How Does
Shopify Work?

Shopify is an eCommerce website builder and a complete solution.

The Shopify platform lets you quickly set up an online store to sell products – You can easily organize your products, customize your storefront, accept payments with credit cards, Paypal, etc. You can track the orders your customers have submitted, respond to your customers, and process the orders through your Shopify website.

Shopify Dropshipping Guide

Find out how to…
Make MONEY through Shopify dropshipping.
Set up your Shopify Store (or website).
Increase SALES on your Shopify website.

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What is Shopify?

Shopify is an online platform where you can launch your own eCommerce website / store to sell products. You can set up the Shopify website to use your own brand name and logo and use the domain name of your choice.

To get domain name ideas for your Shopify store, use Shopify Name Generator.

Shopify - How Does It Work?

Why is Shopify such a popular eCommerce website builder?

Selling Used Items

Can You Sell Used Items On Shopify?

Selling On Shopify

On Shopify, sell your own products, or do dropshipping.

Shopify Plan

How much does it cost? Shopify offers three main plans, and a 14-day free trial.

Shopify Name Generator

Need a brand name to tell your Shopify store startup story?

Shopify Checklist

Go through this checklist when setting up your Shopify website.

Shopify - How Does It Work?

Why is Shopify such a popular eCommerce website builder?

It’s a SaaS platform that lets anyone build their own online store. The person using Shopify to build and manage her online store would in theory require no technical or coding skill.

The Shopify website builder is loaded with multi-functional tools and many extensions or apps that were developed by third-party teams or developers. Anyone who has a Shopify store can install and use the apps. Many apps can be used for free, while some other apps are paid apps. The apps are useful when you’re building your eCommerce website, and they are available on Shopify’s official app store (

For example, you may need to install an app when you’re to add a new payment method for your Shopify store, or when you’ll require a certain feature to be enabled in your Shopify’s shopping cart. You would most certainly use a few apps when building your Shopify site or scaling up your site.

To install an app, you’ll need no upfront training and no web development experience. This makes it very easy for anyone. Simply just sign up with Shopify, pay to use one of Shopify’s options, install all the required apps, upload products, and start selling.

The functions that some of the apps offer:

  • Order tracking solution
  • Products in bulk editing
  • Product low-stock alert
  • Product back-in-store notification
  • Recent sales notifier
  • Newsletter subscription popup windows
  • Customized coupon popups
  • Exit popups
  • Product reviews easy sharing
  • Marketing automation with email marketing and data-driven marketing
  • Product recommendation and upsell
  • Products frequently bought together
  • SEO checker and/or SEO image optimizer
  • Customer support and messaging
  • Contact forms, or customized contact forms

Shopify’s simple interface makes it easy for anyone with basic experience know how to manage her online store. To set up your basic store, go through the following items.

  • You start with selecting a theme for your Shopify store.
  • You’ll have to add products to your website. You upload your product descriptions, product quantity, shipping orders, and all other necessary information about your products.
  • You choose the marketing channels for your store where products are going to be listed and customized setup for each channel can be made.

Sometimes you would hear that Shopify is a platform for designers in which they are allowed to explore and choose from endless design options (i.e. website templates, etc) for eCommerce store creation. Don’t be mistaken by this concept. In fact, Shopify is so simple to use and set up. For those of you who don’t know anything specific about eCommerce, web design and website development, but want an eCommerce that is powerful enough to compete, you’ll find an extensive range of design options that will provide you the advantages.

If you’re into Amazon’s Associates Program (i.e. Amazon Affiliate), Shopify provides plenty options for an eCommerce platform build that takes care of affiliate marketing. If you’re already doing quite well with your standalone Shopify store, then it will be straightforward to go into affiliate marketing for Amazon’s Associates Program.

Can You Sell Used Items On Shopify?

Certainly you can put up and any item including used items on your Shopify website. It’s all own online store and you can decide what items or products you want to sell.

If you used to be selling products through online marketplace platforms such as eBay, Amazon or Etsy, there may be restrictions to what you can or cannot sell on the marketplace platforms. But on Shopify, you put up a standalone website, and you’re in control to sell any products as long as the products are legal to sell.

With your Shopify store, you are in full control of your product inventory, store policies, how products are displayed, and how you want to market your store and your products.

One tip is that you should know more or less, or exactly who are you target buyers (or customers) before you even launch your Shopify eCommerce store.

Here is an example. If your plan is to sell football team merchandise, the best is you should already have some previous experience selling such products, and you would have known who exactly are going to be your customers. You would also need to know which markets (such as the UK) are more likely to buy your products.

Selling On Shopify

The two main ways to make money with Shopify is through:

  • Selling your own product
  • Dropshipping

Selling your own product

Selling your own product in which you actually have to stock your inventory and be in charge of shipping products to your customers.

There are several advantages to sell your own products online through Shopify:

  • You can reduce operational costs such as rental, utility bills, etc.
  • You should be able to reach many more prospects from all around the world who would potentially become your new customers, if you know how to do marketing online.
  • Because you’re selling your own products, you can always set your own prices. This allows you to increase your revenue and generate more profits in the end.


With Dropshipping, it’s an online retail business in which you as the store owner don’t actually own the products that you’re selling. You’ll have to work with one or more third party suppliers who actual own the products that you’re selling on your Shopify eCommerce site.

If you want to quickly start with dropshipping, Oberlo is an app and a marketplace provided by Shopify. Through Oberlo, you can source products from online B2B suppliers such as You can import your chosen products into your Shopify website directly from Oberlo. When your customer place an order through your Shopify store, the suppliers take care of the order fulfullment.

Shopify Lets You Focus on Marketing

Shopify takes care of the hosting of your eCommerce website. All is left for you to do is to focus on marketing and selling your products.

Shopify Plan - How Much Does It Cost?

Shopify offers three main plans.

The basic plan is $29 per month. The good part of it is that you’ll be given a 14-day free trial to test the Shopify platform. After the 14-day trial if you weren’t happy about it, you can quit and you won’t have to pay anything.

The standard plan costs $79 per month, the advanced plan costs $299 per month.

When starting with Shopify, try the basic plan. When your business grows to another level that requires more support, then consider upgrading to the standard plan or even advanced plan.

Shopify Name Generator

A Shopify name generator can provide multiple suggestions when you need to “name” your new Shopify website. Your Shopify website needs a great brand (or business) name when it is used as a dropshipping business or an ecommerce store.

When your Shopify website is set up to run a dropshipping business, the retail fulfillment is done through a third-party product supplier (such as or several third-party suppliers of similar nature to Aliexpress.

Your Shopify website’s brand name needs to resonate with your main audience and lets you tell your startup story.

Shopify Checklist

You need to set up your Shopify website. Go through this checklist.

Register for a new Shopify Account.

Choose from one of the Shopify plans:

  • Basic plan: US$29 per month
  • Standard plan: US$79 per month
  • Advanced plan: US$299 per month

If you’re new to using Shopify to build your online store, start with the US$ 29 plan. The plan will be sufficient for building your basic store.


Choose a name for your Shopify website.

Get your store name idea by using the Shopify Name Generator.

Run a naming contest on Naming Force, and let the members on to come up with name suggestions for your Shopify store business.

Choose and install a store theme.

Install one of the free and available theme for your Shopify website. You can customize the theme by editing the header, footer, body and sidebar.


Create a logo.

Any business needs a brand, or more accurately a logo. You can create your Shopify store logo using this tool:


Create the information pages.

Create the Refund Policy page, Privacy Policy page, and Terms of Service page, and make sure they have the correct information.

Add a payment method.

The default payment method of your Shopify store is PayPal. Once you’ve created your store, you’re provided with the PayPal Express Checkout option. The email that you signed up with your Shopify account will become your PayPal account email. Before you can receive payments for orders from your customers, make sure you set up your PayPal account.

You can receive payments for orders from your customers through Shopify Payments if your business is in one of the countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, United States.

If Shopify Payments isn’t available for the country where your business is located, you can offer secure checkouts through other payment providers including PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, and more.

If you’re using Shopify Payments, you’ll pay a card rate that is based on your Shopify plan.

If you’re using other payment methods, then you’ll pay fees for the specific payment method that you’re using.

Set up the shipping information

If you’re mainly doing dropshipping through suppliers who provide free delivery, then add the free shipping option to your store’s orders.

You can customize each country for their specific shipping rates.

Shopify Founder(s)

About the Founder(s)

Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake are the Shopify founders. In 2004, they initially tried to open an online store for snowboarding equipment (which was called Snowdevil). Not satisfied with the website builder or eCommerce platforms during that time, the programmer Tobias Lutke created Shopify.

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