The Complete 2023 Shopify Tutorial for Beginners: What Is Shopify & How Does It Work?
Shopify has changed the game for companies looking to elevate their online presence. The company reports to be now used by businesses in more than 175 nations. As an ecommerce business, you add items to your inventory, select themes for your storefront, and collect payments from clients all over the world with only a few clicks.
The platform also provides a variety of marketing and analytics tools so you can monitor the performance of your store and make wise choices to increase sales.
Shopify is undoubtedly a platform worth taking into consideration whether you run a startup or an established online business.
Table of Contents
- What Is Shopify?
- How Does Shopify Work?
- How Much Does Shopify Cost?
- What Are Shopify Pros and Cons?
- What Do Customers Think About Shopify?
- What Are the Best Shopify Alternatives?
- Is Shopify the Top Ecommerce Platform in 2023?
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is an omnichannel sales platform for companies of all sizes to sell both physical and digital goods. You have two options - creating a Shopify store or selling products on an already-existing website, and both can work for you.
With a Shopify buy button, you can generate sales through social media, guest blog posts, emails, and in-person transactions.
What Does Shopify Do?
Dubbed as an all-in-one ecommerce platform for selling products and services online, Shopify offers you a range of features and services. This makes it easy to learn how to sell on Shopify even for beginner business owners.
Shopify provides the following services to online stores:
1. Store Setup
Even with no experience in design or coding, Shopify makes it simple to start your own online business. Use the platform's selection of editable templates and themes to build a polished website that accurately represents your business and taste.
2. Product Management
Shopify enables you to manage your complete product catalog in one location. Add and modify products, categorize them, and establish pricing and inventory levels.
3. Payment and Processing
Shopify supports most credit cards, PayPal, and other payment options. The platform also features Shopify Payment, which is the simplest method for accepting payments in-app. It helps eliminate the hassle of setting up a merchant account or third-party payment provider and having to enter the login information into Shopify.
As soon as you create your Shopify store, Shopify Payments has you ready to take all popular payment methods.
4. Shipping and Logistics
Shopify offers a wide range of options to assist you in managing your logistics and shipping requirements. Your clients can view the shipping charges before making a purchase because it offers real-time shipping rates.
Print mailing labels straight from the platform and streamline your shipping procedure and lower the risk of mistakes.
Shopify gives you the ability to track shipments and advise clients of delivery statuses, which enhances client happiness and lowers support requests.
5. Marketing and Sales
Shopify gives a variety of marketing and sales options, including social network integration, email marketing, SEO optimization, and discount code generation.
What Is Shopify Used For?
Shopify is a flexible ecommerce platform that supports a range of online enterprises. On Shopify, you can run the following types of ecommerce businesses:
1. Retail Stores
For brick and mortar retailers looking to sell their goods online, Shopify is a fantastic option. With Shopify, you can build an online storefront that showcases your brand and control all parts of your ecommerce activities from any location.
Dropshippers sell things without holding inventory on hand, and they are also big fans of Shopify. This is because learning how to dropship on Shopify comes with virtually no learning curve. Dropshippers can quickly and effectively automate the order fulfillment process using their Shopify website, allowing them to concentrate on marketing and expanding their business.
3. Subscription-Based Businesses
Shopify supports subscription-based ecommerce formats like membership schemes and subscription boxes. Recurring payments, product subscriptions, and other elements of subscription-based businesses can all be managed by businesses using Shopify.
4. Digital Products
Shopify is a fantastic option for businesses that offer digital goods like software, music, or e-books. Customers can easily access their purchases since the Shopify ecommerce platform enables businesses to offer digital goods, manage delivery, and control downloads.
5. Service-Based Businesses
Consultants or freelancers who sell their services online can also use Shopify. With Shopify, companies can design unique service bundles, receive payments, and control their bookings and appointments.
What Is Shopify Plus?
The best option for big businesses or those with annual sales over $500,000 may be Shopify Plus. When you hit $800,000 in monthly revenue, the Shopify Plus package becomes available to you.
Like all Shopify versions, Shopify Plus is sleek, straightforward, and simple to use, but this top-tier version also has a ton of remarkable features, such as infinite selling capacity and unique tools like Shopify Flow for automation.
It is made for both wholesale and international sales. Shopify guarantees priority customer assistance for users of the Plus package.
Shopify vs Shopify Plus
The Shopify platform for ecommerce comes with two versions: Shopify and Shopify Plus. they’re designed for various business types and their unique requirements.
The platform's standard version, _Shopif_y, is appropriate for small- to medium-sized businesses. It has all the basic elements required to build up an online business like website design templates, payment processing, managing shipping and inventory, and providing customer service.
Shopify Plus is a more sophisticated version of the platform created for big, high-volume enterprises. It also offers comprehensive analytics and reporting, configurable checkout choices, the capacity to manage enormous volumes of visitors and transactions, and the ability to establish sub-stores.
Shopify and Shopify Plus mainly differ in:
1. Pricing: Shopify Plus costs more than Shopify, with a larger monthly subscription fee and extra charges for integrations and customizations.
2. Customization: More customization options are available with Shopify Plus, enabling companies to design an entirely unique online store experience.
3. Scalability: Shopify Plus is built to manage big levels of visitors and revenues. It’s more appropriate for companies with significant room for expansion.
4. Support: Customers of Shopify Plus get access to a specialized support staff that may offer assistance with technical problems and give advice on how to optimize their store.
How Does Shopify Work?
Shopify is a comprehensive ecommerce platform that makes it simple for companies to set up and run an online store.
The services and capabilities it offers range from website design, through payment processing, to shipment control. Ecommerce businesses can easily build a polished online store without any programming experience or skills.
The platform provides a selection of website design templates that can be customized to match a company's branding and style. Shopify offers hosting and security. It interfaces with a variety of payment channels, making it simple to receive payments from clients all around the world.
In addition, Shopify comes with tools to support companies in managing their customer, shipping, and inventory data. Businesses are able to monitor their sales, traffic, and customer activity because of the real-time analytics and information that the platform offers.
How to Start a Shopify Store
It doesn’t take much difficulty once you know the basics of how to start a Shopify store. You can build your own now by going through the following steps:
1. Sign up for a Shopify account. Establish an account on the Shopify website, select a pricing option that works for you, and enter your payment and business information.
2. Choose a domain name. Choose a memorable and distinctive domain name for your online store.
3. Customize your store. Pick a theme from Shopify's theme library, make any necessary adjustments, and then add your items and collections.
4. Set up payment and shipping options. Set up shipping rates, select your preferred shipping providers, and configure your payment gateway.
5. Test and launch your store. Launch your online store after previewing it and testing all the features and functionalities.
6. Market your store. Advertise your business and draw clients using email marketing, social media, and other avenues.
7. Manage your deliverables. Use the Shopify dashboard to keep track of your sales, inventory, and customer information, and update your store frequently to enhance the shopping experience.
8. Launch a loyalty program. Start a customer loyalty program to boost customer retention, increase purchase frequency, and grow sales.
How Much Does Shopify Cost?
Now that you know how to use Shopify to start or grow your ecommerce business, it’s time to look at how much it costs to have your store on the platform.
Shopify provides a range of price options to accommodate the needs of businesses of different sizes and their financial constraints. The pricing structure is based on a monthly subscription fee, plus extra charges for any third-party app or plugin integrations and transaction fees.
The Basic Shopify plan costs $29 a month as Shopify's entry-level price. Hosting for websites, limitless file storage, and simple reporting and analytics are all included within this plan.
New users are eligible for a 14-day free trial of Shopify.
After the trial, Shopify doesn’t really offer a free plan but an option called Shopify Lite which enables companies to add ecommerce elements to an already-existing website or social media profile.
The Basic plan also accepts credit card payments through Shopify's payment gateway and sells on Facebook and Instagram.
Shopify can be regarded as an affordable choice for companies of all sizes in terms of cost. But larger companies with huge sales volumes might find the more expensive pricing of the more sophisticated plans, like Shopify Plus, to be prohibitive.
These plans provide more comprehensive reporting options and other features, but they also have higher monthly prices and extra expenses for customization and integrations.
What Are Shopify Pros and Cons?
Choosing the ideal ecommerce platform for your online business requires more consideration than just knowing how simple or not it is to set up an online store on it. That’s why next we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of using Shopify over other platforms:
- Provides simple setup even without tech expertise
- Comes with a variety of themes and customization options to help build a professionally looking store
- Supports integrated payment processing and shipment
- Offers various pricing tiers for different business sizes and needs
- Integrates excellent customer service and tools like community forum and online guides
- Transaction fees can pile up and make Shopify more expensive for companies with larger sales volume
- Customization options limit companies in need of functionality or design
- Only more expensive plans offer advance features like comprehensive reports and custom checkout options
- Larger companies may find it harder to operate
Overall, do the pros exceed the cons?
Yes, Shopify's benefits outweigh its drawbacks because of the platform's user-friendly design, abundance of features and integrations, flexible pricing, and superior customer service.
But before selecting Shopify as their ecommerce platform, companies should carefully assess their unique needs and budget.
What Do Customers Think About Shopify?
Customers have given Shopify largely favorable feedback across a number of customer review websites.
The evaluation of Shopify as an ecommerce platform on WebsiteBuilderExpert gives a thorough overview, highlighting its user-friendly design, potent features, and first-rate customer service.
Shopify receives an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5, and the reviewers commend it for its ability to manage high traffic and sales volumes as well as its broad selection of third-party connectors and add-ons.
Some drawbacks include its transaction costs, lack of customization choices, and higher price tag compared to its rivals. The platform's many advantages, such as its user-friendliness, secure payment processing, and intuitive design, often outweigh these concerns.
Shopify got an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Style Factory. It also received praise for its user-friendliness, adaptable templates, and extensive app store.
But like any other reviews, it also has its disadvantages like transaction fees and restricted customization choices for various website components. Nonetheless, reviewers contend that in light of all the advantages of utilizing Shopify as an ecommerce platform, these drawbacks are insignificant.
What Are the Best Shopify Alternatives?
Unquestionably, Shopify is among the most well-liked ecommerce systems, but it's not the only one available on the market. There are a number of options you can take into consideration if you're seeking a Shopify substitute that has more features, customization possibilities, or better pricing.
The top alternatives to Shopify are:
- Magento: Best Shopify Competitor for Large Enterprises
- WooCommerce: Best Shopify Alternative for WordPress
- VTEX: Best Competitor of Shopify for Omnichannel Retailers
- SAP: Best Alternative to Shopify for Enterprise-Level Businesses
- Salesforce: Best Shopify Competitor for B2B Businesses
- Nuvemshop: Best Shopify Alternative for Latin American Market
- Zid: Best Shopify Competitor for B2C Businesses
Magento: Best Shopify Competitor for Large Enterprises
Large companies needing complex ecommerce solutions might consider Magento, an open-source platform with a high level of customisation and scalability. In addition, it is renowned for its strong inventory management, sophisticated analytics, and SEO optimization abilities.
WooCommerce: Best Shopify Alternative for WordPress
Ecommerce businesses can craft an online store out of their WordPress website with the free WooCommerce plugin. It offers a wide range of extensions and integrations and is a convenient and reasonably priced option for both individuals and small businesses.
VTEX: Best Competitor of Shopify for Omnichannel Retailers
Various tools are available for omnichannel shops with VTEX. Just like Shopify, it also includes capabilities like inventory management, order management, and client management.
SAP: Best Alternative to Shopify for Enterprise-Level Businesses
Advanced technologies like AI-driven personalization, predictive analytics, and machine learning are available with SAP Commerce Cloud. Large companies that need sophisticated ecommerce solutions and have the money to spend on premium platforms should definitely consider this platform.
Salesforce: Best Shopify Competitor for B2B Businesses
Account-based pricing, catalogs, and buyer hierarchies are just a few of the B2B-specific abilities available on Salesforce. It’s a great option for companies that sell to other companies and need specialist ecommerce solutions.
Nuvemshop: Best Shopify Alternative for Latin American Market
Nuvemshop includes integrated payment methods, SEO enhancements, and social media interfaces in its services. It's best for companies that do business in South America and need regional ecommerce solutions.
Zid: Best Shopify Competitor for B2C Businesses
Zid performs a number of functions in the cloud including customer administration, order management, and product catalog management. Small and medium-sized companies that need an accessible and reasonably priced ecommerce solution should consider this Shopify alternative.
Is Shopify the Top Ecommerce Platform in 2023?
Shopify has firmly established itself as a leader in the industry, despite the fact that there are a number of competitors in the ecommerce platform space.
It's an excellent option for businesses of all sizes wanting to start an online store because of its user-friendly design, extensive feature set, and robust app store.
But Shopify’s not the only one. Systems like Magento, WooCommerce, VTEX, SAP, Salesforce, Nuvemshop, and Zid also give these distinctive features and advantages.
Whatever platform a company chooses to use, incorporating a loyalty program, marketing tactics, and personalization can help enhance sales and client retention.
Businesses can easily start a loyalty program, increase marketing efforts, and add personalization to their online store using Coretava's seamless integration with Shopify.
You can develop a successful ecommerce strategy that fosters growth and success by fusing the strength of Shopify with the consumer interaction and loyalty-building features of Coretava.
Click here to schedule a demo of Coretava.
AI and Personalization
Daniela has 6 years of experience in digital marketing for ecommerce businesses.
Aws is the Co-Founder of Coretava, a complete retail ecommerce growth platform. He has 6+ years of experience in managing and growing ecommerce businesses.