Shopify Plus has a ton of features that make them stand out from other e-Commerce platforms. One of the main differences between Shopify vs Shopify Plus is the open app marketplace for standard users and the Shopify Plus technology partner program. And, successful store owners know you should always hire a Shopify expert over a run of the mill agency.
That’s why the partner program is so helpful. So, what exactly makes these certified technology and service partners stand out from the rest? Read on to find out.
What is the Shopify Plus Partner Program?
Anyone running an online store has heard of Shopify, and high-volume sellers have explored the Shopify Plus platform. And, when thinking of making the switch, it’s important to know what help is available.
The standard Shopify platform has other types of partners such as affiliates and developers.
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 e-commerce and platform experience, so they can be trusted by any Shopify Plus merchant.
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; this gives merchants access to a holistic growth platform rather than standalone services and software options.
Access to Shopify Plus Partners is one of the biggest merchant benefits of upgrading to Shopify Plus.
Not on Shopify Plus? Check out our review (or our comparison with the standard Shopify plan) to help make your decision.
How are the 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.
How Many Partners are There?
Currently, Shopify Plus has 65 technology partners and 127 service partners (51 agencies and 76 solutions). Like the platform itself, the partner program is an exclusive community. While these numbers are likely to grow with the platform, they probably won’t scale as quickly as the standard Shopify options because of what it takes to get in.
Technology Shopify Plus Partners Overview
With a standard plan, you have access to nearly any Shopify app you can think of. With a Plus plan, the platform recommends and enables easy integration with only the best e-commerce software.
Technology partners give merchants seamless integrations with popular tech:
- SEO/ SEM
Accessibility to these options helps online store owners accelerate growth through the use of advanced software.
What Technologies are Available?
26 different types of e-commerce software are available from technology partners in the Shopify Plus partner program. Everything from affiliate marketing to POS and warehouse management can be enhanced with an app. 11 of these options work with the Shopify Flow app, which turns tasks into automation.
Not all Shopify Plus apps are yet compatible with the Flow interface, but those that are stand out from the rest. Take a look at compatible apps in the Shopify Plus partner technology section to see what they can do for your online sales operations.
1. dotdigital Engagement Cloud
Image source: dotdigital
The Engagement Cloud by dotdigital can help you build committed, enduring relationships with your customers. Connect with and empower your shoppers with a suite of tools including email, mobile, social, and advertising. Implement automation, segmentation, and rich customer profiles.
In a nutshell, this is an advanced customer relationship management (CRM) platform to integrate with your Shopify store. It collects, stores, and analyzes data about your customers to help you make the most informed shopper interaction decisions.
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Use Gorgias, the complete Shopify helpdesk, to help your customer service representatives view all of your messaging platforms from one location. Your reps can edit customer orders without leaving the app. And, you can automate answers to simple, frequently asked questions, freeing up time for your team to focus on answering more complex queries.
Trust a top rated solution to provide your shoppers and customers with the best possible service experience of your e-commerce brand.
Image source: Klaviyo
One of the most full-featured e-commerce email marketing campaign platforms is available on Shopify Plus with Flow integration. Klaviyo makes your email campaigns more intelligent and effective through powerful segmentation, detailed analytics, and informative reports.
This platform shines brightly in a sea of fierce competition because it has everything you need to create, implement, automate, and analyze your email marketing efforts with the least amount of work. Users are satisfied and it’s made the cut.
Image source: Listrak
Listrak is a customer data empowered digital marketing cloud that promises to deliver results. From a 360-degree customer profile to customer insights, AI personalization, and conversion rate optimization (CRO), this platform will help you orchestrate all of your cross channel marketing promotions.
Compared to other similar platforms, Listrak users have three times higher engagement, six times higher revenue, and two times higher conversion. Overall, it is a trusted solution to bring your marketing efforts to the next level.
5. LoyaltyLion -
Image Source: LoyaltyLion
Loyalty Lion knows that an online merchant’s future success depends entirely on its existing customers. So, they deliver a solution for web retail store owners to create data-fueled loyalty programs as unique as their brand. This app is proven to help businesses increase customer retention and sales.
In addition, it’s trusted as a solution for thousands of e-commerce companies worldwide. It enables top-of-the-line rewards programs that can award a specified amount of points for any action taken on the connected website and more.
Image source: Nosto
Nosto helps you personalize the customer experience you deliver. It collects data to analyze shoppers’ omnichannel behaviors and purchases. The world’s leading digital commerce AI can give your website visitors targeted, personalized recommendations based on what trends it recognizes in their behavior.
Top machine engineers, data scientists, and PHDs have been working for the past seven years to continually improve the patented technology. If you want to inspire your customers, this app is well worth looking into.
Image Source: Bronto
Leading the way in e-commerce email marketing, Bronto by Oracle integrates seamlessly with Shopify Plus. The API is versatile with many tools to help you deliver optimized campaigns. You can store customer data and purchase information in the existing CRM, or integrate it with another. Create personalized email campaigns that you can send at the right time, to the right shoppers.
Automation is handled through an easy-to-use drag and drop interface, so most merchants aren’t overloaded with the frustration of learning new, complicated technology.
Image source: Smile
Smile.io is the solution that can help you turn first-time shoppers into lifetime buyers. The app is reward program management made easy. You can design a program your way, then make changes instantly, in real time. Using the system will negate the need for your IT or dev team to work on your promotions by simplifying the processes.
You can view your program member details to see what actions users have taken and see their points balances and other information. A simple reporting dashboard will help you see important customer data that can help influence better future campaigns.
9. Swell Rewards
Image source: Swell
Another great reward platform management platform (created by Yotpo) on the Shopify Plus technology partner program is Swell. Using this app, you can create tailored customer experiences using multiple campaign options. Maximize engagement and enhance your brand with 15 out-of-the-box campaigns that will drive high-value purchase behaviors.
The flexible program logic includes granular campaign settings that enable you to customize your program to your own specific goals. Using the VIP tiers, you can encourage your customers to take actions that drive them up the ladder for higher reward benefits.
Image source: Tapcart
Tapcart will help you retain customers by creating your own aesthetically appealing mobile app. Sync it with your store and experience eight times more sales from customers who download and use your app. Nurture more customer loyalty, improve your buyer retention, and boast about your newfound 26-second average checkout time.
The beauty is that you can design and update your app from anywhere, including your mobile phone. So, change your colors and fonts and upload new content on the go. Leverage built-in oush notifications to get your customers back after shopping. Tapcart integrates with many other e-commerce apps available with Shopify Plus.
Image source: Yotpo
Leverage a full-suite e-commerce solution to create more happy customers and drive more online sales.
- Reviews and Ratings
- Visual Marketing
- Loyalty and Referrals
- Customer Insights
You can use Yotpo to showcase user-generated content (UGC) across your website, easily collect reviews, and display your visual content with reviews to optimize your brand image. In addition, you can Q&A for more detailed product descriptions.
Use your UGC across multiple marketing channels and build loyalty programs that encourage repeat purchases.
Related: Our list of the best Shopify apps on the market.
Service Partners Overview
Shopify Plus service partners are the best of the best agencies and solutions for e-commerce business services. Those who leverage them know they are the smartest options for building their brand.
Service partners work in a wide range of fields.
- Product Development
- Retail Strategy and Activations
- e-Commerce Business Strategy
- Functional e-Commerce Strategy
- Technical e-Commerce Strategy
- Brand Strategy and Identity (Marketing)
Expert agency knowledge assures high-volume sellers the most robust strategies, including customer service, increasing their likelihood of success. Service partners are likely to understand the tools available from technology partners, so they open highly-targeted, specialized doors for online store owners.
What Services are Available?
According to the service partners page on the Shopify Plus website, Between the 127 service partners recommended by Shopify Plus, there are solutions and agencies in 40 countries and 22 industries providing 19 different services.
- 3-D Modeling - Leverage one of five trusted 3-D modeling services to help your business achieve commercial success. In e-commerce, this is a powerful way to compete with the best.
Furniture retailers and others have been using this technology to deliver three-dimensional image representations of what their products will look like in the customer’s home. Work with agencies and solutions that already know your audience and best practices.
- Accessibility Compliance - You should adjust your website for accessibility. Why? Because you create better experiences for customers with disabilities. This fact is just as true as it is offline -- there’s a reason brick and mortar businesses install wheelchair ramps and use braille.
Your digital store is no different. Getting an expert to help you will improve your reputation and brand recognition because you will become more inclusive.
- Automation With Shopify Flow - Being the first ecommerce automation platform to streamline manual tasks, Shopify Flow has become a must-have for high-volume online stores. Integrating your store with the system will free up time for your team so you can focus on the tasks that really matter.
You can even use the platform to track, analyze, and report on how well your automation helps your bottom line. Doing so informs your future automation strategy. You should select a service that understands your needs.
- Brand Strategy and Brand Identity - Customers purchase products because of a story that they have bought into. I believe it was Seth Godin who said something along the lines of, “If we all made purchase decisions based on the truth, everyone would drive a used Honda.”
Your brand identity is your story, and it’s why people choose to purchase from you or click away forever. Shopify Plus’ partner brand services work with companies like you every day and know what it takes to tell a tale of success.
- Business Strategy - Your business strategy is your company’s foundation. It is everything you stand on. All e-commerce companies need a strong business strategy to survive. And, they need to continually make updates based on the insights they receive about their sales.
So, you need to have someone analyze your business plan, from time to time, helping you make adjustments where they are needed. Choose someone you can trust from the Shopify Plus partner program directory.
- Content Strategy and Development - The fundamentals of creating a successful content marketing strategy are complex, to say the least. Many online store owners get this part wrong from the beginning.
One of the best ways to make sure your content is helping you drive sales is to hire an expert. Choose a vetted partner to give yourself the highest chance for success and rest easy knowing you’re making the right moves.
- Digital Marketing Strategy and Execution - Just because your store exists online doesn’t make you a digital marketing expert. After all, the two are not mutually exclusive. It’s important that you work with others who understand this.
Your service provider should see what creates success and what causes failure daily. Use the partner of your choice to ensure the highest chance of increased ROI from your digital marketing efforts.
- Fulfillment Services - Outsourcing the fulfillment process to a third-party vendor can improve your operations by freeing them up from a lengthy returns process and human error on your part. Put someone trustworthy in charge of your order fulfillment so you can focus on running a business without excess stress.
If they’re in the partner program, you can rely on them to live up to their word, otherwise, they wouldn’t be there.
- International Expansion - If you’re looking for an undeniable opportunity to scale your operations, look no further than international expansion. By selling your products overseas, you open new sales channels worldwide.
And, if you implement your ideas with best practices in mind, you’re most likely to see increased sales and profits with your online store. Make the most of your exports and new stores with someone who knows exactly what to do and has proven their expertise.
- Mobile App Development - The development of mobile apps for sales has revolutionized the way people shop. Use an app to send push notifications to your shoppers, provide an enhanced and convenient experience, and watch the sales roll in -- if you do it right anyway.
Find a consultant who works on a daily basis with brands like yours to shine on the Shopify Plus platform. If you get this right, your sales could start to increase faster than you think.
- Ongoing Website Management - You already know that your online store isn’t a “set it and forget it” machine. It requires maintenance. And, the more often you upgrade your website, the better.
Furthermore, not everyone knows the ropes of the inside of Shopify Plus’ e-commerce platform. Since the partner service developers have undergone rigorous scrutiny before being able to join, you are most likely to find a solution with one of them.
- Product Development - When it’s time to come up with new products to sell in your store, you need a lot of information. But, what factors are most likely to bring you success? And, what factors are likely to cause your inevitable failure as an online store? Work with someone who knows so that you don’t have to make a costly mistake.
- Retail Strategy and Activations - Your business strategy should include -- but won’t always be synonymous with -- your retail strategy. While you may end up getting lucky with a business strategist who also has retail strategy expertise, this isn’t always going to be the case. When you need someone to help you determine how you’re going to sell your products, check out the partner program first. This is where you’re most likely to find exactly what you need.
- Systems Integrations - You’re not going to become a high-volume online seller by cutting corners. You will want to use the best quality and most effective tools you can afford. But, you don’t want to get tied into any contracts you can’t uphold, and you shouldn’t have to take risks with your software.
So, find an integration specialist from a trusted source to make the most of your Shopify Plus store operations. Make sure the tools you use are compatible with one another to avoid customer-end hiccups that could destroy your sales.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality - Hand-in-hand with 3-D modeling, virtual and augmented reality can serve you by bringing your products into the customer’s home before they ever make a purchase. Work with someone seasoned with the intricacies of the processes.
- Website Audit and Optimization Strategy - Your website audit and optimization strategy will fall in line with your digital marketing, but won’t always be the same. Instead, sometimes you will need someone to come in and go over your website with a fine-toothed comb to tell you what you could be doing better, and what you’re already doing well.
- Website UX Design and Development - A user experience (UX) designer will audit your website, much like referenced above, but their focus will be on how a customer will experience your site as opposed to search engines, etc. Consult an expert by checking out the partner program directory.
- Wholesale/ B2B - Are your a wholesale or B2B seller who seems to run into the problem that people assume all best practices are suited to B2C operations? If so, you’ll need wholesale and B2B services to keep your strategy on track.
Your market is completely different than someone in retail, so get help with your strategy from someone who knows your audience well. Choose a wholesale specialist to consult with about your operations.
- e-Commerce Strategy - Now, this one should be a no-brainer, and you’ve made it this far, so you’re an expert, right? Well, wouldn’t it be nice to work with someone who is an expert in your niche, on your platform, and knows today’s best practices?
Probably, yes. So, make sure you’re getting the right person by looking in Shopify Plus partner directory first.
Are you ready to grow your Shopify store, or looking to upgrade to Shopify Plus? Learning about the partner options available with the platform will help you make an informed decision. And, there’s more where that came from. Subscribe to the Gorgias newsletter to receive more industry knowledge to help you make the right e-commerce decisions.