How to sell on Shopify

Ready to create an online store of your own to sell your products? Thanks to Shopify, you don't have to be a coding expert to enjoy the benefits of a professional-looking e-commerce website. Build your own store quickly and easily, and receive around-the-clock support whenever you need it.

What is Shopify?

A quick and easy solution to create an e-commerce website, Shopify makes it easy for sellers to create a professional-looking online home for their products. An advanced option, there is no free plan offered on Shopify. It's very different to any other selling platform mentioned in our previous useful selling guides, and is aimed at serious sellers with small or growing businesses.

Shopify has the ability to cater to major businesses too, with some of its clients including Hootsuite and Reddit. As a seller, you'll have access to some of the most advanced features, including Shopify's excellent website builder, and there are no limitations on the number of products you can list online.

What can be sold on Shopify?

As Shopify is a global service, what can and cannot be sold depends on each country's individual laws and Shopify's own terms. Click here to view more information, or consult a legal expert if you're uncertain.

Which Shopify plan should you choose?

To make sure Shopify is right for you, test out the site before you sign up for a plan by taking advantage of their free 14-day trial. After this trial is over, you can choose from four price plans. Prices are always in dollars, no matter where you're located in the world, and may be subject to government tax.

Shopify Lite - $9 per month

With Shopify Lite, sellers will not have access to the online store builder to create a new website, or be able to sell directly from Twitter or Pinterest. They will, however, be able to add an online store feature to an existing website, or sell items directly on Facebook - something we go into more detail about later on in this guide. [Jump to: How does Shopify work on Facebook]

Basic Shopify - $29 per month

Basic Shopify accounts are best for smaller businesses or new businesses just starting out. Two staff accounts, unlimited file storage and an unlimited number of products can be added to your store, alongside 24/7 support and many other useful features for sellers.

Shopify - $79 per month

The Shopify price plan is aimed at growing businesses. At $79 per month, sellers receive all the benefits of a basic account plus five staff accounts, the ability to offer gift cards, an abandoned cart recovery tool and professional reports.

Advanced Shopify - $299 per month

Advanced Shopify users have full access to all of Shopify's features, and can create a maximum of 15 staff accounts per store. There's also a third-party shipping rate calculator so you can offer customers an estimation of their delivery cost.

Shopify Plus, meanwhile, is an additional plan designed for fast-growing merchants with a high-volume of customers - for example, a Shopify Plus store can handle 10,000 checkouts per minute. You probably won't require Shopify Plus when you start selling your goods online, but it is an option to consider in the future if sales increase.

Find out more about Shopify's price plans, including detailed information on credit card rates and transaction fees, here.

How to sell on Shopify

A premium service, there are many optional steps designed to enhance your store on Shopify. Below, we'll run through the basics to help you get started.

  • Sign up to Shopify: Create an account and select your preferred price plan.
  • Select a theme for your online store: Start building your store with Shopify's website builder. Add some character to your store, and select a theme. Themes basically do all the hard design work for you, creating a layout and adding sections on your store to place your brand logo, products and more. Pick a theme you like and press install.
  • Customise your theme: Once you're happy with the theme you've chosen, play around with the design. You can set your own colour scheme, choose a font, add social media links and move sections around - for example, if you'd prefer to add blog posts to feature on the top of your home page, you can drag and drop the section to its preferred location. You can also remove sections or add new ones.
  • Publish your theme: Press 'Publish theme' once you've finished customising it.
  • Add more pages, customise your store further: Shopify offers so many ways to make your store unique. Go through each tab under 'Online Store' and spend some time customising your website. Add new pages, blog posts, connect with Google Analytics and don't forget to buy a domain name.
  • Add products: It's time to start adding your products to your store. Select the 'Products' tab on the dashboard, press 'Add product' and fill out the details required by the form.
  • Upload images: To add images of your product, simply drag and drop the files into the allocated space or press 'Upload image'.
  • Price your item: Set a competitive price for your product, and choose whether you will need to add taxes.
  • Provide shipping details: If you need to ship items to customers, you must measure the weight of your item to help the courier calculate delivery costs.
  • Repeat the process: Keep adding products until all of your items are online. You can organise each product by placing them into specific collections too, making it easier for buyers to browse. Alternatively, upload a CSV file and import multiple products at once. Shopify has provided a handy guide on how to do this if you need help.
  • Install apps: Get more out of your store, and extend its functionality with Shopify's wide collection of apps. Sellers will find a range of free and premium plugins to add to their site, which is really simple to do. Just select 'Apps' on your dashboard and visit the Shopify app store. Find an app you want and install it within seconds.

When will I receive payment?

When setting up a Shopify store, sellers must choose a provider to process all transactions. The amount of time it takes for money to make its way into a seller's bank account will depend on which provider has been chosen - each has its own set of rules and regulations.

Shopify itself offers a service for sellers to accept payments called Shopify Payments. If you do choose to use this with your Shopify store, you can expect to receive funds within a set pay period. For each country, pay periods vary in length.

For the United Kingdom, the pay period when using Shopify Payments is four business days from when an order has been paid. There may also be an additional delay for the funds to appear once they have been received by your bank. Some banks can take 24 to 72 hours to process a deposit.

How does Shopify work on Facebook?

With Shopify Lite, sellers can browse and buy products directly from Facebook. A fully-integrated system, you will be able to sell directly from your existing Facebook business page. Customers can like and share your products too, offering a brilliant opportunity for you to quickly expand your audience.

If you only want to use Shopify on Facebook, select the Shopify Lite price plan. After you've signed up, your Facebook store can be live within minutes. You can also use Facebook Messenger to communicate with buyers and provide great customer service.

Find out more about using Facebook with Shopify here.

Get your business started, and start selling your own products today. If Shopify isn't the kind of service you're looking for, there's no need to worry. Sellers have many options to choose from - take a look at our guides on Etsy, ASOS Marketplace and Preloved to find out more.