Shopify Plus roundup Blue Stout

Shopify Plus Roundup: Why Hyper-Growth Ecommerce Brands (and the Kardashians) Run on Shopify Plus

by Jenna Compton
August 17, 2016

Shopify Plus is the platform on the tip of the industry’s tongue right now:

They’re making waves and customers are jumping ship on their old platforms to join the Shopify Plus ranks.

The reason is simple: they’ve come up with an all-around better enterprise ecommerce platform product. With a strong focus on quality and efficiency, the Shopify Plus team is quickly becoming the leader in the enterprise platform space. They provide:

  • A hosted store so you don’t have to worry about servers, uptime, and being able to handle a large traffic spike
  • A solid and well-documented API so integrations and customizations are straightforward
  • An easy-to-use platform for your marketing team
  • A well-thought out default UX design (think: smooth checkout from Day 1 and mobile-responsive from Day 1)

You can read more about why we think Shopify Plus is a great solution here.

But for the purposes of this article I’m going to take a look at some of the top-performing ecommerce websites that are running on Shopify Plus and break down why I think the solution meets their needs.

So I hate to start this off with a Kardashian (er, Jenner?), but I promise it’s relevant:

Kylie Cosmetics Survives The Madness of Surge Traffic with Shopify Plus

Kylie Cosmetics Shopify Plus

If you follow (willingly or unwillingly) the Kardashian clan, you know that everything they touch seems to turn to gold.

When the youngest of the crew, Kylie Jenner, launched her “Lip Kit” product (a liquid lipstick plus liner bundle) – it turned to gold and then some.

One of her most recently new $29 products sold out within 7 minutes of being released on her website.

Other Lip Kit launches have seen up to 100,000 unique visitors ten minutes prior to a launch, then doubled at the exact launch time. (source)

With that many website visitors, Kylie better be 100% confident that when she takes to Snapchat to announce the launch of a new color, that her platform is going to support the surge. The site hasn’t been without its problems during previous product launches, but Shopify Plus has not only supported the brand through their issues, but has one-upped and improved the overall shopping experience.

Check out this video of one a recent Lip Kit launch and the customer feedback she got real-time on how her site experience has improved:

Even if your brand doesn’t have the traffic surges that Kylie may experience, the important takeaway here is that Shopify Plus will handle a traffic surge, even if it’s not as full-blown as a Kardashian-driven launch.

Bombas Switched to Shopify Plus to Cure Their Growing Pains

Bombas Shopify Plus vs. Magento

You may know Bombas socks from their Shark Tank episode where they got a deal with investor Daymond John. Since then, the performance sock brand has steadily been growing ($300,000 in 2013, $1.8 million in 2014, $4.7 million in 2015, and the company is projected to do between $7-$8 million in 2016). (source)

They have grown from a brand doing 500 transactions a day to 4,000+ transactions a day. Obviously, they’ve grown and are still growing quickly. But their website just couldn’t keep up.

Bombas previously ran on the Magento ecommerce platform and were seeing delay times of up to 2.5 weeks for a fix to be built, tested and launched (not to mention a $150,000 price tag). Plus, they were paying thousands in server maintenance to prevent their site from crashing.

The founders describe their Magento site as a “horse and buggy” setup: “The bigger the buggy we built, the more horses we needed and the more expensive it got just to keep from crashing.” (source)

Moving to Shopify Plus doesn’t mean your site will be 100% bug-free. What it does guarantee, though, is an alleviation from your worry about servers, uptime and scalability.

Not having to focus on costly fixes will allow your company to grow as needed. Accepting more orders won’t be a problem. Adding a new website feature won’t take so long. And repurposing the money you would’ve spent on a bug fix will launch you into a growth trajectory.

Just think about how you can use the budget you’re currently spending on a buggy platform.

Bombas estimates that their switch to Shopify Plus from Magento will save them six figures this year! (source)

If you’re in a similar situation, you should consider the inefficiencies of your current platform and do an estimation of what a replatform could save you in annual costs. (Check out our replatforming ROI estimation table here.)

Stowaway Cosmetics Lets Customers Build Custom Makeup Kits with Shopify Plus

Not too long ago, I wrote a blog post roundup of brands running on the Spree Commerce ecommerce platform. Stowaway Cosmetics was one of the companies I profiled.

A fast-growing NYC-based startup in the beauty industry, Stowaway Cosmetics really needed the support of a platform to support their unique website needs. They have an “Essentials Kit builder” that is a crucial element of their user experience and has a very high conversion rate, according to co-founder Julie Fredrickson.

Stowaway Cosmetics kit builder Shopify Plus

However, they were beginning to experience some hiccups with Spree Commerce and realized that their deep customization needs extended beyond what Spree Commerce could provide.

So they turned to Shopify Plus.

One of Shopify Plus’s best features is Scripts, which allows developers to ‘enter’ Shopify’s servers and create their own customizations.

By utilizing custom scripts you can greatly reduce the time and costs associated with building your customizations, and balance the needs of your business with those of your customers. Scripts gives you advanced custom functionality without compromising flexibility or maintainability.

That means any customization you build with scripts will run on the server and integrate with the platform in a seamless way. Because Scripts run within Shopify’s environment (unlike apps), they also have the advantage of achieving tasks without resorting to workarounds that can lead to even larger headaches elsewhere. (source)

So if your store has some deep customization needs like a Stowaway’s kit builder, you can absolutely still accomplish that type of custom development with Shopify Plus.

Mizzen + Main Builds High-Converting Product Pages with Shopify Plus

Another customization need that some ecommerce platforms fail to meet is designing parts of your website exactly how you want them to look in order to perform the best.

Men’s apparel brand, Mizzen + Main runs on Shopify Plus and has proven that you can build the perfect product page on this platform:

product page design Shopify Plus Mizzen + Main

On their product page, Mizzen + Main has so many elements that are great for conversions:

  • A fit guide: builds trust and squashes any doubt a customer may have about how the product will fit them
  • A “free shipping’ notice very near to the “Add to Cart” button which acts as a purchase incentive
  • Informative icons: they provide information about the product in an attractive way, but also engage the user with a rollover effect. Educating your customer as much as you can about the product increases conversion rates from the product page.

Of course, Mizzen + Main do a lot of other things right, too outside of their design. You can learn about those tactics here. But they’re a great example of showing how Shopify Plus performs in allowing front-end customization.

Before You Jump Ship, Make Sure Shopify Plus is Right for You

Learning about all of these brands who run on Shopify Plus is just the start.

Think long and hard before making the jump yourself…

Thinking through each step of your replatforming process beforehand will provide so much clarity around your platform choice.

We put together a Shopify Plus resource bundle to help guide your initial steps in migrating. Download it to kickstart a conversation with your team.

Also, check out this post for a step-by-step tutorial on migrating to Shopify Plus from your existing platform.

shopify plus bundle download

From the biggest pitfalls to the billion dollar success stories, we help ecommerce entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Subscribe to get it all.
Jenna Compton Jenna is our Director of Marketing and provides regular contributions to the blog. When she's not reading about business, she can be found running, drinking good coffee, and fiddling with projects.