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A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding and Using Shopify Plus

January 03, 2020

Shopify Plus is a virtual powerhouse, and it’s changing how ecommerce companies do business. Its powerful and intuitive analytics, easy-to-use built-in tax aids, and simple automation of everyday tasks allow you to scale up your ecommerce business with greater efficiency than ever before. As with any compelling and useful tool, there’s a learning curve. Here is our beginner’s guide to understanding and using Shopify Plus and to crafting a successful Shopify affiliate program.

What You Can Sell on Shopify

With Shopify, you can sell almost anything. Under “ecommerce by industry” on their sitemap, you can get an idea of the variety of options they have available. There, you’ll get an inkling of all the verticals they have on offer, from guitars to art and homeware to used books.

The only real limit is that you have to make sure you’re selling a legal product, which is a concern in an age where regulations and laws vary wildly from state to state. Shopify allows you sell services, physical products, digital products, and dropship products. That’s a vast range of options, and it begs the question of how Shopify Plus can help you expedite your money-making process.

How Shopify Compares to Other Platforms

According to expert opinions, Shopify is the currently best and most lucrative option for eCommerce. It requires a bit more money to start up when compared with options like Etsy, but it saves and makes more money in the long run. A lot of this has to do with its analytic abilities, which outshine other eCommerce platforms.

Shopify measures up favorably when compared with Etsy. That’s not to say that Etsy doesn’t have many advantages: It’s a popular place for online shoppers to spend their money. In 2017, shoppers spent over $3 billion on Etsy, but, on Shopify, shoppers spent $82 billion. It’s more flexible and scalable than Etsy or other eCommerce options, and it offers sellers superior eCommerce tools.

The one downside of Shopify is that it isn’t searched as often as Etsy or Amazon. However, the success of your Shopify site depends on your exposure, marketing, and brand usage. Fortunately, Shopify has many tools built-in to help you maximize your marketing analytics and capabilities, so this downside becomes a strength in some ways.

Shopify also works to make building your online platform as simple as possible: You don’t have to be a tech guru to set up shop. It’s also far more flexible in terms of design customization, sales features, and domain and URL structure than Etsy or other platforms, allowing for easy modifications that help you make your brand shine. It also offers sellers lower rates and 0% transaction fees if you make use of its built-in payment gateway.

Shopify vs. Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus gives fast-growing or larger businesses more options. You need to sell thousands of products every day to make Shopify Plus a worthwhile choice. While Shopify can handle the demands of a small- or medium-sized business, the tools of Shopify Plus help you to optimize the system to your advantage. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Whereas Shopify boasts a brilliant inventory system and better eCommerce options than any other platform, it lacks the specialist integrations and personalized support that a big business demands.
  • Shopify Plus allows an unlimited number of staff accounts and can handle over 10,000 transactions per minute, but costs are calculated monthly and can be too high for small- or medium-sized businesses.
How Shopify Plus Supports Bigger and Fast-Growing Businesses

Shopify Plus is built to help bigger businesses thrive. It maximizes and adds to many pre-existing Shopify features to give you more control and more optimization power.

Shopify Plus Flow

Shopify Plus’s Flow allows you to tailor your website’s first impression to each customer individually. To do this, after the customer has signed up to your website, Shopify Plus uses algorithms to track their purchases. This data is then used to display items on your homepage that they, according to their purchase history, would find most interesting and enticing. It’s an intelligent way to boost sales.

Script Editor

Shopify Plus’s script editor allows you to create customized scripts for payment methods and line items. This increased control and precision enables you to give your customers a more advanced and specialized customer service experience.

Advanced Analytics Integration

While Shopify already boasts incredible analytics, Shopify Plus gives owners of larger businesses an increased level of control and even more information. To do this, Shopify Plus partnered with leading companies in the analytics industry, like Looker and Glew, to supply expert insight and data. This empowers big businesses to make incredibly informed, split-second decisions when necessary.

Shopify Plus also keeps the many benefits of Shopify, allowing for multi-currency selling and abandoned cart recovery, which makes for a more flexible and lucrative seller experience. It also retains Shopify’s multi-channel integration, which enables sellers to seamlessly sell products across multiple seller platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, eBay, and Amazon.

Pricing on Shopify

With all of these powerful Shopify Plus benefits, it’s logical to wonder how much these incredible advantages cost. While Shopify has straightforward tiers, Shopify Plus is more of a custom shop. This means you have to contact Shopify directly to discuss your particular marketing needs, business model, and monthly turnover.

This information allows Shopify to give you the customized service you need and also give you a quote for an approximate monthly rate. If your needs change month-to-month, so will your rates. This is powerful because it means that Shopify Plus can grow with you; you aren’t stuck with an ecommerce model that doesn’t suit your business’s demands.

Setting Up Shop

Once you’ve determined Shopify Plus is the option you need, you’re ready to set up shop. If you’re upgrading to Shopify Plus from Shopify, you’ve probably already done the heavy lifting of adding products, setting up a domain name, customizing your design, setting up your tax and shipping rates, and setting up payments.

1. Visit the Shopify Plus Academy

No matter how long you’ve been using Shopify or how much ecommerce experience you have, Shopify Plus is built with your growth and continued education in mind. The Shopify Plus Academy is specifically geared to help you to adapt to the ever-changing world of online selling. Customer expectations, demands, and behaviors shift with the continuous evolution of social media, apps, and pop culture trends.

The Shopify Plus Academy offers over 50 self-guided courses for high-volume merchants. With product-specific aids and resources, expert-led workshops, and business owner Q&As, you can continue learning, growing, and boosting your business. It all happens at your own pace and time, which means your education can match the demands of your lifestyle and your business needs. The courses in the Shopify Plus Academy are free for Shopify Plus merchants.

2. Get Affiliate Marketing Software

Using an affiliate marketing software helps take your ecommerce to the next level. A Shopify affiliate program is an affiliate marketing software program specifically designed to help you reach your target goals and continue to drive sales via productive relationships with affiliates.

Affiliate marketing allows you to focus on the exact audience and demographic you want to target. By choosing an Instagram influencer, YouTuber, or the Reddit page that most aligns with your business, you can market with pinpoint precision and astonishing accuracy.

Affiliate marketing software, in turn, furnishes you with even greater precision. This marketing software helps to track the exact cost and value of each affiliate relationship, giving you negotiation tools and greater control of your image and the bottom line. Affiliate marketing software helps you build long-lasting, productive relationships with your affiliates that evolve and grow with the ever-changing eCommerce marketing.

To accomplish this, affiliate marketing software can track the cost of acquisition, cost per click, cost per order, cost per sale, cost per engagement, and so on. This means that you’ll have an intricate breakdown of how much each piece of online engagement costs your business and where you can most improve.

Additionally, in an age where social media influencers and marketing seem flashy and ensconced in celebrity-level mystique, these numbers demystify what works and what doesn’t. They can help you choose and maintain the affiliates who help you and your business the most, instead of the ones who simply seem to do well with likes and followers.

3. Customize Your Shopify Checkout Experience

Once you’ve started Shopify Plus, you’re ready to customize your customer checkout experience using Shopify Scripts. Shopify Scripts helps you optimize your conversion rates, boost sales, and improve the ease with which customers make their purchases. The bottom line of Shopify Scripts is that it improves your bottom line.

Here are just a few of the options available to you through Shopify Scripts:

  • Customize customer fields.
  • Set up discount percentage thresholds for different cart values.
  • Customize shipping methods.
  • Set up discounts or automatic prices for specific holiday deals like Black Friday.
  • Easily manage payment options and gateways.
  • Apply bulk discounts.
  • Hold a Buy One Get One Free (BOGO).

Shopify Scripts is one of the most powerful tools that you can use to increase revenue and improve the everyday experience of your customers.

4. Employ Ecommerce Automation

Shopify Plus’s eCommerce automation tools save you time and help to eliminate time-intensive, repetitive, and ultimately expensive labor processes that suck valuable mental energy and manpower away from more important actions and decisions.

For instance, Shopify Plus’s Launchpad is a tool that enables shop owners to strategize, plan, and automate all necessary actions to execute a sales campaign, product launch, or a flash sale. This means that once you’ve decided on your basic launch, campaign, or sale strategy, Launchpad takes care of the details so that you can focus your energy on larger concerns and start planning the next big business move. Shopify Flow can also handle many communications issues, stop promotions when stock gets low, market and advertise efficiently, help prevent fraud, and manage many customer service tacks.

To accomplish this, Shopify Flow remembers and executes actions, conditions, and triggers that you specify without you having to do any coding. For example, you could ask Shopify Flow to reward your best customers with gift certificates, tag VIP customers, segment customers into email groups, or send personalized thank you emails.

5. Supercharge Your Store

As if all of these Shopify Plus features weren’t supercharged enough already, Shopify Plus allows you to drastically increase the efficiency of your online storefront through several key strategies:

  • Enterprise-level integrations
  • Multi-store management
  • Wholesale channel options
  • EV SSL certification
Enterprise-Level Integrations

Enterprise-level integrations allow you to integrate third-party systems you already use seamlessly. These systems could be warehouse management software, Shopify affiliate programs, inventory and order management software, enterprise resource planning platforms, third-party logistics, or product information management tools. Shopify Plus lets you use the tools that work for you in a seamless, hassle-free manner.

Multi-Store Management

Shopify Plus’s new multi-store management software allows you to manage multiple international stores or businesses all in one place. You can view staff accounts, automation tools, and user permissions from one simple and consolidated spot. This helps you generate business strategies with greater efficiency and get a bird’s eye view of what needs to be done.

Wholesale Channel Options

If you want to expand your business by creating a password-protected wholesale storefront, Shopify Plus has created options to help you do just that. This enables you to give wholesale buyers a customized, personalized experience that, in turn, builds better business relationships.

EV SSL Certification

EV SSL certification is the highest form of secure site certification available online. By adding this next to your URL in the URL window on a customer’s browser display, you instantly create more trust.

The Bottom Line

While Shopify Plus is most certainly not for small businesses, it allows larger enterprises to scale up their online storefront or storefronts with precision and ease. Shopify Plus is a custom shop for online retailers and businesses. Coupled with an affiliate marketing software, Shopify Plus can take your business to the next level.

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Written by

Ruthie Carey
Ruthie Carey