Shopify vs Shopify Plus: Do You Need to Upgrade?

Online shopping is a global pastime. Established ecommerce brands with multiple online sales channels need robust, multifunctional platforms. Shopify has established itself as a market leader, offering high-functioning ecommerce platforms for some truly outstanding brands.

And now with Shopify Plus, larger and enterprise-level brands can get a slice of the pie. This feature-rich, high-power platform is ideal for fast-growing ecommerce merchants. So, which should you choose? Shopify or Shopify Plus?

In this article, we’re going to help you answer that very question.

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What is Shopify?

Shopify is an ecommerce platform where brands can build an online store presence via the Shopify website builder to sell their products online. It’s essentially the backbone of your ecommerce enterprise—a bit like WordPress, but for ecommerce. You’ll have your very own custom online storefront where you’ll be able to showcase your products, interact with customers, and accept product purchases and payments.

But Shopify doesn’t just help you build your store—it helps you manage it, too, with centralized fulfillment for processing orders, payment-processing with secure payment gateways, and precision business-performance insights powered by real-time analytics.

In short, Shopify is a single workspace where you can run your ecommerce business from anywhere, using your desktop or mobile.

What is Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus is basic Shopify, leveled up. Shopify Generation 2, if you will. Shopify Plus includes all the core Shopify features but with a great deal more. It’s the most advanced Shopify plan available—even more advanced than the ‘advanced’ plan—and geared predominantly toward larger ecommerce brands with multiple online sales channels, employees, and warehouses.

So, what exactly do you get with Shopify Plus?

  • Additional strategic resources
  • Membership in the Merchant Success Program
  • Access to Plus—an exclusive Facebook community where you’ll be able to collaborate with other high-end sellers.
  • Exclusive applications to help streamline your operations
  • Reduced credit card rates in Shopify Payments
  • 24/7 priority user support

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What are the advantages of Shopify Plus?

There are many advantages to using Shopify Plus over the standard Shopify platform. By upgrading to Shopify Plus, you’ll have access to lots of exclusive templates and  customizations for the design and functionality of your online store.

1. Merchant Success Program

When you sign up to Shopify Plus, you automatically become a member of their Merchant Success Program. This program consists of specialized 24/7 support from the Plus Merchant Success Team. They are there to help you create a definitive roadmap for your brand and to offer any training and support you may need along the way. You’ll have access to educational programs, exclusive social networks, the Shopify Plus Academy, and a ready-made community.

2. Help and support

Shopify Plus customers enjoy dedicated, 24/7 professional support. You’ll even be assigned your very own launch manager to help with things like integrating your existing website. After implementation, you’ll graduate on to a Shopify Merchant Success Manager (MSM). Your MSM is there to help you succeed by keeping you updated on industry trends and offering suitable training.


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3. Automation tools

One of the best things about Shopify Plus is the advanced automation programs on offer. Shopify Plus merchants have access to two additional management tools: the Launchpad and Shopify Flow. These tools are specially designed to make your store management as straightforward as possible—while still maintaining acute performance accuracy.

Shopify Launchpad: The Launchpad is an automated task management tool. As a merchant, you’ll be able to manage all of your business events from here on your desktop or Shopify app. That includes scheduling and all those event coordination needs. This is where you’ll want to coordinate all those restocks, product drops, Black Friday, and flash sales—all so much clearer thanks to the real-time analytic dashboard.

Shopify Flow: The Flow tool facilitates automation across your entire business, allowing you to streamline your workflows from the get-go. With Flow, it’s super-easy to automate your customer service, risk management, inventory management, marketing campaigns, and more. This means you’ll save time on those repetitive manual tasks. And that uptime can then put into what really matters—growing your business.


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4. Ecommerce features

Shopify Plus truly excels on the ecommerce features front. Since the Shopify Plus platform is targeted at larger scale ecommerce merchants, the ecommerce features are scaled to match—perfect for fast-growing and enterprise-level brands with a growing overseas presence.

Some of the best ecommerce features include:


Globalization is at the heart of Shopify Plus. You’ll be able to sell on a global scale with the help of localized currency settings, multiple language options, and the ability to manage overseas stores. Shopify Plus merchants can add up to nine free expansion stores and personalize each shopping platform for customers in different countries, making it ideal for high growth.

Cart recovery

Another great ecommerce feature is cart recovery. Cart abandonment is a major headache for ecommerce merchants, resulting in lost sales at the checkout page. Shopify Plus comes with a cart recovery setting, so every time a customer abandons their cart, Shopify will send them an automated message to follow up on their purchase and increase conversion rates.

Multi-currency selling

With ever more ecommerce merchants selling across multiple countries, it’s important to facilitate secure multi-currency credit card transactions. With Shopify Payments, your online store will switch to the correct currency automatically, based on your customer’s current location. Shopify Payments accepts an extensive range of currencies including USD, CAD, GBP, EUR, AUD, NZD, JPY, SGD, and many more.

For a full list of accepted currencies click here.

5. Integration with different platforms

Shopify Plus’ API allows businesses to integrate with their existing business applications and platforms. With Shopify Plus, as well as being able to integrate with third-party apps from the app store (e.g. eBay, Amazon, Magento, BigCommerce), you’ll be able to sync with your CRM, 3PL, WMS, ERP, and more.

For example, by using the Brightpearl-Shopify integration, you’ll easily be able to manage orders, inventory, payments, and shipments across all of your retail channels from one account. Once an order is made to your Shopify store, Brightpearl automatically downloads the data and routes the order to your fulfillment center.


How Brightpearl and Shopify Plus can optimize your business

Brightpearl is a leading Digital Operations Platform for regular Shopify and Shopify Plus partners. In combination, Brightpearl and Shopify offer everything you need to optimize your business. The Brightpearl app for Shopify enables Brightpearl to manage your inventory, pricing, orders, and shipments across all of your Shopify and Shopify Plus storefronts.

Our connectors are purpose-built, managed, and supported in-house, meaning no nasty disconnection issues. Plus, you’ll be free to grow your business, since our integrations can manage even the highest sales volumes.

Inventory management

Brightpearl’s Shopify and Shopify Plus integration is great for handling high volumes without compromising on inventory control. With Brightpearl, you’ll be able to view automatic inventory updates and secure your backend operations so that your Shopify store keeps running like clockwork—even when demand is high.

Top inventory management features include:

  • Powerful inventory reporting
  • Multi-location inventory mapping
  • Multichannel inventory management
  • Automatic POS order fulfillment
  • Automatic sales credits for returns
  • Product bundles for Shopify

Multi-channel sales

It’s possible to connect multiple Shopify accounts with a single Brightpearl account. Each Shopify or Shopify Plus account will become an individual channel in Brightpearl, so you can share inventory, enjoy customizable branding for each Shopify store, and conduct individual (or combined) sales analyses.

Order fulfillment

When a customer places an order via your Shopify account, the purchase is immediately downloaded into Brightpearl. Products will be shipped and tracked, and you’ll receive a goods-out notice from Brightpearl. Finally, the purchase order will be updated in Shopify along with the items in the shipment, the shipping method, and the tracking reference.

Order fulfillment features include:

  • Shopify order management
  • Shipping carrier mapping
  • Multi-channel fulfillment with FBA
  • Partial fulfillment and dropshipping
  • Integrated point of sale

Accounting and finance

Shopify is an ecommerce platform, not a financial management tool. But when you integrate your Shopify account with Brightpearl, you’ll gain access to lots of financial data. As a Digital Operations Platform designed specifically for retailers, Brightpearl can take care of your accounting, inventory, sales, and purchasing information.

Point of sale system

If you also sell in physical stores or on the road, you’ll need a point of sale (POS) system. The Shopify POS is like a physical extension of your online account and updates your in-store order entries to your Shopify account. From there, all of your sales data will sync with Brightpearl so that you can culminate financial data from across your online and physical stores.

Workflow automation

With Brightpearl’s workflow automation tools, you’ll be able to easily automate your entire order fulfillment and inventory allocations based on detailed, configurable fulfillment options. You can set rules and conditions according to your unique business needs and save a great deal of time on manual inventory allocation.

Top workflow automation features include:

  • Automatically raise purchase orders
  • Automatically choose your preferred (or cheapest) supplier
  • Enable partial allocation in automation rules
  • Automate warehouse transfers


So, there we have it: Brightpearl and Shopify work in perfect harmony to help you manage your online sales channels so much better. For online merchants with multiple channels, Shopify Plus is a worthwhile upgrade and offers many advanced and exclusive features aimed specifically at medium-to-large ecommerce brands. Plus, as with all Shopify packages, Shopify Plus can be integrated with Brightpearl for enhanced retail operations management on your Shopify orders.


Which big companies use Shopify?

Many well-known brands use Shopify to host and manage their online ecommerce operations. Names you will have heard of include:

  • Nestlé
  • Red Bull
  • Tesla
  • Whole Foods
  • Hyatt Hotels
  • Penguin Books
  • Fitbit
  • Gymshark
  • Kylie Cosmetics
  • KKW Beauty
Is it worth upgrading to Shopify plus?

For large ecommerce merchants, Shopify Plus is often more economical thanks to reduced hosting costs, superior support, and security updates. While Shopify Plus pricing may be on the higher end of the spectrum, in the long term, it’s a smart choice for fast-growing businesses.

Can I sell my own products on Shopify?

Yes, absolutely! You can sell your own products on Shopify as well as secondhand items and digital products, too.

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