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Shopify Lite: Features, Benefits, and Limitations of Shopify’s Intro Platform

Entering the world of e-commerce can seem like a daunting task. Building an e-commerce platform requires a significant monetary investment. Moreover, it takes time and dedication to create the best site for your products and services.

Investing in a proprietary e-commerce platform represents a prohibitive cost for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Also, third-party subscription e-commerce platforms can cost thousands of dollars to use. As a result, many aspiring entrepreneurs have trouble getting their foot in the door.

Shopify Lite solves that issue.

In this article, we will discuss how Shopify’s introductory platform is a cost-effective and functional alternative for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to build an e-commerce site within their existing social media page or website. We will also discuss how to use Shopify Lite, as well as its features and limitations. 

So, let’s get on with it!

What is Shopify Lite?

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows anyone to build a functional e-commerce site from scratch. Shopify facilitates the process by eliminating the need for coding and web development. Shopify’s platform doesn’t require any specialized knowledge to use. As such, anyone, regardless of technical skills, can use Shopify to build their e-commerce site.

Shopify Lite is Shopify’s entry-level service. Shopify works on a subscription basis. Therefore, users must sign up for one of Shopify’s packages. Initially, Shopify is free to use for 14 days. You can test Shopify’s multiple functions without any restriction during this time. Afterward, you must sign up for one of its plans.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs on a shoestring budget can use this platform easily. Lite costs $9 a month to get started, and allows you to build a simple and effective e-commerce site with a few clicks. 

You can easily integrate Lite’s features to any WordPress or social media site. In doing so, you can sell and take payments directly on your site. This approach facilitates making money only regardless of the products and services you sell.

Who is Shopify Lite for?

This platform is for anyone looking to build an e-commerce site on their existing website, blog, or social media page. It aims to serve small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a highly cost-effective alternative. Nevertheless, anyone new to e-commerce can use this platform to get the ball rolling. 

Overall, Shopify Lite reduces the time and effort needed to create an online payment portal. Additionally, it helps you learn the ropes before you commit to a substantial investment. You can always upgrade your Shopify account later when you need more robust capabilities as your business expands.

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How do you use Shopify Lite?

You can build your e-commerce site using your existing social media or blog by integrating Shopify Lite. In essence, you can create an e-commerce site from scratch in a few hours. 

That’s all there is to it.

Taking online payments is easy with Shopify Lite’s best features. You can quickly integrate Lite into your existing website, blog, or social media page without needing to build a brand-new site from scratch. Moreover, you can take payments in person with the point of sale app. 

To begin, all you need is to sign up. From there, you can register for your free 14-day trial to familiarize yourself with the platform.

What are the top 5 Shopify Lite features?

Lite offers a few of the basic features that come with any Shopify plan. So, let’s take a look at the top five features that come with a Shopify Lite plan:

#1 Shopify Lite offers easy social media integration

The platform works very well with social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. For instance, you can communicate with your customers through Facebook messenger. From there, you can manage sales for your blog, social media page, or website. 

In particular, it works very well with Facebook. You can build a Facebook shop page and sell directly from here. This Shopify Lite feature removes an additional barrier since customers don’t need to leave Facebook and go to your site. They can check it out right from your Facebook page. 

#2 Shopify Lite's "Buy Now" button

Lite allows you to add a “buy now” button in any part of your blog, website, or WordPress site. This feature makes it extremely easy to create a checkout for your site. As such, you don’t need to use any complicated coding applications to create a checkout page. All your customers need to do is hit the “buy now” button to make a purchase.

#3 Shopify Lite's Point of Sale app

Shopify’s introductory platform offers a point-of-sale app. In other words, you can physically take payments anywhere you go. This feature allows you to have a social media page or website and accept payments in person, such as in fairs, markets, bazaars, or any live event. This app is compatible with Android and iOS systems. Therefore, your phone or tablet becomes your cash register.

#4 Great customer support

Shopify offers great customer support. Thus, you can solve any issues you have over the phone, chat, or email. Shopify provides 24/7 support, a robust resource library, and video tutorials. Consequently, you’ll get the help you need to use the platform effectively.

#5 Shopify Lite is extremely affordable

We’ve saved the best feature for last – a very budget-friendly plan at $9 a month. As such, Lite’s pricing makes it easy for anyone building an online e-commerce site on a tight budget.

What are the biggest limitations of Shopify Lite?

This introductory platform does come with some limitations you need to consider before signing up.

#1 No storefront

Shopify Lite aims to integrate checkout and point of sale features into your existing blog, website, or social media page. As a result, you don’t get a brand-new storefront like you would with other Shopify plans.

 While you can integrate Lite into your site using another platform such as WordPress, you won’t have access to the Shopify App Store, and can’t add apps like PickyStory to your site, meaning you may be missing out on revenue. 

shopify lite
Source: shopify.com/lite

#2 You don't get Shopify's best features

Shopify Lite intends to provide you with the essential Shopify features. As such, you get the “buy now” button, customer support, and point of sale app support. Beyond that, you will need to sign up for one of Shopify’s other plans.

#3 Shopify Lite transaction fees can get expensive

While the initial cost of $9 a month is extremely affordable, taking online credit card payments can get pricey. With Shopify Lite, you pay a 2.9% commission plus 30 cents on every transaction. In-person point of sale purchases pay a 2.7% commission only. Thus, you must consider this transaction fee when you determine your product and service pricing.

#4 Limited staff accounts

With Shopify Lite, you only get one staff account. This Shopify Lite feature means that only two people can access the platform (the administrator and one other staff member). This may be a limitation if you have multiple staff members. 

#5 Can't integrate with Twitter or Pinterest

If you’re active on these social media platforms, you may have difficulty integrating Shopify Lite. As such, you can check out the 14-day free trial to see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, you can always cancel your subscription.

When should you upgrade your Shopify Lite account?

This platform is a great way to get your foot in the door of the e-commerce world. However, there will come a time when you may need more robust capabilities. So, here are some criteria to determine when it’s time to upgrade your account to a Shopify Basic Plan.

#1 Upgrade when you need a dedicated storefront

There are times when selling on your blog or social media page may not be enough for your product offering. As a result, you need to build a dedicated storefront. 

#2 Upgrade from Shopify Lite when you need more staff accounts

When you have multiple staff members, you need more staff accounts. As such, upgrading to the Shopify Basic Plan provides you with three staff accounts in addition to the admin account.

#3 Upgrade when you need customized pricing and shipping options

Suppose you offer customized products with bundles, bulk discounts, or specialized shipping rates. In that case, you may need to build a brand-new storefront. At that point, upgrading to a Shopify Basic Plan makes sense.

#4 Upgrade from Shopify Lite when your business is scaling

When your business begins to scale, Shopify Lite may prove insufficient to meet your needs. Scaling businesses usually go for the Shopify Basic or standard Shopify Plans. 

#5 Upgrade when you have international customers

Lite may not meet your needs if you sell to international customers. Multi-language functions, customized storefronts, and international shipping rates need more robust capabilities. As such, a standard Shopify Plan may be your best choice.

Shopify Lite: A simple platform where smaller merchants can get started

Shopify Lite is a great option for anyone looking to get their foot in the e-commerce world. It provides a way to take online and in-person payments when you don’t need a website. Small-scale businesses can benefit from using the point of sales app. 

At $9 a month, Shopify Lite’s best feature is its pricing. As a result, small businesses on a tight budget can benefit from using Shopify Lite’s features. However, expanding businesses need more robust capabilities such as a Basic or Standard Shopify Plan.

If you’re looking to get started in e-commerce, this is a great option for you. However, please note that you may need to upgrade to a more robust Shopify Plan as your business grows.

If you’re looking for more Shopify tips and tricks, check out the PickyStory blog.

Good Luck!

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