Is Shopify Plus A Fit For Your Business?
You may be an entrepreneur with an already successful e-commerce business or a big enterprise-level player but do you worry that your present platform may not match your growth levels? If so it may be a good time to consider a move to Shopify Plus.
Before making the switch over to Shopify Plus, you should know everything about it to cash on its features and benefits.
What is Shopify Plus?
This cloud-based ecommerce platform that’s fully hosted is ideal for high value online stores that attract a high volume of traffic and experience high levels of growth. Big players in the e-commerce space and high growth will benefit from Shopify Plus. When your business is generating tremendously large numbers of sales and traffic, this ecommerce platform that offers enterprise-level selling capabilities without the problems and expensive price tag of conventional enterprise applications seems to be the ideal solution.
Why Shopify Plus?
The e-commerce space is experiencing a rapid growth. In the US alone, e-commerce is projected to hit €450 Billion by 2018. The ability to make changes, scale up and proceed fast has become a necessity. With Shopify Plus, you get all the benefits of Shopify along with some additional ones:
- A cloud-based e-commerce platform that’s reliable and highly scalable
- Unlimited bandwidth and products
- 99% uptime
- Zero transaction fee
- Customized integration with management and inventory platforms
- Ability to offer custom domain checkout
- Dedicated account management and technical support
- Priority customer support
- Ability to create clones of your store to target different countries
Who is Shopify plus Recommended for?
Shopify Plus is best suited for anyone with a fast growing online store or a retail brick-and mortar store. You can also benefit from it if:
- your annual sales are at least €250,000
- you plan or anticipate continuous and unlimited growth of your sales volume
- you experience periodic sales spike, which could, at times, be even thousands of order every 60 seconds
- you need a customized and unique store-front that’s automatically adapted to work on any mobile platform as well
- you prefer to focus on design, retail and marketing instead of on the technical aspects of your online setting
- you need dedicated customer support and plan to stick with your eCommerce service provider for a long term relationship
- plan to reach a large clientele with multi-channel selling
Reasons to use Shopify Plus
Fully Hosted SaaS Ecommerce Platform Overview
It’s a fully hosted SaaS ecommerce platform that’s ideal for ecommerce businesses attracting a high volume of traffic and experiencing high levels of growth. If the term SaaS or Software as a Service seems confusing, it just means that you can use Shopify Plus to host your ecommerce website and operate your online store as a combined package. In other words, you are getting the ecommerce platform as a service – the software and server are sold as a package. While the software is user-friendly and easy to integrate, the server is customized to function perfectly with the software platform. It’s the responsibility of the platform provider to ensure your website is up and running. You will just have to take responsibility for the marketing, design, and other customer-centric aspects.
No Transaction Fees
Most other e-commerce solutions you will find in the market today charge variable transaction-type fee. As a consumer, you are often unaware of these hidden charges (such as excess bandwidth charge) until you get an astronomical bill at month-end. With 0% transaction fee, Shopify Plus brings good news, especially when your sales increase since transaction fee in such cases can rise up to be significant.
Development & Maintenance Costs
Rather than investing time, money and effort into the technical side of running your online store, you can now focus on other core business matters while the Shopify Plus teams looks after your ecommerce store’s system efficiency, security, storage, updates and maintenance. So, forget working on feature implementation, file storage, fighting bugs and fixing them, or spending loads of money for load-testing the servers. Your optional development cost would be just for hiring someone (if you want) to help your online store’s setup in or transition to Shopify Plus. As several web development features have been commoditized today, using Shopify Plus would help since the platform shifts development and maintenance costs of those basic features to customer experience, product and marketing innovation.
The monthly pricing plans of your Shopify Plus online store are predictable. Though there’s no set price, several reports indicate the starting plans to cost about $2000 per month. From there, it goes up depending on a range of particular needs (such as customizations, expected traffic levels, etc). This may sound like a steep price but for enterprise-level clients, this pricing makes sense since it’s still less than what they would pay for hosting, transaction fees and retaining a web developer. If you add to it the cost of keeping up with software changes, fixing bugs, implementing changes and feature requests and ensuring everything works well, the cost you would have paid otherwise will climb up further. If your store has seasonal or other traffic and sales spikes, you may end up spending more while budgeting for servers, bandwidth, or cloud hosting fees (which would still be unpredictable). All these worries and additional costs can be given a miss with the predictable pricing of Shopify Plus.
Strengthen Discount Functionality
The development experts of Shopify Plus will help generate discount codes for free shipping deals, product bundles and tiered pricing (to offer discounts to specific customers or on products of particular retailers). You can specify the collections, products, or variations for the applicable discount, apart from deciding on the date/tenure of the discount code’s validity, the frequency of its use and the minimum order amount, if any, for which the code can be used. Thus, you can give your customers more customized deals and discounts with Shopify Plus.
Reliability at Scale
The important issue related to scaling traffic shouldn’t be if your servers function properly. Rather, it should be about the kind of conversion testing you are running, if visitors are converting as expected, whether inventory and selection are available, what type of messaging on the homepage gets conversions etc. So, with a reliable vendor like Shopify Plus with proven cloud hosting and server architecture, you would no longer need to worry about whether your multiple customers can access the site, buy and browse without any hindrance. By ensuring hundreds and thousands of customers running simultaneous sessions (imagine what happens during flash sales or special and limited discount offers) are having a secure, fast and efficient experience, Shopify Plus makes sure your store is stable, successful and doesn’t invite bad press.
Technical Support & Account Management
With round the clock support desk that you can reach anytime via phone, chat or email, your issues get solved fast. With a dedicated development team working on a single platform, you get fast technical support with respect to fixing bugs, feature clarifications and other issues. You also get a dedicated account manager who not only coordinates with the developers but also manages your complete account – right from features and development to technological aspects, bug fixing and billing. Apart from a single point of contact, having your account manager who knows your business and store is helpful when you need store customizations (not offered by the standard software) since he will make the team work closely with you to get it done.
Most Secure System
While buying from you, your customers must feel safe and secure. No wonder successful ecommerce brands are built on relationships facilitated by trust. Since Shopify is Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, it ensures your site data as well as data shared by your customers are safe. By handling different compliance assessments together with risk management, the platform ensures security of your site without the need of you to conduct and manage regular site assessment. By providing all its clients with a free site-wide SSL certificate (unlike other websites that use SSL encryption technology just during the checkout process to safeguard a shopper’s personal information), Shopify Plus protects the complete shopping experience. After your SSL certificate’s activation, all traffic to your site will be redirected from HTTP to the more secure and encrypted HTTPS.
APIs, Integration & Extensions
With Shopify Plus’s advanced API’s, you can do a lot more with integrations. From connecting your store to accounting, CRM and multi-channel software to ensure different aspects of your business function well with each other, to connecting your store with various popular platforms such as Sage, SAP, Netsuite etc, you can do it all. With several well-vetted extensions in its App Store ecosystem, which are pre-packaged fragments of Liquid code that can be pasted into your store easily, you can create custom features or add integrations easily. All these make this platform add-on friendly and extensible.
Same Domain Checkout
If you have a large or growing brand that wants to enter the global market and make its presence felt, Shopify Plus makes it easy to do with its in-built features that make international deployment easy. Thus, you can take advantage of its integrated features to launch international sites rapidly with geo-targeting, language and currency options.
Integrated and Extremely Customizable
Shopify Plus lets you customize functionality and templates with extensions and integrations offered by third-party vendors. While some of its extensions and apps (that you can choose from its App Store having more than 1000 apps) are easy to install on your own, some others may need you to hire a developer. With its released Scripts, Shopify Plus helps developers write their own customization codes for the platform. So, with a competent developer, you can make your store have any functionality, extension or integration that you think your business needs.
With a dedicated project manager to advise or help you create and execute plans, the platform facilitates you to reach your goals. So, whether you want to branch out, speed up your store’s growth to take it to higher levels, or extend your inventory with the addition of some new products, you can get advice and help from your project manager.
From order printing and automated shipping to direct feeds into inventory, accounting, and other management systems, Shopify Plus has everything that you need from an excellent enterprise eCommerce platform. Some of its most notable features include:
- 9% server uptime
- unlimited products, bandwidth and sales volumes
- more than 7,000 CPU cores and storage of 200 terabytes
- 70 payment gateways (which includes Bitcoin)
- App Store with 1000+ apps
- ability to create customized extensions and apps using development tools and API
- support for Enhanced eCommerce Analytics of Google
How Much Does Shopify Plus Cost?
Shopify Plus starts at $2000/month and pricing rises depending on business scale. However, Shopify Plus has flexible pricing plans (unlike any fixed pricing) and how much you finally pay would depend on your store’s present earning, rate of growth and the traffic you are attracting. In all probability, you will end up paying over $2000 per month as the pricing plans are decided based on the level of resources they need to commit to ensure your business functions properly and to its 100% potential.
Every ecommerce store doesn’t need Shopify Plus but if you have a fast growing store or are an enterprise-level player, it’s the ideal platform. With its enterprise-friendly features such as zero transaction fees, multi-currency payments, ability to handle thousands of simultaneous orders per minute with no restriction imposed on your sales volume, higher API limits, round the clock support, checkout customization and enhanced security, Shopify Plus is just what you need to run a high volume e-commerce store successfully.