Shopify | Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Have you heard of this burgeoning eCommerce platform but are unsure what it is? The Shopify platform is one of the most well-known in eCommerce, and you’ve probably heard of it even if you didn’t realize it. Since its introduction, it is said to have powered over 800,000 online retailers and produced over $100 billion in sales. Anyone who wishes to sell things online can use its fully hosted turnkey shop.

Shopify’s idea is straightforward. To enable the sale of things with little or no coding or technical knowledge. Is it up to the task? How long does it take for you to start selling your belongings? Is it possible for anyone to set up and maintain an online business with Shopify?

Let’s have a look!

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) eCommerce platform. It began in 2006, when Tobu Lutke, a German snowboarder, wanted to establish an eCommerce solution to sell snowboards online. He rapidly realized that it might be used by others, and he began working on it as an eCommerce solution.

Check out this brief film of some entrepreneurs utilizing it to fuel their businesses. It provides a fast overview and is the quickest approach to find a clear response to the question, “What is Shopify?”

Shopify is a hosted platform that comes with everything you’ll need to start selling online. Web layouts, databases, back end plugins, and features, as well as anything else required to set up a retail store. It’s a really popular option that doesn’t require any coding, WordPress or CSS expertise, or any serious technical expertise.

All you’ll need is a little business or sales experience, as well as a variety of things to sell. You might get your internet business up and operating in hours if you have adequate time and configuration.

Why Use Shopify?

Shopify is appropriate for most eCommerce stores, whether they are new or established. It’s easy to set up and comes with a straightforward dashboard for managing stock, goods, pricing, and every other aspect of your online store. It also comes with additional add-ons for value-added functionality. There is no need for web hosting, website design, WordPress configuration, or any other technical setup because it is a SaaS platform.

Services like Shopify are just what you need if you want to set up an online store and start selling your items without the hassle of setting up your own website and everything that accompanies it.

Shopify Features

The Shopify platform comes with everything you’ll need to get started with an online business. From domain names and business names to the storefront itself, payment gateways that accept credit card payments, reporting, stock control, and more, there’s something for everyone. With Shopify’s handy migration tool, you can even acquire existing online companies or migrate an existing online store to the platform.

The following are some of Shopify’s key aspects:

  • User-friendliness
  • Designs for storefronts
  • Scalability
  • Shopify App Store
  • Support is available 24/7
  • Cloud-hosted
  • Shopify Experts

Ease Of Use

The simplicity of setting up a Shopify site is one of its most appealing features. Everything is described in easy-to-understand English. Everything comes with some form of wizard or basic setting, and an online store can be up and operating in a matter of hours.

Many attempts have been made to make Shopify as user-friendly as possible, and more than a few people we know who have no coding experience have switched from other platforms to Shopify.

The platform’s main selling feature (pardon the pun!) is that it allows anybody to start selling things without requiring any technological expertise or expertise.

Designs for storefronts

One of the most appealing features of Shopify is the variety of styles available for your shop. Shopify offers designs to allow you to customize your online store to your specific aesthetic requirements, similar to how you would choose a theme for a WordPress installation or create a website template.

Some of these retail themes are complimentary, while others are not. A premium theme costs roughly $180 on average. That isn’t cheap, but the designs may be rather appealing, so they might easily pay for themselves.

We often tell people that they shouldn’t be concerned about the price of putting together a fantastic design since an excellent design sells. It “sells” you through boosting your reputation, so if your site looks excellent, clients who are visiting your site for the first time will trust you.

Scalability

You’ve cleared the first significant stumbling block once you begin selling.

However, with every online business, scalability is critical. You will frequently begin small with large objectives and then either realize or not realize those aspirations. Shopify allows you to start small and scale up as your business grows, creeping up the pricing tier as your needs demand it. This allows you to develop smoothly and sustainably, expanding as needed without having to relocate or reconfigure your shop.

Typically, you’d start with Basic Shopify until you’ve outgrown the functionality, then upgrade to Shopify or Sophisticated Shopify for more advanced capabilities. There is no obligation for a more expensive plan because all plans contain limitless items, but the added benefits may be worth the price.

Shopify App Store

The Shopify App Store contains a number of apps that can be integrated into your Shopify store. Imagery optimization, GDPR notifications, countdown clocks for special offers, abandoned cart recovery techniques, and email and SMS marketing plugins are all among them.

While many of the applications are free to use with your shop, some are paid. Paid applications appear to be roughly $6.99 per month on average.

Support is available 24/7

On the internet, shopping never ends, and businesses are constantly open. With that steady stream of consumers, you need help whenever you need it, not just during business hours in the nation where the developer is based. Shopify provides live chat, email, and phone assistance 24/7.

This is unique for a web-based business. Support over the phone is greatly appreciated. Although we are the internet generation, there are times when it is just simpler to speak with someone and explain the problem so that we can receive the assistance we require.

Cloud-hosted

Shopify is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that is entirely hosted in the cloud. eBay, Etsy, Amazon Marketplace, BigCommerce, Volusion, and others are just a few examples. The firm hosts everything, so you don’t need a web host, a website design, database expertise, or any hardware or software. All you need are some things to sell and some basic business skills to help you sell them, and bam, you’re ready to sell online.

Shopify Experts

Shopify Experts are Shopify employees or freelancers that can help you with specific needs. You may pay someone to create a new logo, set up distribution channels and Google Analytics, remodel your shop, conduct an email campaign, execute onsite SEO, and a variety of other activities, for example.

This section resembles Fiverr or Elance in that you choose a category for the task you need done and are given with a list of possible applicants. Those candidates give an estimate of how much it will cost to do the assignment and display comments from past Shopify engagements. You choose, they pitch, you employ, and they carry out the task

Shopify Themes

If we don’t look at the feel and the capabilities of the eCommerce platform, we won’t be able to answer the topic of what is Shopify.

You can personalize your online business with a variety of Shopify themes.

Many of them are free and can be accessed from your Shopify dashboard. Some are more expensive, costing anything from $140 to $180. If you have the cash, you can hire Shopify Experts to create a custom theme, or you can go to a theme marketplace like ThemeForest, which offers hundreds of Shopify themes starting at $30.

The Shopify themes are high-quality and integrate nicely with the Shopify environment. Some of the free themes are appealing enough to utilize and may be customized to match your company’s logo. The premium ones are unquestionably of superior quality, but they come at a cost.

Shopify Options

There are three categories of subscriptions: Basic, Shopify, and Advanced, as well as Lite, Plus, and EPOS. Each one has something unique to present.

Lite

Shopify Lite allows you to create a social media mini-shop, i.e. a business that sells things on Facebook. It employs a similar setup to that of a full Shopify store, but exclusively on one particular social network. If you plan to do business on Facebook, this is a fantastic place to start.

Plus

Shopify Plus is an enterprise-level online retail platform designed for significantly larger businesses. It has a lot more features than the three major account kinds, but little information about it is available.

POS

Shopify POS (Point of Sale) is a combination of hardware and software for brick-and-mortar businesses, pop-up shops, and offline retail. An app for receiving payments via smartphone, a card reader, or specialised hardware for retail outlets are examples of solutions. Popups, marketplaces, and occasional physical transactions may all benefit from the app and the card reader. Retail stores who wish to connect everything with Shopify should use the physical terminal.

User Experience

The Shopify user experience is excellent, and it is one of the platform’s primary assets. From the standpoint of the shop owner, it is straightforward to set up a shop, since it comes with all of the tools needed to develop and administer that shop, as well as fulfillment choices, payment gateways, tax computations, and everything else needed to run a retail business.

It’s incredibly simple to get started.

The Shopify user experience is excellent, and it is one of the platform’s primary assets. From the standpoint of the shop owner, it is straightforward to set up a shop, since it comes with all of the tools needed to develop and administer that shop, as well as fulfillment choices, payment gateways, tax computations, and everything else needed to run a retail business.

It’s incredibly simple to get started.

The Shopify Dashboard is accessible when you’ve created an account and set up a payment tier. A straightforward setup procedure may help you get started with logos, domain names, branding, and product and fulfilment choices. You’ll be guided through every step of the setup process, which is detailed further below.

How to set up an online store with Shopify

Now that we’ve got a solid idea of what Shopify is, let’s look at how to establish an actual online store.

Setting up a Shopify site takes some time, but it’s a simple procedure that’s well-explained every step of the way. Expect to put in some time getting things set up and operating, but you won’t need any coding or web development skills.

There are no requirements other than having things to offer, a plan for fulfilling orders, and a chosen payment method. The rest of the process may be completed entirely within the Shopify platform.

You’re ready to start selling once you’ve completed the easy steps listed below.

Signing up with Shopify

Sign up for a Shopify account and choose a subscription as your first step. It makes sense to start with Basic Shopify since you may expand as needed without having to make any changes to your shop.

Select a business name or domain

After you’ve created an account, you can start building your own store. The first and most obvious step is to choose a name and a domain. You may add your own company name and link it to an existing domain or create a new one. To set things up, go to the shop admin panel and select Setup Your Domain.

Set up your online store

You’ll be sent to your store admin panel after signing up for Shopify and selecting a free trial or subscription. Get accustomed to seeing it because it is from here that you handle every part of your online store.

Choose a design for your site

You may choose from a variety of shop templates on Shopify. To explore and choose a theme, go to the center option in the admin page and select Customize the Look of Your Website. Some of the themes are free, while others are not. You may also utilize pre-made themes or create your own if you wish.

Browse the themes, pick one you like, and choose ‘Publish as my Shop’s Theme’

Edit Shopify theme settings

After you’ve installed the theme, you might want to tweak it a bit to make it uniquely yours. From the admin panel, go to Themes and click the three-dot menu icon. Make a Duplicate to create a backup of the theme in case something goes wrong.

Then choose ‘Customize Theme’. Make the adjustments you want, upload a logo, adjust the colors to match your brand, and spend some time personalizing the business.

Add your products

The real job begins now. Adding items is straightforward, but depending on how many you intend to sell, it will take a long time.

The real job begins now. Adding items is straightforward, but depending on how many you intend to sell, it will take a long time.

  1. Select f rom the centre panel or the side menu, add a product to ‘See It In Your Store’.
  2. Choose ‘Add a Product’
  3. Add the product name, price, image, description and any further information you like.
  4. To add it, go to the bottom of the page and choose ‘Save Product’.
  5. Rinse and repeat for each item you wish to sell.

When you have a lot of items, you’ll probably want to group them into collections. These collections function similarly to categories and simplify navigation for your consumers. You may do so by going to the ‘Collections’ menu on the left. 

Add a payment gateway

Now that you’ve created items, it’s time to get paid. Select ‘Payments’ from the side menu, then choose the payment gateway you wish to use.

Although Shopify Payments is the most convenient and accepts credit card payments, there are alternative choices because it is not accepted in all countries. Then enter your information, address, link it to a bank account or your Shopify merchant account, and fill out the appropriate paperwork to finish the process.

Add shipping

You need to configure a delivery method now that you have items and a payment method. In the admin panel, go to the left menu and select ‘Shipping’. Setting shipping zones for geographical limitations, price or weight-based shipping rates, manual shopping prices, shipping methods, and more needs some forethought. This Shopify article goes into a lot more information on how to set up shipping.

Become multi-channel With Shopify POS

While a Shopify business is primarily an online store, it isn’t the only thing it can accomplish. You can sell items on Facebook, and you can use Shopify POS to sell at retail stores, marketplaces, pop-up shops, and other places where your target market is likely to congregate. The POS app is a smartphone app that takes payments. The card reader can accept credit cards nearly anywhere, and if you have a physical business, the hardware POS may be all you need.

The key to success in this game is marketing, however if you’re skilled in social media marketing or SEO, you should be able to turn a profit in months.

Pros and Cons

Setting up an online Shopify store offers both advantages and disadvantages. However, not all of these will have an impact on how you set up your shop.

Pros

There are several reasons to promote Shopify as an eCommerce platform.

Easy to use – While there is a lot of setup to perform, everything is extremely simple. The integrated wizards will guide you through most tasks, and the documentation is excellent.

Shopify offers everything you need to create an online business, including domain names, shop themes, fulfillment choices, payment gateways, tax calculators, and more. You are not required to utilize any of these functions, but they are available if you choose them.

App Store for Shopify — If there are any gaps in Shopify’s offering, the app store’s numerous apps will most certainly cover them. The majority of applications are free, however some are paid.

SEO features built-in – It’s pointless to have an internet store if no one knows about it. Shopify has several SEO features that will help you climb the SERPs and get noticed. Apps that assist with email marketing and other SEO activities are also available.

VAT MOSS – Most shops don’t want to waste time calculating taxes, thus VAT MOSS comes in handy. The VAT Mini One Stop Shop function assists shops in dealing with VAT in several locations and greatly reduces their workload.

Abandoned cart recovery – This is a fantastic feature that was previously only accessible as part of more costly subscriptions but is now included in all plans.

Cons

Shopify isn’t all rainbows and sunshine, and it has some drawbacks.

Once you’re in, you’re in for good — While this isn’t unique to Shopify, leaving a cloud platform after setting up a business is a hassle. There is no simple way to migrate from Shopify, and the majority of the process would have to be completed manually.

Transaction costs – This is a disadvantage shared by most eCommerce platforms, but it is still a disadvantage. Every time you use a third-party payment method, you’ll be charged a fee. Fees for using a credit card must also be paid.

Limited blog and content marketing options — Shopify has a blog option and some content marketing options, but the layout is a tad outdated. It’s not WordPress, and it might not be the best choice for advertising your shop.

Reporting is locked behind subscriptions — The Basic Shopify plan includes some reporting, but you’ll need to upgrade to obtain more. This method does not appeal to us as we believe that all information should be open to everyone.

Pricing

Basic, Shopify, and Advanced are the three primary price options. For some reason, Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus are not included in these subscriptions.

Basic Shopify

A basic Shopify store costs $29 per month and contains the following features:

  • The web-based commerce
  • Unlimited Products
  • 2 staff accounts
  • Support is available 24/7
  • Sale networks on other marketplaces
  • SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate
  • Recovering abandoned carts
  • Fraud investigation
  • A POS application

Shopify

Shopify costs $79 per month and includes everything listed above as well as:

  • Gift cards
  • Improved reporting
  • Payment rates on credit cards are lower.
  • External payments have lower transaction fees.
  • Shopify POS hardware and apps are unlimited.

Advanced Shopify

The top grade of Shopify for most online shops is Advanced Shopify, which costs $299 per month. It covers everything listed above as well as the following:

  • Accounts for up to 15 employees
  • Reporting that is more advanced
  • Reduced credit card interest rates
  • External payments have lower transaction fees.

Shopify Lite

Shopify Lite, which costs $9 per month, is a considerably more limited version of the platform. It’s a Facebook shopping interface that only allows you to sell items on the Facebook network. On Facebook’s social media network, you may create a mini-store and manage stock and promotions using Facebook Pages or Messenger.

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is for enterprise stores, and it gets relatively little attention. It probably has far lower fees than Advanced Shopify, which costs a lot more each month.

Transaction Costs

You must also consider transaction costs in addition to the monthly charge for using Shopify. Credit card processing costs and costs for utilizing other payment gateways vary based on the price tier you’re on. Payments are included in the subscription, but you will have to pay if you wish to use anything else.

For credit cards, the typical costs are 2.2 percent + 20p for Basic Shopify, 1.9 percent + 20p for Shopify, and 1.6 percent + 20p for Advanced Shopify. Furthermore, not using Shopify Payments will cost you 2.0 percent for Basic, 1% for Shopify, and.5% for Advanced Shopify.

Shopify App Store Prices

Many of the Shopify App Store’s apps are free, while some are paid. Depending on the app, this might cost anywhere from $6 to $10 a month.

Discounts / Coupons

Shopify will run discounts or discount coupons from time to time. We’ll put them here if we can discover any.

Testimonials

Many of the Shopify App Store’s apps are free, while some are paid. Depending on the app, this might cost anywhere from $6 to $10 a month.

Shopify will run discounts or discount coupons from time to time. We’ll put them here if we can discover any.

Because social proof is essential, we’ve chosen some additional viewpoints that aren’t linked to ours so you can read what others have to say about starting a Shopify business.

The following is what the eCommerce Guide had to say about Shopify:

‘Shopify dominates completely. The platform is as easy-to-use as it gets, and even a complete beginner shouldn’t have any problems working with it. To add to that, with this entirely hassle-free solution, you can have a new online store launched in a matter of minutes (and we’re not exaggerating).’

Style Factory’s Chris Singleton had this to say:

‘Shopify is one of the best-hosted solutions for those wishing to create an online store – and arguably the best for anyone who wants to use one product to sell online AND in a physical location. It’s also particularly good for users who are interested in dropshipping.

The product is competitively priced — particularly when you consider that abandoned cart saver functionality is available on its $29 ‘Basic’ plans. The product is easy to use, integrates well with a huge range of other apps, and its templates are attractive.’

Website Builder Expert’s Charlie Carmichael stated:

‘From powerful management tools and well-designed themes to world-class apps and features, Shopify really is the best all-round eCommerce website builder on the market.’

Alternatives To Shopify

Although Shopify is the most well-known eCommerce platform, it is far from the only one available. Wix Ecommerce, Weebly Ecommerce, Magento and WooCommerce (both with WordPress) and BigCommerce are some of the alternatives. Before you start selling, you might want to have a look at a couple of these first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to be a designer or web developer to use Shopify? 

To utilize Shopify, you don’t need any experience with site design or programming. The service provides templates, handles all hosting, expands automatically to the amount of pages or items you wish to sell, and makes it simple to add goods, categories, pricing, special offers, and other features.

The Shopify dashboard resembles a WordPress page builder in appearance. It features a simple menu on the left with your selections, and you create your store in the center pane. Choose an option, fill in the data in the center pane, save your changes, and publish your modifications to your shop. Rinse and repeat until your store is completely stocked. It’s that easy!

What programming language is Shopify written in?

Shopify employs a list of languages rather than a single language. The main platform is developed in Ruby on Rails, which Tobu Lutke, Shopify’s founder, excelled at. For the front end, it employs the Liquid templating language. JavaScript, MySQL, PHP, Go, Docker, and Ngnix are all used to support this. It’s a jumble of languages, yet they all work together to produce a fully functional SaaS platform with almost a million users.

The only part of Shopify that you may change with your own code is Liquid. The remainder of the platform is restricted, but because Liquid is in charge of the front end and customer experience, you may utilize it to customize the appearance and feel of your business. This article contains all you need to know about Shopify and Liquid.

How do you identify a Shopify store?

If you come across an online business you like and want to know if it uses Shopify or not, there’s an easy method to find out. Go to WhatCMS.org, type in the URL in the center box, and click Detect CMS. Then you can see if it’s powered by Shopify.

In what countries can I use Shopify?

One of the numerous advantages of cloud services is that they may be accessed from nearly anywhere. Most Shopify capabilities should be available to everyone, however there may be some restrictions. Where certain functionalities aren’t available, such as Shopify Payments in specific regions, a credible substitute should be supplied.

Before joining up, do some research to make sure your payment gateway will function in your local currency, accept the credit card suppliers you want to deal with, and deliver to all areas. You’ll also need to configure and disclose your local tax rates, although Shopify offers a tool for that.

Which languages does Shopify support?

Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Traditional Chinese are among the languages supported by Shopify. However, because the majority of the material is written in English, a basic familiarity of the language is required.

Can I use my domain name with Shopify?

With Shopify, you may utilize your own domain. If you want, you may use a Shopify domain, although they are often more expensive than other options. A.com name will set you back approximately $20 a year, a.org address will set you back approximately $17, and a.biz name would set you back $21. A.com address would cost $8 from a standard site host like Namecheap.

What do I need to start selling on Shopify?

You’ll need three items to get your internet store up and running. You’ll need a Shopify account, some items to sell, and some spare time to set it all up. When you sign up for a Shopify account, you’ll get a 14-day free trial. You may start setting up your business right away and have it up and operating in a matter of hours. You’ll obviously need items, a price system, and a way to get the items to your consumers, but Shopify has everything else covered.

What is dropshipping and how can I dropship with Shopify?

Dropshipping is a way for starting to sell items without having to keep any inventory. Instead, you work for a manufacturer or wholesaler and sell on their behalf. You display the item in your shop, and when a consumer purchases it, you place an order with the provider, who then delivers the item straight to the consumer. Thousands of internet shops use it as a viable retail strategy. If you work with a dropshipper, you may set up your online store as usual and go from there. You may manually upload goods and place orders, or you can utilize Shopify-connected applications like Oberlo or Spocket to make the process easier.

What happens when I receive an order?

When you get a Shopify order, you must fulfill it. The method you use will be determined by how your store is set up. You may manually complete it by processing the payment, packing the merchandise, and sending it. To distribute the goods, you may utilize a fulfillment service within Shopify, Shopify Shipping, or a third party. As previously indicated, you may also employ drop shipping. Your orders will be visible on the Orders tab of your Shopify dashboard. As needed, complete the transaction and mark the order as completed. All of this is covered in further depth on the Shopify fulfillment page.

What is a third party payment processor?

Shopify has its own payment system, Payments, which accepts credit card payments as well. It operates within the system and handles most currencies in most areas. You’ll need a third-party payment processor if you don’t want to utilize this method or if you want to provide additional payment options. PayPal, Amazon Pay, Stripe, and other similar services are examples. They integrate with your online business and take care of the financial aspects for you. However, Shopify charges a fee for using third-party payment processors.

What is a merchant account?

Within Shopify, a merchant account is essentially a business account. It’s where you may pay for your stock or fulfillment service, as well as process and store client payments. When necessary, you can transfer revenues from your Shopify merchant account to your bank account.

What currencies does Shopify work with?

Shopify will accept any currency for which it has a payment source. Shopify has a list of supported areas, as well as payment providers who can inform you which currencies and locations are supported. Most areas of the world are supported, so whichever area of the globe you’re working in, you’ll be able to utilize a local currency.

Do I need to ship items myself?

For your store, you have three fulfillment choices. You have the option of doing everything yourself, using a fulfillment provider, or using dropshipping. Each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it will be great in certain instances but not in others. One of the most essential considerations you’ll have to make when starting your online business is the fulfillment method. If you wish to manage it yourself, you’ll need to buy merchandise, store it, and arrange delivery yourself. If you utilize the fulfillment provider, you’ll need to make stock arrangements with them. Dropshipping necessitates having access to appropriate suppliers who can process orders on your behalf.

How much does Shopify cost?

Shopify is a strong eCommerce platform, but it isn’t free. It is, however, fairly priced, and is not intended to bankrupt you while you grow your internet business. Basic Shopify costs $29 a month, Shopify costs $79 a month, and Advanced Shopify costs $299 a month. Shopify Lite, which costs $9 per month, and Shopify Plus, which costs $? per month, are the other two options. Shopify Plus does not have a price listed. There are no additional transaction fees if you utilize the Shopify payment gateway. There are if you utilize an external gateway.

Conclusion

ecommerce website

We believe that Shopify is worthwhile. The pricing is cheap, and when you consider what you receive for your money, it’s a really realistic method to set up an online store and begin selling. If you are looking to set up an online store, feel free to check out the available packages we offer. If you are looking to build an ecommerce site, we have some packages that you can check out here!

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