Getting Started with Shopify: Everything You Need to Know to Build an Online Store

Complete guide to building an online shopify store

When it comes to building your e-commerce site, Shopify is one of the platforms that immediately comes to mind.

More than 640,000 store owners choose Shopify to manage their online stores, thanks to its abundance of features, ease of use, and a wide variety of tools. Many online entrepreneurs can attest to the fact that online selling and marketing just got better with the help of Shopify.

Learn more about this popular e-commerce platform and how you can get the most out of it by reading the rest of this article.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms designed for businesses of all sizes. Its low monthly fee enables anyone to set up his/her online store to promote, sell, and ship products.

But Shopify provides more than just an online storefront. Its all-inclusive platform allows you to design your store to fit your brand and secure a reliable hosting with 99.8% uptime and a free SSL certificate. 

That is why it prides itself as an all-in-one e-commerce solution to anyone who wants to begin selling online using their own site.

9 Noteworthy Shopify Features to Boost Your Online Sales

What makes Shopify stand out from its competitors is the extensive features that make it easy to build and manage your online store.

Here is what you can expect from your Shopify store:

Beautiful and branded storefront

With over 70 professional themes to choose from, you can design your Shopify store however you want. Each template can be easily customized to reflect your brand. You can even access its HTML and CSS codes for full customization.

You also get your own domain name and host your entire website on Shopify. For your marketing needs, you can start a blog and publish articles to entice your customers to buy from your store.

Safe and secure shopping cart

No need to worry about your e-commerce store’s security with Shopify’s free SSL certificate and level-1 PCI compliance. That means all personal and sensitive financial information is protected by the same level of protection used by banks all over the world. 

You can integrate over 100 external payment gateways with your Shopify store. It also accepts major credit cards like Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express, giving your customers more payment options. 

You do not have to worry about taxes either because Shopify automatically handles major country and state taxes based on your location.

As for shipping, you will receive automatic shipping rates from major carriers like UPS and FedEx. It allows you to offer flexible shipping rates and free shipping whenever you want. Shopify also has an abandoned cart feature, which automatically sends an email to your prospective customers to encourage them to complete their purchase. 

Easy store management

Manage your customers with ease by enabling customer account creation during checkout. With this feature, you can encourage your customers to shop again and even categorize them based on purchase history, location, shopping habits, and other factors. 

Your Shopify store can also connect to fulfillment solutions like Amazon and Shipwire. If you do dropshipping, you can integrate Shopify with an app like DSers, which offers automated order management.

Always on the go? Manage your Shopify store on your smartphone using the Shopify app. You can also set up automated store emails with handy email templates provided by the platform.

Optimized marketing

With Shopify’s search optimization features, you can help your potential customers find your store using search engines. You can optimize each of your product pages with meta tags, titles, and URL handles.

You can also integrate it with Facebook ads to help you niche down your target market and put your offer right in front of them.

You can also have a substantial social media presence as the website can integrate with the most common social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Shopify also makes it easy for you to offer discounts, promos, and gift cards to your customers to boost their loyalty.

Convenient product management

Regardless of whether you are selling digital or physical products, Shopify can manage them and track their inventory automatically. You can also have various product variations and organize them by category, season, sale, type, price, and the like.

Customizing your product page is a breeze, as you can add multiple images to show off your products from different angles. You can also import or export your product list for easier management.

Reliable web hosting

Shopify offers unlimited bandwidth, so you will never be charged based on the traffic your store is getting.

You can even create an email address using your store’s domain name, and then have those emails forwarded to your email provider.

Expert analytics

Shopify provides you with a dashboard of your sales, orders, and traffic so that you can get a bird’s eye view of your business in one look. You can also integrate your store with Google Analytics to get more insights.

You can generate product, traffic, and referral reports and export them for further analysis so that you can tweak your marketing plan according to actual data you gathered.

Mobile app capabilities

With the user-friendly Shopify app, you can capture payments, fulfill orders, and email or call your customers. You can also manage your inventory, allowing you to add products or change photos and prices as you wish.

Everything you do in the app automatically syncs with your online store, so you can easily access data no matter which device you are using.

All Shopify online stores are mobile-friendly, so your customers will have no difficulty browsing and purchasing using any device.

24/7 customer support

Shopify has a dedicated support team available 24/7 via email, phone, and live chat, making it easy to get the solutions you need.

You can also visit the Shopify Help Center and discussion boards to get assistance in setting up your store and troubleshooting common problems.

If you are just starting in e-commerce, you can visit Shopify’s Ecommerce University to learn everything you need about online selling. 

You can also work with Shopify-approved designers, developers, and marketers who can make your online store a success. 

Pros and Cons of Shopify

Shopify may have everything you need to start your e-commerce business, but is it the right platform for you?

To help you decide, check out the following advantages and disadvantages of Shopify.

Shopify Pros

Ease of use

One of the reasons for Shopify’s popularity is how easy it is to use for novices and experts alike. 

Shopify is built with the average user in mind. Even without any technological background, you can add products, create promos and discounts, and fulfill orders – thanks to its drag-and-drop editing platform.

Detailed dashboard

If you want to know how your store is performing, you can quickly find all the information you need in the backend.

At a glance, you can view the number of orders you are receiving, your best-performing product pages, and even a real-time view of your website visitors so you can see which stage of the funnel they are in. 

Gaining an in-depth understanding of your customers’ behaviour can help you tweak your marketing strategies.

Wide variety of beautiful themes

Shopify features plenty of professionally designed, mobile-responsive themes in its Theme Store, so you can customize your store as you wish. 

No matter which industry you are in, there is a theme for you.

Multiple tools and integrations

You have every tool you need for your online store in Shopify – inventory management, marketing, shipping, customer service, social media, reporting, and so much more. 

You can even integrate apps that are helpful to you so you can easily automate your e-commerce business. 

However, make sure that you pick secure tried-and-tested apps, as they have access to your store’s data, including confidential ones. 

Fast and secure

With SSL certificates, secure payment platforms, and level-1 PCI compliance, Shopify prides itself on its tight security, ensuring that your customers’ sensitive information is kept safe.

The platform also has a fast loading time, increasing your chances to rank on Google’s top search engine results.

Accessible via a cloud network

When you open a Shopify online store, it will be placed in a cloud network instead of a server. 

That means there are fewer chances of having a website crash, especially during high traffic events like Black Friday or midyear sales. The cost is even bundled in your subscription.

Low monthly fees

With all of Shopify’s features, the $29 per month basic plan is definitely a steal. Even the mid-level price plan only costs $79 a month, so you can build a beautiful online store without burning your pockets.

You can move to higher plans as your business expands.

Excellent customer service

Aside from 24/7 availability via chat, email, and phone, Shopify also has a vast database of FAQs to help you wiggle out of any problems.

Shopify Cons

Learning curve

While Shopify is as easy as it can get, building a business for the first time takes a lot of effort and training. Figuring out how to make your Shopify store profitable can take weeks and months of experimentation and trial-and-error. A mentoring program such as Ecom Warrior Academy is ideal to guide through the process of building a profitable store. 

Limited functionality

Despite the many features of Shopify, if your business comes with specialized requirements, you might need to purchase and download add-ons to fulfill them. These can double your monthly fees. As a result, it is necessary to know the right add-ons to install on your site, which may be difficult as a beginner. Again, we recommend the Ecom Warrior Academy mentoring program to provide you with the required add-ons for security and to save costs.

Transaction Fees

Though Shopify plans start at a low price of $29 a month, it has a transaction fee that ranges from 0.5% to 2% of the sales value. This can be a turnoff, especially for people with a lot of buyers.

However, you can use Shopify Payments to get rid of these transaction fees. It is important to price your products in such a way as to gain profit and make the issue of credit card charges virtually non-existent.

Code customization

Shopify’s drag-and-drop platform is easy to use. But if you want to customize your online store fully, you might need to know how to use CSS and HTML to use Liquid, Shopify’s coding language.

Most of the time though, code customization isn’t required as a basic store can be setup that generates the same amount of sales as a fully-customized store.

9 Steps to Get Started with Shopify

Getting started with building your shopify store


Now that you have a basic overview of what Shopify is and if it’s the right tool for you, it’s time to start setting up your Shopify e-commerce store.

Simply follow these steps to get started. 

Step 1: Sign up with Shopify.

Head over to and sign up for a 14-day trial. 

You only need to give your email, create a password, and have a store name to jump-start things and build your store – no credit card or other payment details needed.

Step 2: Customize your theme.

Once you have your necessary details, you will be taken to the Shopify admin page. You can then proceed to the Customize Theme tab.

You have three options: stick with Shopify’s signature theme, choose one of the free themes, or buy a premium template ranging from $140 to $180.

You can edit the text and add sections as necessary. You can also add the pages you need, such as a blog, gallery, map, or testimonial page.

You may also add images and update your homepage background. You can either use a free image template or upload your own brand.

Step 3: Add your domain.

Your domain is the first thing that your customers will see, so it is important to use a URL that will reflect and strengthen your brand.

Though you can set up your website using a Shopify subdomain, it does not look too professional. A better alternative is to buy a new domain or connect an existing one to your store. 

Most domains start at $14 a year.

Step 4: Add products.

Click the Add Product button to enable you to populate your site with your products. You simply need a name or title for your product, a short description, and an image to go with it. You may also add other details like weight, size, variants, and barcode.

Though you can add a variety of products in your Shopify online store, the most common ones that get sold like hotcakes are physical products and dropshipped items.

Step 5: Enable payments.

You can integrate hundreds of payment gateways to your Shopify store, such as Amazon Pay and PayPal. But if you don’t want to get charged with a transaction fee for every payment you receive, you can opt to set up Shopify Payments.

Click Settings at the foot of the Navigation Menu, then click the Payment Providers icon to set up Shopify Payments completely.

Step 6: Add shipping methods.

You can start setting up your shipping options by going to Settings and clicking the shipping icon.

From here, you can add shipping zones, buy shipping labels, and decide your shipping fee. You can also integrate shipping apps like ShipStation, AfterShip, and ShipWorks for a smoother delivery process.

If you are dropshipping, you don’t have to worry about the shipping methods as the wholesaler or manufacturer directly ships the order to your buyer.

Step 7: Integrate apps.

While Shopify is already feature-packed, you can further maximize your revenue by integrating apps. They can help you promote your online store, sell your products, handle inventory and shipping, and even reward loyal customers.

Simply select Apps in the Navigation Menu to choose from over 3,000 available apps. Use the search function to find the app that best suits your needs.

Remember to pick only safe and trusted apps to protect your customer data. 

Step 8: Choose your price plan.

If you decide to continue after your 14-day free trial, you need to upgrade your site by clicking Select a Plan at the bottom of the page.

Shopify has three price tiers: 

  • Basic Plan – costs $29/month and best for new and small stores
  • Shopify Plan – costs $79/month and best for growing businesses
  • Advanced Plan – costs $299/month and best for large stores

Step 9: Publish your Shopify store.

You can only get your site live once you’ve upgraded to a paid plan. To do this, go to Online Store, then Preferences, and uncheck Enable Password so that people can view it.

Before going live, run some tests first to make sure that your shopping process is going smoothly.

5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Shopify

With your Shopify store now up and running, you have to make sure that you get the most out of it to maximize your sales and revenue.

Check out the following tips and tricks.

Sell digital products.

If you are just starting and you are still looking for a product to sell, one of the easiest options you have is to go for digital products instead of physical ones.

Shipping can be a hassle in online selling, and high shipping rates can cut into your profits. You can get rid of this problem by offering digital products and downloadable merchandise that your customers will receive instantly, without any shipping involved.

Some digital products you can offer include audio files, videos, e-books, and printables.

Another option is to do dropshipping so that the wholesaler or manufacturer takes care of order fulfilment.

Start a blog.

Maintaining a blog can help build your brand identity and increase your SEO rankings. With Shopify’s built-in blog feature, you can write, edit, and publish blog posts without the use of external apps.

However, Shopify’s blog is pretty basic, so if you want added customizations, you can use apps like BlogFeeder to link your Shopify store to your WordPress account. It allows you to manage your blog on WordPress and import it to Shopify.

Become a multichannel merchant.

If you are selling products in-person as well as online, then you can use Shopify POS to help you with in-person transactions.

Signing up for Shopify’s e-commerce store gives you access to Shopify POS, which lets you easily complete in-person retail transactions and process credit card payments. The POS system automatically syncs with your online store, helping you with inventory changes.

Use Shopify Payments.

Another Shopify feature that you should take advantage of is Shopify Payments. The biggest advantage of using it instead of third-party payment gateways is the waived transaction fees, which can amount up to 2% for basic plans.

Using Shopify Payments also reduces processing fees to clients with higher level Shopify plans.

But take note that not all customers are eligible to use Shopify Payments. Make sure that you also explore other payment processors to see which one would give you the best deal.

Integrate add-ons.

With more than 3,000 apps in Shopify’s Marketplace, there is no reason why you cannot find an extension you need.

Check out some of the integrations that you can connect with your Shopify store based on your needs:


If you are using the dropshipping model to run your e-commerce store, then you need to integrate DSers with your Shopify account.

As AliExpress’ official dropshipping partner, DSers helps you process hundreds of orders at once, helping you increase your processing efficiency once a customer orders from you.


If you want to increase your sales tenfold, you can use DMcommerce to send automated email campaigns for abandoned carts.

Bold Multi-Currency

If you have customers all over the world, having an instant currency converter in your Shopify store is a must.

Bold Multi-Currency allows you to show your store prices in hundreds of different currencies so that your customers feel that they are shopping locally, no matter where they are located.

Recart App

Integrate Messenger marketing with your Shopify store through the Recart app.

It allows you to retarget customers on Facebook Messenger, grow your Messenger list, and eventually generate more sales with Messenger campaigns.


With Loox, you can increase your Shopify store’s online value by showcasing product reviews from your happy customers using beautiful photos. 

It also helps you collect reviews on autopilot by sending automatic review requests to your customers.

One-Click Social Login

Make it easier for your customers to create accounts in your Shopify store using the One Click Social Login app. 

It supports Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Amazon, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms, enabling customers to log into Shopify using their existing social media credentials.

If you are selling a membership or subscription service, then setting up automatic payments is a must. 

With, your customer’s order gets automatically added to your Shopify admin, allowing you to time and automate future payments. It also integrates with Stripe, so it covers all major credit cards.

Launching your first Shopify online store may take a bit of time and effort, but with all the tools at your disposal, you have everything you need to create a powerful and feature-packed store.

If you would rather have someone hold your hand and walk you through the step-by-step process of increasing your Shopify store’s revenue tenfold and save precious time, then we recommend the Ecom Warrior Academy mentoring program. You can apply here.