If you’re seeking to open a small business or sell something online but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. We’re starting completely from scratch to tell you exactly how Shopify works, and who it’s for. At jdp we’re huge fans of Shopify as an effective and simple to use eCommerce solution for everyone from complete beginners, to fully established online shopping corporations.

You’re here because you’ve heard of Shopify, and even considered using it, but are uncertain as to how to start things off. But don’t worry, we are here to guide you through it all, from the initial setup process to the final creation of your beautiful online shop.

A brief description of Shopify

Shopify is a digital commerce platform that allows its users to sell basically anything that’s not illegal. It’s the perfect tool for beginners to start off their careers and brand names without even knowing anything about website building or programming at all.

What can you sell on Shopify?

A short answer to that would be, anything that won’t put you behind the bars (we’re warning you, things that belong on the black market better stay on the black market.) We suggest you look into their service specifics just to get a better idea of how Shopify works regarding this matter.

You can use Shopify to sell both physical and digital products, and even sell services. Some of the popular categories are listed below:

  • Hand-made physical products
  • Industrially manufactured physical products
  • Dropship products
  • Digital products/services
  • Courses/workshops
  • Event ticket
  • Memberships
  • Merchandise


Shopify is a subscription-based service, it offers many plans to beginners as well as eCommerce giants. The details of the plans are given below,

  • Free Trial – $0.00 USD for the first 14 days
  • Shopify Lite – $9 USD per month
  • Basic Shopify – $29 USD per month
  • Shopify – $79 USD per month
  • Advanced Shopify – $299 USD per month
  • Shopify Plus – $2000+ USD per month

These subscription plans offer specifically tailored features according to the user with the basic tools and equipment provided for free. Once it’s time to size up, the migration fee on shifting to other plans is not charged.

How Shopify works: a step-by-step guide

If you’re nervous about launching a Shopify store, this guide will show you exactly what to expect.

  1. Signing up
  2. Visit the official Shopify website and enter your details to sign up. You can also click on the “Start Free Trial” button on the website. If you choose the free trial option, you will not be asked to enter any credit card details until you’ve fully explored the setup process.

    At this stage, you’ll need an email address, password, and the name of your store.

  3. Enter store details
  4. The first page in this section is optional, and you can choose to skip it, but by answering these questions, you’ll help Shopify tailor its suggestions for you. Tell Shopify whether or not you are already selling, your approximate revenue, and which industry you operate in.

    The second page is obligatory and requires you to fill in details such as your business address and phone number. If you haven’t finalized your business address yet, don’t worry, you can edit the address at a later date.

  5. Add a product
  6. Now you’re in, Shopify will guide you through where to take it from here. Your first point of order is to add your first product. Click on the “add product” button and fill in the fields. Include images and/or video.

    Repeat the process with your other products to build your inventory.

    Make sure you click save at the bottom of the page.

  7. Customize theme
  8. In this section, you have full control over the look of your website. Shopify differs from other website-building platforms in that you can’t control where things go pixel-by-pixel (aka a drag-and-drop builder). This has advantages and disadvantages.

    The disadvantage is mostly felt by inspiring web designers who want to have more creative control. The advantage is that if designing isn’t your strong suit, you’re still guaranteed to have a professional-looking website.

    You can choose to use an existing theme template from the Shopify library. There are several beautiful free templates for you to choose from, or you can buy from the theme store. Just make sure the theme you choose has all of the features you want to save you having to edit them.

  9. Edit your domain
  10. Once your store looks good and contains a decent inventory of products, it’s now time to edit your domain. Your default domain when you start up your website is [yourshopname].myshopify.com. If you’ve already got a domain, you can connect it or transfer it. If not, you can buy a new domain from Shopify.

And voila! With a little tinkering here and there you are sure to create the perfect online store according to your needs. For more guides on what exactly your business needs, visit this article.