As a new business, there is a lot going on! You’re deciding what to sell, who to sell to, building a brand, and lifestyle. Not only are you putting in a lot of hours into getting everything up and running, you also need to have funds to get everything started - and funds can be tight until sales come in.
If you are planning on using Oberlo to source products and suppliers, you will need a Shopify admin to connect to! Though using Oberlo has a free starter plan (which allows you to process 50 orders a month, and add up to 500 items to your store), you do have to pay for a Shopify monthly fee.
Though the fees are pretty minimal, I am sure there are some of us who are dabbling with starting a business, and want to be as economic with our funds as possible in the beginning. Because of that, I wanted to share with you a bit about Shopify’s Lite plan!
What is Shopify Lite?
Shopify’s Lite plan costs $9 USD a month, and allows you to sell products in a few, fun ways!
If you have a physical store location, or go to tradeshows, it allows you to sell in person with a POS (Point of Sale) system. Since most of us are likely planning to sell online, let’s go over the other two cool features it allows for.
Selling through Social Channels
With Shopify’s Lite plan you have access to selling through channels such a Facebook business page, Amazon, and (in the near future, fingers crossed) Instagram.
Facebook is one of the largest advertising platforms for business’, and being able to sell directly through there can be a great resource to tap into. Shopify’s Lite plan allows you to connect all of your product listings to your Facebook business page, and sell items directly through there too.
So if you are just getting started, have decided on what you want to sell, and who you want to sell to, creating a Facebook business page is a great way to go. You can reach out to groups who have similar interests in the products you are selling, create advertisements to specific demographics, and get a feel for the business and how well it takes to your customers. Facebook has a really great FREE course you can check out that walks you through how to advertise through their platform, called Facebook Blue Print. I highly recommend reviewing this if you plan on selling through Facebook.
As mentioned earlier, there are other channels you can connect to on the Lite plan, such as Amazon, and soon Instagram (currently in beta stages). These channels allow you to reach out to a large group of potential customers, and only costs you $9 USD a month to run.
Next, let’s talk about my second favourite feature of the Lite plan, Buy Buttons!
Selling through Buy Buttons
Buy Buttons are a popular feature of the Lite plan - what they do is allow you to generate an embed code for a product, which you can paste into any other site that accepts HTML - creating buyable products on a third party site or blog. All you need to do is add your products to Shopify, and add the Buy Button sales channel. From there, you select the product or collection of products you want to generate code for, you design the buyable product template to your liking, and it generates the Buy Button code for you. You then paste that onto your third party platform, and you’re done! It may look a little something this:
Even though on the Lite plan you do not have access to building your own online store (on the Shopify $29 USD a month Basic plan or higher only), as you can see, you still have plenty of options to experiment with. If you have an existing website on another platform, or have a blog that allows you to inject HTML into it, the Buy Buttons may be a fun route to go!
Shopify has a great article that goes over 5 Ways You Can Use Shopify Buy Buttons to Sell on Your Website or Blog, so feel free to check that out as well if you want to learn more.
As your business grows, you can then begin to expand your sales channels and brand presents - which would involve things such as starting an online website with Shopify, trying out different forms of marketing such as Google Shopping, selling on eBay, selling on Pinterest, the list goes on. But while you are getting started, and beginning to understand your business and your customers, the Lite plan is a great plan option to go with.
All this to say, goodbye are the days where starting a business costs you thousands of dollars, and your life savings (whether that was renting and designing a retail space, creating product with suppliers, or buying inventory in bulk). You can now find products to sell using Oberlo, those items are then stored and shipped directly from the suppliers to your customers, and all you need to do is reach out to potential customers and start a $9 a month plan on Shopify. If you ask me, this is one of the best times in history to start a business! So let’s get out there, test out the business ideas we have been thinking about, and rest easy knowing we can begin our business with just as little as $9 a month.