How Does Shopify Work? An In-Depth Look

Do you want to bring your business online but aren’t sure how? Then you should check out Shopify. It’s a powerful online platform that’s very easy to use, even if you don’t have any technical skills. It’s currently the #1 e-commerce platform online, and for many good reasons. In no time, you can have a fully functioning online store and website. Hiring web designers to create a site from scratch can cost thousands. A membership to Shopify will only run you $30 a month. That’s why the platform has found enormous success. But how does Shopify work? That’s what we’re here to find out. 

If you’re interested in starting your own Shopify store, then this article is for you. We’ll go over the main features and benefits of Shopify, as well as how to set up a store. That way, you can get online and start making money sooner rather than later. 

An Overview of Shopify 

First, we’ll take an overall look at the platform as a whole. Shopify is a comprehensive e-commerce platform with a wide range of features. These include selling tools such as POS functions as well as marketing tools. As a result, you can both promote and operate your business using Shopify. The platform also lets you manage everything in one convenient location. 

There’s also the Shopify App Store available. It’s an online marketplace featuring tons of third-party apps made for Shopify. They integrate seamlessly with the platform and add more functions to your storefront. For example, if you want SEO marketing capabilities, you could download an app for it. 

There are many tools that Shopify has available for you to use. Some of these include:

  • The Theme Editor. This intelligent editor is what you’ll use to create a theme for your Shopify website. It also contains the theme library, which includes loads of templates you can use. Of course, you can fully customize each theme or create one from scratch. 
  • Polaris. That is Shopify’s built-in app developing tool. A majority of the apps that you’ll find in the store come from here. It allows you to build a user interface for your app. 
  • Workspace Manager. This dashboard lets you view your orders, shipping, and payments on the fly. You can fully manage all aspects of your online business in one convenient location. 
  • Point of Sale. With POS capabilities, you can sell at retail locations, pop-ups, and more. 
  • Shopify Email. To market your business as soon as your store is done, you can use Shopify Email. It’s Shopify’s built-in email marketing tool that lets you build relationships with customers. 

These are but a few of the elite-level tools that Shopify gives you to use. Not only that but there are thousands of apps in the App Store that you can use to enhance your storefront. 

Benefits of Using Shopify 

Now that you know more about Shopify as a platform let’s look at some of its benefits. There are tons of advantages to using Shopify to break into the e-commerce world. They include:

  • The ease of use. No other platform makes selling products online easier than Shopify. Even if you’ve never designed a website, Shopify makes creating one effortless. It’s simple to add your products, manage orders, and market your business. 
  • The affordable cost. As previously stated, hiring a team to design a website is costly. If you hire experts, it can run into the thousands. A big reason for Shopify’s success is the ability to create a website for $30 a month. Not only do you get to create your store, but you can manage it and support it through Shopify. The savings you’ll enjoy by using Shopify are massive, which is why the platform is so popular. 
  • Beautiful themes. Shopify is renowned for its fantastic store themes. You can fully customize your storefront with colors, images, and more. Not only that, but their designs are highly responsive. They will work flawlessly on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and more. That way, your customers enjoy a very consistent experience. 
  • Excellent support. Nobody can order your products if your website goes down. If you’re on your own, that could be a serious issue that brings your business to a screeching halt. 
  • An excellent option for dropshipping. If you lack the funds to manage your inventory, dropshipping is the way to go. There is a myriad of dropshipping apps on Shopify that you can start using right away. 

You’ll enjoy all these benefits and more when you use Shopify. So how does Shopify work? Here’s a simple breakdown of what happens when a customer uses your site.

How Does Shopify Work for Customers?

There’s no limit on what type of products you can sell on Shopify. That includes physical and digital products. That’s right; you can sell ebooks, online courses, and other digital items. You can also sell a single item or many different products. 

Since Shopify is one of the very first e-commerce platforms, they’ve been working on it for a while. That’s why Shopify has so many helpful tools and features. 

Here’s what happens when someone visits your Shopify e-commerce website:

  • A customer pulls up your shop and makes a product selection. You can have one page or many pages showing off your products. 
  • That order then goes to a shopping cart. The customer can then continue shopping or choose to checkout if their order is complete. 
  • Secure information will travel through an SSL certificate. That will encrypt the data so your visitors can safely enter their private data for payment. Shopify will automatically provide you with an SSL certificate, so you don’t have to worry about finding or generating one. 
  • A payment gateway will transport your customer’s credit card information securely. You can either use Shopify’s built-in payment gateway or use one from a third party. 
  • Shopify will send out a transactional email to your customer. That will confirm the order and send a detailed receipt. The shopping cart software will handle this step automatically. 
  • The order is now complete. From here, you can choose to either ship the order yourself or use a fulfillment center. A fulfillment center will handle the shipping side of the order for you. Shopify is excellent at offering support for fulfillment centers. In fact, they have their own fulfillment center that you can use at any time. 
  • The money enters the merchant account.
  • The money enters your business bank account. 

And that’s all that it takes to make a sale on Shopify. As you can see, it’s a very intuitive and primarily automated process. Shopify provides you with all the tools you need to place the order, ship it, and process payment. That’s how Shopify works in a nutshell. 

What You Can Use Shopify For 

In answering the question of how does Shopify work, you need to know how you can use it. You see, you can use Shopify for a myriad of different uses. These include:

  • Sell Physical Products Online. That is the first and most obvious use for the platform. You can use it to create an online store to sell physical products. No matter what type of physical products you sell, Shopify can help you market and sell them. 
  • Use MultiChannel Sales. What if you want more than an online presence? If you’re going to have a brick-and-mortar store or pop-up events, you can also use Shopify. By using Shopify POS, you can perform in-person sales. POS also lets you process partial payments, credit and debit cards, and gift cards. Also, Shopify will connect all your sales channels for an actual omnichannel experience. Shopify will sync your online store with your POS system for the best results. 
  • Expand Into Digital Products. Digital products are among the most profitable products you can sell. That’s because there’s virtually no overhead involved. There’s also no shipping required, which is another plus. You can use Shopify to sell ebooks, music, Photoshop presets, and so much more. To get started selling digital products, Shopify is a great platform to use. 
  • Sell Memberships and Services. Lots of people don’t think of this, but you can sell services on Shopify. Are you a guitar instructor or yoga teacher? Then you can advertise and sell your services via your Shopify page. Not only that, but you can sell exclusive memberships. Let’s say that you have a website where you teach guitar for membership fees. Why not set up a Shopify page to promote your business?
  • Rentals. That’s right; you can also use Shopify for rentals. You can rent all sorts of products through the platform. These include machinery, clothing, props, equipment, and more. You can enjoy a profitable online business through rentals alone. 
  • Anything Else You Want. Shopify is a diverse enough e-commerce platform that you can sell anything. Whether you sell physical products or services, Shopify gives you the tools to do it all. When setting up your online store, don’t forget that you have many options when it comes to what you can sell online. 

Okay, now that you know more about Shopify, its uses, and its tools, let’s learn how to get started. 

Signing Up On Shopify

Okay, so now that you know the answer to how does Shopify work, it’s time to start an account. You’ll be happy to know that getting started on Shopify is very easy. The first thing that you should do is pick a catchy store name. Think long and hard about this, as it’s a vital part of your storefront. 

The good news is that you can postpone naming your store if you want to go ahead and get started. Shopify allows you to select ‘I’m not sure’ as a temporary placeholder for your store’s name. 

You should also include:

  • Business email address
  • Legal business name
  • Location and currency
  • Contact information 

That way, your customers have everything that they need to use your store. Before you can complete the process, you’ll need to view and agree to Shopify’s policies. It’s important not to skip this part, as there’s a lot of critical information here. Be sure to read:

  • Refund policies
  • Return policies
  • Customer privacy policy
  • Shipping 
  • General terms of use

That’s all essential information to know how to operate on Shopify, so read carefully. Once you agree to all the terms and conditions, you’re good to go! You now have a functional Shopify account. 

Try Shopify for free.

If you are interested in Shopify and want to try it out, Shopify is offering a 14-day free trial here. The free trial is great because you get to see how Shopify works before committing to one of their monthly programs. If you decide to start the free trial, you can pick up right where you left off when you switch to the monthly plan. If you’re looking to grow or start your online business, this is an excellent opportunity to try Shopify.

Setting Up Your Template 

Now that you’re signed up, it’s time to make your Shopify store look the way that you want. You’ll gain access to the Theme Editor, which is where you’ll design your storefront. Shopify comes with many existing themes and templates that you can use. Each Shopify theme has a vast range of modifications you can make. That way, you end up making a website that’s 100% unique to you. 

You can customize every part of your Shopify store. Having a basic understanding of HTML and CSS will help you out a lot. If you don’t know anything about either language, then Shopify support can help. Simply let the customer service agent know what you want out of your website, and they’ll make it happen. 

  • PageFly. If you’re more of a fan of originality, then you can use PageFly. It’s an intuitive program that allows you to create a custom theme from scratch. This app is perfect if you have an idea for a theme but can’t find it anywhere. If you want to create your own themes here’s the link to try pagefly for free.

Add Your Products 

Once your site looks nice, it’s time to add the products that you intend to sell. You have complete control here, and there are a lot of options for customization. You can write the copy, SEO content, and images of the products. Shopify also gives you lots of ways to organize and classify your products. You can categorize them by color, type, seasonal, and other factors.

How Does Shopify Work? ( quick video ) 

In Conclusion

So that’s how you can set up a basic store on Shopify. As you can see, it’s a very streamlined and straightforward process that anyone can do. In a matter of a few minutes, you can design an online e-commerce store that’s ready to use. We hope that we answered the question of how does Shopify work for you. You can also check out our guide to creating an online Shopify store at this link. If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner looking to sell goods online, Shopify is the best way to do so. If you’re interested, don’t wait to get started using the platform today! 

For more great content to help you develop your Shopify strategies, check out the rest of the merchant posts on the site. If you want to see a list of our top recommended Shopify apps visit this link here.

Davon Wilson

I'm a certified Shopify expert, you can usually find me on my computer coding, or thinking about business ideas. I'm an avid Ravens fan and an overall nice guy.

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