Business growth is always a good thing, but it can be challenging to create manageable growth without impacting your business processes and the user experience (UX).
Growing businesses need a robust infrastructure to serve increasing customer volumes and more complex operations. Shopify Plus has been specifically designed to support high-growth businesses ready to scale.
Many businesses think Shopify Plus is limited to enterprise businesses with a global customer base, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While it may be overkill for startups, Shopify Plus is intended for businesses of any size that are looking at rapid growth.
You can find many examples of small and midsize businesses that put their trust in Shopify Plus and scaled as a result.
What is Shopify Plus?
Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that offers several plans to suit different business needs. Shopify Plus provides top-tier headless commerce options and offers every feature Shopify has, as well as some exclusive and desirable features of its own.
These features include:
Shopify Plus offers unlimited bandwidth with scalable hosting, which means your ecommerce site is fully supported and flexible to your needs as your business grows.
Many businesses are realizing the benefits of opening themselves to international customers and shipping. However, switching to international ecommerce isn’t as easy as opening one website up to international customers.
Success on an international scale comes from having dedicated storefronts for each country, all with the appropriate currency, language, and payment options. Shopify Plus allows up to 10 different clone stores in addition to the original so that you can operate up to 11 storefronts from one centralized Shopify Plus account.
Each storefront has its own backend, so you can manage content, orders, and inventory separately and according to the parameters for that country.
One of the most critical aspects of an ecommerce business is a fully operational website. All of the marketing efforts and conversion tactics in the world won’t matter if customers can’t complete purchases on the site.
During busy periods, ecommerce stores can struggle to handle the volume. If your site crashes while people are shopping, it could negatively impact the customer’s impression of your business. In addition, every second of downtime is lost revenue when you’re looking at high-volume sales.
Shopify Plus can manage 8,000 orders a minute and 500,000 hits per minute, so it’s ready for your big sales periods.
Improved Customization Features
Many of the basic platforms offer limited customization options, so brands end up using the same designs or themes. How can you differentiate your brand if your website looks like everyone else’s?
Customizable Checkout Pages
The checkout page is a vital part of the user experience. With Shopify Plus, you can customize your checkout page to reflect your brand and provide the best possible experience for your customers.
Shopify Plus offers a checkout page that’s up to 60 percent faster than standard Shopify checkout rates. When you have a higher customer volume and more orders, a faster checkout process can mean the difference between hundreds or thousands of completed orders.
This not only affects your bottom line, but the experience for a customer. For example, if the checkout page is frustrating or confusing, your customer may not complete the order. Or worse, your customer may not complete the order and may never return to your site in the future.
On most platforms, businesses have to DIY their checkout or hire an agency to optimize it. Shopify Plus also offers virtually limitless checkout customization included in your plan. You can adjust the checkout process to suit your brand and customer needs.
Here are some of the options for checkout customization:
Shopify Scripts: This feature offers short bits of code to customize different aspects of the user experience. You can use this tool to create a customer-focused checkout experience that decreases cart abandonment and encourages future sales. Scripts require some coding knowledge, but the platform makes it easy to customize the customer fields, payment options, inventory alerts, order processing, order status, and more.
Shopify Scripts Editor: If you want more customization, Shopify Scripts Editor allows you to personalize the checkout experience with promotions and discounts that trigger for chosen customers. You can schedule sales in advance, so that customers can get promotions and discounts automatically, or organize BOGO and bulk discounts.
Customer Customization: Cultivating genuine relationships with your customers can be challenging in an online environment, but a customized checkout page lets you tailor the experience according to the customer’s needs. With the ability to identify specific customers, you can add automatic discounts and promotions, such as free shipping or BOGO discounts. You can also tailor the messaging and offer special incentives for VIP customers.
Running a business takes a lot of time, to begin with, but it’s more demanding as you scale. You have a lot to juggle and many day-to-day tasks to manage, which can take you away from the overarching core focus of your business.
Shopify Plus was designed to support scaling businesses, so you can benefit from an array of automation capabilities that handle the busy work for you. Shopify Flow lets you integrate and automate tasks like:
Identifying and canceling high-risk orders
Organizing products for visual merchandising and search
Tracking and rewarding top customers
Notifying customer service of new draft orders
Hiding, pausing, and republishing products based on availability
Re-ordering inventory at a predetermined threshold
Expediting shipping notifications for logistics teams
Following up with customers after returns and exchanges
In addition, Shopify Plus has a Launchpad tool that automates marketing campaigns. For example, you can schedule tasks like flash sales and product launches, taking a lot of stress and time out of the process. The tool also keeps track of success with real-time analytics so that you can improve your campaigns each time.
Front-end performance matters for an ecommerce site, but the day-to-day operations behind the scenes can make or break a business. As you scale, managing these background processes may not be sustainable.
Shopify Plus has you covered with integrations for critical systems to reduce costs, improve productivity, and enhance accuracy. High-growth businesses can use tools like OMS and CMS to manage multiple stores, fulfillment centers, relationships, and channels.
The platform can work with most high-growth backend technologies, including:
Order management systems
Inventory management systems
Product information management
Enterprise resource planning
Warehouse management software
If these technologies don’t offer the solution you need, Shopify Plus leverages partnerships with some of the world’s best technology companies.
Shopify Plus offers more than just an ecommerce platform – it also sets you up for native social selling. The platform connects crucial social media platforms seamlessly, including Facebook Messenger and Instagram, all with a connected front and backend.
With this integration, you can automatically send abandoned cart reminders, promotional codes, and order updates to a customer’s messaging app.
If you’re planning to scale your B2B ecommerce business, you have your work cut out for you. Wholesale B2B commerce orders can comprise a huge chunk of revenue, but managing a wholesale site alongside a retail site literally doubles your tasks and efforts. This isn’t feasible for a business looking to scale.
Shopify Plus helps here too. The platform allows you to integrate your B2C and B2B operations so that you can manage everything from one place. You can also use the automation features to make running your wholesale channel easier.
The wholesale channel is password-protected, so only wholesale customers can log in and purchase. You can also control the rest of the experience and offer special pricing for these customers, tiered pricing levels, volume discounts, and minimum and maximum order thresholds.
Malware attacks happen all the time, leaving businesses and customers vulnerable to sensitive data leaks and identity theft. If you experience a breach, you can lose the trust of your customers.
Up to 92 percent of consumers have concerns about making purchases on unfamiliar websites. As a result, security is essential to ecommerce shoppers, and many customers will abandon their cart if something comes across as suspicious before they enter payment information.
On-premise solutions allow you to deploy PCI-compliant storefronts, but at the end of the day, you’re responsible for ensuring compliance as the owner. Concerns about liability and cybersecurity can cause stress and pull you away from the critical tasks for running your business. In addition, testing and deploying security patches take a lot of time and resources.
Shopify Plus is among the best for data and customer security. You can rely on the platform for hosting and protection in compliance with Level 1 PCI DSS, the ultimate in security standards for businesses that handle online payments. In addition, the platform handles compliance assessments and risk management, so you can focus on the tasks that matter most.
While many sites use SSL encryption technology and HTTPS protocols to protect customers’ sensitive information in the checkout process, Shopify Plus protects the entire shopping experience. All payment information is encrypted in transit and, at rest, includes user passwords.
Shopify Plus sites direct traffic through domain-validated SSL and offer customers extended validation SSL for added security. These certificates instill the maximum trust in customers, since they require the most effort to validate.
Shopify Plus Pricing
While most Shopify plans are straightforward with pricing, Shopify Plus can be a little more confusing. No prices are listed, so you have to contact Shopify to get a quote.
Pricing for Shopify Plus is based on usage and sales volumes, meaning that it can vary for each business or month-to-month.
Shopify Plus pricing considers:
Build costs: Using a pre-designed template is cheaper, but most businesses investing in Shopify Plus are looking for something that’s unique and customizable. As a result, you can expect to pay a third-party design agency somewhere between $30,000 to $250,000 for a site design.
Licensing costs: The monthly fee for Shopify Plus starts at $2,000 and can go up to $40,000. From there, it increases incrementally after $800,000 in sales, but reaches a limit at $16 million.
Transaction costs: All Shopify plans have payment processing fees. Shopify Plus has lower fees at 1.6 percent + $0.35 per transaction when using Shopify Payments. With a third-party processor, a 0.15 percent fee is added.
This is a significant investment, but it can be cost-effective compared to other solutions.
Is Your Business Ready for Shopify Plus?
Shopify Plus is intended for businesses that are already generating high-volume sales. The features can offer a growing eCommerce business an opportunity to boost growth and sales quickly and automate many processes, but it may not be ideal for all businesses.
Ultimately, Shopify Plus is the best choice for businesses that want to focus on manageable growth, rather than just maintaining the current sales volume. Businesses that are outgrowing the current platform or struggling with technology issues will benefit from what Shopify Plus has to offer.
Here are some other things to consider:
Is your business doing $85,000 in monthly revenue, or $1 million a year?
Are you growing quickly and struggling to keep up?
Are you expanding globally or planning to in the future?
Get Started with Shopify Plus
Shopify Plus is an incredible ecommerce platform that can accelerate a brand’s growth and sustain it into the future. The entire platform simplifies scalability, whether in sales volume or international reach, and allows you to focus on the mission-critical tasks that matter most for your business.
However, the plan isn’t cheap, so it’s vital that businesses only invest when they hit the milestones for sales and growth to make the expense worth the spend. Even if you’re not ready right now, you know what Shopify Plus has to offer when you hit those sales milestones.
Image Credit: Provided by the author; “laptop;” Thank you!
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