If you’ve wanted to start an eCommerce store for some time or your existing online shop is ready to take its next step, there are a range of platforms out there that can help. Choosing the right one can be challenging, especially when the costs of moving or upgrading your current platform are taken into consideration – but don’t panic, we’re here to help!
Originally designed to fill the noticeable void between small independent retailers and the larger online stores, Shopify Plus could be the answer to your prayers.
As one of the most attractive platforms on the market thanks to its simple-to-use interface and affordable technical overheads, Shopify Plus is perfectly placed to meet the needs of those medium-sized stores that want to effectively manage their growth without having to fork out for the more costly Magento or Magento 2 Enterprise Editions.
Shopify Plus is perfectly placed to meet the needs of medium-sized stores that want to effectively manage their growth without having to fork out for the more costly platforms.Tweet this now
In a way, the Shopify Plus platform isn’t even a direct competitor to Magento, which has a greater range of flexibility and sits as a different proposition altogether. We’ve introduced clients to Shopify in the past as an alternative option simply due to the fact it covers an area of the marketplace that Magento perhaps doesn’t cater for.
Shopify as a whole has seen fantastic growth over the last few years and is quickly becoming one of the industry heavyweights, particularly in the United States where brands like Gymshark, The New York Times and Shore Watches have all migrated onto the platform.
If your product requirements are straightforward and you don’t need a bespoke catalogue system, Shopify Plus could be the perfect platform for you. Let’s take a look at some of the great benefits Shopify brings to the table.
One of the biggest reasons to choose Shopify Plus over an alternative eCommerce platform is cost. The pricing structure starts at a flat fee of $2,000 per month and increases purely on the number of storefronts you have and the transactions you process through the store.
There is a threshold for this, however, so beware – as soon as your store’s turnover exceeds around $800,00 per month, your pricing structure will increase considerably, so that’s definitely something to bear in mind if you anticipate hitting that level of turnover in the near future.
On the plus side, there are no ongoing maintenance or hosting costs involved with Shopify Plus, with the only obvious additional charge coming if you choose to use an external payment gateway ie. not Shopify payments. Should you need to tweak your store’s front-end, you’re welcome to use an agency or developer, but you also enjoy the option of contacting your Shopify account manager who will be on hand to help with the majority of these tasks.
Hosting & SaaS
Another significant advantage of using Shopify Plus is that it’s a hosted SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform. This means that the money you’d normally pay for hosting management, like preparing for peaks in traffic due to a sale, for example, can instead go into your marketing budget and product development.
Many online retailers out there will already have suffered the perils of dealing with a hosted platform. Server downtime, regular maintenance costs and simply managing the relationship with your hosting provider can all be challenging, so Shopify Plus offers a fantastic alternative if you’d rather avoid dealing with these types of issues.
Shopify Plus offers a fantastic alternative if you’d rather avoid dealing with some of the more technical issues stores encounter such as server maintenance and site downtime.Tweet this now
Partly because of all the above points, Shopify Plus has quite a low maintenance overhead attached to it. There are no system updates to deal with, no module upgrades or regular security patches to tackle – Shopify will take care of this on your behalf.
Furthermore, dedicated account managers are assigned to every Shopify store to assist you with technical issues and basic ongoing guidance. They are perfectly placed to help your store grow by recommending apps, fixing bugs or making adjustments to your store’s front-end. All this means you can relax and enjoy the benefits of someone else doing the hard work for you, plus you can save on monthly support/maintenance retainers.
Shopify Plus also features one of the most easy-to-use admin interfaces on the market, allowing you to easily add, edit, amend or remove products as you please. Order management is actually a joy to use rather than a pain in the backside so common on the other popular platforms. Obviously, this level of simplicity isn’t ideal for every type of business and part of the reason why Magento still reigns supreme in this aspect.
Thankfully, Shopify has also invested in understanding what their customers want – and the most popular call was for better scalability.
This is something that alternative eCommerce platforms like Magento do brilliantly, and now Shopify is starting to work towards improving their offering for stores sticking with them in the long term. Scalability is now taken care of as part of the monthly license fee and is managed by a dedicated internal team.
In my experience, when clients are considering Shopify Plus as a viable option for their eCommerce store, they’ve also considered Magento 2.
As previously mentioned, it’s difficult to argue that these two platforms are in direct competition with each other as Shopify Plus simply can’t match the complex store capabilities that Magento can. Additionally, Magento is far superior in terms of its offering for B2B or international stores – both of which could be considered its biggest markets.
Despite all that, Shopify Plus does change the landscape somewhat with its huge range of third-party apps that give you the power to achieve almost anything your store needs. Although Shopify Plus lacks the natural inbuilt flexibility of Magento, it provides an affordable alternative to those mid-level stores that want to take a step forward but don’t want to financially overstretch themselves to early in their lifespan.
If you’re unsure which eCommerce solution would be best suited to your business needs, drop an email to [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help!