How to Use Shopify Lite for Your Small Business
Shopify is arguably the most popular eCommerce platform for small businesses that want to sell their products online. They offer various plans, but their cheapest option is Shopify Lite. This plan costs $9 per month and includes an embedded buy button that allows users to place orders directly on a website or an existing platform like WordPress or Facebook. It's perfect for those looking to sell fewer than 100 products at once!
How Does Shopify Lite Work?
Before we get into the benefits of Shopify Lite, let's talk about how it works. As you can imagine, this isn't a full-fledged eCommerce solution like the standard Shopify plans. Instead, it's a way to add eCommerce functionality if you already have a website but want to start selling products. You can use it as an alternative to other eCommerce solutions like WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
With the cheapest Shopify plan, all you get is the ability to install the Buy Button sales channel on your blog or website. Once this is set up, you'll be able to sell products directly through your site. This means that with Shopify Lite, you won't be able to accept credit card payments via online checkout forms like you would with the more expensive Shopify plans.
Instead, customers will be taken to a Shopify hosted checkout form that they can complete their purchase in. After they've paid, they'll be returned to your existing website, and you'll receive an email notification that someone has made a purchase from your store (along with the details of the order). It's important to note that with Shopify Lite, you do have access to a dashboard where you can track sales and manage inventory. The dashboard is like the one in the regular Shopify pricing plans–you just don't get access to a storefront page within your website when using this plan.
What can you do on Shopify Lite?
With Shopify Lite, you can:
- Add a buy button to an existing blog or website
- Add a Shopify widget to a Facebook page
- Add a buy button to any existing site (whether it's hosted with Shopify or not)
- Host a product on the Shopify platform (with the product description and your checkout on a subdomain of your choosing)
The Buy Button and the Shopify POS Lite sales channels are also included with the Shopify Lite plan. You also receive the following features:
- Overview dashboard
- Finances reports
- Customer profiles
- Order management
- Product management
- Mobile POS and hardware accessories
- Email carts
- QR code product details
- In-store inventory
- Gift cards
- Split bill
- Custom discounts and discount codes
Basically, if you're only trying to sell online in one place, and that place isn't your own standalone website, then you can use Shopify Lite.
Social media selling
Shopify Lite allows you to sell on your favorite social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Plus, you can use a Messenger integration to enable customers to check out via chat on Facebook Messenger. For some people, this is the only way they want to sell online. These tools are great for people who just want to sell a handful of products and don’t need a full eCommerce website.
In addition to selling on Facebook or your website, you also get access to all of Shopify's other features with the Shopify Lite plan. This includes the ability to sell using the Buy Button at in-person retail locations, which is possible with Shopify's credit card reader. However, it's important to note that without a dedicated eCommerce store, your customers will not be able to browse your products outside of Facebook or your website.
Shopify Lite also offers basic reports to track how many items you’ve sold, where those sales came from, and how much money you’ve made (important stuff).
So, what if you want to sell more products? Shopify Lite integrates with Buy Button, so you can create an embeddable button that links to your Shopify checkout page. You can add this button to any blog post or website (like WordPress or Squarespace) and start selling in minutes. This makes it easy for anyone who already has a website to start selling products online.
Who is this for?
If you don't need a website and aren't ready for one yet, this plan is perfect for you, as it allows you to sell all over the web using simple widgets. This can be in places like Facebook, your blog, or any other place online where you can embed an image or video.
Basically, if you are:
- A brand-new company that places a heavy emphasis on social media;
- Small businesses that rely heavily on Facebook and Instagram to generate most of their revenue;
- Enthusiasts who don't want to deal with the hassle of maintaining their own website;
- A blogger that uses their blog to sell things or services on their site or a
- Home-based business;
Shopify Lite might be all you need.
Some businesses prefer to sell only on Facebook or Instagram, so Shopify Lite is the way to go if you're under those same circumstances. This is true for people who create content on their blog or on their Facebook page as well. Unless you plan on selling a lot of things, you don't need an entire Shopify site.
How much does Shopify really charge you?
So, how much does Shopify Lite cost? What can you expect to pay when you sign up?
Shopify Lite gives you a lot of flexibility. It allows you to sell on your website, social media channels, and in person. But there are some key differences between the Lite plan and the standard Shopify plans. The first difference is price.
By this point, you already know that there's a monthly charge of $9 which is what provides you access to set up your products and integrate them on your own website or social media channels.
You won't have to pay anything else until you make your first sale. When you make your first sale, you'll have to pay a fee called a transaction fee. Credit card processors make their money this way, and it's the industry norm.
From there, you'll be charged 2.9 percent + $0.30 for every transaction you make with Shopify Lite so when calculating margins, remember to include the rate for every sale.
In-person sales are assessed at a different rate. And you get to keep a bit more of your money as well. Shopify Lite charges a fee of 2.7 percent plus $0.30 for every sale you make using their platform. Those pennies may not seem like much, but they can add up over time.
When should you use Shopify Lite?
If you already have your own website – If you have a blog or hobby site, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Just add Shopify Lite and begin selling products.
If you want to sell in person – If you want to sell at art shows or craft fairs, then Shopify Lite is perfect for you. All you need to do is get the chip reader and swipe the cards of customers who want to buy your products! You can even sell through Facebook and Instagram with this plan. This is such a great option for those just getting started!
If you already have a large social media following – If your Facebook and Instagram account has more followers than some small towns, then perhaps selling directly from Instagram is a good idea for now. Once things really take off, you can always upgrade!
If you only want to use Facebook for selling online – You can take advantage of the power of social media to sell your products, without paying for a full-fledged eCommerce site.
If you’re adding eCommerce to an existing business – For example, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, or if you have clients who want to sell their products through your company.
If you just need to sell one product (but are planning on selling more in the future) – We recommend this to people who make their own physical products and want to test things out without making too much of an investment. This is also true if you are hosting an event and want to sell tickets online.
If you want to start an online store but aren’t ready for a full shop yet – If you are just starting out, I always recommend starting with a personal account on Instagram or Facebook. Get comfortable selling to your friends and then expand from there as it makes sense for your business. Then when you do want to build a full online store, you can easily upgrade from Shopify Lite.
How does the Shopify Lite plan work?
You can sell your products on social media in three different ways with the Shopify Lite plan:
With Shopify Lite, your store integrates with your existing Facebook Business page, and your products are sold through that page as well as through ads.
With Shopify Lite, you can also sell your products while chatting with consumers on Facebook Messenger. This is a great feature for when a customer is inquiring about which product to buy. Instead of sending them to a website and hoping they convert, you can negotiate a deal straight away.
Customers can explore and buy directly from your Instagram posts. Meaning, any post or story can be transformed into a shopping experience.
For all options, your products will sync seamlessly to your social media platforms, eliminating the need to update content or price in several channels. Changing something in your store's backend will automatically update your posts on social media.
Using Shopify Lite with an Existing Website
As we mentioned earlier, Shopify Lite lets you integrate Shopify’s eCommerce functionality into your existing website.
How it works is Shopify Lite integrates easily with any existing website with the Buy button feature. Let’s say you’ve built a popular auto blog and want to sell car parts or car stickers. You just know your audience will eat this up so all you need is Shopify Lite and a well-placed Buy button.
You can even change the appearance and feel of your Buy button to match your existing theme. The button is also fully responsive, as you'd expect from Shopify. This eliminates the need to worry about how it will appear or behave on mobile devices.
With Shopify Lite, you can integrate a shopping cart onto any website, even if you're only selling one item. It makes your business look and feel more professional, plus it makes it easy for buyers to add several products yet just checkout one time.
And there you have it: Shopify Lite is a low-cost and flexible eCommerce platform for small businesses or individual entrepreneurs to start selling online. Again, it’s not for everyone – the absence of advanced features like branded domains and mobile-specific themes means that larger businesses may still be better off with Shopify Standard or Advanced – but for small businesses just starting out, Shopify Lite will probably do.
Even if you haven't decided yet, you can use Shopify's 14-day free trial to see if it's right for your business. Shopify Lite is a competitively-priced option that may enable anyone to dip their toes into the seas of e-commerce.
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