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Overcoming the Limitations of Shopify Plus

Overcoming the Limitations of Shopify Plus

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

However it’s in no way excellent.  From giant catalogs to discounting guidelines, there are just a few frequent issues that may frustrate even probably the most stalwart Shopify fan.

On this submit, we’ll discover just a few of the frequent issues and, most significantly, the way to tackle them.

Points with Expansive Product Portfolios 

Downside: Variants Thresholds

Shopify natively helps the creation of as much as three choices per product (i.e. dimension, shade, type) and as much as 100 variants of choices combos; for instance, a mix of size-color-style equals one variant. Every variant has its personal distinctive SKU quantity, picture, worth 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 completely different colours. Every shade shall be created as a person product, and the dimensions may very well be a easy variant.

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

This methodology could require easy code to be applied 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 optimisation.

Entrepreneurs love the setup, and lots 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 comparable to Infinity Choices and Daring Product Choices present alternate 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 very best different.

For example, if the fourth possibility mixture creates a distinct worth or requires a singular 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 velocity and web site Internet Vitals, so the primary workaround possibility is at all times beneficial to begin.   

Workaround 3: Product Lists 

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

Just like the primary resolution examined, variants are created as particular person gadgets and linked to the principle product by means of a unified tag. On this case, the positioning is optimized for fast order performance, giving prospects the flexibility so as to add a number of variants with completely 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 just a few limitations with giant catalog websites. (To be clear, although, most direct-to-consumer manufacturers won’t expertise these points.) Native to Shopify, broad navigation will 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 will be queried on the similar time. On this state of affairs, Shopify received’t present all related filters, and that shall be a difficulty.

Workaround 1: Faceted Navigation and Search 

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

Nevertheless, there may be a couple of benefit to utilizing Algolia; other than faceted navigation, search will be enhanced with AI and behaviorally related outcomes. For large catalogs, on-site search is essential for a powerful person expertise, and a platform like this can generate outcomes by means of 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 area.

Algolia syncs all of the metafields and presents them on the gathering web page as faceted navigation, and the velocity 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 giant catalogs require a fourth degree of navigation to introduce one other layer of subcategory.

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

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

Workaround 3:  Assortment Construction 

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

Odds of dealing with 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 shall be, and for collections, the trail shall be Whereas there’s some concern about whether or not modifying the URL construction can influence search engine optimisation, it has not confirmed to be the case.  

Workaround: Performing a Website Construction Assessment 

The primary concern, nevertheless, must be about transferring from one other platform to Shopify as this forces a brand new URL, and the migration should be dealt with fastidiously. Listed here are some beneficial actions: 

  • Conduct 301 redirects for all hyperlinks (collections, merchandise, pages, blogs) 
  • Hold 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
  • Hold a constant navigation construction with solely minor adjustments
  • Implement correct canonical URLs 
  • Optimize the positioning for search engine optimisation earlier than you launch it

With every migration, count on a drop of site visitors of as much as 5 p.c; nevertheless, this site 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 a vital part to simplifying the navigation, particularly for patrons visiting the positioning by means of 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 will be applied on the product web page and assortment web page by means of metafields, and you’ve got full freedom with formatting and breadcrumbs. 

Points with the Checkout

Downside: Low cost Limitations

Shopify provides a lot of low cost alternate options. Apps like Final Particular Affords present completely different strategies of discounting and promotion which may elevate gross sales efficiency. Nevertheless, stacked reductions and various product pricing creates a discounting problem.

Practically all apps providing discounting capabilities make the most of the Shopify Draft Order API. The identical methodology is used when implementing apps that supply group pricing and worth 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 applied by way of line-item low cost (vs whole cart low cost), and coupon codes don’t work on this occasion. To keep away from this complication, these apps add a “pretend” 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 gives each group/tier reductions and superior cart promotions (i.e. Low cost Field). This app permits the alteration of product costs per completely different teams or portions whereas additionally including computerized cart reductions primarily based on subtotals or cart contents.

As talked about, it is a short-term resolution. The Shopify Plus group not too long ago introduced at its annual convention (Commerce+) the 2022 launch of native B2B capabilities comparable to tariffs and extra superior checkout capabilities.

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

Downside: Checkout Configuration Limitations

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

Though it’s attainable so as to add further fields or customise the design, Shopify doesn’t encourage retailers to do that, as a result of it performs every 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 Circulate to additional customise the UX of checkout by creating conditional logic towards the fee/delivery 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 at all times the choice to construct a {custom} checkout (which is allowed for Shopify Plus retailers).  

Downside: Shopify Cost Assist 

Whereas Shopify permits the sale of CBD merchandise, Shopify Funds doesn’t help them. Along with merchandise that include 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 fee gateway suppliers that may very well be used, there may be an extra 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 Cost gateways that may use the Subscription API in addition to help CBD/THC merchandise pose a significant problem. One of the crucial notable alternate options is Authorize.internet, which may join with quite a few fee 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 non-public portal. This Shopify-built app comes with a handful of first rate 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 suitable.

Workaround: A Wholesale Clone Website

Shopify Plus contains capabilities for 9 further shops inside the similar license. Use considered one of these shops to run the wholesale portal underneath a subdomain, 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 attainable to dam visitor entry by utilizing an app like Locksmith, guaranteeing solely vetted prospects can login and order. It is a far superior resolution than the Wholesale Channel.  

Different Obstacles

Under is a listing of further 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 non-public app for particular performance 
  • Prospects’ passwords can’t be migrated from one other platform and should be reset 
  • Product galleries are restricted to 250 photos (though you may add extra photos by way of metafields)
  • 100,000 whole redirects are supported, a restrict most likely has seemingly by no means been challenged.
  • Present playing cards can’t be imported or migrated (except by means of a {custom} app to port by means of API)
  • Multi-account capabilities (steadily requested however seemingly not within the options pipeline)  

Regardless of some technical limitations, Shopify Plus remains to be the very best and the last 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

Submit by Denis Dyli

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



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