Overcoming the Limitations of Shopify Plus


Overcoming the Limitations of Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus has achieved one thing unimaginable:  it’s introduced enterprise-level eCommerce capabilities to firms on an inexpensive price range.  What used to require complete groups to construct and handle can now be had for only a few thousand {dollars} a month.

However it’s certainly not excellent.  From massive catalogs to discounting guidelines, there are a couple of frequent issues that may frustrate even probably the most stalwart Shopify fan.

On this publish, we’ll discover a couple of of the frequent issues and, most significantly, easy methods to handle them.

Points with Expansive Product Portfolios 

Downside: Variants Thresholds

Shopify natively helps the creation of as much as three choices per product (i.e. measurement, coloration, fashion) and as much as 100 variants of choices mixtures; for instance, a mixture of size-color-style equals one variant. Every variant has its personal distinctive SKU quantity, picture, value and extra attributes.

The problem: what ought to a enterprise do if it has greater than three choices and 100 variants?   

Workaround 1: Grouping Merchandise 

Within the aforementioned case, we cut up merchandise primarily based on choices. Let’s assume your product has 10 totally different colours. Every coloration will likely be created as a person product, and the dimensions might be a easy variant.

On the product web page, group all merchandise of the identical sort with a unified tag, and every coloration will present up as a product swatch. Clients will navigate from one coloration to a different in the identical type as they might from one variant to a different; the distinction on this state of affairs being every coloration is a product with its personal URL.

This technique could require easy code to be carried out on the product web page.

The benefit to this method is that product variants act and function as particular person touchdown pages. Every variant could have its curated content material, picture gallery, meta title and outline to optimize for search engine optimization.

Entrepreneurs love the setup, and plenty of manufacturers (together with GymShark and AllBirds) make the most of it—even when their product choices don’t exceed the 100 variant restrict. In essence, we will flip this limitation into a bonus. 

Workaround 2: Apps

Shopify apps equivalent to Infinity Choices and Daring Product Choices present options to the variant limitation situation, permitting the addition of product choices and variants. Until particular back-office necessities for managing stock exist, that is sometimes the most effective various.

As an example, if the fourth possibility mixture creates a special value or requires a novel SKU, this might complicate the stock administration platform.

One other consideration is that apps impacting front-end performance could negatively have an effect on loading pace and website Internet Vitals, so the primary workaround possibility is all the time really useful to start out.   

Workaround 3: Product Lists 

For B2B eCommerce retailers with massive product choices or complicated variations, product lists could also be the popular technique. As a substitute of utilizing product swatches, every variant is listed as an merchandise with its personal amount field.

Much like the primary resolution examined, variants are created as particular person gadgets and linked to the principle product by a unified tag. On this case, the positioning is optimized for fast order performance, giving clients the flexibility so as to add a number of variants with totally different portions to the cart on the similar time.

This implementation requires some {custom} improvement which any mid-level developer can simply deal with. 

Points with Massive Catalog Group  

Downside: Navigation Limitations

On the gathering web page, there are a couple of limitations with massive catalog websites. (To be clear, although, most direct-to-consumer manufacturers is not going to expertise these points.) Native to Shopify, broad navigation might be managed with product tags.

Product tags are extensively used, and every product can have dozens of tags. In case you have a class web page with hundreds of merchandise, an equal variety of tags might be queried on the similar time. On this state of affairs, Shopify gained’t present all related filters, and that will likely be a difficulty.

Workaround 1: Faceted Navigation and Search 

Fixing this situation will not be sophisticated; platforms equivalent to Algolia are designed for search and faceted navigations. Since merchandise are rendered inside a group by Algolia, this limitation is eradicated.

Nevertheless, there may be multiple benefit to utilizing Algolia; except for faceted navigation, search might be enhanced with AI and behaviorally related outcomes. For large catalogs, on-site search is crucial for a robust person expertise, and a platform like this can generate outcomes by autocomplete and large information analytics in milliseconds. 

Moreover, as a substitute of utilizing product tags, Shopify Metafields can be utilized to construction information extra simply. As a substitute of filtering by “materials” for instance, create a metafield for the fabric and add it as a textual content subject.

Algolia syncs all of the metafields and presents them on the gathering web page as faceted navigation, and the pace efficiency is excellent. For a full rundown on B2B eCommerce structural and strategic suggestions, take a look at the 2022 B2B Ecommerce Playbook.

Workaround 2: Multi-Stage Navigation

Mega menus are sometimes designed for person experiences with three ranges of subcategories. In some circumstances, companies with massive catalogs require a fourth stage of navigation to introduce one other layer of subcategory.

To beat this problem, a number of navigations might be created with three ranges apiece. On this instance, contemplate these ranges to be departments. Now, every division has three ranges of classes and subcategories, giving 4 ranges of navigation in complete. 

With {custom} coding, these navigations might be merged into the mega menu which lists all departments (and may drive down into extra ranges). Though this hasn’t been requested so far, this technique might be used to create five-level navigation, although the group might show difficult.  

Workaround 3:  Assortment Construction 

Whereas the restrict on a handbook assortment is 100,000 (with the potential of being exceeded), the limitation of automated collections is 5,000. That is exceedingly uncommon, however the resolution is straightforward: use automated collections when wanted, and deploy handbook collections for the remainder of the classes.

Odds of going through this limitation are low, nevertheless it’s price noting because it exists.

Points with Technical Difficulties

Downside: URL Construction Limitations 

It’s well-known that Shopify’s URL construction can’t be altered. For merchandise, the area path will likely be area.com/merchandise/custom-handle, and for collections, the trail will likely be area.com/assortment/custom-handle. Whereas there’s some concern about whether or not modifying the URL construction can influence search engine optimization, it has not confirmed to be the case.  

Workaround: Performing a Website Construction Assessment 

The primary concern, nevertheless, needs to be about transferring from one other platform to Shopify as this forces a brand new URL, and the migration have to be dealt with rigorously. Listed here are some really useful actions: 

  • Conduct 301 redirects for all hyperlinks (collections, merchandise, pages, blogs) 
  • Preserve the identical URL key phrases and content material because the “deal with” on Shopify
  • Resubmit the sitemap.xml on Google Console instantly after the migration
  • Preserve a constant navigation construction with solely minor modifications
  • Implement correct canonical URLs 
  • Optimize the positioning for search engine optimization earlier than you launch it

With every migration, count on a drop of visitors of as much as 5 %; nevertheless, this visitors will rebound inside three months after which speed up due to the UX and infrastructure enhancements made by using Shopify capabilities.

Downside: Overly Simplistic Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are an integral part to simplifying the navigation, particularly for purchasers visiting the positioning by an exterior hyperlink or Google Search.

Natively, breadcrumbs are in-built a simplistic means on Shopify whereby the construction is House > Assortment > Product. As acknowledged above, Shopify doesn’t help multi-level classes and that could be a drawback to be addressed.

Workaround: Metafields 

Breadcrumbs might be carried out on the product web page and assortment web page by metafields, and you’ve got full freedom with formatting and breadcrumbs. 

Points with the Checkout

Downside: Low cost Limitations

Shopify affords plenty of low cost options. Apps like Final Particular Affords present totally different strategies of discounting and promotion which might elevate gross sales efficiency. Nevertheless, stacked reductions and diverse product pricing creates a discounting problem.

Practically all apps providing discounting capabilities make the most of the Shopify Draft Order API. The identical technique is used when implementing apps that supply group pricing and value breaks (tier pricing). An issue seems when Draft Order API is used; the checkout web page doesn’t have a reduction field.

On this state of affairs, reductions can solely be carried out by way of line-item low cost (vs complete cart low cost), and coupon codes don’t work on this occasion. To keep away from this complication, these apps add a “faux” low cost code field on the cart web page. 

Workaround: An app…for now

The short-term resolution is to make use of an app that provides each group/tier reductions and superior cart promotions (i.e. Low cost Field). This app permits the alteration of product costs per totally different teams or portions whereas additionally including automated cart reductions primarily based on subtotals or cart contents.

As talked about, it is a short-term resolution. The Shopify Plus workforce just lately introduced at its annual convention (Commerce+) the 2022 launch of native B2B capabilities equivalent to tariffs and extra superior checkout capabilities.

As a result of this has been a long-term request from retailers and companions, we consider it will likely be a precedence for the Shopify Plus workforce to launch.

Downside: Checkout Configuration Limitations

Checkout.liquid file is offered for all Shopify Plus upon request and permits the customization of checkout (to a sure diploma). Whereas it’s true the cost steps can’t be altered, the feel and appear of the web page might be modified freely.

Though it’s doable so as to add extra fields or customise the design, Shopify doesn’t encourage retailers to do that, as a result of it performs day by day assessments and scores all websites to optimize the checkout course of.  

Workaround: Scripts and Customization

As well as, Shopify Plus retailers have entry to Scripts and Circulation to additional customise the UX of checkout by creating conditional logic towards the cost/transport choices for sure buyer teams, behaviors or cart content material.

Granted, there are uncommon case situations that may’t be accommodated by way of Shopify Checkout, however there’s all the time the choice to construct a {custom} checkout (which is allowed for Shopify Plus retailers).  

Downside: Shopify Fee Help 

Whereas Shopify permits the sale of CBD merchandise, Shopify Funds doesn’t help them. Along with merchandise that comprise CBD/THC, Shopify might also not help some complement classes that it considers “pseudo prescription drugs” that are in opposition to its phrases of service (TOS).

Whereas there are different cost gateway suppliers that might be used, there may be a further problem to be thought of: virtually all manufacturers promoting CBD/THC merchandise use platforms like ReCharge Funds to allow subscription capabilities. 

Workaround: Authorize.internet 

The restricted choices of Shopify Fee gateways that may use the Subscription API in addition to help CBD/THC merchandise pose a serious problem. One of the crucial notable options is Authorize.internet, which might join with quite a few cost service provider companions (underlying banks) to course of any sort of transaction.

Downside: Wholesale Channel Portal Design 

Wholesale Channel is commonly the go-to resolution for processing wholesale orders by way of a personal portal. This Shopify-built app comes with a handful of respectable functionalities, and the value listing engine works successfully. Nevertheless, the UX of the portal is unchangeable and primary; there’s little customization and, above all, Shopify Scripts at checkout usually are not appropriate.

Workaround: A Wholesale Clone Website

Shopify Plus contains capabilities for 9 extra shops inside the similar license. Use one among these shops to run the wholesale portal underneath a subdomain wholesale.area.com, then customise the UX/UI of the wholesale portal as desired, utilizing all Shopify On-line Retailer capabilities, apps, and third events as if it was a D2C storefront.

It’s even doable to dam visitor entry through the use of an app like Locksmith, guaranteeing solely vetted clients can login and order. This can be a far superior resolution than the Wholesale Channel.  

Different Obstacles

Beneath is a listing of extra limitations incurred over the previous 10 years of working with Shopify. Nevertheless, none of them are regarding sufficient to cease retailers from utilizing it.

  • There are some API limitations to notice if constructing a personal app for particular performance 
  • Clients’ passwords can’t be migrated from one other platform and have to be reset 
  • Product galleries are restricted to 250 pictures (though you may add extra pictures by way of metafields)
  • 100,000 complete redirects are supported, a restrict in all probability has doubtless by no means been challenged.
  • Present playing cards can’t be imported or migrated (except by a {custom} app to port by API)
  • Multi-account capabilities (ceaselessly requested however seemingly not within the options pipeline)  

Regardless of some technical limitations, Shopify Plus continues to be the most effective and the final word platform to enterprise and develop a D2C or B2B eCommerce enterprise. There are some limitations however virtually all of them are solved with workarounds or superior apps.

Denis Dyli

Publish by Denis Dyli

Denis Dyli is the founder and CEO of PIVOFY, a Chicago-based internet collective targeted on Shopify Plus eCommerce technique, design and execution. Pivofy has been acknowledged as a number one Shopify companion and is a top-ranked agency by Clutch. Over the previous decade, Dyli and Pivofy have delivered greater than 100+ eCommerce websites, lots of which had been re-platforming efforts. 


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