The Ultimate Shopify Lite vs Snipcart Comparison

In this Snipcart vs Shopify Lite comparison, we'll take a look at the features, pricing, security, customer support, and their key differences.

When would you even consider to use these two shopping cart solutions?

Picture this:

You’re running a blog on WordPress and decide to start selling some custom made jewelry.

The first thing you do is turn to a full-fledged ecommerce platform such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento or BigCommerce.

Then you soon realize that these platforms are limiting when it comes to previously built websites. You may be forced to create a separate website besides your blog.

For this reason, you’ll need a platform that lets you keep your blog and integrate some handmade jewelry to sell on the site.

This is why Snipcart and Shopify Lite exist.

The main difference between these two platforms and full-fledged ecommerce platforms is that you won’t have to build a totally new website.

Instead, Snipcart and Shopify Lite integrate with an already established website or even a social media page in the case of Shopify Lite.

Regardless, one question remains, which of the two shopping cart tools is the better option for you? Fortunately, there are answers.

What is Snipcart?

Snipcart website builder

Snipcart is an HTML/JavaScript shopping cart solution designed for web designers and developers. It lets you customize any website to sell products, subscriptions or downloads online.

And the best part, it is not just limited to WordPress. Snipcart can be implemented on Drupal, Umbraco, Joomla, and any other platform to make your site fully transactional.

In addition, it features powerful API and webhooks to boost integrations with email marketing platforms, drop-shipping systems, and inventory management solutions.

What is Shopify Lite?

Shopify Lite website builder

Shopify Lite is a less advertised plan in the lowest tier of Shopify plans. It spares you from a mess of features and integrates with either an existing website or social media platform.

Shopify Lite lets you sell through the Facebook Messenger, the point of sale mobile app or embeds Buy Buttons on an existing website. Furthermore, it comes with a card reader for accepting credit card payments.

Key Features to Compare

So, how is Snipcart different from Shopify Lite?

For a detailed Snipcart vs Shopify lite review, we compared the two solutions using the crucial features you would look for when choosing a shopping cart solution.

They include features such as inventory management, invoicing, security, payments, marketing, social media selling, and discounts.

Ready to see how Snipcart and Shopify Lite stack up against each other? Let’s dive in.

Overview Dashboard

Snipcart features a hosted, backend management dashboard. It helps you track sales and orders, manage discounts, orders and subscriptions. The highlighted boxes show your total number of sales, orders and the average order value.

The merchant dashboard is divided into 8 sections to give you a bird’s eye view of each metric. These include:

  • Sales and order analytics
  • Orders
  • Subscriptions
  • Customers
  • Discounts
  • Products
  • Abandoned Cart
  • Recovery campaigns

Similarly, Shopify Lite has an overview dashboard that displays key sales and orders as well as online visitor data using cookies. At a glance, you get to see your store’s performance across all sales channels and for any period.

This helps you compare the value of recent sales to those of a previous time. You also get to track your average order value, see the social media source bringing more visitors and monitor the trends gradually.

The metrics can be shown in a graph or numeric format. Some of the metrics shown in Shopify Lite’s dashboard include:

  • Average order value
  •  Conversion rate
  • Sessions by device
  •  Store sessions by traffic source
  • Online store sessions from social media sources
  • Sales by the point of sale (POS) location
  • Top landing pages
  • Repeat customer rate
  • Top products by units sold
  • Top referrers by sessions
  • Total sales attributed to marketing campaigns

Inventory Management

An efficient inventory control system helps you avoid running out of products customers need. Such systems track the number of products in stock and forecast the amount of time the stocks will last based on sales activity. This lets you place orders way ahead of time to prevent turning away sales opportunities.

In Snipcart, you can do this on the merchant’s dashboard. You can assign available quantities for each product and the real-time tracking system updates stock levels after each complete transaction. You can manage your inventory by product options in your store.

Moreover, customers receive automatically in cart notifications each time they try to buy an out of stock product. If you don’t want that “out of stock’” notification in your cart, you can get rid of it in your inventory section.

When it comes to Shopify Lite, you can view your inventory, set up inventory tracking and adjust inventory counts in the inventory section. You can also import and export inventory with a CSV file and hide out of stock products from customers.

Payment Gateways

The more payment methods a solution accepts, the more likely it will give your customers more payment options. With Snipcart you could opt to do away with middlemen and have all payments sent directly to your account.

Credit card details are processed immediately, Snipcart then deducts their percentage, and the rest is directed to your end.

It is important to know that not all shoppers prefer this approach. Fortunately, Snipcart also supports integrations with a wide variety of third-party payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, Mollie, Paysafe, Square and Paymill among others.

The only caveat is the international currencies you trade in should be accepted by the payment service you choose.

On the other hand, with Shopify Lite you can use Shopify Payments or third party provider for customers who prefer using credit cards. It also offers integrations with PayPal, Apple Pay, Google and Amazon Pay which have accelerated check out buttons. In addition, Shopify Lite offers alternative payment methods such as cryptocurrency.

Abandoned Carts

The sad truth is:

A good majority of your customers will add a product to their carts and fail to complete the checkout process.  Sometimes, a little push in the right direction can help you recover abandoned carts and even encourage a repeat purchase.

Snipcart offers a cart abandonment software that lets you filter incomplete orders. From here, you can reach out to customers or leverage their automated recovery campaigns.

You can send targeted email campaigns to recover abandoned carts. Snipcart allows you to send up to three different emails at different time triggers. You also have the option to create and send personalized email templates using the HTML editor to bring them back.

Snipcart also allows you to incentivize order completion using exclusive discounts to your recovery campaigns. The recovery campaigns you create get sent automatically to every new abandoned cart that matches your conditions.

On the other hand, Shopify Lite offers the abandoned cart recovery for the online store sales channel only. That means, abandoned checkouts on third-party sales channels and on the Shopify POS won’t get a checkout recovery email.

Abandoned carts get saved in the Shopify admin system for three months. This allows you to review them and discover patterns that tell you why your customers are not completing orders.

With Shopify Lite, you can either email the customer a link manually to prompt them to complete their checkout or automatically send an email with the link. However, Shopify Lite has set circumstances where a recovery email will not be sent for an abandoned cart.

Marketing

Snipcart has very limited marketing options. For instance, SEO is not part of its feature offerings yet it is a major factor in the online presence of your business. However, you can go around this issue by using alternative plugins such as Yoast for WordPress.

On the other hand, Shopify Lite comes equipped with SEO to improve your online presence. It also integrates with Google’s Smart Shopping campaigns to help you run an effective Google campaign. The platform has Facebook’s carousel ads that help your ads tell a story.

Discounts

Discounts help businesses increase sales on specific products and boost holiday sales. Most businesses also use discount codes to reward their loyal customers. Snipcart allows you to create promo codes from your merchant dashboard.

You could also target your sales boost using product-specific coupons. Snipcart lets you accelerate sales with limited time offers or by providing free shipping or shipping reductions using discounts API.

To offer discounts using Shopify Lite, you can set automatic discounts or sales prices for specific products. You can also create codes for a percentage discount, free shipping discount or dollar value discounts.

Customers will then be able to enter their discount codes online or in person using the Shopify POS.

Social Media Selling

At the time of writing this review, Snipcart doesn’t support social media selling. In contrast, Shopify Lite offers a fully integrated Facebook store. Customers don’t have to leave Facebook to buy reducing the steps needed for you to make a sale.

All the products in your Shopify Lite plan get synced to the Facebook store so you can work from the dashboard. Each time you make changes to product images or price, it gets reflected in your Facebook store too.

To add on this, this integration includes a checkout module within Facebook so customers can save payment information in Facebook. This makes it easier for your customers when making repeat sales.

Security

Snipcart has SSL/HTTPS certificates to protect your customers from information and identity theft. It also ensures that credit card details don’t get processed through its servers in case of server infiltration.

However, it has a monitoring system within its servers to identify possible security threats and prevent any potential hacking. It goes on to help users control third-party access by using special API security keys.

In like fashion, the Shopify Lite plan uses an SSL certificate that utilizes 256-bit security encryption mostly used by banks. It is also a certified level 1 PCI DDS compliant. This ensures that all credit card and financial information entered in the site is protected.

Customer Support

Snipcart offers guides, tutorials, documentation and a blog to help its customer with information. The platform offers email support to handle any issues faced by the customer.

In contrast, the Shopify Lite workforce offers 24/7 phone, live chat, and email support. It also offers a knowledge base of guides, tutorials, documentation and blog posts.

Pricing

Snipcart pricing

Snipcart and Shopify Lite are always keen to get a cut of the loot. Therefore, transactions are not free of charge.

But how do both solutions handle online transactions?

With Snipcart’s standard pricing, you end up paying 2% along with payment gateway fees of 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction. For instance, if you use PayPal as a gateway, your pricing would be 4.9% plus 30 cents with every transaction.

This means that the higher your sale, the more you’ll pay. However, the same does not apply to lower sales as Snipcart states that the 2% cannot go under $10. This means that if you make monthly sales of $50, you’ll end up paying $10 instead of $1.

When it comes to Shopify Lite, you end up paying a flat rate of $9 per month plus a transaction fee of 2.9% and 30 cents. If you’re using any other payment gateway apart from Shopify Payments, you’ll be charged an additional fee of 2% per transaction which decreases with the higher paid Shopify plans.

Shopify Lite pricing

Snipcart offers five scalable pricing plans depending on the size and type of your organization. These include:

Standard plan:

Most businesses go with the standard plan. Some of the features you can expect include unlimited products, unlimited domains, unlimited product variants, customizable shopping cart, responsive email tech support and a forever free test development.

Snipcart also provides a Pro Pack that users can add to their standard subscription. It offers an optional set of advanced features such as real-time shipping estimates, custom email templates, inventory management, abandoned carts recovery, TaxJar, and TaxCloud integrations. The Pro Pack costs $70.07 per month.

I am Special Plan:

This plan has all the features in the standard plan but the fee is negotiable.

Non-Profit and School plan:

Snipcart adjusts its standard plan by dropping the 2% commission to 1.5% to support schools and nonprofit organizations.

Crowdfunding Plan:

Charges for crowdfunding projects don’t go higher than 1.5% of total sales for the standard plan features.

Unique Specific needs Plan:

This plan caters to those businesses with special requirements that don’t fit into any pricing structure of the given plans. These include experimental projects, seasonal sales or any other special ecommerce needs. Pricing possibilities are negotiable.

Bottomline

Both Snipcart and Shopify Lite require some programming skills to set up. Therefore, you may be forced to seek the services of a developer for the coding. They are also great options if you run a site and want to begin selling products without making a new website.

However, they don’t have the features required to address the dynamic needs of mid-sized and large enterprises. Only complete ecommerce platforms can do this.

Over to You…

Do you have any experience working with either Snipcart or Shopify Lite? Feel free to share your thoughts, experiences, and questions in the comments section below.

Featured image credits: Shutterstock

 

Belinda Kendi

Belinda Kendi

Belinda Kendi is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and Copywriter who develops high-quality and engaging blog content for e-commerce businesses.