Shopify is a popular and powerful eCommerce platform enabling entrepreneurs and businesses to build and manage online stores. It provides an easy-to-use interface and all the tools needed to launch a successful online business.

With Shopify, you can customise your store’s look and feel, add products, manage orders, accept payments, and more. Shopify is the perfect solution if you’re looking to start an online store, migrate to an all-in-one eCommerce solution, or reach a global market to sell products and goods.

As a trusted, multidisciplinary eCommerce website builder, we’re often asked about Shopify and the benefits of choosing it as an eCommerce solution. We’re advocates of the platform and have created many successful online stores for clients worldwide. In this article, we’ll explore what Shopify is, how it works, and why a web design agency like ours loves it.

This article will cover:

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that has something for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced entrepreneur, Shopify empowers businesses of all sizes to build and manage their online stores effortlessly.

So, what exactly is Shopify? At its core, it’s software that allows you to create and customise your online store without any coding knowledge. You can choose from various professionally designed templates and easily customise them to match your brand. Shopify also offers a powerful content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily add and manage your products, collections, and blog posts.

Shopify Website
Shopify is an excellent choice for merchants

One of the standout features of Shopify is its ability to handle payments seamlessly. It comes with its own payment gateway, Shopify Payments, which allows you to accept credit card payments directly on your store. Additionally, it integrates with over 100 payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay, giving your customers a wide range of options to choose from.

According to Builtwith, Shopify has a market share of approximately 22% among the top eCommerce platforms worldwide.

Source: Builtwith

But Shopify is more than just a platform for selling products. It also offers a variety of features to help you grow your business. You can leverage built-in marketing tools to drive traffic to your store, such as SEO optimisation, email marketing, and social media integration. Shopify also provides analytics and reporting tools to help you track your store’s performance and make data-driven decisions.

In addition to these features, Shopify has an extensive app store where you can find thousands of third-party apps to extend the functionality of your store. Whether you’re looking for inventory management tools, advanced shipping options, or even dropshipping solutions, you’ll find it all in the Shopify app store.

So, whether you’re a solopreneur, a small business owner, or a large enterprise, Shopify has the tools and features to start and grow your online business. It’s no wonder millions of entrepreneurs, web design agencies like ours, and developers choose Shopify as their preferred eCommerce platform.

How does Shopify work?

By bringing together all aspects of commerce onto one platform, Shopify simplifies the process of building and customising online stores for merchants. It offers the flexibility to sell products in multiple locations, such as brick-and-mortar shops, pop-up stores, and online marketplaces.

The average order value on Shopify is $72, according to Littledata.

Source: Littledata

As a cloud-based and hosted service, Shopify enables users to access the platform from any connected device while software and server maintenance is handled.

Shopify Point of Sales POS website
Combine your point-of-sale system with Shopify

With Shopify, merchants have access to a comprehensive set of tools to manage products, inventory, payments, and shipping and the ability to integrate other business tools to optimise their business operations. In short, Shopify streamlines commerce, enabling merchants to run their business from anywhere with an internet connection. But how exactly do you get started? Let’s dive in.

1. Launch your Shopify store

To establish a functioning Shopify store, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Sign up. When you sign up for Shopify, you’ll be prompted to choose a unique domain name for your store. This will serve as your online address where customers can find and browse your products. Shopify hosts your store, so you don’t have to worry about technical aspects like server maintenance. You can also buy a unique domain or point one you have already bought by changing the DNS records.
  • Build your store. Next, you can choose a template from Shopify’s vast collection of professionally designed themes. These templates are fully customisable, allowing you to personalise your store’s look and feel to align with your brand. You can easily add your logo, change colours, and customise layouts to create a unique and professional online store. But why opt for a theme your nearest competitor might use once they’ve seen your website, or why risk buying one that hasn’t been optimised for SEO, is bloated and is aimed at various markets? Why not opt for a more bespoke theme? We’re a trusted team of Shopify web design experts who’ll create a custom theme for your business. Get something unique for your brand.
  • Take payments. To start selling, you’ll need to set up a payment gateway. Shopify offers its own payment gateway, Shopify Payments, which allows you to accept credit card payments directly on your store. You can also integrate with popular payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and Apple Pay.
  • Set up a POS System. If you plan on selling online and in-store or on the road, why not make life easier and benefit from combining your point-of-sale system with Shopify’s own? It’s cost-efficient, and your online and offline inventory management will become much easier. Here’s more information about Shopify POS.

2. Selling products on Shopify

Once your eCommerce store is set up, it’s time to add products.

  • Adding products. Shopify provides a user-friendly dashboard where you can manage your inventory, upload product images, and create detailed product descriptions. You can organise your products into collections (what WooCommerce and other platforms might term as categories), making it easy for customers to navigate and find what they’re looking for.
  • Shipping products. When a customer purchases, Shopify securely handles the entire transaction process. It manages the various stages of you fulfilling an order, tracks inventory, and provides shipping options and rates. You can easily manage and fulfil orders through the Shopify dashboard, keeping track of everything in one place.
  • More than physical products. Shopify is not just a platform for selling physical products. It also supports digital products, services, and subscriptions. You can easily set up digital downloads, offer services, or create recurring subscriptions for ongoing revenue streams.

3. Grow your business with Shopify

Things don’t stop there; once your store is up and running, you can grow your business with Shopify’s extra tools.

  • Multi-sales channels. Expand your sales channels by utilising multiple platforms. Rather than relying solely on your website, you can utilise Shopify to showcase and sell your products on Google, eBay, TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and others.
  • Tracking performance and marketing. Additionally, Shopify offers a range of features to help you market your store and drive traffic. You can easily reach your target audience and promote your products via SEO optimisation and integrating with email marketing platforms. Shopify also provides analytics and reporting tools, allowing you to track your store’s performance, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Borrowing money. Shopify Capital is a financing program for merchants, specifically those selling on Shopify. Before obtaining a loan, it is crucial you understand the costs and have a clear strategy for utilising the funds.
  • Shopify Dropshipping. Dropshipping is a business model that allows you to sell products online without the need to handle inventory or shipping. In a traditional retail model, you would buy products in bulk, store them, and then ship them to customers when they purchase. With dropshipping, the process is much simpler. Instead of buying inventory upfront, you work with a supplier who stocks and ships the products directly to your customers. Read our Ultimate Guide to Shopify Dropshipping.

In summary, Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that simplifies creating and managing an online store. With its intuitive interface, customisable templates, and extensive features, Shopify empowers entrepreneurs to start and grow successful online businesses. As a trusted Shopify agency, why not use us to help you set up your store so you can focus on running your business?

Features of Shopify

Shopify offers a wide range of features, making it an exceptional eCommerce platform for entrepreneurs. Let’s dive into some of the standout features of Shopify and how they can benefit your online business.

  • Create a blog. Beyond the key features of Shopify, like its robust inventory management system, another powerful feature is the ability to create a blog on your Shopify store. This is a great way to engage with your customers, provide valuable content, and boost your SEO. You can publish blog posts, share updates, and even showcase your products through engaging content.
  • Social sales. Shopify also offers a wide range of marketing tools to help you drive traffic and increase sales. From SEO optimisation to email marketing integrations, you have everything you need to reach your target audience. Shopify also integrates seamlessly with popular social media platforms, allowing you to sell products directly through Instagram or Facebook.
  • Multi-currency. If you want to expand your business internationally, Shopify has you covered. It offers built-in multi-currency support and allows you to sell in multiple languages. This makes reaching a global audience and growing your customer base more accessible than ever.

In addition to these features, Shopify also offers a variety of specialised solutions to meet specific business needs. For example, Shopify Plus is designed for high-growth businesses and enterprise-level merchants. Shopify Plus provides advanced features like custom checkout and priority support.

Shopify Plus website
Shopify Plus provides access to Shopify’s exclusive APIs

With Shopify Plus, you can create a truly unique and high-performing store that meets the demands of your growing business. Shopify Plus also provides access to Shopify’s exclusive APIs, allowing you to integrate with third-party systems and services.

How much does Shopify cost?

Now that you understand the ins and outs of Shopify, you’re probably wondering, “How much does it cost?” Well, let’s break it down for you.

Shopify offers a range of pricing plans to fit the needs and budgets of different businesses. The basic plan starts at £25 per month and includes all the essential features to get your online store up and running. This plan is perfect for small businesses and startups seeking an online presence. In contrast, the more advanced plans range from £65 to £344 monthly (as of August 2023).

Shopify Pricing
Shopify has various price tiers – August 2023

These plans include hosting, an SSL certificate, and access to Shopify’s features and tools. However, it’s worth noting that some advanced features may require additional fees or the use of third-party apps.

If you’re looking for more advanced features and customisation options, Shopify offers Shopify Plus, designed for high-growth businesses and enterprise-level merchants. While the pricing for Shopify Plus varies depending on your specific requirements, it starts at around $2,000 per month. With Shopify Plus, you can access exclusive APIs, unlimited customisation options, and priority support.

Here’s a full breakdown of what Shopify costs. All prices are accurate as of August 2023:

Plan Monthly fee
In-person transaction fee Online transaction fee Non-Shopify Payments fee
Shopify Starter $5 per month 5% 5% cents 2%
Basic $29 per month 2.7% 2.9% plus 30 cents 2%
Shopify $79 per month 2.5% 2.6% plus 30 cents 1%
Advanced $299 per month 2.4% 2.9% plus 30 cents 0.5%
Shopify Plus Quote-based Based on your credit card sales volume Based on your credit card sales volume 0.15%

As a trusted Shopify agency, we can take you through the options and help you decide which plan fits for now and in the future. If you need assistance with setting up and customising your Shopify store, you can also hire our team of Shopify developers who’ve shaped our agency and have the expertise to build custom features and functionality for your store, offer end-to-end services and help you launch and grow your business. There are many reputable UK Shopify agencies, but we consider ourselves one of the best.

Who uses Shopify?

Shopify is a versatile platform that caters to a wide range of businesses and entrepreneurs. From solopreneurs and small businesses to large enterprises, Shopify has something for everyone.

Shopify hosts a vast array of more than 1 million vendors. We’ve used Shopify to help merchants sell a diverse range of items, from personalised made-to-measure curtains to craft beer and sporting goods.

Shopify processed over $135 billion of orders in 2019, as reported in their annual report.

Source: Shopify

Shopify is the foundation for small-scale businesses looking to establish themselves online and take a product to market and for international brands such as Gymshark, who have seen exponential growth since adopting it as their platform of choice.

Gymshark website
Gymshark uses Shopify Plus

In the U.S., Shopify prohibits certain types of businesses from using its platform.

  • Virtual currency services
  • Investment, credit, money or legal services.
  • Telemarketing
  • Adult content
  • Cannabis, tobacco, e-cigarettes and online pharmacies
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • Gambling
  • Telemedicine or telehealth
  • Extended warranties
  • Multilevel marketing companies
  • Products that make unverified health claims
  • Fireworks

Shopify also prohibits the sale of specific firearms or firearm components on its platform.

Custom Shopify theme design

While there are accessible off-the-shelf themes for Shopify, we always recommend a custom theme when creating an eCommerce website on this all-in-one platform. You’ll get something unique for your brand and the expertise from our team to help you navigate launching a website.

We’re an award-winning Shopify agency designing and building custom eCommerce solutions to help ambitious brands grow their Shopify website. Because Shopify handles everything from marketing and payments to secure checkout and shipping, Shopify leaves us to focus on making your Shopify store look beautiful.

The Millshop Online
The Millshop Online custom Shopify store by Fhoke

We are a design-led London Shopify agency and believe that by harnessing our experienced design team’s talents, you will be offered the best in UX and UI across every project stage. Establishing a style throughout the site ensures everything is consistent for the user wherever they are on the store.

Our talented creative team and Shopify developers will work together to build a custom Shopify theme with your brand at the core. We consider every step of your customer’s journey, adding interactions and touchpoints designed to draw them through the store to maximise conversions and average order value.

Benefits of using Shopify

Using Shopify offers numerous benefits to help entrepreneurs and businesses succeed in eCommerce.

First and foremost, Shopify provides a user-friendly interface and intuitive design, making it easy for anyone to set up and manage an online store. Whether a beginner or an experienced entrepreneur, Shopify’s interface is straightforward and user-friendly, ensuring you can navigate and utilise the platform effectively.

Additionally, Shopify offers a wide range of features and tools that can enhance the functionality and performance of your online store. From inventory management and order fulfilment to marketing and analytics, Shopify has everything you need to run a successful online business. With Shopify, you can easily track inventory levels, receive notifications when it’s time to restock and manage product variants effortlessly.

Spocket Dropshipping Shopify App
Spocket Dropshipping Shopify App

Another significant advantage of using Shopify is the availability of Shopify Plus and Shopify dropshipping. Shopify Plus offers advanced features and customisation options for high-growth businesses and enterprise-level merchants. With Shopify Plus, you can create a unique and high-performing online store that meets the specific needs of your growing business. On the other hand, Shopify dropshipping allows entrepreneurs to sell products without worrying about inventory management or fulfilment, making it an attractive option for those looking for a hassle-free business model.

Moreover, Shopify offers seamless integration with various third-party systems and services, allowing you to expand your store’s functionality and reach. Whether you need to integrate with a CRM system, email marketing platform, or accounting software, Shopify provides the flexibility to connect with the tools and services you rely on.

In summary, the benefits of using Shopify stack up positively. Shopify provides the tools and resources to thrive in the competitive eCommerce market. Book a call with one of our experts, and we’ll help you on your Shopify journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Shopify Good For Beginners?

If you’re a beginner looking to start your online store, Shopify is an excellent option. Shopify makes it incredibly easy to set up and manage your store, even without experience. With its user-friendly interface and extensive range of features, you’ll be able to easily navigate the platform. Plus, Shopify offers comprehensive support and resources to help you every step of the way. So, if you’re a beginner looking to dive into eCommerce, Shopify is an excellent choice!

In what countries can I use Shopify?

Shopify is a globally recognised eCommerce platform serving merchants across 175 countries. With its versatility, Shopify offers language support in over 20 languages and facilitates Shopify Payments in several countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. However, it is important to note that Shopify Payments is unavailable in US territories except Puerto Rico.

Where can I sell with Shopify?

Using Shopify, you can broaden your sales reach to every platform where your customers are active. This includes your own website, brick-and-mortar store or events like tradeshows, online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

What can I sell with Shopify?

Shopify offers an array of selling opportunities, but its forte lies in the online sale of physical products. With no limits on product listings, a wide selection of sizes and colours available, and convenient shipping options provided by Shopify, it is a suitable platform for those seeking to ship orders to customers.