Last updated on December 7th, 2020 at 09:12 am.
If you are new to Shopify, this post will answer some questions you may have. Shopify is an e-commerce website builder. That is to say, if you want to build any type of online store, you can use it.
As a beginner you may not know where to start. I’ve therefore put this post together to answer some questions you may have.
If you still have other questions just leave a comment and I will reply.
Related: Why I recommend Shopify
You can read the entire post, or use the content section links below to go to the question that is of interest to you.
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What exactly does Shopify do?
Shopify is an online platform that allows you to create an online store . An online store is a website where you can sell products directly to your customer via the internet.
On Shopfy you can create a store for physical products, digital products or for drop-shipping. If you manufacture or resell physical products such as shoes, computer gadgets e.t.c. you can setup your store and sell directly to your customers. They won’t have to come to your store to buy and pick the products. You’ll have to ship them the products once they make a purchase.
You can also sell digital/ downloadable products using Shopify.
You can also setup a dropshipping store. Dropshipping is where, once a customer makes a purchase, you have to place the order with another supplier. The supplier is the one who will ship the product directly to the customer.
Shopify.com is just a Website that enables you to create your Store. It will be up to you to do the marketing, designing and branding of your ecommerce website.
Currently the biggest alternative to Shopify is, Woocommerce. Woocommerce is a WordPress plugin. Others include, Bicommerce and Squarespace.
How does Shopify work?
With Shopify you never have to worry about hosting. Once you create your account you can add as many products as you have. Leave the back-end stuff to them. Just handle your website’s design. Marketing and order fulfillment.
How Shopify works:
- Step 1: Signup for a 14 day Free Trial
- Step 2: Choose a theme and design your Shopify website. It’s a very user friendly platform and easy to learn. You can design your store however you want; add your logo and custom branding to match your business.
- Step 3: Add your products, prices and inventory. Basically add all the info about your products.
- Add your shipping details.
- Choose payment methods / payment gateways.
- Select a Shopify plan.
- Connect your domain if you want to use a personal domain that clearly brands your business.
- When you are sure everything is correct and tested, publish your website to make it live and ready for orders.
- Market your products online using content marketing , digital marketing and any other push or pull marketing tactics that you know of. Shopify has a blogging feature as well.
- Once someone purchases your product, you have to fulfill it and ship it to them using the means available in your website. There are options provided by Shopify for order fulfillment. Just choose the one that would apply to your business.
Please note that you can get help from experts and freelancers . If you need help, there are lots of experts and freelancers who are ready to get you online. You can learn and build your online store using resources on YouTube and the knowledge base.
Is it available in my country.
Shopify is global and supports almost all countries. Chances are that your country is supported. If Visa and MasterCard are available in your country, then you can use Shopify. Of course there are other payment gateways too. However, do a quick Google search to confirm the payment gateways supported for your country.
If you are selling goods locally, then you can setup manual payments such as cash on delivery (COD).
Shopify Pricing / fees / Plans
To check the current prices and offers, ensure you have a look at the official Shopify pricing page.
All Shopify plans offer unlimited hosting and unlimited products. Sell as many items as you can.
The current plans offered are :
Basic Shopify Plan – $29
At $29 Per Month this plan comes with a lot that is sufficient for any online business. Always start with this plan. It is enough.
Shopify Plan – $79
Not a lot of difference from the basic plan. Not a lot of selling propositions here, so just choose the basic plan.
Advanced Shopify Plan – $299
Comes with a little more than the other two. Intended for high scalability businesses. You don’t need it. Stick with basic plan.
Please note that you may subscribe to other Apps which charge you monthly. That is a personal decision and the price is different from the Shopify plans.
It may increase your monthly subscription cost. Therefore, only get Apps that are absolutely needed for your business to succeed. If you can do without an App, do not get it. Shopify Apps are a way for you to add functionality to your store.
Is there a free Plan?
Shopify has no free plans. However there is a 14 day Free Trial.
Shopify does not have a Free Plan, You can however, try the platform for a 14 day period. You can also create a trial development store via the partners’ dashboard. Watch this Shopify partner tutorial video to learn about development stores.
How much does it cost to have a Shopfy store?
The cost of owning a Shopfy store depends on your monthly plan and the Apps you have subscribed to. There are certain Apps that attract a monthly charge. If you install such an App, you will increase the cost of running your store.
Good news however, you do not have to pay for hosting separately. And, you will get unlimited product listing with each Shopify plan.