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What Is Shopify & How Does It Work

9 minutes read
What Is Shopify - featured image
Ana Gelevska

Unless you’re already into e-commerce, you’ve probably heard about Shopify, but maybe you’re curious and not sure what it is.

It’s the leading platform that makes owning an online store easy. It takes all the pain of creating an e-commerce store away, allowing pretty much anyone with a computer to create their own online store. 

But it’s more than that, of course. You don’t simply create a Shopify account, press open and you have a store that’s going to make you millions. It’s super easy to launch a store, but there are a few important things that any entrepreneur needs to know as they set out on their e-commerce journey.

And in this blog post, we’ll take a look at what Shopify is exactly. Who could benefit from using it, the different types of things you could sell on it, and we’ll look at ways to improve your store’s performance and with it more sales.

What Is Shopify?

It’s a powerful e-commerce platform that allows entrepreneurs and businesses to create and manage online stores. The owners of Shopify launched the platform back in 2006 because the technology for their online snowboarding store was insufficient.

The result was an early model of Shopify, and since then the company has grown exponentially and now floats on Nasdaq. The most recent data suggest Shopify powers over 4.5 million online stores in over 175 different countries.

The Shopify platform offers a wide range of tools, features, and resources. As well as it being a platform to showcase your products, it makes taking payments super easy. There are marketing applications that make it easier to sell more products, and it makes it easy for you to build a reputation online and remain popular with your customers.

So, if you’re looking to set up your own online store, now is the time to ask yourself: what is Shopify, and how can it help me achieve my business goals? In the following video, you will find all your questions answered: What is Shopify? How does it work? How can you start selling on Shopify today?


What Is Shopify Used For?

Shopify is primarily used for creating and running online stores. The platform’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive tools make it the best software to build an e-commerce store. It’s the most popular choice among entrepreneurs, so let’s take a look at some of the main functions of what is Shopify used for:


What Is Shopify Used For


  • Store Setup and Customization

Shopify enables users to design and customize their online stores using a range of pre-built themes, templates, and add-ons. Users can choose from a variety of themes to suit their brand and industry, or even create a custom theme from scratch.

There are free themes to get you started quickly, and there are paid themes that improve the look and overall performance of your webstore. It all depends on your budget, but the free themes are a great place to start, and you can always update as you start making an income.

  • Product Management in Shopify

The platform offers tools for adding, organizing, and managing products. It depends on what you sell, but it’s really easy to add products. For each product, you should always have at least one professional picture and a well-written product description, and of course a price.

Shopify makes it easy to add each product into collections, making it easy for your customers to find similar products on the same pages.

  • Shopify Payment Processing

Shopify supports a wide range of payment gateways and methods, making it easy for businesses to accept payments.

Shopify offers its own payment solution, Shopify Payments, or if you prefer to use a third-party processor that’s possible too. With each processor, you’ll get choices of how to accept payments with VISA, Mastercard, and PayPal the most popular among many others.

  • Order and Shipping Management in Shopify

Shopify streamlines the order fulfillment process by providing apps for managing your orders.

It’s up to you to decide which apps to use, but each one will manage your orders, allow you and the customer to track the shipment, and if you like you can even fulfill the order without even touching the product you sell. Sounds good? We’ll get into that in the next section.

  • Marketing and Sales Tools

The platform offers a variety of marketing and sales tools, which make it easy to reach potential customers. This includes email marketing, social media integration, and all-important SEO optimization.

  • Shopify Insights and Reporting

Shopify provides businesses with valuable insights into their store’s performance through built-in analytics and reporting features. Users can track sales and see what’s performing well and what isn’t.

It also offers insight into intricate things such as what Shopify believes has high potential. For example, if a product has sold well, without getting much traffic, it will highlight it. This should encourage you to do a bit of promoting this product, and write some extra content about it.

There are many other insights and reports offering key metrics to make it easier for you to see what’s going well and what’s not going so well, and ultimately improve your store’s performance.

What Is Shopify Dropshipping?

Remember I mentioned fulfilling orders without even touching the products? This is dropshipping.

Basically, dropshipping is an e-commerce business model where a store owner doesn’t hold any inventory. Instead, they partner with a dropshipping supplier who handles the storage, packaging, and shipping.


What Is Shopify Dropshipping


All an e-commerce shop owner has to do is integrate their store with the dropshipping platform, add the images of the products they want to sell, add a unique and well-written product description, and drive traffic to those products. Any sales will be completely fulfilled by the supplier.

Each dropshipping company offers different deals, but generally, you will take payment for the product, and the sale will automatically trigger the supplier, who will fulfill the order. They will also automatically bill you for their cut, and you will be left with the rest as your profit.

Sounds easy? It is, but of course, there are many people doing it, so it’s a good idea to open a dropshipping store in a niche that isn’t as competitive. After all, dropshipping is what Shopify is made for.

Benefits of Using Shopify

Shopify has become a popular choice among businesses for many reasons. Here are some of the key benefits that make it stand out:


Benefits of Using Shopify


  • Shopify Is Easy to Use

Shopify is known for its user-friendly interface, making it easy for anyone, even those with little to no technical skills, to set up and manage an online store. You don’t have to worry about separate hosting because Shopify does it all for you.

  • Shopify Offers Flexibility

The platform offers a wide range of themes, apps, and integrations, allowing users to tailor their store to their specific needs and preferences.

  • Affordability

With a variety of pricing plans, Shopify caters to businesses of all sizes and budgets. And with a 14-day free trial, it allows users to test the features and see if it’s a good fit for their needs.

  • Shopify Is Secure

Shopify is committed to ensuring the security of its users’ data and transactions. The platform is PCI-DSS compliant and offers SSL certificates to all its stores, providing a secure shopping experience for customers.

  • Shopify Customer Support

Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via live chat or email. There’s also a very helpful community of Shopify users where you can easily get any FAQs answered immediately.

Who Can Benefit From Shopify?

Now we know what Shopify is, let’s take a closer look at who can benefit from it. Basically, it’s designed to cater to a wide range of businesses and industries. Whether you’re a small business owner, an artist, or an established brand, Shopify can help you create a successful online store. Some examples of businesses that can benefit from Shopify include:


Who Can Benefit From Shopify


  • Retail Businesses

Bricks-and-mortar stores looking to expand their reach and sell their products online. By leveraging Shopify’s tools and features to create a professional online store any brick-and-mortar store can grow its potential customer base exponentially.

  • Artists and Creatives

Shopify offers themes and tools that cater specifically to artists and creatives, allowing them to showcase and sell their work online.

  • Dropshippers

Shopify’s dropshipping apps and integrations make it easy for users to source and sell products without the need for inventory management.

  • Startups and Entrepreneurs

Shopify’s affordable pricing and ease of use make it an ideal choice for startups and entrepreneurs. Anyone with an idea now doesn’t have to spend thousands on inventory thanks to Shopify.

  • Wholesalers and B2B Businesses

With its wholesale and B2B capabilities, Shopify Plus allows businesses to expand their operations and reach new clients.


Top Shopify Apps and Integrations

What is Shopify without its extensive wide range of apps and integrations? There’s an app store that offers a wide range of applications that can help you enhance your online store’s functionality and streamline your business processes. Here are some popular Shopify apps you might consider adding to your store:

  • Oberlo

As mentioned earlier, Oberlo is a popular dropshipping app that allows you to source and sell products from many suppliers without holding inventory.

  • Yotpo

Yotpo is a powerful app for collecting and displaying customer reviews, helping you build trust and credibility with potential customers.

  • Mailchimp

Mailchimp is an email marketing app that integrates seamlessly with Shopify. It allows store owners to create targeted email campaigns to boost customer engagement and drive more sales.

  • Koala Inspector

A critical app that allows you to gain access to your rival’s data. If you want to know their best-selling products, and which supplier they get them from, Koala Inspector does that.

  • SEO Manager

This app helps users optimize their store for search engines, offering features like keyword suggestions, Google Search Console integration, and broken link management.

While there is no set rule to how many extra apps you should use, it’s a good idea not to use too many. Think of them as weight: the more you use, the heavier your shop will be, and the heavier your shop is the slower it might be. A general rule is that about 10 apps are fine, but if you have a large store, you might need more.

Tips for Boosting Your Shopify Store’s Success

In addition to the platform’s features and integrations, here are some tips to help you make the most of your Shopify store and boost your online success:

  • Optimize Your Product Listings

Ensure your product titles, descriptions, and images are informative, engaging, and optimized for search engines (SEO).

  • Use High-Quality Visuals

Invest in high-quality product photos and visuals to showcase your products and create a professional-looking online store.

  • Focus On Customer Service

Offer excellent customer support through various channels, such as email, live chat, or social media. There’s nothing more annoying for a frustrated customer than not being heard – build your reputation with the best customer service, and it will be heard far and wide.

  • Leverage Social Media Marketing

Use social media platforms to promote your products and engage with your target audience. They’re free and of course, you can build a community of followers that will help you drive traffic to your online store.

  • Offer Promotions and Discounts

Boost sales and customer loyalty by offering special deals, discounts, and promotions on your products. Even putting the price up and putting it on sale will likely drive more sales than your standard price.

Summary of What Is Shopify and How You Can Use It Going Forward

Shopify is a powerful e-commerce platform that allows entrepreneurs and businesses to create and manage online stores. It offers a wide range of tools, features, and resources that make it easy to set up and manage an online store.

Shopify is primarily used for creating and running online stores and is a popular choice among businesses for its ease of use, flexibility, affordability, security, and customer support.

Anyone from solopreneurs to creatives, to wholesalers and B2B businesses, can benefit from using Shopify. But remember, don’t just use the native Shopify software. Another feature that makes Shopify what it is, is the array of apps that can boost your sales.

A final thought: don’t only rely on Shopify to boost the success of your store. Optimizing product listings, using high-quality visuals, focusing on customer service, leveraging social media marketing, and offering promotions and discounts are essential for any Shopify business.

Let’s Summarize: What Is Shopify?

So, there you have it, you now know what Shopify is. It’s a powerful and versatile e-commerce platform that’s helping millions of entrepreneurs and businesses establish and grow their online presence.

With its user-friendly interface, comprehensive tools, and range of integrations, Shopify caters to businesses of all sizes and industries. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to scale your online store, Shopify offers a solution to help you succeed in the world of e-commerce.

Remember, e-commerce can be competitive, but as long as you’re in a niche you love, it will be a fun and intriguing ride driving traffic, and you will get the first of many sales.




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Ana Gelevska
Ana Gelevska
Ana is a creative and customer-oriented freelance writer with over 5 years of experience working with eCommerce global clients. Ana enjoys breaking down the latest eCommerce trends and diving into the needs of today’s merchants.

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