Shopify has been one of the easiest platforms to launch and scale a 6-figure e-commerce store since the early days. And if you are just starting out they offer 2 of the best starter plans – Shopify Lite and Basic.
But how does Shopify Lite vs Basic plans compare and are they good enough to launch your e-shop?
That and a lot more – you will find in this review!
What to Expect from This Lite vs Basic Plan Review
Shopify launched what they call Shopify Lite nearly 5 years ago.
And weirdly enough there is not that much info about this plan on Shopify’s site.
So, we decided to test it and let you know how it performs.
With Shopify Lite you can turn your website or blog into an e-commerce store for only $9 a month.
Or as they say –
“Start your dream business for less than the price of a movie”
With such pricing – we had to take both of these plans for a “Spin”.
So, we decided to do a Shopify plan comparison and compare Shopify Lite vs Basic.
And now you will be getting the good, the bad, and the ugly of these 2 plans.
As we have helped multiple Shopify stores to reach 6-figures and have built several Shopify stores on our own – you will learn some tips and tricks only experienced Shopify users might know.
To begin, here’s the breakdown of topics you will find in this article:
- What’s Shopify Lite all about and is it enough to launch an e-commerce empire?
- Who should and who shouldn’t use Shopify Lite
- What are the other costs you need to be aware when launching an e-shop using Shopify Lite
- Shopify Lite Pricing & Transaction Fees
- Pros and Cons of Shopify Lite Plan
- How it compares with other e-commerce platforms
- Why would I use Shopify Lite when Facebook allows selling products for Free?
- What’s Shopify Basic Plan all about and can you hit 6-figures with this plan?
- Who should and who shouln’t use Shopify Basic
- Pros and Cons of Shopify Basic Plan
- The good, the bad, and the ugly
- Shopify plan comparison – Shopify Lite vs Shopify Basic Plan
- Why having your own website is important?
- How to upgrade once you decide to step up your game
- How to get started with Shopify Lite?
- Using Shopify Lite With Your Own Website
- Compatible Blog platforms and using the buy button in your posts.
- How to sell on Social Media – Facebook and Messenger
- How to attract the first paying customers and start selling with Shopify Lite
Basically, we’ll cover everything you need to know.
After reading this review, you’ll know is Shopify Lite Plan good enough?
Or perhaps you should upgrade to Shopify Basic Plan straight away to attract your first paying customers?
So, let’s dig in.
Overview of The Review
To keep things short – here’s the summary of all the features each Shopify’s plan has to offer.
Before we take a deep-dive and compare Lite vs Basic plans from A to Z, we summarized the findings in this table.
You can thank me later 😉
9 USD per month
29 USD a month
E-commerce store where to sell your products
Shopify Lite doesn’t offer a website where to sell products
Embed Buy Button with Your Products
Embed products on Weebly, WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace
Use the Checkout feature that the world trusts
Unlimited Products and Files
Live chat, phone number, instant support
Live chat, phone number, instant support
Ability to Sell on Social Media
Sell only on Facebook and Messanger
Sell on Facebook, Messanger, Instagram, and Pinterest
Manual Order Creation
Discount Codes & Gift Cards
Payment Integrations and Quick Checkout
Fraud Analysis System
Point of Sales System
Accept in-person payments with all plans
Currency exchange rates and calculations
133 different currencies available
Plugins and App Store
There are more than 2,500 Apps and growing (most cost extra)
Nonetheless, if you need more information to make the decision – feel free to keep on reading.
We leave no stone unturned and review these 2 plans as thoroughly as it’s humanly possible.
Test every feature.
What is Shopify Lite all About?
First things first, let’s start with a Shopify Lite Plan review.
Here’s a bit of the background.
Shopify Lite Plan is Shopify’s cheapest plan and it’s pricing is designed to be affordable to anyone who wishes to launch an e-commerce store.
Shopify was founded in 2004 by Tobias Lütke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake. It started as a snowboard online shop before it became en e-commerce platform.
Lütke realized that other people could use their platform and create their own online shops, and that is how Shopify was born. The e-commerce platform that we know today was launched in June 2006.
Please note that Shopify Lite is NOT a website builder.
But here’s what it does –>
At $9/month, it’s an inexpensive option that gives you basic e-commerce functionalities which are:
- Selling Products on your existing website or blog through a buy button
- Selling products on Facebook and Messenger
- Selling in-person with the Point-of-Sale app
Additionally, it provides a comprehensive platform to manage your business and inventory. You can create discount coupons and consult sales analytics through your dashboard in a couple of clicks. Track customers and set up automatic invoices.
For $9 bucks, it sound’s like a great deal right?
Well, maybe, but not for everyone.
You might find these functionalities limited once you start growing your business.
But there’s a solution to that too!
If your goal is to make 6-figure sales regularly you can upgrade to Shopify Basic Plan at any time.
Shopify Lite was built with scaling in mind, so you can add more features as your business grows.
Who Should use Shopify Lite?
So, now that we know what the Shopify’s cheapest plans features are, let’s see who should be using it.
The Shopify Lite plan is for anyone who wants to sell products without managing a full e-commerce store:
- It’s an ideal option for new businesses that want to start selling products on Facebook.
- If you have an existing website or blog, it can be a great way to convert sales just by adding a simple shopping cart.
- You can also sell your products while chatting on Messenger with your customers, instead of redirecting them to your website.
In other words, it’s an awesome tool for quick sales and conversions!
Note: What you will not get here is access to the Shopify website creator.
If you need to set up an online shop from scratch, you will need to upgrade to Shopify Basic Plan for $29/month – when comparing Shopify Lite vs Basic Plan, this is the main reason that sets these 2 apart (here’s how Shopify Lite vs Basic compare to each other).
So, those that don’t have a website or blog, will have to settle with selling products through Facebook or Messanger.
That’s the big caveat, although, it depends on your needs.
If you have only a small number of products or sell a single service, the Lite plan might just do the trick.
After all, when starting out you are trying to cut costs at all fronts. The cheapest Shopify plan might be the sweet spot for you to launch your shop.
But before you take out the credit card, you should be aware that every e-commerce charges more than just the fixed subscription. So, let’s check out these extra costs next.
Other costs to be aware of when using Shopify Lite
Like other e-commerce platforms, Shopify is notorious for adding extra costs to your monthly bill.
But who isn’t?
At least they are open about that.
And here are the fees you should expect to pay for the Shopify cheapest plan:
- 2.9% + $0.30 for online sales
- 2.7% +$0.00 for in-person sales
- An additional 2% fee if you are using other providers than those from Shopify Payments.
Shopify Payments Fees
Shopify Payments are considered first-party payment methods supported by Shopify. You can check this list to see if your country is covered by the service.
If it isn’t, you will have to add alternative payment methods in your Settings->Payment Providers and pay the extra 2% fee on every transaction.
Additionally, when accepting payments in a different currency from your payout currency, a currency conversion occurs. After the currency conversion fee has been calculated, it is included in your customer’s price as a premium.
On top of that, your selling platform can be upgraded with a large number of apps that are at your disposal. But, if you are looking into using the cheapest Shopify plan, chance is, you are using it to save a few bucks.
Most apps aren’t free, and while they can give you a better experience, you should keep them at a minimum to avoid extra costs. Forget about adding that newsletter subscription form, and focus on what’s important instead: selling your products.
There will be plenty of time to add plugins and apps that improve your customers’ experience once you start growing your business.
Shopify Lite Benefits
In this Shopify Lite review, this is probably the most important section.
Seriously consider the cons and if it’s a deal-breaker – The Shopify’s basic plan will be a lot better pick.
While there are other e-commerce platforms out there, none of them comes close to the pricing for Shopify Lite (a.k.a. the Shopify cheapest plan).
Nonetheless, The Lite plan is the best at what it does.
Your main reason for using Shopify Lite Plan is to sell products, and do it quickly, right?
So, it’s a stepping stone toward starting your online store and making a name for yourself.
Competitors like WooCommerce, Wix, and many others focus on building beautiful websites and stores and their plans are much more expensive.
Shopify Lite doesn’t.
Instead, it focuses on converting as many people into paying customers by requiring the least clicks to pay and checkout.
That’s also where the Shopify Lite plan excels.
And now the million-dollar question.
This is one of the main concerns from people who are seriously considering trying the Lite plan.
Facebook allows selling products for Free – Why use Shopify Lite?
The answer is simple.
Facebook doesn’t really allow you to sell products.
Even though the Facebook Marketplace sounds like something where you would make sales, it’s not.
In truth, it’s far from being a true e-commerce platform.
You can’t buy or sell products on Facebook:
- You can list them and customers can get in touch with you to arrange payment or negotiate the price.
- Payment processors aren’t supported.
- No shopping cart, no tax calculation, nothing that you expect to see as a seller.
So if you are serious about beginning your online shop, just skip the Facebook Marketplace option (or do both) and get Shopify’s cheapest plan – Shopify Lite.
Now that you know what to expect on your bill, let’s continue our Shopify Lite review with the main pros and cons of the platform.
Shopify Lite Pros and Cons
To summarize this Shopify Lite review – gotta love Pros and Cons lists.
And we have exactly that!
Here are all the Pros and Cons of the Lite Shopify Plan in one place.
This should help you conclude if the Shopify Lite plan is the right choice for your business 😉
1. Shopify Lite Pros:
- Easy setup – get your shop running in 10 minutes!
- Dirty Cheap
- Unlimited sales
- Predictable pricing
- Easy to scale
- Supports PayPal payments
- Direct sales in messenger
- Requires the least clicks to pay and checkout
2. Shopify Lite Cons:
- No website or store creator
- Limited features for bigger stores
- Needs an existing website or Blog
- Fees can build up if you aren’t covered by Shopify Payments
What is Shopify Basic Plan all About?
Now, if you are ready to build your website – let’s review Shopify Basic.
In short, if you have decided to switch from Shopify Lite or know you need a website – Shopify Basic is your answer.
It’s a high-converting e-commerce website builder that will help you kickstart your e-commerce empire.
And here’s what it offers:
- Online store builder – ecommerce site, blog, and as many pages as you might need
- Unlimited amount of products
- 2 staff accounts
- 24/7 support – that’s super responsive
- Sales channels – option to sell on online marketplaces and Facebook
- In other words, Shopify Lite is also included in the Basic plan 😉
- Even more, while Shopify Lite is lacking the Instagram integration, Shopify Basic has it.
- Free hosting and free SSL certificate that normally costs cash
- Other cool features – option to assign inventory to retail stores, manual order creation, discount codes, gift cards, professional reports, and 3rd party shipping rate integrations (there is actually more ;).
- A ton of apps that can be added to your store for whatever you need.
In short, that sums it up.
More or less Shopify Basic is a starting ground to build a beast of a e-com store.
It’s ideal for anyone who’s ready to become serious and start an e-commerce business selling your own or other’s products.
Shopify Basic Pros and Cons
At this point, Basic Shopify Plan might seem like an answer to all your questions..
..well, it is not.
We just have to be honest with y’all.
Like with everything in Life also the basic plan has some flaws and here they are.
So here are the pros and cons of Shopify Basic plan:
1. Shopify Basic Pros:
- Easy setup – get your shop running in 10 minutes!
- Helps to create beautiful websites
- The conversion rate is very high
- It’s still cheap
- Easy to scale
- Supports PayPal, Stripe, Apple, Google, and a ton of other payments
- Direct sales in messenger
- Requires the least amount of clicks to pay and checkout
- Shopify Point of Sale or POS system allows retailers to use Shopify as a retail management system:
- In other words, offline and online sales will be managed by one platform
- Support is super responsive
2. Shopify Basic Cons:
- Fees can build up if you aren’t covered by Shopify Payments
- 90% of Apps cost extra
- Themes cost extra but there are a lot of Free themes
- If you want to edit HTML & CSS – it’s easy to break things but support can help to fix the issues
- If you have a multiple currency store – it can be hard to manage this side of the store
To keep it short, this covers the most important aspects of the Shopify Basic review.
If you are not among the 1% of the e-commerce stores that are competing with Amazon, I am sure, Shopify is a great option.
Next, let’s see how these two plans compare when we – well, yeah compare them.
Shopify plan comparison – Shopify Lite vs Shopify Basic
When comparing Shopify Lite vs Basic Plan – here are the differences and the similarities.
For example, transaction fees are the same.
Nonetheless, it’s important to understand that it lacks a couple of important features.
So, let’s dig in and compare these two.
The Nots – What Shopify Lite is Missing
The first missing feature is Instagram integration.
You will need to subscribe to Shopify Basic to get that (to be clear, Shopify Lite doesn’t have it).
Selling directly on Instagram is quite in demand given the popularity of this social network. It helps you showcase your products to your followers and keeps them updated with promos through posts and stories.
The second and major difference between Shopify Lite and Basic Plan – is the access to the website creator.
This is a powerful tool and has a huge hidden advantage: fully controlling your e-commerce.
So, if you need a website creator – Shopify Basic might be the best choice.
The third thing that Shopify Lite doesn’t have is option to call Shopify support but you have an email and chat support that in most cases will get the job done.
So, there you have it – this is how these two is different.
The Havs – What Shopify Basic and Lite have in common
Thinking of things you will be missing?
Think again 😉
Because there are a ton of features that Shopify Lite and Basic have in common:
- Shopify Lite (and Basic) will allow you to sell on Email, Facebook, WordPress, Squarespace, and even Tumblr.
- You can accept credit card payments.
- And of course, PayPal integration is also there.
- Sell as many products as you want.
- Create invoices.
- Access podcasts, marketing tips, and free resources to help you grow and scale your e-commerce store.
- Keep your inventory synchronized between all your channels.
For your first online store this is quite good, huh?
In a way, this will get you started in no time.
So now, the most important part – how to get started:
- If you want to start with Shopify Lite – we’ll explain how to get your store up and running (on your blog, social media, etc.)
- And then you will learn how to switch from Shopify Lite to Basic.
- In case you want to simply start with Shopify Basic – click the attached URL.
Let’s make it happen.
How to get started with Shopify Lite?
There are two main ways you can use the Shopify Lite platform online:
- You can use Shopify Lite buy Button on your own website or blog
- Or You can use Shopify Lite to start your social media empire (on Facebook or Tumblr).
Whichever it is, here are the guides.
How to use Shopify Lite Buy Button With Your Own Website or Blog
If you already have a website or blog, you can use the Buy Button option in your Shopify Lite platform to monetize them instantly.
Creating a button is easy and intuitive and you can even add an embedded shopping cart for multiple product purchases.
So, to get the best deal and signup to Shopify – click here.
In a couple of clicks, your customers will be able to choose their product, and checkout without ever leaving your page. Shopify Lite Plan provides a fluid shopping experience, seamlessly increasing conversions and increasing sales.
Compatible Blog platforms
Other than plain HTML for your existing website, the Buy Button is fully supported by three different blogging platforms:
Creating a buy button for your website or blog
So, let’s get started.
Here’s how to use Shopify Lite button.
You don’t need to be a coding wizard to understand how it works. So, let’s go through the steps:
Step 1 – Make sure you have at least 1 product in your product list. If you don’t create one and complete all the necessary info for that product.
Step 2 – Click on the “Buy Button” tab on your dashboard and proceed to click on “Create a Buy Button”.
Step 3 – Select “Product Buy Button” and the product that you want to create the button for.
And then select the product you want to sell via Shopify’s lite button:
Step 4 – Customize the appearance and action of the button to match your blog template the best you can. You can also customize your shopping cart in this step.
Step 5 – Click Next and you will be presented with the code. Copy it, embed it on your website or blog and start selling!
For optimal compatibility, check out this detailed guide on how to embed your button on the different supported blog platforms.
And in case, you are ready to get Shopify Lite for your own website, hit the button from below:
How to sell on Social Media with Shopify Lite – Facebook and Messenger
The other big advantage of Shopify Lite is the ability to create your own Facebook store. You can list all your products and your followers can directly buy them there, without ever leaving your page.
Check these great examples of Facebook Store pages made with Shopify:
Shopify Lite Example Store 1:
Shopify Lite Example Store 2:
Shopify Lite Example Store 3:
Pretty coool, huh?
So, in some cases Shopify Lite might be all you need 😉
How to make Facebook store and sell with Shopify Lite
To get started, make sure that your store meets the requirements for selling on Facebook, that you have a Facebook Page for your business, and you understand Facebook’s policies.
Here’s how to quickly set up your Facebook Shop with Shopify Lite:
Step 1 – Click on the Facebook Shop tab
Step 2 – Make sure your page is published beforehand
Step 3 – Connect the Facebook account you want associated with your products:
Step 4 – Go to Facebook Shop > Account then Click Connect account. Follow the instructions to complete connecting your page to your shop.
Step 5 – Wait for Facebook to review your store, which can take up to 48 hours. You will be notified by email and in Shopify when Facebook finishes the review process.
Check out this video that shows how to manage your Facebook Shop in Shopify:
Connecting your Facebook Messenger to Shopify Lite
To utilize your Facebook integration to it’s fullest, the last step is to connect your Messenger app.
Just click on the Messenger tab in your dashboard, and connect the page you wish to use it with.
This will allow to send shopping links instantly while chatting with your customers, considerably increasing your chances of making a sale.
Last but not least, Facebook Messenger will also ensure your customers are in the know after purchase. You can send them automated messages with shipping information, tracking codes and “View Order” buttons.
Here’s a short video showcasing how the messenger feature works:
So now that you have your Shopify Lite account set up and your Facebook Shop up and running, the next step is to upgrade to Shopify Basic 😀
Well, not quite yet.
At least, that doesn’t happen over-night.
But you should know how to do that 😉
How to upgrade from Shopify Lite to Shopify Basic
It’s time to make your e-commerce store?
Or let’s just imagine we are making solid amount of money and we need Shopify Basic to 10x our earnings.
Which ever it is – it’s time to start with Shopify Basic.
To get the best Shopify deal – click the URL.
Here’s how to upgrade from Shopify Lite to Basic Plan once you’ve decided you need more from your Shopify platform:
Step 0 (if you need to signup to Shopify) – Enter your email and get an extended Free Trial with Shopify
Then check your inbox for an email from Shopify.
And the next steps and nearly the same no matter if you upgrade from Shopify Lite or are creating Shopify Basic store as the first time user.ep 1 – Go to your settings Pannel and choose plans and Permissions
Step 2 – In the plan details tab select “Compare Plans”
Step 3 – Add a credit card in your payment options
Step 4 – Choose the Basic plan
Step 5 – Select the length of your Subscription Click on “Start Plan”
Step 6 – Confirm your payment
Your account will be automatically upgraded and you will gain access to the website creation wizard instantly.
Keep in mind that you can upgrade to even more expensive plans in the future as your business grows. Their most important perk being reduced transaction fees. This is important as once you start making a lot of sales, your main expenses will be coming from these fees. It goes without saying that reducing them will be your priority.
How to attract your first paying customers
So the decision was made between Shopify Basic vs Lite Plans and it’s time for marketing.
& to get started, check out some of the expert tips on how to start advertising your e-commerce for free.
From our experience, these strategies work like a charm 😉
1. Use Forums
Try to find your niche clientele and their social media hangouts. Advertise your page and talk about your products and services to get more visits. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
2. Use Reddit
Reddit is one of the most popular communities in the world. There are tons of subreddits where you can reach people looking to buy something. We recommend you check out Shut Up And Take My Money or INEEDIT subs, each one with over 500k members.
3. Join Relevant Facebook Groups
Depending on your products and services, search for Buy and Sell groups on Facebook. Groups like Online Selling are a great place to start. Here are some guidelines on how to share your products in these groups that will help you get some sales:
- Post strong photos – a picture tells a thousand words. Showcase your products with awesome snapshots.
- Write good descriptions – honest and concise descriptions will attract more buyers.
- Follow the group’s rules – read up the guidelines and don’t get banned from the group.
4. Offer great content
If you are selling services or products through your website or blog, make sure that you are providing value to your readers. Interesting and SEO-oriented posts will attract more organic traffic and help you get your brand started.
So Which Plan to Choose?
That concludes our review between the best Plans to start an e-shop.
Hopefully the decision was made. Whichever it is – Shopify Basic or Lite Plan, you are ready to start your e-com empire.
Is Shopify Lite the right plan for you?
In a way it’s simple – Can you run a successful e-commerce business by selling on social media or your blog?
If the answer is – Yes!
Shopify Lite is for you.
This platform is ideal for a small business or bloggers that want to monetize their products and services. While it lacks a website building module, Shopify Light requires minimal investment for starting out.
Furthermore, the one-click checkouts and embedded shopping carts make it appealing to customers and assuring conversions.
Finally, as the Lite plan is thought out with scaling in mind, you can upgrade anytime you need it.
Frankly, you can’t go wrong with Shopify Lite. If you are looking for a powerful, yet simple-to-use e-commerce platform, it will cover most of your needs.
If you wanna get ahead of the game?
Shopify Basic is for you.
You will get all the features of Shopify Lite +the option to sell on Instagram, and a standalone e-commerce store.
If you want to maximize your chances of success – it doesn’t get better than this.
So, there you have it.
Hopefully, you found the info you were looking for.
Best of luck and may the e-com gods be with you 😉
For all the unanswered questions we didn’t manage to cover within the article – here they are:
What do you get with Shopify basic?
To find out what you get with Shopify Basic, check this section, that’s where we review Shopify’s basic plan in great detail.
Does Shopify Lite work with Instagram?
To sell on Instagram, you will need to upgrade to Shopify Basic.
What is the Shopify Lite plan?
Shopify Lite plan is the easiest way to start selling products online. For more information, visit this section.
Is Shopify free to use?
Unfortunately, none of the Shopify plans are free to use otherwise everyone would have e-commerce stores, right? Luckily you get a 14-day Free trial here.
Do I need Shopify to sell on Instagram?
Yes, if you want your customers to have the options to checkout and pay directly from your e-store, you will need Shopify Basic plan.
Which Shopify plan is best?
All plans are pretty great but it all depends on your needs. To review the benefits of Shopify’s plans and how they compare, check this section.
That’s all folks.
For more in-depth reviews about tools that can help you create killer e-shops feel free to check out the list of these posts.
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