Shopify Plus for enterprise-sized businesses has many benefits. If you’re not on track to move to Plus, you should definitely make a plan to do it.

If you’ve followed our Big Picture series, you’ve dug into all the wonderful benefits of Shopify, and maybe moved your store over to it or even opened a new one. In doing so, you’re probably digging yourself into Shopify, and enjoying how well it works for both the stores that are just getting started as well as the ones that are selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods a year. One of the amazing things about Shopify hosting your store on its massive servers is that you never have to worry about whether your store can handle more volume. With Shopify, it pretty much always can!

If you’ve been digging yourself into standard Shopify, though, and your operations are big enough, you’ll have probably run into a few areas that kept you from growing as much and as quickly as you’d like. You may have found yourself saying, “Shopify was great when I was selling twenty or thirty thousand dollars of product a month, but now that I’m selling eighty or a hundred thousand dollars a month, it’s just not a breeze any more. Can’t Shopify handle this?” The answer is that, yes, Shopify can handle anything you throw at it, but to make sure that you can handle it too, Shopify has another level that your business might be ready for.

Shopify introduced Shopify Plus back in 2014 — ten years ago this month, in fact. It did this in order to solve some of the challenges of enterprise-sized companies. Small businesses could always make great use of the standard Shopify platform, medium-sized to large ones can enjoy a Shopify Advanced plan, and for these ten years enterprise-sized companies have been able to make use of all that Shopify Plus makes available to them. The goal, I suppose, is for all small Shopify businesses to turn into medium-sized ones, and eventually into enterprise-sized ones.

graph showing Shopify atop of a low bar, Shopify Advanced atop of a medium bar and Shopify Plus atop the tallest bar
Shopify, Advanced Shopify, Shopify Plus

Often this change will happen naturally. You’ll be focussing on all the things we’ve gone over in this Big Picture series: setting up new products, managing orders, optimizing subscriptions, marketing through email and SMS, retaining your customers, and so on. And before you know it, you’ll be moving eighty to a hundred thousand dollars worth of product every month. When this happens, you’ll want to look into Shopify Plus.

Benefits of Plus

You can move a couple million dollars worth of product a year with a Shopify or Shopify Advanced plan, but you may find it to be like trying to dig a swimming pool with a soup spoon. It might work eventually, especially if you hire a large staff to help you do it, and provide them with spoons as well, but it’ll be a lot easier if you do it with shovels, or even better, with a backhoe. Shopify Plus is the backhoe of the ecommerce world. Let’s look at why.

a green excavator digging into the ground
Shopify Plus

More themes

A standard Shopify store can have up to 20 themes, which sounds like a lot. Once you factor in various themes you may have developers working on all at once to add new features to your store, and various seasonal customizations you may want to preserve for successive years, you may bump into that 20-theme limit fairly often. With Shopify Plus you can have five times as many themes loaded up in your back end ready to use whenever you need them.

Unlimited staff logins

Sure, you could share the five staff accounts that come with your standard Shopify plan amongst your eighty employees. The Identity Management Institute, though, points out a number of risks of account sharing. It’s most convenient and safest for each to have his or her own login. With Shopify Plus you can have unlimited staff accounts to give everyone their own access.

Included POS Pro

someone being checkout out with an employee with a POS device

For those with physical stores, POS Pro can be a gamechanger, allowing store owners to sell and manage their inventory in person (or Point Of Sale, “POS”) as easily as online, and Shopify Pro includes POS Pro for free on the first 20 locations. Since POS Pro usually costs $89 per month per location, having $1780 worth of Point-Of-Sales subscription fees for free is quite compelling.

Power analytics

It’s pretty easy to look at the analytics of a few things on your standard Shopify store using the Analytics area of your Shopify admin, and we encourage you to do that. For example, it can be helpful to see how many orders you had this month compared with last, and what your top-selling product was this month. There are all sorts of useful insights to be gained from that data and we’d be glad to show you some of that.

screenshot of Shopify analytics dashboard

If you want to dig deeper than the preset options you get there, though, you’ll want access to ShopifyQL, Shopify’s own query language built for Shopify Plus stores. Combine this with the use of the free ShopifyQL Notebooks app, and you can fairly easily figure out how to discover the stats you can really use to optimize your store for growth.

Tax Solutions

One thing you might not like thinking about, as April is still months away, is tax. But if you’re making enough through Shopify to be thinking about upgrading to Plus, you really ought to be thinking about taxes. Charging sales tax, remitting it, and filing are all tasks you need to do to stay in compliance, and they’re all things that can either ruin your April (an otherwise delightful month), or leave you with plenty of time for digging in the dirt.

Avalara is a service that can help you in Shopify to make sure you’re charging the right amount of sales tax to your customers, recording it right, and eventually sending it along to the government. Currently Avalara is offered to Shopify Plus stores for free, although that partnership reportedly ends soon. When it does, it’s likely Shopify Plus stores will get a discount off Avalara’s usual rate, though we’ll have to wait and see about that.

In any event, you’ll want to get Avalara set up with your Plus store, and the history of collaboration between the two is sure to make that an easy step so that next year, tax time will find you ready.


If you’ve read much of our blog, you’ll have likely noticed that something that comes up fairly often is automation, which we think is a great way to get things done in a consistent manner (see, for example, our posts on subscriptions, AI copywriting, retention, and even accessibility monitoring. We think the more that can be well automated in your store, the better. It’ll open up more time for you to consider the broader aspects of your store and what you can do to extend its reach.

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of Shopify Plus is that you get access to increased automation to help you tackle the now-significant back-office tasks that come with managing your ecommerce store. There are many things you can automate about a standard Shopify store, but with Shopify’s Launchpad, only available to Shopify Plus stores, you can automate even more, freeing up yet more of your time for the big picture issues.

Shopify Launchpad icon
Shopify Plus Launchpad

Shopify Plus Agencies

As a Shopify Plus store, you will have access to the exclusive Shopify Plus Service partners list, where you can browse through a list of Shopify Plus Partner agencies who have been vetted by Shopify for their excellence at “working with high growth merchants” and being “thought leaders in commerce”. You want to be working with agencies like that, and Plus agencies are all that way.

screenshot of Plus Partner Agency directory

Plus Partner agencies are trained and have experience helping merchants break through their growth barriers and rise to the next level. It can be like having your own mentor whose advice is informed by experience with dozens of other high-performing merchants who’ve been where you are and risen to the next level.

In fact, in addition to being very helpful to stores that are already on the Shopify Plus platform, working with a Shopify Plus partner is pretty much a requirement to be able to get onto the platform in the first place. You can hit all the right metrics, but without having a Plus Partner agency get you qualified with Shopify to upgrade, you may be stuck.

Who’s a good fit for Shopify Plus?

Although, like everything in business, it’s individual and highly dependent on the various aspects of your business, a good rule of thumb is that if your business is bringing in over a million dollars in revenue every year, it’s likely you could benefit from Shopify Plus. Since Shopify Plus costs $2,000 per month, you’d be spending about two and a half percent of your revenue on the platform you use to transact your business, which seems about right.

Needing a particular tool

There may be times when a business that hasn’t quite gotten to that level of revenue would benefit enough from Shopify Plus to make the move. For example, maybe your business has a number of physical locations and could benefit from the free POS Pro subscriptions for those locations, and this benefit may outweigh the extra cost of the Plus plan.

Or perhaps you’ve automated everything you can with your standard plan and just really want all the other automation you could do with Launchpad, and feel that could get you to the next level. Again, it’s all individual, and if you have a compelling case we can probably get you qualified to upgrade to Plus.

Stagnating growth

bar graph that rises for a few years and then plateausIf you were on a run of tremendous growth for a long time, but have recently kind of stagnated because of platform limitations, it may indicate you’re ready for the move. If you think you might be there, you should reach out to us and we can get you qualified to move up to Shopify Plus. We’re excited to have that conversation with you!

Who’s not (yet) a good fit for Shopify Plus?

If your store has been on an upward trajectory, that’s a good sign. It’s even better if you’ve been experiencing exponential growth. Still, these things may not indicate that you’re ready for Shopify Plus. Ironically, they may in fact indicate that you’re not yet ready for it. If you’re still growing like crazy, that probably means that you haven’t hit the kind of barrier to your growth that Shopify Plus was really designed to remove, so you should probably just maintain your upward momentum and try to accelerate it as much as possible.

bar graph continually rising year after yearShopify Plus will still be there when your business needs it, and if you focus on continuing your growth, that time will come before you know it, especially if you’re working with a good Shopify agency, and particularly if it’s a Plus Partner agency like SeaMonster Studios.

How to become a good fit for Shopify Plus

If Shopify Plus is your goal, the most important thing to do right away is to put together a plan to enhance your implementation of the various aspects of your business that support your growth. This might include finessing your customer communications and promotions through email and text, upping your game for collecting and publishing high-quality customer reviews, increasing customer satisfaction by giving them a better customer support experience, implementing or expanding your subscription models, or any number of other valuable activities that lead to growth.

The best way to put together this plan is to have us, or another Shopify Plus Partner Agency, do a thorough analysis of what you have going on in your site already, and what you could be doing better. We’d love to dig into your processes and strategies and come up with a set of recommendations for you to get you to the Plus level! And once we agree that you’re at that level, we’ll get you qualified with Shopify to move up into Plus, and then we’ll help you make use of all that’s there for your business.


Shopify Plus is tremendous for sure. Only about 1% of Shopify stores are on Shopify Plus, but if you have the desire, we know you can get yours to that level, too. When you do, we think you’ll find the benefits well worth it. If you’ve done the right things to get to that level, all those benefits of Shopify Plus will help you take your business to the next level, and beyond.

Want to get ready to dig yourself into enterprise-level Shopify? Contact us today for a consultation and we'll help you get qualified for Shopify Plus.