Shopify POS Lite vs Pro
A common debate from potential Shopify users is whether Shopify POS Lite or Pro would be best for their operation.
So what is the main difference between Shopify POS Lite and Shopify Pro?
We're here to highlight the differences between the two, and help you find the best fit for your business.
Continue reading as we help you make a well-informed decision.
Choose Shopify POS Lite If...
Shopify POS Lite is a good choice if you need a free POS solution that delivers many high-end standard Shopify features. Note that you might need to pay for some of the higher-end third-party apps and additional hardware, depending on your needs.
Choose Shopify POS Pro If...
Shopify Pro is the more advanced Shopify version that is made for bigger brick-and-mortar businesses with eCommerce needs. While it does cost more, you'll get a wide range of top-tier features that help strengthen customer relationships and elevate sales.
POS Lite vs POS Pro Shopify System Comparison
Mid-sized to large businesses with a focus on eCommerce and a need for more complex tools
Small to mid-sized businesses with a focus on eCommerce
$49 to $299
$49 to $299
$259 per month
$69 per month
2.4% + $0.30 per in-person transaction
2.7% + $0.30 per in-person transaction
2.4% per in-person transaction
2.7% per in-person transaction
24/7 customer support through phone, live chat, and email
24/7 customer support through phone, live chat, and email
No contract required
No contract required
Product recommendations, staff roles & permissions, automatic discounts, demand forecasting
Digging Into The Details
Shopify is among the highest-rated POS companies. And because Shopify Lite and Pro share many of the same features, we're going to point out which Shopify POS Lite features do not come with the Pro version of the software.
Take into account that both Shopify plans come with online store access, Shopify POS hardware access, credit card transactions, and basic retail business tools.
Shopify POS Lite - Best Features:
We all know how important social media marketing is in the modern business world, which is why we're lucky that Shopify POS Lite provides integration with social media and email marketing campaigns.
You can use the social media marketing tools in Shopify POS Lite to build creative content ideas and spread the word through a wide range of marketing campaigns.
All Shopify POS Lite solutions come with quality inventory management features. With this POS, you can automatically update your inventory and see how your products are selling, whether or not they're getting exchanged/returned, or if you can have them transferred from one store to the next.
The inventory management system is even great for multi-location inventory analysis. You can see the inventory of every location of your business, no matter where you are.
Note that Shopify POS Lite also gives you access to unlimited products, variants, and collections.
One of the most popular features found in the Spotify POS Lite and Shopify POS Pro is the Shopping Cart feature. When it first hit the market, Shopify was a pure eCommerce system with a unique Shopping Cart feature that could help customers make streamlined payments with different payment methods, including Apple Pay, PayPal, and more.
The automation capability is what sets the Shopify point-of-sale solution apart from other POS solutions on the market. The Shopping Cart will detect when customers are shopping on mobile, process shipping fulfillment, automatically calculate shipping rates, and recover abandoned customer carts.
Plus, as you can imagine, the Shopping Cart is totally secure with Level 1 PCI compliance.
Shopify is one of the best point-of-sale system solutions in the business when it comes to third-party integrations. Regardless of the kind of apps or software that you're trying to integrate with, you'll be sure to find what you're looking for in the lengthy myriad of third-party integrations.
Just about every SaaS in the industry is integrated with Shopify, as it is one of the major eCommerce giants in the POS industry.
This makes the app market one of the most reliable and versatile out there.
In fact, there are more than 4,100 third-party apps and software solutions to choose from, including branding, accounting, inventory management, marketing automation, and more.
You'll need to upgrade to integrate with advanced Smart inventory management or in-depth payroll management if you stick with the Lite Shopify plan.
The Lite Shopify Plan comes with an intuitive mobile app, which allows you to access data and analytics on your Shopify dashboard, manage your inventory, and fulfill your online store orders, all from any smart device if you are connected to the internet.
This mobile app is versatile in that it works on iOS and Android devices. Shopify's suitability for online sales and/or pop-up events not only makes it one of the best iPad POS systems, but one of the best mobile POS systems as well.
Shopify POS Pro - Best Features:
Of course, if you go with the Shopify POS Pro plan, you'll get all of the standard features found on the Lite plan, as well as a few extras. Let's dive in and explore some of the main reasons you might consider going with a Shopify POS Pro plan instead of the Lite version.
Demand forecasting is one of the most in-depth features that Shopify POS Pro offers.
This unique set of features allows you to manage purchase orders, transfer stock, and update stock levels, all based on past and present data.
With forecast demand that is gathered from seasonal trend data, you can get specific purchase order suggestions based on your sales, stock levels, and more.
If you have some products that you are trying to sell, whether you are trying to get extra products off the shelves, pair certain items with current popular products, or showcase some items that are seasonal. The product recommendation features use the in-store and online store customer data to give your customers smart suggestions and your employee up-selling ideas.
Retail Permissions and Staff Roles
Shopify made it onto our list of the best POS systems for retail for good reason. Staff permissions and staff roles are helpful in that you'll be able to control what your staff can do, see, or modify within your Shopify POS system.
When you are a larger or growing merchant with more specialized staff, including managers, assistant managers, schedulers, cashiers, buyers, stockroom employees, etc., you'll want to make sure that each role is well-defined within the POS system and that none of the employees can access areas of your system that aren't required for them to access.
Buy Online/Pick Up In-Store
In the post-Covid world, people are looking for ways to make transactions a bit more contactless.
The buy online and pick up in-store feature is handy for making transactions more efficient for your customers.
Your customer will be able to order at your online retail store and pick up at any of your brick-and-mortar stores.
You'll also have the ability to add pickup instructions or other preferences, such as curbside vs. in-store pickup.
Buy In-Store/Ship to Customer
The buy in-store and ship to customer feature is another tool found in the Pro version of the software that also helps make transactions more efficient.
When you process an order in-store or on the Shopify POS app or in-store, your customer can have you ship it to their address directly from the POS app. This feature can help you skip multiple steps and use your inventory levels to determine whether or not certain items can be shipped, and, if not from your store, whether or not it can be shipped from another location.
Automatic Discount codes
Consumers are constantly looking for discounts when shopping for things online. However, whether a customer is shopping for your products or services online or in your store, they will be able to redeem automatic fixed-amount, BOGO, or percentage discounts with ease. The beauty of these discounts is that they will automatically be applied at checkout, so you don't need to manually calculate any discounts.
This can make the customer experience far more streamlined and make your life easier.
Shopify POS Lite Drawbacks:
The drawback with the Lite version of Shopify is that it's missing a lot of the complex features available in the Pro Shopify Plan. As you can see from the pricing in the table at the top of this page, opting in for these advanced features can get expensive fast, so there's a large exclusivity barrier for businesses that are just starting out. While Shopify delivers access to a number of third-party integrations that you can work with, installing and integrating these with your system can also increase the price.
The main features that we felt we were missing in the Lite Shopify plan include the advanced omni-channel selling features and Smart Inventory Management.
However, with the $69 per month software plan, Shopify Lite is easily one of the best POS systems for small businesses.
Shopify POS Pro Drawbacks:
Overall, the price is what may deter you from selecting Shopify Pro. Most small businesses won't find it easy to fork over an additional $259 per month on top of all of their other expenses. Having the Advanced Shopify POS plan is necessary to access Shopify Pro for free. Otherwise, if you only have the Standard Plan, they charge an extra $89 per month per location, which can be a major burden for any small retail business.
Another major drawback of Shopify Pro is that it uses Liquid programming language. For an eCommerce-centric POS solution, using an obscure language that not many web developers are familiar with is a strange choice. For web developers that are just hopping onto the system for the first time to create an online store, the process can be a bit confusing.
It's also worth noting that you'll have to pair up with Shopify Payments when using Shopify POS Pro. Because the systems are integrated with one another, it's not uncommon to experience account holds and terminations when working with Shopify Payments. This happens when Shopify finds activity in your system to be leaning toward fraudulent.
Shopify POS Lite vs Pro - Which Is A Better Value?
While both Shopify POS versions offer numerous benefits, making the right choice for your business will completely depend on the level of functionality and features that you need.
The POS Lite version is perfect for business owners that are trying to step into the world of omni-channel sales. You'll find plenty of high-quality inventory and sales tracking features.
On the other hand, if you have invested most of your business in the world of offline, brick-and-mortar sales, you might consider upgrading to the Shopify POS Pro. You get plenty of additional functionality for customer relationship management, sales acceleration, employee management, and more.
Remember that Shopify POS Pro will cost you a bit more, and it's important to consider these costs before you make the ultimate choice. This is especially true if you run several locations and need to equip all of them with hardware units.
Luckily, every Shopify Plan is based on a month-to-month contract, meaning you can try it out for a bit and cancel if it's not right for you without being penalized with early termination fees.