Are Shopify Partners and Shopify Plus Partners the Same?

Even though it is common to confuse between the two but the answer is — not really! 

Shopify Partners mostly deal with small to medium-sized eCommerce businesses. Shopify Plus Partners, on the other hand, help facilitate high-volume merchants. However, standard partners can still refer Shopify Plus to their customers and offer their services to Shopify Plus merchants.

Like DCKAP, Shopify Plus partners are to be trusted a lot more with the projects because anyone who wants to join the Shopify Plus Partners Community goes through a rigorous application process. Only trusted, successful applicants get access to a resource database, which gives them a holistic roadmap for growth. 

While Shopify Plus Partners are likely to generate higher revenue, they take time to scale as quickly as the standard Shopify Partners due to more extensive requirements for joining their program. This makes them more accredited to attract enterprise grades.

Shopify Plus partner program

Anyone running an online store would be familiar with Shopify, and high-volume sellers would have already explored the Shopify Plus platform. But, while making the switch, it’s important to know what extent of support is available.  

The Shopify Plus partner program, first launched in 2016, is a directory of hand-selected technologies and services that have been vetted by the platform itself. Partners are proven to have expert eCommerce and platform experience, so they can be trusted by any Shopify Plus merchant. The standard Shopify platform has other types of partners such as affiliates and developers. 

Both technology and service partners have access to an exclusive resource database to help them grow with the Plus platform and continually provide better service to their users. The community works together as a team, collaborating to create a Shopify Plus partner ecosystem and this in turn gives merchants access to a holistic growth platform rather than stand-alone services and software options.


How are Shopify Plus Partners Selected?

Anyone who wants to become a Shopify Plus partner goes through a rigorous screening process. Applications are taken seriously and only top agencies and software solutions are chosen.

Benefits of using Shopify Plus as a platform,

  • Shopify is the world’s fastest-growing commerce platform with over 400,000 active global retailers
  • You can easily sell online, offline and on-the-go using Shopify’s powerful technology
  • Use your own domain name/business name
  • Visually appealing online store – See Templates
  • Sell gift cards and generate coupon codes
  • Use its integrated blogging platform to create blog posts
  • Process credit card payments directly through Shopify, or other gateways
  • Sell unlimited SKUs
  • World-class customer support.
  • Receive 24/7 onboarding and technical support from Shopify Gurus
  • It’s affordable – Shopify Pricing & Try free for 14 days with No credit card required.
  • Instantly process in-store purchases with Shopify POS
  • Mobile commerce – Custom shop on the go
  • Access eCommerce analytics
  • Built-in Marketing tools – Marketing and SEO
  • Apps store – Shopify App Store
  • Fast servers, industry-leading response times, and cutting edge infrastructure. Web hosting – eCommerce with unlimited bandwidth
  • Keep your customer’s data secure with PCI Level 1 Compliant checkout
  • SSL Database Security – Shopping cart
  • Shopify is always adding free new features to help you sell

What are Shopify Partners & how can they help me:

If Shopify makes eCommerce so simple (“no design skills needed”, “everything in one place”, and “perfect for beginners”), why do Shopify Partners and Experts need to exist? It’s a little like running an offline retail store. With the right budget, it’s simple to set up a shop and start selling something.

However, mastering the art of retail and becoming successful is another matter. It takes insight, know-how, and expertise from people who’ve “been there and done that” to get the best possible performance from a store. Most successful entrepreneurs take professional help and advice from other successful people.

That’s where Shopify Plus Experts come in. They help you master the art of eCommerce using the simple tools provided by their platform: particularly in the areas of design, functionality, marketing, and product display.

Imagine what an extra 10 or 20 percent performance might do for your store. It goes straight to your profits. That makes Shopify Partners and Experts a big deal. The guidance and expertise they provide are extremely valuable for store owners. Also, the Shopify Plus platform offers various key features that help in a faster business transformation.

Key Shopify Plus features:

There are a number of key Shopify Plus features that help the platform stand out from the crowd. Let’s take a look at them:

1) It can handle heavy traffic flow:

All the marketing, email flows and conversion tactics mean nothing if there’s no working site to actually make purchases on. So every second of downtime is money down the drain. High volume merchants, therefore, need a platform that won’t come crashing down when flash sales or seasonal events create huge traffic spikes. And Shopify Plus provides that

2) Built with global expansion in mind

International success means having dedicated storefronts for different countries or regions. With the appropriate languages, currencies and payment options available for each. You can operate up to 11 different storefronts from one Shopify Plus account. bring all your back-office tasks into one place using a quality Shopify Plus management system.

3) Full store customization

Many of the more basic platforms aren’t great for store customization. With not too much room for maneuver beyond the design or theme, you initially settled on. But Shopify Plus allows you to control the editable CSS files and scripts. Perhaps the best part is how easily you can customize the checkout process that is absolutely essential to get right.

4) Automated workflows and campaigns

There’s a lot to get done every day when running an eCommerce business, but one of the Shopify Plus features is all about being able to create a whole host of automation capabilities aimed at cutting hours of repetitive busy work from day-to-day tasks. You can use Shopify Flow to put things like adding customer tags on autopilot with Flow also letting you automate things.

5) Advanced multichannel capabilities

Shopify Plus isn’t just about creating a killer eCommerce site. It also sets you up for seamless native social selling in some crucial places – like Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Kik. And it’s all connected – on the back end and the front. Shopify Plus features also go beyond this and into the beginnings of omnichannel too.

6) Dedicated wholesale online store

Wholesale B2B eCommerce orders can make up a significant chunk of revenue for growing eCommerce brands. But dealing with it all manually via email is simply not scalable. So the fact Shopify Plus lets you integrate B2B and B2C operations can be a major game-changer. Ten extra storefronts can be used to build a branded B2B portal for your wholesale customers

Want to curate a better online store with Shopify Plus?

Explore how DCKAP implemented Advanced Shopify website and integrated it with Epicor P21 ERP

Who Is Considered a Shopify Plus Expert?

Shopify Plus Experts are elite partners who have been carefully examined by the platform itself and found to have successfully demonstrated their ability to represent the Shopify brand. 

To be considered a Shopify Plus Expert, you need to have a vast knowledge of the Shopify Plus platform, as well as a proven track record of providing high-quality services in the building and growing of Shopify stores. 

Merchants will hire Shopify Plus Experts to help them launch their business or increase their sales. Here are a few of the services listed on any Shopify Plus Expert Marketplace:

  • Assistance with visual branding, including the creation of logos
  • Assistance with product setup
  • Setting up custom domains
  • Building or redesigning of online stores
  • Setting up sales channels
  • Website auditing and sales strategy guidance
  • Setting up email campaigns
  • Providing social media marketing guidance

Though Shopify Plus partners and Shopify Plus experts do similar work and have access to some of the same tools, there is a difference between the two. 

Shopify Plus experts start out as Shopify Plus partners who have their work reviewed by the platform. Once Shopify determines that their work meets a certain standard, they may afford them the title of expert and vouch for them in the Shopify expert marketplace.

Now that you understand what Shopify Plus partners and Shopify Plus experts are, let’s take a look at what it takes to become one.

Fundamentals of Shopify Plus partners program:

The Shopify Plus partners program essentially exists because, while it’s now easy to set up a store, it’s still as challenging as ever to stand out from the competition and be successful and profitable.

The Partners program allows eCommerce entrepreneurs to earn money by sharing their knowledge, recommending Shopify to clients, or simply by providing affiliate referrals.

For a store owner, Partners who are also eCommerce experts can provide the professional assistance they may require.

But first lets a look at the basic Partners program, where established eCommerce professionals (agencies, freelancers, etc.) can earn money in two ways by partnering with Shopify:

  • Shopify Plus Partner Revenue Share – where the clients use Shopify and 20 percent of Shopify’s earnings from this is shared with the partner.
  • Shopify Affiliate Link – where the partners have their own affiliate link on their website and earn a Shopify partner commission on any paid subscriptions that result from click-throughs (The partner gets twice what Shopify pays for the first month).

Shopify Plus partner status comes from a formal agreement that you enter into with Shopify. This agreement is reviewed every 12 months. For the revenue share agreement, the partner is expected to launch six new stores each year and provide:

  • Development store referrals
  • Affiliate link referrals
  • An upgrade or referral of an existing merchant to Shopify Plus

Does it work the same way for Shopify Plus experts?

No. “Shopify Plus partner and expert” is a higher distinction than simply “Partner”. It’s like getting Shopify certification. Whereas almost any eCommerce entrepreneur can become a Shopify Partner, Experts need to demonstrate a good success rate of growing Shopify stores into profitable entities.

Many Partners become experts too – and experts are also partners, but Experts first need to prove their expertise to the powers-that-be at Shopify to earn the status.

In particular, they need to excel in one (or more) of these six categories highlighted by Shopify:

  • Shopify setup experts
  • Shopify design experts
  • Shopify development experts
  • Shopify marketing experts
  • Shopify photography experts
  • Shopify 3-D modeling experts

Each expert category has been selected by Shopify because store owners have faced challenges with them. You can also find Shopify plus partners that focus on enterprise eCommerce businesses, like top Shopify experts UK Whole Design Studios.

Currently, to become a Shopify Partner and Expert in any of these areas, it’s required that you demonstrate five examples of successful Shopify stores you’ve helped.

Shopify plus Partner

Benefits of working with a Shopify Plus partner:

Here are five benefits of working with a Shopify Plus Partners, and how they can be of advantage for your eCommerce brand.

  1. They have more experience working with a variety of different Shopify clients.

Shopify Plus Partners earn their partner status based on key factors, like their portfolio of enterprise-level Shopify projects and clients. Shopify Plus partner selectors require evidence of successful high growth projects created by agencies wishing to achieve Shopify Plus partner status.

Also, thanks to the experience of working with a variety of influential, award-winning Shopify Plus clients, they’ll know exactly how to help your store thrive and flourish. They’ll be familiar with the platform and the complexities of high-growth stores and will be able to understand the limitations as they will most likely have encountered any problems previously.

  1. They can implement Shopify Plus features

Shopify Plus partners can help to improve your store with Shopify Plus’ exclusive tools and features, designed specifically to grow your business across different marketplaces and channels.

They will be able to understand and implement exclusive Shopify Plus features such as Flow, Scripts, Launchpad, and more complex project elements such as internationalization and system integration.

This will provide your store with powerful automation features, customizations, and integrations to help you adapt and grow across all channels, transforming your store into a successful and captivating business that excels in all areas.

  1. Shopify Plus Partners focus on helping you grow

The Shopify Plus partners understand just how to help your store grow and reach its full potential. They identify key areas for development and will build and guide development projects to help you optimize and improve your eCommerce store.

You’ll also be able to build an ongoing relationship with your Shopify Plus partners and work with them to keep your store as optimized and successful as ever as opportunities come up in the future, through ongoing optimization.

  1. They have access to exclusive resources and updates

Due to their established partner status, Shopify Plus Partners are given exclusive access to resources and updates that most other agencies don’t have. They are given opportunities to test new features and products before they’re officially released and can provide insightful recommendations based on their knowledge.

Shopify Plus partner agencies may also have access to inside information about Shopify’s product roadmap, previews of upcoming features, and priority partner support that allows them to quickly resolve questions that you may have.

This means they’ll have a much broader knowledge and understanding needed for any updates and will have all the possible resources to help your store reach its full potential.

  1. They have connections with app and marketing partners

Shopify Plus Partners also have opportunities to establish and maintain relationships with app developers and other Shopify Plus Partners around the world.

The relationships and connections they build with partners and developers give them the ability to recommend apps that are ideal for your store and even offer better pricing.

They’ll be able to implement these new apps and features as quickly as possible, fully understanding any limitations. They’re also given priority access and support through their connections, so any issues you may have will be resolved quickly and efficiently.

In Conclusion:

Working with a Shopify Plus Partner can be extremely beneficial for any eCommerce store and Shopify/Shopify Plus merchant.

DCKAP, with unparalleled knowledge of the platform itself, and 15+ years of experience, focuses on high growth and can be the best option for helping your eCommerce store to thrive and grow.

Also, as accredited Shopify Plus partners, DCKAP has always been dedicated to helping our clients make the most of their Shopify Plus store. Get in touch with us today to find out more about what we do and how we work!

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