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How Does Shopify Work? Start an Online Store for Free

I’m often asked the question “how does Shopify work?” and if it’s the right eCommerce solution for businesses. To be honest, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question – it depends on your specific business needs. However, I can give you a general overview of this question “How does Shopify work?”, and what makes it such a popular choice for online eCommerce stores.

How Does Shopify Work?

Shopify is a platform for businesses of all sizes to create an online store. It offers users a customizable platform, an easy-to-use checkout process, and a wide range of features. Shopify also provides users with a blog, which can be used to share news and information about their business.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a subscription-based eCommerce platform that helps businesses of all sizes sell physical and digital products. You can use Shopify to build a new online store from scratch or to add eCommerce capabilities to an existing website. Shopify offers a wide range of features, including product management, inventory management, payments, shipping, and customer service.

Ecommerce store owners can sell through social media, guest blog posts, emails, and in-person with a Shopify buy button. This way, you can sell to anyone, anywhere in the world.

How Much Does Shopify Cost?

Shopify has four main plans, each with different features and pricing. Shopify Lite is the most basic plan, at $9month. It includes the Shopify buy button, which allows you to sell products on your website or blog, but is not an online store builder.

Basic Shopify is the next step up, at $29/month. It includes the Shopify buy button and in-person selling capabilities, as well as an online store with two staff accounts and up to four inventory locations (in-person stores, warehouses, etc.).

Shopify is the most popular plan, at $79/month. It includes all selling channels (online store, POS, social media, marketplaces), five staff accounts, up to five inventory locations, discounted credit card rates, and discounted transaction fees.

Advanced Shopify is the most comprehensive plan, at $299month. It includes all selling channels plus 15 staff accounts and up to eight inventory locations. Additionally, it offers further discounted credit card and transaction fees along with duties and import collections for custom international product pricing variants.

Shopify Plus is a premium plan designed for high-volume businesses; pricing must be requested from Shopify directly.

What Is Shopify Lite?

With Shopify lite, you can integrate a shopping cart into your existing website, Facebook, or Blog. This is ideal for small businesses that don’t want to build an entire store from scratch.

Shopify Lite is a great eCommerce tool for sellers who want to add a sales element to their social media posts, website, marketing emails, landing pages, or direct messages. With Shopify Lite, you can easily add buy buttons and product information to almost any online platform.

Shopify Lite is a great way to get started with Shopify if you’re not ready for a full-fledged online store. With Shopify Lite, you can create buy buttons and embed them on your existing website or blog. You’ll also be able to accept credit card payments or create invoices for wholesale, phone, or custom orders.

Shopify’s POS app is a great way to take payments in person, whether you’re using an iOS or Android device. The app makes it easy to accept payments and keep track of your sales, making it a valuable tool for any business owner.

Shopify Lite is a subscription that lets you sell products on Facebook and other platforms. In this article, we will discuss the features of Shopify Lite and how it can fit into your eCommerce sales strategy.

What Is Shopify Plus?

Shopify Plus is the perfect eCommerce platform for large businesses that want to take their online sales to the next level. With Shopify Plus, businesses can enjoy enterprise-level features and support, without having to pay exorbitant fees.

Shopify Plus is the enterprise-level plan for Shopify, coming with a price tag of $2,000 per month. For businesses making over $800K in sales each month, the monthly fee becomes 0.25% of sales volume. This top-tier version of Shopify is elegant and simple to use, loaded with features such as unlimited selling capacity and special tools like Shopify Flow for automation.

The top tier of eCommerce software, called “Shopify plus”, comes with a number of useful features, such as the ability to sell an unlimited number of products.

It is meant for B2B and B2C sales teams, as well as global and wholesaling teams.

Shopify Plus members receive priority customer service.

If you are interested in using Shopify Plus for your business, please contact them for pricing information. You can read our full review of Shopify Plus to get more details about the platform.

What Can I Sell On Shopify?

Shopify users can sell physical products, digital products, or drop-shipped products. Shopify merchants have a wide variety of products that they can sell, which include:

Merchants on Shopify have a variety of items that they can offer for sale. These range from tangible items like handmade crafts, beauty products, and home furnishings to intangible products like online courses, event tickets, and ebooks.

The main rule when using Shopify is that you cannot sell anything illegal.

You can sell your products on Shopify, but there are some things you can’t. For example, you are not allowed to sell or ship any items that are illegal, such as illegal drugs, guns, or ammunition.

This list of excluded products is always subject to change. For example, the policy on CBD products was updated recently to allow sales of CBD products that are lawfully derived from hemp. So be sure to check for the latest news on restrictions before you start building your Shopify store.

Before you build your store, check for any news on restrictions on selling certain products.

How does Shopify work?

Shopify is the perfect platform for entrepreneurs who want to build and customize their own online store. With Shopify, you can sell in multiple places including web, mobile, social media, online marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. Shopify also has features to manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping.

You can access and run your dream business from anywhere with an internet connection.

On a given day, business owners need to showcase their products, engage their customers, get their money, and handle their day-to-day operations.

Many businesses have a separate system for each task, and they spend a lot of time and money trying to get them to work together.

A commerce platform like Shopify offers a convenient, all-in-one solution for businesses that need to manage various activities and processes. Having everything in one place saves time and money that would otherwise be spent on stitching together disparate systems.

What Shopify offers is a one-stop-shop for all your business needs. Everything is in one place and it is very familiar.

Shopify is designed to be easily integrated with other business tools you may need to make it work for your business. We ensure that you can access and integrate these tools quickly and easily.

Think of the different layers of the Shopify platform as building blocks you can use to build your own eCommerce business.

Layer 1: Shopify’s core product

This is what you’ll get when you begin a paid plan on Shopify.

With Shopify, you get everything you need to start a business and sell your products. That includes templates for the look of your store, the ability to sell in multiple locations, an integrated payment system, a best-converting checkout page, marketing, and search engine optimization tools.

This is the foundation of our other applications and products.

Shopify provides APIs and development tools to allow store owners to customize their stores to fit their specific needs. This gives them the ability to create a unique experience for their customers that is tailored to their business.

Layer 2: Shopify’s additional products and services

As your business grows, your needs will change.

We offer our customers powerful upgrades to help them grow their business on our platform. These upgrades include more storage space, more bandwidth, and more features.

Shopify is committed to helping our customers grow their businesses. That’s why we offer exclusive products and services, like easier access to capital and accelerated payment options, that are designed to give independent business owners a leg up in the market.

Layer 3: Apps built by trusted partners

Shopify’s App Store is a one-stop-shop for all the customization your store needs. With thousands of apps built by third-party developers, you can find the perfect tool for any task – no code required. And if you can dream it up, there’s an app that can make it happen. So why wait? Start customizing your store today!

The Store has tons of great tools for growing your business. From the latest social media marketing tools to new texting applications, you’ll find everything you need.

If you want to build a customized solution, you can work with an expert from the Shopify Experts Marketplace. Or, if you’re a coder, you can build your own app!

Shopify: Out of the Box: What You Get With Shopify’s Core Product

The last time you bought a smartphone, it was probably pretty new and came with many features right out of the box. Your smartphone could probably take photos and videos, connect to and browse the internet, offer navigation services, tell you the weather, and more.

In other words, your smartphone comes with a lot of features that allow you to do what you need it to do.

What you get with every Shopify plan is the same. Shopify’s core product is one that works in the same way for everyone.

Shopify is the all-in-one platform for businesses of all sizes. With Shopify, you get a complete package to help run your business: a storefront, payment processor, shipping partner, back office, and marketing headquarters. All in one place!

These are the essential functions of running a successful business.

When you sign up for a free 14-day trial of Shopify, this is what you get:


Shopify offers a hosted online store where you can create web product pages, upload blog posts, and sell products. You can customize the look and feel of your store by changing the website template, or theme. There is also Shopify POS Lite, a point-of-sale app that you can use to sell your products in person, including brick-and-mortar stores, markets, and pop-up shops.

Payment processor

Shopify has you covered when it comes to payment processing. You can choose from over 100 payment gateways, or opt for Shopify Payments, which eliminates the hassle of setting up a third-party provider and saves you transaction fees. Whatever you choose, you’re set up to accept all major payment methods and sell in 133 currencies.

Shopify Checkout is the most powerful checkout in the world, with over 2.5 billion orders processed. It’s constantly optimized for speed, conversion, and customer experience–giving you the best possible chance for success.

Shipping partner

With Shopify’s extensive list of carriers, you can choose which service works best for you. You can fulfill orders from bulk, create SCAN forms, arrange pick-ups with UPS and DHL, and offer Canadian, American, and Australian customers the option to track their packages.

Back Office Mobile App

The Shopify app is a free mobile application that you can use to manage your business from your mobile device. With the app, you can do everything you would do at your computer, including monitoring store activity in real-time, gaining insights into your visitors, and analyzing your business performance.

The Shopify Application Store is also a great way to add more specialized features and functionalities to your store. And if you ever need help, Shopify has 247 customer support, comprehensive documentation, and educational resources available on their blog.

Marketing HQ Marketing Platform

Shopify’s marketing platform is a great way to reach more customers. The built-in blog and SEO tools make it easy to create Facebook and Google Shopping campaigns. You can track your campaign performance across all channels in one dashboard, and you retain full control over your customer data.

Wait, there’s more: the Shopify App Store

Your phone comes with all the basic functions you need.

But that’s not all your smartphone can do. By downloading apps like social media, music streaming, email, and fitness apps, you can make your smartphone more enjoyable and effective to use on a regular basis.

And those choices are personal.

Like Amazon, the e-commerce platform, Shopify, offers a variety of products.

By taking into account all of the factors that are unique to each business owner, you can craft a custom-made solution that helps them achieve their goals.

Solving the needs of over a million businesses is no small feat. With such a vast and varied customer base, it’s difficult to please everyone. However, Shopify does its best to provide a comprehensive platform that meets the needs of as many businesses as possible.

And trying to include every possible feature a business might need on Shopify’s platform makes the product harder to use for the majority of new business owners. Most new business owners don’t need all of the features that Shopify offers which makes it difficult for them to use the platform.

One of the best parts about running a Shopify online store is having access to thousands of apps that can enhance your store. Whether you need help with email marketing, inventory, or shipping, there is bound to be an app that can help you.

The Shopify App Store offers a wide variety of apps to solve specific merchant problems. With our powerful search and classification system, even the most niche apps are easily discoverable by the merchants who need them. This makes it easy for entrepreneurs to find exactly what they need for their store and provides new developers with an opportunity to build their business by supporting those entrepreneurs.

The Shopify app store is a great place for app developers and business owners alike. Merchants can find solutions to their unique needs, and developers can build a business by solving those needs.

Choose your own adventure: custom code and beyond

Shopify’s mission is to provide entrepreneurs with a platform that is easy to use, regardless of design or development experience.

If none of the built-in options work for you, you can always hire a web developer to custom-build something for you.

If you’re looking to get your hands dirty with code or hire someone from our partner ecosystem to do it for you, Shopify makes it possible to customize every aspect of your business and shopping experience. There’s no limit to what you can do!

There are lots of things you can do to your business to make it unique. You can focus on one thing, or build your business from scratch to be one-of-a-kind.

The choice is all yours!

If you want more control over your business, there are a few ways you can customize your store. You can either customize your theme or build one from scratch. Additionally, you can use Shopify’s APIs to build custom apps for your store or to power custom experiences.

You don’t have to give up the ease of use for control. With Shopify, you can have your store up and running quickly, while still being able to customize and personalize your store as much as you want.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Shopify?

Merchants choose Shopify because it is an excellent platform that is easy to use and offers a wide range of features. Some of the common complaints about Shopify are that it is expensive and customer support is not always helpful.

Shopify Pros 

Shopify is a great eCommerce platform for many reasons, but the biggest ones are its ease of use and low startup cost. Shopify is simple to use, even if you’re not a skilled developer, and its monthly fees are relatively low. You can also find a variety of beautiful themes, both free and paid, to use on your Shopify store. Additionally, Shopify is a great platform for dropshipping due to its integrations with top dropshipping suppliers. And if you ever need help, Shopify offers excellent customer support options.

Shopify Cons

Shopify is a great eCommerce platform for small businesses, but it does have its drawbacks. One of the biggest drawbacks is the cost of add-ons. While Shopify offers almost every basic feature, the software is lacking many advanced features. You will have to find these features in the form of add-ons, also known as apps, which are not free. Adding three apps alone could double the monthly fees.

Another drawback is transaction fees. Although most shopping carts have dropped their transaction fees entirely, Shopify has retained its 0.5% to 2.0% fees (depending on your pricing plan). You do have the option to have Shopify waive these fees when you accept payments through Shopify Payments. However, Shopify Payments has its fair share of complaints, and it may not be the best payment processor for everyone.

Finally, customer support has been strained recently. While Shopify has been known for responsive customer support in the past, more recent customer reviews voice mixed reports on the support team. Some users are impressed by the support they received, while others complain that Shopify support representatives were not able to help them resolve their issues.


So there you have it – we have answered the question, “How does Shopify work?” as well as provided a general overview of what makes it such a popular eCommerce platform. If you’re thinking about starting an online store, I highly recommend giving Shopify a try. It’s easy to use, has everything you need to get started, and is customizable if your business needs to change down the road.