The debate of whether to use Shopify POS Lite vs Pro is a common one for companies planning on taking their Shopify website sales offline.
Most people know Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce website building tools on the market. With Shopify, you can build a comprehensive online shopping experience, complete with a custom checkout, a host of professional templates, and a range of payment options.
However, Shopify is more than just a fantastic tool for creating your own online store. The solution also allows business owners to access customer profiles, inventory management, and payment processing in the physical world, with the Shopify POS app.
The question is, what’s the difference between the Shopify POS Lite app, and it’s Pro alternative?
What is Shopify POS?
Shopify POS is an app within the Shopify ecosystem which allows business owners to sell products practically anywhere, including in markets, brick and mortar stores, and pop-up shops.
The service syncs with your standard Shopify app to track inventory and orders across all locations, online and offline.
To access Shopify’s POS, you’ll need a Shopify standard plan. The majority of the Shopify pricing plans come with the simplest version of Shopify POS included (Shopify POS Lite). Alternatively, if you upgrade to Shopify Plus, you’ll get Shopify Pro instead.
Business owners can also choose to add Shopify Pro to their existing Shopify store subscription package for an extra monthly fee.
The Shopify POS “Lite” service is the free solution that comes with the majority of paid Shopify plans as standard. While you might need to pay for extra hardware and some bonus premium apps, depending on your company needs, you can keep costs low with this version.
Shopify Pro is the more extensive app solution intended for serious sellers in the physical world. This solution comes with a host of features to help you strengthen your relationships with customers, and improve your sales.
Shopify POS Lite vs Pro: Features
The first thing you need to keep in mind when comparing Shopify POS Pro vs Shopify POS Lite, is you’ll need a Shopify plan for either option. This means Shopify POS Lite isn’t exactly “free” unless you’re already paying for Shopify to enable your online store.
Once you have a Shopify subscription, you can download your POS app on Android and iOS devices, and start customizing the system. You can dd and organize products and services to the POS, set store locations and change sales tax, and activate Shopify Payments on either plan. You’ll also be able to set up third-party payment provider options and order POS hardware.
With Shopify POS Lite, the features you get include:
- Connection to integrated payment hardware options with Shopify Payments
- Non-payment integrations with retail hardware (such as cash drawers and receipt printers)
- Customizable smart grid environment for adding the products, discounts, and features you access most often to your home screen.
- Support for all kinds of credit card and debit card payments, as well as other payment methods like gift cards.
- Discount codes and digital receipts, as well as refund options.
- Unlimited products, collections, and variants for your products.
- Manage inventory across multiple sales channels and locations.
- Customer loyalty programs with distinct customer profiles.
- Tracking for cash flow, sales, finance, and product use, as well as other reports.
- Integration with email and social media marketing campaigns.
Alternatively, if you upgrade to the Shopify POS Pro service, which comes as standard as part of the Shopify Plus plan, you get all of the features mentioned above, plus some bonus extras. Alongside all the features we’ve just mentioned, Shopify POS Pro includes:
- Support for customers redeeming automatic discounts through triggers (such as when they spend a certain amount)
- Options for customers to buy products online and pick them up in store, or buy in store and have the item shipped to their address.
- Custom printed receipts with all of your own branding.
- Exchange processing.
- Unlimited support for staff members who can also use your system, with custom staff permissions and role types.
- Access to purchase orders, inventory counts, premium inventory analysis, and low stock reporting capabilities.
- Daily sales reports and cash tracking insights.
Notably, while Shopify POS Lite is available for both Android and iOS, Shopify has apparently had some issues porting the Pro version of the app to Android.
Shopify POS Lite vs Pro: Pricing
The most significant difference for most business leaders choosing their Shopify POS system, will be the pricing. The Lite point of sale app comes with your standard Shopify plan for ecommerce, while the Pro plan is only available as an added extra, or included with Shopify Plus.
To work out the full price of your Shopify POS, you’ll need to consider a few things.
To use either version of Shopify POS, you’ll need a Shopify ecommerce subscription. R options include:
- Shopify Lite: The Lite package allows you to access the basic features of Shopify Point of Sale, but you won’t have access to store building functionality. Instead, you can simply add a “buy button” to your current website or blog.
- Basic Shopify: The Shopify Basic plan starts at $25 per month with access to unlimited product support, multiple sales channels, and transaction fees which start at 1.7%.
- Shopify: The standard Shopify plan starts at $69 per month with all the features of Basic, plus local payment methods, 5 inventory locations and staff members, standard reports, and transaction fees of 1.6%.
- Advanced Shopify: Shopify Advanced starts at $259 per month with all the Standard plan features, plus automations, third-party shipping rate calculation and advanced reporting. You’ll also have access to 8 locations, 15 staff accounts and transaction fees starting at 1.5%.
Extra fees might be necessary on top of these costs if you want to add premium apps or other features to your Shopify POS system experience.
The enterprise version of Shopify, known as Shopify Plus, comes with the Shopify POS Pro service provided as standard, but you will need to contact the company to access a quote for this omnichannel sales solution. If you want to access the Shopify POS Pro service with a standard Shopify plan, it will cost another $89 per month, per location.
Outside of the software costs, you’ll also need to think about the payment processing costs of your ecommerce platform. Shopify Payments is included with all of your plans, and you can contact customer support if you have any concerns about differences between fees.
The rates you’ll need to pay will vary depending on the Shopify ecommerce subscription you choose, but they don’t pay according to the card used.
While the functionality of Shopify Payments is included with all subscriptions, you can also use a third-party provider like Authorize.Net, PayPal, Amazon Pay, or Braintree for payment processing too. However, you’ll need to consider their fees in conjunction with the cost for your point of sale system. Some of the processing fees for Shopify plans include:
- Shopify Lite: 2.7% per transaction for in-person, 2.9% plus 30 cents for online payments, and an additional 2% transaction fee if you don’t use Shopify payments.
- Basic: 2.7% per transaction in-person, 2.9% plus 30 cents online, and 2% additional fee for not using Shopify payments.
- Shopify: 2.5% per transaction for in-person, 2.6% plus 30 cents online, and 1% additional fee if you don’t use Shopify payments.
- Advanced: 2.4% per transaction in-person, 2.4% plus 30 cents online, and 0.5% extra fee for not using Shopify payments.
The Shopify Plus processing rates are mostly variable.
Once you’ve considered your credit card rates and software fees for the Pro or Lite plan for Shopify POS, you’ll also need to think about hardware costs. Taking your online sales offline will usually mean buying certain pieces of hardware, even if you’re using the POS app from your mobile device.
For your retail business, the Shopify point of sale ecosystem offers access to various tools, such as:
- Card reader: $29
- Chip and tap card reader: $49
- Retail stand for iPads and tablets: $99 to $129
- Wired receipt printer: $299
- Cash drawer: $129
- Retail bundle: $159 (includes chip and swipe reader, mounting kit and iPad stand)
The Shopify POS hardware you choose will have an impact on the overall price you pay for your point of sale strategy. You can also buy extra tools like barcode scanner accessories, and extra receipt printers.
Major Differences between Shopify POS Pro and Lite
With both Shopify POS Lite and Pro, your small business can access a user-friendly environment for managing your Shopify account and taking payments offline. If you’re looking for a way to unlock the benefits of omnichannel selling with a physical store, Shopify has a great service to offer.
Compared to other POS solutions like Lightspeed and Square, Shopify holds up quite well, offering access to staff roles, iPhone app access, and a range of inventory tracking tools. However, it’s fair to say you get more support for in person sales when you upgrade to the Pro app.
There are a few major differences between the point of sale experience from Pro and Lite. For instance, you can access automatic discounting on the Pro version of the POS, setting up triggers for things like buy-one-get-one-free, and discounts when people spend a certain amount. These add-ons aren’t available for POS Lite.
POS Pro also allows you to offer more options to your customers for how they access their products, with buy online and ship to customer solutions. You can also allow people to buy online and pick up in store, or have their items shipped to them.
Aside from integrating with email marketing tools and social media solutions, Shopify POS Pro can also help to strengthen your relationships with customers in other ways too. When you collect customer data, you can make product recommendations based on what customers bought before.
As an added bonus, a Shopify admin using Shopify POS Pro can leverage advanced POS features for staff roles and permissions, so you can really make the most out of your teams and determine who should be able to perform which tasks.
Shopify POS Pro might be better suited to apple users, however, as android devices don’t seem to have the same support. On the plus side, with Shopify Pro, you do get extra insights into your business, with demand forecasting tools.
Choosing Shopify POS Lite vs Pro
Both versions of Shopify POS have their benefits to offer. The right choice for you will generally depend on how much functionality you need to access in the physical world for sales.
The Lite version is likely to be more than enough for companies looking to enter the omnichannel sales world for the first time, with plenty of useful features for tracking sales and inventory.
However, if you’re really invested in offline sales because you’re setting up your own full-time retail store, instead of just a pop-up, you might prefer to upgrade to Shopify POS Pro. The Pro package does give you extra functionality which can help with accelerating sales and improving customer relationships. Plus, you’ll have more tools for managing staff members.
Just remember to consider all of the costs associated with each package carefully before making your choice. The cost of Shopify POS Pro can quickly add up if you’re paying for multiple locations which you also need to equip with their own hardware solutions.