What is Shopify? 

Shopify is an online platform for businesses that can be used to build and improve eCommerce stores. With Shopify, you can sell on your website as well as in person, for it has features to accommodate everyone from beginners to experts. This platform for eCommerce owners is like WordPress for bloggers. 

Shopify provides a 14-day free trial, so you can check it out before signing up for one of its license packages. During the free trial, you can set up your eCommerce store online and test out the free Shopify apps provided. After this you can decide which paid version of this platform is most suitable for you, the Lite plan at $9 per month or the basic plan at $29 a month. 

To better understand what exactly Shopify is, let’s take a look at how it works. 


How does Shopify work? 

Shopify provides business owners with the required foundation to run their operations online. As an eCommerce business entering the online selling marketplace, you are expected to have an appropriate yet attractive storefront, engage with customers, make transactions, showcase products, and more. To carry out these tedious activities efficiently and make your life easier, Shopify provides you with tools to manage and facilitate the processes of selling products online. 

Like most software platforms, Shopify also comes in different versions for different prices to fit your needs more appropriately as an eCommerce owner.  


What are the different versions of Shopify? 


1) Shopify Plus

This version of Shopify is specifically tailored for larger businesses and businesses that are looking to scale up. Shopify Plus offers a wide range of advanced features that are capable of handling orders of higher volumes, providing better customer support, and several other advanced features. The starting price is $2000 per month, and the charges differ from business to business depending on varying needs.


2) Shopify Lite

Shopify Lite is an affordable version of the platform which permits you to sell your products on an existing website. For just $9 you can avail the benefits of several apps on Shopify, which will help you sell both offline and online. This includes Shopify’s messenger app that can be used not just for chatting but also for selling and sending invoices. 


3) Shopify POS 

Shopify POS stands for Point of Sale and is a platform that enables you to sell your products offline. Products can be sold at pop-up shops, trade shows, physical stores, and several other offline events. With Shopify POS, the payments from these offline stores can be accepted via Android or iPhone when using the POS app. Shopify POS is available at a starting price of $89 a month.

Now that we have a basic understanding of Shopify, it's working and the various versions available, let’s take a look at some advantages you can avail of if you use it. 


Advantages of Shopify


1) Detailed Shopify Admin 

As an eCommerce business owner, Shopify is the perfect comprehensive tool required to understand your business. In one glance, you can see the number of orders, best-performing product page, and a real-time view of the visitors on your website. You can find a wide range of reports and features at the backend of the Shopify store to help you understand your online business's performance. 


2) Avail Free Features

When building a new website, you have to pay for almost all the features. But with Shopify, there are several customizations you can avail for free. Shopify is ideal for beginners because it offers plenty of room to explore and customize your website based on the branding style you want. You can change the color, font, add your photos or get free stock photos taken by Shopify photographers. You can even opt for professional photography for your products. 


3) Multiple Inbuilt Apps for Different Purposes

With Shopify, you have access to a wide range of apps to choose from to build an improved version of your website every day. From countdown timers to product sourcing apps, you can find an app on the Shopify App Store for literally every purpose. There are free as well as paid apps available, and you can choose them depending on your needs. You need not add all these apps to your website, but if you’re looking to enhance your store, don’t forget to check out Shopify App Store. 


4) Cloud-based Platform 

Instead of a server, Shopify is a cloud-based platform. This saves your eCommerce business from unnecessary crashing and the losses caused by downtime. This allows your business to run smoothly and all these costs come along with the subscription so you have nothing to worry about. With the cloud, the odds of your website crashing are low. 


5) Appropriate Plans for Everyone 

As we mentioned earlier, Shopify offers a varying range of pricing plans to fit your needs. Running an eCommerce store comes with several expenses, from paying for the products to marketing. This is why Shopify has a plan for everyone. If you’re an eCommerce store owner that is on a tight budget, you can opt for Shopify Lite, which costs as low as only $9 a month. The best part is that you can upgrade your plans as your business grows. 


6) High Support 

If you're still unsure whether or not to use Shopify, the depth of the customer support offered by the platform is reason enough to convince you. Shopify wishes all eCommerce owners on their platform to succeed, so they have curated a blog of their own where experts on eCommerce share their tactics for online businesses. Additionally, online retailers can take up courses on eCommerce in their free time through the Shopify Academy platform. The customer service reps are always happy and open to answering the questions they may have. Shopify has a massive ecosystem for support, and they’re always willing to help businesses grow. 


7) Low Barrier for Entry 

Starting a Shopify Store is open to all, and although it is tedious, it is comparatively a piece of cake as compared to how building an online business was 20 years ago. Shopify is one of the leading initiatives to lower the barriers in the path of retailers wanting to enter the eCommerce space.

All things said and done, what exactly can you sell on Shopify? Let’s find out. 


What can you sell on Shopify?

You can sell nearly anything on Shopify, from fashion to skincare to home decor. Here’s a list of trending products that you can consider selling on your website with Shopify. 

  • Clothing
  • Automotive accessories
  • Jewelry 
  • Pet products 
  • Home decor
  • Kitchenware
  • Travel products 
  • Beauty products 
  • Maternity products 
  • Fitness accessories 

And so much more

But you should know that a few guidelines need to be followed while selling on Shopify. Here’s a list of prohibited products to be sold on the platform, or you could get suspended. 

  • Firearms and their parts 
  • High-risk products like telecommunications equipment and bankruptcy lawyers 
  • Unauthorized or counterfeit goods 
  • Gambling products
  • Event tickets
  • Regulated services and goods 
  • Drug paraphernalia 
  • Adult products  
  • Generally, if a product is regulated or illegal, it’s most likely not permitted to be sold on Shopify.

And now that we’ve covered all the basic information about Shopify, let's move on to our handpicked list of best Shopify apps that have been categorized according to different purposes.