Is Shopify Plus Right for My Business?

What is Shopify Plus? Is it right for your business? Take a look at why brands and enterprises are choosing to migrate to Shopify Plus or using it to launch DTC sales. Take a deep dive into everything you need to know about Shopify Plus!

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In such a competitive and evolving retail landscape, it's essential to employ a robust ecommerce platform that can scale alongside your ambitions. This is where Shopify Plus comes into play.

Last updated: November 2023.

As an enterprise-level ecommerce solution, Shopify Plus empowers high-volume or fast-growing Hong Kong businesses with a cutting-edge shopping experience for global customers - and the flexibility for deep localization in Hong Kong. It alleviates the burden of platform maintenance, complex IT infrastructure, and complicated editing or QA/UAT processes, allowing you to focus on serving your customers. This article delves deeper into the intricacies of Shopify Plus to help you determine whether it's the right fit for your business.

Differentiating between Shopify and Shopify Plus

Shopify provides an incredible suite of platform features to drive an operationally efficient ecommerce program, that almost anyone can use (reducing the need to hire staff with years of experience using the software). 

Key feature highlights:

  • Shopify admin & theme editor (CMS) for ultra quick copy/design updates
  • Shopify native discounting & promo functions for segmented and targeted campaigns 
  • Bulk collection, product creation & uploads for easy management 
  • Third-party apps & integrations for customization and seamless integration
Image source: Shopify

While Shopify provides a robust foundation of features for online businesses of all sizes, Shopify Plus goes beyond by offering tailored solutions for enterprise scale. But even if your brand is not at an enterprise level in terms of volume, many fast-growing brands require enterprise-scale software to achieve service and operational goals, such as LANE EIGHT - read more in our case study here

Shopify Plus has all your bases covered - from DTC/B2C to B2B - businesses can sell across every channel and market all managed under one dynamic platform. Not only that, but this provides your business with centralized data and powerful customer insights.

Image source: Shopify

Shopify has an open ecosystem of apps, and partners - such as Wave Commerce, who support brands by building on top of Shopify for advanced customizations and experience requirements. Shopify Plus equips merchants with additional API and developer tools, enhancing features without disrupting existing solutions. Advanced scripts enable customization of the checkout process, discounts, shipping rates, and product recommendations. This level of customization enhances the overall user experience.

Global brands like Skims, Kylie Cosmetics, Gym Shark, Allbirds, Decathlon, and Heinz have been able to launch internationally in record time - a process that would normally take years. 

Shopify Plus for Hong Kong Merchants

Locally in Hong Kong, brands like ASICS HK, Logitech HK, Nestlé HK, New Era HK, city’super, INDICAID, J Select, Mead Johnson, and Swisse are leveraging Shopify Plus for growth and superior customer experiences. 

Backed by thousands of engineers dedicated to innovation

For custom cart platforms or most other ecommerce platforms for that matter, rolling out new features or capabilities for your store can take months, if not years of planning. Some ecommerce platforms even require you to hire developers to support software updates that you didn’t ask for.

Image source: Shopify

With Shopify Plus, thousands of engineers are dedicated to constant innovation and improvements which are then rolled out to Shopify Plus users. In many cases, it's as simple as switching on a button in order to use the latest advancements. This means that brands powered by Shopify are always at the forefront of customer experience and operational trends. 

For example, recently Shopify merchants have small updates automatically applied to the out-of-the-box checkout page which increased conversion rates by 1.5%.

Not only that, but the Shopify ecosystem has become so crucial, that new technology solutions focused on ecommerce/retail essentially need to integrate with Shopify first - almost as a Go-to-Market (GTM) strategy - providing Shopify merchants first access to new trends and tools that may later reshape the landscape.

Key Values of Shopify Plus

Fast-growing brands and enterprises alike are choosing Shopify Plus as their platform of choice, either to kick-start their Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) journey, or are migrating to Shopify Plus from another platform (or upgrading from another Shopify plan). 

Source: Storeleads

In the past 3 months alone, 214 enterprises migrated to Shopify Plus from other platforms, and the total number of Shopify Plus merchants grew by 2.7% to reach 28,000. The total number of Shopify Plus merchants grew 14% YoY in 2023 - cementing Shopify Plus as the fastest growing enterprise ecommerce software. 

There are 3 key reasons why fast-growing brands and enterprises alike are choosing Shopify Plus. 

  1. Time to Market / Operational Efficiency
  2. Lifting Sales and Conversions
  3. Omnichannel Commerce

We will explore these 3 key values below with context. 

1. Time to Market / Operational Efficiency

With Shopify’s easy to use admin and theme editor, businesses can swiftly make changes and publish them instantly, without going through developers and IT teams. In the fast changing word of ecommerce, with products and content going viral in a day, staying on top of trends is crucial. 

Power to the marketers! 

Marketing teams can launch promotions, campaigns, landing pages swiftly directly from the admin panel  in a few easy clicks and promote it on their site. No need to burn the midnight oil with developers, UAT/QA, and compromising on quality to fit your system design. Campaigns can be segmented, highly targeted, and automatically applied at checkout online and offline!

For any more advanced discounts or campaigns, Shopify Plus partners like Wave Commerce can support. 

International expansion made easy

For Hong Kong businesses eyeing global markets, Shopify Plus provides a seamless solution. With the ability to set up Expansion Stores catering to different regions, you can deliver personalized experiences in multiple languages and currencies. Analytics and insights are integrated, helping you make informed decisions about where and when to expand next.

Image source: Shopify Markets

Shopify Markets, on the other hand, is suitable for brands looking to use 1 global site, where currencies and product catalog are localized depending on the shopper's region.

2. Lifting Sales and Conversions

As a brand, you want to ensure that you can convert as much traffic as possible on your site into paying customers. Well, Shopify’s checkout is the highest converting checkout of all ecommerce platforms in the market. Better yet, Shopify is still always improving it to keep Shopify merchants ahead of their competitors. 

Image source: Shopify study (conducted by one of the big 3 consulting firms) 

On top of that, One Page Checkout is now available for all Shopify Plus merchants to use if they wish. After years of R&D, One Page Checkout is the next big shift in Shopify’s support for keeping merchants equipped with the best tech in the market. 

Image source: Shopify

Checkout Extensibility

The key to Shopify has always been customization, and Checkout Extensibility is now available for merchants to customize the checkout experience further using apps - such as product descriptions, gifts, discount codes, newsletter signup, and more to support the sales and post-sale experience. 

3. Omnichannel Commerce

Omnichannel isn't a buzzword, it's the expectation of consumers when they shop. The lines between online and offline have become blurred to the point that the 2 are intrinsically linked. Brands are seeing a 37% spike in online traffic when they open a new offline store, while customers trying on products offline and buying online is the norm. In fact, 54% will look at a product online and buy in-store, while 53% will look at a product in-store and buy online (source). 

Image Source: Shopify Commerce Trends 2023

But certainly omnichannel is more than just ecommerce and brick-and-mortar. Shopify Plus enables merchants to integrate and sell across 100+ social media channels, online marketplaces, and blogs. Stay current with modern trends and reach a broader audience through platforms like Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, and more — all managed from one centralized hub and integrated with your analytics, inventory, automated flows and more.

Image source: Shopify

OMNI by Wave Commerce is a leading omnichannel loyalty and member management solution that elevates customer experience online and offline. Exclusive to Shopify, leading brands and enterprises are using OMNI to bridge customer purchases across channels and integrate it within Shopify data, as well as marketing solutions like Klaviyo for more personalized communications. Customers can then earn and redeem points online and offline, and offline retail staff are empowered with more data and customer insights to improve their experience and service. OMNI also makes tracking the relationship between online and offline stores more easy. 

Seamless B2B and Wholesale Integration 

Shopify Plus facilitates B2B interactions through intuitive self-service experiences, eliminating the need for a custom-developed or isolated B2B or wholesale platform. B2B on Shopify is a Shopify Plus exclusive feature, which has been extremely popular with Hong Kong Shopify merchants. Offering the same user-friendly B2C interface, brands can provide a portal for B2B/wholesale partners/vendors to make orders. B2B on Shopify also enables multiple pricing list, so brands can set flexible pricing to different vendors. 

In conclusion, Shopify Plus offers a robust suite of tools designed to empower Hong Kong enterprises with advanced ecommerce capabilities. From international expansion to omnichannel integration and enhanced code access, the platform caters to the unique needs of growing businesses. By simplifying multi-currency selling and offering a tailored checkout experience, Shopify Plus enables businesses to stand out in the competitive ecommerce landscape. As your enterprise seeks to flourish, Shopify Plus might just be the solution to elevate your online presence and streamline your operations, both locally and internationally.

Interested in Shopify Plus? Talk to our team of experts with the most comprehensive experience on Shopify Plus migration and store build in Hong Kong!