping issue that occurs up to 70% of the time. In other words, 70% of online shoppers put items in their carts but never finalize their purchase. You can lessen this occurrence on your site and its impact (i.e., lost revenue) and convert abandoned carts into sales with LiveRecover, the SMS outreach that features real people contacting your interested customers.

Scalability

Your Shopify Plus account can handle an enormous number of transactions even during peak events like flash sales, Cyber Monday, and more. Those special events aside, as your business grows, it’s the everyday increase in your transactions that really matters. Having the trust that all these transactions can be fulfilled seamlessly doesn’t just create a worry-free transactional process. It allows you to be more creative with a slate of offers and your promotional opportunities.

Automation

With the power of the Shopify Plus platform behind your site, business complexities are managed by experts, and your customers are left with a streamlined, glitch-free site experience. Having a clean, easily navigated site goes a long way toward enticing customers to come back in the future. And as anyone in business knows, return customers means increased sales.  

Fixed Cost

The “starting at $2,000 per month” price tag may trigger a bit of sticker shock, but that price is highly competitive given what your site will be getting with Shopify Plus. To do the math, you only have to factor in that this fixed monthly cost covers a lot of services you’d otherwise be paying separately for, including  ongoing maintenance, support retainers, your domain name and SSL certificate, and last but certainly not least, your hosting fees. These costs can add up, and if they’re variable, that could mean even more surprises and headaches.

Customization

Shopify Plus comes with the tools to make changes at the code level and give you a comprehensive level of control over your UI/UX. This control allows you to dictate your product pages’ flow and your checkout process, including shipping methods, payment options, and all your customer fields. This level of customization also lets you create ways in which customers can sign up for an account on your site, a great way to gather information and tailor offers that target specific groups of customers. This is basic marketing, but having the tools to accomplish it with efficiency translates into more site traffic and increased revenue.

Upgraded Support

Although basic Shopify is known for its excellent client support, upgrading to Shopify Plus does get you new levels of access and attention. Leading these upgraded support features is your new dedicated Account Manager. Building a relationship with one person who can get you the answers you need when you need them is yet another way Shopify Plus lets you focus on the business of doing business. 

Integration

Shopify Plus is ready to sync up with your other business tools and systems to create a singular, cohesive approach to doing business. In today’s competitive retail world, having a fully integrated system is essential to maintaining your growth track and building brand loyalty with an ever-growing group of shoppers. 

Disadvantages of Shopify Plus

There are some downsides to Shopify Plus that are worth noting, but we should say upfront, if you think the $2,000 per month price tag belongs here in this section, it probably means your business is just not ready yet. That’s not to say Shopify Plus won’t or can’t be in your future. Again, you just have some growth to achieve first.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you decide whether or not to make the upgrade to Shopify Plus. One or more of these may just be a dealbreaker for you. 

Content Management

Some people may assume a Shopify Plus account will get you a fully operational, comprehensive content management system. You should know that this is not the case. There are publishing options, but you may find them lacking the versatility you may have experienced with other systems. For instance, a main competitor of Shopify is WooCommerce open source plugin that lets you build an online store. Because it comes from WordPress, the content management part is first-rate and built-in. 

Platform Lock-In

With the fully hosted offering of Shopify Plus, you do run some vendor risk because you are at the mercy of the success of Shopify. If this sounds like a reach to identify a disadvantage, it kind of is, but not mentioning the fundamental nature of your business relationship with Shopify seems like a strange omission. 

Getting Up to Speed

With all of Shopify Plus’ new and extended features, it’s safe to say running your site is going to take new levels of expertise. If you’re making the upgrade, be sure to factor in some training time. 

The Bottom Line

There’s quite a bit of thinking involved in moving to Shopify Plus. And like with any big business decision, the more informed you are, the better you’ll feel about your decision. Shopify Plus has several features, advantages, and benefits for enterprise-level companies. Businesses whose growth put them in a position to take success to the next level can take advantage of the best offerings out there, including Shopify Plus and LiveRecover, the unique service that has real people texting your customers who have shown interest but have abandoned their virtual shopping carts before finalizing their purchase.

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