For over a decade now, Shopify has since been working to assist people in establishing and developing their businesses. With the aim to lessen hurdles and limitations, Shopify continues to grow and reach merchants' expectations — having a total of 2,113,394 live stores on its platform.
If you are curious about starting an ecommerce store and how to use Shopify, then this blog is right for you.
How Does Shopify Work?
Shopify is simply an ecommerce platform that provides services for merchants wanting to start their businesses. Shopify is one of the best ecommerce website builders in the market, it offers different subscription plans to suit each owner's needs.
A lot of online apps and websites have been present in today's time and Shopify has been one of those software doing business for years. Using Shopify permits you to sell products online and in person. You can also expand it through trending social media apps like TikTok and Instagram as all your inventory and data can be stored in your Shopify account.
Shopify assists you in the online store building, items management across several sales channels, as well as inventory and delivery monitoring.
In Shopify, you can actually set up a website using web hosting, input your own domain name, and shipping integrations all through Shopify. Let us get more detailed with the other Shopify features below.
Shopify Store Pricing
Previously, Shopify offered pricing plans consisting of Basic Shopify ($29/month), Shopify ($79/month), and Advanced Shopify ($299/month).
However, in late January of this year, they updated their pricing to $25, $65, and $399, respectively. For those businesses which are just starting, you can opt for their basic plan, which will allow you to manage all the basic features a business will need without overwhelming yourselves. The $ 65 plan is ideal for growing brands that are in the middle of entertaining a larger audience and handling a small team of staff. Meanwhile, the advanced plan is best for merchants who require advanced reporting and lower transaction fees. All these can be paid monthly or yearly, depending on your preference. But, choosing the annual payment process will provide you with quite a bigger discount.
Shopify updated pricing plans
You can list unlimited products in your store with any of these plans. Plus, you are eligible for 24/7 customer support, a chance to create a custom storefront, marketing, and ecommerce automation, and the long list follows.
For alternatives, the Shopify online store also offers Starter and Shopify Plus plans.
The former, which starts at $5 per month, provides you with a ready-made store that can go live anytime you want. All you need to add are the images and product descriptions.
Meanwhile, the latter, which was officially launched in 2014 and costs $2,000 monthly, will help you grow your business in a more time- and cost-efficient manner, especially if your brand is already handling a large volume of sales or market in both local and international. The average launch time is shortened to 90 days with assistance on the onboarding and migration process from a team of experts.
Shopify Starter Plan
If you are still testing the waters, there is also a plan for you — Shopify's Free Trial option lets you enjoy their $1 fee a month for three-months long. Shopify payments can accommodate different types such as credit cards, co‑branded debit cards, as well as Shopify Balance and PayPal in selected regions.
Refund Support Requests
Shopify store owners are now tasked to directly contact partners in case they are planning to request a refund for an app. Before, the Shopify Support team was the one who tapped the partners on behalf of the store owner, but it was updated in May 2023. This process aims to provide a more efficient approach as the partners have the full power to issue most of the requests.
These are just some of the most notable changes this year, if you are curious about starting a Shopify store, or if you have already created one, you can check the platform's real-time updates page to be informed.
How To Use Shopify
Shopify makes it easier for you to start an online business through its user-friendly features and setup process. Let us help you by providing a detailed Shopify tutorial — from scratch to the launch. So, are you ready? Hop in and let’s get started!
Create a Shopify account
Visit the Shopify website or download the Shopify app store and create an account with the platform. You can choose among their available subscription plans, but for the safest option, maybe you can try the free trial first. The pricing we mentioned varies depending on your country or location.
Prepare your email address and some basic information for your business. It'll just take less than half an hour. Make sure everything is correct for a smoother setup work process.
Get acquainted with Shopify dashboard
After creating an account, your free trial automatically starts. You will be directed to the Shopify admin panel so make sure to get familiar with it. You might need to use it for future update purposes.
Take time to go through each section and setting, which can be seen in the Shopify admin. Learn what they are for, and how to control them including their significance to your online store.
You will notice a Setup guide section that lists some of the most vital steps for you to complete. As you go through the setup process, you can look back there to check for any missing guide that you have to complete.
Shopify dashboards include two default menus — the main menu and the footer menu, which can be seen on every page of your Shopify. You can freely add, delete or edit the menu items in your online store's default menus.
The main menu usually includes the company’s products as well as other information about the business such as history and objectives. The main menu has two default menu items, which are the Home and Catalog.
The footer menu, on the other hand, consists of store policies and contact information. Note that the design of your navigations will depend on your chosen theme.
Customize the website's theme
Shopify themes are for website layout, design, and features that will help you optimize your online store. Upon creating your storefront, Dawn will be your default theme, which of course you can change by exploring Shopify's over a hundred available themes.
Free and Paid Themes
Shopify customers can choose between free themes or those with more extensive designs and features amounting to $180 to $360. Enjoy this part and find the perfect fit for your branding style and business goals. Check out the Shopify theme store by going to Shopify admin then Online Store > Themes.
You can click each theme and see a demo version for you to test and choose. You can actually scan it and have a feel of it, this will help you decide what to use. There are different emes ideal for certain types of businesses, so make sure to thoroughly scan your options, whether it's paid or free of charge.
Ways to customize your Shopify themes
Most will definitely get excited in scrolling and picking striking Shopify themes. Each of your store pages should serve its purpose of letting shoppers shop with ease. A calming yet sleek design is a good choice, yet a fun and interesting approach also works depending on how you will execute it.
Some businesses may neglect to give much focus to setting up or customizing their online store's theme, even though it could bring them many new opportunities to show their business and develop their reach. Try not to be one of those merchants, rather drive towards the path that will make you above normal.
You can now start incorporating your business right into your chosen theme. Let out all your creative juices, because this time, you will have to level things up.
Shopify theme editor
Through the unending help of Shopify, you can change or edit and personalize all of your site's contents including the font, color scheme, headings, and layout. Each theme has its own settings that allow you to do the customization even without code expertise and assistance (but you are free to hire one if you want to). Start adding, removing, or hiding sections to build your dream online store.
Shopify theme editor allows you to customize different sections available in your theme. You can add, remove, or hide sections to structure and design your online store.
Meanwhile, when customizing your theme feature or building a template from nothing, you must know how to use Liquid, which is a template language established by Shopify. It is used by merchants to edit their entire store layout design. Liquid is available as an open-source project and is written in Ruby programming language.
It utilizes tags, objects, and filters to load the dynamic contents in your storefront like product details, quantity, and such.
Shopify page builders
According to Adobe, 59 percent of consumers prefer beautiful website design as it somehow helps them browse more enthusiastically. A lot of page builders are available for more advanced customization, PageFly for example. You can customize the pages of your online store hassle-free with the help of these theme builders by just clicking there and that, pulling this and those. You can find the Shopify page builders on the Shopify app store.
Your own online store wouldn't be complete without products or services to sell online. So, when it comes to adding your items you will have a couple of options.
Go to the Shopify Admin and locate Products > Add your products. Now you have to pick whether you will do it one by one or in bulk.
One by one option will require you to click on the Add your products button to start adding products to your store. Meanwhile, you can just select the Import button on the upper right corner of the page to import your products in groups of bulk via a CSV file.
Now, after that, you will have to start filling out some details such as product description, high-quality set of images or videos, item pricing, inventory, and shipping options just to name some.
Set up payment setting
Of course, you must be fully aware how your customers will make payments upon purchasing your products. That is why you have to ensure you understand it deeply in order to offer a more flexible approach to potential buyers.
You can do this by going to your Shopify admin, then Settings > Payments.
You can use a credit card and to do that just set up a credit card payment provider on your account and complete the rest of the setup details. Here, you can use Shopify Payments or a third-party provider.
Just as we mentioned above, note that when using Shopify Payments, you won't be charged transaction fees for orders through Shopify Payments, Shop Pay, Shop Pay Installments, and Paypal Express, as well as on cash, cash on delivery (COD), and bank transfers. Those with Shopify Plus subscriptions are also free from any transaction fees except for merchants in Austria, Belgium, and Sweden. Here is Shopify's list of payment gateways depending on the country you are in, know what are your available options.
If you have already a different credit card payment provider enabled, just select Activate Shopify Payments and this will automatically disregard other payment providers from your Shopify account.
Add custom domain
Your own store needs its own identity, and the domain you use plays a big part in contributing to that. The domain doesn't only build up your brand but also establishes the trust of the consumer in your online store.
Upon creating a Shopify account, by default, your star was provided with the myshopify.com URL. If you want to change it, you must have a custom domain, such as www.yourbusinessname.com, which you can acquire through:
- Paying for a domain through Shopify - Buy a domain through Shopify and if your desired domain is still up for grabs, then you are all good. If this domain is the initial domain that you add to Shopify, then it will immediately be put as the web address. Meanwhile, if you already use a previous domain, then your newly bought domain will automatically go toward your primary domain.
- Link previous domain to Shopify - Suppose, you already bought a domain from a third-party provider, then just simply connect that domain to your online store. You will still be able to use your third-party domain provider in managing any domain issues in the future.
- Transport your domain to Shopify - If you want to access the entire domain management setting from your Shopify admin, then you have to transfer your existing domain to Shopify.
The last step in the Shopify setup process is to go live, but before you totally run your shop online, do some double-checking. Test the Shopify pages and their functionalities as well. Once everything is all set, you are good to go live. Pick the best fit Shopify plan to launch your online store.
People give continuous good reviews about Shopify, emphasizing its best-selling function which is its ease of use. Not just that, its pricing options and discounts also attract merchants to create their online presence through Shopify. Here is a video we found for an updated, brief and thorough review of Shopify and to know why users recommend it to others.
You might also want to check out these article-related content for your future Shopify store:
Create an online store that speaks about your business and products. Starting an online store and having a traditional brick-and-mortar are both difficult, both have their own process to fulfill. The key is to not rush anything, make sure to incorporate all the details in your mind. Build a strategy that will make your business run for a long time. Going live is just the start of your journey, there are a lot more things to handle after completing your Shopify store.