Scaling with Shopify: When is the right time to upgrade to Shopify Plus?

| By Kelly Vaughn

Scaling with Shopify: When is the right time to upgrade to Shopify Plus?

When choosing a platform to host your online business, you always want to choose that which best fits your plans at the time. As your business grows, its needs change and you start looking at what more you can do with your chosen platform to start selling at scale. More than 1.75 million businesses in over 175 countries choose Shopify as their trusted platform, but what happens when you start outgrowing its capabilities? Enter, Shopify Plus.

We’ve written previously about merchants migrating from one platform to Shopify Plus, however today we’re going to focus on upgrading your existing Shopify plan. 

When should a Shopify merchant upgrade to Shopify Plus?

There is no set criteria for when a merchant should consider upgrading, but there are a few things that may indicate an upgrade is on the horizon. Going by revenue and growth can however be a good initial measure that you’re ready to start considering an upgrade, the general figure of which is usually once you regularly turn over $1 million+ annually. At this point you’re likely thinking about how to continue this momentum, what further resources you’re going to need, and future expansion plans, all of which are likely going to need a step up in your ecommerce platform capabilities. The right time then for considering an upgrade to Shopify Plus is all down to your individual business goals, growth trajectory, and what will best facilitate that growth.

Outside of these, other indications that an upgrade would be of benefit include:

  • You have a requirement for improved scalability that can match your projections and adapt better with fluctuations in sales
  • The cost of maintenance on current Shopify plan is growing 
  • You’re looking to expand internationally and want to develop a more tailored approach to international storefronts
  • Your store would benefit from more powerful automation features
  • Your B2B business is growing, and you want to figure out how you can deliver more value to your customers

Essentially, you’re ready to invest in the next step of your business’ journey. Making the move to Shopify Plus will build on and improve the benefits you already have as a Shopify merchant such as unlimited bandwidth and 24/7 support, as well as giving you access to the tools you need to facilitate further growth.

Benefits of migrating to Shopify Plus

Built to scale with your business ambitions 

Scalability is vital to the success of high growth businesses. While Shopify’s platform is scalable to an extent, Shopify Plus is designed with scalability tailored to high growth as a priority. If you’re already turning out high order volumes and have ambitions to grow this further then upgrading to Plus will be an ideal solution. 

This applies not just for periods of high-growth, but for the fluctuations that come as part of any online business. If for example you sell a product that’s largely seasonal such as school supplies, you’ll likely see the majority of your sales during a specific period of time. Another instance may be during the holiday season or big flash sales, where you see a significant increase in order volume that isn’t typical of the rest of the year. In these cases, Shopify Plus scales up and down as your business needs it, meaning you aren’t left paying higher fees when you are in a low sales period, and you don’t need to worry about traffic surges during high sales periods.

Access to exclusive apps designed for high-growth merchants

If you’re already a Shopify merchant, you’ll likely be aware of how extensive the Shopify App Store is. However when you upgrade, you’ll have access to apps exclusive to Shopify Plus merchants that are designed specifically to facilitate a more streamlined experience for both your team and customers.

Shopify Flow

Automation is a game changer in ecommerce operations. You can save time your team would normally spend on manual tasks, streamline your operations, and deliver a better experience to your customers. Shopify Flow allows you to automate processes within your business such as inventory management and order processing, as well as more niche automation related to customer experience such as personalized marketing and high-risk order management.  


Coordinating flash sales and product launches when you’re a high-growth company can quickly become complicated. Launchpad takes the stress out of managing these crucial sales events, automating a range of processes necessary to a successful execution. These include publishing products to different sales channels at specific times, managing inventory levels, scheduling creatives, and gathering data about the event itself in real-time.


Last but certainly not least, Scripts gives merchants the ability to create custom experiences by extending functionality to their cart and checkout. This functionality includes the ability to update line item pricing, shipping options, and payment methods. For example you can create a script that will use custom tags to apply percentage discounts, hide or modify different shipping rates, or apply complex discount logic in cart such as buy 3 get 10% off. 

These apps can all work with your existing or desired tech stack for your store, allowing you to retain the functionality of apps you already have and love while making the most of the features available to Shopify Plus merchants.

Make your mark on the world with more international functionality

Ready to truly go global with your brand? Shopify Plus’ added features for international storefronts help you to grow your business globally, all managed within Shopify Admin. You can create a single storefront with language and currency conversion options, or you can take a multi-store approach. With multi-store, you can create individual international storefronts with custom content, pricing, catalog availability, and payment options.

secret lab co chairs localized shopify storefront example

75% of international customers prefer to shop in their native language, and 98% prefer to browse and pay in their local currency and payment methods. With Shopify Plus you can deliver a tailored, localized experience that gives your international customers the same level of service and personalization they’d get from a store based in their country.

Learn more about selling internationally with Shopify Plus here.

Meet your customers wherever they are with omnichannel 

The future of ecommerce is in meeting your customers on every and any platform. Customer expectations are extremely high when it comes to their experiences with brands, and omnichannel ecommerce is growing as a result.

person paying in store credit card shopify pos

Shopify Plus is built for omnichannel selling with support for selling on over 100 social media channels and over 80 online marketplaces. Shopify is constantly looking for new opportunities for cross-channel selling, including recent partnerships with apps like TikTok. Nowadays, customer shopping behaviors and purchasing paths aren’t always as straightforward as “go to site, make purchase”. 73% of consumers say they engage with multiple channels across their purchasing journey and expect brands to accommodate that. With Shopify Plus, you can sell to your customers not just on different platforms and devices, but across online and brick-and-mortar with options for click-and-collect, and even order in store for home delivery. With this level of flexibility and fluidity, you can create the ideal omnichannel experience for your customers and meet their expectations wherever they happen to be.

Learn more about omnichannel marketing and Shopify Plus here.

Tap into the B2B market with wholesale tools

B2B ecommerce is a growing industry, as more businesses recognize the value in delivering a fully optimized DTC style experience for their customers. Whether you’ve already got a B2B side to your business but aren’t yet online, are already using an ecommerce style platform, or are only just considering if it’s worth getting started with B2B ecommerce at all, Shopify Plus provides an excellent, integrated solution. 

If you have a Shopify store for DTC and are using a separate ecommerce style platform for your B2B business, then you may not be making the most of the potential that B2B ecommerce has to offer. Typically these platforms offer limited functionality and customization, and are simply online portals for your customers. These then require you to handle inventory and reporting separately, making for more work for your team and less flexibility. By upgrading to Shopify Plus, you can migrate your B2B operations over and manage everything from the same platform giving you greater simplicity and better visibility over your B2B vs DTC operations. You can also then develop a more tailored experience for your B2B customers that matches the sort of personalization and functionality they’ll be used to when shopping personally with DTC brands. 

Learn more about B2B and Shopify Plus here.

Other considerations

Of course there’s more to upgrading or migrating to Shopify Plus than just the benefits. Specifically, we’re going to talk about pricing and development.

Pricing for Plus starts at $2,000 per month, scaling as your sales grow and therefore your store requires additional resources - the majority of merchants fall into this $2,000 bracket. This amount is likely to be a big step up for any merchant, even if they're moving from an Advanced plan. However it should be seen not as simply “this is much higher than my current plan”, but as a serious investment in your business’ future growth and plans for development. If your business is ready for an upgrade and you have ambitious growth plans, you need to be working with a platform that can facilitate that. That initial investment will feel like a lot in the beginning, but as you make use of the true potential of Shopify Plus and access the tools it has to offer you’ll see the benefits start to outweigh the cost.

The other aspect worth considering is that upgrading to Plus isn’t quite as simple as starting a normal storefront and later ticking an agreement to upgrade to a new plan. Shopify Plus is a full customizable experience, with added functionality and complexity meaning you will need a team to help develop and launch your new store. The benefit of this is not only added features in the back-end, but the opportunity to create a new and improved experience for your customers that truly maximizes the potential your new platform has to offer. 


After all the time and effort, seeing your business grow is exciting. Taking that growth to the next level is going to rely on a strong, scalable platform that’s tailored specifically to your needs as an ambitious ecommerce merchant. If you’re already on Shopify and considering your next step, Shopify Plus is ready to help you along the way.

Interested in upgrading to Shopify Plus? Check out our free ebook about migrating to Plus here, and get in touch with our team here to learn more.

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