4 Tips When Choosing Shopify Plus Partners

There are a lot of great Shopify Plus Partners. In fact, we’d say they’re all great. Shopify invests a lot in vetting its partners. There are several requirements, from experience to certifications, to become a certified partner. In fact, there are only about 40 certified Shopify Plus Partners in the US, of which we are proud to be one.

Working in ecommerce for decades, we’ve worked with almost every ecommerce platform available. And although we’re platform-agnostic, Shopify Plus accounts for the majority of our business and, in our opinion, is the best platform out there for most ecommerce businesses.

Shopify Plus enables large enterprises to grow and market with agility and speed, all while having lower overhead costs than any enterprise ecommerce solution of the past. And that, my friends, is hard to beat.

If you’re considering Shopify Plus Partners, this article will guide you through the processes associated with choosing one.

Graphic #2: 4 Tips When Choosing Shopify Plus Partners

How to Choose a Shopify Plus Partner?

1. Distinguish Partners From Experts

To avoid any confusion, we’ll explain the difference between Shopify Plus Partners and Shopify Experts.

As we mentioned above, Shopify Plus Partners are Shopify’s certified enterprise partners that have gone through an intense vetting process, and there are only a few dozen in the U.S.

Shopify Experts, on the other hand, don’t undergo any certification or vetting process, and there are a couple hundred thousand in the U.S.

To be fair, the agencies in this group are recognized by the platform, and they do list a directory of these experts. The process to become a Shopify Expert is relatively easy, and any agency working with the platform can successfully become a Shopify Expert.

If you’re an enterprise looking for a Shopify Partner, make sure that you’re on the Shopify Plus site, looking at their Plus Partner Directory. Within this group, when it comes to choosing a certified Shopify Plus Partner, you really can’t go wrong as far as quality.

Just be sure they’re certified. We’ve seen many businesses advertise themselves as Shopify Plus Partners when, in reality, they’re not. Do your homework!

2. Choose an Area of Expertise Fit

Shopify Plus Partners are a close-knit group. We’re friends with most other Shopify Plus Partners and frequently collaborate or refer business to one another. We’re all very good at what we do, but our specialties are in different areas.

The trick is to choose one that specializes in your specific needs.

Are you looking for a growth and marketing partner like us? Or do you need help with backend integrations or fulfillment solutions?

When looking through the partner database, it may be difficult to distinguish between each Shopify Plus Partner’s specialized areas of expertise, so contact a few companies to discuss your needs.

Alternatively, you can ask Shopify Plus for a recommendation. Their partner managers are intimately familiar with each Shopify Plus Partner’s talents and areas of specialization, so they can guide you in the appropriate direction based on your individual needs.

Shopify Plus Partners, in general, aren’t struggling for business. They’ll be honest with you about their abilities, and if you aren’t a good fit for their company, they’ll refer you to another Shopify Plus Partner who’ll better meet your needs. This process is done frequently.

3. Choose a Personality Fit

There are probably a handful of Shopify Plus Partners that’ll match your specific needs, so the next step is to make sure there’s a good personality fit. Not all Shopify Plus Partners work the same. It’s essential that you don’t skip over this step.

We look for businesses that truly want to partner with us to take their businesses to the next level. We typically work with one of two types of companies.

  • The first are hyper-growth brands, which are young companies experiencing a period of high growth.
  • The second are traditional retail brands that need to improve and streamline their ecommerce businesses. With these companies, we inject speed and relevance into how they’re doing ecommerce to get them to a new level of growth.

You and your Shopify Plus Partner will be working very closely together hopefully for a long time. The work can get intense. You’ll battle looming deadlines, differences of opinion, and multiple ideas fluttering around.

It’s critical that these partnerships are built on the foundations of a solid and healthy relationship. If not, the venture is at risk of falling apart, and your website will suffer as a consequence.

Determine whether you and your Shopify Partner have similar interests and values. If you have a specific business model, ask them if they’ve built a website for that model before.

Find a Shopify Plus Partner that fits with your business stage, culture, and your work style for the best results.


Graphic: 4 Tips When Choosing Shopify Plus Partners

4. Choose a Budget Fit

Finally, ensure that your budget objectives are consistent with the Shopify Plus Partner of your choice. Your investment in your ecommerce store will be determined by the stage of your business. Talk frankly with your possible partners to evaluate what a good investment is for you at this time.

Keep in mind that experience costs more. If you own a high-end store, the stakes are higher with any modifications to your ecommerce experience; thus, you should spend extra to work with a partner who has experience with that type of business. This is for your advantage.

Let’s look at it from another angle: You may be fine with a recently licensed teenager taking you around the neighborhood in a golf cart. But if you’re flying across the Atlantic, you wouldn’t put your trust in this same teenager who recently received his pilot’s license. You’d gladly pay top dollar for an experienced pilot.

The same should be true for your ecommerce store. When the risk is higher, you pay more for experience and security.

Final Thoughts

So, now that you’ve learned a few essentials on how to choose a Shopify Plus Partner, are you ready to take the plunge?

If you keep in mind that the right partner can make a significant difference in the success of your ecommerce business, take the time to do thorough research, and choose wisely, you’re headed for success!

Ready to search for your Shopify Plus Partner? Check out the official Plus Partner Directory, or give us a shout and we can walk you through it.


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