Reviews

Shopify Lite Review: Is Social Selling All You Need? (August 2019)

Is Shopify Lite all you need to start selling online? You can find the answer in this review of Shopify Lite features, examples and much more!

As people on the world wide web choose to spend more and more time on social media, it makes sense for businesses to start tapping into these channels as an extra stream of revenue. Close to half of the world’s population are on some type of social media today, that’s over 3 billion people.

That’s a lot of customers wistfully surfing the net, and Shopify Lite promises to help people wishing to kick off their ecommerce business find them, and sell to them.

Not only is the Shopify Lite plan inexpensive, but it also promises to turn any Facebook Business page or existing website into a fully functioning ecommerce store. Designed with social selling in mind, Shopify Lite is the ideal option for people looking to add a shopping cart to their Facebook page or an existing blog.

In this Shopify Lite review, we’re diving into the most affordable Shopify plan, focusing on the features it comes with and when you should be using it. We’ve sifted through all the technical mumbo-jumbo and put together a review to answer the age-old question: is social selling all you need?

Shopify banner long ight

What is the Shopify Lite plan?

The Shopify Lite plan is for anyone who already has an existing website or wants to sell products without maintaining a full ecommerce store. It’s the ideal plan for people looking to sell on social media or add a shopping car to an existing blog. It also comes with Shopify’s standard point of sale features, which means you can also use this plan if you want to sell in person at tradeshows, pop-up stores or farmers’ market.

The plan doesn’t allow you to build an ecommerce store, but it comes with Shopify Button (for existing websites), fully integrated Facebook shop, Shopify point-of-sale app and card reader, overview dashboard and financial reports.  

Shopify Lite plan review

The Shopify Lite plan is the most affordable option on Shopify and one of the most affordable options on any other ecommerce platform. For $9 per month, Shopify Lite allows you to embed a shopping cart to any existing website, be it WordPress, Wix or Squarespace. This means your readers and subscribers can enjoy your content and buy your products in one place.

With small stores popping up on social media like mushrooms after the rain, let’s dive into the Shopify Lite plan and see what it can do for you.

Sell on Facebook

The plan comes with a fully integrated Facebook shop, which makes it easy for you to sell your products through Facebook. Shopify Lite also merges with your existing Facebook Business page, creating a Shop tab with product galleries and your own shopping cart on Facebook. The always visible Shop tab is fully mobile-optimized, making sure customers have a shopping experience they want to repeat.

The merge simplifies product management, as all your product information or any changes you make within the Shopify dashboard will automatically sync with Facebook. This way you don’t need to worry about updating availability, pricing, and descriptions manually on both platforms.

shopify lite facebook analytics dashboard

You can change collection ordering only in Shopify and everything will change in Facebook accordingly. Also, one of the best things is when your product becomes unavailable i.e. out of stock. Shopify will automatically remove the item from your shop and notify you.

The Shopify integration comes with a beautiful, simple and functional checkout module within Facebook. This cuts down the steps customers need to make before making a purchase, which can increase revenue. The checkout is secure and gives shoppers the option to save their details for future purchases. This helps to provide a more consistent customer experience, which can help you turn one-time buyers into loyal customers. In fact, 73% of customers admit that customer experience is an important factor in purchasing decisions.

Connect with customers and sell via Facebook messenger

The Shopify Lite plan also comes with a Live Chat module for Facebook messenger. It’s the perfect tool for connecting to your customers and providing customer support whenever they need it.

But it’s not just a chat box; customers can also browse your products and make purchases within the messenger app. With the help of automated responses, customers can receive relevant answers to their questions.

Each response has a call-to-action at the end, inviting shoppers to do things like, read the product description or make a purchase. Once the conversation is over, customers don’t need to go looking for the product on your Facebook page — they can buy it directly from the Facebook Messenger app.

Last but definitely not least, Facebook Messenger will also ensure your customers are in the know after purchase, with automated messages with shipping information, tracking codes and ‘View Order’ buttons.

Sell on your blog or website with Shopify Button

With the Shopify Buy Button you can easily add ecommerce to any existing website, be it Tumblr, WordPress, or your own, by embedding a buy button or a gallery of products with a Shopify checkout to your store. Buttons are customizable to fit any website theme, and shopping carts offer a safe checkout. Get a Shopify developer if needed. You can also keep track of inventory and sales on your Shopify Lite dashboard.

And there are many ways to use the Shopify Buy Button to sell from your website. Here are a few ideas you can try out on your site:

Sidebar: You can start selling from the sidebar on your blog with Shopify Lite. It’s an ideal way to test the waters and see if your readers are interested in your products. You can feature a new exciting product or something that’s already been gaining popularity.

Landing page: You can also add an ecommerce functionality to your landing pages. Simply drop the buy button into your store admin’s generated embed code, and start selling. This is great if you want to sell digital products like ebooks, photography or graphic design.

Within your content: A great way to capture traffic and grab attention is to embed your products directly within your content. You can paste the generated code into your blog, and your button will appear as part of your blog post. Because Shopify Button is customizable, you can also tweak it to match your blog theme and brand colors.

Sell in person anytime, anywhere

If you’re thinking about selling in person at markets, trade shows, exhibitions or pop-up stores — Shopify Lite is for you. The platform offers standard Shopify point-of-sale features, which means users can accept credit card payments via Stripe, PayPal or Square. It also means, that merchants receive a plug and play card reader that they can take on the road with them if they wish to accept payments offline as well as online.

With the POS feature, sellers can accept credit cards, apply discounts, customize taxes, offer to ship at checkout, take gift cards, and even process refunds (if your policy allows it). If anything goes wrong, you can seek help from a dedicated POS team 24/7. The best thing about this? It automatically syncs your inventory across all channels you sell, and you can manage products directly from your Shopify app.

Create invoices and get paid faster

Lastly, Shopify Lite is great if you only process wholesale, custom orders or orders over the phone. It’s the most affordable option for creating invoices and getting paid securely and fast.

Shopify lite invoice setting up

All you need to do is create an invoice, sent it to the customers, and they will pay via Shopify’s shopping cart. It’s not the most revolutionary invoicing tool, but for a small fee you also get access to all the other features, that can help you expand your business.

Create Discount Codes

Shopify Lite plan allows you to create discount codes as well as automatic discounts. The options are pretty flexible and powerful as you can set flexible, a fixed amount, free shipping or buy X get Y discounts. You can also set requirements such as the minimum amount of money people need to spend to be eligible for a discount and much more.

Shopify Lite Discount dashboard

Don’t forget to use this amazing feature on holidays or any special occasions. Perhaps connect with your customers and offer a discount on their birthday or celebrate your shops anniversary by offering free shipping.

Shopify Lite vs. Basic

The main difference between the two plans is this — you can build an online store with Shopify Basic, but not with Shopify Lite. Another big difference is the monthly fee — you can get Shopify Lite for $9 per month, whereas Shopify Basic is $29 per month. Of course, Shopify Basic comes with far more features, like hosting, SSL, customizable website themes, domains, order fulfillment, order management, inventory management and more. It’s packed with powerful features designed to help entrepreneurs create, manage and run their ecommerce business in one place. You also sell on Instagram with the Shopify Basic plan.

Shopify Lite, on the other hand, is stripped back. It comes with a handful of highly desirable ecommerce features, just what you need if you are looking to add an extra layer to your online business. It has incredible features for selling on social, like via Facebook Messenger app, sell products directly within your content, and even take sales offline with a world-class POS system. It’s designed for social selling, and if you already have an audience that follows you, all you need is to give them an easy way to buy your products in places they find you.

Shopify Lite Oberlo

Last but not least, Shopify Lite works in perfect harmony with the most popular drop shipping app Oberlo. Dropshipping is a hassle-free business model, where Oberlo automatically fulfills orders and takes care of shipping and packaging. Sellers import products from suppliers on AliExpress or Oberlo, and only pay once a sale is made — meaning there is no need for a large upfront investment or worry about inventory that doesn’t sell. If a product is not moving, you can remove it from your products list and replace it with something else, at no cost.

Oberlo offers a free plan, which could be ideal for people just starting out. The plan supports 50 products and 50 auto-fulfilled orders per month, and people have access to 1000s of products on Oberlo vetted suppliers and products on AliExpress.

So how does it work?

Oberlo integrates with your Shopify dashboard, from where you can manage all the inventory, pricing and products in one place. Once you sync up your Oberlo and Shopify accounts, you can start searching for products.

You can search for products by category or apply filters like shipping methods, product and supplier ratings to find the best possible option. If you know you’re going to sell notebooks, you can use the search bar and you’ll be browsing top choices in minutes.

You can click on products to see more information, read reviews, and once you find what you’re looking for click the “Add to import list” button and the products will be saved in your profile.

After you complete your search and are ready to start selling, go back to your Oberlo dashboard and navigate to “Import list” option on your dashboard. Once there, you can review all the products you’ve saved, and when you’re happy with your selection, click the “Import to store” button and all your products will be uploaded onto your Shopify Lite dashboard.

Once there, click the “All Products” tab, and you’ll find all your dropshipping products there. All the product information, images, and prices are automatically uploaded from Oberlo. Do make sure you proof-read the descriptions and make changes to pricing to fit with your business.

And you’re ready to start creating product galleries for your blog or Facebook shop. You can create individual product buttons to appear on your blog, or full galleries to sell from within your content. You can start selling products in minutes, without worrying about investing heaps of money. It’s an excellent option if you want to test out the idea of introducing products to your blog or social media channel. This way you’re not losing money, and if you stumble across a product your audience loves — you can make serious cash for the price of $9 per month.

Shopify bnner dark long

Ten Shopify Lite examples

If you’re still wondering how it’s possible to run a successful business at such low costs, or by adding a shopping cart to a blog or Facebook page, here are 10 Shopify Lite examples that will blow your mind.

Facebook

BestSelfCo

Master&Dynamic

Pipcorn

Forage Paper Co

Kirrin Finch

Website & Blog

Biko Jewelry

Pride-bites

Au Lit Fine Linens

Putchipu

Ambrosio bridal & fine jewelry

Is Shopify Lite all you need?

Can you run a successful ecommerce business by simply selling on social media or your blog? Absolutely. Shopify Lite offers compelling features for anyone who doesn’t want to handle a full ecommerce store. You can create beautifully customized checkouts and seamlessly personalized shopping experiences for your customers. You can run your customer support in the same place people browse and buy your products, and get started with minimal investment thanks to dropshipping with Oberlo.

If you do wish to build a home for your brand, and create a full online store — you’re better off with Shopify Basic. It’s a straightforward solution that requires little investment, and it’s all you need to make it. Good luck!

8/10

Shopify Lite

Shopify Lite is ideal for those who are looking to start selling on social media or add a shopping cart to their existing blog. With its powerful Facebook Shop features, automated support via Facebook Messenger, and customized checkout pages -- you’ve got everything you need to make it without the hassle of running a full ecommerce store.

Pros

  • Live customer support via Facebook Messenger
  • Auto sync of product info, descriptions and inventory across all channels
  • Embed product galleries and Shopify shopping cart feature to any existing website

Cons

  • Integration with Instagram only available with the Basic plan
  • Can’t build a full ecommerce store
Founder of Profit Industry. Also CEO & Co-Founder of GetFound XL. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.
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