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How to Sell on Shopify: The Complete Guide

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If you’re wondering how to sell on Shopify, you’ve come to the right place!

A lot of people struggle to get started as Shopify merchants. From finding your niche and setting up your online store to selecting and promoting your Shopify products, there are several factors to consider.

Luckily, selling on Shopify isn’t as challenging as it seems, and we’re here to prove it.

This post highlights everything you need to know about selling on Shopify, from why you should do it to how it’s done. So, grab yourself a cup of coffee, and let’s get down to brass tacks.

Why You Should Consider Selling on Shopify

Did you know that brands like Gymshark, Kylie Cosmetics, BBC, Fitbit, Red Bull, Netflix, The Economist, and Pure Electric, just to name a few, all have thriving Shopify stores?

Why, though? What sets Shopify apart from other ecommerce platforms?

  • Easy to Use: Shopify is designed with the average user in mind. You don’t need a background in web design to use it. You can set up a full-fledged Shopify store in mere minutes!
  • Supports All Niches: Whether you’re looking to sell handcrafted goods or digital products, Shopify has got you covered. It’s also an excellent platform to use if you’re into dropshipping.
  • 24/7 Support: Shopify’s customer support is reliable, easily accessible, and available 24/7. Not to mention that there are numerous community forums that you can always refer to.
  • High Security: With SSL certificates and PCI compliance, all your sensitive info is secure on Shopify. Further, Shopify takes care of all server-related maintenance and upgrades.

Problems With Selling on Shopify

For the most part, selling on Shopify is a straightforward process.

However, there are a few challenges that you might face as a first-time Shopify merchant, as indicated below.

  • Pricing and Plans: Shopify has three pricing plans, with the most basic Shopify plan costing $32/m. If you’re on a limited budget, paying $32 a month for a plan that barely meets your needs is inconvenient.
  • Transaction Fees: If you’re using Shopify Payments, you’ll incur a fee on every transaction you make via credit or debit card.
  • Limited Customization: Though Shopify is customizable, its customization options are pretty limited. This is due to the fact that Shopify uses its own template language, Liquid, as opposed to PHP.
  • No Email Hosting: Shopify doesn’t offer email hosting solutions. You can use a third-party hosting service to set up an email on your domain to work around this issue, but it will come at a cost.

What You’ll Need to Sell on Shopify

If you’re looking to start selling on Shopify, consider the following preliminary steps:

  • Define Your Product: Before selling on Shopify, you need to determine the product you’re going to sell. Keep in mind that certain products aren’t allowed on Shopify, including firearms, pharmaceuticals, and adult content.
  • Domain Name and Logo: If you’re happy with the free domain Shopify offers, you can skip this domain step. If not, you’ll need to add a custom domain name. You’ll also need a distinctive and memorable logo.
  • Shopify Subscription: After your 14-day free trial is over, you’ll need to subscribe to one of Shopify’s plans. Your subscription will boil down to your budget and the needs of your business.
  • Photos and Videos: You’ll need high-quality pictures and videos to include in your Shopify product pages. And in addition to product images and videos, you’ll need general branding material.
  • Other Requirements: Though Shopify doesn’t mandate this, we recommend setting up a returns and exchange policy, as well as a Shopify accounting app to help you calculate and collect sales tax.

What to Sell on Shopify

One of the reasons why Shopify is among the most popular e-commerce platforms is that it enables users to sell both tangible and intangible products.

With Shopify, you can sell experiences, software, rentals, online courses, handmade jewelry, pet supplies, and just about anything else you can think of—with some exceptions, of course.

Some products tend to perform better than others, though. So if you’re looking to hit the ground running, here are some popular niches you should consider: 

1. Service Appointments

Whether you’re running an online or offline business, you can use Shopify to sell virtual consultation time slots. In essence, you’re using Shopify as a self-service online booking platform.

Note that this also works even if you’re selling physical products. For instance, if you’re in the clothing business, you can use Shopify to offer appointments regarding fit and customization.

Why This Product Sells Well

Service appointments are a big deal on Shopify because they give the customer control over their appointment booking experience. The customer gets to choose the time slot that works best for them.

2. Memberships

If you’re a content creator looking to sell access to exclusive content, whether it’s digital art, courses, or something else entirely, selling memberships on Shopify is one of the best business models to implement. 

This model also works if you’re a business that’s trying to sell an experience. For instance, you can offer a 1-year membership that grants the customer year-round access to the experience you’re offering.

Why This Product Sells Well

Exclusivity sells! If the product or experience you’re offering is of great value and you have a strong following, selling memberships can help you secure ongoing financial support.

3. Consultations

If you’re a specialist in a certain field, why not sell your expertise online? You can utilize Shopify to book and sell online or in-person consultations to your clients.

This model can also work for businesses that sell physical products, especially made-to-order ones. For instance, as a clothing business, you can sell consultations to help customers design the perfect piece of garment for their needs. 

Why This Product Sells Well

Consultations sell because people often have concerns and doubts that they’re looking to deal with, and linking up with a qualified consultant helps them do just that.

4. Digital Products

Shopify is one of the best platforms for selling digital products. This includes educational content and products, art, music, digital asset licenses, digital templates, and design elements.

If your business sells physical products, you can still offer digital products. You just have to think outside of the box. For instance, if you’re running a sewing business, why not offer sewing patterns in digital form?

Why This Product Sells Well

Digital products sell because they’re easily accessible, as they’re delivered electronically. Just look at e-learning, an industry that’s expected to reach $374 billion in worth by 2026!

How to Sell on Shopify: Step-by-Step Instructions

Here are the steps you need to follow to start selling on Shopify:

1. Buy a Custom Domain

When you sign up for Shopify, it will create a free domain for you based on your store name. Unfortunately, your free domain won’t rank very high, and customers may find it deterring.

You can buy a custom domain via registrars like NameCheap, Domain.com, GoDaddy, and Google Domain. Then, all you have to do is head to your online store’s domain settings and select your new domain.

2. Choose a Store Template

Next, you need to choose a template that reflects the image you have in mind for your store. Shopify has a vast selection of themes to choose from, both free and paid.

You can then customize your selected theme based on your needs. You can modify elements, such as content, typography, and layout, to align with your brand’s image.

Other things you should do include:

  • Edit the store header and footer
  • Customize your home page
  • Set up your SEO and meta elements
  • Set up your policy pages
  • Create store navigation menus

3. Add Your Inventory

Now, it’s time to add your inventory. You can upload your products in bulk if you have a CSV file ready, or you can upload each product manually.

To upload products manually, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Products tab in your Shopify admin space.
  2. Choose the Add your products option. 
  3. Enter your product’s information and photo.
  4. Click Save.

To upload products in bulk, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Products tab in your Shopify admin space.
  2. Choose the Import option. 
  3. Choose the Add file option and select your CSV file.
  4. Click Upload.

4. Set Up Payment Methods

The next step is to set up a secure checkout point where potential customers can submit and pay for their orders. This is done in the checkout settings page in your Shopify admin space.

You can activate Shopify Payments to accept card payments with flat-rate processing fees. Alternatively, you can integrate a third-party payment processor but expect to pay transaction fees.

5. Set Up Your Shipping

There are four shipping options to choose from: retailer shipping, local delivery, local pickup, and dropshipping. Each option has its own pros and cons, which you can learn about in this Shopify shipping guide.

The most popular option among first-time Shopify sellers is dropshipping because it spares you from inventory costs. The product is shipped from the fulfillment center directly to the customer.

6. Place a Test Order

The last step is to place a test order to ensure everything is working properly. If the order appears in your store and is ready for shipping, then congratulations; you’re ready to go live!

Things to Consider When Selling on Shopify

To ensure the success of your Shopify store, consider the following:

1. Refreshing Your Inventory

A lot of first-time Shopify sellers make the mistake of adding all of their products to their store on the first day. This can overwhelm both you and your customers.

You can refresh your store with new products every week or month. This will signal to Google that your store is active, which will help you garner more traffic.

2. Promoting Your Store

Promoting your Shopify store is crucial to the success and longevity of your business. After all, without traction, you won’t make any sales.

Here are a few ways to promote your store:

  • Run email marketing campaigns
  • Engage your audience on social media
  • Create a referral marketing program
  • Invest in paid social media and Google ads
  • Partner up with relevant influencers
  • Optimize your store for search engines
  • Diversify your sales channels

3. Know Your Target Audience

E-commerce is all about identifying your target audience and its needs, then creating products, content, and marketing strategies that appeal to said needs.

Start by identifying who is and isn’t your target audience. Then, you can get more insights by creating personas, using Google Analytics, and analyzing your competitors.

4. Setting Up Business Tools

One of the great things about Shopify is that it has a full-fledged app store that offers a wide range of marketing, sales, and inventory management tools. Using such tools is crucial to growing a profitable online business.

Some of the most popular apps among Shopify merchants include Facebook, Instagram, Point of Sale, Google Channel, Shopify Inbox, and Shopify Email—all of which are free!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Selling on Shopify Free?

No, selling on Shopify isn’t free. You have to opt for one of Shopify’s subscription plans to keep your store running after your 14-day free trial.

Is It Hard to Sell on Shopify?

The first few sales on Shopify can be hard. However, once you get the hang of things and start promoting your store, you’ll find it easy to sell on Shopify.

How Does Shopify Pay You?

Shopify offers several methods for receiving payments via Shopify Payments, including PayPal, wire transfers, and bank transfers.

Similar Tutorials to Check Out

Did you enjoy this tutorial? Here are a few similar tutorials to check out:

  • How to Sell on Amazon: Did you know that 45% of Amazon sellers make $1,000 to $25,000 per month? This guide will show you how to become an Amazon seller.
  • How to Sell on eBay: If you’re looking to list or auction products rather than create your own store, this eBay-specific guide is for you.
  • How to Sell on Etsy: If you specialize in handmade goods, craft supplies, and vintage items, there’s no better place to sell your products than Etsy.
  • How to Sell on Craigslist: Craigslist is another great platform for listing or auctioning items. We highlight everything you need to know about it in this guide.
  • How to Sell on Poshmark: If you specialize in clothes, Poshmark is a popular social marketplace for both new and secondhand garments.

Wrapping Up

There you have it; you now know everything about how to sell on Shopify, from why you should do it and what might deter you from doing it to how it’s done and what you can sell.

Overall, Shopify is an effective e-commerce platform that’ll help you succeed as a seller and business owner in the digital space.

What do you think about our tutorial? Did you find it helpful? If so, be sure to share it with your friends who are interested in becoming e-commerce business owners.

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