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Headless commerce Shopify vs Shopify Plus?

Last updated: 14 June 2022

Can you use Shopify or do you need Shopify Plus for a headless Shopify webshop? In this chapter, we’ll discover if it’s possible or whether you need to upgrade to Shopify Plus.

Shopify vs Shopify Plus the basic difference

Shopify works the same as Shopify Plus and offers almost the same features. However, there are nuances that can make a big difference. 

Basic ShopifyShopifyAdvanced Shopify Shopify Plus
Best for
Beginner stores
Early traction
Well performing stores
> $2 million in yearly revenue
Staff accounts
24/7 (email, chat, and phone)
24/7 (email, chat, and phone)
24/7 (email, chat, and phone)
24/7 + Dedicated account manager
Online Creditcard rates
2.9% + $0.30
2.6% + $0.30
2.4% + $0.30
2.15% + $0.30
Sell in multiple languages
Up to 2
Up to 5
Up to 20

Unique Shopify Plus features

9 free expansion stores
Additional stores under the same brand for the purpose of selling in different languages or currencies
Shopify organization admin
Manage all the stores in your organization from a single location
Script Editor
Edit shipping methods, customer fields, and payments options without additional apps
Shopify Flow
Automate workflows for customer loyalty and rewards, segmentation, merchandising, and fraud prevention
Schedule automated promotions, product releases, and online store update
Login for store owners who have a separate website and a Shopify store
Merchant success program
Get strategy and support from industry experts, specialized partners, and resources
More in-depth analytics

Do you need Shopify Plus for headless commerce?

The short answer is no, you don’t need Shopify Plus for headless commerce.  However, besides the unique features mentioned above, Shopify Plus does offer some benefits when going headless over a regular Shopify plan.

When using Shopify for headless commerce, Shopify still manages the checkout and payment processing. The slight disadvantage when using the regular Shopify plan for your headless store is when customers land on the checkout page.  

The Shopify checkout doesn’t allow for using a customer’s access token, which would automatically sync their account details such as an address, payment information, and email address.

To use this token, and authenticate users automatically you need Multipass. And the Multipass login feature is available to Shopify Plus merchants only. 

What this means for your customers, when you have a headless Shopify store with the regular plan, is that they need to fill in their payment and contact details every time they buy from you.

Some merchants who have a lot of repeat customers that buy frequently see this as a major disadvantage and switch over to Shopify Plus. Other merchants have no real issues with this limitation since orders will still be connected to a customer’s account and auto-fill helps customers enter their details in a matter of seconds.

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